In an interview Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Trump has not taken the COVID-19 crisis seriously enough from day one. ’As the president fiddles, people are dying’, said Pelosi, adding that the White House is still lagging when it comes to getting testing kits and medical equipment to where they are needed.
An 108-year-old woman, who survived the Spanish Flu and two World Wars, has died of the COVID-19 in the UK. Hilda Churchill, who was to celebrate her birthday on April 5, started showing mild symptoms of the virus on Tuesday. She passed away on Saturday, less than 24 hours after testing positive for COVID-19.
In an attempt to protect himself from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been self-isolating in a luxury hotel in the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He is said to have booked a four-star hotel that received ’special permission’ to accommodate his party. Some reports suggest his entourage includes a ’harem’ of 20 concubines and numerous servants.
Globally the number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 678K with over 30K deaths and 146K recoveries. The cases in the US (123K) constitute nearly 20% of cases reported globally. The death toll in Italy has crossed 10K and is followed by Spain at over 6500. New Zealand recorded its first death related to the coronavirus.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the US economy would bounce back later this year to levels seen before the coronavirus outbreak began. He said the US will be compensated for support to airlines. Under the bill passed Friday, Mnuchin can demand equity, warrants or other financial instruments to ’provide appropriate compensation.’ Mnuchin did not directly answer whether he will.
Dozens of prisoners broke furniture, set off fire and smashed windows in a jail in northeastern Thailand during a riot sparked by rumours of a coronavirus outbreak in the facility. About 100 prisoners took part in the riot, and police fired gunshots in the operation to quash the violence in the Buriram prison, which holds 2,000 inmates. Seven inmates who escaped during the riot were recaptured.
The UK government has enlisted the help of Whats App to answer all the queries of its users about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic through a new chatbot. The automated service is designed to provide trusted information and the most up-to-date guidance on the government website. The UK government’s effort is an attempt to help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the country.
China has warned that the rising number of imported coronavirus cases have raised the possibility that the country will undergo a second wave of infections. As per the National Health Commission, ’China already has an accumulated total of 693 cases entering from overseas’. China reported 45 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, of which 44 were patients entering the country from overseas.
North Korea has reportedly fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast on Sunday. Decrying the test as ’inappropriate’ amid the global COVID-19 outbreak, South Korea urged the North for an ’immediate halt’. Japan’s Ministry of Defense said they appeared to be ballistic missiles.
The coronavirus death toll in the US has risen to more than 2,000, doubling in just 2 days. The country has recorded 2,114 deaths and 123,012 infections, with more than 52,400 reported in New York State, by Saturday evening. New Jersey, California and Washington state remained high on both lists. But states like Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana were seeing significant increases in their numbers.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 143,000 people across the United States and killed more than 2,000 in the country, has also thrown the life of students off balance. Students across the country are frustrated about a lack of coherence with respect to job opportunities and the possibility of graduating, as colleges across the country are closing due to the pandemic.
As per the WSJ, federal agencies, state and local governments have been receiving location data from mobile ads to help plan their pandemic response. The report says that the anonymized info helps officials understand where people are still gathering in numbers, how they are managing stay-at-home demands and how the virus has impacted retail.
President Trump, on Friday, had directed Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary, to demand General Motors to start building ventilators under the Defense Production Act to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. It occurred after talks with the automaker had stalled. GM stated it had been working with medical device company Ventec Life Systems and parts suppliers to build more ventilators.
Hundreds of Britons are stranded on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship where 4 people have died of the disease. The ship has been at sea since 14 March and is anchored off the coast of Panama. The MS Zaandam was scheduled to head to Florida, after passing through the Panama Canal, on 30 March, but Panama authorities said a transit of the canal would depend on a health inspection of passengers.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez on Saturday announced stricter lockdown measures that will force all non-essential workers to stay at home for the next two weeks. This comes as the country continues to record a surge in cases around COVID-19. So far there have been 78,797 cases in Spain with 6,528 deaths and 14,709 recoveries. Workers would receive their usual salaries, Sanchez said.
ER doctor of 17 years at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Washington State, was fired after he decried publicly for lack of urgency & COVID-19 protective gear for medical staff. His contracting company, TeamHealth, says he is not fired and will be placed at another position, elsewhere.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned on Saturday that the next two weeks will be the toughest yet in the fight against coronavirus in the country. As per latest reports, the virus had claimed 2,314 lives in France, with more than 37,575 confirmed cases. A decision would be taken in a week on a further extension of a lockdown beyond April 15, Philippe said.
As per reports, the toll of the COVID-19 on the news media could be worse than the 2008 financial crisis, which saw newspapers experience a 19% decline in revenue. Local newspapers, heavily dependent on ad revenues from business, in the US and Canada are unlikely to survive. Among the bigger names, BuzzFeed has instituted pay cuts.
With PM Boris Johnson and health minister Matt Hancock, central figures of UK politics tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. According to Johnson, he experienced mild symptoms including cough and mild fever but continues to lead the government. He is the first world leader to announce a positive coronavirus test and is working from home and self-isolating.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported that the presidential primary election in New York will be delayed from April 28 to June 23. It is due to the coronavirus outbreak. New York is the epicenter of the virus in the U.S., with 52,000 of the 110,000 cases. Ten other states and Puerto Rico have postponed their primaries, as well.
The UK will have done well if it comes through the COVID-19 crisis with lesser than 20,000 deaths, warned Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the National Health Service. Powis said the NHS had been working to increase the intensive care capacity beyond the 4,000 beds it typically had. Currently the UK has reported 17,089 with 1,019 deaths.
Apple, in conjunction with both the CDC and Federal agencies, launched their new COVID-19 screening website and app. Available for any user, and promising not to gather data, the symptom checker assist those in self-screening for the virus.
Brazil’s president Bolsonaro speaks of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as ’a little flu’ calling strong measures against it unnecessary. He does not believe that the disease will cause major harm to Brazil and is causing political disputes as most of Brazil’s governors have adapted strong measures including lockdowns to stop the pandemic.
Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, has begun to re-open after more than two months under strict quarantine. Crowds of people were seen arriving at the Wuhan train station on Saturday. Authorities have also allowed civilian air travel in its Hubei region. The first domestic passenger flight took off at midnight on Sunday as most cities in Hubei resumed air travel.