Worrisome upsurge in covid-19 in China and India

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Beijing (AFP) - China and India face worrying expansion of new coronavirus, which continues to ebb in Europe where signs of a return to normal, including in sport, are increasing, but still wreaks havoc in Brazil.

While the French Tennis Federation "absolutely rejected" on Wednesday the hypothesis of playing behind closed doors the Parisian Roland-Garros tournament originally scheduled for May, Germany announced that it was extending until November the ban on large gatherings to avoid the resurgence of the coronavirus, which nevertheless relatively spared it.

Much more confusing situation in Russia, a country with more than 550.000 cases for less than 7.500 deaths where, although President Vladimir Putin announced that the peak of the pandemic had "passed", already sixteen cities and twelve regions announced that they would not organize a parade on June 24 to celebrate the victory of 1945, for fear of contamination.

"The crisis is there, but it is managed," said the head of the government of Brazil, General Walter Braga Netto, although the country, with more than 45.000 dead, had still reported the day before a new record of almost 35.000 new cases confirmed in 24 hours.

But it is in Beijing that the epidemic situation is considered "extremely serious" by the authorities, raising fears of a new wave of contamination. 137 people have been infected since last week in the megalopolis of 21 million inhabitants.

China had, however, stemmed by quarantine and screening the coronavirus, which appeared at the end of 2019 in Wuhan in the center of the country and which has since claimed the lives of more than 445.000 people.

- Rebound of infections -

And the authorities have reported isolated cases in the provinces of Hebei (north) and Zhejiang (east), but also in the large metropolis of Tianjin (16 million inhabitants), located southeast of Beijing.

"There is nothing we can do about it," said Beijing, resigned, the boss of the Break Fitness gym in the very affected district of Fengtai, Xiao Tianwei, which closed its doors to screen its staff.

This rebound of infections, centered around the giant Xinfadi market in the south of the capital, prompted airport authorities to cancel more than a thousand flights on departure and arrival from the two Beijing airports on Wednesday.

Another symbol of the abrupt restructuring underway in Beijing: the schools closed on Wednesday and residents are invited to postpone any non-essential trip.

A worrying situation also in India, where the death toll increased by 2.000 deaths in one day, bringing the total to 11.903 deaths.

Even if this sudden increase is partly due to revisions of figures in Bombay and New Delhi, two of the hardest hit cities, the epidemic continues to progress at the rate of about 11.000 new confirmed cases per day. And this while the Indian health system is already saturated and experts believe that the peak is yet to come.

Authorities in the capital New Delhi say they expect more than half a million Covid-19 patients at the end of July in the megalopolis of 20 million inhabitants, an increase of almost 20 in less than two months .

- " Scientific breakthrough " -

Faced with the spread of the virus, a ray of hope came Tuesday from the heads of the British clinical trial Recovery, who discovered that a steroid drug, dexamethasone, reduced mortality by a third the most seriously ill patients. The World Health Organization (WHO) hailed a "scientific breakthrough".

WHO announced on Wednesday, however, the cessation of trials of hydroxychloroquine, a derivative of the antimalarial chloroquine, having found no effect on the mortality of Covid-19 patients treated with this drug which has caused so many debates.

- The Alhambra reopens -

A beautiful symbol, Spain reopened Wednesday to the public the Alhambra in Granada, a jewel of Islamic architecture and a monument among the most visited in the country.

"It is a pride to be here and to be the first person to visit the Alhambra" since its reopening, told AFP Mariana Castro Mendoza, a 36-year-old Mexican girl living in this city in the south of the country. 'Spain.


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