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More than 1,000 dead in a day in Brazil; WHO agrees to investigation

The sharp increase in Brazil brings the total of deaths to nearly 18,000 in the country, which deplores more than half of the more than 30,000 deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Although the intensive care units of hospitals in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Pernambuco are very close to saturation, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to call for a return to work, on behalf of the preservation of the first economy in Latin America, now promised a serious recession.

For their part, the 194 WHO member countries agreed to launch “as soon as possible (…) an impartial, independent and complete evaluation process” during an unprecedented teleconference devoted to the disease, which did more 320,000 dead worldwide since its appearance in China in December.

This assessment, whose outlines remain unclear, will have to scrutinize “the measures taken by WHO in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and their chronology”.

This agreement is a response to the accusations of US President Donald Trump, who judges that the WHO is a “puppet” of Beijing and issued him a month-long ultimatum to obtain significant results, on pain of leaving this UN agency. of which the United States has traditionally been the largest contributor.

Beijing responded by accusing Trump, whose country is the most mourning in the world with nearly 92,000 dead, of seeking to “shirk its obligations” to the organization and to “sully China’s efforts in the face of the ‘epidemic”. According to the resolution adopted on Tuesday, the investigation may include “scientific and collaboration missions in the field”. China has declared itself open to independent investigation, but not before the end of the pandemic.

While the coronavirus crisis has brought the world economy to its knees, France and Germany proposed Monday a 500 billion euro recovery plan to try to restart activity within the European Union, whose members are still struggling to agree on a common roadmap.

The pandemic is considered under control in Europe, where the majority of countries have started to deconfinate their populations, according to variable timetables.

Five central European countries (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) plan to open the borders separating them around mid-June, by creating a “mini-Schengen”.

For their part, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece have agreed to alleviate from mid-June the travel restrictions in force since mid-March.

The United States has said that its borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed to “non-essential” travel until at least June 21.

Several European countries have also opened their borders to seasonal workers to cope with the lack of arms for harvesting.

In the UK, however, a new count by the National Bureau of Statistics (ONS) revealed that the death toll from the coronavirus (over 41,000) was in fact much higher than that announced by the Department of Health (more 35,000). 

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