Saturday, April 17

The battle against the virus around the world


Without too much surprise, Quebecers started the week by learning that the measures in the red zone were extended by another 28 days. Four more weeks of effort, during which the gyms, bars, dining rooms, restaurants and entertainment will remain closed. But “Quebeckers know that we have to make sacrifices, that the situation is currently difficult everywhere in the world,” said Prime Minister François Legault. What is it really ? Here is an overview of the situation in different states on the planet.

Canada

Total number of cases: 234,433

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 6173

Number of cases, last 14 days: +37 893

Death: 10 136

Quebec

Total number of cases: 104,952

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 12 766

Number of cases, last 14 days: +13 934

Death: 6231

British Columbia

Total number of cases: 14 381

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 3105

Number of cases, last 14 days: +3192

Death: 263

Ontario

Total number of cases: 77 655

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 5710

Number of cases, last 14 days: +11 807

Death: 3179

British Columbia has fared so far with seven times fewer cases than Quebec and five times fewer than Ontario.

Wearing a mask is not compulsory, but many citizens cover their faces. Some establishments prefer to impose it. But for many, especially in communities of Asian origin, it was already a habit.

Bars, except nightclubs, are always open. Like the restaurants. However, the sale of alcohol must cease at 10 p.m. And the sound level must remain low to consequently reduce the emission of aerosols by the speech.

Deconfinement continues in cultural and sporting circles.

Ontario, for its part, once again crossed the barrier of 1,000 new daily cases at the start of the week, a record in this province since the start of the pandemic.

In hot areas, like Toronto, York and Ottawa, restaurant dining rooms and bars have been closed since early October, such as gyms and cinemas. Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Schools and places of worship are always open. Wearing a mask has been compulsory in Ontario since the beginning of October only, except in schools, where it was compulsory since the start of the school year for students of 4e at the 12e year.

United States


US President Donald Trump, along with his wife Melania, spoke at a rally on October 29 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

AFP Photo

US President Donald Trump, along with his wife Melania, spoke at a rally on October 29 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Total number of cases: 9,133,419

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 27 714

Number of cases, last 14 days: +1 010 070

Death: 229,808

The United States has the most cases and deaths associated with COVID-19, ahead of India, Brazil and Russia. The most recent studies on excess mortality linked to the pandemic suggest that the number of deaths is largely underestimated. It is especially the place where there are the most active cases around the world: more than 3 million at present.

The second wave on American soil looks more and more like what Europe is experiencing, especially in the Midwest.

In New York, we are preparing to close schools if necessary. Authorities are already preparing New Yorkers to avoid travel during the holiday season, which promises to be bleak.

In Boston, public schools have been closed for a week and teaching is done online.

Florida, hit hard over the summer, has already relaxed most of its measures in recent weeks. The “Sunshine State” has recorded around 4,000 daily cases for a few days, twice as many as two weeks ago. It remains to be seen what impact the outcome of the US presidential election will have, with Donald Trump standing mocks a virus he himself contracted, against an opponent, Joe Biden, who is considering imposing the wearing of a mask throughout the territory in case of victory.

The United Kingdom

Total number of cases: 989,745

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 14 898

Number of cases, last 14 days: +300 488

Death: 46,229

The British government decided yesterday to reconfine England for a month, abandoning a local approach in the face of the virulence of the second wave of the new coronavirus which threatened to prove to be twice as deadly as the first.

The country most bereaved by the pandemic in Europe with 46,229 deaths of people declared positive for COVID-19, and now more than a million recorded cases, the United Kingdom is facing a resurgence that risks overwhelming its hospitals. After resisting general lockdown for weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson resolved to announce it at a press conference yesterday.

For four weeks from Thursday until December 2, cafes, pubs and restaurants will remain closed unless they offer take-out or deliveries.

People in England are called upon to work from home and only have to leave their homes for specific reasons such as exercising, going to a medical appointment or shopping for food. They can only meet someone outside their home, and outside.

Australia

Victoria State

Total number of cases: 20,342

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 3042

Number of cases, last 14 days: +33

Death: 819

After three months of strict confinement, residents of the state capital of Victoria, Melbourne, have finally been entitled to a relaxation of the radical measures imposed by their government.

For a hundred days, it was practically forbidden to leave one’s home, except for essential needs, within a radius of 5 km. Schools and churches were closed. The police, who controlled movement, could enter houses without a warrant. Fines of up to $ 5,000 were issued to offenders.

No new cases were reported Sunday and Monday, while in early August, a peak of 700 new cases had been recorded.

Deconfinement has started. While telecommuting remains the order of the day for most, bars, restaurants and beauty salons in Australia’s second-largest city are now starting to reopen. Gym owners will have to wait until November 8. It is now allowed to move within a radius of 25 kilometers.

Italy

Total number of cases: 564,778

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 9 375

Number of cases, last 14 days: +199 311

Death: 37,700

Italy, which found itself in a catastrophic situation with more than 6,500 cases in 24 hours last spring, now deplores more than 20,000 per day.

Despite the dramatic jump in the number of people infected, this time around, the restrictions do not pass. Authorities recently ordered theaters, cinemas and gyms to be closed for a month.

Bars and restaurants must now close at 6 p.m.

Dissatisfied, thousands of Italians, including restaurateurs and far-right activists, took to the streets to demonstrate, sometimes in violence.

China


Life is returning to normal in Wuhan, where it all began, as a crowd attended the International Horse Racing Festival held in the Chinese city this week.

AFP Photo

Life is returning to normal in Wuhan, where it all began, as a crowd attended the International Horse Racing Festival held in the Chinese city this week.

Total number of cases: 85,973

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 61

Number of cases, last 14 days: +314

Death: 4634

In Wuhan, where it all began, government public relations experts argue that it is now possible to meet and live there without wearing a mask. The world’s first outbreak site was deconfined last April.

In many places, it’s party time. In Beijing and other major Chinese cities, around 20 music festivals have taken place since early October.

In Hong Kong, bars, restaurants and gyms, which had been closed in July after an outbreak, have started to reopen after massive screening.

Overall, the situation remains under close surveillance. Checkpoints and temperature measurement have been set up everywhere. It is not uncommon for millions of inhabitants of the same city to be tested in a massive way as soon as a handful of cases are detected. Earlier this week, 5 million residents of Kashgar and the surrounding area were confined and then tested at lightning speed after a single case was confirmed at a textile factory.

Figures from the Chinese authorities, the reliability of which is questioned by many, suggest that there have been very few cases or deaths since the peaks of last February.

France


At a press conference in Paris on October 29, French Prime Minister Jean Castex (photo) had specified the measures of the new confinement announced the day before by President Emmanuel Macron.

AFP Photo

At a press conference in Paris on October 29, French Prime Minister Jean Castex (photo) specified the measures of the new confinement announced the day before by President Emmanuel Macron.

Total number of cases: 1 337 693

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 19 943

Number of cases, last 14 days: +494 222

Death: 36,273

In an address to the nation on Wednesday, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, announced a general reconfinement of at least four weeks.

Bars and restaurants, many of which still operated normally until a recent curfew was imposed, will have to close like all non-essential businesses.

In Paris and in the largest French cities, the progression of the pandemic is out of control. Last Sunday, more than 50,000 new cases were reported in a single day. In two weeks, the number of infected people has doubled, and unlike the first wave, all of France is now on the alert.

Sweden

Total number of cases: 124,355

Total number of cases per million inhabitants: 12,034

Number of cases, last 14 days: +21 155

Death: 5938

Sweden, often cited as a role model for opponents of restrictive measures against COVID-19, has seen its daily new cases increase steadily for two months.

The Scandinavian country, which is an exception with its strategy without masks or too many restrictions, now insists that its inhabitants in regions located further south limit their social contacts and avoid public transport.

The 50-person limit for gatherings was recently revised to 300. Those at risk, including the 70-year-old who were asked to stay at home, are now encouraged to come out to break through the loneliness and isolation.

Sources: Google, JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data, The New York Times COVID Tracking Project, Wikipedia


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