Virus: nearly 500,000 dead in the United States, England will gradually deconfin
The United States is approaching on Monday half a million deaths from the coronavirus but the pace of vaccinations offers a glimmer of hope, as in England which announced a “cautious” deconfinement plan.
A year after the announcement, on February 29, 2020, of the first death of the virus in the United States, the crossing of the threshold of 500,000 deaths is imminent, according to the count from Johns Hopkins University, which refers.
“We have not known anything like this for over 100 years, since the 1918 pandemic,” immunologist Anthony Fauci, adviser to US President Joe Biden, said on Sunday. “It’s 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 has made the fight against the epidemic the top priority of his start in office.
“500,000! This is nearly 70,000 more than all the Americans who died during World War II,” lamented Mr. Biden on Friday, who is due to observe a moment of silence Monday evening in tribute to the victims of the disease.
The Democratic president will also order a half-masting of the flags on all federal buildings, which will last five days, said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
In the United States, the current rate of vaccinations (1.7 million daily injections on average), however, gives hope. “I believe that we will get closer to normality by the end of this year,” Joe Biden said on Friday.
More than 43.6 million people have already received at least one dose of the two vaccines authorized in the United States (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna), of which 18.8 million have had the two required injections.
According to Joe Biden, 600 million doses (enough to vaccinate the entire population) will be available by the end of July.
And the United States may well have a third vaccine authorized by the end of the week, that of Johnson & Johnson, on which a committee is due to issue an advisory opinion on Friday.
– “Cautious” deconfinement –
In the United Kingdom, the hardest-hit European country with more than 120,000 dead, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday presented a progressive plan to get England out of the containment, imposed in early January in the face of an explosion in the epidemic linked to variant appeared in Kent.
The British government has announced it is targeting a reopening of non-essential shops and museums from April 12 in England. Cinemas, hotels, stadiums (with a maximum of 10,000 people) and restaurants will follow from May 17th. The aim is to lift the last restrictions in June.
The schools will reopen on March 8. 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 dose.
In Germany, despite fears of a third epidemic wave linked to the British variant, schools reopen Monday in most of the country with drastic sanitary conditions, after two months of closure.
In France, containment measures will be imposed over the next two weekends on part of the Côte d’Azur (south-east), with reinforced controls at airports in the region and at the Italian border.
– Patience –
Worldwide, the pandemic has killed more than 2.46 million people since the end of December, according to a report established by AFP on Monday at 11:00 GMT.
Governments everywhere are relying on injections to try to end the pandemic: more than 205 million doses of anti-Covid vaccines have been administered worldwide.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, however, denounces “vaccine nationalism”, stressing that “alone, ten countries have shared more than three quarters of the doses of vaccine against Covid-19 administered to date”.
The Sanofi laboratory has announced that it will produce in France the vaccine against the Covid-19 of its American competitor Johnson & Johnson. Without being able to offer its own remedy at this stage, Sanofi had already agreed to manufacture from the summer that of its competitor Pfizer / BioNTech.
Urged to prioritize India, the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker that produces AstraZeneca’s vaccine under the Covishield name, has called on countries awaiting supply to be “patient “.
India wants to vaccinate 300 million people by July and is behind schedule with just over 11 million doses administered. In the most affected state of the country, Maharashtra (110 million inhabitants) which is home to the economic capital Bombay, new restrictions were imposed on Monday after an upsurge in contamination.
Australia on 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 officers or residents of retirement homes.
This launch was however marked by anti-vaccine protests in some large cities.
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