Students respect social distancing in Bangkok. - AFP

Where is the coronavirus pandemic at? The Covid-19 has already killed more than 750,000 people around the world. This milestone, crossed Thursday, reinforces concerns about a resurgence of the disease. In Europe, several countries, including France, are recording a rebound in the number of cases, and adopting new restrictions to limit its spread.

For example, the establishment of a 14-day quarantine for travelers entering the United Kingdom from France, Monaco, the Netherlands and Malta. Paris reacted strongly to this announcement on Thursday evening. This is "a British decision that we regret and which will lead to a measure of reciprocity, hoping for a return to normal as quickly as possible", tweeted the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune.

No smoking on the street in Spain

The virus also gave rise on Thursday to a pass of arms between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Republican rival Donald Trump. Joe Biden called on the governors of the 50 American states to "establish now the obligation to wear a mask", a measure which could "save more than 40,000 lives" in the country according to him. No way, replied Donald Trump who accused him of wanting to "lock all Americans in their basement for months".

In Spain, the unprecedented ban on smoking in the streets and on café terraces came into force Thursday in the province of Galicia (north-west) and in the Canary Islands (east). This measure applies when it is impossible to maintain a safety distance of at least two meters. According to some health professionals, smokers who are infected and asymptomatic can emit droplets containing the virus and put the rest of the population at risk. Also in Spain, the medical order asked the authorities on Thursday to "raise the bar" in the fight against the coronavirus to prevent this country, one of the most bereaved in Europe, from being overwhelmed by a new wave of the pandemic .

Mask compulsory in Brussels, also in Lourdes

Explaining having to "continue on the line of caution", Italy for its part made mandatory until September 7 the tests for all travelers arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain. And people from Colombia are simply prohibited from entering its territory.

In Brussels, as now also in Finland, which has turned around on this subject, wearing a protective mask is now compulsory in public spaces. It will be the same in France for the participants in the pilgrimage of August 15 to Lourdes, in the South-West, to which thousands of Catholics are expected. A relaxation of measures, greater availability of tests but also the relaxation of spirits in the summer explain the increase in the number of contaminations in Europe, estimated Thursday an epidemiologist from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Peru exceeds 25,000 dead

Worldwide, there are now nearly 21 million reported cases, according to a report established Thursday by AFP from official sources. Latin America and the Caribbean is the region with the highest death toll: around 230,000. Nearly half of deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in four countries: the United States (166,038), Brazil (105,463), Mexico (55,293) and India (47,033).

Peru surpassed the 25,000 coronavirus death mark on Thursday and reached half a million cases of contamination (507,996). In terms of deaths, Peru is the third most affected country in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico. As in Peru, Mexico passed the half-million mark on Thursday and deplores 55,293 deaths. Regarding Africa, the reopening of economies will lead to an increase in cases, warned the WHO regional director, Matshidiso Moeti.

In Brazil, the government said on Thursday it was trying to clarify the "alleged contamination" by the coronavirus of chickens it exported to China. The virus was detected on samples of frozen chicken wings taken on Tuesday, the city hall of the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen (south) said in a statement. Wanting to be reassuring, the WHO for its part said Thursday not to fear transmission through food.


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