Despite the hopeful arrival of vaccines against the disease, the global situation threatened by the virus continues to be critical. USA, Italy, Brazil, France and South Africa among the most affected countries.
The imminent arrival of the second wave of coronavirus caused severe damage throughout the different continents. With excessive increases in the number of infections, countless losses of human life and total occupation of the Intensive Care Units (ICU), the global outlook for COVID-19 does not seem different from that experienced during the outbreak. Beyond the fact that certain nations are hopeful about the arrival of a vaccine, made by pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, restrictions and social distancing strictly prosper, and more when for the moment, only certain groups are injected within of the population. Next, the current situation of the five countries mostly relegated to the coronavirus pandemic:
1) United States (17 million coronavirus cases)
The United States registered several absolute records this Thursday by adding almost 250,000 new cases of COVID-19, more than 3,600 deaths and exceeding 113,000 hospitalizations, according to the count made by the US Johns Hopkins University. This is the 44th consecutive day that the United States has reported more than 100,000 newly diagnosed infections. A total of 16,979,777 people in the country have been diagnosed with coronavirus since the pandemic began, and at least 307,501 of them have died. On Wednesday, December 16, the total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 amounted to 113,069. This is the highest number of hospitalizations recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the North American country is close to authorizing a second coronavirus vaccine almost a week after giving the green light to Pfizer-BioNTech. A panel of experts voted on Thursday to recommend the immunizer's emergency authorization from the Moderna company. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should give permission very quickly for this second vaccine, the first injections of which are expected from next week.
2. Italy (1.8 million coronavirus cases)
Italy has a total of 1,888,144 cases since the beginning of the outbreak, with a maximum of 17,568 in 24 hours and 66,537 loss of human life, making it the European country with the highest number of deaths. The announcement of restrictions for the Christmas season was postponed this Thursday by the Italian government after 18 Sicilian fishermen were released after being held captive in Libya since September. "The contagion curve is now firmly frozen and continues on the downward trend, but unfortunately it has not flattened out, it has not disappeared," crisis commissioner Domenico Arcuri said today. He pointed out that "if we have a good Christmas, I think we will prevent the resurgence of contagions from calling into question the reopening of the school" on January 7. " We need one last effort. We should not have a happy Christmas, but a good Christmas, to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. It has never been worth it like this year," he concluded. The most likely hypothesis is that of a red zone on holidays and those prior, from December 24 to 27, on January 30 and 31, and on January 5 and 6, or throughout the period up to 3. Besides, exceptions to the travel ban remain to be defined, in particular, to allow grandparents or non-family members living together to join family members for dinner. This question will proceed to be discussed next Friday in the Council of Ministers if it is not postponed until Saturday.
3. Brazil (7 million coronavirus cases)
According to the official numbers, Brazil registered 1,092 deaths from coronavirus this Thursday, surpassing for the first time since September 30, the barrier of a thousand deaths in one day. The death toll since the start of the pandemic amounts to 184,827 and is surpassed only by the United States. In the last 24 hours, there were also 69,826 new infections, the second-highest daily balance after the record registered on Wednesday, of 70,574 cases. More than 7.1 million people have already contracted the virus in Brazil, a giant of 212 million inhabitants experiencing a rebound in the pandemic since the beginning of November. In the last week, an average of 723 people has died per day. With 17 million inhabitants, Rio de Janeiro is the state with the highest death rate: 140 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 88 for the entire country or 97 for Sao Paulo, the most populous state. The authorities suspended the end-of-the-year celebrations on Copacabana beach and the carnival parades, waiting for a vaccine that allows to re-celebrate these festivals characterized precisely by their crowds.
4. France (2 million coronavirus cases)
France has a cumulative total of 2,407,983 people infected with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. Simultaneously, it experienced more than 17 thousand cases in a single day and lamented an approximate 59 thousand deaths. This Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19. In recent days, several European leaders who coincided with him also had to isolate themselves, while vaccinations are about to start on December 27 in the European Union, where restrictions continue. "He has real symptoms, a cough and significant fatigue," said government spokesman Gabriel Attal, despite the fact that the president "will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely," the presidency announced in a statement. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, were two of the officials who had to isolate themselves after contacting Macron preventively. In the Old Continent's 52 countries and territories (from Portugal to Russia and Azerbaijan), at least 500,069 deaths were registered, out of more than 23 million reported infections.
5. South Africa (880 thousand coronavirus cases)
South Africa this week surpassed 10,000 new daily cases of coronavirus, the Health Ministry reported in a statement, coinciding with the announcement of new restrictions, such as an extended curfew and the closure of some beaches. "We have passed 10,000 cases; our daily infections increase ... our positive rate is 21% of the tests performed," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said Wednesday night. The most affected regions are concentrated in the south of the country, in the Cape Town area, with a third of the cases, followed by the Johannesburg region, the economic capital. "Citizens who go to authorized beaches will have to take precautions so that the days of joy do not turn into days of regret and result in more infections and deaths," added Mkhize. In total, this country of 58 million people has already officially registered almost 24,000 deaths and more than 883,000 infections since the start of the pandemic.