The coronavirus pandemic passed the threshold of 400,000 deaths worldwide on Sunday, continuing to make rapid progress in the countries of Latin America, to which Pope Francis expressed his compassion
On Sunday, during his traditional Angelus prayer from his pontifical apartments overlooking Saint Peter’s Square, where hundreds of faithful were found, the head of the Catholic Church, born in Buenos Aires, called for caution when faced with the virus.
“Your presence in this square is a sign that the acute phase of the epidemic is over in Italy, but be careful, do not cry victory too soon,” warned the pope .
The new coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide since its appearance in China in December, a number that has doubled in a month and a half, according to a report established by AFP from official sources Sunday at 2:30 p.m. GMT .
In Italy, the epidemic, which killed 33,846 people, is now under control (with 72 dead and 270 contaminations for the last 24 hours), and the country began its gradual deconfinement a month ago.
On Sunday, the Holy See announced that there were no longer any cases of a new coronavirus in the Vatican.
“Unfortunately in other countries, especially in Latin America, the virus continues to claim many victims”, deplored the sovereign pontiff who expressed his compassion “to these populations, the sick and their families, and to all those who take care of it. “
– lack of oxygen –
The spread of the virus has indeed accelerated in Latin America. In Peru, the second most affected country on the continent behind Brazil, the hospital system is on the verge of collapse, notably due to the lack of oxygen.
“Be careful, this is not the time to get sick. Today, even less than before (…), because our health system is very impacted,” said Health Minister Victor Zamora , while the official death toll is 5,301 and 9,500 people are currently hospitalized.
Despite this, the Inca site of Machu Picchu, tourist gem of the country, is preparing to reopen on July 1.
The same goes for Brazil, the third most bereaved country in the world (35,930 dead), behind the United States and the United Kingdom: the governor of Rio de Janeiro announced the relaxation from Saturday of containment measures .
“The Covid-19 is a terrible thing, a lot of people have died, but I think there has been enough contamination for the curve to drop off. So it’s time to open everything,” AFP said. a 62-year-old Carioca, Rodolfo Pereira.
– minute of silence –
In Europe and in North Africa, life also takes back its rights. The lifting of restrictions continued on Saturday in France, where the epidemic is now “controlled”, according to health authorities.
In Spain, La Liga matches will resume on Wednesday after a three-month hiatus. A minute of silence will be observed before each resumption match in memory of the victims of coronavirus, announced Sunday professional bodies.
Spain, which has successfully brought the virus under control in recent weeks, has registered 27,000 deaths, according to the latest figures released on Sunday.
While part of the shops started to reopen on Sunday in Algeria, Denmark, which is at a more advanced stage of deconfinement, will reopen swimming pools and gyms on Monday, just like Ireland, which has to reopen all its shops on Monday .
On the other hand, the United Kingdom only lifts the restrictions drop by drop. The government announced on Sunday that places of worship would reopen on June 15, but only for “individual prayer”, as well as non-essential businesses.
It must be said that the country, with a total of 40,542 deaths, has the second heaviest death toll in the world, after the United States. And presents, according to several comparative studies, the highest excess mortality in the world compared to its population.
On June 15 Greece, spared it by the pandemic for having taken strict measures very early, plans to reopen the airports of Athens and Thessaloniki, in order to revive tourism, essential for this small European country poor in resources and little industrialized.
However, the authorities have decided to extend the confinement imposed on the overcrowded migrant camps by two weeks until June 21.
– “I can’t breathe” –
Just like Greece, Israel, with 290 deaths, was relatively preserved by Covid-19. But, anticipating a second wave, and anxious to reduce its dependence on health matters, the government announced Sunday the commissioning of a first production line allowing the manufacture of two million masks per month.
In addition, vigilance remains essential: for example, a hundred schools have closed their doors after hundreds of pupils and teachers have tested positive. And more than 17,000 people have been placed in solitary confinement after being in contact with infected people.
On Sunday, just like the day before, thousands of people braved the pandemic – and defied the protective measures imposed – to demonstrate against racism and police brutality, an unprecedented worldwide outrage sparked by the death of George Floyd, asphyxiated by a white police at the end of May in Minneapolis.
In Barcelona, a demonstrator had written on her mask the last words of this 46-year-old African-American, who had become a global slogan: “I can’t breathe”.