A ray of hope is appearing in several countries, where the epidemic seems to be somewhat slowing down. This is particularly the case for European countries which were the first to order the containment of their populations. However, the Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, with more than 33,000 deaths already recorded.
Italy continues to pay a very heavy price, deploring nearly 11,000 dead. The country hopes to reach the peak of the epidemic in the coming hours. Spain is also badly affected, with more than 6,500 deaths and daily figures still on the rise. France (more than 2,600 dead, including 292 in the last 24 hours) will, for its part, complete its second week of confinement, whose authorities hope to see the first effects in a few days.
Now suffering the full brunt of the epidemic, the United States has decided to extend travel restrictions by one month. The peak could occur within two weeks.
The main information to remember
> The epidemic has killed more than 2,600 people in France
> Hit hardest, the United States extends restrictions by one month
> German GDP could contract from 2.8% to 5.4% in 2020, according to forecasters
Follow the events of this Monday, March 30:
> The postponed Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23, 2021
The 2020 Olympic Games will start on Friday, July 23, 2021. Or almost a year to the day after the date initially scheduled (July 24, 2020).
This decision, announced on Monday by the organizers, comes less than a week after the announcement of the historic postponement of the Games, following growing concerns and pressure from athletes and sports federations due to the pandemic of coronavirus.
> Nigeria’s two main cities in total containment
From this Monday at 11 p.m., Abuja, the capital, and Lagos, the economic center, are confined to fight against the coronavirus. The measure, unprecedented in West Africa, concerns at least 20 million inhabitants. The arrival of new test kits raises fears of an explosion in the number of infected, currently 97.
Confinement has sparked many protests from the population, many of whom live on less than two dollars a day and depend on the informal economy to survive.
> The recorded music industry also hit by the crisis
Contrary to what one might think, the volume of streams drops from 15% to 20% in France, even if the paid platforms ensure that subscriptions are maintained.
Album releases are almost at a standstill, but playlists designed for containment, by Deezer and others, are very popular.
> The threatened Amazon tribes
The Amerindian tribes of the Amazon have never been so threatened with total disappearance as with the pandemic of Covid-19, warned in the “Spiegel”, the former president of the National Indian Foundation (Funai) of Brazil Sydney Possuelo.
These populations who have very little contact with the outside world “are extremely vulnerable to all kinds of infections”, he recalls. His greatest concern is the lack of information, especially from his successor chosen by President Jair Bolsonaro, who gradually destroyed all the protections of isolated tribes to further open the Amazon to logging.
> The coronavirus precipitated the fall of a Chicago trader
The surge in volatility on the stock markets following the global coronavirus crisis, got the better of one of Chicago’s oldest trading firms, Ronin Capital, founded in 2001.
She would have lost hundreds of millions of dollars on the VIX index, the “fear index” which measures the volatility of US stocks. This indicator soared in March and even exceeded its level from the 2008 crisis.
> Southern Italy remains untouched by coronavirus
The Mezzogiorno, which has 45% of the Italian population, records less than 5% of deaths and a contagion curve which is still controllable. But the south of the country, poorer and much less equipped, fears an explosion in the number of patients who would cause a health and social crisis.
To calm the social tensions that have appeared in recent days, the State has released 400 million euros in favor of the municipalities, to finance food vouchers intended for the most deprived. But it is the tension in hospitals that concerns the authorities.
> Germany to pass 200,000 tests per day at the end of April
Germany is mobilized to pass 50,000 tests per day from April 6, 100,000 on April 13 and 200,000 at the end of April. In total, the country would go from 300,000 tests per week to more than a million.
These massive tests would allow a more precise picture of the number of people who have already developed antibodies against the virus and are therefore immune.
> Fewer French people have confidence in the executive
In the daily OpinionWay-Square barometer for “Les Echos” published on Monday, 55% of French people do not trust the government to manage the crisis, four points more than last Friday. The percentage of French people trusting the executive fell from 53% to 43% in one week.
The French almost unanimously support (92%) the extension of confinement announced last Friday. However, two out of three believe that the executive is “hiding things”.
> Spain and Iran continue to mourn their deaths
Madrid has registered 812 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 7,340, authorities said on Monday. This figure marks a slight decline from the record 838 dead in 24 hours reported Sunday in the country.
In Iran, 117 new deaths have been recorded, bringing the official toll of the pandemic in Iran, one of the countries most affected by the disease, to 2,757. A total of 41,495 cases have been officially declared in Iran.
> Airbus stopped in Spain
The European aircraft manufacturer announced the suspension of most of its production in Spain until April 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Spanish government announced new measures on March 29 as part of the fight against Covid-19. These measures are in effect from March 30 to April 9 inclusive and limit all non-essential activities throughout the country, “the company said in a statement.
> Daniel Kretinsky contaminated
The Czech businessman, the second largest shareholder in Casino, in which he owns just over 5% of the capital and owns many assets in France, has announced that he has been in solitary confinement since mid-March due to his contamination by the new coronavirus.
> The German economy in the midst of turbulence
Europe’s largest economy is expected to contract significantly this year due to the coronavirus crisis, with GDP expected to decline between 2.8% and 5.4% in 2020, according to scenarios detailed on Monday by the Committee of Elders economic.
The different forecasts depend on the “duration and impact of restrictive health policy measures” in the face of the coronavirus and the “speed with which there will be a recovery thereafter”, explain the economists.
> Cold weather on the British economy
In Great Britain, recession becomes inevitable in the face of the spread of the coronavirus. According to forecasts from the Center for Economic and Commercial Research (CEBR), economic activity in the United Kingdom could fall by 15% in the second quarter of this year.
It would be the most serious recession since the financial crisis, due to business closings and containment measures, which have resulted in a dramatic drop in consumer spending.
> Coronavirus: minimum service at La Poste
Tours six days a week are just a distant memory at La Poste. From this Monday, the public operator no longer delivers mail, parcels and newspapers for three consecutive days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The public operator has acceded to requests from some of its unions, such as SUD-PTT, worried by the risks of the virus spreading by letter carriers. Their working time is therefore significantly reduced, without changing their initial remuneration, while “contactless” deliveries will be strongly encouraged.
> An extra boost for small entrepreneurs
Aid of 1,500 euros for the self-employed will be accessible as soon as the loss of turnover will be at least 50% and no longer 70% in April, announced on Monday the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire . The amount of the second aid, of 2,000 euros to avoid bankruptcy, could be increased.
> The Olympic calendar soon to be revealed
The new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games, postponed due to the pandemic, should probably be fixed “within a week,” said Japanese organizing committee chairman Yoshiro Mori on Monday.
Some Japanese media believe that the organizers could take advantage of the postponement to make the competition rather in the spring, much more favorable than the summer from a climatic point of view.
> The number of contaminations continues to increase
More than 700,000 cases of new coronavirus have been officially declared worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to a latest count. A total of 33,568 deaths have been recorded in 183 countries and territories, notably in the United States (143,025 cases including 2,514 deaths), in Italy (97,689), the country hardest hit in number of deaths (10,779) and in China (81,470 case, 3,304 dead), initial focus of the contagion.
The number of cases diagnosed, however, only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, with many countries now testing only those cases requiring hospital care.
> EasyJet immobilizes all its planes
Low cost British airline EasyJet announces that it has immobilized all of its 330 aircraft. She specifies that she has no visibility on the schedule for resuming her flights.
EasyJet adds that 4,000 employees based in the United Kingdom and belonging to the cabin crew category will be on leave from Wednesday for a period of two months during which they will receive 80% of their salary. Negotiations are underway with the BALPA pilots’ union, said EasyJet.
> The epidemic seems to be slowing down in the United Kingdom
The UK coronavirus epidemic is showing signs of slowing down, and antibody tests may be available in a few days, said Neil Ferguson, professor of biomathematics at Imperial College London.
“We think the epidemic is slowing down in the UK at the moment,” he said on the BBC, adding that one third or even 40% of people have no symptoms. According to him, 2% to 3% of the British population could have been infected at this stage.
> Almost all Renault factories shut down
Renault has warned that due to the coronavirus crisis, all of its factories are now shutdown, with the exception of its sites in China and South Korea which have resumed their activities or are in the process of resumption.
“The group plans to relaunch production activities in the countries concerned as soon as conditions allow and will implement all the measures necessary to respond effectively to commercial demand,” the manufacturer said in a statement.
> Resumption of classes on May 4 still possible, according to Blanquer
The objective of reopening schools on May 4 is a scenario that remains “compatible” with the evolution of the coronavirus epidemic, said French Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer on Europe 1.
“It is a scenario, no more, no less less, it is a possibility, it depends precisely on the evolution of the epidemic”, he underlined recognizing that this resumption of the courses could take place “more late ”. He also reiterated that the terms of the baccalaureate would be known at the end of the week.
> The first results of the European clinical trial expected this weekend
“We think we will have a first feedback at the end of this week on the effectiveness of the molecules that are being tested so that we can extend these tests, stop certain molecules, add others,” the Minister of France declared on Franceinfo. Higher Education and Research, Frédérique Vidal.
“For the moment, recruitment is going very well […] so the tests are going well, ”she said, referring to the participation of several hospitals in Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon and Nantes, in particular.
> Compagnie des Alpes could lose a quarter of its annual turnover
Compagnie des Alpes has warned that it will lose almost a quarter of its turnover in 2019-2020 if its leisure destinations remain closed until the end of June. A shortfall in addition to that of ski resorts, closed prematurely since the beginning of March due to the epidemic.
> British government gets hold of portfolio
In order to prevent companies from laying off workers, the British government has offered to cover 80% of their employees’ wages. New across the Channel, this device will be open by the end of April to all companies, for at least three months.
Aid of the same type is offered to the self-employed: those whose activity would have suffered from the virus will be entitled to 80% of their average monthly income for the past three years, up to 2,500 pounds per month.
> Sanofi and Regeneron amplify trials of potential treatment
The global clinical trial program using Kevzara (or sarilumab) has just been launched in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, Russia and the United States.
This medicine is authorized in several countries for the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis. It inhibits interleukin 6 (IL-6), which may play a role in the inflammatory immune response that causes acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with severe form of Covid-19.
> The automotive sector hit hard
Confined consumers, closed dealers, shutdown factories: everywhere on the planet, the measures taken against the epidemic will have a devastating effect on car manufacturers as on their suppliers.
The fall in sales could thus be between 10% and 25%, according to forecasters. Even if the players in the sector are in better shape than in 2008, they will need public support to pass the course.
> Less than 500 coronavirus deaths in Germany
The number of contamination cases continues to increase across the Rhine, but the increase in deaths linked to Covid-19 is contained. Thus, the country has a total of 57,298 cases, for 455 deaths, according to the Robert-Koch institute, federal health authority. This represents 4,751 cases and 66 additional deaths compared to the previous day’s results.
> In Japan, the death of a local star arouses public concern
The sudden death of comedian Ken Shimura, who had been hospitalized on March 20 just before being tested positive for Covid-19, has shaken the country.
But this event could help public authorities to re-mobilize the Japanese after seeing a slight acceleration in the number of contaminations, especially in Tokyo.
> Chloroquine authorized in American hospitals
The United States drug regulator (FDA) has authorized chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine only in hospitals. Treatments against malaria on which Donald Trump places the greatest hopes.
The American health authorities however warned the general public that they should not prescribe it without medical advice. A trial according to Professor Raoult’s protocol, with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (an antibiotic), will soon start in New York.
> Oil at the lowest
Crude prices collapsed on Monday morning in Asian markets, following the fall of other financial markets and a worsening of the coronavirus crisis over the weekend.
The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, benchmark in the United States, lost 5.3% to 20 dollars per barrel, while that of Brent North Sea crude was 23 dollars, down 6 , 5%. Levels never seen since 2003.
> The United States extends its restrictive measures
Donald Trump announced Sunday that he was extending until April 30 recommendations to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country, at the same time abandoning the idea of starting the US economy by mid-April.
“The death rate is expected to peak in two weeks,” said the President. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the pandemic could kill 100,000 to 200,000 people in the United States.
> Patient transfers are accelerating in France
While the largest evacuations since the start of the coronavirus epidemic took place on Sunday to unclog hospitals in the Grand Est, they are expected to accelerate again on Monday.
In total, 4,632 serious cases require very heavy care, said the French health authorities. In 24 hours, 359 new patients were placed in intensive care.