The coronavirus covid-19 epidemic is affecting more and more countries around the world and could kill between 100,000 and 200,000 people in the United States.
Moscow and Lagos join the more than three billion inhabitants of the planet confined to their homes on Monday. They hope to halt the progression of the Covid-19 which leaves more than 33,000 dead, bruised in Europe and in particular Spain and Italy.
The countries most affected by the new coronavirus, Italy and Spain, hope to finally approach the peak of the pandemic. But in the United States, where there are about 140,000 cases of contamination, President Donald Trump estimates that the country would expect its peak “probably” in two weeks.
“Between 100,000 and 200,000 dead” in the United States
His pandemic adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci has drawn up a terrifying scenario, estimating that the virus could kill “between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths” against the nearly 2,400 currently among Americans.
In Moscow, where already since March 8th those who do not respect the quarantine measures incur five years in prison, the mayor Sergei Sobianin ordered the general confinement.
The 12.5 million Muscovites will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to work, if necessary, for medical emergencies, to get supplies or go to a pharmacy.
They can take out the trash and walk their dog, but only within 100 meters of their home.
Confinement to Lagos, a megalopolis of 20 million inhabitants
Lagos, a sprawling megalopolis of 20 million inhabitants and Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, have also declared total containment.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with nearly 200 million inhabitants recorded Sunday evening 97 reported cases, but their number could quickly explode, warned the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed on Thursday.
Containment measures are causing a great deal of misunderstanding and contestation in sub-Saharan Africa, where a large part of the population lives on less than two dollars a day and depends on the informal economy to survive.
A baby less than 1-year-old died in Illinois
In the United States, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan are among the most threatened states. In Illinois, a baby under the age of one died, one of the youngest known victims of Covid-19, which generally spares children.
In New York, a field hospital was being set up on Sunday in the iconic Central Park to cope with the expected influx of patients.
“We hope to be operational within 48 hours, and ready to receive patients,” said team coordinator Dr Elliott Tenpenny, who said the field hospital will have a capacity of 68 patients.
“Hospitals are filling up all over the city and they need help. That is why we are here, “he said.
President Donald Trump has said to extend the “recommendations until April 30th to slow the spread” of the coronavirus. Until then, he was convinced of a return to normal for Easter, April 12th.
838 dead in 24h in Spain
In Europe, where two-thirds of all deaths worldwide are concentrated, health authorities hope to approach the peak of the epidemic.
Between Saturday and Sunday, Spain recorded 838 deaths, a new record, for the third consecutive day, of deaths in 24 hours, to reach a toll of 6528. “Our fundamental problem at the moment is to guarantee that the care units intensive do not saturate, “said the director of the Center for Health Emergencies, Fernando Simon.
World record for deaths in Italy
Spain has tightened its containment rules in force since mid-March, by allowing until April 9th only “essential” economic activities, namely health, energy and transport.
In Italy, the country that records the world death record (10,779 for 97,689 cases recorded), confinement begins to produce encouraging results after three weeks.
“In all emergency departments, there is a reduction” in patient arrivals, according to Giulio Gallera, head of health in the northern region of Lombardy, the most affected.
Tribute to the “heroes”
The big Italian cities continue to be deserted as evidenced by images filmed on Sunday by AFPTV journalists, showing for example in Rome a Spanish square without a living soul.
Apart from a police car and a lost cyclist, the few pedestrians seem lost on this emblematic square, famous for its boat-shaped fountain and its stairs, usually crowded with tourists.
Faced with an influx of sick people in hospitals and a looming shortage of equipment, France (more than 2,600 dead, including 292 in the past 24 hours) has ordered a billion masks, notably from China, and has almost triple the number of beds assigned to resuscitation.
The epidemic is also accelerating in the United Kingdom, with now 1,228 deaths for some 20,000 confirmed cases, a country where general confinement was decreed Monday for three weeks. According to senior health official Jenny Harries, Britain may not resume normal life for six months or more.
In Germany, the finance minister of a regional executive, “deeply concerned” about the repercussions of the pandemic on the economy, committed suicide. The Adidas and H&M groups sparked outrage by announcing they wanted to stop paying the rents of their closed stores.
No containment in the Netherlands
The neighbouring Netherlands, which refuses for the time to confine its 17 million inhabitants, will announce Tuesday if it continues in this way, after having crossed Sunday the bar of the 10 000 contaminations listed, for 771 deaths.
China, where the pandemic broke out in December, has closed its borders to most foreigners since Saturday and drastically reduced its international flights to prevent a return of the coronavirus via “imported” cases.
In Beirut, like some cities in Europe, like Madrid and Belgrade, the Lebanese went out at 8:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT) on Sunday to greet the “heroes” of the medical staff.
In the suburbs of Jdeideh, north of Beirut, enthusiastic whistles accompanied on Sunday evening the loud applause, the youyous and even the hammering of a big drum, according to AFP journalists.