The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed nearly 900,000 lives, also continues to disrupt the world of sport, with French football star Kylian Mbappé testing positive and Australian Ashleigh Barty’s withdrawal from the tournament of Roland-Garros tennis.
“We fought a great battle against the epidemic that has proven to be overwhelming for all of us. We have gone through a historic and extremely difficult ordeal, ”said Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He presented medals on Tuesday to four “heroes” of medical personnel, in front of hundreds of guests wearing masks who had taken their places in the imposing People’s Palace on the edge of Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
China officially only has 4,634 dead from COVID-19 and authorities have largely contained the disease in the country. Only a handful of new daily cases are now identified.
But the country is in the crosshairs of the United States, which in particular questions its management of the epidemic and accuses it of having hidden the severity of the new coronavirus, discovered at the end of 2019 in the city of Wuhan (center).
In the United States, which has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the world (6.29 million cases and nearly 190,000 deaths), the coronavirus crisis is taking an increasingly political turn in the world. presidential election approaching.
Donald Trump on Monday accused Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris of developing “irresponsible anti-vaccine rhetoric.”
Many experts fear the US president will push for a coronavirus vaccine cleared before the November 3 presidential election, with scientists believing it unlikely, but not impossible, that clinical trials will yield interim results within the next two months.
Joe Biden said on Monday that he would “like to see what the scientists say.” “I want full transparency on this vaccine,” he added, accusing the Republican billionaire of “undermining public confidence” by politicizing public health issues.
The Taj Mahal will reopen
After the United States, India is now the second country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 cases (4.2 million) and overtakes Brazil.
This did not prevent the authorities from announcing on Tuesday the reopening, on September 21, of the Taj Mahal, the country’s main tourist attraction, with strict health restrictions.
India, which has recorded daily world records for rising COVID-19 cases since August, is working to try to revive its activities as its economy has suffered badly from the health crisis.
In Europe, the return to school is accompanied by a rebound in COVID-19 cases which is of great concern.
Spain, a European country among the most affected by the pandemic, has exceeded the bar of 500,000 diagnosed cases, according to the latest report released Monday by the Ministry of Health.
“The situation is much better” than in the spring, however, stressed the chief epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simon. “But we are still in an ascending phase”.
Despite the worrying context, schools have reopened in the country, even though many parents refuse to send their children back to class, despite the threat of sanctions.
In France, the Scientific Council set up by the government has issued a “favorable” opinion to shorten the isolation period for people who test positive for the coronavirus and contact cases to seven days, compared to fourteen currently.
More than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours in the country, a number down from the previous three days, when new cases had risen between 7,000 and 9,000.
The Tokyo Olympics “at all costs”
The world of sport has been severely shaken by the pandemic.
After having already withdrawn from the US Open because of the epidemic, the Australian Ashleigh Barty, world number one in tennis, who won Roland Garros last year, gave up going to Paris, citing “the sanitary risks “.
Postponed until the fall due to the pandemic, Roland Garros is due to start on September 27 with a reduced wing, a masked audience, and players stationed in two nearby hotels and subjected to regular tests.
On the football side, French international Kylian Mbappé, who tested positive for COVID-19, had to forfeit the closed-door match against Croatia scheduled for Tuesday night in Saint-Denis, near Paris. His teammates Paul Pogba and Houssem Aouar, who contracted the virus at the end of August, also missed their call-up to the world champion team.
And a new Greece international, whose identity has not been released, tested positive for COVID-19 when the Greece team returned from Kosovo.
Despite the uncertainties, the Tokyo 2020 Games, postponed due to the coronavirus, must take place next year “at all costs”, given the efforts by the athletes to be ready, the Japanese Minister for the Olympics Seiko Hashimoto said on Tuesday.