torsdag 16 april 2020

Covid-19 - Laps for Charity

 Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro fires health minister

Dismissal comes after weeks-long stand-off, and as Trump casts doubt on China death toll and almost 700 test positive on French aircraft carrier

Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old war veteran in the UK, has vowed to continue completing laps of his garden despite passing his 100-lap target.

He originally aimed to raise just £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing the laps but has now raised almost £16 million.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall have written to Captain Moore.

Prince William has also made an undisclosed donation to the appeal, Kensington Palace said.

Europe still in the midst of Covid-19 storm, World Health Organization warns

Europe is still at the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the continent warns, with the number of cases on the continent nearing a million.

“As of today, Europe remains very much at the centre of the pandemic. And on the one hand, we have reason to be optimistic, and at the other to be still concerned,” the WHO’s Hans Kluge said.

In the past 10 days, the number of cases reported in Europe has nearly doubled, he told reporters in an online briefing. This meant about 50% of the global burden of Covid-19 was in Europe, Kluge said.
1m coronavirus tests to be rolled out across Africa

More than 1m coronavirus tests will be rolled out in Africa from next week to address a gap in assessing the number of cases on the continent, the head of the African Union’s health body has said.

In an online briefing to journalists on Thursday, John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, said maybe 15m tests would be required across the continent in the next three months, the Associated Press reported.

Africa has suffered in the global race to obtain testing kits and other badly needed medical equipment. While the number of virus cases across the continent was above 17,000 on Thursday, health officials say the testing shortage means there are many more out there.
France unveils new €110bn coronavirus support package

The French government has unveiled a vast package of measures estimated at €110bn (£95.8bn) to help the country through the coronavirus crisis.

A new budget bill announced by the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, aims to address the economic and social problems caused by the pandemic. It is a significant increase on the €45bn announced in March, but the finance minister, Gérard Darmanin, said no one could be sure €110n would be enough. “The government is prepared to go further if necessary,” Darmanin said.

France is among Europe’s worst-hit countries, with more than 134,000 confirmed cases and in excess of 17,000 deaths, according to figures compiled by John Hopkins University.
Calls for condemnation of Hungarian government’s anti-democratic response to Covid-19 crisis

MEPs and civil society groups have called on the European commission and European Council to condemn the Hungarian government’s exploitation of the coronavirus crisis to erode democracy.

In an open letter, 80 signatories, including Human Rights Watch and Transparency International, warned the European commission president, Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, and the European Council president, Charles Michel, that they must not allow Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán to use the pandemic as a smokescreen for anti-democratic activities

The measures, in place since late March, have been criticised for the sweeping powers they hand to Orbán, to rule by decree. Another part of the bill provides penalties of up to five years in prison for those spreading misinformation during the pandemic.

French military orders inquiry into coronavirus outbreak on board flagship aircraft carrier

The French military has ordered an inquiry into how the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the flagship of the naval fleet, was contaminated with Covid-19 after a third of its crew tested positive for the virus.

The cluster is especially puzzling as the nuclear-powered vessel had reportedly had no contact with the outside world since it went to sea on 15 March.

Last Friday, the French defence ministry confirmed 50 sailors had coronavirus and the ship, in the Atlantic at the time, was ordered back to base in the port of Toulon on France’s Mediterranean coast. It arrived on Sunday, two weeks earlier than planned. Since then 668 sailors of the 1,767-strong crew have tested positive, the French defence ministry confirmed

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