COVID-19: toward a “humanitarian catastrophe”, warns the UN

COVID-19: vers une «catastrophe humanitaire», prévient l’ONU

Washington | health Disaster to global dimensions, the pandemic of sars coronavirus has major economic impacts and may in the 2020 plunge the world into a “humanitarian disaster”, warned Tuesday the united nations.

With, according to a count by the AFP, more than 2.5 million people with a disease (the number of contaminated must be much higher), the pandemic has already killed at least 172 000 people, plunged six people on ten in the throes of the containment and induced economic impacts that are potentially devastating.

The world food Programme of the united nations (WFP) warned Tuesday that the COVID-19 might cause by 2020 a doubling of the number of people on the brink of starvation, leading to a “humanitarian catastrophe” world.

“The number of people suffering severely from hunger could double due to the pandemic COVID-19, reaching more than 250 million by the end of 2020”, due to the economic impact caused by the disease, warned the UN agency.

Symbol of economic turmoil unseen caused by the pandemic, the price of a barrel of american oil is past Monday in negative territory, reaching minus 38 dollars.

The price of the black gold rebounded Tuesday in Asia in going back to slightly above zero. A barrel of Brent North sea fell shortly after under twenty dollars, its lowest level since December 2001.

The general slowdown of the world economies due to the pandemic, with the cars in the garages and many factories stopped, has caused a glut of oil which has forced brokers black gold to pay for getting rid of the barrels that they were committed to buy.

In the United States, to become the prime producer of oil, but extraction costs are high, this historic collapse is a threat to the sector as a whole, and has led president Donald Trump to ask his administration to set up a backup plan.

The international labour Organization (ILO) has warned Tuesday that the “crisis of the COVID-19 has a devastating effect on workers and employers”, through “mass casualties, on the production and employment in all sectors”.

“The world of work runs through the worst international crisis since the Second World War,” said Alette van Their, director of the sectoral policies of the ILO. “The economic impact of the pandemic will likely be severe and long-lasting”.

In Europe, the economic slowdown caused by the virus could eventually affect the jobs of 60 million workers, between wage reductions and layoffs, warned Tuesday the research firm McKinsey.

The pandemic could “almost double the rate of unemployment in europe in the coming months,” said the firm’s american board, for which the evolution of the situation on the labour market will depend on “the effectiveness of the response to public health”.

An agency of the united nations based in Chile ruled Tuesday that Latin America was going to know this year, the worst recession in its history, with a fall expected to be 5.3% of GDP because of the effects of the pandemic on the economies of the region.

In the Face of what he called “the invisible enemy” of the coronavirus, the president, Donald Trump has announced his intention to “temporarily suspend” the immigration to the United States to “protect the jobs” Americans.

The chairman-billionaire, candidate for re-election in November 2020 and for which the restriction of immigration is one of the usual warhorses, has not given any detail on how it intends to apply this measure, and for how long.

He had as early as January restricted the movement with China, before prohibiting travel between the United States and most european countries in mid-march.

Farewell beer and bulls

At least 4.5 billion people in 110 countries and territories now live confined or constrained to limit their movement in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus, or about 58% of the world population.

In Europe, several countries – headed by Germany, but also Austria, Norway, Denmark – have started to ease of containment, while retaining measures of “social distancing”.

Berlin and ten of the 16 German federal states have decided to impose the wearing of masks in public transportation. Bars, restaurants, cultural venues, sports fields remain closed. Schools will re-open gradually.

“Going too fast would be a mistake”, has alarmed the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

In response to these concerns, the famous Celebration of German beer from Munich, scheduled this year from 19 September to 4 October, was canceled Tuesday by the local authorities. “The risks were just too high” with more than 6 million expected visitors, of which one-third from overseas and Asia in particular.

In Spain, the city of Pamplona has announced on Tuesday that it was canceling its famous fiesta of San Fermin, including the running of the bulls attract usually the beginning of July, hundreds of thousands of tourists. “There is no other possible option for holiday as massive and international,” announced the town hall in a press release.

On the european continent, Italy was the country most affected (24 648 deaths), followed by Spain (21 282), France (20 796) and the United Kingdom (17 337).

Italy like France are preparing for a slow déconfinement, with strength precautions, respectively, from the 3 and 11 may. In Spain, the children up here are banned from leaving, can from Monday accompany an adult for shopping of necessities.

In contrast to the United Kingdom, which reported Tuesday 828 additional deaths, and is always “in danger”, the containment introduced on march 23, has been extended for at least three weeks.

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