Madrid (AFP)

Spain became the second country most affected in death toll by the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday, whose expansion now places more than a third of humanity, including 1.3 billion Indians, under measures of confinement with heavy economic and social consequences.

In total, nearly three billion people are ordered to stay at home.

Spain counted Wednesday 3,434 deaths due to the new coronavirus, behind Italy and in front of China. Faced with a lack of first aid equipment - masks, gloves, respirators, tests ... - she will buy $ 432 million in sanitary equipment from China.

"Many colleagues are crying because people are dying alone without seeing their families and we barely have time to keep them company," said Guillen del Barrio, a nurse at a Madrid hospital saturated with patients.

Italy - more than 6,800 deaths - retains the head of the sinister global balance sheet, China where the disease has greatly slowed its progression deploring 3,281 deaths. In total more than 19,000 people have died worldwide due to this virus and more than 420,000 have been infected.

Joining the list of affected leaders and celebrities, Prince Charles, heir to the British crown, has tested positive but "remains in good health" according to an official statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, decreed next week unemployed and postponed a popular vote scheduled for April on a constitutional reform to try to slow the epidemic.

Stock markets in Asia and Europe have nevertheless recovered a few colors after the announcement of an agreement between the White House and the United States Senate intended to mobilize $ 2,000 billion in support of the economy.

In Europe, the leaders of nine countries, including the Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and the Italian Giuseppe Conte, called for the creation of corona bonds, a "common debt instrument issued by a European institution", in order to have significant funds facing to the health crisis.

India, the second most populous country in the world behind China with 1.3 billion inhabitants, entered containment at midnight. "Remember that even a single step outside your home can bring serious coronavirus disease back to your home," warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose country has 519 cases of Covid-19, including 10 dead.

- "Difficult to stock up" -

In the empty streets of New Delhi, the chirping of birds has replaced the usual cacophony of horns and shouts. In Bombay, a vegetable merchant, Rafiq Ansari, is worried by explaining that it is "more and more difficult to obtain supplies". "We are going to face shortages."

Colombia, the third most populous country in Latin America with 48 million inhabitants, in turn entered compulsory general confinement on Wednesday, in an attempt to contain a disease against which no vaccine or any proven treatment exist. this day.

Tuesday, after weeks of procrastination, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were finally postponed to 2021. And for lack of matches, no revenue: many European football clubs face difficulties of treasury deemed "untenable" by the president from the Scottish Aberdeen club, Dave Cormack.

In the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, the largest in Europe, the pandemic raised fears of a "health bomb".

"We have been told not to leave our tents and not to gather in groups, but it is impossible in Moria," said a Somali migrant, Ibrahim Mohament Hussein.

In the United States, arms sales are soaring, with many fearing that the disease will cause riots. But in Kenya rose exports to Europe are collapsing, threatening to ruin a promising sector.

"It's so sad. It's like throwing money on the ground," laments Sarah, a Kenyan horticultural worker in front of armfuls of gorgeous flowers sent to the landfill.

- "Worse than a war" -

It's "worse than a war," says Orlando Gualdi, the mayor of Vertova, near Bergamo in northern Italy, a village where the virus has killed more people than the Second World War.

One of the few positive effects of containment: air pollution is decreasing in Italy, a phenomenon that is also found in the rest of Europe, said on Wednesday the European Environment Agency (EEA) .

Some 2.9 billion people are called to cloister themselves at home, according to a count made from an AFP database, on a world population, estimated by the UN at 7.8 billion people in 2020.

Iran, one of the countries most affected with 2,077 deaths recorded, is preparing to ban, by Friday, traffic between the cities of the country.

Mali, in a war situation and one of the rare African countries not yet to have declared a case, announced that two Malians recently returned from France were positive.

Pope Francis participated in a global ecumenical prayer on Wednesday for "humanity badly hit by the pandemic".

In China, however, the drastic restrictions imposed for several months in Hubei province, epicenter of the pandemic, were lifted on Wednesday - except in the regional capital Wuhan - causing traffic jams and a rush on trains and coaches. No case of local contamination has been detected in 24 hours in the country.

© 2020 AFP