The coronavirus epidemic continues to spread around the world, with 15 million people infected, including more than 8 million for the American continent alone, forcing many countries to impose new health measures.
In total, 627,307 people have died from Covid-19 around the world, according to a report established Thursday by AFP.
It is on the American continent that the situation remains the most worrying.
In the United States, the milestone of 4 million official cases was exceeded Thursday, adding a million cases in just two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University, which refers. Previously, it had taken almost a month to register a million additional cases and raise the contamination threshold from 2 million to 3 million.
Long accused of denial of the pandemic, US President Donald Trump recently admitted a “worrying increase in cases” in the south of the country. He resolved to forgo the holding of the Republican convention which was scheduled in Florida at the end of August to officially induct him as the candidate of the Republican Party in the presidential election in November.
Nationally, epidemic models predict, on average, a peak in the next four weeks, according to Nicholas Reich of the University of Massachusetts. With more than 144,000 deaths, the United States is by far the most bereaved in the world in absolute terms, ahead of Brazil and the United Kingdom.
On Thursday, in one day, the United States recorded more than 76,500 new cases of Covid-19 – close to the 24-hour record – and 1,225 deaths, according to the university count.
The surge in contamination also raised unemployment for the first time in the country since the end of March, worrying Wall Street. Just over 16 million Americans are unemployed and 32 million are on temporary compensation.
– Bolsonaro sans masque –
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the threshold of four million cases has also been crossed. Brazil alone now has more than 2.2 million cases. This did not prevent Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, infected with the coronavirus, from riding his motorbike on Thursday and discussing, without a mask, with sweepers near his residence in Brasilia, according to photos released in the media.
Due to the spread of the epidemic, Bolivia announced the postponement to October 18 of the general elections scheduled for September 6. Colombia recorded 315 deaths on Thursday, the highest number in a single day.
The situation is particularly dramatic in Ecuador, where the health system in the country’s second city, Arequipa, is totally saturated. Local media reported that Covid-19 patients were sleeping in tents set up near hospitals and others were spending the night in their cars parked nearby, hoping to get a bed and be treated. .
The distress in this city is illustrated by a video that has gone viral showing a woman in tears, running behind the car in which was President Martin Vizcarra, who visited the city on Sunday.
This woman, Celia Capira, was pleading for a hospital bed to be given to her husband, who is seriously ill with Covid-19. Adolfo Mamani died two days later on Tuesday at the age of 57.
Europe officially has 3,007,088 cases of Covid-19 for 206,714 deaths. But two days after the agreement of the 27 on an unprecedented stimulus plan amounting to 750 billion euros to deal with the historic recession due to the coronavirus, MEPs blew the cold.
They threatened to block the 2021-2027 EU budget agreement “if it was not improved” and demand increases in the areas of climate, digital technology and health.
This does not, however, call into question the recovery plan adopted Tuesday by the 27 in the face of the coronavirus, for which the approval of the parliament is not necessary.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is celebrating his first year in office on Friday and who had contracted a severe form of Covid-19 at the end of March, said he wanted to “take an oath” not to let the virus slow down this country”. But experts warn of a potential second wave of contamination as the country holds the sad European record of 45,000 deaths.
In France, the number of cases continued to increase with “more than 1,000” Thursday and “10 new outbreaks” of infection, according to the Directorate General of Health (DGS).
– Partial reconfigurations –
Faced with the resurgence of contaminations, wearing a mask is becoming compulsory in certain areas.
In Australia, which had so far succeeded in containing the epidemic, the state of Victoria (south), of which Melbourne is the capital, again recorded 422 new contaminations on Thursday.
Melbourne residents have been required to wear a mask since Thursday.
The same is true in Hong Kong but also in Austria, where the wearing of a mask is once again compulsory in supermarkets, banks and post offices.
In Belgium, the mask will be compulsory from Saturday on markets, shopping streets, hotels, cafes and restaurants, except at the table. The United Kingdom has also decided to make the mask mandatory in stores from Friday.
Several countries have chosen to reimpose partial reconfinements.
Thus, the approximately 10 million inhabitants of Tokyo have been invited to stay at home from Thursday, the first day of a long holiday weekend in Japan.
In South Africa, an increase of nearly 60% in the total number of natural deaths in recent weeks suggests that the number of coronavirus-related deaths is in fact much higher than official statistics indicate. Public schools will close again for a month.