COVID-19 : toward a reduction of the containment in some countries in Europe

COVID-19 : vers un allègement du confinement dans certains pays d'Europe

PARIS | containment measures taken in several major western countries to stem the pandemic of sars coronavirus appeared Sunday to bear their fruit, to the point that their relief is the order of the day, with caution and in a more or less short term.

First in Europe – a continent that accounts for two-thirds of the 161, 000 deaths from the pandemic to start an operation of slow déconfinement, Germany will allow Monday the re-opening of the most stores of an area less than 800 square meters.

With more than 135 000 cases officially identified and approximately 4,000 deaths, the pandemic is in Germany “under control and manageable”, said the minister of Health, Jens Spahn.

This “success” is nonetheless “fragile”, warned the chancellor Angela Merkel, while Armin Laschet, leader of one of the most affected regions, the North Rhine-Westphalia, warned that “we will not be able to live our old life before long.”

“The situation improves”

Several countries, including France (about 20 000 deaths), Spain (near 20 500) and Italy (23 600), reported numbers of patients and deaths drop after weeks of increases, for a glimpse, for the weeks to come, the first steps of déconfinement.

“We are not out of the health crisis, and even if” the situation is gradually improving, slowly but surely,” said the French prime minister, Édouard Philippe, whose country, fourth largest in the world the most affected in terms of deaths, after the United States, Italy and Spain, is considering a déconfinement progressive from the may 11.

In Italy, the first relief measures will not be taken before 3 may, were recalled by the authorities, but little by little the businesses re-opened, even if it is partial and with a luxury of precautions.

“We’re back!”, has launched on its account Instagram-famous glacier roman Giolitti, who announced a resumption of its deliveries Tuesday.

In Spain, the head of the center for health alerts, Fernando Simon announced that, for the first time since march 22, the death toll daily was spent, with 410 deaths, below 500.

The morgue improvised in a skating rink in Madrid, which has symbolized the bloodshed that has cast a shadow on the Spanish capital, will close on Wednesday, and from April 27, the children, strictly locked up since 14 march, will be able to go outside to take the air.

In Norway, where the authorities deem to “have been passing the virus under control,” the nurseries will re-open on Monday, and the prohibition of stay in secondary residences will be thrown. A second step, from the 27 April, will see the partial reopening of the schools, colleges and universities.

“We can reopen the company little by little. We will do this together, in a controlled way, and gradually”, said the prime minister Erna Solberg.

In the United States, where a standoff between the president Trump, an ardent advocate of a rapid recovery of economic activity, several of the governors are democrats, the governor of the State of New York, the epicenter of the epidemic in the country, has announced that the pandemic had, for the first time initiated a “curve downward”.

“All the indications are that we are in a downward phase,” said Andrew Cuomo, calling nevertheless for caution. “The continuation of this decline will depend on what we will do,” said Mr. Cuomo, who has recently extended the containment measures until 15 may.

The israeli government has approved the easing of some restrictions from this Sunday, in the framework of a plan “responsible and progressive”.

“Impossible that the virus comes from us”

The pandemic has caused nearly 161 000 deaths worldwide, of which nearly two-thirds in Europe, since its appearance in China in December in the city of Wuhan, according to a report drawn up by AFP from official sources Sunday mid-day.

The United States, the country most affected, both in number of dead (at least 38 664 according to the Johns Hopkins university) that case (at least 732 197), have questioned repeatedly the China for having “concealed” the actual number of victims, such as the severity of the epidemic.

In a new episode of the confrontation between the two countries and opponents geopolitical, the director of the chinese laboratory designated by the american media as a possible source of the COVID-19 denied: “it is impossible for this virus to vienna with us,” said in an interview on the channel state CGTN, Yuan Zhiming, director of the Institute of virology, Wuhan, denouncing the accusations “without evidence” and “to fool people”.

According to most scientists, the new coronavirus was probably transmitted to humans by an animal. A market of Wuhan was jailed, because he would have sold the animals live wild. But the presence a few kilometres away from the Institute of virology fueling speculation about a run since these sensitive installations.

The epidemic could have been stopped in China before she started and she has not been. And now, the whole world suffers because of it”, has again lambasted Saturday Donal Trump. And warn: “If they were knowingly responsible, yes, then there should be consequences”.

Elsewhere in the world, the threshold of 2000 dead has been crossed in Turkey, and that of the thousand dead formally identified, was taken in Africa, three-quarters in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and South Africa.

Malians voted Sunday to elect their Parliament, under the threat of coronavirus, in addition to the violence of the jihadists. Despite the hygiene measures put in place around the election, markets, mosques and public transport were constantly busy.

But for WHO, the pandemic is far from being contained, with the “numbers steady or increased” in the East of Europe, where the festivities of orthodox Easter were being celebrated this weekend for the most part churches closed down – and in the United Kingdom.

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