March, 27 2020 - 10:10 PM
After PM Johnson tests positive, top adviser sprints from Downing Street
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior adviser sprinted out of Downing Street on Friday shortly after his boss revealed that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Dominic Cummings, dressed in a green rain coat and with a rucksack over his shoulder, was shown on television running from Downing Street.
It was not immedately clear why Cummings was running. Downing Street did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
March, 27 2020 - 09:01 PM
Slovenia orders quarantine for those returning from coronavirus hotspots
Slovenia will quarantine all citizens returning from locations that have reported a large number of coronavirus cases, government spokesman Jelko Kacin told a news conference on Friday.
He said the country has so far quarantined 445 people, among them 41 who returned to Slovenia on a special flight from Spain late on Thursday.
According to TV Slovenia, the group includes a member of Slovenia’s national basketball team, Zoran Dragic, who plays for Spanish club Baskonia.
Slovenia, which borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, has so far reported 632 confirmed cases, with nine deaths.
March, 27 2020 - 08:20 PM
Italy has not reached coronavirus contagion peak: national health chief
Coronavirus infections in Italy have not reached their peak, the head of the country's national health institute said on Friday, the day after more than 6,150 people tested positive and 712 died in single 24-hour period.
"We haven't reached the peak and we haven't passed it," the chief of the Superior Health Institute Silvio Brusaferro told a news conference.
March, 27 2020 - 07:51 PM
Belgium debates limits in coronavirus lockdown
Belgium's government has given mixed signals about whether it will place limits on the distance people can cycle, after neighboring France told citizens not to travel more than a kilometer from home for exercise.
Belgium has already shut schools, cafes and gyms, and told people to stay home apart from trips to buy food or medicine, or for exercise at a distance from others. The measures expire on April 5, but are expected to be extended on Friday.
March, 27 2020 - 07:50 PM
Swiss death toll from coronavirus hits 197, confirmed cases top 12,000
The Swiss death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 197 people, the country’s public health agency said on Friday, rising from 161 people on Thursday.
The number of cases also increased to 12,161 from 10,714 on Thursday, it said. The Swiss government is due to give an update later on Friday on its efforts to halt the spread of the outbreak.
March, 27 2020 - 07:44 PM
UK health secretary tests positive for Covid-19
United Kingdom Health Secretary Matt Hancock has tested positive for coronavirus.
On Friday afternoon, Matt Hancock tweeted: "Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus. I've tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I'm working from home & self-isolating. Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives."
March, 27 2020 - 06:52 PM
In Iraq, coronavirus terrifies even doctors hardened by conflict
Through decades of conflict, Dr Haidar Hantoush has watched wounded soldiers and civilians flood into Iraq's emergency wards. But he's never been so scared.
"Violence we can just about handle. Patients stream into hospitals for hours at a time - but you can see how many there are. You get a lull to prepare for the next round," said Hantoush, public health director for southern province Dhi Qar.
"With coronavirus, there's no safe place. We don't know when the number of cases will explode.... Even the world's best healthcare systems can't cope."
March, 27 2020 - 06:44 PM
UK finance minister Sunak is not self-isolating: Treasury source
British finance minister Rishi Sunak is not self-isolating after Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus, a source at the finance ministry said.
March, 27 2020 - 06:43 PM
India lost time in race to keep coronavirus health staff safe, groups say
As the coronavirus spread across Asia in February, Indian manufacturers of personal protective equipment contacted the health ministry urging the government to stock up.
They got no response, according to Sanjeev Relhan and Rajiv Nath, the heads of two health-sector manufacturing associations.
March, 27 2020 - 06:33 PM
Coronavirus brings new taboos in famously freewheeling Amsterdam
The spread of coronavirus is giving rise to new social taboos in famously libertine, free-wheeling Amsterdam, with many no longer hugging their friends or pushing their way past others, to avoid the risk of infection.
The city's famed stone bridges and ancient canals are mostly empty, brothels, museums and marijuana cafes closed. One of Europe's biggest tourism hubs is now mostly a place for quiet bike rides and shopping alone.
March, 27 2020 - 06:26 PM
In virus-hit France the doctor will see you now - virtually
The doctor’s surgery in Paris where Tura Milo works has closed its door to patients because of the coronavirus but the general practitioner is still doing her consultations, only now by video conference.
“How many days have you had a fever for?” she asked a 31-year-old patient suspected of having the virus. The doctor could see the patient in a window on her computer screen, while the patient filmed himself using a webcam at home.
The doctor diagnosed a mild case of coronavirus, gave the patient an online prescription for medicine to relieve the symptoms, and advised him to limit contact with his boyfriend to avoid transmitting the virus.
March, 27 2020 - 06:04 PM
New York veterans hospital, struggling with coronavirus outbreak, asked to help civilians
The Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling to provide enough staffing and equipment for former vets hospitalized with the coronavirus illness in New York City, nursing union representatives say, yet some lawmakers are pressing the agency to treat civilians as well.
New York state has become the epicenter of the US coronavirus epidemic with more than 37,000 cases and 385 deaths, sending local and state leaders scrambling to increase hospital capacity.
March, 27 2020 - 06:00 PM
Paris hospitals near coronavirus breaking point
A spike in coronavirus cases will put France under huge pressure in coming days, its prime minister said on Friday, after reporting its biggest daily death toll and officials fearing hospitals in and around Paris could be saturated in 48 hours.
Paris and its suburbs now account for over a quarter of the 29,000 confirmed coronavirus infections in French hospitals, with almost 1,300 now in intensive care. Highlighting the disease's brutality, a 16-year-old girl with no underlying health conditions died of the virus on Thursday.
March, 27 2020 - 05:40 PM
Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus and is self isolating but will still lead the government's response to the outbreak.
"Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," Johnson said, reports Reuters.
"I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus."
March, 27 2020 - 05:30 PM
Foreigners face suspicion in China as coronavirus worsens overseas
Francesca Torlai has always got on well with her neighbours when walking her Pekingese mix-breed, Waffles, through the back streets of Beijing, but recently the Italian has started to overhear people referring to her suspiciously.
“Some are talking about my schedule and why and when I go out,” she said, adding that community volunteers often stop her now to ask for proof of where she has been.
“It’s ridiculous since the community is small and I’m the only foreigner with a dog,” she said.
March, 27 2020 - 05:21 PM
Spain's coronavirus death toll rises by 769 overnight to 4,858
Spain’s coronavirus death toll rose overnight by 769 cases to 4,858, the health ministry said on Friday, a new record in the number of fatalities recorded in 24 hours.
The total number of those infected rose to 64,059 from 56,188 on Thursday.
March, 27 2020 - 05:19 PM
Some Kenyan nurses refuse coronavirus patients in protest over shortages
Nurses in Kenya's capital and at least two towns have launched protests or refused to treat suspected coronavirus patients because the government has not given them enough protective gear or training, a medical union chief said.
Only a fraction of Kenya's estimated 100,000 healthcare workers had received any instruction in how to protect themselves, Seth Panyako, the secretary general of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, told Reuters
March, 27 2020 - 03:55 PM
Worldwide coronavirus deaths exceed 24,000
More than 531,600 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and 24,051 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in 203 countries and territories since first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
March, 27 2020 - 03:50 PM
Tendulkar digs deep for India's coronavirus fight
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar has contributed 5 million rupees (54,967.59 pounds) to India's fight against the coronavirus outbreak, a source close to the former cricketer has confirmed.
Tendulkar, who also took part in Australia's bushfire charity game in February, contributed 2.5 million rupees each to his state government of Maharashtra and the Prime Minister's relief fund, the source told Reuters.
The 46-year-old remains the world's leading run-scorer in Tests and one-day internationals, with more than 34,000 runs and 100 centuries. His 24-year career ended in 2013.
March, 27 2020 - 03:38 PM
Germany looks at tracking patients to suppress coronavirus
Germany has proposed using big data and location tracking to isolate people with coronavirus to keep the pandemic under control once social distancing measures now in force have slowed its spread, media reported on Friday.
The Interior Ministry’s strategy paper recommends following South Korea in aggressively testing for COVID-19 and using smartphone location data to help trace people who have come into contact with those infected with the flu-like disease.
March, 27 2020 - 03:36 PM
UK to use firefighters to deliver food, collect bodies in coronavirus crisis
The United Kingdom will use firefighters to help deliver food, retrieve dead bodies and drive ambulances as it braces for the looming peak of the coronavirus outbreak that has already claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people across the world.
Britain initially took a strikingly modest approach to the worst health crisis since the 1918 influenza epidemic but then changed tack to impose stringent controls after projections showed a quarter of a million British people could die.
March, 27 2020 - 03:05 PM
Oil mixed as government pledges reach $5 trillion in coronavirus chaos
Both of the benchmarks are down nearly two-thirds this year and the slump in economic activity and fuel demand has forced massive retrenchment in investment by oil and other energy companies.
Oil requirements around the world may drop by 20% as 3 billion people are in lockdown, the head of the International Energy Agency said as he called on major producers like Saudi Arabia to help stabilize oil markets.
"It's going to be a very uncertain year for us from a price point of view," Peter Coleman, the head of Australian oil and gas developer Woodside Petroleum told investors on a conference call on Friday.
March, 27 2020 - 03:00 PM
Australia's fight against coronavirus sees confusing mixed messages
The fight against the coronavirus in Australia is being hampered by mixed messages from the national and state governments, leaving the public confused, as the prime minister's incremental approach contrasts with a state push to 'go hard, go fast'.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has set up a National Cabinet of national and state leaders, but the goal of a unified response appears to be fraying as states forge their own paths.
As in the United States, power in Australia is separated between the states and national government. U.S. president Donald Trump has expressed unhappiness at shutdowns by U.S. states and says he wants "packed churches" on Easter Sunday.
March, 27 2020 - 02:30 PM
Malaysia announces $58-billion stimulus package to cushion impact of coronavirus
Malaysia will launch a stimulus package worth 250 billion ringgit ($58.28 billion) to counter the impact of a coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday.
About 128 billion ringgit will be spent on public welfare measures, with 100 billion used to support businesses, Muhyiddin added.
March, 27 2020 - 02:10 PM
India cuts rates as distress mounts across South Asia over coronavirus
India's central bank slashed interest rates in an emergency move on Friday to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic after the federal government locked down the country in order to slow the spread of infections across the region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked India's 1.3 billion people to stay indoors for three weeks in the biggest lockdown anywhere, shutting down Asia's third largest economy and leaving millions of economically vulnerable people without work.
The Reserve Bank of India lowered the benchmark repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.40% after a video conference meeting of its monetary policy committee (MPC), which was brought forward to respond to the crisis.
March, 27 2020 - 01:30 PM
Quarantine a boon for some Hong Kong hotels as thousands return
As thousands of Hong Kong citizens and expatriates return to the city, many are seeking refuge in hotels, fearful that cramped apartments in one of the world's most expensive property markets could put families or flatmates at risk.
Social distancing is tough in Hong Kong, where the bulk of the city's 7.4 million population lives in flats that on average are no bigger than 500 square feet (46 square metres).
The concerns have triggered a spike in occupancy rates for those Hong Kong hotels prepared to take self-quarantine guests, even as most of the industry grapples with a devastating slump due to coronavirus.
March, 27 2020 - 01:10 PM
Trump proposes dividing US by coronavirus risk levels
President Donald Trump, keen for an early lifting of economically costly social distancing measures against the coronavirus, said Thursday he would propose dividing the United States by risk levels.
In a letter to state governors released by the White House, Trump said that better testing now allows the mapping of virus threat on a local level.
"Under these data-driven criteria, we will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk," he said.
March, 27 2020 - 12:50 PM
Italy’s dead overwhelm morgues as virus toll tops 8,000
An overwhelmed Italian city at the heart of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday sent more of its dead to nearby towns for cremation as the country's world-leading toll topped 8,000.
Officials in Rome reported 662 new deaths and 6,153 infections — largely in line with the figures reported throughout the week.
The rise in daily deaths edged down to the lowest point in the crisis — 8.8 percent — while the infection rate stood at around eight percent for the fourth day running.
March, 27 2020 - 12:35 PM
Half-million infected worldwide as economic toll rises
The human and economic toll of the lockdowns against the coronavirus mounted Thursday as India struggled to feed the multitudes, Italy shut down most of its industry, and a record-shattering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in a single week.
The US surpassed official Chinese government numbers to become the country with most reported infections.
As the number of cases worldwide topped a half-million and deaths climbed past 24,000, the damage to people's livelihoods and their well-being from the effort to flatten the rising curve started to come into focus.