Live version of the coronavirus map
The global death toll from the new coronavirus pandemic passed 200,000 claims on Sunday, as the World Health Organization warned against “immunity passports” for recovered patients, seen as a tool possible for countries preparing to reopen their economies.
WHO opposes these “passports” because recovering the virus may not protect a person from reinfection.
“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from # COVID19 and who have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the United Nations health agency said in a statement.
Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world spent the second day of the holy month of Ramadan outside mosques and avoided large family meals to break the fast due to the policies of sequestration and social distancing.
And Australians and New Zealanders celebrated Anzac Day without normal parades and public ceremonies to commemorate fallen soldiers. Instead, as part of social distancing policies, people held dawn vigils outside their homes.
Even as the governments of Sri Lanka, Belgium and the United States began to move toward partial reopening, the Covid-19 pandemic still had almost half of humanity in some form of lockdown or containment.
The total number of cases worldwide has reached 2.86 million and the number of deaths has exceeded 200,000, doubling since April 10, according to an AFP count.
Europe, the hardest hit region, recorded 122,171 deaths from coronaviruses.
The number of victims in the United States has increased by 2,494 in the past 24 hours, resulting in 53,531 deaths. The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has jumped from nearly 46,000 to 936,293 since Friday.
In Italy, the number of Covid-19 deaths increased to 26,384; Spain 22,902, France 22,614 and the United Kingdom 20,319.
The world remained on hold as companies and governments rushed to develop treatments and possibly a vaccine for the virus, which surfaced in China in late 2019.
WHO warned on Saturday that people who test positive and survive the infection cannot be sure they will not be affected by the coronavirus again.
The warning has come as some governments are considering measures such as “immunity passports” for those who have recovered as a way to get people back to work after weeks of economic closure.
People with such a “passport” may tend to ignore public health advice, such as continuing to wear face masks, assuming they are not a danger to themselves or to others, according to the WHO.
This is of particular concern as testing becomes more widespread, particularly testing for anti-coronavirus antibodies, the presence of which indicates that someone has already contracted the virus and recovered.
“If I have ever had a crown, I am not contagious,” said Lothar Kopp, a Berlin resident, hoping to test positive for the antibodies as this may allow him to visit his elderly mother.
Germany has carried out tens of thousands of tests and other countries are also working to determine the so-called immunity levels.
Dreaded second round
Despite Saturday’s gloomy stage in virus deaths, the daily toll in Western countries appears to be stabilizing and even declining, a sign that hopeful epidemiologists have been looking for.
Likewise, new cases reported appear to have stabilized at around 80,000 per day.
But in many countries, there were fears of a second push after the easing of lock restrictions, which may also coincide with a new flu season.
In a hard-hit Iran, health officials raised fears of a “new outbreak” on Saturday with 76 other deaths reported, bringing the country’s official death toll to 5,650.
Iran has regularly authorized the restart of closed businesses to prevent the spread of the virus. But Alireza Zali, a health coordinator in the capital, criticized the “hasty reopening” that could “create new waves of disease in Tehran”.
In White House chief pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci this week said the U.S. will likely have a coronavirus problem in the fall, which could be complicated by the return of seasonal flu to the end of the year.
To the beach
Despite this, pressure from shattered economies and citizens frustrated with home support orders has pushed areas to open.
German police arrested dozens of protesters in Berlin on Saturday for flouting the coronavirus measures they were protesting against.
The governor of the US state of Georgia has dismissed warnings from top disease experts and has allowed businesses like hairdressers, nail salons, and bowling alleys to reopen.
On Saturday, many Georgians embraced the return to something that resembles normality by rushing to the beach.
“It feels good – like it’s supposed to feel,” stay-at-home mom and wife Rachel Lilly, 39, barely looking up from her watermelon-themed towel, AFP told AFP. she was relaxing under a cloudless sky over Tybee Island.
“I don’t care” about getting a coronavirus “, as long as it’s not wrapped,” she said. “But if everyone does what we do, that’s a problem. “
In southern California, thousands of people flouted policies to stay indoors and headed for the beaches in the midst of a heat wave.
On Friday, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes announced a phased plan for the reopening of businesses and schools in mid-May and of restaurants from June 8.
“The spread of Covid-19 has been slowed, but the virus has not gone away,” she warned.
Italy, which is nearing the end of the longest active lock in the world, announced on Saturday its intention to set limit prices for face masks and to increase antibody tests.
The Italians are awaiting a decision this weekend on the restrictions that will be lifted. They will probably be allowed to leave their homes freely for the first time since March 9 in early May.
The Spanish will be allowed to exercise and go for a walk starting next weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday.
The government will unveil its wider exit plan for coronaviruses on Tuesday, which will likely be implemented in the second half of May, he said.
“If the pandemic continues to evolve positively as it has done so far, from May 2, individual physical activity will be authorized and walks with the people with whom you live,” he said. declared.