British researchers announced on Tuesday that having “a major breakthrough” in the treatment of seriously ill patients by the Covid-19, at a time when China is facing an alarming outbreak of the disease in Beijing.
The leaders of the clinical trial british Recovery have discovered that a drug of the family of the steroid, dexamethasone, to reduce by one third the mortality in patients with the most severely affected.
The world health Organization (WHO) has hailed a “breakthrough in science”. “This is the first treatment proven to reduces the mortality in patients with by the Covid-19 under the assistance of oxygen or a respirator,” commented the director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
This drug is already used in many indications for its anti-inflammatory effect powerful.
Nouvelle vague in Beijing?
At the same time, in China, the situation of the epidemic in Beijing was judged to be “extremely serious” by authorities, causing concern about the possibility of a new wave of contaminations.
Over a hundred people have been infected since the last week in the megacity of 21 million people, engaged in “a race against the clock” against the virus, said the spokesman of the city hall, Xu Hejian.
This rebound in the number of infections, centered around the market giant of Xinfadi, in the south of the capital, has prompted the authorities to announce on Tuesday the closure of all schools and universities of Beijing.
The mayor urged residents to avoid travel “non-essential” and is prohibited to residents of affected areas to leave the capital.
“Anyone who really needs to leave Beijing will be required to provide a certificate of a negative test performed during last seven days”, said Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the town hall.
The Covid-19 has made its appearance in the end of 2019 in China, at Wuhan in the centre of the country, before winning the planet.
At least 8’090’290 cases of infection, among which 438’250 deaths, were recorded in total, including in Europe, the continent most affected with more than 2.4 million cases (188’349 dead), and the United States, with the largest number of cases diagnosed (over 2.1 million) and deaths (116’567), according to a count taken Tuesday night by AFP from official sources.
On the Old Continent, the progression of the disease is now under control, say the government, which reopened Monday, the borders with their neighbors.
Spain waits on the 21st of June to open its borders with the EU countries, except Portugal. But it welcomes since Monday its first German travellers to for months on the Balearic island of majorca, in the framework of a pilot project.
State of exception in Chile
On the other side of the Atlantic, the pandemic continues to rage in Latin America and the Caribbean, which exceeded the 80’000 deaths. Half of which are listed in Brazil, with 45’241 dead (including 1282 Tuesday) is the second most grief-stricken.
In Chile, the’state of exception as the constitutional disaster” has been extended for three months to curb the epidemic, while Ecuador has extended for 60 days, until August 13, the state of emergency.
And Peru has recorded more than 7000 deaths due to the coronavirus, for 237.000 infections after three months of confinement. The minister of Health, Victor Zamora, has, however, noted some positive signs: “The epidemic shows a recession (…) the pace of the contagion slows down”.
The United States and Canada have decided to extend the closure of their common border until the 21 of July for all trips non-essential. It will be the same for the u.s.-mexican border.
The balance sheet daily in the United States remained Monday in the bar of 400 deaths for the second consecutive day, but the country continues to register around 20’000 new cases each day.
The monsoon, aggravating factor,
Other countries where the epidemic shows no sign of reflux, India fears a worsening of the health crisis, with the annual monsoon and its attendant diseases.
“The Covid-19 has left us destitute,” says Vidya Thakur, strong of more than three decades of experience as a physician in a public health system of india under-funded. “The monsoon is going to make things even more complicated”.
More than a half-million people are infected each year in India from diseases favored by the rains, such as dengue and malaria during the monsoon, which falls on the countries of South Asia from June to September. Infections that have symptoms that are nearly identical to those of the Covid-19: fever, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite.
And a few weeks of the great annual pilgrimage to Mecca is planned for the end of July, saudi Arabia is faced with a delicate choice: limit the number of pilgrims or cancel the hajj. “The decision will be made soon and announced,” says a leader of saudi arabia. (afp/nxp)
Created: 17.06.2020, 04h07