COVID-19: More than 50 million cases in Europe

More than 50 million people have been infected with the COVID-19 virus in Europe since the virus emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP count from reports provided by authorities on Wednesday afternoon.

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A total of 50,021,615 cases were officially registered in 52 countries and territories in the region, which are heading east to Azerbaijan and Russia, including more than 1,382,000 cases in the past seven days, or an average of 197,400 per day.

A slowdown in the spread of the epidemic has been observed in most European countries, which are carefully relaxing restrictions put in place to slow the recent recovery of the epidemic: the daily number of new cases decreased two weeks ago.

Beginning on April 12, the UK began a major phase of its dismantling, after three months of incarceration, with unnecessary shops and stands reopening. The country has an average of 2,300 new cases of coronavirus every day, thanks to the containment and massive vaccination campaign launched in early December, which allowed at least one dose to be given to 64% of the adult population.

On Monday, Italy followed suit: bars, restaurants, cinemas and theaters partially reopened. After peaking at nearly 23,000 infections per day at the end of March, the country currently has fewer than 13,000 daily cases on average.

In France, the European country worst affected in terms of the total number of detected infections (5,565,852 cases), a timid decline in the number of new infections appears to have begun. At the start of the week, the country fell below the still-high level of 30,000 new daily cases.

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On the contrary, there are few countries that are currently struggling to contain the epidemic. Last week, Cyprus recorded 651 new daily cases per 100,000 people, the highest in the world, according to data compiled by Agence France-Presse. On Friday, the Mediterranean island announced a new lockdown for two weeks.

Europe concentrates a third of the total number of coronavirus cases in the world (148,820,944), but only 24% of new cases were discovered last week.

More than 1,060,900 deaths have been recorded in the region since the start of the pandemic, including about 3,600 deaths per day currently, a figure also slightly lower since mid-April.

On Friday, Macron will present the “possibilities” of canceling the liquidation in France

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Wednesday that President Emmanuel Macron will present Friday the “prospects” for a “gradual exit” of the restrictive measures against COVID-19 in France, a task complicated by the third wave that is frankly slowing down. .

Jean Castex said the lifting of restrictions “will be gradual with the start of the vaccination campaign,” while Emmanuel Macron had already specified on Monday that it would be “very slowly” from “the beginning of May”.

For the time being, restaurants, bars and cultural venues such as theaters, cinemas, gyms and stores deemed non-essential are closed across the territory.

Emmanuel Macron chose to speak in regional dailies and not during an official television speech as he had done on several occasions since the start of the crisis, according to several regional media outlets.

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Primary schools reopened on Monday, but they are subject to a strict rule of closing class from positive first case. Next week, it should be the turn of colleges and high schools, with measuring devices. The end of the ban on inter-regional travel, or the 10 or 30 km boundary, will be lifted.

With around 30,000 positive cases per day on average and nearly 6,000 COVID-19 patients still in hospital in intensive care units, health indicators continue to deteriorate in France. On Wednesday, 324 new deaths of COVID-19 patients were recorded in hospitals.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized again fell below 30,000 on Wednesday, for the first time since early April.

“We are seeing a slower downward trend than it was in November,” summarized by Mr. Castex, and its effect “continues to be very timidly reflected in the evolution of the number of patients in intensive care”.

“The data is telling us that we have reached a peak, somewhat in the beginning of April, and we are in a state of decline, but this decline is very slow,” confirmed an epidemiologist and director of research at INSERM, Vitoria on RTL. Colisa.

In this context, the pace of vaccination remains a critical issue for the government, in the face of increasingly urgent requests to anticipate the opening, currently scheduled for May 15, for injections for people between the ages of 50 and 55 without co-morbidities.

Renewed the pressure by noting that appointments remain free at some of the large vaccination centers, such as the Stade de France.

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Mr. Castex replied that it was “premature” at this point, without closing the door “to enlargement of the crowd” if it was asserted that “a certain number of appointments available” had “not been fulfilled”.

Currently, vaccination is open to about 25 million people, including nursing home residents, those over the age of 55, the most vulnerable ages 50 to 54, and some occupations or people at risk.

According to the latest official figures, 14.9 million people received at least one injection, more than 6 million of them were fully vaccinated with two doses (i.e. 9% of the total population and 11.5% of the adult population).

The new coronavirus pandemic has officially caused more than 103,600 deaths in France.

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