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Coronavirus live India: latest Covid-19 news - Thursday 23 April

US coronavirus update at 01:45 CEST on Friday 24 April/ 19:45 ET and 16:45 PT on Thursday 23 April

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,703,613 cases have been detected worldwide, with 190,303 deaths and 737,857 people now recovered.

In the United States there have been 866,646 cases, with 49,759 deaths. 79,938 people have recovered from the virus.

U.S. to test some immigrants for coronavirus before deportation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to begin testing some migrants in detention for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, before deporting them to other countries, according to a U.S. official familiar with the effort. ICE will acquire 2,000 tests per month from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to screen deportees, the official said, without giving further details on when the effort will start.

The move comes amid criticism from foreign governments about receiving migrants infected with virus. (report by Reuters)

New Rolling Stones single finished in isolation gets release

The Rolling Stones have just announced a brand new track ‘Living In A Ghost Town’, recorded in LA and London last year and finished in isolation! 

Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships succumb to Covid-19

Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have announced.

Pompeo warns U.S. may never restore WHO funding

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said a fundamental reform of the World Health Organization is needed following its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and that the United States, WHO's biggest donor, may never restore funding to the U.N. body.

"I think we need to take a real hard look at the WHO and what we do coming out of this," Pompeo told Fox News late on Wednesday.

"We reformed this back in 2007, so this isn't the first time we've had to deal with the shortcomings of this organization that sits inside the United Nations," he said. "We need a fix. We need a structural fix with the WHO."

President Donald Trump suspended U.S. funding of WHO last week, accusing it of being "China-centric and promoting China's "disinformation" about the outbreak. WHO officials have denied this and China insists it has been transparent and open.

Tragic story of mother, separated from newborn baby, dying of Covid-19 infection

There have been no end of tragic stories during the coronavirus crisis, one of the most recent, involved Wogene Debele, who was nine months pregnant with her fourth child when she contracted Covid-19 and was admitted to hospital in Maryland. Doctors were able to deliver her baby boy, Levi, three weeks ago, but because of the virus, Debele had to be separated from him immediately, CBS report. Sadly, she lost her battle with the coronavirus before ever getting the chance to hold her newborn baby.

 

More woe as US unemployment figures are released

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across the United States of America continues to be felt with a further 4.4 million filing for unemployment during the past week.

Tragic story of mother, separated from newborn baby, dying of Covid-19 infection

There have been no end of tragic stories during the coronavirus crisis, one of the most recent, involved Wogene Debele, who was nine months pregnant with her fourth child when she contracted Covid-19 and was admitted to hospital in Maryland. Doctors were able to deliver her baby boy, Levi, three weeks ago, but because of the virus, Debele had to be separated from him immediately, CBS report. Sadly, she lost her battle with the coronavirus before ever getting the chance to hold her newborn baby.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren's older brother dies from Coronavirus

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has revealed that her elder brother Don Reed died from complications due to Coronavirus infection earlier this week in Norman, Oklahoma. He was 86 and had tested positive for the virus three weeks ago.

"My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening. He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny, a natural leader," she confirmed on Twitter today. "I’m grateful to the nurses and frontline staff who took care of him, but it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say “I love you” one more time—and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close. I'll miss you dearly my brother."

 

What to expect at gyms when they reopen in the US

As some states in the US prepare for phase one of Opening Up America Again, here's how gyms are preparing to keep people safe as they work out:

Economic stimulus checks - who qualifies for them and who doesn’t?

The US government’s Inland Revenue Service started issuing economic stimulus checks last week but who qualifies to receive them and who doesn’t?

Full details here:

One book to read in lockdown: Levels of the Game by John McPhee

John McPhee's account of the 1968 US Open semi-final between Arthur Ashe and Clark Graebner is a stunning achievement in scope and delivery.

Full review here:

Chinese citizen journalist reappears after two months

Li Zehua, a Chinese citizen journalist who went missing after posting videos from Wuhan in February, has reappeared today, saying he was detained by the authorities in China and forcibly quarantined.

Georgia business owners oppose reopening plans

This report from The Guardian brings more dissenting voices as Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, plans to begin reopening the US state this week.

“As much as I would like to be open, it’s not happening,” one business owner said. "Being closed has not been fun, but it’s been the safest, best thing we could do for our staff and our customers.”

Atlanta mayor warns against "deadly" Georgia reopening plans

The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, has spoken of her fear that the Georgia governor’s plan to reopen the state will be "deadly"

On Monday, Governor Brian Kemp announced plans to restart the state’s economy by Friday, allowing gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlours to reopen.

"It concerns me deeply that we are still seeing an upward trend [of coronavirus cases] in our state and we are rushing to reopen businesses," Bottoms told CBS. 

"What I've said is I hope the governor is right and I'm wrong, because if he's wrong more people will die.”

The US president, Donald Trump, has also spoken of his opposition to Kemp's plan, telling reporters:  "I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he’s doing."

Key Wuhan scientist reacts to China conspiracy theories

The director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory has hit out at claims the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab, saying: "There is no way this virus came from us."

Full story:

Top US scientist sacked over resistance to hydroxychloroquine

The New York Times has reported that Dr Rick Bright, a senior scientist involved in the US’ search for a coronavirus vaccine, was fired from his post over his doubts about the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by America president Donald Trump as a potential “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19.

Las Vegas mayor's eyebrow-raising coronavirus proposal

In an interview with CNN, Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman caused some surprise by seemingly offering up her city as a "control group" to test the reopening of the United States amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Full video:

Journalists told

Although President Trump tends to evade or turn nasty when asked difficult questions, this article by Salon suggests reporters have to push.

POTUS' 'shoot them down' oil boost

Brent has shown signs of recovery, possibly helped with Trump's aggressive comments towards Iranian ships.

Two New York cats become first U.S. pets to test positive for COVID-19

Two cats in New York have become the first pets in the United States to test positive for the new coronavirus but there is no evidence pets can spread the virus to humans, according to U.S. health authorities. 

The cats, from separate areas of New York state, had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. It is believed that they contracted the virus from people in their households or neighborhoods, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A tiger and a lion, also in New York, were earlier this month identified as infected with the new coronavirus.

New York City is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, which like much of the world is taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread, but authorities indicated owners did not need to fear their pets.

"Animals, pets, can get infected. ... There's no evidence that the virus is transmitted from the pet to a human," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at the daily coronavirus briefing.

The CDC recommends that owners not let their pets interact with people or other animals outside the household. Cats should be kept indoors and dogs should be walked on a leash, maintaining at least six feet (1.8 meters) from other animals and people, it said.

The trajectory of the pandemic in the US has changed with news that a 57-year-old California woman's death in Febraury can be traced back to Covid-19. The woman worked at a company in Silicon Valley that has staff from Wuhan and other international cities. It could change how the virus is tackled in the US.

Trump has CDC director clarify remarks on second virus wave

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was called on by President Donald Trump on Wednesday to walk back his remark that the second wave of novel coronavirus in the fall could be worse than the current situation. 

CDC Director Robert Redfield made the widely circulated comment in an interview Tuesday with the Washington Post. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the health expert was misquoted and would be putting out a statement. Redfield, however, said he was quoted accurately.

"I think it's really important to emphasize what I didn't say: I didn't say that this was going to be worse," Redfield said at the daily White House coronavirus briefing. "I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated because we're going to have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time."

Redfield's remarks came as Trump appeared to downplay the risk that the coming fall or winter could bring another serious wave of COVID-19 combined with outbreaks of seasonal flu.

"We will not go through what we went through in the last few months," Trump said. "It may not come back at all."

Trump said, however, that there could be "embers of corona" that could combine with flu to create "a mess." Even as Trump attempted to project optimism in the nation's battle with the virus, he said he disagreed with Georgia

Governor Brian Kemp's aggressive push to re-open his state's economy in violation of federal recommendations. Trump said that was too soon.

"They can wait a little bit longer, just a little bit - not much," Trump said. "Because safety has to predominate. We have to have that."

Even so, Trump said he was encouraged to see some states begin to open up their economies and ease restrictions.

He announced that his administration will hold a July 4 celebration on the National Mall in Washington, as it did last year. At present, the capital remains under a stay-at-home order through May 15.

Trump spoke about the suspension of immigration as he continues to say he is doing so to put the American worker first. There is hardly any data suggests that suspending immigration will help US workers.

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