The Covid-19 pandemic has killed at least 2.4 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, when the Chinese office of the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the outbreak of the disease, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP), Monday February 22, from official sources. These data are based on reports provided daily by the health authorities in each country and exclude ex post revisions by statistical agencies, such as in Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In the United States, “more Americans died than during the second world war”
A year after the announcement, on February 29, 2020, of the first death of Covid-19 in the country, the death toll is expected to reach 500,000 imminently, with a count of 498,901 deaths made by Johns-Hopkins University. “We have not known anything like this for over a hundred years, since the 1918 pandemicImmunologist Anthony Fauci, adviser to US President Joe Biden, said on Sunday. It is something that will go down in history. “
The threshold of 400,000 deaths was exceeded in January on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden, who made the fight against the epidemic the top priority of his start in office. ” Five hundred thousand ! That’s nearly 70,000 more than all Americans who died in WWII ”, lamented Friday Mr. Biden, stressing however the hope linked to the current rhythm of vaccinations: “I believe we will be getting closer to normal by the end of this year. “
More than 61 million people have already received one of the two vaccines authorized in the United States (those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), of which 18 million have had the two required injections. With an average of 1.7 million daily injections, which is expected to increase, he said he was confident in the ability to reach 600 million doses (enough to vaccinate the entire population) available by the end of July.
United Kingdom deconfinement plan
In the UK, the hardest-hit European country with more than 120,000 dead, Prime Minister Boris Johnson presents a plan on Monday « prudent » and “Progressive” to get England out of the re-containment imposed at the beginning of January in the face of an explosion of contaminations linked to the variant which appeared in Kent.
Schools will reopen in England on March 8, the government has already noted. With each nation deciding on its deconfinement strategy, schools are gradually reopening on Monday in Scotland and Wales.
The vaccination campaign launched in December is in full swing: one in three adults has received a first dose. By mid-April, those over 50 should all have received a first injection.
Reopening of schools in Germany
After two months of closure, and despite fears of a third epidemic wave linked to the variant initially detected in the United Kingdom, schools reopen Monday in most of Germany with draconian sanitary conditions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has acknowledged a high desire for easing in the country and said she understands it, a participant in a meeting with leaders of the Christian Democratic Union reported on Monday morning. But according to the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, “We must not make false promises”.
Vaccines, a source of tension
WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accused Monday “Some rich countries to dig” the Covax device, intended to ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines against Covid-19, by continuing to approach manufacturers directly to have access to more doses. The Covax system was set up to try to prevent rich countries from grabbing all the doses of vaccine and includes a financing mechanism that should allow ninety-two low and middle-income economies. to have access to it. But the shortage of vaccines means that the first distributions to poor countries should not take place before the end of the month. “We can only deliver vaccines to Covax member countries if the rich countries cooperate by respecting the contracts entered into by Covax”, insisted the boss of the WHO.
Called on to give priority toInde, the Serum Institute of India – the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, which produces AstraZeneca’s vaccine under the Covishield name – has asked countries awaiting supply to be « patients ». India wants to vaccinate 300 million people by July and is behind schedule with just over eleven million doses administered.
For its part, theAustralia Monday gave the real kick-off of its vaccination campaign. Some 60,000 doses are ready to be injected this week, with nursing staff, police or residents of retirement homes.
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