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Monday, February 6, 2023

Latin America exceeded 10 million cases of coronavirus and Europe closes

Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 10 million cases of coronavirus this Saturday and Brazil is about to reach 150,000 deaths from the virus, while in Europe restrictions are increasing to stop the outbreak of the pandemic, which has already reached worldwide the 37 million infections.

Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 10,001,833 infections, of which 366,637 resulted in deaths, according to the AFP news agency’s count based on official sources.

More than half of the infections are in Brazil, which has already reported 5,055,888 infections and is about to exceed 150,000 deaths. It is followed by Colombia, with 894,300 cases and 27,495 deaths; Argentina, with 871,455 cases and 23,225 deaths; and Peru, with 843,355 cases and 33,158 deaths.

The latter is the country with the highest mortality rate in the world, in proportion to its population, with 101 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

On Friday, the World Bank (WB) warned that Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer “the worst economic and health impact” in the world due to the pandemic and predicted a 7.9% decline in GDP in 2020.

According to a report by the entity, “the death toll per million people (in Latin America) is as high as in advanced economies, if not higher, but the resources available to face the coup are much more restricted.”

Worldwide, the pandemic has caused more than 1 million deaths and about 37 million infections since December.

In the last week, the situation worsened notably in Europe, which registered a 28% increase in the number of infections, which translates into 6.2 million positives and 240,000 deaths in total on the continent.

The new virus felt strong in countries like Spain, where the Government decreed a state of alarm in Madrid to stop the contagion, after days of deep political confrontations between national authorities, from the left, and the regional executive, with a conservative ideology.

Thus, for at least 14 days, the 4.5 million inhabitants of Madrid and eight neighboring municipalities must respect a partial or perimeter confinement. That is, they can go for a walk, buy in the supermarket or eat in a restaurant, but within the delimited area, from which they can leave only for basic reasons such as going to work or to the doctor.

“We have always put public health above all other considerations, saving lives,” said the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, in his first comment on the matter, from the Portuguese city of Guarda, where he was participating in a bilateral Hispanic summit. -lusa.

Sanchez recalled that being the epicenter of the second wave of the outbreak in Spain, the Madrid region had a “worrying evolution” and argued that “we could not sit idly by” and had to “give a clear, forceful response.”

In Berlin, bars and restaurants will have to be closed as of today between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., to slow the spread of the pandemic.

In the German capital, more than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered for days, which makes it a “risk zone”.

In the UK, meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would “very likely” announce new restrictions on Monday in “certain regions.”

France, for its part, keeps eight cities (including Paris) on high alert due to the increase in coronavirus cases, a measure that implies the total closure of bars and the reinforcement of prevention protocols in restaurants, among other issues.

In Italy, while hundreds of people demonstrated in Rome against the mandatory use of masks, the Government reported today of 5,724 new infections in the last day, a new record for the second wave, which is already in the graphs very close to the figures of the first, and 29 new deaths, to add 36,140 deaths and 349,494 total cases.

Yesterday, the member states of the European Union (EU) agreed in Brussels that they will try to coordinate their travel restrictions within the bloc using a common method, in the hope of unifying the measures taken by each country.

Russia also registered almost 13,000 new cases and about 200 deaths from the outbreak today, with Moscow as the epicenter with almost a third of the positives, which is the highest figures since May.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States maintains its position as the country most affected by this pandemic in the world, with more than 213,000 deaths and a total of 7.6 million infections.

Besides, it is not clear if its president, Donald Trump, has fully recovered from the virus after testing positive on October 2, and is maintaining his plans to continue the electoral campaign in the countdown to the general elections on November 3.

This morning the Republican tycoon reappeared in a public act in the White House in which he addressed from the balcony, dressed in a blue suit and without a mask, to the followers who loved him from the gardens of the presidential residence.

“I feel great,” he said at the event, focused on trying to win over black and Latino voters for the next elections in which he seeks to be reelected.

In the midst of this adverse scenario, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, reaffirmed today that “not a single person” contracted the coronavirus in his country and assured that he wished “good health to all the people of the world who are fighting against the evils of this dire virus. “

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