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Iran Press TV

Coronavirus hits German businesses with 'full fury'

Iran Press TV

Friday, 24 April 2020 10:25 AM

The coronavirus pandemic, which continues to take its toll on the world's population and the economy, has hit businesses in Germany "with full fury," according to a survey.

The study by a German-based institute for economic research indicated that business morale has dramatically crashed in Europe's largest economy this month.

German businesses climate index slumped to 74.3 from a downwardly revised 85.9 in March, according to the survey conducted by the Ifo institute.

"Sentiment at German companies is catastrophic," said Ifo President Clemens Fuest in a statement on Thursday. "The coronavirus crisis is striking the German economy with full fury."

Europe facing 'unimaginable human tragedy'

Meanwhile, the world Health Organization (WHO) said the coronavirus pandemic has created an "unimaginable human tragedy," in care homes across the continent.

The WHO figures show deaths related to COVID-19 accounted for up to 50 percent in care homes across Europe.

Speaking at a weekly news conference, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge described the situation as "deeply concerning."

He said estimates from some European countries showed that "up to half of those who have died from COVID-19 were residents in long-term care facilities."

Kluge called for "an immediate and urgent need to rethink and adjust how long-term care facilities operate."

"Even among very old people who are frail and live with multiple chronic conditions, many have a good chance of recovery if they are well cared for," he said.

He also said facilities need to establish plans to prevent and control infections, because care home residents are "particularly vulnerable" to the virus.

Klunge said that care facilities have to prioritize screening and organizing special units for COVID-19 patients, even before first cases are reported.

As of April 13, 245 of the 444 deaths in Ireland, or 55.2 percent, were linked to long-term care facilities, according to the WHO figures.

In France, as of April 15, 49.4 percent of deaths were linked to care facilities; while in Belgium 49.1 percent of the 4,857 deaths linked to COVID-19, as of April 16, were in care home, the figures showed.

In Britain, the largest representative body for care homes, Care England, said last week that estimates based on some of the death rates since the beginning of April suggested up to 7,500 people in the country's care homes may have died of COVID-19, five times the official estimate.

The International Long-Term Care Policy Network said also said that data reported in the media from official sources showed that COVID-19 fatalities in care homes in Portugal and Spain comprised almost half of all reported cases of positive COVID-19 cases worldwide, registered in the WHO's European region, which includes 53 countries.

Over 110,000 deaths have also been reported in the region.

The total death toll across the world has now reached 190,896, with nearly two-thirds of the deaths in Europe, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

A total number of 2,710,264 people have also been infected with the coronavirus worldwide.

Europe has so far been the hardest-hit continent with at least 116,221 deaths and 1,296,248 cases, according to an AFP tally.

The most severely affected country in the world is the United States, with 49,963, followed by Italy with 25,549, Spain with 22,157, France with 21,856 and Britain with 18,738, the figures show.

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