coronavirus usa1

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus, officially COVID-19, passed 119,000 on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 2 million people have tested positive for the virus. Germany saw its new coronavirus cases fall for the fifth consecutive day.

The U.S. has had more than 23,000 deaths and 682,000 COVID-19 cases, leading the world in both reported numbers. A U.S. Navy sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt died of coronavirus complications at a military hospital in Guam Monday.

Reopening weighed

Countries weighed the timing for easing restrictions, as some hot spots showed slower rates of infections.

India and France extended their lockdowns, while others including Germany and the U.K. face decisions on whether to keep measures in place.

U.S.

U.S. cases rose 5.6% from the day before to 572,169 by Monday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That was lower than the 7.4% average daily increase over the past week but slightly higher than the 5.4% increase on Sunday. Deaths rose 7.3% to 23,070. New York’s cases rose about 3.3%, but the rate was about half of what it was a week ago.

New York City has a shortage of testing swabs, the NYC mayor said. New York cannot sustain a level of low transmission without a federal commitment to supply millions of testing kits, he said.

U.S. governors formed coalitions for the reopening of their economies, even as U.S. President Donald Trump insisted he alone has that authority.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was teaming up with five counterparts in adjacent New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island to devise the best strategies for easing stay-at-home orders imposed last month to curb coronavirus transmissions.

Ten U.S. governors on the east and west coasts banded together on Monday in two regional pacts to coordinate gradual economic reopening as the coronavirus crisis finally appeared to be ebbing.

Announcements from the New York-led group of Northeastern governors, and a similar compact formed by California, Oregon and Washington state, came as President Donald Trump declared any decision on restarting the U.S. economy was up to him. Massachusetts later said it was joining the East Coast coalition.

“We will be driven by facts, we will be driven by evidence, we will be driven by science, we will be driven by our public health advisers,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said during his daily coronavirus briefing Monday.

The move came within minutes of a similar plan announced by the governors of six states in the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Trump said his administration will issue guidance within days for governors who want to begin relaxing social-distancing practices to curb the coronavirus outbreak, and said he hopes to reopen the country “ahead of schedule.”

Legal experts say the president has limited power under the U.S. Constitution to order citizens back to their places of employment, to require cities to reopen government offices and transportation, or to order local businesses to resume.

Trump declared, “Everything we did was right” and angrily denounced media reports suggesting his administration had failed to adequately ramp up coronavirus testing or the production of medical supplies in a testy press conference Monday at the White House.

Trump, who said he was frustrated by the reports questioning his administration’s response to the crisis that has left more than 20,000 Americans dead and millions unemployed, played a campaign-style video defending his record and highlighting instances where media and medical analysts downplayed the threat posed by the coronavirus.

China

China reported 89 additional confirmed coronavirus cases on April 13, with 86 of them from abroad, according to a statement from the country’s National Health Commission. No new deaths were reported.

The country reported 54 asymptomatic cases. It has 1,005 asymptomatic coronavirus cases under medical observation. China has a total of 82,249 confirmed coronavirus cases.

China approves human tests for two vaccines

China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines to combat the new coronavirus, especially from neighboring Russia.

China’s trade performs better

China’s trade performed better than expected in March, with both exports and imports declining less than expected even as the coronavirus prompted business shutdowns around the world.

The data indicate that global supply chains may be adapting better than thought, and that China’s gradual economic restart is proceeding. At the same time, the full effect of a collapse in demand in developed economies like the U.S. and Europe may not be yet apparent in China’s trade data.

Apple’s iPhone shipments in China rebounded in March as the world’s second-largest economy worked to reboot its manufacturing industry following the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Shipments of Apple’s marquee device jumped 19% in March from a year earlier to 2.5 million units, according to Bloomberg calculations based on monthly data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank.

China pledged to ease health measures on Africans in the southern city of Guangzhou, after reports of discrimination.

The government has treated foreigners equally and attaches great importance to their life and health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a statement posted late Sunday. “We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” Zhao said.

India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an extension of India’s three-week nationwide closure to May 3. India has reduced the impact of the coronavirus epidemic with its lockdown strategy, Modi said in an address to the nation.

The country “did not wait for a crisis to happen,” Modi said in his fourth address to the nation since infections began ticking up sharply in mid-March. “From the economic point of view the cost has been great. But comapred to the lives of Indians there can be no comparison.”

India has so far reported 10,453 infections and 358 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Doctors come under attack in India as coronavirus stigma grows

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to meet with regional premiers on Wednesday to discuss how soon social-distancing measures can be eased.

Japan

More Japanese voters disapprove than approve of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration for the first time in nearly two years, a survey showed, as criticism mounts over his handling of the virus outbreak.

A poll released in the Yomiuri newspaper showed his government’s disapproval rating at 47%. The number topped his approval rating at 42% for the first time since May 2018, when his government was mired in a scandal related to a real estate deal.

Abe’s government has been faulted for being too slow to declare an emergency over the virus and for not providing enough support for residents and businesses struggling to make their way through the crisis.

U.K.

British ministers will decide in the next three days on extending the country’s lockdown, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab telling reporters it was likely to carry on and the government’s chief scientific adviser saying he expects the daily rate of deaths to continue to rise.

Under the law passed last month to tackle the spread of coronavirus throughout the country, the government must decide by Thursday whether to renew the three-week lockdown period.

U.S. government sued

A group representing political consultants, pollsters and lobbyists sued the U.S. government for a slice of the $2.2 trillion Covid-19 bailout pie.

The American Association of Political Consultants says it is unconstitutional for its members to be excluded from the small business loans provided by the CARE Act, which Congress passed last month in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group says its members should be granted access to $349 billion in “forgivable loans” provided under the Paycheck Protection Program. The program excludes various businesses including non-profits, strip clubs and those “primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities.”

Vietnam sends aid, protective suits to U.S.

Vietnam has shipped 450,000 protective suits to the U.S. to help health teams in the U.S. in their struggle against the coronavirus, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi announced Wednesday.

“The first of two initial shipments of over 450,000 made-in-Vietnam DuPont protective suits arrived in U.S. Strategic National Stockpile on April 8,” the Embassy said in a statement.

Vietnam said on its official website it was supplying the medical suits because “the United States currently has a great demand” and Vietnam aimed to show its “spirit of mutual support to partner countries, including the United States.”

“This is also Vietnam’s participation and contribution to the global effort to push back the COVID-19 epidemic,” the Vietnamese government said.

U.S. mortality forecast

An influential University of Washington research model this week raised its U.S. mortality forecasts on Monday to nearly 69,000 deaths through Aug. 4, up from 61,500 projected last week, assuming that social-distancing measures remain in place.

The university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said higher death tolls now projected in Massachusetts and New York state accounted for part of the upward revision.

Regardless of the death toll, continued difficulties in ramping up diagnostic testing pose a major hurdle for public health experts in determining at what point it is safe enough to relax social distancing measures.

U.S. census to be delayed

The once-per-decade U.S. census will be delayed by at least three months as the coronavirus pandemic hinders in-person data collection from households. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced field operations will be delayed until June 1, and that in turn would delay completion of the count until Oct. 31. He asked Congress Monday to grant his department a 120-day extension of statutory deadlines as a result of the outbreak.

Australia

Australian business confidence plummeted in March to the lowest level in the history of the survey as shutdowns designed to stem the spread of coronavirus sent the economy into a tailspin.

Australia is looking to parts of industry that can be restarted without creating greater health risks as the National Cabinet prepares to meet Thursday to discuss restrictions.

France

France reported an increase in new coronavirus deaths Monday as President Emmanuel Macron extended the lockdown to May 11.

While deaths linked to the virus rose by 574 to 14,967, the number of intensive-care patients dropped for a fifth day to the lowest level since April 3, the health ministry said in an emailed statement. New recorded cases rose by 4,188 to 136,779 and the rise in the daily death toll was the first in four days.

Vietnam

Vietnam, which has registered 251 confirmed coronavirus cases, with no deaths.

Vietnam’s aid to Europe

Vietnam said Tuesday it had also donated more than a half-million masks to five European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Latin America’s GDP

The pandemic will cause a sharp drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2020, according to the World Bank (WB).

A new report by the WB estimates that the drop in GDP in the region will be 4.6%.

The Latin American economies have also been hit by social tensions and the collapse in international oil prices.

The countries most impacted by the decline in GDP will be Mexico and Ecuador, whose economies will see a 6% drop, according to the new report.

Argentina follows with a loss of 5.2% of GDP, followed by Brazil (5%), Peru (-4.7%), Bolivia (-3.4%), Chile (-3%), Uruguay (-2.7%), Colombia and Panama (both -2%).

The only two countries in the region that will be impacted are Guyana, where oil production will drive GDP growth to record levels of 51.7%; and the Dominican Republic.

Colombia

Colombian citizens denounced the police brutality and misuse of power during quarantine enforcement due COVID-19 outbreak inside the South American nation, a new report revealed.

Social media users shared videos showing police imposing arbitrary and random fines during the quarantine period in Colombia this past week. Colombian officers are also intimidating citizens who are seen outside of their homes.

Other facts show how severe this issue could be in Colombia. Sexual assaults and gender discrimination in police activities are also among the testimonies.

An anonymous woman in the Bosa region explained she was forced to completely strip on a police bus. The assault victim also said an officer suggested having sexual intercourse.

In the city of Cali, another woman suffered similar actions. A motorized patrol harassed her while she was walking her pet for the 20 minutes. The two men reprimanded the woman for being alone on the street. When she tried to get away from them, the men followed her with their bike.

Brazil

Brazilian nurses have disapproved of President Jair Bolsonaro’s management of the COVID-19 health crisis, local media reported on Monday.

Doctors and health workers in Sao Paulo joined the critics and rejected the president’s handling of COVID-19. They paid tribute to their colleagues who died during the pandemic and denounced the lack of medical equipment to combat the new coronavirus.

These government strategies not only demonstrate the vulnerability of this sector, but also the underestimation and administrative disregard of the current Brazilian president.

Health care workers also complain about the lack of medical equipment and supplies to treat those affected and to perform the necessary tests.

WHO

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said he hopes funding from the U.S., the group’s biggest donor, will continue and that the two have a “very good” relationship. President Donald Trump suggested Friday he might suspend on contributions this week. The men last spoke two weeks ago, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing in Geneva.

“We are going to have to change our behavior for the foreseeable future,” said Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO’s health emergencies program. Countries should lift lockdowns slowly and only when they have enough capacity to track the disease, WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said, warning it would be a mistake for Europe to lift them all at once.

“While Covid-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly,” Tedros said. “The way down is much slower than the way up.”

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia races to contain epidemic in Islam’s holiest city.


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