Many countries are stepping up restrictions in an attempt to curb the momentum of the coronavirus, while others are easing measures.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world. Many countries are increasing restrictions in an attempt to curb the dynamics of the virus, while others are relaxing measures. More than 1.11 million deaths have been officially recorded worldwide.
In total, at least 1,111,152 million deaths for more than 39.7 million cases, have been reported. The United States is the most bereaved country in the world with 219,289 dead, followed by Brazil (153,675), India (114,031), Mexico (86,059) and the United Kingdom (43,646). In total, more than 250,000 deaths from the coronavirus have been recorded in Europe according to an assessment carried out by AFP from official sources this Sunday at 3:30 p.m., for 7,366,028 cases. More than 8,000 deaths have been recorded in the last seven days (8,342), the heaviest toll over a week in the region since mid-May.
- New contamination record in France
The number of coronavirus infections hit a new record in France on Saturday. 32,427 positive screening tests have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the daily report from the French public health agency. A level never reached since the launch of large-scale tests.
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A record 30,621 cases was set Thursday, and the 20,000 case milestone was crossed on October 9 alone. The positivity rate (proportion of positive tests in relation to the total tests carried out) continues to increase rapidly, at 13.1%, against 9% only ten days ago and around 4.5% at the beginning of September.
A total of 1,868 patients with the most severe form of the disease are currently hospitalized in an intensive care unit, 77 more than the day before.
- “Brutal aggravation” in French Polynesia
French Polynesia is facing “a brutal worsening of the epidemic”, said Friday the High Commissioner of the Republic, Dominique Sorain, while the president of the local government, Édouard Fritch, is in isolation after being tested positive for Covid-19 a week ago.
According to the local health directorate, the incidence rate, which counts the number of cases over 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants, reached 409 on Wednesday, a level that places it among the highest in France, and even climbs to nearly of 500 among 15-44 year olds, while the reproduction rate is now 1.4, well above the limit set by scientists to avoid an increase in the number of cases.
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Sign of this acceleration of contamination, the former president of the local government, Gaston Flosse, 89, has also tested positive. The territory is also experiencing a sharp increase in the number of hospitalizations, raising fears of a risk of saturation, possibly in November, while the Tahiti hospital center can accommodate 200 coronavirus patients and 60 in intensive care.
- The virus survives nine hours on the skin
The coronavirus remains active on the skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found who confirm the need for frequent hand washing to fight the pandemic. In comparison, the pathogen that causes influenza survives on the skin for about 1.8 hours, says study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
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“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the strain of the virus that causes Covid-19 disease) on human skin may increase the risk of transmission by contact compared to IAV (Influenza A Virus). influenza A), thus accelerating the pandemic, ”says the study. Japanese researchers tested skin samples taken from autopsy specimens about a day after death. Both the coronavirus and the influenza virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by the application of ethanol, used in hand sanitizers.
- Italy mobilizes an additional 39 billion euros
The Italian government adopted this Sunday in the Council of Ministers a draft finance law amendment amounting to 39 billion euros in response to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the third economy in the euro area. This finance law will be financed by the additional deficit and by 18 billion euros of the European recovery plan adopted in July in Brussels.
The Minister of the Economy Roberto Gualtieri estimated that there had “never been such an expansionist finance law in the history of the country”, recalling that the investments will go from 2.3% of the GDP in 2019 to 4 % in 2021. The Council of Ministers also adopted the “summary of the finance law” which will be sent to the European Commission.
- Gradual deconfinement in Israel
“With caution”, Israel began this Sunday a very gradual deconfinement after noting a drop in the number of cases of people infected with the coronavirus, a month after the entry into force of the restrictions. National parks and beaches have reopened, businesses that do not welcome the public have been able to return to work, and young children have found their way back to kindergarten and nursery.
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Israelis are now allowed to travel more than a kilometer from their homes, and worshipers have been able to return to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest place of prayer, and the Esplanade des Mosques, the third holiest site in Israel. Islam, access to which had until then been restricted to residents of the Old City of Jerusalem.
- Switzerland imposes new measures
Wearing a mask will be mandatory from Monday in closed public places throughout Switzerland, the federal government announced on Sunday, among other measures to try to stem the “exponential” growth of Covid-19 cases.
“This last week, the infections have doubled”, the growth of cases is now “exponential”, declared the president of the confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, during a press conference, justifying the seriousness of the situation so that the Confederation imposes national measures, when the management of the pandemic was since the summer the sole responsibility of the cantons.
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They can continue to adapt to the local situation, some having imposed in recent days more drastic measures than the announcements of the Confederation. Switzerland had been relatively spared from the pandemic in the spring and had imposed limited restrictions compared to its neighbors. But during the summer, authorities and citizens had clearly let their guard down.
- Relaxation of restrictions in Melbourne
Australian authorities announced on Sunday a slight relaxation of the restriction measures in force in Melbourne, the second largest city in the country, after a steady decline in the number of new contaminations. Melbourne’s five million people have been under drastic restrictions for more than 100 days intended to fight an uncontrolled wave of Covid-19 cases.
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The authorities on Sunday lifted the measure which limited to two hours the time people could spend outside their homes to engage in authorized activities. They have also extended the distance they can travel to 25 kilometers to exercise, buy basic necessities and work in professions deemed essential to society.
- New Zealand case detected again
New Zealand reported on Sunday a new case of the coronavirus, two weeks after a statement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who congratulated her country on having “again defeated the virus”. Chief Health Officer Ashley Bloomfield announced that a port worker tested positive on Saturday afternoon.
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“As this person was tested the day she developed symptoms, the Department of Health was able to place contact cases in isolation,” said Ashley Bloomfield. The announcement comes in the wake of Jacinda Arden’s resounding Labor Party victory in the general election, largely attributed to the government’s successes in tackling the pandemic.