WASHINGTON | The United States have taken Wednesday to the threshold of 100 000 deaths from the coronavirus, a figure that attests to the magnitude of the tragedy in the country, while Europe unveiled a plan for outstanding revival of its economy, such as those of the whole world, collapsed under the impact of the pandemic.
At a time when Asia appears to be on track towards an exit from the crisis, but that South America gets bogged down, the social and economic cost of the epidemic, which is in addition to the terrible human toll, appears more and more every day.
The first death of the COVID-19 in the United States was announced at the end of February. The country now records more than 100,000 dead and almost 1.7 million cases of new coronavirus, according to the counting of the Johns Hopkins university, in which reference is made.
The actual number of deaths and contamination, however, is significantly higher, according to experts. Brought in nearly $ 330 million, the balance sheet in the u.s. is lower than several european countries.
Around the world, the bar of the 350 000 people was reached on Wednesday, more than three-quarters in Europe and the United States.
In this dark context, the european Commission unveiled Wednesday a plan to boost outstanding of € 750 billion.
Complex negotiations are now waiting for the 27, that the president of the european Commission Ursula von der Leyen has called to “put aside the old prejudices”.
Powered by borrowing on a large scale on behalf of the EU, it will be redistributed to two-thirds in grants and one third in the form of loans.
Among the most affected by the health crisis, Italy and Spain could receive more of the 172 and 140 billion euros, respectively, via this instrument.
France is the fourth biggest beneficiary, after Poland, with $ 38.7 billion of subsidies. Paris hopes an agreement of the 27 on this plan by July, but expects negotiations to be “difficult” with the so-called “frugal” (the netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Sweden), who are hostile to it.
While welcoming the positive points, the chancellor of austria Sebastian Kurz has called the plan “a basis for negotiations”, saying that should be discussed between grants and loans.
New epicentre of Latin-american
In Latin America, the daily number of new infections has exceeded that of Europe and the United States, making “no doubt” of the Latin american continent the new epicentre of the pandemic, according to the pan american health Organization (PAHO), based in Washington dc.
The spread of the coronavirus “is accelerating” in Brazil, Peru and Chile, which are highlighted in this regional office of the world Health Organization, which says it is “particularly concerned” and called upon those countries not to relax measures to slow down the contamination.
“The number of new cases registered last week in Brazil is the highest over a period of seven days, since the beginning of the pandemic,” stresses Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO.
Peru had a record of 5772 new cases in 24 hours on Tuesday, for a total of nearly 130, 000 cases.
The economic and social indicators are in the red in the world.
According to the NGO Oxfam, the health crisis could precipitate 500 million people in poverty.
“I cover the face, because I really ashamed, I had never asked for food,” says Jacqueline Alvarez, 42 years old, who stood in line with about 700 other in front of an association in the popular neighbourhood of Aluche, in Madrid, turned into a food bank.
In Spain – where between 13 march and 22 may have been identified as 43 000 deaths more than the average for the last ten years, poverty is exploding faster than during the financial crisis of 2008.
But the whole world is affected.
In Brazil, experts expect a fall of 6% to 10% of GDP this year and a jump in the unemployment rate up to more than 18 %.
In France, after collapsing by about 20 % in the 2nd quarter, the GDP is expected to contract by more than 8 % on the year, “the most important recession since the creation of the national accounts in 1948”, according to the national Institute of statistics.
In the United States, whose system is highly decentralized, with the pandemic dries out the public finances of many member States who call for the help of the federal government, failing which the recovery will be slow and poor and the consequences on the daily life sustainable.
After Argentina and Lebanon, which are declared to be in default of payment, the G20 experts are concerned that the pandemic causes a contagion of failures in the emerging countries, unable to meet the repayments of their debts.