Checks of travelers in Europe, restrictions for foreign students in the United States, wearing of compulsory masks: health measures against the epidemic of new coronavirus are resuming force as WHO worries about Europe and cases are increasing in the Americas.
In the United States, the most bereaved country with 145,000 deaths linked to Covid-19, more than 70,000 new cases were still counted on Friday, as well as 1,150 deaths, according to the count from Johns Hopkins University.
The total number of infections diagnosed on American soil since the start of the pandemic is 4.1 million.
The Donald Trump administration, which, in the context of the pandemic, has already suspended the issuance of visas, targeted foreign students on Friday. These will no longer be able to enter the United States if their courses are online, which may be the case at multiple universities because of the coronavirus. The country has nearly a million foreign students.
At the same time, under pressure from the White House which wants to reactivate the economy, health authorities have updated new rules to encourage American students to return to class at the start of the school year.
In this country, the imposition of the wearing of masks is also gaining ground: the fast-food giant McDonald’s will force all its customers to wear them from August 1.
In Europe, the epidemic has killed 207,118 people for more than 3 million cases, according to an AFP count.“The recent resurgence of cases of Covid-19 in some countries after the relaxation of distancing measures is certainly a cause for concern”, said a spokeswoman for the European branch of the World Health Organization (WHO). The organization called on European countries to remain responsive and lift restrictions ” carefully “ or even reintroduce them if necessary.
Several countries in the region have tightened checks on travelers.
Germany offers free tests to returning travelers. The number of confirmed cases there climbed to 204,964, or 781 more than the day before, according to data released Saturday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. Seven more deaths have been reported, according to RKI, bringing the total to 9,118.
And France, where viral circulation is in “Clear increase” according to health authorities, made testing mandatory for travelers arriving from 16 countries, including the United States and Algeria.
Prime Minister Jean Castex recommended to the French to” to avoid “ to travel to Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, where the government ordered the closure of nightclubs and bars on Friday in the face of increasing infections.
Norway has again imposed restrictions on travel with Spain, where the epidemic is on the rise.
Belgium broke a sad record on Friday: a three-year-old girl died of Covid-19 a few days ago, health authorities announced, making her the youngest victim of the virus in this country which is experiencing a increase in contamination, with 64,847 cases.
In England, the obligation to wear the mask in shops and supermarkets came into force as swimming pools and gyms are set to reopen on Saturday.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the threshold of four million cases has also been crossed. Brazil alone now has more than 2.2 million cases.
Sao Paulo has decided to postpone its carnival sine die, and Rio de Janeiro is considering this option.
The situation is particularly dramatic in Peru, where the health system in the country’s second city, Arequipa, is totally saturated. Infected people sleep in tents outside hospitals or in their cars, hoping to get a place. “The world is infested”, laments Raquel Barrera, a 28-year-old Salvadoran whose two parents died of Covid-19, like three of her brothers, in less than two months.
In Nicaragua, the masks will also be for the beauty queens while the competition for the crown of Miss Nicaragua 2020 is maintained but behind closed doors.
Panama has meanwhile announced that it is giving up organizing the Women’s Under-20 World Cup, which was due to take place in early 2021, as well as the Central American and Caribbean Sports Games in 2022.
According to the Red Cross, the devastating economic toll of the pandemic may also trigger new waves of migration once the borders reopen.
Elsewhere in the world, the figures also continue to rise.
In India, 740 new deaths attributed to Covid-19 were recorded in 24 hours, according to an official report on Friday. With 30,000 deaths, the country becomes the sixth with the most deaths, behind the United States, Brazil, Great Britain, Mexico and Italy.
Several countries have chosen to re-impose partial containment measures. The 10 million or so residents of Tokyo have been urged to stay at home since Thursday, the first day of a long public holiday weekend. In Antwerp, Belgium, meetings of more than 10 people are prohibited from Saturday. .
In a rare sign of optimism, the Arena di Verona in Italy will host their first concert on Saturday since confinement and in the UK, the Brighton Open air Theater will reopen to the public.