Half of humanity was called Thursday to confine to protect against the novel coronavirus, spread a ” quasi-exponential “, which has already contaminated officially, nearly a million people and broke 48 000 lives.
More than 500 000 cases have been reported in Europe, the continent most affected, but this is the United States (215 000), which are becoming the new epicentre of the pandemic. Lack of sufficient capacity at the time of screening, these reports are very likely well below the reality.
The social consequences, already, promise to be disastrous. As the United States where applications for weekly unemployment benefits recorded a new record last week, with 6.6 million new applications.
The magnitude of the crisis obscures not all the individual tragedies. The death of a new-born in the State of Connecticut has particularly struck the minds, the children are relatively spared.
According to the projections of the White House, the Covid-19 should be between 100 000 and 240 000 deaths in the United States.
“Deeply concerned,” the secretary-general of the world Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was able to see the “nearly exponential growth” in the number of cases.
In spite of the containment measures that involve more than one inhabitant of the planet on two, the balance sheets will be heavy: more than 13 000 dead in Italy, 10 000 in Spain, over 5000 in the United States, 4,000 of them in France…
“Know the truth “
These four countries have exceeded the official toll of deaths reported for the mainland of China (3318), where the epidemic is declared.
But the numbers in chinese they arouse the suspicions: Beijing lied in the under-valuing widely, according to a confidential report that the american intelligence referred to by several members of parliament.
“China has concealed the severity of this virus for months,” responded a member of the House of representatives, William Timmons. “The world is paying now for (his) mistakes “.
“The acts and behavior of some american politicians are shameful and devoid of all morality,” responded Beijing, affirming that the WHO defended the chinese data.
China suggests that its authoritarian political system has helped to contain quickly the outbreak, but some relatives of the victims, pouring out their anger on the social networks, accusing also the regime of lies and incompetence.
“I’m not afraid, I want to know the truth “, shows Zhang, a resident of Wuhan, who has lost his father at the beginning of the epidemic, and who is convinced that he has contracted the disease during his hospitalization for a lightweight operation.
Beijing was at the center of another controversy Thursday, after having given its green light to a drug-based bear bile to treat patients who are victims of the Covid-19. The origin of the controversy, the treatment of the bears housed high in narrow cages where their abdomen is punctured by a catheter connected to their gallbladder to take the bile.
Choose between the economy and the health
In Europe, the pandemic has caused the death of over 1000 people in Belgium, a figure that has doubled in the space of three days, in particular due to the recognition shifted to the death in a retirement home.
And four French soldiers deployed in the Sahel within the framework of the operation antidjihadiste Barkhane have been tested positive for the coronavirus.
But it is Spain that has once again deplored on Thursday the most severe losses, with 950 deaths in 24 hours, a new record in the country, which was also recorded in march, more than 300,000 new job-seekers, due to “extraordinary impact” of the health crisis, according to the ministry of Labour.
In Italy, the country most grief-stricken, the government is under pressure to lift the measures of confinement and restart a slow economy.
“It is horrible to have to choose between putting the economy on stand-by, or put in danger the lives of many people,” observes the american expert Paul Romer, quoted by the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.
The government needs a ” credible plan to put an end to containment very quickly, while ensuring the safety of employees, even if the virus is still present “, adds the co-winner of the Nobel Prize-2018 Economy.
The european Commission proposed Thursday to create an instrument to guarantee up to 100 billion euros to the national plans for employment support in place because of the outbreak of coronavirus.
The announcement of the us data on jobless claims has dragged the european stock markets: the gloom grew in the early afternoon, Paris (-0,74 %) and Frankfurt (-1,43 %), while London drew in 0.21 %. Shortly after opening lower, Wall Street seemed more indecisive, the Dow Jones assignor to 0.19 %.
In Russia, president Vladimir Putin announced that the month of April would be working in Russia, but the salaries have been preserved, to slow the spread of the pandemic.
For lack of a vaccine or treatment, containment remains the way to fight the most effective. More than 3.9 billion people are called upon to remain in their own homes or forced to do so.
A real challenge in the poor countries, like Rwanda. Now in the misery the more complete, Regine Murengerantwari, widow, prepares each morning in Kigali, the porridge for her four children, usually fed at school.
They should just have a bowl each day, and sometimes there is nothing left for her: “To feed my family, I don’t have to eat it myself “, she says.
Even in developed countries, containment leaves certain categories of the population in the first line, as the employees of the businesses that remain open.
“We are afraid to bring back something from us,” says to AFP on condition of anonymity Piera, a part-time cashier in a supermarket in Novara, Italy, where a security guard died of the virus at the age of 33.
What the hurts the most, it is the irresponsible behavior of some customers who come in family to get close to too many employees… or humidify their fingers to count their tickets.