Nearly 900,000 new cases of coronavirus have been identified worldwide in a single day, a record figure mainly due to the epidemic outbreak in India, while more than a billion doses of vaccines have been administered on the planet.
More than a third of the additional contaminations recorded in 24 hours worldwide, or about 340,000, were in Indian territory, according to a count made on Saturday by AFP.
In front of hospitals in major cities in India, the queues of people diagnosed with the virus and their worried relatives are growing.
Nearly a million new cases have been identified in three days in this country of 1.3 billion inhabitants, where the sad national record of 2,624 people having died in 24 hours was also established on Friday.
This brings to 16.5 million, since the start of the pandemic, the number of contaminations and to nearly 190,000 that of deaths in India, now the second country most affected by the coronavirus, behind the United States.
Lack of oxygen and medication
But experts believe the numbers could actually be higher and attribute this new wave on Indian soil to a
double mutation virus and mass events, such as the Hindu religious festival Khumb Mela which brought together millions of pilgrims.
In New Delhi, the capital confined until Monday, hospitals sorely lacking in oxygen and medicine are calling on the government to provide it on a daily basis.
I saw three corpses in six minutes, said Ravi Kumar, who managed to get his 80-year-old grandfather admitted to hospital after waiting all night in front.
Inside, there are no beds, only stretchers with two patients on each.
Several countries are closing their doors to India. From Sunday, only citizens of German nationality will be able to travel from that country to Germany, and Kuwait announced on Saturday the suspension of direct commercial flights to and from Indian territory.
The United States is advising against travel there, while Canada suspended flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days on Friday.
Indian in Belgium first, then in Switzerland on Saturday, worried in Europe.
If the outbreak recorded this week in Asia is mainly the result of the situation in India, Nepal has also experienced a meteoric rise in the epidemic (+ 242%), with 1,400 new cases daily.
Slow vaccination in Japan
Three months before the Olympic Games, the situation in Japan is also worrying: the state of emergency will be applied in Tokyo and in three other departments (Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo) from Sunday and at least until May 11.
The slowness of vaccination also feeds doubts about the ability of this country to organize the Olympics in less than a hundred days.
COVID-19 has killed more than three million – at least 3,088,103 – worldwide since the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China reported its onset in late December 2019, d 'after a report established by AFP on Saturday.
One billion doses, 207 countries
The billion mark – at least 1,002,938,540 – of doses of COVID-19 vaccines, administered in 207 countries or territories, was crossed at the end of the day on Saturday, according to an AFP count from official sources .
More than half of them (58%) were injected into three nations: the United States (225.6 million), China (216.1 million) and India (138.4 million).
But in terms of its population, Israel comes first, with nearly six in ten Israelis already fully vaccinated.
In the United States, this immunization campaign is starting to bear fruit.
The resumption, authorized Friday by health authorities, of vaccination with Johnson and Johnson – in a single dose and stored in the refrigerator – should make it easier to reach vulnerable groups.
Progress also on the vaccination front in the European Union, where 128 million doses have been administered to 21% of the population.
For its part, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said after a new study that the benefits of AstraZeneca increased with age and continued to outweigh the risks, such as cases of blood clots.
While many European countries, such as Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and France, have programmed the easing of restrictions, Germany is going against the grain by strengthening its arsenal against COVID-19 on Saturday, with in particular national curfews.
The device imposes a tightening of health rules as soon as the incidence rate, which measures contamination over a week, is greater than 100 for three days.
And this despite the protest actions of thousands of people in German cities, just like Saturday in eastern Switzerland, despite the gradual lifting of restrictive measures, and in London, this time against vaccine passports.
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