Limitation of movements and calls for the responsibility of the populations: faced with the fear of a second wave and a re-containment, the measures aiming to quickly isolate the foci of contamination multiplied Wednesday around the world.
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In England, in areas with high transmission of the virus, adults and pupils will now have to cover their faces when moving within secondary schools. Wearing a mask will not, however, be compulsory in classrooms, where the risks are considered lower.
Some 9000 km away, South Korea went further by replacing from Wednesday all schools in Seoul and its region in distance education.
In France, also the scene of an increase in contamination – more than 5,000 in 24 hours, a record since the end of containment in May – a strengthening of measures against COVID-19 has also been decided in Marseille, the second largest city. more populated.
Wearing a mask has been compulsory since Wednesday evening and bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. throughout the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which this agglomeration is the capital.
As for Paris, it has been added by Belgium to its list of European destinations which are no longer authorized, unless subject to return to be tested for the coronavirus and a period of isolation.
One million Burmese confined
French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday called on his compatriots “in the spirit of responsibility” to wear the protective mask.
“Everyone must feel concerned by the fight against the epidemic”, he insisted, assuring, however, that generalized containment was “not an objective”.
And this while in Burma, where authorities have widened the lockdown of Rakhine state, a million people have been confined in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.
As for Tunisia, a country which is also experiencing a record number of new cases, the authorities extended Wednesday until September 3 the curfew they had put in place on August 21 in El Hamma, a small town in the Gabès governorate where the hospital is struggling.
Germany for its part announced on Wednesday that it would maintain its travel advisories until September 14 that have applied to most countries outside the EU for five months, while Norway officially advised against the same. day “non-essential” trips to German territory.
For its part, Croatia, which widely opened its borders to tourists during the summer, recorded a record daily number of infections with the new coronavirus on Wednesday, while Ukraine decided to once again close its borders to foreigners for a period of 30 days.
24 million cases
Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt has also contracted COVID-19, his agent confirmed, nevertheless assuring that the eight-time Olympic gold medalist, currently in quarantine, has “no symptoms”.
The pandemic continues to progress slowly, but the latest weekly data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a slowdown in most regions except Southeast Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean .
The global death toll of the pandemic established by AFP from official sources now stands at more than 820,000 deaths since the end of December. Almost 24 million cases have been recorded in total.
The United States is the most bereaved country with 178,524 dead, for nearly 5.8 million identified carriers of the virus. Brazil follows with 116,580 deaths, for nearly 3.7 million cases.
Greater immunity for women?
Meanwhile, studies on COVID-19 continue.
One of them published on Wednesday, whose main author is Prof. Akiko Iwasaki, concludes that the immune response of women to this new disease could be stronger than that of men, which could explain why men are more affected by severe forms.
In addition, according to another study, released the same day by the British Ministry of Defense, a product against mosquitoes, the active substance of which comes from eucalyptus, has been shown to be effective in neutralizing the new coronavirus.
During this time, social discontent grows on the planet, especially in Brazil.
Ingrid dos Santos, a nurse in a field hospital in Rio de Janeiro intended to treat COVID-19, has not received her salary since May, probably engulfed by corruption.
” Where did the money go ? No one knows … All we know is that at the end of the day, the people who work on the front line are forgotten, ”laments this mother of two children to AFP.
And the virus continues to plague economies, especially the aviation and tourism sectors, which should take several years to recover.
Illustration, Montenegro, whose economy depends largely on tourism, suffers, especially the port of Kotor, usually submerged in this season of hordes of tourists and cruise ships.
“We are now aware of our dependence on this summer crowd,” admits Branko Radulovic, who rents apartments in this city classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.