| Covid-19 wrap | Virus death toll in Europe tops 175 000 while France prepares new lockdown easing

  • Europe’s
    death toll stands at 175 000 out of 2 084 058 coronavirus cases on the continent.
  • The French government is expected to announce new measures to ease the lockdown.
  • Turkish officials claim the success of containing the pandemic is thanks
    to robust health infrastructure and a young population.

Virus death toll in
Europe tops 175 000: AFP tally  

coronavirus death toll in Europe crossed 175 000 on Thursday, according to an
AFP tally from official sources at 08:10 GMT.

With 175 011 dead from 2 084
058 cases, Europe has suffered more than other continents from Covid-19

Britain has registered 37 460
dead, Italy 33 072, France 28 596 and Spain 27 118.

The global number of
fatalities has reached at least 355 548.


coronavirus death toll tops 4 000   

said Thursday that its death toll from the coronavirus has risen above 4 000 as
the daily toll equalled a record set earlier this week.

The authorities said 4 142
people have now died in Russia from the virus, with 174 new deaths over the
last 24 hours.

The number of new deaths
equalled Russia’s highest daily death toll recorded on Tuesday.

Officials have predicted a
higher death toll for May than April, attributing this to the deaths of
hospital patients who were admitted during the peak of the epidemic several
weeks ago.


for restaurants as France prepares new lockdown easing 

The French
government is expected to announce on Thursday new measures to ease the
coronavirus lockdown, allowing restaurants in areas where the outbreak remains
contained to open as soon as next week.

Prime Minister
Edouard Philippe will unveil the second phase of his plan to get the country
back to work following a meeting with top Cabinet members, a government source
said, after strict stay-at-home orders were lifted on 11 May.

But while
restaurants, bars and cafes in so-called “green” zones with limited Covid-19
cases could open on 2 June, those in “red” zones including Paris and
a large swathe of the northeast may have to wait until July, the source said.

Cities will also be
allowed to reopen parks and public gardens, though in red zones visitors will
have to wear masks.


South Korea
re-imposes some social restrictions to combat new virus outbreaks  

Korea re-imposed a series of coronavirus social distancing measures on
Thursday, as a series of clusters threatened to challenge its success in
containing the epidemic.

Museums, parks and art
galleries in the Seoul metropolitan area will all be closed again for two weeks
from Friday, said health minister Park Neung-hoo, while companies were urged to
re-adopt flexible working practices, among other measures.

“We have decided to
strengthen all quarantine measures in the metropolitan area for two weeks from
tomorrow to June 14,” he said.


Turkey claims
healthcare ‘transformation’ helped vanquish virus   

When Turkey had the
highest number of coronavirus cases outside of Europe and the US in April,
there were fears its health system could be overwhelmed and its death rate
could rocket.

But more than a
month later, Turkey is proclaiming that the pandemic has been contained,
trumpeting a mortality rate of just 2.8% – lower than neighbours Greece (6%),
Iran (5.4) and Iraq (3.5).

Officials claim the
success is thanks to robust health infrastructure and a young population – the
median age in Turkey is 32.4 compared with 43.1 in the European Union.

Health Minister
Fahrettin Koca has further boasted of the spare capacity in institutions,
claiming on 18 May that intensive care units were less than 60% full and
hospitals more than 60% empty.



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