Coronavirus latest updates: The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has claimed at least 210, 551 lives and infected at least 3,034,801 people worldwide since its outbreak, according to a tally by John Hopkins University. The United States continued to be the worst affected, with over 960,000 cases and over 55,000 deaths. However, President Donald Trump has projected that coronavirus deaths in the United States could reach 70,000, but said original projections were much higher as he explained why voters should consider re-electing him in November.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief also said the US is “well-positioned” to handle the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. In a news briefing on Monday, Dr. Michael Ryan that the American plan for exiting lockdowns appears to be based on several parameters, including a downward trajectory in cases and sufficient health care capacity.
He added that the US had a “superb” public health infrastructure able to manage the transition once restrictive measures are loosened. WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said all countries should have heeded the agency’s warning when it declared Covid-19 to be a global emergency on January 30, when there were only 82 cases of the disease beyond China.
Here are top updates on coronavirus from across the world:
France plans gradual exit from lockdown from next week
France is planning to ease its coronavirus lockdown from May 11 to avoid an economic meltdown, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, adding caution that infections would spiral higher again if the country moved too swiftly. In an address to the parliament, he said schools will gradually reopen and businesses will be free to resume operations. However, restaurants and cafes will remain closed until at least early June and professional sports, including soccer, will not begin again until the autumn. “A little too much carefreeness and the epidemic takes off again. Too much prudence and the whole country buckles,” the PM said.
Spain’s daily death toll drops, govt debates lockdown easing
Spain’s daily death toll fell to 301 today, far below record highs of three times as much in early April. The health ministry said the total fatalities since the start of the outbreak rose to 23,822, with the daily increase coming down from Monday’s 331 and also well below record highs of over 900 earlier in the month. The number of diagnosed cases rose to 210,773 from 209,465 on Monday.
This will allow the government to set a framework for regions to start phasing out the lockdown which was put in place on March 14. On Sunday, children under 14 were granted one hour of daily supervised outdoor activity.
UK says some children have died from syndrome linked to COVID-19
Some children in the United Kingdom with no underlying health conditions have died from a rare inflammatory syndrome which researchers believe to be linked to COVID-19, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday. Italian and British medical experts are investigating a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and clusters of severe inflammatory disease among infants who are arriving in hospital with high fevers and swollen arteries.
Doctors in northern Italy, one of the world’s hardest-hit areas during the pandemic, have reported extraordinarily large numbers of children under age 9 with severe cases of what appears to be Kawasaki disease, more common in parts of Asia.”There are some children who have died who didn’t have underlying health conditions,” Hancock told LBC Radio.
“It’s a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus and the COVID-19 virus, we’re not 100% sure because some of the people who got it hadn’t tested positive, so we’re doing a lot of research now but it is something that we’re worried about.””It is rare, although it is very significant for those children who do get it, the number of cases is small,” Hancock said.
Trump faults China for coronavirus’ spread, says US investigating
US President Donald Trump said that China could have stopped the coronavirus before it swept the globe and said his administration was conducting “serious investigations” into what happened.
“We’re doing everything in our power to heal the sick and to gradually reopen our Nation.” pic.twitter.com/xEapbkT6hd
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 27, 2020
“We’re doing very serious investigations … We are not happy with China,” Trump said at a White House news conference. “There are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable.” “We believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world, ” he added.
New Zealand reports zero domestic cases
With new cases in single figures for several days – one on Sunday – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated. The news came hours before New Zealand moved out of its toughest level of social restrictions. Around 400,000 people returned to work after Ardern shifted the country’s alert level down a notch, loosening some of the tough movement restrictions that shut down businesses for weeks.
Fines up to Euro 10,000 for not wearing face masks in Germany
Germans will now have to pay a hefty fine of up to 10,000 Euros for not wearing face masks on public transport, long-distance trains and in shops, reported The Guardian. As per the new rule called Maskenpflicht (maskduty), fines between Euro 25 to Euro 10,000 can be imposed on those who fail to wear a mask in public. The new rule was introduced in Germany’s 15 of the 16 states.
New Zealand has reported just 1,124 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 19 deaths, one of the lowest tallies in the world. The community transmission rate was 0.4%.”We can say with confidence that we do not have community transmission in New Zealand. The trick now is to maintain that,” Ardern told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday.
Brazil emerges as next big hotspot
Brazil is emerging as potentially the next big hot spot for the coronavirus amid President Jair Bolsonaro’s insistence that it is just a “little flu” and that there is no need for the sharp restrictions that have slowed the infection’s spread in Europe and the US. As some US states and European countries moved gradually Monday to ease their limits on movement and commerce, the intensifying outbreak in Brazil – Latin America’s biggest country, with 211 million people – pushed some hospitals to the breaking point, with signs that a growing number of victims are now dying at home.
Brazil officially reported about 4,500 deaths and almost 67,000 confirmed infections. But the true numbers there, as in many other countries, are believed to be vastly higher given the lack of testing and the many people without severe symptoms who haven’t sought hospital care. Some scientists said over 1 million in Brazil are probably infected. The country is heading into winter, which can worsen respiratory illnesses.
Coronavirus spreads fear through Latin America’s unruly prisons
There are growing fears of coronavirus spreading through Latin America’s crowded prisons after photos were released over the weekend of inmates in El Salvador packed tightly together during a search. Associated Press reported that “authorities crammed prisoners albeit wearing masks tightly together in prison yards while searching their cell.” This was after president Nayib Bukele ordered the crackdown after more than 20 people were murdered in the country Friday and intelligence suggested the orders came from imprisoned gang leaders.
In Chile, the Puente Alto prison in downtown Santiago has more than 300 reported cases among 1,100 inmates. In the Dominican Republic, more than 5,500 inmates were tested at the La Victoria prison, with at least 239 testing positive.
No Olympics without vaccine for Covid-19: Japan Medical Association Pres
The head of Japan’s medical association thinks it will be difficult to hold the Olympics without an effective coronavirus vaccine. “I hope vaccines and drugs will be developed as soon as possible,” Japan Medical Association President Yoshitake Yokokura said Tuesday. Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games until July next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Japan is under a monthlong state of emergency amid a rapid increase of infections throughout the country, where hospitals are overburdened. Experts have said it could take 12-18 months or longer to develop a vaccine that is safe and effective for clinical use. Japan has 13,576 reported virus cases, plus 712 others from a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, with 389 deaths, the health ministry said Tuesday.
Wuhan’s hospitals remain empty of virus patients for second day
The Chinese city of Wuhan that was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic again reported no new cases or deaths Tuesday and its hospitals remained empty of virus patients for a second straight day. China as a whole reported six new cases, three of them brought from overseas and three in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia. No new deaths were reported nationwide and 648 current confirmed cases remained registered. Another 1,006 people were under isolation and monitoring, suspected of having the virus or after testing positive without showing any symptoms. China, where the virus first emerged late last year, has reported a total of 4,633 deaths among 82,836 cases.
Italy records lowest day-to-day number of new COVID cases
Italy has registered its lowest day-to-day number of new cases of Covid-19 since practically the first day the nation was put under lockdown to contain what would become one of the world’s worst outbreaks. According to data from the Italian health ministry, 1,739 cases new cases were confirmed in the 24-hour period ending Monday evening. The previous time the nation saw such a low daily number occurred on March 10, when 77 new cases were registered. Italy now has 199,414 known cases. It registered 333 deaths since Sunday evening, raising to 26,977 the number of known deaths in the country, which has Europe’s highest death toll in the pandemic. Some of Italy’s lockdown rules will be partially eased on May 4, but many restrictions on retail shops, museums and other businesses will last two or more weeks beyond that date. Scientists advising the government are concerned the contagion rate will start soaring again when Italians start moving around more with newly regained freedoms. Premier Giuseppe Conte has decided that re-opening society will come gradually, since there is no vaccine against Covid-19.
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