Covid-19: easing of restrictions in Europe, 400,000 deaths in Brazil … Update on the epidemic situation in the world

The curve of deaths linked to Covid-19 continues to grow in India, while several European countries presented their plan for gradual exit from confinement, Thursday April 29. The World Health Organization (WHO), however, warned Europe, saying that “the situation in India can happen anywhere”. Franceinfo takes stock of the highlights of the day.

More than 3,600 dead in 24 hours in India

The pandemic worsened in India with a new daily “record” of deaths. The fourth most bereaved country on the planet deplores a total of 204,832 deaths from the coronavirus, including 3,645 in the last 24 hours.

Overwhelmed hospitals lack beds, medicine and oxygen. “One in two people subjected to RT-PCR tests in Calcutta and its suburbs is positive”Chief city administrator Firhad Hakim told AFP. “Hospitals are running out of beds. Bodies are piling up in crematoriums as well.”

Brazil to exceed 400,000 dead

Brazil is expected to officially exceed 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday evening, when data from the Ministry of Health is released.

After four months of an uncontrollable increase in the number of deaths and new cases of contamination, the curves have stabilized since mid-April, but on a still very high plateau. This slight decline is however very fragile, according to epidemiologists, who fear the effects of the reopening of bars, restaurants or beaches in cities like Rio de Janeiro.

The number of deaths has increased exponentially since the beginning of the year in Brazil, under the effect of the P1 variant: it took more than five months to go from 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, on January 7, but then only 77 days to reach 300,000 dead (March 24) and 37 for 400,000.

More than a million vaccinated in 24 hours in Germany

Germany administered 1.1 million doses on Wednesday, Health Minister Jens Spahn announced. The country will also withdraw from Sunday the French department of Moselle high-risk areas and thus relax border controls, announced the region of Rhineland-Palatinate.

However, health authorities said they had identified several cases of variant infection detected in India in the country.

Several countries ease their restrictions in Europe

The pandemic appears to be slowing down in a majority of countries in Europe, which are cautiously relaxing their restrictions. The Netherlands reopened their terraces on Wednesday and lifted the curfew. For its part, the Irish government authorized from mid-May the reopening of non-essential shops, museums and hairdressing salons.

In France, where a timid decline in new infections seems to have started, President Emmanuel Macron has sketched the outlines of a deconfinement, unveiling the agenda of the planned reopening. Shops, bar and restaurant terraces as well as cultural venues, including cinemas and museums, will reopen from May 19.

At the same time, the curfew in force, set at 7 p.m., will be moved to 9 p.m. Cafes and restaurants will reopen indoors from June 9, and the curfew will then pass to 11 p.m., before nighttime restrictions and gauges are lifted on June 30, if the health situation allows it.

In Austria, lollipops to test toddlers

In Austrian nurseries and kindergartens, children are now tested for Covid-19 via a treat. They have to put a pacifier in their mouth for 90 seconds and the results are known within 15 minutes.

The idea comes from an Austrian laboratory at the Kaiser-Franz-Joseph hospital in Vienna to prevent an increase in cases in this unvaccinated age group. The objective is to “watch for infections” and to offer “a judicious alternative” to invasive samples from the nose and throat, explain the regional authorities.

A study is currently being carried out in five nurseries and kindergartens involving children aged 1 to 6 years to determine the reliability of the method and to consider wider deployment. One hour from the Austrian capital, the Burgenland region has already ordered 35,000 of these tests.

New York targets “full reopening” on July 1

“We are ready to reopen New York completely on July 1New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing. “It means going to the shops (…), the possible return of bars and restaurants, the return of many employees (…) the theaters which are starting again and so many things that we cherish”.

When asked about this July 1 goal, Governor Andrew Cuomo immediately challenged it. “I don’t like to make projections, I think they are irresponsible”, he replied. “I hope that we will have an earlier reopening date (…) If we do what we have to do, we can reopen before”.

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