The pandemic has killed nearly 4 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources Tuesday, July 6 at noon. The United States is the most affected country both in terms of number of deaths (with more than 605,500 deaths) followed by Brazil (526,000 deaths), India (403,000), Mexico (233,000) and Peru (193,000).
These figures, which are based on daily reports from national health authorities, are globally underestimated, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimates that the death toll could be two or three times higher.
Extended confinement in Sydney
The authorities of the State of New South Wales decided, Wednesday, July 7, to extend the confinement for a week in Sydney, the largest city in Australia. Set up to fight against a resurgence of the epidemic due to the coronavirus mainly due to the highly contagious Delta variant, the strict containment imposed on June 26 was to end on Friday but this date was postponed to July 16, announced the Prime Minister of the State, Gladys Berejiklian.
“This Delta variant is a game-changer, it is extremely transmissible”, lamented Gladys Berejiklian. “We do not want to find ourselves in the position where it would be necessary to constantly move from confinements to deconfinements”, she added, explaining that prolonging the confinement was “The best way to ensure that this is our only containment before the entire population is vaccinated”.
Australia has been more successful in containing the pandemic than other major economies on the planet thanks to a rapid closure of its borders and strict adherence to social distancing rules. In total, just over 30,800 cases and 910 deaths have been reported.
Appeal for help from Indonesia
Indonesia, which on Tuesday recorded 728 deaths for 31,000 new cases, urgently imported oxygen from Singapore for its patients in respiratory distress and is calling for help from other countries, including China, said the government.
The fourth most populous country in the world, with nearly 270 million people, has seen its number of daily cases more than quadruple in less than a month.
Olympic Games: new restrictions for the public
Health restrictions around Olympic events continue in Tokyo (Japan), where city officials announced on Wednesday “Cancellation” of the Olympic torch relay “On the public highway” in the capital, which will however give rise to a ceremony “Without spectators”.
The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics (Olympic Games) and Japanese local authorities have also announced that they will ask the public to “Abstain” to attend the marathon and the walking events due to the risk of Covid-19 infection. According to the newspaper Mainichi, the Japanese government is even considering banning supporters from attending all Olympic events.
The organizers have already banned foreign spectators and limited the size per stadium to 10,000 spectators. A decision on the attendance of spectators at Olympic events is due to be taken on Thursday in the presence of the Governor of Tokyo and the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
Tocilizumab Reduces Mortality, Study Finds
A class of anti-inflammatory drugs, including tocilizumab, effectively reduces the risk of death in hospitalized Covid-19 patients, according to a new study published on Tuesday covering nearly 11,000 patients. The WHO has therefore recommended their use, at the same time as corticosteroids, in patients with severe cases of Covid-19.
In France, the Marseille biotech Innate Pharma, specializing in immuno-oncology, announced on Tuesday the end of its clinical trials in a treatment against Covid-19, due to disappointing results.