UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – New measures, new reports and highlights: Le Figaro takes stock of the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rise in hospital patients in France, South Korea lifting physical distancing restrictions, automotive sector under pressure amid lockdown in China… Le figaro provides an update on the latest information related to the Covid-19 pandemic this Friday, April 15.
Almost 25,000 patients hospitalized in France
According to the Public Health France daily report, 143 people died in hospital from Covid-19 this Friday. The number of hospitalized patients has risen slightly: 24,909 patients are currently hospitalized (up from 24,827 on Thursday), including 1,953 who have arrived in the past 24 hours. 1,652 patients are being treated in intensive care units, compared to 1,648 the day before. 125,394 new cases were also detected in the last 24 hours, compared to 137,342 cases the previous day.
“Serious risk” of overspending on healthcare in 2022
The 2022 health spending target linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, set at €4.9 billion, “Risk of being significantly exceeded”, according to the warning committee on the development of health insurance expenditure. When remembering “the high level of uncertainty related to the development of the epidemic (of Covid-19)”, The committee already notes certain overruns for the current year in a statement published on Friday on the securite-sociale.fr website. Such as a payment “of 1.2 billion euros not covered by this provision” and mainly dedicated to orders for vaccines and anti-Covid drugs that will be placed at the end of 2021.
Or the costs related to the tests at the end of the first quarter “Annual provision exceeded by EUR 0.5 billion” 1.6 billion, due to the epidemic earlier in the year. Add to that the surge in work stoppages, which hit 0.6 billion in January and February alone.
South Korea lifts physical distancing restrictions
South Korea will lift all physical distancing restrictions, the government announced on Friday. “Midnight Curfew” limited to 10 people for business and gatherings “will be lifted from Monday”, announced Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum. The move marks the end of two years of strict pandemic restrictions that have weighed on small businesses and suggests a return to normalcy in South Korea.
However, wearing a mask remains mandatory indoors. “for a considerable period of time”, authorities said, adding that they could lift the requirement to wear the mask outside in two weeks if case numbers continue to fall. The context for South Korea’s lifting of restrictions seems favorable: the country weathered the epidemic wave caused by the Omicron variant, and daily cases fell below 100,000 last week after peaking at more than 620,000 daily cases in mid-mid had reached -march.
Covid in Brazil: Higher mortality in pro-Bolsonaro cities
The fatality rate from Covid-19 is “far” higher than the average in communities that overwhelmingly voted for far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in the last presidential election, authors of a study revealed on Thursday. Researchers compared the results of the 2018 election to mortality rates in communities in Minas Gerais state (southeast) and found that the coronavirus wreaked more havoc in those where President Bolsonaro received the most votes. The study, which analyzed data from January 21 to November 10, 2021, found that the infection rate was 30% higher in communities where Jair Bolsonaro was elected in the second round by a majority of voters, at 7,600 per 100,000 people .
The result of the study, carried out by the Society of Infectious Diseases of Minas Gerais and the Association for Epidemiology and Infection Control of the same Brazilian state, is even more edifying for the mortality rate, which is 60% higher than in the municipalities that had not voted the majority for Jair Bolsonaro with 212 per 100,000. “Bolsonaro denied the seriousness of Covid-19, promoted treatments that have never proven effective and opposed social distancing, mask-wearing, containment and other protective measures. », recalls Carlos Starling, co-author of the study. According to him, the position of head of state is taken “probably led to higher infection and death rates among its followers” he added in a statement.
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China: The automotive sector is under pressure given the restrictions
Several automakers in China fear a halt to production while containment measures in Shanghai and several regions are eroding the country’s supply chains. China, which had largely brought the Covid-19 epidemic under control on its soil for two years, has been facing the worst outbreak of the entire pandemic since last month. Tens of millions of Chinese live mainly in the north-east of the country, the cradle of the automotive industry, and in the economic metropolis of Shanghai. These measures severely affect logistical transportation and supply chains and have brought many businesses to a standstill.
If no improvement is quickly visible, “All Chinese device manufacturers must stop production in May”, Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng chief He Xiaopeng said on Thursday. XPeng is one of the competitors in China of the American Tesla, which itself has suspended the activity of its gigantic factory in Shanghai for more than two weeks due to anti-Covid restrictions. Sales of new vehicles in China fell by 10.5% in March over the year. The large international manufacturers are also affected by the restrictions. Volkswagen said Thursday they have one “serious impact” on its activities in China, where the group has joint ventures in Changchun (Northeast) and Shanghai. Because of travel restrictions, says the German car giant “temporarily unable to meet high demand” in the Chinese market.
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