Coronavirus: death record in Spain, Wuhan buries his dead
The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on a planet that is largely confined: Spain broke its sad daily death record on Tuesday, while the inhabitants of Wuhan, cradle of the coronavirus, finally left their homes to bury their dead.
The toll of the epidemic increased again on Tuesday, with more than 38,400 deaths worldwide, the milestone of 11,000 dead crossed in Italy, that of 3,000 exceeded in the United States, and 849 new deaths recorded in 24 hours in Spain.
Second most mourning country in the world with 8,189 deaths, Spain has prohibited funeral ceremonies, limiting the number of participants in a burial to three.
The great fear of the Spanish authorities remains to see overwhelmed the intensive care units which are already working at the limit of their capacities with staff who complain bitterly about the lack of protective equipment.
In China, in Wuhan, where the containment is gradually lifted, the first steps in the open air of the inhabitants are devoted to depositing on the stone tombs the urns containing the ashes of their loved ones – in this city of 11 million inhabitants, more 2,500 people officially died from the Covid-19.
Elsewhere, we are feverishly watching for the peak in the mortality rate, heralding a decline and a reduction in congestion in the intensive care unit.
In Italy, the country with the highest number of deaths, confinement begins to produce encouraging results after three weeks.
“We can hope to reach the peak in seven or ten days, then, reasonably, a decline in contagion,” said Deputy Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri.
The country observed Tuesday afternoon a minute of silence and put the tricolor at half-mast in “memory of the victims of the coronavirus” and in tribute to health professionals.
“You have to choose”
On Capitol Square in Rome, Mayor Virginia Raggi, who wore a tricolor scarf on a black coat, spoke of “an injury that affects the whole country”. “Together, we will get out of it,” she promised.
In the United States, which has by far the largest number of officially confirmed cases (164,610), there is general mobilization: almost three-quarters of Americans now live confined, in a more or less strict manner.
A 1,000-bed hospital ship has arrived in New York, the epicenter of the epidemic. Temporary hospitals have also been erected in a conference center or in tents set up in Central Park.
New York doctors worry about a possible shortage of artificial respirators. “If there is an influx and you only have a limited number of respirators, you cannot ventilate everyone,” fears Shamit Patel, 46. “And from there you have to choose.”
G20 finance ministers are scheduled to meet on videoconference on Tuesday to respond to this global crisis, which is straining state resources. France will launch an appeal for solidarity in favor of the most fragile countries, especially African.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned on Tuesday that the emergency measures taken by member states in the fight against the coronavirus “must be limited to what is necessary” and must be “strictly proportionate”, the day after ‘a vote in Hungary giving Viktor Orban additional powers.
“Children to feed”
In France, where more than 3,000 people died of the virus in hospital, including a peak of 418 in 24 hours, caregivers are at the end of their rope.
“This morning, when I wake up, I cry. While having lunch, I cry. As I prepare, I cry (…) There, in the changing rooms of the hospital, I dry my tears. I inspire. I breathe out. People in beds also cry and it is up to me to dry their tears, “testified on Facebook, Elise, a nurse in Besançon (east).
The region most affected by the pandemic, Europe has nonetheless displayed its solidarity, by delivering medical equipment to Iran, as part of the Instex barter mechanism allowing it to circumvent American sanctions. Iran is hit hard by the coronavirus, which killed 2,898 people there.
And Greece has reported the first official case of Covid-19 contamination, in an African migrant living in the Ritsona camp, near Athens.
To curb the spread of the pandemic, more than 3.6 billion people, or 46.5% of the world’s population, are called or forced by their authorities to stay at home.
Kremlin spokesman said Russian president is screened regularly and “everything is normal” after announcement that the chief medical officer of the main Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients, who had met Vladimir Putin the week last, was infected.
Indonesia declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, but no widespread containment, despite urgent calls from the country, which has the fourth largest population in the world.
Conversely, Lagos, Nigeria’s usually bustling economic capital, woke up on Tuesday with deserted streets and deafening silence. On the highway that connects Lagos to Abeokuta, children have cornered the usually crowded triple lanes to play football.
Confinement, a gamble as ambitious as risky, seemed to be accepted in a large part of the sprawling megalopolis of 20 million inhabitants. The city still lives under the specter of Ebola, which could have been “an apocalyptic urban epidemic” in 2014 according to the WHO, but which the authorities managed to limit to 7 deaths.
But in the poorest areas, anger is already raging. “You know, in Nigeria, already when you work, you are hungry,” calls Samuel Agber, air conditioning repairer. “So imagine if we don’t work!”.
As in echo, an old woman who is lining up to get social assistance in a township of Port Elizabeth, in South Africa, is indignant: “We don’t care about this virus, we have children and small- children to feed! ”.