Coronavirus: one-third of humanity now ordered to stay home

Coronavirus: un tiers de l’humanité désormais sommée de rester chez elle

More than a third of humanity is forced to stay home Wednesday after the decision of India to confine its 1.3 billion inhabitants in the face of the coronavirus causing chaos around the world, but the leaders of the United States and Brazil strive on the contrary to minimize.

After weeks of dilly-dallying, the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 have been deferred to 2021. A decision greeted with relief around the world, while in Italy, in Spain, in France and in other countries, the pandemic Covid-19 continues to cause deaths daily.

In the most affected countries, the hospitals are on the verge of collapse, the health staff exhausted and exposed to contagion by a lack of masks and appropriate materials, and the victims buried or cremated in haste.

“Many of my colleagues cry because people are dying alone without having reviewed their family and we barely have the time to keep them company”, says Guillen del Barrio, a nurse in a hospital in Madrid being full of sick.

In the Spanish capital, an ice skating rink has been transformed into a morgue giant. The exhibition halls of the Fair of Madrid has been converted into a field hospital of 1,500 beds, and the army was called in to the rescue for disinfect the retirement homes where the dead are counted by the dozens.

In Italy, the balance sheet, daily life remains a nightmare scenario: another 743 died on Tuesday. But a fall in the number of infections is raising timid hopes among scientists, who see the effectiveness of draconian measures of containment taken in this country.

India, the second most populated country in the world behind China, has ordered to turn the containment of its 1.3 billion people as of Wednesday.

“Remember that even a single step out of home you can bring back the serious illness of the coronavirus in your home,” warned in a speech to the nation the Prime minister, Narendra Modi, whose country has 519 cases of Covid-19, including 10 deaths.

With the containment of India, it is 2.6 billion people are now called to cloister themselves in their homes, according to a count taken from a database of the AFP.

This represents more than a third of the world population, estimated by the UN to 7.8 billion people by 2020.

According to a report drawn up by AFP from official sources, more than 18 000 people have lost their lives because of this virus and more than 400,000 cases of infection were diagnosed in 175 countries and territories.

This number of diagnosed cases does not reflect, however, that a fraction of the actual number of contaminations, a large number of countries testing more than the cases requiring hospitalisation.

Containment: “single business strategy”

In Africa, Latin America and Europe, curfews, containment, closure of shops and restrictions of travel are becoming more widespread, the majority of scientists believing that only drastic measures of this nature are able to inhibit the disease against which no vaccine nor any treatment found to exist to this day.

“The containment is currently the only strategy that is actually operational”, has held Tuesday the scientific Council of the French on the Covid-19, which was deemed “indispensable” to extend for several weeks, this measure has been in force in the country for more than a week.

The us president, Donald Trump, and his brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, are not of the same opinion.

“It is necessary to return to work much earlier than people think”, has launched Mr. Trump on Fox News.

The United States has identified Tuesday, more than 700 deaths and 53 000 officially reported cases of Covid-19, according to the counting of the Johns Hopkins university, in which reference is made. Approximately 40% of the american population is confined to her home, or on the point of being, the restrictions vary from one State to another.

“We can destroy a country closing it this way”, criticized the u.s. president, according to which “a severe recession or a depression” could be more deadly than the epidemic, especially if the economic crisis would lead to “suicide by the thousands”.

In Brazil, where there are 2 201 the case of Covid-19 and 46 deaths, the deficiencies of the system of care, the poverty and the unhygienic conditions in which lives a large part of the population threaten to worsen the epidemic in the first economy of Latin America.

But the president of extreme right-wing Jair Bolsonaro has compared the measures of containment and closure of shops and public services taken by several States and municipalities have a policy of “scorched earth”.

“We need to keep jobs and preserve the supply of families,” he said in a speech to the nation. “The at-risk group is that of people over 60 years of age. So why close the schools?” he asked.

He accused the media of spreading “hysteria” in the face of the pandemic and stated that Brazil was immune, thanks to its warm climate and its population is predominantly young.

In China, the increasingly severe restrictions imposed for several months in Hubei province, the epicentre of the pandemic, were lifted on Wednesday. No cases of local contamination has not been detected in 24 hours in the country, but 47 cases “imported” from abroad have been identified over this period, according to the national health authorities.

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