Travel restricted to Morocco and wearing a mask compulsory from Tuesday in shops in the canton of Geneva: many countries are tightening their health measures to try to curb the pandemic, which has crossed the threshold of 650,000 dead.
Seven months after its appearance in China, the virus, for which no vaccine has yet been found, continues to circulate actively, fueling fears of a second wave with potentially disastrous economic and societal challenges.
According to the latest report established by AFP on Monday evening, the United States remains the most bereaved country (146,968 deaths) ahead of Brazil (87,004), the United Kingdom (45,752), Mexico (43,680) and Italy (35.112).
In the space of 24 hours, 57,000 new cases and 679 additional deaths were recorded on American soil, according to Johns Hopkins University. We crossed the 650,000 dead mark.
The US administration has for its part announced the contamination of National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, one of the men most often in contact with President Trump.
In other countries, concern is also strong about an epidemic that seemed to have been brought under control thanks to the establishment of strict containments in the spring.
Next to our country (see the summary of measures), in Germany, the Minister of Health Jens Spahn for his part announced that he was going to impose screening tests on travelers returning from regions at risk.
As for Great Britain, since Sunday it has been subjecting passengers from Spain, the world’s second largest tourist destination behind France, to a period of isolation, a measure criticized by Madrid which responded by ensuring that it was a “safe country “.
Also worried about a rebound in contamination, the French authorities for their part ordered the closure of meeting places such as beaches, parks and public gardens at night in the tourist town of Quiberon, on the Atlantic.
According to the report established Monday evening by the Directorate General of Health (DGS), the epidemic has caused seventeen additional deaths since Friday in France and the circulation of the virus remains “sustained“.
In South America, where the picture of the epidemic remains bleak, Bolivia declared Monday the state of “public calamity “ in all the countries.
Other countries such as Venezuela and Algeria have decided to renew local containment measures. Wearing a mask in public has meanwhile become mandatory in Hong Kong, where public gatherings of more than two people will be banned.
Giant traffic jams on roads and stations taken by storm: the lightning decision of the Moroccan authorities to introduce severe travel restrictions on Sunday evening affecting eight cities, including Marrakech and Tangier, faced with the risk of the spread of the coronavirus, caused scenes of chaos.
The announcement of these travel restrictions via a joint statement from the Ministries of the Interior and of Health five hours before taking effect on Sunday at midnight (11 p.m. GMT) even caused several road accidents, according to several local media. .
The mountain road leading from Marrakech to Ouarzazate was still blocked Monday morning due to the influx of cars, according to the same source.
The last-minute measures also sparked a flood of disappointment on social media.
“I understand that everyone is angry but we have no choice: the epidemiological situation in Morocco is worrying with an increase in the number of deaths and serious cases”Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb said on Monday.
The country has “recorded in one week more cases of contamination than in four months”, he said during a press briefing.
Miles Davis in the ear
For Dr Michael Ryan, WHO Emergency Director, “alone as such, they are not effective in limiting the movement of the virus, which is everywhere”.
“Economies must reopen, people must work, trade must resume“, he estimated.
Seven months after its appearance, the epidemic continues to disrupt the sports agenda and now threatens the regular season of baseball, the North American League (MLB).
Several stars have also given up taking part in the championship, such as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price.
“Now we’re REALLY going to see if MLB is going to put player health first,” he tweeted on Monday. “Do you remember when Manfred said player health was PRIMORDIAL ?! Part of the reason I’m at home right now is that the health of the players has not been highlighted.“.
Faced with an epidemic that shows no sign of running out of steam, hospital teams are also forced to adapt to offer a dignified end of life for patients, in the absence of their loved ones.
This is the case at Barros Luco Hospital in Santiago, Chile, where doctors have set up a room to allow families to bid farewell to their patients.
Enrique Boudon, a 94-year-old patient with pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, was able to hear the jazz he loved so much before he died.
“We called his granddaughter who told us that he had been a trumpeter with the Chilean Philharmonic Orchestra and loved jazz. We looked on the shelf and put Miles Davis near his. ear. Automatically he moved his hands, as if he was conducting an orchestra. It was very moving. About two hours later, he passed away, “ says Doctor Moyra Lopez.