Paris | Despite seven million cases of new coronavirus declared, more than 400,000 deaths worldwide and a galloping progression in South America, the trend to deconfinement and reopening is confirmed on Monday in many countries.
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According to a count made by AFP from official sources (and which however only reflects a fraction of the actual number of cases), at least 7,003,851 cases of infection have been recorded, especially in Europe, the continent the most affected with more than 2.2 million cases and more than 183,000 deaths.
But even in Latin America, where the progression of the pandemic remains worrying, the time has come to relax restrictions, with the stated aim of resuming hard-hit economies everywhere.
India, where the epidemic remains virulent, authorizes from Monday the reopening of its shopping centers and its places of worship.
Mohit Budhiraja, a businessman, went to his Hindu temple in the capital New Delhi for the first time since the start of confinement on Monday morning, wearing a face mask and hydroalcoholic gel.
“Going to the temple is part of my daily life. Something was missing when I couldn’t go to the temple for all these weeks, “he said.
Many temples have installed “sanitation tunnels” at their entrances. The faithful are forbidden to bring food or offerings inside.
“People’s temperature is taken twice before they get home,” said Ravindra Goel, a leader of the Jhandewalan Temple, one of the oldest in the Indian capital.
New Zealand, which welcomes the recovery of the last person still in solitary confinement, has lifted all of its national restrictions. This includes, and this is a world first, the resumption of a rugby championship which will only pit five teams, but where the public will be allowed in the stands.
The country of five million people has registered only a thousand cases and only 22 deaths.
In Spain, which has recorded 27,000 deaths, but has managed to contain the virus in recent weeks, the matches of the Football Championship will resume on Wednesday, after three months of interruption.
In the Madrid and Barcelona regions, the most affected by the pandemic, phase 2 of the deconfinement plan allows businesses to reopen on Monday, whatever their size, but at 40% of their capacity.
The beaches of Barcelona will be able to reopen for swimming when it is currently only possible to walk there or practice sport swimming. Cafes, bars and restaurants will once again be able to welcome customers indoors – and no longer just on the terrace – drastically limiting the crowds.
Poland, which has also started its deconfinement, however recorded during the weekend a skyrocketing of infections, with 1,151 new cases. Among those infected, almost two thirds are employees of the Zofiowka coal mine in the south of the country, and members of their families.
On the other hand, the United Kingdom, with a total of 40,542 deaths, only lifts the restrictions drop by drop.
Anyone arriving in the United Kingdom from abroad must observe from Monday a quarantine of 14 days, a measure with contested effectiveness which distresses the aviation and tourism sectors.
This fortnight, which will be reviewed by the government every three weeks, concerns all arrivals by land, sea and air, whether travelers reside or not in the United Kingdom.
As a way out, the government of Boris Johnson is considering establishing air bridges with certain tourist destinations, such as France or Spain, which would make it possible to bypass quarantine.
Monday marks the reopening of swimming pools and sports halls in Denmark, and in Ireland the reopening of all shops – except shopping centers – before the end of travel restrictions on June 29.
In Latin America, where the pandemic seems far from being under control, measures of deconfinement are also being taken.
In Brazil, the third most bereaved country in the world after the United States and the United Kingdom, the governor of Rio de Janeiro announced the easing of restrictions.
“We are a big family”
The official death toll has passed the threshold of 36,000 dead, knowing that the scientific community in Brazil considers it far below reality.
Chile has recorded records in the past 24 hours, with 96 deaths and 6,405 contaminations, bringing the total dead to 2,290.
This pandemic “teaches us that we are a big family. What happens to a human being in Wuhan happens to the whole planet, to all of us. (…) There is no wall, there is no wall that can separate people, “said Isabel Allende, a Chilean author interviewed by the AFP on her vision of the world after the pandemic.
In Peru, the second most affected country in South America after Brazil, the hospital system is also on the verge of collapse, notably due to the lack of oxygen.
In the United States, where anti-racism protests now dominate the news, deconfinement is also continuing.
This week, New York will enter phase 1 of the plan to reopen its economic activities.
This phase will allow construction companies and factories in the American economic capital to return to work. Retail businesses will be allowed to reopen in a restricted form.