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WHO: The Coronavirus pandemic will be very long

New reports, new measures, highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, this Sunday, August 2, 2020.

The epidemic will be “very long” (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO), meeting Saturday in Geneva, warned that the coronavirus pandemic was probably going to be “very long”.

“The WHO continues to estimate that the risk posed by Covid-19 is very high,” the statement continued, which underlines the importance “of a response which must be national, regional and global” to the pandemic.

The organization’s emergency committee, meeting since Friday for the fourth time to reassess the pandemic, warned that “its duration was certainly going to be very long”.

“Most people on the planet can be affected, even those who do not live in hard-hit areas,” warns the organization.

“Distress message”

No continent appears to be spared.

In the Philippines, associations representing tens of thousands of doctors wrote an open letter in the form of a “distress message to the nation” in the face of a health system portrayed as “overwhelmed”. “We are losing the battle against Covid-19”, they alarm, pointing out that an increasing number of caregivers are falling ill or quitting their jobs. Some overcrowded hospitals refuse to admit new patients, they warn.

According to the Ministry of Health, 34 health professionals have died from Covid-19 in the Philippines. The total number of deaths stood at 2,039 on Saturday.

In Europe, Norway has indicated that it fears a “new spread” of the virus following the detection of around 30 cases on a cruise ship.

And several new outbreaks have been identified this week in the department of Mayenne in western France where the mask will be made compulsory from Monday in public places in 69 municipalities.

Since Saturday morning, passengers arriving from sixteen countries “at risk” in Paris airports must also present “proof of the result of a biological virological screening test carried out less than 72 hours before the flight” or failing that get tested at the airport.

Half a million cases in South Africa

South Africa, the country on the African continent most affected by the new coronavirus, has officially identified more than 500,000 cases of Covid-19, the Minister of Health announced on Saturday.

South Africa is the fifth country in the world most affected by the pandemic in terms of confirmed cases. On its own, it has recorded more than half of the cases of the new coronavirus on the African continent. The official death toll has exceeded 8150, but it is vastly underestimated, experts have warned.

USA: 5th day in a row with more than 60000 cases

The United States recorded more than 60000 new cases of coronavirus for the fifth day in a row Saturday, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. There were also 1051 deaths during that day.

The United States, which is the hardest-hit country in the world, has now recorded more than 4.6 million infections and 154319 deaths.

The new figures are released as Florida braces for the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to revert to a hurricane as the virus-ravaged southeastern part of the state approaches.

New record of contaminations in Mexico

Mexico accused Saturday for the second day in a row of a record of coronavirus contamination, with 9556 new cases recorded in 24 hours, according to figures from the Federal Secretariat of Health.

The total contagion cases in Mexico have now reached 434193, and deaths number 47472, of which 764 were recorded in the last 24 hours.

Churches and mosques reopen in Nigeria

The governor of Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, announced on Saturday that churches and mosques in the city will reopen next week. Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, with more than 20 million people, ordered the closure of places of worship, nightclubs and hotels in March, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country has officially recorded 43151 cases of contamination, including 879 fatalities, figures underestimated, according to experts.

Protests in Israel

Thousands of Israelis took to the streets again on Saturday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, charged with corruption and accused of mismanagement of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Israel is suffering a second wave of contaminations and the unemployment rate has exceeded 20% in recent months against 3.4% in February. The country of nine million inhabitants has officially recorded more than 72000 cases of contamination so far, including 523 deaths.

Berlin: Demonstration against restrictive measures

Some 20000 demonstrators, according to the police, demanded Saturday in Berlin for the abolition of restrictive measures to fight the Covid-19, before being dispersed by the police, for lack of wearing masks.

If Germany has so far been rather spared from the pandemic which has killed less than 9200 people, the authorities are alarmed by a slow resumption of infections.

Cruise in Norway: 36 positive sailors

Thirty-six crew members confined to a boat run by Norwegian company Hurtigruten, a specialist in expedition cruises, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the city of Troms where the ship is moored on Saturday announced, a situation which is fueling fears a resurgence of the epidemic in Norway.

More than 680000 dead worldwide

The pandemic has killed more than 680000 people worldwide since the onset of the disease at the end of 2019 in China, according to a report established by AFP from official sources on Saturday.

More than 17.6 million cases of contamination have been officially diagnosed in 196 countries and territories. The United States is the most heavily affected country with 154319 deaths, followed by Brazil (92475), Mexico (47472), the United Kingdom (46119) and India (36511).

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