The milestone of 400,000 dead from COVID-19 was crossed on Saturday in Europe, the second most affected region in the world, part of which will reopen its stores this weekend as the end of the year holidays approach.
But in the United States where the epidemic is not weakening, the authorities in Los Angeles (west) have banned most private and public gatherings.
“All public and private gatherings of individuals not belonging to the same household are prohibited, with the exception of religious services and demonstrations”, for a period of three weeks from Monday, November 30, the authorities announced on Friday. from the largest city in California.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the situation seems, on the other hand, to be improving to the point of encouraging the authorities to relax the pressure. All stores will reopen in France on Saturday, a relief for thousands of traders as Christmas approaches.
“We are very, very happy”, rejoiced on Wednesday Sophie Patteuw, director of a toy store in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, in the North, ready to reopen its doors after “a big tidying up”. The businesses will be able to reopen until 9 p.m., curfew obliges, and will have to respect a strict sanitary protocol.
In Poland, shopping centers reopen on Saturday. Irish and Belgians, on the other hand, will have to wait until Tuesday to find their traders, but in these two countries, the ebb of the epidemic is confirmed.
“The efforts and sacrifices of each of us have worked. Lives have been saved, ”Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Irish public broadcaster RTE.
“The situation in our country is improving (…), but it is important to stay the course,” said his Belgian counterpart, Alexander de Croo.
And, as of Sunday, three new regions in Italy will lift their restrictions, allowing non-essential businesses to reopen. But in these regions, Lombardy (north), Piedmont (north-west) and Calabria (south), bars and restaurants will remain closed, as in France and Belgium.
The coronavirus epidemic remains virulent, however, even in Europe, the second most affected region after Latin America and the Caribbean: the milestone of 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19 was passed on Saturday on the continent, according to a report AFP from official sources, and more than 36,000 deaths have been recorded there in the last seven days (36,147) – the heaviest weekly toll since the start of the pandemic.
The most bereaved countries are the United Kingdom (57,551 dead), Italy (53,677 dead) and France (51,914 dead).
In Germany (15,586 deaths recorded on Friday), yet considered a good student in the fight against COVID-19, the restrictions remain in force until the beginning of January.
In Cyprus, the authorities decided to impose a curfew on Monday. And in Turkey, an age-based curfew will be imposed from Saturday.
In Britain, Wales will tighten restrictions on pubs and restaurants to limit the spread of the virus before Christmas. This comes after a new containment decided by Northern Ireland and the return in England to a three-level alert system.
Which is not to the taste of all Britons. Citing nothing less than the Magna Carta, the founding text of modern democracy, a hairdresser near Bradford, in the north of England, has become a heroine among opponents of confinement on social networks. She has accumulated 17,000 pounds (about 29,400 Canadian dollars) in fines for keeping her salon open, despite the four-week lockdown in early November in England.
Nearly 61 million cases of COVID-19 have been officially counted worldwide since the start of the pandemic, and more than 1.4 million people have died from it.
Mexico experienced a record of contaminations in 24 hours on Friday, for the first time exceeding the threshold of 12,000 cases in a single day.
The United States remains the most bereaved country in the world with 264,823 dead. The uncertainty about COVID-19 reduced, on Friday, the usual crowds waiting in the early morning to open stores to rush for the bargains of the Black Friday.
This year, the rush has been online. As a result, Americans spent $ 6.2 million online on Friday … per minute, for a total of $ 4.5 billion, according to the count published Friday evening by the computer company Adobe Digital Insights. This Black Friday and Cyber Monday that will follow, Monday, could “become the two days of online sales the most important in history”, ruled Adobe.
The United States is not the only country to continue to bear the brunt of Wave 2. In Tokyo, authorities have asked establishments serving alcohol, including karaoke bars, to close their doors at 10 p.m. starting Saturday for three weeks.
Japan had yet been relatively spared the COVID-19 pandemic so far – with just over 2,000 deaths and 135,400 infections, according to official figures – and it did not impose the containment measures that we observe elsewhere. But now he is facing a record of daily infections.
Elsewhere, the economic cost of the pandemic continues to be abysmal. India announced on Friday a 7.5% decline in its GDP from July to September, officially entering a technical recession for the first time since its independence in 1947.
The Southeast Asian giant, with nine million cases, is the second country most affected by the pandemic in the number of people infected, after the United States.