More than 18 million people infected with the virus

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More than 18 million people have been infected with the coronavirus since its appearance in China, and the pandemic continues to progress around the world, particularly in the United States and Latin America, and devastate the tourism sector.

The rise in contagions has led in several countries to new restrictive measures, such as Melbourne, Australia’s second city, placed on Sunday under curfew for six weeks.

According to a count made by AFP from official sources, at least 18,011,763 cases of Covid-19 contamination have been officially recorded across the world. These cases include 687,941 deaths.

The most numerous contaminations are found in the United States (4,665,002, including 47,508 in the last 24 hours), in Brazil (2,733,677) and in India (1,750,723).

In terms of deaths, the United States is by far the most heavily affected country, with 154,834 dead, including 515 in the past 24 hours. Next come Brazil (94,104 dead), Mexico (47,746), the United Kingdom (46,193) and India (37,364).

The United States has entered a “new phase” of the epidemic, said Deborah Birx, specialist advisor to the White House, on Sunday.

The virus “has spread tremendously. It is present in both rural and urban areas, ”Ms. Birx warned on CNN. She warned “anyone who lives in rural areas (that) you are not immune or protected from this virus”, thus mentioning the heart of President Trump’s electorate.

Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than 201,000 dead, is now the second worst affected region after Europe, with more than 210,000 dead.

– Social gatherings prohibited –

In Argentina, the Ministry of Health announced in the evening that the 200,000 cases of contamination had been exceeded and that social gatherings would be banned throughout the country from Monday.

Bolivia ruled on Sunday that the school year, which was due to end in December, was to end immediately due to the pandemic. This country of 11 million inhabitants has more than 78,700 contaminations and more than 3,000 deaths.

In Africa, the continent’s most affected country, South Africa, surpassed 500,000 cases on Saturday, but the death rate is low.

In The Gambia, four days after the vice-president, three members of the government tested positive for the coronavirus.

In Kosovo, it was Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti who announced on Sunday that he was positive and was going into quarantine.

The pace of the pandemic continues to accelerate globally, with one million more cases detected worldwide in less than four days.

– Unusual calm in Ibiza –

The pandemic, which is plunging the world economy into an unprecedented recession, is weighing heavily on tourism, whose losses are already estimated at $ 320 billion for the first part of the year, according to the World Tourism Organization.

So Montreal, which usually attracts around 11 million tourists per year, looks like a “ghost town”, laments Nadia Bilodeau, manager of a restaurant, in the middle of her deserted terrace.

Deprived of foreign visitors, of its Formula 1 Grand Prix or of its world-famous festivals, the Quebec metropolis suffered considerable damage.

In the Mediterranean, the tourist disaster is also present. An unusual calm reigns in Ibiza, an island in the Spanish Balearic archipelago that is usually popular with clubbers and DJs from all over the world.

The huge nightclubs for which Ibiza is famous have had to give up their season. The authorities only allowed the opening of small nightclubs and only for a drink and without letting customers dance on the track.

– “Clusters everywhere” –

“I have to be responsible,” says Yann Pissenem, French co-owner of Hï Ibiza, one of the biggest clubs on the island. If nightclubs were open, they would risk “creating clusters everywhere”, he admits.

The quarantine imposed since July 27 by the United Kingdom for tourists arriving from Spain in the face of the rebound in contagions in this country risks killing the recovery that began a few weeks earlier. And this even if the archipelago is very little affected by the pandemic.

The UK is not the only European country to impose measures on travelers. Belgium on Saturday banned “non-essential travel” to many parts of Europe.

This list includes, among others, the Spanish regions of Navarre and Aragon, the cities of Barcelona and Lérida, the Swiss cantons of Vaud, Valais and Geneva and the French department of Mayenne.

The Belgian decision aroused strong criticism in the Swiss cantons concerned. It is “incomprehensible”, declared the Vaudois Minister of the Economy Philippe Leuba to the ATS agency on Sunday, hoping for a rapid reaction from Bern.

– “More laxity” –

Faced with a rebound in infections, Australia announced Sunday a curfew in Melbourne, the country’s second city, whose residents will no longer be allowed to go out more than five kilometers from their home.

Despite a lockdown introduced in early July, Melbourne continued to register hundreds of new cases daily. Local authorities have therefore decided to institute a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for the next six weeks.

“The time for laxity is over, the time for warnings is over,” said Daniel Andrews, Prime Minister of the State of Victoria.

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday ordered a strict quarantine throughout the country, when the number of recorded contaminations has just exceeded 20,000.

Venezuela had been subject to an alternation regime since June: some regions were under strict quarantine for a week, followed by a week of “flexibilisation” where certain essential economic activities could resume.

LNT avec Afp

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