Coronavirus global news summary: cases and deaths - 28 April

Coronavirus live global: latest Covid-19 news on 28 April

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For the latest news relating to the global pandemic please follow the live blog for Wednesday 29 April

Three US children with Covid-19 have rare inflammatory syndrome

Three children, ranging in age from 6 months to 8 years, have undergone treatment for a rare inflammatory syndrome that appears to be similar to the one that has been causing concern in Spain, Italy and the UK, according to Reuters. 

Doctors in Europe have been investigating links between the coronavirus and clusters of severe inflammatory disease among children. The patients suffer from high fevers and swollen arteries. 

According to a pediatric rheumatologist and immunologist, talking to Reuters, the pattern of this syndrome in children in some ways follows what is happening with some adult COVID-19 patients, who get very sick, begin to recover, and then have a secondary immune response.

It should be noted that while these symptoms are highly concerning, they are affecting a very tiny percentage of young patients infected with the coronavirus. 

OScar

Streaming allowed

The eligibility rules for the Oscars have been changed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and movies will no longer be required to do a minimum of a one-week theatrical run in the Los Angeles area in order to qualify for the 2021 Academy Awards - meaning direct to streaming movies will qualify.

The Academy's Board of Governors approved the new rules: 

Until further notice, and for the 93rd Awards year only, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on a commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify in the Best Picture, general entry and specialty categories for the 93rd Academy Awards under these provisions:

-The film must be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release;

-The film must meet all other eligibility requirements.

Trump's advisers considering further direct cash support

Speaking to reporters at the White House earlier, one of Trump's economic advisers said the administration was studying "very carefully" the possibility that Americans might need more than a single $1,200 stimulus check to make it through the pandemic.
 

Ramos knows priorities

The Real Madrid captain spoke during his initiative for UNICEF, and explained why we must now focus our attention on the health workers.

What you need to know about Trump’s 60-day immigration ban

What you need to know about Trump’s 60-day immigration ban

President Donald Trump was criticized for suspending immigration during the coronavirus pandemic for 60 days, starting April 22. The entry of certain immigrants, who present a risk to the US labor market during the economic recovery following the pandemic, has been banned for two months.

Even though Trump’s executive order was criticized by many, he argued that he wants to protect American workers from competition with immigrants who are coming here to stay permanently.

If you're fortunate enough to have some space...

Get your car insurance rebate

Car insurers are issuing $10.5 billion in coronavirus refunds with freeways and roads abandoned due to the ‘stay at home’ period during the outbreak.

Read how people are claiming.

Animals contract

 

The vaccine is still undergoing trials, but India's Serum Institute are confident it's going to work.

F1

F1 shutdown period extended again

The mandatory shutdown period in Formula One due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been extended by a further four weeks, the FIA announced on Tuesday.

With the coronavirus crisis leading to multiple races at the start of the season being postponed, the mid-season break was brought forward to March and April and extended to three weeks rather than two.

The period teams are forced to close down their operations for was then extended by a further 14 days on April 7.

 

Testing pool widens in UK

Britain's coronavirus testing scheme will be opened up to a much wider pool of people including those over the age of 65 with symptoms, and all care home residents, health minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.

The government has faced heavy criticism over its handling of the virus outbreak, from which it could emerge with the highest death toll in Europe, particularly over a lack of testing capacity relative to other countries. However, Hancock said the government was on track to meet its 100,000 tests per day target by the end of the month and outlined several new groups who would be eligible. 

Corona-ffiti

The pandemic has seen a series of Covid-19 inspired graffiti and street art from East London to New York's East Village.

USA tops 1 million Covid-19 cases

U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus topped 1 million on Tuesday, having doubled in 18 days, and making up one-third of all infections in the world.

More than 56,500 Americans have died of the highly contagious respiratory illness Covid-19 caused by the virus, an average of about 2,000 a day this month, according to the tally. The actual number of cases is thought to be higher, with state public health officials cautioning that shortages of trained workers and materials have limited testing capacity.

About 30% of the cases have occurred in New York state, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania.

Spain update

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Tuesday a four-phase plan to lift the lockdown enforced on the nation to control one of the world's worst outbreaks of the coronavirus with an aim to return to normality by the end of June.

The lifting of the strict measures will begin on Monday 4 May and vary from region to region depending on factors such as how the rate of infection evolves, the number of intensive care beds available locally and how regions comply with distancing rules, he said.

Further details:

Spain update

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Tuesday a four-phase plan to lift the lockdown enforced on the nation to control one of the world's worst outbreaks of the coronavirus with an aim to return to normality by the end of June.

The lifting of the strict measures will begin on Monday 4 May and vary from region to region depending on factors such as how the rate of infection evolves, the number of intensive care beds available locally and how regions comply with distancing rules, he said.

Tebas not happy with French PM

Ligue 1 first of 'Big 5' to cancel season

The French Prime Minister has announced that no sporting events can take place before September, with the football leagues then not being able to be completed.

Mind the gap

If you're planning on doing any exercise near other members of the public, please remember that there are different social distancing guidelines.

Domestic abuse during lockdown

The coronavirus lockdown could lead to a 20% surge in domestic violence as victims remain trapped at home with their abusers, the United Nations predicted on Tuesday, warning the pandemic will have a 'catastrophic impact' on women, repors Reuters.

Tens of millions of women may be unable to access contraception and millions more girls could be married off or subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) as a result of the pandemic, researchers said. Every three months of lockdown could result in 15 million more cases of domestic abuse than would normally be expected, according to the UNFPA, the U.N. sexual and reproductive health agency which spearheaded the research. The projections underscore what the United Nations has described as a 'shadow pandemic' alongside Covid-19.

Many countries have already reported spikes in calls to domestic abuse hotlines. At the same time the lockdowns are making it far harder for services and charities to reach women isolated at home. 'This new data shows the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 could soon have on women and girls globally,' said UNFPA head Natalia Kanem. 'The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health.' 

Russia overtakes Iran

Russia confirmed 6,411 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours to take the total number of infections to 93,558. It means that Russia has now moved past Iran and up to eighth in the world ranking of positive cases. They are however, way behind Iran in terms of fatalities with 867 deaths recorded, compared to 5,877 in Iran.

Portugal

Portugal to lift state of emergency on 3 May

Portugal's lockdown, which shut most non-essential services last month to contain the spread of the coronavirus, will be lifted from 3 May but the reopening of the economy will be a slow and gradual process, the country's president said on Tuesday.

"What matters in this new phase is that the Portuguese know that containment remains important so we must take small steps and constantly evaluate (the situation)," President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told a news conference as he announced Sunday's end of a state of emergency first imposed on 18 March.

There have been 24,322 postive cases confirmed in Portugal since the outbreak began with 948 deaths - in sharp comparison to Iberian neighbours Spain, who have registered almost 10 times as many cases and 23,822 deaths.

Metallica offer fans another lockdown #MetallicaMonday show

The rock band offered another weekly dose of live metal with Monday's 'Stay home'' gig this week offering a live stream of an old-school gig from 1991 - the third stop on the never ending Black Album tour in Muskegon, Michigan.

Arg.

Argentina blocks commercial flight sales until September in coronavirus response

Argentina has banned until September ticket sales for commercial flights as part of its coronavirus response, prompting an industry outcry that the new measure will put massive strain on airlines and airports.

While the country's borders have been closed since March, the new decree goes further in preventing until Sept. 1 the sale and purchase of commercial flights to, from or within Argentina.

The spread of coronavirus "does not allow certainties" for the end of social isolation measures, which would threaten commercial air transportation, the decree said.

"It has been understood to be reasonable to set September 1, 2020 for the purpose of rescheduling regular operations or requesting authorizations for non-regular operations of passenger air transport subject to the effective lifting of restrictions imposed on commercial air transport and operating modalities," the decree by the National Civil Aviation Administration said.

Spain's death toll continues descent

The Spanish Health Ministry confirmed the figures for the past 24 hours in which the trend continues its downward path. There were 301 death registered between Monday and Tuesday - 30 less than yesteday, which takes the overall number of fatalities to 23.822.

The total number of positive cases in Spain rose to 210,773 - an increase of 1,308 during the last 24 hours.

New Zealand returns to work as lockdown is eased

New Zealand gave their economy a boost on Tuesday as half a million citizens were allowed to return to work. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lowered the alert level to 3, allowing factory workers, construction site workers and takeaway food businesses to reopen, ending almost five weeks of self-isolation restrictions. Schools were also allowed to reopen on Tuesday although some were not expecting full classes just yet as many parents remain worried about health risks.

New Zealand had been under lockdown since 26 March. 

Kim Jong un

Kim Jong Un may be lying low to avoid coronavirus, not through illness

Kim Jong Un may have missed a key holiday on 15 April because of concerns over the coronavirus, not because he is ill, South Korea's minister for North Korean affairs said on Tuesday. North Korean leader Kim's absence from public ceremonies on the birth anniversary of his grandfather and founder of the country, Kim Il Sung, was unprecedented, and he has not been seen in public since. That has led to days of speculation over his health.

However, South Korean officials emphasise they have detected no unusual movements in North Korea and have cautioned against reports that Kim may be ill. North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but given the fact that the country has taken stringent steps to head off an outbreak, Kim's absence from the ceremonies is not particularly unusual, Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, who oversees North Korea engagement, told lawmakers. "It is true that he had never missed the anniversary for Kim Il Sung’s birthday since he took power, but many anniversary events including celebrations and a banquet had been cancelled because of coronavirus concerns".

Kim Yeon-chul said at a parliamentary hearing. He said there were at least two instances since mid-January where Kim Jong Un was out of sight for nearly 20 days. "I don’t think that’s particularly unusual given the current (coronavirus) situation." US President Donald Trump said on Monday he has a good idea how Kim Jong Un is doing and hopes he is fine, but would not elaborate.

If Kim Jong Un is hiding out due to fears surrounding Covid-19, it would question the state media narrative of how this crisis has been perfectly managed, said Chad O'Carroll, CEO of Korea Risk Group, which monitors North Korea. "If he is merely trying to avoid infection, it should theoretically be very easy to release photos or videos of a healthy-looking Kim," he said. 

A Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, said on Saturday that satellite images from last week showed a special train that was probably Kim's at Wonsan, lending weight to reports he had been spending time in the resort area. 

Tokyo

300,000 coronavirus masks sent to pregnant women in Japan are faulty

A batch of around 300,000 coronavirus masks sent to pregnant women in Japan as part of a government handout have been found to be faulty, media reports said, the latest in a string of complaints about how the government has dealt with the pandemic. The efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to distribute protective cloth masks in its fight against the coronavirus have been marred by complaints about mould, insects and stains in a number of the masks handed out so far.

Just days after it began supplying every household with two washable, reusable masks at a total cost of $430 million, complaints emerged of soiled or defective products, many of them from pregnant women. By Tuesday, the number of defective masks distributed to pregnant women had risen to 300,000 out of 500,000, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The masks are being sent out in order of priority, with pregnant women and care homes for the disabled at the head of the list, though private households in Tokyo are also starting to receive theirs. 

Health Ministry Katsunobu Kato told a Tuesday news conference the safety of all the masks would be verified. "It's of top priority to guarantee the quality of the masks so pregnant women can use them with relief," he said. 

Masks remain a sought-after item in Japan. Sharp Corp said in a statement on Tuesday that 4.7 million people applied for 40,000 boxes of face masks. Last week, overwhelming demand crashed the Japanese electronics firm's website soon after the company started taking orders online. It then changed to sell the masks through a lottery to avoid more crashes and said it was ramping up production to meet demand.

Difference between social distancing, quarantine and isolation

New words and terms have entered our lexicon during the coronavirus pandemic but what do they mean and how should we act within the given guidelines?

Full story:

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Good morning/afternoon/evening wherever you are joining us from today. It's Tuesday 28 April and we have all the global news on Covid-19 as the fight continues against the pandemic.

As we start off this live feed, the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world is on the verge of passing three million and, as you will likely know, we passed the three million mark of confirmed positive cases yesterday.

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