Europe demands better pandemic plan, as Moscow exits lockdown

Published June 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse

Europe’s most powerful countries urged the European Union to better prepare for the next pandemic after chaotic responses to the coronavirus, as Moscow emerged from lockdown despite Russia still being in the grip of a surging epidemic.

Women enjoy a warm and sunny day in a park in downtown Moscow on June 9, 2020, after officials lifted coronavirus restrictions (AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF / MANILA BULLETIN)
Women enjoy a warm and sunny day in a park in downtown Moscow on June 9, 2020, after officials lifted coronavirus restrictions (AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF / MANILA BULLETIN)

There should be a “common European approach” to challenges like COVID-19 in future, leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote in a letter and policy paper to the European Union’s top official.

Europe has been the hardest-hit continent with nearly 185,000 people killed, and the leaders said a lack of coordination had left nations short of crucial medical equipment when the coronavirus arrived.

Worldwide, COVID-19 deaths have passed 407,000, with more than seven million infections.

The United States recorded 819 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing its own grisly toll to more than 111,000 out of 1.9 million cases — leaving it the country hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of both the number of fatalities and the number of cases.

And the crisis continued to escalate in Latin America, which by late Tuesday had almost 1.4 million cases and nearly 70,000 deaths.

Brazil’s health ministry cited figures late Tuesday indicating the death toll had risen by 1,272 to over 38,400 killed by the virus — the third highest toll in the world after the US and Britain.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government had stopped publishing the total number of virus deaths on Friday, saying it was adopting new methodology.

However, the government was forced into a U-turn by a Supreme Court ruling on Monday that it must return to the old format, which government critics said is more transparent.

Island, state of Para, Brazil, on June 9, 2020
On Tuesday Peru, second only to Brazil as the region’s worst-hit country, announced it had passed 200,000 cases of the virus, adding more than 4,000 cases in a single day.

In Nicaragua, at least eight public health doctors were sacked for criticizing the lack of a serious response to the crisis from the government of President Daniel Ortega, an independent medical body said.

Nicaragua has been criticized for an almost complete absence of measures to contain the virus.

 
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