Rising positivity rate, end of confinement in Melbourne … update on the coronavirus

New measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

The situation in France

6,127 new cases of Covid-19 were identified on Thursday, according to figures from Public Health France. Over the last seven days, the positivity rate increases and stands at 1.3%. Over the last seven days, still, 1,471 people have been hospitalized and 311 admitted to critical care. On Thursday, 35 people were announced dead in hospital. The total toll of covid-19 stands at 117,411 dead since the start of the epidemic in France. The curve is therefore starting to rise again, which experts seemed to have predicted due to the drop in temperatures in particular.

To read :Covid: between 80,000 and 180,000 health professionals dead, between January 2020 and May 2021

In addition, the tests having become paying last week, the positive cases could now be underestimated and the follow-up of the epidemic no longer be as precise as before.

To read :Having become paid, the Covid tests pass « below the 3 million mark »

Melbourne finally comes out of confinement

One of the most locked-down cities in the world will reopen at the end of the day on Thursday, with residents of Melbourne, Australia hoping this sixth lockdown will be their last. Since the start of the pandemic, the five million inhabitants of Australia’s second largest city have had to stay locked up for more than 260 days in total. But now that 70% of eligible people in Melbourne and Victoria are fully vaccinated, restrictions that began on August 5 will be lifted. « When the clock strikes midnight tonight, the lockdown is over, » Victoria Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino said, praising the « extraordinary efforts » made. « I hope everyone enjoys this first reunion with their family, the first soccer practice, netball, cricket with the kids, the first pot and parma (beer and chicken parmesan) at the pub. »

The half-dozen lockdowns wreaked havoc on this once-bustling city, which boasted a vibrant arts scene and cafe culture. In 2021, it lost the title of the liveliest city in Australia following violent protests against lockdowns and a small exodus of residents to regional cities without Covid. Authorities on Thursday announced a further increase in funding and mental health services, in recognition of the burden placed on Melbourne residents. Multiple studies have found high levels of psychological distress during the pandemic, according to official government research. David Malaspina, owner of Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, an iconic Melbourne restaurant, testified that Covid’s safety regulations were « exceptionally tough, » but that he was happy to welcome his customers again.

While fully vaccinated Melbourne residents will be able to enjoy more freedom, they will not be able to leave the city and shops will have to remain closed until the double dose rate reaches 80%, which is expected to occur within a few weeks. weeks.

Limits on patrons of cafes, bars and restaurants will remain in place, putting a strain on business owners who are also facing a staff shortage caused by the closure of international borders. Australia has so far been spared the worst of the pandemic, recording around 150,000 cases and 1,500 deaths for a population of 25 million. Authorities in Victoria state have warned that hospitals are likely to be under « intense pressure » following the reopening decision, while 2,200 new cases were recorded on Wednesday. But after seeking to achieve ‘zero Covid’ for much of the pandemic, Melbourne has followed Sydney’s lead in abandoning that strategy after failing to contain the Delta variant.

The balance sheet in the world

The pandemic has made at least 4,919,295 deaths worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP from official sources, Thursday at 10:00 GMT.

The United States are the most bereaved country with 733,033 dead, followed by the Brazil (604,679), India (452,811), Mexico (285,347) and Russia (227,389).

The WHO estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the results of the pandemic could be two to three times higher.

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