The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed nearly two million lives worldwide since the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP), Thursday, January 14.
The United States is the most affected country, both by the number of deaths and cases (more than 388,100 deaths), followed by Brazil (more than 207,000), India (more than 151,700), Mexico (nearly 138,000) and the United Kingdom (over 84,700).
New border closures
The United Kingdom closes its borders from Friday at 5 a.m. (French time) to arrivals from all countries in South America and Portugal due to a new variant of the coronavirus discovered in Brazil.
For its part, the France will require all travelers wishing to enter its territory from a country outside the European Union to test negative for Covid-19 before leaving, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday.
Restrictions multiply around the world
At Brazil, the state of Amazonas (north) announced Thursday the establishment of a curfew due to the saturation of hospitals overwhelmed by the permanent influx of patients with Covid-19, with serious supply problems in oxygen. In Manaus, the capital of this state almost entirely covered by the Amazon rainforest, “There is no more oxygen in hospitals and some patients are on the verge of asphyxiation”, Jessem Orellana, from the Amazon branch of the public health research institute Fiocruz, told AFP.
“We are at the most critical moment of the pandemic”, admitted Amazonas Governor Wilson Lima. However, military planes had brought nearly 400 oxygen tanks to Manaus over the past five days, but this number proved insufficient. In an attempt to limit the number of contaminations – and therefore hospitalizations – the curfew will prevent the population from going out from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Chancellor Angela Merkel pleaded Thursday night for significantly tightened restrictions in Germany faced with the Covid-19 pandemic and requested a meeting of the authorities next week, a source close to his party told AFP.
The Robert Koch Institute, responsible for epidemiological monitoring in Germany, was also in favor of strengthening restrictions in this country, which on Thursday recorded a peak in deaths linked to Covid-19. However, Germany adopted strict measures several weeks ago, from the closure of schools and high schools, to non-essential shops, bars and restaurants, through drastic restrictions on authorized meetings.
Our selection of articles on the coronavirus