The United Kingdom became the second country in mourning for the new coronavirus on Tuesday after the United States, where President Donald Trump wanted to stage the revival of activity, like many regions of the world where the deconfinement is accelerating.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already killed 256,000 people since its appearance in December in China and has kept more than half of humanity at home, plunging the economy into unprecedented sleep.
The United States, by far the most affected country, crossed the 71,000 death mark on Tuesday and could reach that of 100,000 by the beginning of June according to several epidemiological models. After slowing down over the past three days, the rate of daily deaths has started to rise again with 2,333 additional deaths in 24 hours.
Behind, the United Kingdom also continues to record a large number of deaths (693 Tuesday) and is now the country of the Old Continent most affected, more than Italy, the first European epicenter of the epidemic. According to the AFP count, the British authorities have identified 29,427 dead - a figure which exceeds 30,000 if we add the deaths for which Covid-19 is the probable cause but not confirmed by a test.
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Faced with the scale of an epidemic that has personally affected him, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson should extend the confinement on Thursday and then reveal his strategy on Sunday to get out gradually.
Overseas, Donald Trump is in a hurry to see the economy recover, even at the cost of an even heavier balance sheet.
Trump without mask, Macron with
"We have to open our country," insisted the Republican billionaire from a Honeywell respirator factory in Phoenix, Arizona, where he returned to travel. "We cannot keep our economy closed for the next five years."
When asked about ABC News, he was even more explicit. Does he think "lives will be lost in order to reopen the economy"? "It is possible that it will happen because we will not be confined to our homes," he replied.
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The American president did not wear a mask for his visit, unlike his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who wore one in black fabric in a Parisian suburban school welcoming children of caregivers.
"Do you have worries, things that scare you?" He said, while a very controversial back to school is scheduled from May 11 in France. "Catch the Covid-19," replied a child.
Emmanuel Macron also warned that it was "too early" to plan a summer vacation, while the disease continues to kill more than 300 people a day in his country, for a total of more than 25,500 dead.
Many countries have already started to ease the restrictions, including Italy on Monday, or Portugal, Serbia, Belgium, Turkey, Israel, Nigeria and Lebanon.
In the Maghreb, Tunis and Algiers have started to ease, but are concerned about the differences in terms of physical distance.
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Elsewhere too, deconfinement is accelerating, as in Bavaria, one of the most populous and prosperous regional states in Germany, which has announced the reopening of its restaurants from 25 May, despite the warnings from Berlin.
Or California, the fifth largest economy in the world, with a relaxation of certain measures at the end of the week.
These regions benefit from a relatively controlled health situation.
But Russia is also preparing for a gradual lifting of containment from May 12, even as it is witnessing an acceleration of the pandemic, with for the third day in a row 10,000 new patients identified.
The ECB in the crosshairs
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There is strong pressure everywhere to revive activity in the face of a global recession and an unemployment spike unprecedented since 1945.
The latest striking example of a global crisis, Airbnb, the accommodation booking platform, has announced the dismissal of a quarter of its 7,500 employees worldwide.
"No country is immune to Covid-19. Whether developing or developed, all are hit hard by the virus," said Indonesian statistics office chairman Suhariyanto.
In Europe, the 27 are trying to find common ground to create an exceptional stimulus fund. It will be "gigantic", with a range of "1,000 to 2,000 billion euros," said European Commissioner Thierry Breton.
But in a resounding judgment, the German Constitutional Court cast a shadow on Tuesday on the massive monetary support program implemented since 2015 by the European Central Bank (ECB). The latter is ordered to justify it "within three months", failing which the powerful Bundesbank may no longer be able to participate.
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This decision "places the ECB under a constant threat" at the time when it deploys unprecedented means against the coronavirus, notes Henrik Enderlein, of the Hertie School of Government institute. The central bank replied that it wanted to continue doing "whatever is necessary" to fulfill its mission.
"Pray very hard"
In the poorest countries, people are most often left to fend for themselves. Like Augustine, living in the English-speaking part of Cameroon plagued by a separatist conflict. In case of illness, he will only have to "pray very hard", sums up this thirty-something social worker.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the government has been alarmed by the risk of a "large-scale spread" of the epidemic after around 100 cases have been counted in a military prison in Kinshasa.
Meanwhile, the race for the vaccine continues, strong 7.4 billion euros raised Monday during a planetary telethon organized by the European Commission - but snubbed by Washington.
Without a vaccine, an epidemic rebound is almost inevitable once the containment is lifted, continues to hammer the World Health Organization.
Even a country like Germany, praised for its management of the pandemic, must expect "for sure" a second, even a third wave of contamination, warned the Robert Koch Institute, in charge of the file.