Limitation of gatherings, restricted movements, wearing of compulsory masks … Many countries are tightening their health measures in an attempt to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 650,000 people around the world.

Seven months after its appearance in China, the new coronavirus, 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 report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official figures, Tuesday, July 28, more than 16.5 million people have been infected since the end of 2019 – including nearly 5 million since the 1is July.

  • Restrictions are on the rise in Europe

In Europe, concern is keen in the face of an epidemic that seemed to have been brought under control thanks to the establishment of strict containments in the spring. In Germany, the Robert-Koch Health Watch Institute (RKI) was alarmed on Tuesday at the increase in new infections in the country for several days (+ 557 per day on average for a week), source of “Big concerns”. The RKI advised wearing a mask outside if physical distancing proved to be impossible to respect.

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For the RKI, travel abroad is also partly responsible for the relative return of the pandemic. The German government therefore advised against travel on Tuesday “Non-essential” to the Spanish regions of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre due to the “High number of infections”. Since Sunday, the Britain submits, it, the passengers from Spain to a period of isolation, a measure criticized by Madrid which retaliated by assuring to be a “Safe country”.

L’Spain, in fact, is facing a significant rebound in the number of infections, prompting the Madrid region to take new measures on Tuesday, such as strengthening the compulsory nature of wearing a mask and limiting gatherings to ten people. Due to the weight of tourism in its economy (12% of GDP), the impact of the pandemic on unemployment promises to be particularly violent. More than a million jobs have been destroyed in Spain in the 2e quarter, according to official figures released Tuesday.

Evoking an upsurge “Worrying” cases, the Belgium announced on Monday evening a further tightening of measures. From Wednesday, the number of people that Belgians are allowed to see closely and regularly as part of their “Contact bubble” will notably be reduced from fifteen to five people, per household, for the next four weeks.

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For its part, the Greece announced Tuesday that it was again making the wearing of masks mandatory in stores, banks, utilities and almost all enclosed places, in response to an upsurge in cases.

Also worried about a rebound in contamination, the French authorities have, for their part, ordered the closure of gathering 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, the epidemic has killed seventeen additional people since Friday in France and the virus circulation remains “Sustained”.

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  • More than 2.4 million cases recorded in Brazil

Latin America and the Caribbean are now the region with the highest number of contaminations, ahead of North America. At Brazil, where the toll of the epidemic exceeds 2.4 million cases and 87,000 deaths, health workers on Monday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into President Jair’s response Bolsonaro to the pandemic, which they believe is a crime against humanity.

In Bolivia, the authorities proclaimed, on Monday, the state of “Public calamity” across the country, giving them more resources to deal with the pandemic. Bolivia’s Acting President Jeanine Anez announced that she had been cured of an asymptomatic form of Covid and was able to return to work. In addition to the right-wing president, 53, seven ministers also contracted Covid-19 in July.

In Argentine3,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded since the start of the epidemic, Argentina’s health ministry said on Monday, as the country is considering a possible strengthening of containment measures. If Buenos Aires and its agglomeration concentrate 90% of new cases of contamination, the authorities report an outbreak of the epidemic in most of the country’s provinces.

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  • Traffic restrictions in Vietnam and Morocco

The China, she too, is worried about a resurgence of the epidemic. Carriers of the new coronavirus from a focus of infection spotted last week in the city of Dalian (northeast), have spread Covid-19 in five provinces in total, including the capital Beijing, the authorities said. reporting 68 new patients in twenty-four hours – the largest daily increase since mid-April.

In Iran, the health authorities announced on Tuesday that they had recorded 235 additional deaths from Covid-19 in twenty-four hours, a new record in this Middle Eastern country most affected by the epidemic, which has been gaining ground for a month.

The Vietnam, who thought he had eradicated the virus, will suspend domestic flights as well as public land and sea transport to and from the tourist town of Da Nang (center), where the first cases of coronavirus were recently reported in Vietnamese territory for months.

Moroccans gathered at a Casablanca bus station on July 26, 2020, to leave the city before authorities impose travel restrictions.

At Morocco, the government’s flash decision to introduce severe travel restrictions on Sunday in the face of the risk of the spread of the coronavirus has caused scenes of chaos. “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”, explained, Monday, the Minister of Health, Khalid Aït Taleb.

Hailed by some health professionals, the adoption of measures restricting travel is not, however, the alpha and omega in the fight against the epidemic, warned the World Health Organization ( WHO). The WHO Emergency Assessment Committee is due to meet this week to “Reassess the pandemic”. No sign seems to show that the new coronavirus is seasonal, the UN organization announced on Tuesday, warning against the illusion of being protected in summer.

Morocco, Australia, Beijing, Madagascar: where do we refine when faced with the coronavirus?
  • In Africa, the worst is yet to come

The Covid-19 pandemic is now accelerating on the poorest continent. According to figures compiled by AFP on Tuesday, some 860,000 cases have been recorded across the continent, with at least 18,000 deaths. These figures are still low compared to those in Europe or the United States, but WHO’s director of health emergencies, Michael Ryan, recently said to himself “Concerned” by the“Acceleration” the epidemic in Africa, where public health systems are failing.

Early and strict containment measures have, as a first step, “Allowed to slow down the progression” disease in Africa, noted Mary Stephens, an expert from the WHO regional office in Africa. But the peak of the pandemic is coming, she warned, as many countries relaxed restrictions to avoid a collapse in their economies.

  • Childhood malnutrition is worsening, warns UNICEF

Nearly seven million additional children around the world could suffer from the effects of malnutrition due to the economic and social crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an estimate by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) published Tuesday. Before the onset of the disease, 47 million children around the world were already suffering, in 2019, from the consequences of malnutrition, weight loss and extreme thinness.

  • 320 billion dollars in losses for global tourism

From January to May, the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus caused losses of 320 billion dollars for global tourism, according to the barometer published on Tuesday by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). “This is more than three times the losses recorded in international tourism receipts during the global economic crisis of 2009”, said the organization dependent on the United Nations and based in Madrid.

From January to May, the number of international tourists fell by 56% compared to the same period in 2019, which represents 300 million fewer visitors. The agency sucks “Endangering 100 to 120 million direct jobs in tourism”.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters