Americans are told to wear masks on virus respiration and spread fears

WASHINGTON: The US government. USA He has begun recommending people to wear masks if they go outside, noting research showing that it could be spread only by breathing.

The advice came when the United States recorded another large increase in its death toll, nearly 1,500 in one day, and new infections continued unabated.

It also occurred when China, the origin of the outbreak, celebrated a national day of mourning for its citizens killed by the disease.

Since Covid-19 emerged late last year, about 1.1 million people have become ill. Almost 60,000 people have died.

Europe accounts for the bulk of the dead, with Italy and Spain bearing the brunt.

But the situation is rapidly deteriorating in the United States, and the administration of President Donald Trump suggested on Friday that the widespread use of simple masks or scarves could help reduce the infection rate.

It's going to be really voluntary, he said. You don't have to, and I choose not to, but some people may want to, and that's fine. Anthony Fauci, chief of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, cited recent information that the virus can spread even when people simply speak rather than cough and sneeze.

The Organization has been more cautious, saying that the air threat was only known to occur during certain medical treatments.

The United States' recommendation is likely to worsen the already severe mask shortage in the United States and Europe, which rely heavily on imports from China.

Officials in New York, the worst affected part of the USA. In the US, they began recommending people to wear masks a few days ago, and there were signs on the streets that the council was being served.

I am trying to protect myself and my family. If everyone protects themselves, it's better for all of us, Eddie Marrero, a 58-year-old maintenance employee, told AFP.

About 277,000 Americans have tested positive for the disease, and the infection curve shows no sign of flattening, despite the fact that nine out of ten citizens live under some form of confinement.

Field hospitals are popping up at convention centers, sports stadiums, and parking lots across the country as states prepare for an expected influx of patients.

China, which appears to have overcome the worst of its outbreak, celebrated a national day of mourning for its dead on Saturday: More than 3,000 people died in the country where the virus first emerged late last year.

Cars, trains, and ships honked their horns, and air raid sirens sounded, as flags flew at half-staff from 10:00 am (0200 GMT).

Beijing has said observance is an opportunity to mourn the martyrs of the viruses, an honorary title awarded by the government this week to 14 medical workers who died fighting the outbreak, including the man who was punished by officials for giving the initial alarm.

The terrible number of deaths in Europe reached 40,000 on Friday, with Spain reporting more than 900 deaths in 24 hours.

Spanish Javier Lara survived after receiving oxygen in an overcrowded intensive care unit, a shock for a 29-year-old man who was athletic and did not smoke.

I was panicking because my daughter would become infected. When I started showing symptoms, I said I would not hold her close or hug her, she said, and described death with an eight-week-old boy as the worst time. in their life.

But there were also indications that the peak may have hit the mainland.

According to the civil protection service, the most affected Italy registered 766 new deaths, but its infections increased only 4 percent, the lowest so far.

It is true that the latest figures, as high as they are, give us a little hope, since the growth of new infections is slower than a few days ago, said the chancellor, where the strict measures of social distancing are credited. slow the spread.

But it is definitely too early to see a clear trend in that, and it is certainly too early to think of somehow to relax the strict rules that we have imposed, he added.

However, there was another warning about the fate of the less developed world, especially conflict zones or places with large refugee populations.

The worst is yet to come, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, referring to countries like Syria, Libya and Yemen. The Covid-19 storm is coming to all these theaters of conflict.

The global economy has been hit by the virus and associated closures, with millions more people signing up for unemployment payments in the United States.

The financial rating agency Fitch predicted that the US economies. USA And the eurozone would shrink this quarter by up to 30 percent and that Asian Development Bank He warned that the world economy could take a hit of $ 4.1 trillion, equivalent to five percent of world production.

Latin America is heading into a deep recession with an expected drop from 1.8 to 4.0 percent in GDP, according to the UN.