Containment, curfews and various restrictions: many countries are tightening their measures in the face of a still threatening Covid-19 epidemic, and against which vaccination around the world has not yet had the desired effect.
The pandemic has killed more than 2.87 million people on the planet, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources, Wednesday, April 7. These figures are globally underestimated. They are based on daily reports from national health authorities, without including reassessments based on statistical bases.
With more than 550,000 dead, the United States is the most bereaved country in the world, ahead of Brazil, whose head of state Jair Bolsonaro still rejects the idea of confinement, despite an increasingly catastrophic situation .
In Brazil, Bolsonaro remains firm despite soaring numbers
In Brazil, more than 4,000 people died from Covid-19 on Tuesday alone and more than 3,800 on Wednesday. The reference institute in public health Fiocruz estimated ” absolutely necessary “ confinement to cope with the saturation of hospitals, which are in a situation “Critical” in 24 of the country’s 27 states. “The circulation of the virus remains intense throughout the country and the situation could remain critical throughout the month of April”, continues the organization.
Yet President Jair Bolsonaro has remained adamant. “There will be no national confinement”, hammered, during an official ceremony in Chapeco (south), the far-right leader who has continued to question the restrictive measures, in the name of preserving employment:
“We have to find alternatives, we are not going to accept a policy that amounts to saying that you have to stay at home, close everything, impose confinement. “
Brazil is the second country in the world where Covid-19 has killed the most with more than 337,000 official deaths since the start of the pandemic and already more than 15,000 in the first six days of April.
A year ago, the Supreme Court gave states and municipalities the autonomy to impose their own restrictive measures. But in practice, with a few rare exceptions, only certain activities considered non-essential have been closed, without total containment. Restrictions considered most of the time insufficient by scientists, who consider the fight against the pandemic chaotic in the absence of real national coordination.
Establishment of a curfew in Argentina
A night-time curfew will come into effect on Friday for three weeks in Argentina, for the first time in the country, hit by an exponential increase in contaminations with a new record of daily infections on Wednesday, announced President Alberto Fernandez.
“Traffic is prohibited between midnight and 6 am every day. According to the jurisdictions, the authorities will be able to extend these hours only according to the specificities of each place ”, declared the Head of State who considers that “Argentina has entered the second wave” of the epidemic.
The curfew will not apply to the whole of Argentina. It will concern the areas in which the epidemiological risk is the greatest, that is to say the large urban centers, in particular Buenos Aires and its periphery, where a third of the 45 million Argentines live.
Argentina recorded, on Wednesday, a second consecutive peak of new cases, with more than 22,000 new infections daily. During the same twenty-four hour period, the country has deplored 199 new deaths, bringing the total toll to nearly 57,000 victims.
Venezuela deplores the sanctions
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Wednesday that without the economic sanctions against it, Venezuela would have already bought the anti-Covid vaccines it needs.
“If the Venezuelan funds [à l’étranger] were not blocked, three months ago we would have bought the thirty million vaccines that the country needs ”, said Arreaza.
Venezuela and its oil company PDVSA are subject to international economic sanctions, in particular from the United States, which wants to oust Nicolas Maduro from power, whose re-election in 2018 is considered fraudulent by part of the international community.
“As the funds are blocked, we are there! Some Russian and Chinese vaccines are coming in, but we are trying through the Covax mechanism to reach agreements with those who sequester our funds so that they release them. We are also asking the Bank of England to release our funds from our gold and they are not doing that ”, assures the minister.
The country has recorded 165,000 cases including more than 20,000 in March, for just under 1,700 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to official figures. The opposition and NGOs believe that these figures are largely underestimated.
Venezuela launched a vaccination campaign in February-March with the Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines.
Tunis strengthens its measures to limit contamination
The Tunisian authorities announced, Wednesday evening, the strengthening of measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19, which has experienced a sharp increase since last week resulting in a situation “Dangerous” in the country.
From April 9 to 30, private and public gatherings are banned and governors are called upon to extend the nighttime curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., three hours longer than it currently is.
Governors will also be authorized to decide on the containment of regions “Reaching a dangerous level of contamination”government spokesman Hasna Ben Slimane said at a press conference on Wednesday. The same source also announced the closure of weekly souks throughout Tunisia.