more than 60,000 dead and hope for a slowdown in continental Europe

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has claimed at least 61,000 lives worldwide since its onset in late December, including more than 45,000 in Europe, according to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP). ) from official sources, Saturday April 4.

The number of cases diagnosed now exceeds 1.1 million on five continents, even if this figure is only a fraction of the actual number of infections, because not all infected people are tested. Almost half of the contaminations are in Europe (610,846), nearly 300,000 in North America, and 115,777 in Asia, where the majority of cases are in China, the official record of which is disputed.

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After weeks of almost widespread containment, mainland Europe sees hope for a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus, while the UK is, on the contrary, accelerating.

The United Kingdom recorded 708 deaths, including a 5-year-old child, between Friday and Saturday, an increase of 20% for a total death toll of 4,313. The ministry of health specifies that it only takes into account people "Hospitalized and tested positive for coronavirus". Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in quarantine after having tested positive, asked the population to respect the general confinement, decreed on March 23 for three weeks:

"We still think things will stabilize, but we will have fairly high levels of infection for weeks rather than having a rapid decline of the type seen in China. "

Employees of a funeral home transport the coffin of a Covid-19 victim out of a hearse in Madrid on April 4. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

In Italy, the number of intensive care hospitalizations has declined for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Even if there are only 74 more beds available, 56 of which are in the most affected region of Lombardy, "This is important news because it allows our hospitals to breathe", welcomed the head of civil protection Angelo Borrelli.

The balance sheet now reports 15,362 deaths, an increase of 681 deaths in the last 24 hours. The signs of slowdown noted, after four weeks of confinement, were accompanied by repeated calls from officials not to " Lower the guards ". But the sometimes impressive excess mortality in certain sectors shows that these assessments only depict part of the drama.

Read the report: In Lombardy, far from official reports, the tragedy of the hidden coronavirus deaths

TheSpain recorded the deaths of 809 people between Friday and Saturday, down for the second day in a row after the peak of 950 dead, according to reports released by the authorities. The number of deaths recorded reaches 11,744. "We know today that these three weeks of collective isolation are bearing fruit (…) We are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel", said Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, calling on the population to "Make more sacrifices" respecting confinement, now extended until April 26. He did not rule out further extensions of the state of alert " until the final return to normal ".

Among the other European countries most affected:

  • Switzerland announced at least 20,200 cases (+ 1,000 in one day) and 540 deaths (+ 76), according to the ministry of health. With 8.5 million inhabitants, it is one of the most affected countries in proportion to its population, with 236 confirmed infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The health ministry has warned that the peak has not yet been reached.
Also read: view the countries that have "flattened the curve" of the epidemic and those that have not yet done so
  • New York State, epicenter in the American epicenter

In twenty-four hours, 1,480 deaths were recorded in the country, an increase of a third compared to the previous day's balance sheet (1,169) and the highest daily inventory ever recorded in a single country. . The virus has already killed more than 7,400 people and could cause between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths, according to White House projections. Americans are now recommended to cover their faces when leaving the house.

New York State, the epicenter in the epicenter, recorded 630 deaths between Friday and Saturday, its worst record over twenty-four hours, bringing the total number of deaths caused by the epidemic in this state to 3,565. More generally, the State has 113,000 identified infections, almost as many as in Italy or Spain.


New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for the general mobilization of medical personnel, believing that they need the help of 45,000 professionals – "Doctors, nurses, respiratory specialists" – additional. He estimates that at least 2,500 more respirators will be needed in the coming week alone. The authorities will now be able to requisition the devices held in private structures.

Read the story: Coronavirus: the whole planet is looking to buy protective masks in China
  • Iran announces drop in daily contamination

A field hospital in Tehran, April 4.
A field hospital in Tehran, April 4. WANA NEWS AGENCY / VIA REUTERS

In Iran, the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, the number of daily infections fell for the fourth day in a row, according to official figures released on Saturday. The disease has claimed 158 lives in the past 24 hours, bringing the official toll of the epidemic to 3,452. Nearly 2,560 new infections were recorded, down from the peak of 3,111 daily cases reached on March 31. Since the first reports of infection were announced in February, 55,743 cases have been confirmed, although there are doubts as to the veracity of these figures.

Read the decryption: Coronavirus reignites debate on international sanctions
  • China pays tribute to its victims

Li Xueren / AP

The country commemorated the 3,326 on Saturday "Martyrs" who officially died during the epidemic. The day coincides with the Qingming Festival, the "Chinese All Saints", where several million people tend to maintain the graves of their loved ones. The authorities, who fear a second epidemic wave, want to avoid excessive crowd movements and have encouraged the population to meditate at home.

The disease is now under control in the country, with only a few new cases announced every day, almost all from people from abroad. The drastic quarantine has started to be lifted, but doubts persist over a possibly much higher human toll.

Also read: doubts about the estimated number of deaths in China
  • 3.9 billion people, half the world's population, confined to varying degrees

At least 3.9 billion people, half the world's population, are called or forced to stay home to fight the spread of the coronavirus in more than 90 countries and territories. The latest country to introduce such measures is the Thailand, which has implemented a night curfew across the country.

Among the other measures implemented since Friday:

  • The Turkey, where the death toll exceeds 500 dead and the wearing of a protective mask will be imposed, has closed for two weeks more than 30 cities to traffic, including Istanbul and Ankara, and has extended to people under 20 years strict confinement already imposed on people over 65.
  • Greece announced the extension of the population containment measures for three weeks, until April 27. “Difficult weeks await us. If we relax our efforts, the virus will destroy us ”, warned Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection.
  • The Canada, which identified 11,747 cases and 166 deaths, deployed the army in northern Quebec " for helping northern and isolated communities ”, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.

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The World with AFP


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