President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best-case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. Asked at a White House briefing if he was considering limiting domestic air travel, Trump said he was thinking about it, a phrase he frequently applies to subjects he wishes to avoid discussing. We're thinking about doing that, but at the same time we just, to start these airlines and to start this whole thing over again is very tough, John [Roberts, Fox News reporter].
Thomas Peter/Getty The US intelligence community has determined that the Chinese government concealed the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and gave false statistics to other countries, Bloomberg News reported, citing three US officials. Officials transmitted a classified report of their findings to the White House last week. Bloomberg described its sources as saying that the report's main conclusion was that China's public reporting of coronavirus cases was "intentionally incomplete" and that its numbers were fake.
Iran's parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali Larijani's illness on its website, saying he was receiving treatment in quarantine. Iran, the regional epicenter of the virus, has been fighting one of the world's worst outbreaks.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a recommendation Thursday to wear face coverings when going outside, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly set to do the same. The public should use homemade cloth face coverings when outside and reserve medical-grade masks for health care workers, a draft CDC document obtained by Stat News reveals. A CDC official later told The New York Times the same guidance would soon be issued.
California has not seen the surge in coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed cities like New York and Detroit in the past week, which suggests that the state's early and restrictive shelter-in-place orders could be slowing the virus's spread. California implemented one of the earliest and strictest orders to stay at home in the United States in mid-March, and as of Wednesday, there were 8,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 183 deaths in the state compared with the 76,000 cases and 1,714 deaths in New York. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on Tuesday that she was “reassured by what California has been able to do” to help control the virus with physical distancing orders.
In four years as a doctor in Ethiopia, Rediet Libanos has used a mechanical ventilator just once: on a patient who suffered a haemorrhagic stroke a few months ago. During a training this week in Addis Ababa, Rediet and six other doctors got a refresher on how to optimise oxygen volume and pressure for patients whose lungs are failing, practicing first on a green rubber dummy organ before visiting clinics to see ventilators in action. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators -- out of around 450 total -- had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.
Wuhan doctor Ai Fen, who expressed early concerns about the coronavirus to the media, has disappeared and is believed detained by Chinese authorities. Fen, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, was given a warning after she disseminated information about the coronavirus to several other doctors. The reprimand from her boss came after Fen took a photo of a patient's positive test results and circled the words 'SARS coronavirus' in red.
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday, slightly higher than the daily rise of 727 registered a day earlier. The number of new cases was steady, growing by 4,668 from a previous 4,782, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 to 115,242. Thursday was the fourth consecutive day in which the number of new cases remained within a range of 4,050-4,782, seeming to confirm government hopes that the epidemic has hit a plateau, ahead of a hoped-for decline in the near future.
Migrant workers looking to finally travel back to their jobs in Beijing and other major cities must cope with constantly changing quarantine policies enforced by local officials whose decisions often seem arbitrary. Following Rules The move to end the lockdown in Wuhan -- the city at the epicenter of Covid-19 -- next week could spur even more problems. The opening of surrounding Hubei province last month spurred rare clashes between police from two different forces as authorities in neighboring regions sought to prevent a second wave of infections.
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON - Russia sent the United States medical equipment on Wednesday to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, a public relations coup for Russian President Vladimir Putin after he discussed the crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump, struggling to fill shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment, accepted Putin's offer in a phone call on Monday. A Russian military transport plane left an airfield outside Moscow and arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy in late afternoon on Wednesday.
Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, listed several states that could be the next “hot spots” for large numbers of COVID-19 cases, based on how many positive cases they have now.
Reuters Amazon has implemented a number of social distancing policies amid the coronavirus pandemic, but employees say the reality does not always match the rhetoric. A worker at an Amazon warehouse in Indiana sent Business Insider a photo that they allege shows managers huddled at a table next to a sign that states, "Please work together to ensure social distancing is happening." Amazon told Business Insider that it will investigate the incident.
A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports. The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located.
California's governor on Thursday said small businesses can keep up to $50,000 in sales tax receipts for the next year as the COVID-19 outbreak has forced people to stay home and many shops to close. The move means businesses with $5 million in sales or less will get up to a year to give the state up to $50,000 in sales taxes they collect from customers. It's essentially an interest-free loan aimed at keeping small businesses afloat in a state where the governor has ordered everyone to stay home to prevent the spread of a virus that has so far killed 233 people.
Austria is preparing to join neighbouring states in turning to mask wearing as a further weapon to fight the coronavirus, presenting citizens under lockdown with another challenge to cultural norms due to the pandemic. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had said he wanted larger supermarkets to start providing shoppers with masks on Wednesday, but a tour of several Vienna supermarkets showed that not all of them had masks ready to hand out. "We have to do all we can to slow down infections and lots of people say that wearing a mask helps, so I think it's right," 42-year-old Vienna resident Stephan Hofmann told AFP -- through a mask.
Border closures and strict lockdowns prompted by the Covid-19 crisis have disrupted the migrant trail through Central America and Mexico, forcing some would-be migrants to postpone their journeys – and stopping many others in their tracks. The result has been a deterrent more effective than any wall Donald Trump could build. Activists across the region have reported a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central America since the restrictions were implemented.
Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. It comes after the coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, prompting Chinese authorities to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals. Shenzhen went a step further, extending the ban to dogs and cats.
South Korea's fierce battle against the coronavirus has turned the pandemic into an unlikely boon for President Moon Jae-in and his ruling party as campaign season kicks off on Thursday ahead of parliamentary elections on April 15. By the time South Korea was hit by the first major outbreak outside of China in February, approval ratings for Moon and his Democratic Party of Korea were already battered by a stagnant economy and more than a year of domestic political scandals. The government's stringent response to the epidemic, which was praised by the World Health Organisation and other nations, appears to have reversed this downtrend: Moon's approval ratings hit a 16-month high last week, a poll by researchers Realmeter showed while his party's popularity was 15% higher than the conservative main opposition United Future Party.
The U.S. recorded its deadliest day – more than 1,000 fatalities – since the coronavirus outbreak began, more than 215,000 overall infections have been reported, and public health officials may recommend that more Americans wear face masks to combat the pandemic that has brought the global economy to its knees. "Even if you do wear a mask, it can't be at the expense of social distancing," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. The current U.S. death toll appears to be a tiny fraction of what the nation faces over the next few weeks, public health officials say.
The viral illness is extremely contagious, and spreads from person to person easily through close contact. The most severe coronavirus cases (20%) often include difficulty breathing, and may require hospitalization, where patients may be hooked up to ventilators, which help blow more oxygen into a person's lungs. The novel coronavirus has already killed more than 3,000 people in China, 9,000 in Spain, 12,000 in Italy, and it isn't done yet.
The United States Navy has removed the captain of an aircraft carrier who sounded the alarm over a COVID-19 outbreak aboard his ship, NBC News and Axios report. Capt. Brett Crozier, who commands the USS Theodore Roosevelt, had sent a stern four-page letter to his superiors on Monday begging for help containing the outbreak, in which some 150 to 200 sailors had reportedly tested positive out of his nearly 5,000-person crew. Crozier's letter leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle, and expressed fears that the Theodore Roosevelt was unable to follow quarantine social distancing guidelines when it was forced to dock in Guam.
Astronomers have revealed the best evidence yet for an elusive cosmic oddity: the intermediate black hole. These medium-sized black holes are smaller than supermassive black holes, but larger than stellar-mass black holes. Supermassive black holes, it turns out, may form from intermediate-mass black holes.
Early this week, the streets of the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak were bustling with shoppers as ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat. The city has become a lightning rod for anger and frustration by some secular Israelis who allege insular Haredi communities — with disproportionately high numbers of confirmed cases — are undermining national efforts to contain the virus. The pandemic also has threatened to upend deep-seated customs in the religious world, including blind obedience to religious leaders and the belief that religious studies and traditions take precedence over the rules of a modern state.
Neurologists around the world say that a small subset of patients with COVID-19 are developing serious impairments of the brain. Although fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the typical hallmarks of infection with the new coronavirus, some patients exhibit altered mental status, or encephalopathy, a catchall term for brain disease or dysfunction that can have many underlying causes, as well as other serious conditions. The patient, who had chronic lung disease and Parkinson's, was flailing his arms and legs in jerky movements, and appeared to be having a seizure.