Berlin | Finding the coronavirus “under control”, Germany began Monday its déconfinement, a slow and delicate operation in a Europe of cloistered for weeks, still devastated by the pandemic, but eager to revive its economy.
To this day, the european continent has paid the heaviest tribute to the disease, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the 164, 000 deaths recorded in the world. Italy was the country most affected (23 660 deaths), followed by Spain (20 453), France (19 718), and the United Kingdom (16 060), according to the latest report of the outbreak prepared from official sources.
With 135 000 cases and approximately 4,000 deaths, the pandemic is in Germany “under control and manageable”, have considered the authorities, who have, therefore, authorised the re-opening Monday morning of the shops of a surface area of less than 800 m2.
“Orgies” of discussion
Food shops, bookshops, garages, clothing stores and other florists will once again welcoming customers. Federalism requires, the measure will be applied in a manner significantly different in sixteen States-regions of the country, and many shops will remain closed in the capital Berlin on Monday.
In the city of Leipzig, Manuel Fischer, owner of a fashion shop, said he was “incredibly pleased” to reopen the trade, while leaving his models on the terrace in the spring sunshine.
Cultural venues, bars, restaurants, play areas, sports fields, however, remain closed. Large gatherings such as concerts or sports competitions will remain banned at least until 31 August. Schools and colleges will re-open progressively from the 4th of may.
Gatherings of more than two people are to be avoided, a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is expected to be observed in public places, and wearing a mask “highly recommended”.
The situation remains “fragile”, warned the chancellor Angela Merkel. Monday, she has not hidden his irritation at the “orgies” discussions in the country on a possible déconfinement total, and non-compliance, increasing according to it the rules of social distancing.
This crisis exit strategy, implemented by Germany, the economic locomotive of the old continent, is scanned by a Europe that lives under bell for nearly a month, and some countries are preparing to begin the challenge of containment as the disease appears to be contained.
The challenge is enormous: to revive gradually the activity, to contain the impatience of the people locked up, or even the risk of social explosion, while preventing a possible resurgence of the virus, and preserving of their health systems, saturated.
Sign of the economic emergency, the Bank of Spain predicts for 2020 a steep fall, “unprecedented in recent history”, from 6.6% to 13.6% of GDP in the fourth economy of the euro area due to the pandemic.
The neighbouring Austria, was allowed Tuesday to reopen a conservative small shops and public gardens. Norway began on Monday to reopen its kindergarten, first strike slow and gradual restrictions imposed in mid-march.
Albania has allowed the recovery of economic activity in approximately 600 sectors, including agriculture, livestock, food production, mining, and textile, fishing…
Poor “but worse”
France, Spain and Italy, which have high numbers of illness and death in the fall, after weeks of rising, prepare and also one of the first measures of déconfinement.
“We’re going to have to learn to live with the virus,” said Sunday night the French prime minister, Édouard Philippe. The executive French, criticized for having been slow to generalize the tests and wearing a mask, works at a very progressive déconfinement from the 11th of may.
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 lot of precautions.
In Spain, 399 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours, compared with 410 the previous day, the lower figures for the past four weeks, announced Monday the ministry of Health. The morgue improvised in a skating rink in Madrid, which has symbolized the bloodshed, will close on Wednesday, and from April 27, the children, strictly shut in since mid-march, will be able to go outside to take the air.
In contrast, in the United Kingdom, the containment introduced on march 23, has been extended for at least three weeks on Thursday, and the government have no plans yet to get out.
In Japan, which will now count the number of cases is the highest in Asia after China and India, doctors are sounding the alarm, while the number of registered cases has exceeded the 10,000 this weekend in spite of the establishment of the state of emergency.
For the world health Organization (WHO), the pandemic is far from being brought under control at global level, in particular with “numbers steady or increased” in the United Kingdom and in eastern Europe.
“The struggle continues!”
In the United States, where a standoff between the president and Donald Trump, a supporter of a rapid recovery in economic activity, several 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”.
The bar 40, 000 deaths, however, was reached Sunday in the country, according to the counting of the Johns Hopkins university.
In China, the schools of the chinese province of Hubei (center), where the epidemic COVID-19 in the city of Wuhan, will re-open on the 6th of may. The disease has clearly been halted after a loopback total of more than two months, and a gradual recovery in activity over the last few days, celebrated as a “victory” by the communist regime.
In Australia, the authorities have re-opened to the public three beaches, where swimmers and surfers are again rushed to take advantage of the waves.
After Easter, the christian and the jewish, the muslim world is preparing for its tour this year of a ramadan of the most bleak, in the Middle East, the containment of general of the saudi Arabia to Morocco, passing by Egypt, Lebanon or Syria. “Our hearts cry”, laments the muezzin of the Great Mosque of Mecca, the holy city of islam, deserted.
In Africa, where the threshold of 1,000 deaths was surpassed this weekend, violent clashes took place Sunday evening in several neighborhoods of the capital of Niger, Niamey, between law enforcement and residents opposed to the curfew, and the prohibition of collective prayers. With cries of “the struggle continues!”, “do not back up!”, protesters have burned tires and erected barricades of stones in the streets.