April, 24 2020 - 10:10 PM
Italy's daily coronavirus death toll lowest since March 19, but new cases rise
Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 420 on Friday, the smallest daily tally since March 19, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the number of new infections rose to 3,021 from 2,646 on Thursday.
Friday’s death toll was down from 464 the day before.
April, 24 2020 - 09:30 PM
US coronavirus death toll surpasses 50,000
The death toll in the US is now more than 50,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The country has by far the highest death toll in the world and the number of confirmed infections is more than 869,000, reports the BBc.
However, the US has a population of 330 million, much higher than other worst affected countries such as Spain and Italy.
April, 24 2020 - 09:01 PM
US not at Geneva meet, but says it will lead on 'global health matters'
The US mission in Geneva said on Friday that although the United States did not participate in a meeting of world leaders on the coronavirus outbreak there was "no doubt about our continuing determination to lead on global health matters".
World leaders pledged on Friday to accelerate work on tests, drugs and vaccines against Covid-19 and to share them around the globe, but the United States did not take part in the video conference launch of the World Health Organization (WHO) initiative.
The United States has halted funding to the WHO, which President Donald Trump has lambasted as slow and "China-centric". The United States had been the largest donor.
"The pause in US funding to WHO does not limit or redefine our commitment to strong and effective international engagement," a spokesperson at the mission said.
April, 24 2020 - 08:34 PM
Biggest Covid-19 spike in 24 hours with 1752 cases, 37 deaths: India
In its biggest single-day jump since the beginning of the outbreak, India on Friday reported 1,752 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total to 23,452.
The number of deaths rose to 723 with 37 more people dying from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, reports the Hindustan Times.
The previous highest single-day increase was on April 20 when 1,540 cases were reported.
April, 24 2020 - 08:19 PM
'Toughest over': Spain's daily coronavirus deaths lowest in a month
Spain’s daily coronavirus deaths fell to the lowest in more than a month on Friday, prompting the government to declare the most acute phase of the epidemic was over as it prepared criteria to ease one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns.
The 367 registered deaths in the previous 24 hours represented just a 1.7 percent increase overall, down from 440 the previous day, and the lowest since March 21.
However, with 22,524 deaths in total, Spain still has the world’s third-highest tally after the United States and Italy.
April, 24 2020 - 08:05 PM
World must ensure equal access for all to Covid-19 vaccines, drugs: WHO
All new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments against the new coronavirus must be made equally available to everyone worldwide, the World Health Organization said on Friday as it outlined a plan to accelerate work to fight Covid-19.
April, 24 2020 - 07:30 PM
France to decide end-May when to reopen bars, restaurants
France will decide towards the end of May when bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday, as the government prepares to ease some of its coronavirus lockdown measures from May 11.
April, 24 2020 - 07:26 PM
England's Covid-19 hospital death toll rises by 587 to 17,373
The Covid-19 death toll in English hospitals rose 587 to 17,373, the health service said.
“34 of the 587 patients (aged between 50 and 102 years old) had no known underlying health condition,” it added.
April, 24 2020 - 07:13 PM
US coronavirus death toll expected to reach 50,000 on Friday
The US death toll from the novel coronavirus is expected to reach 50,000 on Friday, doubling in 10 days and the highest in the world, according to a Reuters tally.
About 875,000 Americans have contracted the highly contagious respiratory illness Covid-19 caused by the virus, and on average about 2,000 have died every day this month, according to a Reuters tally.
April, 24 2020 - 06:55 PM
How Africa risks reeling from a health crisis to a food crisis
In Nigeria’s Benue state, the food basket of the country, Mercy Yialase sits in front of her idle rice mill. Demand is high across the nation, but she already has mounds of paddy rice that are going nowhere amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
“I can’t mill because the marketers are not coming,” Yialase said, referring to wholesale buyers, as she sat at a market stall in the city of Makurdi with dozens of other millers.
Although food truck drivers are meant to be exempt from lockdown restrictions, many are afraid for their own safety, or fear they will be fined or arrested by overzealous police.
April, 24 2020 - 06:48 PM
Trump's coronavirus disinfectant comments 'dangerous', doctors say
Doctors and health experts urged people not to drink or inject disinfectant on Friday after US President Donald Trump suggested scientists should investigate inserting the cleaning agent into the body as a way to cure Covid-19.
"(This is an) absolutely dangerous crazy suggestion," said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain's University of East Anglia.
April, 24 2020 - 06:13 PM
The cost of lockdowns in emerging markets
Measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in developing countries come at a heavy cost to governments and citizens, raising poverty levels and government debt and crimping future growth.
Policy-makers have to make some hard socio-economic choices depending on the demographic, fiscal and labour market set-up of their country. Rising inflation pressures and borrowing costs might well force countries to ease restrictions before the virus spread has been contained.
Below are three factors that will play a role in decision making on the scope and length of lockdowns.
April, 24 2020 - 05:54 PM
World leaders due to launch Covid-19 drugs, vaccine plan: WHO
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will help launch a global initiative on Friday to accelerate work on drugs, tests and vaccines against Covid-19 and to share them around the world, the World Health Organization said.
The WHO said late on Thursday it would to announce a "landmark collaboration" on Friday to speed development of safe, effective drugs, tests and vaccines to prevent, diagnose and treat Covid-19.
WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a UN briefing on Friday that Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen would take part in the 1300 GMT announcement, led by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
April, 24 2020 - 05:44 PM
Al-Aqsa preacher's voice echoes across Jerusalem devoid of Ramadan crowds
An imam standing atop an 18-foot pulpit in a near-empty Al-Aqsa Mosque delivered the first Friday prayers of Ramadan in Jerusalem, his voice echoing across an empty and windswept plateau almost devoid of worshippers.
In historic scenes rarely, if ever, witnessed at the third holiest site in Islam, below him kneeled only a handful of Muslim clerics in facemasks, staying several feet apart because of coronavirus restrictions.
“We ask God to have mercy on us and all of humanity and to save us from this lethal pandemic,” the imam said.
April, 24 2020 - 05:27 PM
Antwerp port trials wristbands for coronavirus social distancing
Workers in the port of Antwerp will next month begin testing wristbands developed by a Belgian technology company that could help guarantee the social distancing required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rombit, also Antwerp-based, already supplies wearables resembling a sports watch that can warn workers if vehicles are approaching, provide an alert if someone falls into the water or control who uses what equipment or enters specific zones.
New software recently installed could help workers keep a required distance apart by giving warning signals if they come for example within 1.5 metres (five feet) of each other.
The developers believe it also could offer contact tracing if someone becomes infected with the coronavirus. The company or health officials can then establish with whom the person was in contact at work in the preceding weeks.
April, 24 2020 - 05:15 PM
Rapid V-shaped recovery from coronavirus unlikely for German economy: Ifo
The German economy will see signs of recovery from mid-year at the earliest, an economist at the Ifo institute said on Friday, adding that any recovery from a recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic would likely not be a V-shaped one.
Ifo, whose business climate index for April fell to a record low, said the Germany economy was experiencing its toughest time since reunification almost 30 years ago.
April, 24 2020 - 05:02 PM
Indians try to flee unsanitary, overcrowded coronavirus quarantine centres
Thousands of people in overcrowded coronavirus quarantine centres in government buildings across India are complaining of poor food and sanitation and lack of social distancing, inmates and officials say. Some are trying to escape.
People who have tested positive but show no symptoms of Covid-19 or those who came into close contact with them or had travelled abroad were sent to the centres initially for 14 days.
April, 24 2020 - 04:37 PM
US food banks run short on staples as hunger soars
It's pitch black in El Paso, Texas, when the minivans and pickups start lining up at 4 am, snaking for more than a mile down the desert roadway leading to the city's largest food bank.
When rations are finally distributed five hours later, many boxes are filled with too many castoff beefsteak tomatoes but no pasta. Nor is there any rice, beans or other dry or canned goods.
"We really have no dry goods," said Bonnie Escobar, chief development officer of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.
April, 24 2020 - 04:26 PM
Spain records lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths in over a month
Spain said on Friday the number of daily coronavirus-related fatalities fell to its lowest level in more than a month, with 367 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
That took total fatalities to 22,524 from 22,157 the day before, the health ministry said. The overall number of coronavirus cases rose to 219,764 from 213,024 the day before.
April, 24 2020 - 04:05 PM
Coronavirus crisis not changing EU priorities on Brexit - French minister
The new coronavirus outbreak crisis does not change European priorities in the Brexit negotiations, French European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin said on Friday.
She also told reporters that a no-deal Brexit would be an extra shock on top of the COVID-19 crisis but Britain would suffer the most.
April, 24 2020 - 04:03 PM
Johnson, on the mend after Covid-19, faces lockdown conundrum
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces the biggest conundrum of his premiership as he recuperates from Covid-19: how to lift a lockdown that is destroying swathes of the British economy without triggering a deadly second wave of the outbreak.
Johnson, 55, is on the mend at his country residence after spending three nights in intensive care at a London hospital earlier this month with Covid-19 complications. He later said he owed his life to the hospital staff.
April, 24 2020 - 03:52 PM
Pakistan's Sindh province bans prayer at mosques during Ramadan
Pakistan’s Sindh province banned communal prayers on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday, heeding the advice of doctors who are urging Pakistan’s central government to tighten its restrictions on mosque congregations.
Governments of Asian nations with large Muslim populations have urged people to keep their distance while observing their faith during the fasting month, which gets underway shrouded in fear over the coronavirus.
April, 24 2020 - 03:46 PM
South Africa to begin phased easing of lockdown on May 1
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday the government will allow a partial reopening of the economy on May 1, with travel restrictions eased and some industries allowed to operate under a five-level risk system.
Ramaphosa struck a cautious tone in his second national address of the week while emphasizing that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic had yet to pass and that people needed to remain vigilant.
April, 24 2020 - 03:42 PM
US House passes $500 billion coronavirus bill in latest relief package
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill on Thursday, funding small businesses and hospitals and pushing the total spending response to the crisis to an unprecedented near $3 trillion.
The measure passed the Democratic-led House by a vote of 388-5, with one member voting present. House members were meeting for the first time in weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
April, 24 2020 - 03:39 PM
Mystery of India's lower death rates seems to defy coronavirus trend
Parts of India have recorded dramatic falls in mortality rates after a nationwide lockdown was imposed to fight the new coronavirus, suggesting there has not been an undetected surge in virus-related deaths.
All over the world, mortality rates are being scrutinised to determine the true impact of the coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year and is known to have infected more than 2.7 million people globally, with nearly 190,000 deaths.
April, 24 2020 - 03:38 PM
Australia will make it a crime to use coronavirus tracing data for non-health purposes
Australia will make it illegal for non-health officials to access data collected on smartphone software to trace the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, amid privacy concerns raised by the measure.
Australia has so far avoided the high death toll of other countries, with only 78 deaths, largely as a result of tough restrictions on movement that have brought public life to a standstill.
April, 24 2020 - 03:37 PM
Coronavirus tally rises to 91 on Italian cruise ship in Japan
As many as 91 crew of an Italian cruise ship docked in Japan's southwestern port of Nagasaki are infected with coronavirus, officials said on Friday, as questions persist over how and when they will return to their home countries.
Authorities have tested about half the vessel's crew of 623 and are racing to screen the rest after finding one of them infected this week, fanning worries that the illness could spread wider and eventually put a strain on medical services.
April, 24 2020 - 03:36 PM
Masked Hong Kong students take final school exams after coronavirus delay
Thousands of Hong Kong students were among the first in the world to take their final secondary school exams on Friday, all wearing face masks and having their temperatures checked after being stuck at home for months due to the coronavirus.
The Diploma of Secondary Education examination was given the go-ahead with a four-week delay as the number of new coronavirus cases has fallen, though social-distancing measures remain in place throughout the Chinese-ruled city.
April, 24 2020 - 03:30 PM
Muslims mark Ramadan with unprecedented virus lockdowns
Muslims around the world began marking Ramadan under coronavirus lockdown on Friday with unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers, while a pushback in some countries has sparked fears of a surge in infections.
April, 24 2020 - 03:25 PM
'Inject disinfectant into the body to clean the lungs', Trump suggests coronavirus treatment
US President Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectant into the body of a Covis-19 patient will be useful to keep the lungs clean and therefore will beat the virus.
Trump made the remark on Thursday after having a meeting with Bill Bryant, chief of Department of Homeland Security's science and technology division. Bill gave a presentation on research his team conducted that showed that the virus doesn't live as long in warmer and more humid temperatures.
Bryan said, "The virus dies quickest in sunlight," leaving Trump to wonder whether you could bring the light "inside the body," reports CNBC.