Saturday, July 4, 2020

European countries urged to overcome divisions in the face of economic consequences

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The world is preparing for a deep recession as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to ravage the United States, the country most affected by the number of reported cases.

The world’s leading power has recorded, for the second consecutive day, nearly 2,000 deaths, according to the count, Wednesday, April 8, of Johns-Hopkins University. This is once again the worst daily record in the world since the start of the pandemic.

Covid-19, which infected more than 1.46 million people worldwide and killed at least 86,289 people, in 192 countries according to an AFP count, has placed more than half of humanity in quarantine and “Entire sectors of national economies have been closed” or “Directly affected” by the cessation of activity, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

  • The United States always more affected

Healthcare workers team up in New York, the US city hardest hit by the Covid-19 epidemic, Wednesday, April 8. Misha Friedman / AFP

With 1,973 additional deaths in one day – a total slightly higher than the previous day -, the United States now deplore 14,695 identified victims of the Covid-19. The world’s leading power is now approachingSpain (14,792 dead), but remains less bereaved, for the time being, than theItaly (17,669).

In Britain, a new ceiling of 938 deaths was counted in 24 hours, for more than 7,000 deaths in total. The health of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in intensive care for three days in a London hospital after being contaminated with Covid-19, “Improves” according to its finance minister.

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The United States alone also accounts for more than a quarter of officially reported cases worldwide: nearly 430,000 in total, according to Johns Hopkins figures, continuously updated.

New York State is by far the main focus of the American epidemic, with 6,268 deaths reported. It has registered a new record increase in the last 24 hours with 779 deaths but the situation is stabilizing there, tried to reassure Wednesday its governor, Andrew Cuomo, while recalling that the New Yorkers were not “Absolutely no way out of business”.

  • The global economy hit hard, Europe is torn apart

Trade to drop “double-digit” in “almost all regions” of the world, WTO warned on Wednesday, predicting a contraction in trade “Probably superior” to that caused by the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has warned that 1.25 billion workers may be directly affected.

Faced with this unprecedented crisis, the EU continues to tear itself apart and its 27 finance ministers have failed to agree on a common economic response. Italian Economy Minister Roberto Gualtiere called for “Solidarity and courageous and shared choices” but both Germany and the Netherlands refuse to pool public debts to boost the economy.

Wednesday evening, Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, pleads, in a tribune at World, for “A total alignment of budgetary and monetary policies” and equal treatment of EU countries against the virus.

  • Half a billion people at risk of poverty

Food distribution in Accra, Ghana, April 4.
Food distribution in Accra, Ghana, April 4. NIPAH DENNIS / AFP

According to a report by the NGO Oxfam, between 6% and 8% of the world’s population could fall into poverty as governments shut down entire economies in order to control the spread of the virus. This could affect five hundred million people if support plans are not quickly implemented for the poorest countries, the organization said.

In the absence of social protection systems, the poorest countries would be more affected as well as the disadvantaged populations, including women.

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Oxfam issued this warning ahead of the IMF and World Bank meetings in April and the G20 finance ministers, which will all be held virtually.

  • Towards the end of confinement in Iran

In order to avoid the economic collapse of his country, Iranian President Hassan Rohani has decided to partially lift the containment, despite the danger of accelerating the spread of Covid-19 in the main focus of the pandemic in the Middle East.

From Saturday April 11, two thirds of the so-called activities “Low risk” will resume in Iran, except in Tehran province, which will wait another week. The decision was made when the official toll announced Wednesday is 3,993 dead and 64,586 confirmed cases. According to the doctors consulted by The world, these figures are largely underestimated.

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  • Space crew leaves Earth

Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut are scheduled to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, leaving behind this blue planet plagued by the coronavirus pandemic.

They will take off from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Although their six-month mission aboard the ISS was maintained despite the Covid-19, several rituals were canceled to limit the risk of spreading the disease.

Their families and journalists were not invited to the traditional press conference before departure on Wednesday. The latter therefore took place by videoconference, without audience, in a rather dull atmosphere.

As before each space mission, the three men and their liners had been placed in quarantine, which this time started earlier to prevent them from contracting the virus before takeoff.

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