Global Pandemic Update
New assessments, new measures, highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already killed more than 21,000 people worldwide where more than three billion people are expected to stay confined to their homes .
The US Senate votes on the emergency plan
The US Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday for a “historic” $ 2,000 billion plan to support the world’s largest economy, asphyxiated by the pandemic that has already killed more than 1,000 people in the United States. The plan is yet to be adopted by the House of Representatives on Friday before being promulgated.
Reinforcement army in France
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday the launch of Operation “Resilience” which will mobilize the armed forces to help the population in terms of health and logistics, particularly in the overseas territories.
Severely ill patients boarded a medical high-speed train (TGV) on Thursday morning to be evacuated from eastern France to western hospitals, a first in Europe.
Flights suspended in Russia
Russia suspends all its international flights from Thursday 9:00 p.m. GMT, with the exception of planes chartered to repatriate Russian citizens stranded abroad.
The city of Moscow closes from Saturday all non-essential restaurants and shops. The over 65s and those suffering from chronic diseases have been prohibited since Thursday from leaving their homes.
Over 250,000 cases in Europe
The pandemic has killed at least 21,867 people worldwide since its onset in December in China, according to an AFP count from official sources Thursday at 12:00 GMT.
More than 481,230 cases of infection have been diagnosed in 182 countries and territories, including at least 258,068 in Europe, the continent most affected.
There are “encouraging signs” of a slowdown of the new coronavirus on European territory despite a still serious situation, estimated Thursday the European branch of the World Health Organization.
The countries with the highest number of deaths are Italy, 7,503 deaths for 74,386 cases, Spain (4,088 for 56,188 cases), mainland China (3,281 for 81,218 cases), Iran (2,234 for 29,406 cases) ) and France (1,331 for 25,233 cases).
Recessions in sight
The coronavirus crisis will cause a 2% recession in the euro area and the United Kingdom this year, according to the financial rating agency S&P.
Austria expects a 2.5% drop in its GDP in 2020.
In Asia, Singapore’s contracted 2.2% in the first quarter over a year, its worst performance since 2008.
State of emergency in Bolivia
Bolivia declared a state of health emergency on Wednesday until April 15, in order to “enforce the quarantine” in force since Sunday (greater participation of the army and the police in the control, closing of the borders) .
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced a nighttime curfew on Wednesday, but assured that legislative elections will take place on Sunday, as scheduled.
Earlier, the authorities announced that they had registered the first two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mali, on two of its citizens who returned from France in mid-March.
The Finnish government announced on Wednesday evening the isolation of Helsinki and its region, the biggest outbreak of the new coronavirus in Finland, from Friday until April 19.
Vatican prelate positive
An Italian prelate living in the same hotel complex as Pope Francis, in Vatican City, tested positive for the new coronavirus on Wednesday and was hospitalized.