More than a million dead in Europe, nearly 100,000 in France

An improvised tribute to the victims of Covid-19 in Prague, March 29, 2021. – Petr David Josek / AP / SIPA

It is a dark course for the Old Continent. The coronavirus pandemic “in full expansion” in the world according to the WHO, has killed more than a million people in Europe, according to a count carried out by AFP from reports provided by the health authorities. This is exactly a third of the world toll, which is approaching 3 million deaths. France, it should cross in the coming days the threshold of 100,000 deaths, while 385 people died on Monday and 5,900 people are in intensive care.

“We are currently at a critical point in the pandemic,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical officer at the World Health Organization for the fight against Covid-19. “The trajectory of this pandemic is expanding rapidly. It is growing exponentially. This is not the situation we want to find ourselves in 16 months after the start of the pandemic, when we have effective control measures, ”she argued.

Asia relatively spared

The 52 countries and territories of the region (which goes east to Azerbaijan and Russia) have a total of at least 1,000,288 deaths (for 46,496,560 cases), ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean (832,577 deaths), the United States / Canada (585,428 deaths) and Asia (285,824 deaths).

India, a country of 1.3 billion inhabitants, overtook Brazil on Monday, becoming the second country most affected by the pandemic. It has recorded a rapid increase in new infections in recent weeks, bringing the total number of cases to 13.5 million, against 13.48 million recorded in Brazil. As of Monday, India recorded nearly 900 deaths and Brazil more than 1,700.

Germany for its part crossed the threshold of 3 million contaminations. “This third wave is perhaps the hardest,” Chancellor Angela Merkel commented on Monday. Deploring “far too high contamination figures”, the Chancellor, who recently declared herself in favor of a national reconfinement for a short period, recalled that vaccination was “the most important weapon against the virus”.

The English on the terrace

In Oxford Street, one of London’s main shopping streets, masked shoppers lined up outside clothing stores as early as 5:30 a.m. Monday, braving the cold two hours before non-essential shops first reopened. Hairdressers across England are overworked, some having reopened as early as midnight to meet demand. And many Britons toasted on the terrace at this dramatic turnaround.

These scenes are made possible thanks to a clear improvement in the health situation in the United Kingdom, the most bereaved country in Europe with more than 127,000 deaths, under the effect of strict containment and massive vaccination. The United Kingdom, confined for the third time in early January, now has fewer than 3,000 cases and less than 50 deaths per day. The country is also actively vaccinating: nearly 60% of the population has received a first dose, the majority of people over 50.

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