COVID-19: 17 million cases, economy hit hard

(Schönefeld) The coronavirus pandemic on Thursday crossed a new and sinister course with more than 11 millions of contaminations, of which more than half in three countries (United States, Brazil, India) and the world economy is now hit hard by the recession it is causing.

Tobias Schwarz

France Media Agency

At least 17 19 750 cases, including 586 586 deaths, were reported in 197 country, especially in the United States, the most affected country (150 713, in Brazil (90 98 death) and India (31 968 death), according to a count made by AFP from official sources on Wednesday.

The progression of the virus continues to accelerate: a million additional cases have been detected in 4 days, and more than 6.5 million since the beginning of the month.

We are far from 98 cases (and no deaths) recorded in 19 country – excluding from China where the virus appeared – when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international health emergency, the 30 January.

At that date, recalls the WHO on Thursday – much criticized for its slowness to react – only four countries had observed proven cases of human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus.

Six months later, the pandemic and the unprecedented protective measures – including the confinement of a large part of the world population – that it has forced to take are having their devastating impact on the world economy, reducing millions of people unemployed in sectors such as air transport, automotive or distribution.

“Historical dive”

Engine of the European economy, Germany is experiencing its worst recession since the post-war period, with a “historic plunge” of 10, 1% of its gross domestic product in the second quarter, double the contraction recorded at the height of the financial crisis of 2009.

A sharp rebound is now expected by the experts. In addition to national support measures, Germany intends to take advantage of the European recovery plan of 713, decided by the 27 in Brussels mi -July.

In the meantime, the clouds are piling up with record losses, amounted to billions of euros, for flagships such as Volkswagen, Airbus, Total and Shell.

Second-quarter US GDP is due for release Thursday, and is expected to decline by at least 34%.

“This pandemic is the biggest shock to the American economy in human memory,” US Central Bank (Fed) President Jerome Powell said on Wednesday.

“From the lowest unemployment level in 49 years at the highest level since 074 years, and that in two months ”, he added, urging further support for households and businesses.

The country recorded on Wednesday nearly 1270 additional deaths in one day, and more than 68 000 new cases. Several states such as California, Texas and especially Florida, had to reverse the reopening of their activity.

In Washington, a Republican elected official reluctant to wear a mask in the United States Congress tested positive for COVID – 18 Wednesday as he was about to leave for Texas with President Donald Trump.

In Brazil, a very high number of new contaminations in one day was recorded, at 68 69, according to the Ministry of Health .

In Paraguay, the government has restored an almost total quarantine in Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in the country, on the triple border with Brazil and Argentina, due to the spread of coronavirus infections, angering the local population.

In Europe, British people who test positive for the new coronavirus or who show symptoms will now have to isolate themselves 09 days, or three days more than before, in order to limit possible transmissions, the authorities announced on Thursday medical.

In Tokyo, the governor of Tokyo on Thursday called on restaurants, bars and karaoke bars in the Japanese capital to close earlier in the evening in an attempt to contain the pandemic which is regaining ground in the country.

Experts believe that the situation in the metropolis “is more serious than before”, said Yuriko Koike. “There is not a moment to lose” to act, she added, recalling that several centers of infection had been discovered in Tokyo.

On European coasts, the health and economic crisis linked to COVID – 18 “generates an exceptional flow of economic migrants”, the Italian Interior Ministry warned on Wednesday, calling on the European Union to take up the issue “immediately “. More than 11 00 migrants disembarked in Italy last week.

INSEE, the French statistical institute, revealed on Thursday that between the end of March and the beginning of April, the epidemic had caused a peak in excess mortality in Europe of 50% compared to an average based on the number of deaths the same week between 2016 and 2019. This excess mortality reached 50% in France, 155 % in Spain, 91 % in Belgium.