France in turn prepares for deconfinement

After several European countries, France is in turn preparing for a cautious deconfinement, as of Monday but with strict restrictions in and around Paris, still a “red zone” of the pandemic of the new coronavirus , whose devastating effects on economies are accumulating on a planetary scale.

“The gradual lifting of containment can be initiated this Monday 11 May” , in view of the health situation, confirmed Thursday the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe by presenting the government plan.

Cash near 26 000 dead from COVID – 19, the France is nevertheless “cut in two” between “green” and “red” departments, where the circulation of the virus is more active, with greater pressure on the hospital system.

Still no college

In this “red” zone, which includes the entire Paris conurbation and the north-eastern part of French territory, many restrictions will remain in force: no opening of colleges or parks and gardens, strict distancing measures in transport in particular.

France “is ready to test massively”, at the rate of 700 000 tests per week, people with symptoms, assured the Minister of Health Olivier Véran. The inability of the authorities to conduct these same tests, as well as the lack of masks, had fueled criticism against the executive in recent weeks.

Regarding the borders, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner stressed that their closure remains “the rule”. Restrictions on borders with European countries (European Union, Schengen, United Kingdom) will be “extended until 15 at least June “and the borders with non-European countries” will remain closed until further notice, “he said.

France, the second largest European economy, thus follows in the footsteps of the European countries already engaged in deconfinement, Germany in the lead.

To date, the pandemic has killed 263 573 people around the world, including more of 150 000 people in Europe: three quarters in the United Kingdom (30 076), in Italy (29 684), in Spain (26 070) and in France (25 809), according to a last assessment established Thursday by AFP from the figures from official sources, most likely underestimated.

With “very satisfactory” infection figures, Berlin decided on Wednesday to lift almost all of the restrictions imposed since mid-March. Symbol of this reopening, the Bundesliga, interrupted two months ago when the coronavirus put international sport on forced rest, will resume in mid-May behind closed doors.

As in France, however, borders remain closed, and major sporting, festive or cultural events are prohibited.

In Norway, a country which adopted a semi-containment regime in mid-March, schools will be able to reopen from Monday and bars from June 1. The goal is to reopen for 15 June “most things that were closed,” according to the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.

Mass without holy water

Very hard hit and engaged in a careful deconfinement, Italy will test 150 000 inhabitants of the Rome region.

The Church and the Italian government have also agreed to allow Catholics to reconnect with their churches from 18 May: the faithful will again be able to attend mass and other religious ceremonies, but on condition that they have a mask, be well spaced and do without holy water.

In the United Kingdom, the confinement must be extended Thursday but Prime Minister Boris Johnson, himself a survivor of COVID – 18, must announce the relaxation of certain restrictions on Sunday

The Notting Hill carnival in London, known for its multicolored costumes and frenzied dances, and which gathers hundreds of thousands of people every year at the end of August, has been canceled.

Sweden, which has taken more flexible measures than most other European countries, has officially exceeded the 3 threshold 000 dead. According to health officials, the country has so far “managed to keep the disease below what health services can manage.”

In Greece, the Acropolis of Athens, flagship monument of Antiquity attracting millions of visitors each year, will reopen on 18 May before the museums reopen on 15 June, as well as all archaeological sites in the country, but with measures of distancing.

Belgium will reopen non-essential businesses on Monday. Conversely, the city of Moscow announced Thursday the compulsory wearing of the mask in transport, and an extension of its confinement until 31 May, when Russia, long spared, experienced a sharp increase in the number of cases detected.

In economic terms, the disastrous news continues: like many other powers, the United Kingdom sees its economy shrinking in unprecedented proportions, with a recession of 14% expected this year by the Bank of England.

In the United States, the country most affected today with more than 73 000 dead, more than 3.1 million new unemployed were counted in one week, bringing the total to 33, 5 million since the start of this pandemic. “It's worse than Pearl Harbor,” said Donald Trump on Wednesday evening.

A soldier working at the White House contracted the new coronavirus, said the American executive Thursday, adding that the president and his vice president Mike Pence “have since been tested negative for the virus and remain in good condition health. “

WHO against Covid-Organic

“The most devastating and destabilizing effects [du virus] will be felt in the poorest countries”, recalled Thursday the UN, warning against a “significant increase in conflicts, hunger and of poverty. “

Another corollary of confinement: reports of domestic violence increased by up to 60% in Europe, according to the World Organization Health (WHO).

After the USA, Japan has become the second country to authorize the American drug remdesivir to treat COVID – 19. This drug, which helps the recovery of patients, failing to reduce mortality, had obtained an emergency permit last week from the American drug agency (FDA).

WHO called to order on Thursday African leaders against the temptation to promote without scientific tests the potion presented by the Madagascan president, Andry Rajoelina, as a remedy against the coronavirus, and delivered in several countries from the continent.

The possible effects of this herbal tea, called Covid-Organic and based on artemisia, a plant with a recognized therapeutic effect against malaria, have not been validated by any scientific study, underlined the responsible WHO for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, urging the Malagasy government to “test [son] product in clinical trials.”

On the tracking of Covid patients, all tracking applications launched around the world have “more or less critical” security vulnerabilities, warns a study published Thursday by the mobile security expert Pradeo.

More than half of these thirty government applications or those supported by public bodies infringe on privacy and 3 in particular are “clearly problematic”, both on security and on confidentiality.