Hope cautious before pandemic, as Spain prepares partial reopening

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to progress although containment measures seem to be beginning to bear fruit in certain countries in Europe and in the United States, where the daily balance of deaths decreases slightly, as Spain prepares this Monday for the partial reopening of its economy.

This epidemic has already killed more than 112,500 people worldwide since the new coronavirus was identified in China in December, in a grim number that has doubled in just over a week.

The United States remains the country hardest hit with at least 22,020 deaths and just over 555,000 confirmed cases, although Europe remains the continent most affected by the pandemic, with a total of 75,011 deaths and 909,673 cases of contamination.

But the number of deaths recorded daily shows signs of decreasing for several days in some of the most affected countries, such as Italy, France and the United States.

Italy announced its least-lethal day in more than three weeks on Sunday, with 431 dead in 24 hours to account for nearly 20,000 total deaths. Since March 19, the daily number had consistently exceeded 500 deaths.

France also observes “a very slight drop” in the number of patients in intensive care for the fourth consecutive day, as well as the number of deaths in a day in hospital, with 310 deaths compared to 345 the previous day, for a total of 14,393 dead.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is to speak to the French on Monday, plans to extend the closure until at least May 10.

The pandemic also appears to be peaking in the United States, where 1,514 other deaths were recorded in 24 hours, a figure in decline for the second consecutive day.

This is an encouraging sign that led senior White House expert Anthony Fauci to admit that the U.S. economy could gradually restart in May.

However, Andrew Cuomo, governor of the state of New York, the epicenter of the disease in the United States with more than 9,000 deaths, issued a warning: “We do not see a significant fall, it is only a stabilization.”

However, in Spain, the third worst-hit country in the world with 16,972 deaths, the daily balance grew again slightly after three consecutive days of decline.

Despite everything, many Spaniards resume work this Monday, and non-essential businesses may reopen after two weeks of economic “hibernation”. Fearing a spike in contagion, the government announced that it would distribute 10 million masks to people forced to take public transportation to return to work.

“We are all eager to recover relations, to go out into the streets (…), but the desire is even greater to win this war, to avoid a relapse,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

“This return to certain activities is not synonymous with relaxation and that is why the police are going to continue carrying out mobility controls, we are not going to let our guard down,” announced María Pilar, commissioner of the National Police.

The balance of the epidemic could be terrible in the poorest countries, as was evident in the economic capital of Ecuador, Guayaquil, where almost 800 bodies have been collected in private residences, after the spread of the coronavirus collapsed hospital services. and funeral homes.

“The amount that we have collected, with the task force in homes, exceeded 700 people” died, Jorge Wated, who leads a team of police and military created by the government in the face of the chaos unleashed in Guayaquil by the COVID-19.

The person in charge later indicated through his Twitter account that this joint task force, which has been operating for three weeks, carried out the legal survey of 771 deaths in homes and 631 in hospitals, whose morgues are full.

But the epidemic also hit the powerful. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, narrowly escaped on his own admission.

“Everything could have changed,” he said in a video released by his press services after being released from the hospital where he remained for a week, including three days in intensive care. The epidemic has killed more than 10,000 people in the UK.

Meanwhile, religious around the world lived an Easter Sunday – the date in which according to Christian tradition the resurrection of Christ is commemorated – in unprecedented conditions, with deserted churches and ceremonies without the faithful.

Pope Francis appealed on Sunday to the “contagion of hope”, during his traditional blessing “Urbi et Orbi” pronounced this year, by force of the coronavirus, inside an empty St. Peter’s Basilica.

Meanwhile, in Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused on Sunday to accept the resignation of his powerful interior minister, Süleyman Soylu.

The minister is at the center of a storm of criticism for the way in which he announced on Friday night the entry into force, just two hours later, of the ban on taking to the streets during the weekend in the 30 largest cities in the country.

This last-minute announcement sparked an avalanche of thousands of Turks in panic in stores to buy provisions, challenging the rules of social distancing.

China, where the epidemic appears to be contained, announced 97 new “imported cases” of contamination on Sunday, mainly due to Chinese returning home from abroad, a level never reached since early March.

In all corners of the world, confinement weighs on cloistered humans, but in Panama uniformed police, wearing masks and gloves, entertained people by singing and dancing to songs by local star Rubén Blades, Argentine Diego Torres and the British group Queen.

At the same time, the group of oil-exporting countries and their main partners announced on Sunday night an agreement to reduce crude production by 9.7 million barrels a day from May 1 for a period of two months. , to recover international prices, which collapsed at the start of the pandemic.

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