The world faces its worst crisis since 1945
The new coronavirus has killed more than 43,000 people around the world, three-quarters of them in Europe, and the pandemic, described by the UN as the worst crisis humanity has faced since 1945, is now threatening to overwhelm United States.
Second country in the world most bereaved by the pandemic, Spain announced Wednesday to have recorded a new daily record of 864 dead in 24 hours, passing the mark of 9,000 dead.
Two months after the detection of a first case of contamination in the country, Spain still fears that the intensive care units which are already working at the limit of their capacities will be submerged.
Since the pandemic began in December in China, more than 865,000 cases have been officially reported worldwide, more than half of them in Europe, 189,000 in the United States and more than 110,000 in Asia.
To curb the spread of the pandemic, more than 3.75 billion people, or 48% of the world’s population, are called or forced by their authorities to stay at home.
Not without difficulty in the poorest areas, such as in Takadoum, a neighborhood in Rabat, with narrow alleys and tiny screened windows. “I can bear to cram into a 40m2 with the five members of my family, but how can I resist without income?” Protests Abdelkhalek, 52.
In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta apologized on Wednesday for the “excess” of brutality committed by the police in the implementation of the night curfew.
Everywhere, we feverishly await the consequences of confinement, hoping to see a reduction in the arrivals of new patients, as in Italy, the country which records the greatest number of deaths (more than 12,400 in just over a month), where confinement begins to produce “encouraging” results after three weeks.
But the peninsula still counted 837 new deaths in 24 hours, and Italian doctors are now worried about convalescents, who leave the hospital as soon as their life is no longer threatened, even if they are still contagious.
Some are sent to centers, which take in elderly people. In spite of the strict protective measures decreed, doctors speak of “a silent massacre” in these structures.
“In a war like this, we cannot allow ourselves to be exposed to the appearance of new centers of contagion which risk transforming these convalescent centers into + viral bombs + which spread the virus”, warns Raffaele Antonelli Incalzi, president of the Italian Geriatrics Society.
In Romania, as in many countries experiencing a shortage of medical equipment, anger is growing. “We are sent to death with bare hands”, denounce the caregivers.
“We have two combinations for twelve employees,” says Dr. Lorena Ehim, resigned chief of the intensive care department at Orastie hospital (center).
240,000 deaths expected in the United States
Nearly 500 patients have died of coronavirus in French hospitals in the past 24 hours, a further record increase since the start of the epidemic, which brings the total toll to 3,523.
Iran passed the 3,000-death mark on Wednesday.
But it is the United States, where nearly three-quarters of Americans now live in confined spaces, who risk becoming the new epicenter of the pandemic. President Donald Trump has asked his fellow citizens to prepare, like Europe, for “very, very painful” weeks.
A total of 4,076 deaths were recorded Wednesday, a figure multiplied by two in three days, announced the American University Johns Hopkins, whose assessments are authoritative. Over 40% of these deaths have been recorded in New York State.
The White House presented its projections: according to it, the disease should make between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the United States with current restrictions, against 1.5 to 2.2 million without any measure.
One proof among others of the seriousness of the situation: the commander of an American nuclear-weapon carrier infested by the coronavirus met with refusal from the Pentagon when he asked for authorization to evacuate his crew, trapped on the island of Guam, in the Pacific.
Russia announced on Wednesday that it had sent a plane loaded with humanitarian aid to the United States.
The head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, noted that the Earth was experiencing its “worst global crisis since the UN was founded” 75 years ago, referring to “the combination of a threatening disease for everyone and d ‘an economic impact leading to an unprecedented recession in the recent past’.
There is now a risk of a “food shortage” on the world market due to the disruptions linked to Covid-19 in international trade and food supply chains, warned agencies dependent on the UN and the WTO.
In Asia, the Tokyo Stock Exchange further widened its losses sharply on Wednesday (-4.5%) against the background of fears of an imminent confinement of the capital of Japan, hitherto relatively untouched by the epidemic. European markets also fell. Around 1:45 p.m. (11:45 GMT), Paris lost 4.12%, Frankfurt 3.49% and London 3.43%.
On the sporting front, the organizers of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing recognized on Wednesday that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021 put them in “a special situation”. The next Winter Games will kick off on February 4, 2022, an unprecedented series of two Olympic Games since 1994 in the space of six months.
And the Edinburgh Festival, the world’s largest live performance event slated for August, has been canceled due to the pandemic.