India has now become the second country in the world after the United States with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and overtakes Brazil, as the pandemic is back in force in the United Kingdom, France and several other countries.
The second most populous nation on the planet has counted 4.2 million infections since the start of the health crisis on Monday, compared to 4.12 million in Brazil and 6.25 million in the United States, according to figures compiled by the AFP from official data.
These worrying figures have not, however, prevented the metro from resuming service after months of shutdown in most cities, including Bombay and the capital New Delhi, a megalopolis of 21 million inhabitants.
For virologist Shahid Jameel of the Wellcome Trust / DBT India Alliance, the crucial data to watch is the growth rate of new cases. And in the case of India, it is progressing at a “rather alarming” rate.
“Over the past two weeks, the average has increased from around 65,000 to 83,000 cases per day, an increase of about 27% over two weeks, and 2% per day,” Jameel told the AFP.
In many countries where the epidemic seemed to have taken a break since the end of spring, the number of new contaminations is experiencing an alarming increase, especially in Europe where residents are returning to school, university or work afterwards. summer vacation.
On Sunday, the United Kingdom recorded nearly 3,000 new positive cases, an unprecedented number since the end of May.
“The increase we have seen today is worrying,” Health Minister Matt Hancock told Sky News, stressing that these new cases are mainly diagnosed in “the youngest”. The epidemic is also gaining ground in France with nearly 25,000 new cases in three days, including a peak of 9,000 on Friday.
Despite this worrying context, the French government plans to relax one of the measures applied in the fight against the coronavirus: the “quatorzaine”, this period of two weeks of isolation recommended to patients and people likely to have been contaminated.
In Spain, where schools are reopening despite a sharp increase in the number of cases, many parents refuse to send their children back to class, despite the threat of sanctions.
“To learn you have all your life, but health you only have one”, annoys Aroa Miranda, mother of two boys aged 8 and 3 who will not put them back to school this week. in Castellon de la Plana (east).
“They are doing an experiment to see what will happen, like with guinea pigs”, indignant this 37-year-old unemployed woman.
Worldwide, the epidemic has killed more than 880,000 people since the end of December, according to a count established by AFP from official data. The most bereaved countries are the United States (188,540 dead), Brazil (126,203) and India (71,642).
Israel passed the milestone of 1,000 dead this weekend. Considered at the start of the pandemic as a champion in the fight against the coronavirus, the Hebrew state is now recording some 3,000 new cases every day and the authorities, strongly criticized for their management of the health crisis, have imposed a partial containment in around thirty cities.
Despite the uncertainties hanging over the global health situation, a senior official from the International Olympic Committee said Monday that the Tokyo Games, postponed to 2021, will go well next year “with or without” coronavirus.
“It will be the Games that will have defeated COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel,” John Coates told AFP the chairman of the IOC’s coordination committee for the 2020 Olympics.
Japan’s borders currently remain largely closed to foreigners, and many experts doubt the pandemic will be under control by next summer. In addition, according to several recent surveys, a clear majority of Japanese want a further postponement of the Olympics or their cancellation.