Madrid (hooly News) – Leaders of the most industrialized countries on the planet meet in emergency on Thursday to try to bring a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic which "threatens all humanity", according to the UN, despite measures unprecedented containment affecting more than three billion people.
The G20 is to hold a videoconference summit chaired by Saudi Arabia, who holds the institution's rotating presidency. In Brussels, the European Parliament is organizing a special session devoted to emergency measures to deal with the coronavirus.
Some 20,600 Covid-19 patients died from the virus that appeared in China in December. The number of infected now approaches half a million people with more than 450,000 cases registered worldwide, and it "threatens all of humanity", according to the UN.
Europe is paying the heaviest price with two thirds of the victims. The toll was particularly heavy Wednesday in Spain (3,434 deaths), which exceeded China in number of deaths (3,281), but also in France and Italy, the country most cruelly affected with more than 7,500 deaths.
– "Worse than a war" –
In Vertova, a small village in northern Italy, the virus has killed more people than the Second World War. "No one deserves such a horrible death. It is absurd to see that in 2020 there could be a pandemic of this kind, worse than a war," said the mayor, Orlando Gualdi.
"Unfortunately, there are no masks or disinfectants in the village. I had to make my own mask, with a piece of cloth and my sewing machine," said Augusta Magni, a 63-year-old resident of the village.
The consequence of unprecedented containment measures: the world is at a standstill and the economy is plummeting.
To reflect on the parade, the G20, which represents nearly two thirds of the world's population and three quarters of the world's GDP, will prepare "a comprehensive and coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications" , according to Saudi Arabia. The G20 includes in particular the United States, China, Japan, Germany, Italy and France.
This summit will be joined by other countries affected by the coronavirus such as Spain, Jordan, Singapore or Switzerland, as well as the leaders of large international organizations.
This meeting comes the day after the expected release of 2,000 billion dollars in the United States, a plan approved Wednesday by the Senate, and the adoption of a support plan of 1,100 billion euros in Germany.
– "Shortages" –
Contagion is growing most rapidly in the United States, with nearly 68,572 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 1,000 deaths, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.
And Africa, ill-equipped to face a large-scale health crisis, is causing great concern with the appearance of the first cases in Mali or Libya, countries at war.
At the head of the world's largest economic power, President Donald Trump does not hide his impatience to return to normal, by Easter he hopes, to avoid a long recession.
This scenario is taking shape in China where the drastic restrictions imposed for months in the central province of Hubei, the cradle of the pandemic, have been lifted, except in the regional capital Wuhan, causing traffic jams on roads, and rushes on trains and trains. coaches.
The Asian giant has managed to stem the disease and the contagion, in turn, seems to be slowing in Italy, with a decline in new cases.
France, which counts more than 1,300 dead, is preparing for a "long effort". It withdrew its troops from Iraq and put its soldiers on the war foot to respond to this health emergency.
Second most populous country in the world, India (officially 519 cases, including 10 fatal) confined in turn Wednesday its 1.3 billion inhabitants.
In the empty streets of New Delhi, the chirping of birds has replaced the usual cacophony of horns and shouts. In Bombay, Rafiq Ansari, a vegetable merchant, was worried about future "shortages" because it was "more and more difficult to get supplies".
In Russia, next week will be idle, President Vladimir Putin having called on his fellow citizens to "stay at home", without however ordering it.