torsdag 7 maj 2020

Covid-19 - US Covid-19 death toll passes 75 000 and Russia overtakes Germany and France after record rise in cases

US Covid-19 death toll passes 75 000, Madrid health official resigns over plans to ease lockdown and Russia overtakes Germany and France after record rise in cases. 

Trump continues to push theory that virus came from lab

“Something happened, the US president told reporters in the Oval Office when asked about the theory that the coronavirus was released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“Probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid,” he added during a meeting with the Texas governor.

It comes after US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed he had seen “enormous evidence” that the virus had originated at the lab. No evidence has been produced. China has denied the claims.

Global death toll nears 270,000

The total number of coronavirus deaths across the world has reached 268,999, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked the spread of the virus during the pandemic.

The US death toll from coronavirus has now surpassed 75,000 people, the highest globally, followed by the UK with 30,689 deaths.

The countries with the next highest numbers of deaths are Italy with 29,958 and Spain with 26,070.
White House reportedly shelved guidance on reopening businesses

A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was shelved by the White House, according to AP News.

The document includes step-by-step guidance on how and when local authorities should allow businesses to reopen and life to resume as normal.

The 17-page report was scheduled to be published on Friday but now the guidance “will never see the light of day”, a CDC official told AP.

It urges businesses to slowly reopen while continuing to observe social distancing. Trump has pushed for a rapid reopening despite fears of a surge in coronavirus cases.

Concerns over UK contact-tracing app

The UK’s contact-tracing app must not be rolled out until the government has increased privacy and data protections, a parliamentary committee has said, as rights groups warn that the current trial is unlawful under the Data Protection Act.

The joint committee on human rights said it was essential legislation was enacted to ensure the mass surveillance of personal data did not result in a violation before the trial was expanded.

The app, which is being trialled on the Isle of Wight, logs users’ movements and can alert people if they have had contact with someone who has developed symptoms.

Madrid health director resigns as region seeks to lift lockdown

The director of public health for the Madrid region, Yolanda Fuentes, has resigned, apparently in protest at the regional government’s decision to seek to loosen lockdown restrictions in the area of Spain hardest hit by coronavirus.

Fuentes stepped down as the Madrid regional government prepares to seek permission from the national health ministry to reopen small businesses, with restaurant and bar terraces opening at 30% capacity.

Fuentes is understood to have had grave reservations about the move, as Madrid remains badly affected by the virus.

France’s daily death total falls

France reported 178 new coronavirus deaths, a fall from 278 the previous day, and saw its number of patients in intensive care drop under 3,000 for the first time since late March.

The health ministry said 25,987 people were now confirmed to have died from the virus in hospitals and nursing homes.

France reveals easing of lockdown measures

The French prime minister, Édouard Philippe, said the country’sborder will remain closed for the “foreseeable future” except for absolutely essential professional or family reasons and trans-border workers, and they will still need to carry an international declaration.

Although restrictions will be eased in some areas, in the capital and the four adjoining regions – Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Grand Est Bourgogne-Franche-Comte – which comprise the “red zone”, public parks and gardens will remain shut.

Anyone stopped by police or gendarmes making a journey of more than 100km will need a new sworn declaration stating the journey is absolutely essential.
Brazil records further 610 deaths

Brazil registers 9,888 new cases of coronavirus and 610 deaths on Thursday, the country’s health ministry said. That brought the total to 135,106 confirmed cases in Brazil, with 9,146 deaths from Covid-19.

WHO study: 190,000 people in Africa could die from virus

Up to 190,000 people in Africa could die of Covid-19 during the first year of the pandemic if containment measures fail, according to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Algeria, South Africa and Cameroon are among the countries at high risk if containment measures are not prioritised, the study found.

It also warned that health services would be overwhelmed with the number of people requiring treatment and recommends that hospitals increase their capacity.
Turkey records 57 further deaths

The number of people who have died from Covid-19 in Turkey has risen by 57 in the last 24-hours to 3,641, Health Ministry data showed.

The overall number of cases rose by 1,977 to 133,721, the highest total outside western Europe, the US and Russia.

Australian cabinet set to ease restrictions in stages

Australia’s national cabinet is expected to ease some social distancing restrictions on Friday as the number of new coronavirus infections slows.

Australia’s minister for health, Greg Hunt, said he expected the cabinet to detail a timetable for easing those restrictions.

“What I expect is a clear roadmap out, with clear stages,” Hunt told reporters.

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