Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially the elderly and people with health problems, this can cause more serious illness or death.
– France exceeds 20,000 coronavirus deaths.
– The Mexican president calls on drug cartels to stop distributing aid packages.
– The number of daily deaths in New York State continues to decline.
– The head of the WHO says that “the worst is yet to come” during an epidemic of viruses.
PARIS – France has reported more than 20,000 deaths attributed to the new coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, surpassing the deadly heat wave that struck the country in 2003.
The head of the national health agency, Jérôme Salomon, said that France had crossed a “very painful and symbolic mark” by recording 12,513 deaths in hospitals and 7,752 in retirement homes on Monday.
The country does not have people who have died from the virus at home.
Solomon said the virus killed more people than the flu in one winter in the country and more than the 2003 heat wave, which killed 19,000 people.
He said the epidemic in France has reached a high “plateau” that is slowly declining.
There were 5,683 intensive care patients across the country, a number that fell for the 12th consecutive day.
MEXICO – The President of Mexico admitted on Monday that drug cartels had distributed aid packages during the coronavirus pandemic and called on them to stop.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that such documents took place “in several places”, but declared that the government could not stop this practice.
“This is something that happens, it cannot be avoided,” said López Obrador.
“I don’t want to hear them say,” We are distributing aid packages, “” he said. “No, it is better that they fire and think of their families and themselves, of those who participate in these activities and who listen to me now or look at me.”
Videos posted on social networks show one of the daughters of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman distributing boxes of rice, pasta, cooking oil and toilet paper with the image of Guzman printed on it.
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a four-day curfew in 31 provinces to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
In an address to the nation after a cabinet meeting on Monday, Erdogan said the curfew will take effect on April 23, Turkey’s public holiday, and will end at midnight on Sunday April 26.
“The goal is to reduce the spread of the epidemic in a way that will make it possible to return to normal after the Ramadan holidays,” said Erdogan, referring to a four-day celebration that begins on May 24 in Turkey and marks the end. of the holy Muslim month of fasting.
Erdogan’s government has not imposed a total foreclosure, fearing its negative impacts on an already fragile economy. Rather, it opted for piecemeal measures, including weekend curfews and a ban on people over the age of 65 and under the age of 20 leaving their homes.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Turkey have increased by 4,674 in the past 24 hours to a total of 90,980. The number of reported deaths has increased by 123 to a total of 2,140.
Erdogan also said that Turkey plans to repatriate up to 25,000 Turks to several countries before the Ramadan holidays.
BELGRADE, Serbia – Serbia’s Minister of Defense said the army was guarding 20 asylum-seeking camps in the Balkan country. The military presence aims to ensure that all migrants remain inside as part of strict measures against the new coronavirus.
Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Monday that there were some 8,000 migrants in Serbia facing a 24-hour daily curfew. Vulin says migrants sometimes try to leave the camps but are arrested by the military.
Serbia has imposed a state of emergency and deployed the military to help contain the virus. Troops have been deployed outside hospitals and helped set up emergency facilities.
Serbia reported 6,630 cases of COVID-19 while 125 people died. Health officials said the situation has stabilized in the past few days, which has eased some restrictions.
Migrants from the Middle East, Africa or Asia travel through Serbia while trying to reach Western Europe after fleeing violence and poverty in their country of origin.
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA – More and more people seem to join a hunger strike in Bosnia following the alleged inability of the authorities to protect them against the new coronavirus while forcing them to be quarantined in facilities managed by the government.
Hunger strikers say nearly 80 people currently quarantined at a hotel in downtown Zenica started refusing food Monday and were quickly joined by 150 others who were quarantined in a student dormitory in Sarajevo.
Hundreds of Bosnians who rushed home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic were sentenced to quarantine at these facilities and others for between 14 and 28 days.
The hunger strikers said they refused to eat to pressure the authorities to isolate themselves in their homes.
“Here we all mix in the hallways and if one of us is infected, we will all be infected,” Mirsad Susic, a hunger striker at Zenica, told the Associated Press.
Susic said the people currently in quarantine at Zenica, some of them for more than two weeks, had not yet been tested for COVID-19.
PRAGUE – The Czech government has approved a record budget deficit as it attempts to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finance Minister Alena Schillerova said the deficit for this year is expected to reach 300 billion Czech crowns ($ 11.9 billion).
Previously, the largest deficit was 192 billion crowns ($ 7.6 billion) in 2009 during the global economic downturn.
The government had already increased the deficit to 200 billion crowns, five times more than initially planned.
Monday’s announcement comes as part of the relaxation of restrictive measures adopted in response to the epidemic. Outdoor farmers’ markets and car dealerships reopened on Monday, while professional athletes were allowed to resume outdoor training in small groups of eight. In addition, weddings with up to 10 people can take place.
The Czech Republic has 6,838 people infected and 194 have died, according to figures from the Ministry of Health published on Monday.
TIRANA, Albania – Albania has sent a second group of 60 nurses to help neighboring Italy treat patients with COVID-19 in its hospitals.
Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said nurses will serve in the areas most affected by the virus in northern Italy.
Mentioning the words of Mother Teresa, who is of Albanian origin, she said that Albania is a small country, “but the ocean would be smaller without this drop of water”.
In late March, Albania dispatched 30 doctors and nurses, a move welcomed in Italy and internationally. They serve in the Italian region of Brescia.
Albania has reported 584 cases of coronavirus, with 26 deaths.
NEW YORK – The number of people killed due to COVID-19 in New York State continues to decline slowly, with 478 deaths recorded Sunday. It was the third consecutive day of decreases and the lowest number of deaths since April 1, when 432 people died.
The state’s count excludes more than 4,000 deaths in New York caused by the virus, but which have not been confirmed by a laboratory test.
The total number of hospitalizations has remained virtually unchanged at over 16,000 and the number of new admissions has remained largely stable at over 1,300, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday in his daily briefing.
After weeks of increasing deaths and hospitalizations at the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, Cuomo said the big question now is how fast the descent would be if New Yorkers continued to respect restrictions on social distancing.
“Does it take two weeks for him to go down?” Some projections say so. Does it take a month? Some projections say so, ”said Cuomo. “The projections are good, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on that. “
MILAN – The Venice Biennale has confirmed the dates for this year’s international film festival, from September 2 to 12, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Biennale has postponed and restricted the performance of this year’s architecture biennial, which will run from August 29 to November 29. 29. The Venice Biennale is the oldest of the largest film festivals in the world and generally overlaps with the Toronto Film Festival. Cannes, which usually takes place in May, has postponed but not canceled this year’s edition.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – The Prime Minister of Slovakia has unveiled a plan to gradually ease restrictions on containing the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Igor Matovic said the plan for Wednesday would loosen restrictive measures in four stages.
At the same time, Matovic said Monday that the rules on social distancing, an order for everyone to wear masks in public and a limited number of customers in stores will remain in place.
The first step will include the reopening of stores up to 300 square meters (3,230 square feet), car dealerships and foreign markets.
The remaining stages should take place at two-week intervals, depending on the course of the epidemic.
Slovakia has recorded 1,173 cases of virus, but a relatively small number of people have been tested. Thirteen people died.
GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization has warned that “the worst is yet to come” in the coronavirus epidemic, triggering new alarm bells about the pandemic, just as many countries are starting to relax restrictive measures.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has not specified why he believed the epidemic that infected nearly 2.5 million people and killed more than 166,000 people, according to figures compiled by the Johns Hopkins University, could be even worse.
Tedros also referred to the so-called Spanish flu in 1918 as a reference for the coronavirus epidemic.
“He has a very dangerous combination and it will happen again in a hundred years, like the 1918 flu that killed up to 100 million people,” he told reporters in Geneva. “But now we have the technology, we can prevent this disaster, we can prevent this kind of crisis. “
“Trust us. The worst is yet to come, ”he said. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand. “
LONDON – British Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said some 140,000 companies have applied to participate in a government program to help companies continue to pay workers who were on leave during the COVID-19 crisis .
The program, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, opened on Monday. The grants will help pay the wages of more than a million people.
Sunak said that a million people who, had they not been on leave, would have risked losing their jobs. Companies applying today should receive their money within six business days. “
The program allows employers to claim cash grants of up to 80% of wages, capped at 2,500 pounds ($ 3,100) per month per worker.
ROME – Italy celebrated the second anniversary of its coronavirus outbreak with its very first drop in the number of patients currently infected.
The head of civil protection, Angelo Borrelli, said on Monday that the 108,237 people infected were 20 fewer than a day earlier, “another positive point” in the general tendency of Italy to ease the pressure on the health system.
Overall, Italy recorded a total of 181,228 confirmed cases, up just 1.2% from the previous day, in one of the smallest daily increases. Another 484 people died, bringing the death toll to 24,144, the highest in Europe and the second only in the United States.
The epidemic in Italy started two months ago when a 38-year-old Unilever worker tested positive in the Lombard town of Codogno. After the test was confirmed on February 21, the man spent weeks in intensive care while his pregnant wife was positive and his father died. He was released from the hospital in time to be home to welcome baby Giulia.
ATHENS, Greece – Greek health officials say a third migrant camp on the continent has been isolated after a pregnant woman at the site tested positive for COVID-19.
The center of Kranidi, in the south of Greece, receives 470 asylum seekers and was isolated on Monday for emergency screening procedures, according to the Ministry of Health and the International Organization for Migration based in Geneva, who runs the camp.
Two other camps have also been closed in recent weeks, but so far no cases have been recorded in much larger settlements in Lesbos and other Greek islands where conditions of severe overcrowding persist.
The potential threat of contagion on the islands is a major concern for the Greek authorities, who have managed to keep the general rate of infection low thanks to strict restrictive measures.
The Ministry of Health reported 10 new confirmed cases on Monday to bring the total to 2,245, while the death toll stood at 116, which remains similar to the death rate from seasonal flu in Greece.
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