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Coronavirus: summary of Covid-19 news on Tuesday, April 14

A medical staff member from Barrand laboratory holds a positive COVID-19 serological test in Colmar, eastern France, on April 14, 2020, on the 29th day of a strict lockdown in France to stop the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). (Photo by SEBASTIEN

Coronavirus: summary of Covid-19 news on Tuesday 14 April

Trump suspends US WHO funding

Can we do a no comment on this? We think it might be best...

The Financial Times have published another insighful graph on the coronavirus situation in different countries. And it looks like most are now on or at least approaching the downward trajectory. 

Respirator designed by Red Bull and Renault F1 teams rejected by UK's NHS


Respirator designed by Red Bull and Renault F1 teams rejected by UK's NHS

All seven UK-based Formula 1 teams have teamed up to fight the coronavirus under “Project Pitlane” and have already developed two types of respirators that have been approved and gone into production, with the NHS ordering 10,000 units of each device.

However, a third low-cost prototype designed by Red Bull and Renault, known as BlueSky, has been rejected by the NHS as it did not meet requirements.

An inredible gesture from Newcastle younster Matty Longstaff, who will donate 30% of his £850-a-week salary to charity...


Social distancing may have to last until 2022

The Guardian has reported that social distancing may need to continue until 2022, according to experts. "A paper, published in the journal Science, concludes that a one-time lockdown will not be sufficient to bring the pandemic under control and that secondary peaks could be larger than the current one without continued restrictions," it says. 

Strange to see a Democrat representative praising Trump for his handling of the coronavirus...

France tops 15,000 deaths

France officially registered more than 15,000 deaths from coronavirus infections on Tuesday, Reuters reported, becoming the fourth country to go beyond that threshold after Italy, Spain and the United States, while the rate of increase of fatalities is slightly up again after steadying the days before.

But the number of people in intensive care units fell to 6,730 from 6,821 over 24 hours, with this total declining for a sixth consecutive day, suggesting the national lockdown, extended to 11 May on Monday, is having positive effects in containing the disease.

Coronavirus: Amazon tribes at 'risk of genocide' from Covid-19


Coronavirus: Amazon tribes at 'risk of genocide' from Covid-19

Risk of genocide warned

Authorities in the Brazil, along with defenders of the rights of indigenous groups, fear that these communities could be wiped out if action is not taken.

MLS season could be shortened to coronavirus

US reopening on 1 May 'optmistic'

The top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that a 1 May target date for reopening the economy was 'a bit overly optimistic,' citing a lack of critical testing and tracing procedures.

'We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we're not there yet,' Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Associated Press in an interview. Fauci also told the AP that the length of the daily White House coronavirus briefings was 'really draining.'

Trump, who is running for re-election in November, has at times used the briefings to promote his role and attack political opponents. Monday's lasted two and a half hours.

Pelosi speaks to James Corden about coronavirus 

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi spoke to US-based British TV presenter, Jame Corden, about using data and science to fight the coronavirus...

UK govt misled public in France comparison

An article in HSJ states that the global death comparison chart used in the televised briefing on Monday 13 April showed Covid-19 fatalities in France were just above 14,000, as compared to the UK total of 11,329 hospitalised deaths. Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the chart only “looks at deaths in hospital”. 

But, according to Public Health France, the figure for France included deaths from outside hospitals, such as in care and nursing homes. In fact, on 13 April, there were just 9,588 deaths of Covid-19 patients in French hospitals, from the total of 14,967 deaths in all settings.

Concern in India

Doctors say authorities in India's West Bengal state are slowing down the detection of coronavirus cases with a cumbersome, bureaucratic testing process that is putting health workers at risk, report Reuters.

Experts have flagged inadequate testing as a concern across India, where more than 10,000 of the 1.3 billion population have been found to have the virus. But a dozen doctors, including representatives of three medics' groups, have said the situation in West Bengal was particularly dire.

At around 3,000 tests for more than 90 million people, West Bengal has done just 33.7 tests per million, compared to a national average of around 156.9 per million, and 442 per million in the western state of Rajasthan.

Destiny by density

Coronavirus: how Greece is beating Covid-19 after debt crisis


Coronavirus: how Greece is beating Covid-19 after debt crisis

How Greece is dealing with Covid-19

Many people still see Greece as the country needing continuous financial aid from the European Union as they struggled to escape debt. But a new story is being written.

Could other leaders learn a thing or two?


UK's Public sector facing largest budget deficit since WWII

The Office for Budget Responsibility was set up in 2010 to provide independent analysis of the UK’s public finances. In the past it has been mainly tasked with scrutinising the government’s policy costings but with coronavirus predicted to hit the economy hard it has published an analysis of the UK’s economic future.

IMF says economy set to reach Great Depression-level lows 

Gita Gonipath, the IMF's chief economist, says the global economy is set to hit its worst crisis since the Great Depression.

"A partial recovery is projected for 2021, with above-trend growth rates, but the level of GDP will remain below the pre-virus trend, with considerable uncertainty about the strength of the rebound," she said.

“This is a deep recession. It is a recession that involves solvency issues and unemployment going up substantially and these leave scars,” Ms Gopinath said.

Positive Covid-19 cases in Africa top the 15,000 mark

Apple and Google are teaming up during this coronavirus pandemic and they announced a Bluetooth-based Covid-19 contact tracing platform that could alert people if they have been exposed to the virus.

When two people are near each other, their phones can exchange an anonymous identification key, recording that they’ve had close contact. If one person is later diagnosed with COVID-19, they can share that information through an app. The system will notify other users they’ve been close to, so those people can self-quarantine if necessary. Ideally, this means you won’t have to reveal your name, location, or other personal data.


South Dakota is the first state to use Hydroxychloroquine to fight Covid-19

After President Donald Trump insisted on using Hydroxychloroquine the Gov. of South Dakota Kristi Noem announced on Monday morning that Sanford Health will begin a clinical trial investigating the drug for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19.

India extends lockdown

India has extended its nationwide lockdown for its 1.3 billion people until May 3 as its prime minister warned of economic sacrifices to save lives as the number of coronavirus cases crossed 10,000.

Sharp downward revisions to economic growth forecasts in the wake of the pandemic point toward sickening levels of unemployment, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to maintain the discipline shown in the first three weeks of the country's lockdown.

"That means until May 3, each and every one of us will have to remain in the lockdown," Modi said in a televised address to the nation.

Southeast Asian leaders vow to cooperate in coronavirus fight

Southeast Asian leaders agreed at their first video conference summit on Tuesday to fight together against the "gravest public health crisis" in 100 years to make the region safe again.

Coronavirus cases in countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the past month have soared  to more than 20,000 from fewer than 840. The death toll has grown to 866 from 14, but due to limited testing in some countries, medical professionals suspect the real numbers may be much higher.

"COVID-19 is the gravest public health crisis ... in a century. It's critical for us and ASEAN to mount a united response because of how connected and interdependent our countries are," Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the meeting.

"None of us in ASEAN can be truly safe unless the entire region is safe," said Lee. The meeting, chaired by Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, agreed member states should "enhance cooperation" to combat COVID-19 in the region and ensure regional supply chains remain open, Vietnamese state broadcaster VTV reported.

Heathrow forecasts drastic April drop

London's Heathrow Airport, traditionally the busiest in Europe, forecast that passenger numbers would plunge by over 90% in April, as coronavirus restrictions stop most people from traveling.

The remaining 10%, or around 680,000 people, still using Heathrow this month will be either Britons returning home after being stuck abroad or foreign citizens repatriating, as well as medical experts traveling to help with the crisis.

Heathrow also said on Tuesday its passenger numbers were down 52% in March compared with the same month last year, as the 6.5 million who went on holiday or traveled for work last March shrunk to 3.1 million this year.

Champions League format for August proposed


Champions League format for August proposed

UEFA Champions League proposal

UEFA and ECA are making plans for a two-week conclusion to their showpiece tournament and the Europa League, allowing next season to begin in September.


World media on Covid-19

Selection from around the world on how the coronavirus pandemic is seen through the eyes of various media outlets in their daily headlines.


Putin warning

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned officials to be ready for “extraordinary” scenarios in the coronavirus pandemic as capital Moscow tightened its lockdown measures and Russia reported its highest daily infection figures yet.

Russia reported 2,558 new positive cases on Monday, bringing the overall nationwide tally to 18,328. Eighteen people diagnosed with the virus died overnight, pushing the death toll to 148

Mother of NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns dies 

Jacqueline Towns, the mother of NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns, died on Monday due to complications as a result of coronavirus, according to a statement from a Towns family spokesperson released by Towns' team, the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Trump tension

There was a scene of palpable tension at Monday night's daily White House Covid-19 briefing session as US President Donald Trump crossed swords with various members of the assembled media corps over the handling of the pandemic.

In case you missed this over the weekend, Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue paid tribute to the work of global health staff during the Covid-19 crisis with imagery beamed onto the famous Brazilian statue.

The daily graphs from J. Burn-Murdoch (Financial Times) are always a fine source of information relating to the expansion of the virus offering a fine visual reference point.

Covid-19 (at a glance figures)


USA: total confirmed cases 587,155 / total Covid-19 deaths: 23,644

Italy: total confirmed cases 159,516 / total Covid-19 deaths: 20,265

Spain: total confirmed cases 170,099 / total Covid-19 deaths: 17,756

Germany: total confirmed cases 130,072 / total Covid-19 deaths: 3,194

France: total confirmed cases 136,779 / total Covid-19 deaths: 14,967

*source (Worldometer 08030 CEST)


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