SITUATION UPDATE – New measures, new reports and highlights: Le Figaro takes stock of the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Increase in hospitalized patients in France, South Korea lifting its physical distancing restrictions, the automobile sector under pressure due to the confinements in China… The Figaro provides an update this Friday, April 15, on the latest information related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nearly 25,000 hospitalized patients in France
143 people died from COVID-19 in hospital, this Friday, according to the daily report of Public Health France. The number of hospitalized patients increased slightly: 24,909 patients are currently hospitalized (against 24,827 on Thursday), including 1,953 who arrived in the last 24 hours. 1,652 patients are being treated in intensive care units, compared to 1,648 the day before. 125,394 new cases have also been detected in the last 24 hours, compared to 137,342 cases the day before.
“Serious risk” of overspending on health spending in 2022
The health spending target linked to the Covid-19 epidemic for 2022, set at 4.9 billion euros, “risk of being significantly outperformed”, according to the alert committee on the evolution of spending on health insurance. while remembering “the high uncertainty linked to the development of the epidemic (of Covid-19)”, the committee already points out certain excesses for the current year, in a notice dated Friday and published on the site securite-sociale.fr. Like, for example, a payment “of 1,200 million euros not covered by this provision” and dedicated mainly to orders for vaccines and anti-Covid medicines placed at the end of 2021.
Or expenses related to the tests that, at the end of the first quarter, “exceed the annual provision by 500 million euros” 1.6 billion, due to the rebound in the epidemic at the beginning of the year. There is also the rebound in work stoppages that, only in January and February, reached 600 million.
South Korea lifts physical distancing restrictions
South Korea will lift all physical distancing restrictions, the government announced on Friday. “Midnight Curfew” for shops and gatherings limited to 10 people “will rise from Monday”Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced. The move marks the end of two years of tight restrictions due to the pandemic, which has hit small businesses, and points to a return to normalcy in South Korea.
However, the use of a mask will continue to be mandatory in closed spaces. “for a considerable period”, officials said, adding that they could lift the requirement to wear the mask outside in two weeks, if the number of cases continues to decline. The context for the lifting of restrictions in South Korea seems favorable: the country has overcome the epidemic wave caused by the Omicron variant, and the number of daily cases fell below 100,000 last week, after reaching a peak of more than 620,000 daily cases in mid-March.
Covid in Brazil: higher mortality in pro-Bolsonaro cities
The death rate from Covid-19 is “widely” higher than average in municipalities that voted overwhelmingly for far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in the last presidential election, the authors of a study revealed on Thursday. The researchers compared the results of the 2018 elections with the mortality rates in the municipalities of the state of Minas Gerais (southeast) and found that the coronavirus wreaked more havoc in those where President Bolsonaro obtained more votes. The study, which analyzed data from January 21 to November 10, 2021, found that the infection rate was 30% higher in the municipalities where Jair Bolsonaro was elected by the majority of voters in the second round, with 7,600 for every 100,000 inhabitants.
The finding of the study, carried out by the Society of Infectious Diseases of Minas Gerais and the Association of Epidemiology and Infection Control of the same Brazilian state, is even more edifying for the mortality rate, 60% higher than that of the municipalities that did not vote. in the majority for Jair Bolsonaro, with 212 per 100,000. “Bolsonaro denied the seriousness of Covid-19, promoted treatments that have never been shown to be effective, opposed social distancing, the use of masks, confinement and other protection measures.”, recalled Carlos Starling, co-author of the study. According to him, the position adopted by the Head of State “allegedly resulted in higher rates of infection and death among his followers,” he added in a statement.
” SEE ALSO – Covid-19: “Omicron did not kill anyone”, according to Jair Bolsonaro
China: Automotive sector under pressure amid lockdowns
Several automakers in China fear a halt in their production, at a time when the lockdown in Shanghai and several regions is undermining the country’s supply chains. China, which for two years had largely controlled the Covid-19 epidemic on its soil, is facing its worst outbreak of the entire pandemic since last month. Several tens of millions of Chinese are notably confined to the northeast of the country, the birthplace of the automobile industry, as well as to Shanghai, the economic capital. These measures seriously harm logistics transport, supply chains and have paralyzed many companies.
If improvement is not seen quickly, “All Chinese equipment manufacturers will have to stop production in May”The head of Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng, He Xiaopeng, said on Thursday. XPeng is one of the competitors in China of the American Tesla, which in turn has suspended the activity of its gigantic factory in Shanghai for more than two weeks, due to the restrictions against the Covid. Sales of new vehicles in China thus fell 10.5% in one year in March. Large international manufacturers are also penalized by the lockdowns. Volkswagen said Thursday that they have a “serious impact” in its activity in China, where the group has joint ventures in Changchun (northeast) and Shanghai. Due to travel restrictions, says German car giant “temporarily unable to meet high demand” in the Chinese market.
” SEE ALSO – China in the impasse of the Covid zero strategy