The leaders of the most industrialized countries on the planet meet this Thursday to try to provide a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic that “threatens all humanity”, according to the UN, despite the confinement measures that affect more than 3,000 millions of people.
The G20 will hold a video conference summit chaired by Saudi Arabia, which occupies the organization’s rotating presidency. In Brussels, the European Parliament will hold a special session on emergency measures to deal with the pandemic.
Some 20,600 COVID-19 sufferers died from the virus that appeared in China in December. The number of infected is close to half a million people, with more than 450,000 cases worldwide, and “threatens all humanity,” according to the United Nations.
Europe is paying the highest price with two thirds of the victims. The balance increased considerably on Wednesday in Spain (3,434 deaths), thus surpassing China (3,281), but also in France and Italy, the most affected country with more than 7,500 deaths.
– “Worse than a war” –
In Vertova, a village in northern Italy, the virus has killed more people than World War II. “No one deserves such a horrible death. It is absurd to see that in 2020 there could be such a pandemic, worse than a war,” laments the mayor, Orlando Gualdi.
“Unfortunately, there are no masks or disinfectants in town. I had to make one with a piece of cloth and my sewing machine,” says Augusta Magni, a 63-year-old inhabitant.
In Vatican City, according to Italian media, a prelate who lives in the same residence as Pope Francis tested positive for the new coronavirus and was hospitalized.
As a consequence of the unprecedented containment measures, the world has been paralyzed and the economy is sinking.
To seek solutions, the G20, which represents almost two thirds of the world population and three quarters of the world GDP, will prepare “a coordinated and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic repercussions,” according to Arabia. Saudi. The G20 is made up of, among others, the United States, China, Japan, Germany, Italy and France.
The summit will be joined by other countries affected by the coronavirus such as Spain, Jordan, Singapore or Switzerland, as well as the leaders of large international organizations.
This meeting is held the day after the United States agreed to a package of 2 trillion dollars, approved this Wednesday by the Senate, and Germany adopted a rescue plan of 1.1 trillion euros.
The United States is the country where contagion progresses the most, with almost 68,572 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,000 deaths, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.
And Africa is concerned, poorly equipped to face a large-scale health crisis. Mali or Libya, two countries at war, have registered their first cases.
At the head of the world’s leading economic power, US President Donald Trump does not hide his impatience to return to normal, preferably before Easter, he says, to avoid a long recession.
A scenario is taking shape in China, where drastic restrictions imposed for months in the central Hubei province, epicenter of the pandemic, have been lifted, except in the regional capital, Wuhan. Traffic jams formed on the roads and hordes were seen heading for trains and coaches.
The Asian giant has managed to contain the disease and contagion seems to decrease in Italy, with a decrease in new cases.
France, which has more than 1,300 dead, is preparing for a “long effort”. He withdrew his troops from Iraq and put the military on a war footing against this health emergency.
Latin America, with more than 7,837 cases and 127 deaths, also applies drastic measures: closing of borders, mandatory confinements and curfews in some countries.
India, the second most populous country in the world, with officially 519 cases, including 10 fatalities, confined its 1.3 billion inhabitants.
On the empty streets of New Delhi, birdsong has replaced horns and screams. In Bombay, Rafiq Ansari, a vegetable vendor, is concerned about the future “shortage” because it is “becoming increasingly difficult to stock up.”
Russia will be paralyzed next week. President Vladimir Putin asked his fellow citizens to “stay home” without ordering it.