Covid-19 tor­ments South Amer­ica while Europe limps back to nor­mal

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - WORLD -

RIO DE JANEIRO : Health care sys­tems across Latin Amer­ica risk be­ing over­whelmed by the coro­n­avirus, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) has said, as the death toll from the dis­ease in hard-hit Brazil nears 30,000.

The warn­ing from the global health body came as a sis­ter UN agency is­sued new guide­lines for pandemic-hit air­lines that re­veal what fly­ing might look like when pas­sen­ger planes take to the skies again in earnest.

The march of the ill­ness across the Amer­i­cas comes as other parts of the world re­turn to rel­a­tive nor­mal­ity af­ter weeks of re­stric­tions on daily life that have wrecked economies and left mil­lions job­less.

Schools, swim­ming pools, pubs and tourist sites have be­gun to throw open their doors again in Europe as the con­ti­nent con­tin­ues eas­ing lock­downs de­spite the threat of a sec­ond wave of in­fec­tions. The pandemic has now killed more than 377,000 people and in­fected at least 6.3 million since erupt­ing in China in late 2019. Four of the 10 coun­tries across the globe with the great­est num­ber of new Covid-19 cases on Mon­day were in Latin Amer­ica, WHO emer­gen­cies di­rec­tor Michael

Ryan said. Brazil, Peru and Chile are suf­fer­ing the high­est daily in­creases but num­bers are also on the rise in Ar­gentina, Bo­livia, Colom­bia and Haiti.

The re­gion has logged one million cases and recorded more than 50,000 deaths, with Brazil hav­ing more than half of cases and close to 60% of fa­tal­i­ties.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro said on Mon­day how­ever that the pop­u­lar tourist city would start grad­u­ally eas­ing lock­down mea­sures from Tues­day, be­gin­ning with the re­open­ing of places of wor­ship and wa­ter sports. Ryan warned that the re­gion faces a tough bat­tle in the weeks ahead. “I don’t be­lieve we have reached the peak in that trans­mis­sion and, at this point, I can­not pre­dict when we will,” he said.

In Europe, how­ever, from Rus­sia to France, Italy and Bri­tain, coun­tries have started to emerge from lock­downs, cau­tiously adopt­ing a post-pandemic ver­sion of nor­mal.

Bars be­gan to serve again in Fin­land and Nor­way - with so­cial dis­tanc­ing re­stric­tions or short­ened hours in place - while some schools in Bri­tain and Greece opened their doors. Greece opened some ho­tels, schools, pools and tat­too par­lours, while Italy re­opened the Colos­seum, although only to Ital­ians.

AP

Women talk out­side a closed out­fit store dur­ing quar­an­tine in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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