While several European countries are preparing to gradually return to a semblance of normal life, Brazil and India are counting death records every day linked to Covid-19.
Brazil, with more than 400,000 dead, and India, which is crossing new mortality thresholds day after day, are sinking into a Covid-19 epidemic that Europe intends on the other hand to leave behind before the summer .
But if a number of European countries, such as France or Portugal, are starting to plan their return to “life before”, others are on the contrary tightening their restrictions. Total containment of the population thus entered into force on Friday in Turkey, faced with a resurgence of the epidemic.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the threshold of 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus was crossed, Thursday, April 29, in Brazil, where vaccination has still not taken off, faced with a more contagious and more severe local variant.
Friday, a demonstration is scheduled on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro to denounce the management of the health situation by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, already the subject of a parliamentary inquiry opened on Tuesday. In Manaus, in the Amazon where the Brazilian variant appeared, the lack of oxygen had caused the death of dozens of patients by asphyxiation.
>> To read: Emmanuel Macron announces a gradual deconfinement from May 3 to June 30
Scenes that India, in the midst of the outbreak of the epidemic, is also experiencing. Overwhelmed hospitals lack beds, medicine and oxygen and announced international aid has started to arrive.
The first shipments of American medical aid thus arrived in India on Friday. A military plane, which was carrying more than 400 oxygen cylinders, equipment for hospitals and a million tests for the coronavirus, landed at the international airport in the capital New Delhi.
Populated by 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is breaking world records for contamination, with nearly 380,000 new cases every day. In April alone, India counted more than 6 million additional cases.
“The situation in India can happen anywhere”
For the World Health Organization (WHO), this is not the time to lower our guard as several countries in Europe announce an easing of the restrictive measures. “The situation in India can happen anywhere,” WHO warned Thursday.
Portugal announced Thursday evening the reopening of its border with Spain on Saturday. On the same day, 48 hours earlier than expected, it will enter the fourth and final phase of its deconfinement that began in mid-March.
All outdoor sports activities and in sports halls will again be authorized. In addition, cafes and restaurants, shops and cultural spaces will see their opening hours, in particular on weekends. And this weekend, a test concert with 400 spectators will be organized in Braga, in the north of Portugal.
>> To read also: Covid-19: Turkey begins a total containment of three weeks
In France, President Emmanuel Macron unveiled on Thursday the outlines of a deconfinement “in four stages”, from May 3 to the end of June.
This announcement was made a few hours before the announcement of the “first case in France” confirmed of the Indian variant, detected in the southwest on “a patient returned from India”, according to the authorities. Two other cases were then reported in the Marseille region.
The return of the bar and restaurant terraces, with a maximum of six people per table, will not take place before May 19. Shops will also be able to reopen on that date, with appropriate gauges and protocols, as will museums, cinemas and theaters – up to a limit of 800 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors.
Moderna wants to produce up to three billion doses
“Finally, we have the dates, we have the keys to deconfinement and we can organize ourselves to work,” said Roland Héguy, president of the main union in the hotel and restaurant industry. “France is rediscovering its culture!”, Added the general delegate of the National Federation of French cinemas, Marc-Olivier Sebbag.
In the United Kingdom, the city of Edinburgh has scheduled Friday to reopen its historic monuments and, in Bulgaria, it is the discos that will reopen this weekend at 50% of their capacity.
Germany, for its part, administered 1.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday, a national record, becoming the first European country to exceed one million injections in 24 hours.
>> Read also on France24.com: Covid-19: how India found itself short of oxygen
In the United States, after months of extreme caution in the face of a second wave of Covid-19, New York City plans to “fully reopen” on 1er July, its mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, while California’s Disneyland parks will reopen on Friday.
In the global vaccine race, the American laboratory Moderna announced Thursday its intention to invest in its production lines to produce up to 3 billion doses of its serum against Covid-19 and hopes to provide between 800 million and one billion doses this year.
Argentina denounced Thursday, after Europe, the delays in delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The British firm is due to announce its financial results for the first quarter on Friday, the occasion also perhaps to provide some answers on its strategy to come.