Les Parisiens retourneront mercredi à leurs terrasses de cafés et musées bien-aimés après une interruption de six mois forcée par Covid, une lueur de vie normale revenant alors même que l'Inde durement touchée est aux prises avec des milliers de décès supplémentaires par virus. </p><div> <p>Alors que les agents de santé administraient la 1,5 milliardième dose de vaccin Covid dans le monde, les Européens et les Américains ont continué à sortir de longs mois de restrictions.
In recent days, Britons have hugged loved ones and visited pubs, gyms and other indoor venues. Italy eased curfews, Dutch music fans prepared for the Eurovision Song Contest, and Portugal welcomed returning tourists.
“It’s nice to get away from it all and be back here,” said Barry Thompson, a 63-year-old retired policeman from Manchester who landed in the sunny southern town of Faro with his wife and son.
In New York City – one of the virus’ earliest epicenter – rules requiring masks and social distancing are expected to be relaxed, though some residents remain cautious of a disease that has disrupted life in almost every corner of the globe.
Manhattan restaurant manager Juan Rosas said he still plans to require masks, even for vaccinated customers: “I think it’s too early. I think they rushed the decision, ”he said.
In Paris, the terraces and rooftop gardens that define the city for many visitors have been reserved as al fresco dining returns across the country, with some remaining restrictions.
“Like a diesel engine, we will heat up slowly,” bistro owner Stephanie Mathey told AFP.
The City of Lights museums, cinemas and theaters are also reopening in anticipation of a large-scale unlocking of the economy on June 30.
“We are happy to be able to welcome you again,” wrote staff at the Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, on its website, where demand for tickets to a Renaissance sculpture show was high.
The slow revival of European community life is fueled by the acceleration of vaccination programs, after more than a year of fighting a pandemic that has caused at least 3.4 million deaths worldwide.
According to an AFP tally, more than 1,500,017,337 doses of the vaccine have now been administered in 210 countries and territories.
Almost three-fifths of the total was donated in three countries: China (421.9 million), the United States (274.4 million) and India (184.4 million).
In Israel, nearly six in 10 residents have been fully immunized, while 32 percent of Europeans have received a dose. Only eleven countries have yet to deploy vaccines.
The Indian Serum Institute – the world’s largest vaccine maker – said on Tuesday it hoped to resume exports by the end of the year, reopening a vital supply line to many poorer countries.
India’s fragile healthcare system is grappling with a coronavirus outbreak that has killed a record 4,329 people in 24 hours.
The country was grappling with a double crisis on Wednesday, as at least 33 people were killed and more than 90 missing after a monster cyclone hit the west coast.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power after the storm that hit Gujarat on Monday evening and 200,000 people living in dangerous areas were evacuated from their homes.
In the city of Mumbai, authorities have been forced to move around 600 Covid-19 patients from field hospitals “to safer places” and vaccinations which we have briefly suspended.