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Home / Health & Science

Coronavirus, on the rise ‘exponentially’, claimed 46,000 lives

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy AFP | Thu,Apr 02 2020 07:48:12 EAT
By AFP | Thu,Apr 02 2020 07:48:12 EAT

 A refrigerated truck serves as a temporary morgue near a hospital in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 2020

The new coronavirus continued its cruel race Wednesday at an "almost exponential" speed, mowing lives around the world including that of a six-week-old baby in the United States, who has become one of the youngest of more than 46,000 victims of the pandemic.

More than 900,000 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide, including 215,000 in the United States, where the disease is progressing most rapidly. In the absence of sufficient screening capacity, these assessments are most likely far below reality.

Despite containment measures which affect nearly one inhabitant of the planet on two, the balance sheets are getting heavier: more than 13,000 dead in Italy, 9,000 in Spain, more than 5,000 in the United States, 4,000 in France...

The death of a Connecticut newborn baby after the death of a nine-month-old baby in Chicago and a 13-year-old boy in the United Kingdom has particularly struck the hearts of children as young as 'relatively spared here. "It's heartbreaking," said Ned Lamont, governor of the northeastern state.

Covid 19 Time Series


"Deeply concerned", the Secretary General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus could only note the "almost exponential growth" in the number of cases. "We must be in unison to fight this unknown and dangerous virus," he said.

President Donald Trump has called on the country to "get in motion". The White House presented its projections: the Covid-19 is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the United States, destined to become, after Europe, the new epicenter of the pandemic.

"Viral bombs"

In Europe, Spain suffered the heaviest losses with 864 new deaths in 24 hours. And the country fears to see overwhelmed the intensive care units which are already working at the limit of their capacities.

"There is not enough protective equipment" and "the number of beds remains insufficient," lamented Guillén del Barrio, a nurse in Madrid, while noting a slowdown in emergency room arrivals from his hospital.

A trend confirmed by the authorities. "It seems that we are already" at the peak of contagion, "that we are going down," said the director of the Center for Health Emergencies, Dr. Fernando Simon.

In Italy too, where hospitals are falling apart, the number of new infections continues to slow. But doctors worry about convalescents, who leave the hospital as soon as their lives are no longer threatened, even if they are still contagious.

"In a war like this, we cannot allow ourselves to be exposed to the appearance of new foci of contagion which risk transforming these convalescent centers into + viral bombs + which spread the virus", warned Raffaele Antonelli Incalzi, President of the Italian Geriatrics Society.

In France, where hospitals in Paris and the East are also overwhelmed, patient transfers by train continued, while establishments in the capital were preparing to produce the missing material in 3D. A census of volunteer veterinarians also made it possible to identify those who could help their medical colleagues by sorting patients, for example.

No water, no toilets

To curb the spread of the pandemic, more than 3.75 billion people (48% of the world's population) are forced to stay at home or forced to do so.

It is not without difficulty in the poorest areas, such as in the immense South African township of Khayelitsha, on the edge of the Cape, where hundreds of thousands of people live in an interlacing of huts of odds and ends.

"We don't have a toilet. So we go out. We don't have water. So we go out. We try to stay in our hut, but it's not easy," says Ndithini Tyhido. "People here would like to obey, they try to do it, but it's just impossible."

In the absence of a vaccine or treatment, containment remains the most effective means of control and the American state of Florida, Eritrea and Sierra Leone joined in turn on Wednesday, while Germany, the Italy or Portugal extended the duration.

In Moscow, the authorities will set up a mobile application and QR Codes to verify that the population respects the isolation rules, and to monitor the sick.

Russian aid to the United States

Converted late to confinement, the United Kingdom recorded an additional 563 deaths in one day, marking a marked acceleration of the pandemic which has now killed 2,000 people in the country. The Covid-19 has already infected Prime Minister Boris Johnson or Prince Charles, the heir to the crown.

Iran surpassed the 3,000 death mark on Wednesday.

But it is the United States, where 85% of Americans now live confined, who are preparing to be submerged.

With more than 1,900 dead, New York State has been stepping up preparations for the past few days, with the construction of field hospitals in Central Park and in a large conference center in Manhattan. Aid is pouring in from everywhere, including from Russia, which dispatched a plane loaded with humanitarian aid to the megalopolis on Wednesday.

Even the American army is not spared: the Covid-19 has spread within the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, immobilized in Guam in the Pacific, and its crew has started to be evacuated.

Two other ships, the cruise liner Zaandam and its assistant ship the Rotterdam, continued to sail with four dead on board, without being sure of being able to dock in Florida on Thursday. Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Canadian and British passengers on the Zaandam will be evacuated soon.

Unprecedented recession

UN Secretary General Antonio Guerres noted that the Earth was experiencing its "worst global crisis since the UN was founded" 75 years ago, citing "the combination of a threatening disease for everyone and an economic impact leading to an unprecedented recession in the recent past. "

There is now a risk of "food shortage" on the world market due to disruptions in international trade and food supply chains, warned agencies dependent on the UN and the WTO.

Won by anxiety, the stock markets returned to strong declines, the Dow Jones index closing down 4.44% in particular. Which weighed on the Chinese stock markets at the opening on Thursday: -0.46% in Shanghai, -0.44% in and -1.34% in Hong Kong.

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