End of pandemic in sight in Europe?, tensions in Brussels… update on the coronavirus

New measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

The situation in France

From Monday, it will be necessary to be able to justify for those over 16 years of age a vaccination status to access leisure activities, restaurants and bars, fairs or interregional public transport. A negative test will no longer suffice, except to access health facilities and services.

On Saturday, Public Health France reported 389,320 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the average number of new daily cases to more than 357,000, a record since the start of the pandemic. 28,151 Covid-positive people were hospitalized, while the number of patients in intensive care is gradually declining.

Omicron could sign the end of the pandemic in Europe according to the WHO

The Omicron variant, which could infect 60% of Europeans by March, has started a new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region and could bring it closer to its end, the director of WHO Europe estimated on Sunday.

“It is plausible that the region is approaching an end to the pandemic,” Hans Kluge told AFP, calling however for caution because of the versatility of the virus.

Violence in Brussels

Clashes opposed the police and opponents of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic in Brussels on Sunday, during a demonstration which brought together tens of thousands of people. According to the authorities, around 50,000 people marched in the Belgian capital, some from other European countries. This is the biggest in a series of protests in the city in recent months. Clashes erupted near European Union headquarters as police used water cannons and tear gas to push back protesters who were throwing cobblestones and firecrackers.

According to RTL radio, masked protesters smashed a window at the entrance to the EU Foreign Affairs headquarters. The participants in this parade carried placards criticizing Prime Minister Alexander De Croo as well as the health pass, which is compulsory to access many places. Demonstrations against the health certificate – required to access restaurants and cultural events in particular – have been taking place regularly for several weeks in the Belgian capital. Some of the previous rallies had already been marked by clashes with the police. Organizers, including the World Wide Demonstration for Freedom and Europeans United for Freedom movements, had invited protesters from other European countries to participate on Sunday. Dutch, Polish, French and Romanian flags were visible in the procession.

New daily record for infections in Russia

Russia announced a new daily record for coronavirus infections on Saturday for the second day in a row. The most bereaved country in Europe by Covid-19 (325,433 deaths according to Moscow), Russia recorded 57,212 new cases, after having recorded 49,513 the day before, according to government figures.

New Zealand Prime Minister postpones wedding

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was forced to announce the postponement of her wedding on Sunday, due to new restrictions decided by her government to deal with the resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic and its variant. Omicron.

The situation in the world

The Covid-19 pandemic has made at least 5,583,378 dead in the world since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP from official sources on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. GMT.

In absolute terms, the countries that have recorded the most deaths are United States (865.239), Brasil (622.801), india (488.884) and Russia (325.433).

The World Health Organization estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that officially recorded.

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