New coronavirus cases fell to zero today in China for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but continued to accumulate in Russia, India and Latin America, which became the new epicenter of the global crisis, while Germany recorded a first outbreak among churches and restaurants reopened as part of general quarantine relaxation in Europe.
The persistence of the pandemic, which has already infected more than 5.2 million people, is a constant threat to the efforts of governments around the planet to find a balance between the revival of economies, in free fall due to the paralysis of productive activities, and the need to avoid a second wave of infections.
Around the world, authorities in Muslim countries sought to prevent outbreaks at the close of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, the end of which is usually celebrated with a day of meals and gatherings of people of all ages and collective prayers.
Turkey imposed today a total quarantine that will last four days, until the end of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, while Iran announced that it will reopen this week all its shrines and religious centers, but only on Monday, one day. after Eid al-Fitr.
Islamic but Arab countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq, today announced a combination of curfews, trade closings and travel bans for Eid al-Fitr holidays, after registering increases in Ramadan during Ramadan. Coronavirus infections of up to 350%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In many other countries, by contrast, authorities are lifting quarantines, even though the virus has already killed more than 338,000 people worldwide since the start of the pandemic in China last December.
In Germany, whose management of the crisis has been well appreciated, seven people got coronavirus in a restaurant in the northern town of Leer, and 50 more were placed in preventive quarantine, the local government reported.
This is the first known case since restaurants and bars reopened in the country two weeks ago, with sanitary measures such as face masks for waiters, two meters between tables and the obligation for customers to leave their data in order to track down possible infections.
In addition, in the city of Frankfurt, at least 40 people were infected with coronaviruses during a Baptist religious service, municipal authorities said. The pastor who officiated the May 10 service said all sanitary measures had been met.
The German news agency DPA reported that three of the infected are hospitalized.
Religious services in the region had been authorized on May 1.
Although they raise alarm, the outbreaks are not considered to jeopardize the German strategy against the virus, and the Head of Government, Chancellor Angela Merkel, said today that the country “has been successful so far and achieved its goal of preventing the overflow of the sanitary system”.
After advancing from East to West, the pandemic now has its epicenter in Latin America, whose two most populous countries, Brazil and Mexico, have recorded records of deaths and new cases every day this week, which has fueled criticism of their presidents. .
Infections are also on the alarming rise in Peru and Chile, two countries initially praised for imposing prompt quarantines, as well as Ecuador.
With more than 330,000 cases and more than 21,000 deaths from the virus, Brazil yesterday became the second country with the highest number of infections, behind the United States.
In Mexico, authorities yesterday registered more than 2,000 new cases for the ninth consecutive day and more than 400 deaths for the third day in a row.
Peru, the second most infected country in Latin America, extended its quarantine last night with a curfew until June 30, while Colombia had its worst day yesterday since the start of its outbreak with a double record of 30 deaths and 801 cases. .
Chile, meanwhile, recorded 41 deaths today – the third day in a row with more than 40 deaths, including a record 45, the day before yesterday – and more than 3,500 new infections, hours after extending a total quarantine in Greater Santiago to treat to contain the outbreak.
In the United States, all 50 states finished reopening their economies this week, at least partially, though some are doing so more quickly than others, amid pressure from President Donald Trump to step on the gas.
California will enable visits to its vineyards next week, and Las Vegas casinos could reopen on June 4. New York state, meanwhile, has authorized meetings of up to ten people starting next week.
Yesterday, Trump, who has rejected quarantines, once again caused controversy by ordering the immediate reopening of all places of worship despite the fact that the country remains the most affected by the pandemic, with more than 1.6 million cases and more. 96,000 deaths.
A light of hope emerged today from China, which did not record any new cases of coronavirus for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Russia, the third country with the most cases, registered more than 9,000 today, while India reported more than 6,000 for the second day in a row.