Coronavirus: news summary for Wednesday 15 April

Coronavirus live: latest Covid-19 news - Wednesday 15 April

Thursday's live updates

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Amazon

Amazon the “clear winner” from Covid-19

Online retailer Amazon has seen a huge increase demand as shoppers are forced to stay at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the company being declared a “clear winner” by financial analysts. The share price has soared, climbing from $1,689 a month ago to $2,295 now. 

With bricks and mortar retailers forced to shut and furlough or lay off staff, Amazon has been on a hiring spree to try and fill demand from consumers trapped at home across the world. 

Analysts expect Amazon to increase annual sales by some 20% to $335 billion. 

The company has been hit by criticism for not doing enough to protect staff from coronavirus infection at its warehouses. The company fired two employees this week who had complained of allegedly unsafe conditions at some of its warehouses. According to the Washington Post (owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) 75 Amazon warehouse and delivery workers in the US have been infected with the virus. 

Bezos’ personal fortune now stands at $138 billion. He owns 11% of Amazon, which is currently valued at $1.14 trillion. 

UK to unveil rescue package for start-ups

Britain's Treasury is expected to unveil a sweeping rescue package for start-up businesses within days, the Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Ministers are rushing ahead with a bailout plan for loss-making companies whose funding pools have dried up, the report added, citing sources in the technology industry.

The aim of the package would be to keep venture capitalists investing in start-ups amid signs of dwindling support as the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive recession, according to the Telegraph.

Jeff Bezos has seen his wealth grow by 20% during the coronavirus lockdown. The owner of Amazon has added $42 billion to his already considerable net worth with people locked down at home and buying things from his company more than usual.

Care home fears in UK

"Some care home residents need to be admitted to hospital fairly frequently, making them more likely to come into contact with the virus," but AS told that they are not tested.

Did stray dogs cause the spread of the virus?

A scientist says the eating of contaminated dog intestine could have caused the spread of coronavirus. A new study published in Molecular Biology Evolution might have eaten bat meat contaminated with Covid-19 and passed it on to humans.

Criminal case made against Belarus leader

A man living in France who lost his mother to the coronavirus has filed a police case against the leader of his native Belarus, report Reuters. He is accusing President Alexander Lukashenko of failing to take adequate measures to fight the spread of the pandemic.

Aleksander Matveyev said he had reported Lukashenko to Belarus police for investigation over the death of his mother, Lydia Matveyeva, 68, who died on 2 April in a hospital in Vitebsk, a city in northeast Belarus.

'Lukashenko did not take the necessary measures in time,' her son told Reuters in a video call. 'And if this person who exercises power does not take those measures, he does nothing, he should be held accountable like any other citizen.' 

Global Covid-19 cases pass two million

According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, there have now been over 2,000,000 cases officially reported.

Johnson questioned again

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised again for reacting poorly to the spread of coronavirus which has already cost over 12,000 deaths in the country.

Spain's attempt to restrict fake news

Keeping the news coming through official channels has been approved, a decision that worries some.

Greece avoided political spin

Just as signs were appearing that their long battle against debt was coming to an end, Covid-19 struck. Their decision wasn't easy, but could have been critical...

Tour de France set for August

Official confirmation is still outstanding but the dates of August 29 start with a September 20 finish have been relayed to AS via a source at ASO (event organisers). 

(article in Spanish here)

Donald Trump is no king

President Trump claimed he had "total authority" when it comes to lockdown orders across the US, but the Constitution makes it clear that's not the case.

WHO: Lockdowns should be lifted in 2-week stages to stem Covid-19 spread

Countries that ease restrictions imposed to fight coronavirus should wait at least two weeks to evaluate the impact of such changes before easing again, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

Rajoy actions to be investigated

Following the earlier report that former Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy had been spotted breaching conferment regulations and going for a walk, it now appears that the former politician's actions are to be investigated claimed Spain's Minister for the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska 

Gates adds his voice

Donald Trump's decision to withdraw funding from the WHO (World Health Organisation) is drawing dissent from many quarters with Microsoft's Bill Gates the latest high profile name to criticise the action of the US president. Gates states that the world needs the WHO now more than ever.

Irish foreign minister criticises Trump WHO decision

Ireland's foreign minister Simon Coveney called for leadership & unity to save lives, not division and blame in message posted on social media relating to the US president's decision to withdraw World Health Organisation funding.

Spain fatality rate drops again

The Ministry of Health confirmed this morning that the death relate from Covid-19 on Wednesday was 523 individuals, a slight drop from Tuesday's 567 fatality number.

Former Barcelona keeper Rüştü Reçber speaks to AS about his coronavirus recovery

The most capped Turkish International player of all time is recovering at his Istanbul home following his battle with the Covid-19 virus and talks to AS about the experience. 

Leganés fitness initiative

Each week day, the LaLiga side open their Twitch account to allow the public to train with first team coach Pol Llorente as he takes the Lega' side through their daily fitness routine. 

Today's session commences at 1100 CEST and can be accessed via this Twitch link

Denmark, first European nation to reopen schools

As a first step in a gradual relaxation of a month-long lockdown, Denmark will on Wednesday reopen day care centres and schools for children in first to fifth grade.

But the government has faced some criticism for keeping many small businesses such as restaurants, cafes and hair dressers shut.

Putin

Russia suffers daily record rise in cases

Russia on Wednesday reported 3,388 new cases of coronavirus, a record daily rise, bringing its overall nationwide tally to 24,490, the country's coronavirus response centre said.

It said 198 people in Russia diagnosed with the virus had now died, an overnight rise of 28.

Second Brazil governor confirms positive

Helder Barbalho, governor for the State of Pará in northern Brazilian is the second state leader to confirm positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Focus on Greece and how they are dealing with Covid-19

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

Spain set to extend lockdown through to May 10

Staying with Spain, ElDiario.es report that Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez will look for another lockdown extension that would take the country through to 10 May. Sanchez will put the motion to parliament on 22 April.

Rajoy in hot water

Former Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has been captured on camera on a series of occasions leaving his house of residence and breaking confinement regulations by going for a stroll.

The latest instalment of the fine visual Covid-19 graphs from the Financial Times via JB Murdoch representing data for Tuesday.

Trump decides to cut WHO funding

The President of the United States said his administration will conduct a "thorough" investigation into World Health Organisation funding that should last 60 to 90 days.

Covid-19 (at a glance figures)

Cases-Deaths

USA: total confirmed cases 614,216 / total Covid-19 deaths: 26,064

Italy: total confirmed cases 162,488 / total Covid-19 deaths: 21,067

Spain: total confirmed cases 174,060 / total Covid-19 deaths: 18,255

Germany: total confirmed cases 132,210 / total Covid-19 deaths: 3,495

France: total confirmed cases 143,303 / total Covid-19 deaths: 15,729

*source (Worldometer 0900 CEST)

Good morning and welcome to our live coronavirus blog. Over the course of the day, we will be bring you the latest information, breaking news and data relating to the Covid-19 pandemic from around the world on 15 April. At the time of writing, the virus has claimed over 126,000 lives with over 1.9 million positive cases currently confirmed around the world.

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