coronavirus test

The number of global cases of coronavirus infection reached 3.22 Million while the global number of deaths reached 227,420.

U.S. coronavirus deaths pass 60,000

The Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. has passed 60,000 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The deaths are now above the figure predicted by the latest model used by Dr Anthony Fauci, U.S. President Donald Trump’s disease specialist.

At just over a million cases, the U.S. has more coronavirus infections than the next five countries combined. More than a third of all U.S. Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in New York.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted last month that the U.S. could see a death toll of between 100,000 and 200,000 – noting that this was a “best case” scenario. However, Fauci since revised that prediction downward.

Trump says China’s virus response tied to wish for him to lose

President Donald Trump said he thinks that China is determined to see him lose the November election based on Beijing’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump, in an Oval Office interview with Reuters published Wednesday night, did not provide evidence to bolster his assertion, but said that he was considering various ways to punish the Chinese government, which he has blamed for allowing the virus to spread across the world.

“China will do anything they can to have me lose this race,” Trump said in the interview. He did not say what punitive actions he might take, but added “There are many things I can do.”

Virus may affect 57 million U.S. jobs: McKinsey

The coronavirus pandemic will hurt 57 million U.S. workers, more than double the number of jobless claims so far, once furloughs and reduced hours and pay are included, according to McKinsey & Co.

The more than 26 million people who have filed unemployment claims in the past five weeks provide only a partial picture of workforce dislocations, with tens of millions more facing additional risks, according to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the think tank arm of the consultancy.

The earliest wave of unemployment claims in mid-March disproportionately hit the food service, entertainment and hotel industries. The disruption has since moved into categories including retail, business services, manufacturing and non-essential health care.

The U.S. announced that economic output collapsed 4.8 percent in the first quarter – ending more than a decade of expansion.

The U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell warned that economic activity will likely drop “at an unprecedented rate” in the second quarter, in grim news for Trump.

China’s factory PMI moderates in April as global slump hits

The first official gauge for China’s economy in April showed the manufacturing sector moderated, indicating the recovery from a first-quarter slump will be prolonged as the spread of the coronavirus hits global demand.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slipped to 50.8 from 52 a month earlier, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday. The non-manufacturing gauge rose to 53.2.

Germany

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has succeeded in holding off the devastating death tolls seen elsewhere, but is still bracing for an overwhelming economic hit.

Germany “will experience the worst recession in the history of the federal republic” founded in 1949, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned, predicting that GDP would shrink by a record 6.3 percent.

China, South Korea ease border controls

China and South Korea agreed to ease quarantine requirements for some business travelers, Beijing’s first such move to revive essential economic activities disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The so-called “fast-track” entry, which takes effect Friday, will simplify entry procedures for business travelers between the two countries, according to a statement from the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. South Korean business staff will be able to travel to 10 Chinese regions, including Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, after going through “minimized” health screening and quarantine measures, it said.

French hospitalizations fall

France reported that hospitalizations continued to decline, even as new deaths rose.

Patients in intensive care, which health authorities consider a key indicator of how the pandemic is impacting the hospital system, fell by 180 to 4,207, the lowest in more than a month. Hospitalizations fell by 650 patients to 26,834, the biggest drop since the number first started falling April 15.

Deaths rose by 427 to 24,087, the Health Ministry said in a statement. France’s public health service reported 198,215 coronavirus infections after restating some data because of erroneous analysis earlier this week.

France plans to ease strict lockdown measures starting May 11, with a plan to reopen shops as one of the first steps.

Japan’s Abe says economy facing unprecedented difficulties

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament Thursday the economy was facing a difficult situation that is unprecedented.

Abe floats possibility of helping on rent for businesses. Abe also said health care system in severe state.

Abe will extend a national state of emergency over the coronavirus by a month, domestic media reports said, even as some nations began to lift restrictions.

Regional governors are in favor of maintaining the state of emergency, Kyodo News reported Wednesday. The measure enables them to instruct businesses to close and to urge private citizens to stay in their homes as far as possible.

Australia bad-loan provisions surge

The cost of Australia’s economic lockdown to the nation’s major banks has topped A$5 billion ($3.3 billion) as bad-debt provisions blow out to levels not seen since the global financial crisis.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. on Thursday became the latest of the big lenders to report plunging profits and increased provisions as the financial industry bears the brunt of what is shaping to be the nation’s biggest economic downturn in 90 years. The Melbourne-based lender also became the first of the big-four to defer paying a dividend, postponing a decision until the economic picture clears.

Like banks around the globe, provisions for soured loans are mounting in Australia, even as analysts worry not enough is being set aside to account for the economic toll wrought by the coronavirus outbreak. HSBC Holdings Plc this week took its biggest charge for bad debt in almost nine years, while six of the biggest U.S. banks have earmarked $26 billion.

Indonesian banks restructure $7B loans of virus-hit borrowers

As many as 65 banks have restructured 113.8t rupiah ($7.4b)-worth of loans belonging to 561,950 borrowers impacted by novel coronavirus outbreak as of April 26, according to the nation’s Financial Services Authority.

IMF approves $650 million for ‘urgent’ Dominican Republic needs

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $650 million in emergency funding for the Dominican Republic to meet financing needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It is the fund’s 40th approval of assistance since the pandemic hit, and is intended to address “urgent balance of payment needs,” the fund said in a statement.

U.K. issues first all-settings death report

A further 765 deaths from the coronavirus have been reported in the U.K., the latest figures show.

It is the first time deaths from all settings have been reported on a daily basis – not just in hospitals – giving the most complete picture of the impact the virus is having on the country. The change to reporting was introduced following criticism that daily figures released by the Health Department were ignoring a significant number of deaths in care homes or in the community.

The total number of deaths in the U.K. increased by 3,811 as the country added historical data to its running total.

Some 4,076 people were diagnosed with the disease, a slight increase from 3,996 the day before, according to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputizing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Approximately 52,000 tests were carried out on Tuesday, still significantly short of the government’s target of 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.

U.K. to send virus test kits to 100,000 people to track spread

The home-testing program for coronavirus will track community spread across the U.K., the health ministry said in a statement.

The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) program will invite 100,000 randomly selected people from 315 local authorities across England to provide nose and throat swabs

The U.K. government is weighing up options for easing the lockdown, but with the death toll still rising, officials are warning that restrictions will not be removed any time soon.

Schools could be allowed to re-start classes in a phased way when it is safe to do so, while some outdoor businesses may be among the first to be able to open again, at the right time, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Wednesday.

But with health officials warning that the virus may last until a vaccine is found, the threat of a second wave of infections is forcing ministers to tread cautiously on lifting lockdown measures. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the example of Germany, where new cases of Covid-19 rose after some social distancing restrictions were relaxed, showed the risk Britain faced.

Argentina has 158 new cases for total of 4,285

Argentina’s health ministry reported 158 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total to 4,285, according to a report. It also reported seven new deaths, taking the total to 214.

South Africa cases jump

The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa surged by a record for a 24-hour period as testing increased.

The nation has 5,350 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, 354 more than yesterday, the Health Ministry said in an emailed statement. A further 10 Covid-19 related deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deceased to 103, it said. The ministry said 11,630 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 197,127.

Hungary to gradually reopen

Hungary will restart its economy gradually while leaving “strict defensive measures” in place in the capital of Budapest, which has the most coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said after a cabinet meeting.

Lockdown measures, which are relatively mild in Hungary compared with other European nations, will be eased in the countryside, where stores can reopen without restrictions, Orban said in a Facebook video message Wednesday. The wearing of masks and social distancing will be mandatory on public transportation and in shops, he said.

Hungary had 2,727 registered coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, with 300 deaths.

Austria wants to reopen German border

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he wants “in the foreseeable future” to open the border with Germany and other countries where the pandemic is developing in a similarly favorable way.

If the situation is similar in two countries, it would not make much difference to allow travel between them, Kurz was quoted as saying by Bild newspaper. While skiing in the Austrian Alps this winter will “surely” be an option for Germans, summer vacations there could also be possible, Kurz said.

Risks to children

While the world keeps looking for signs of progress against the pandemic, research is also revealing frightening new details about COVID-19.

Britain and France have both warned of a possible coronavirus-related syndrome emerging in children including abdominal pain and inflammation around the heart.

“I am taking this very seriously. We have absolutely no medical explanation at this stage,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

Experts have also warned of longer-term psychological tolls on both children and adults after weeks or even months in isolation.

Coronavirus cases in India climb towards 30,000

India was nearing 30,000 coronavirus infections on Tuesday, second only to China in Asia, a steady rise that would make it difficult to lift a nearly six-week lockdown that ends this weekend, health officials and some government leaders said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has allowed some farm and industrial activity to resume in less-affected rural areas after the shutdown of the economy left millions without work and short of food and shelter.

But with about 1,500 new cases each day on an average over the past week, the government is facing calls not to ease further and instead keep the world’s biggest shutdown in force beyond May 3, even though the economic distress is deepening.

The number of people infected with the coronavirus stood at 29,434, the health ministry said, a rise of 1,543 over the previous day. So far 934 people have died, a small number compared with the United States and parts of Western Europe where tens of thousands have died.

But India’s healthcare systems are much more limited than those in developed countries and the fear is that a surge in cases of the kind seen in the United States and Italy could easily overwhelm public hospitals.

Pakistan mosques: a growing worry

Neighboring Pakistan also recorded a jump in cases and deaths from COVID-19, and there were concerns that many people were gathering in mosques for Ramadan prayers despite strict rules on distancing.

Pakistan had 14,079 cases including 301 deaths, 20 of them over the past day the highest single-day toll so far. Pakistan, which the World Bank said could tip into recession in the current fiscal year, has opened 600 export industries, mainly in Punjab and Sindh province, to reduce the pain for businesses and workers.

A bigger problem was congregations at mosques because the ground rules for such gatherings were not being followed, a leading non-government organization said.

Pakistan, under pressure from religious groups, allowed people to pray at mosques during the holy fasting month that began last week provided they kept six feet apart, wore facemasks and did not pray in the streets.

But Pattan Development Organization said the rules were largely violated in the 194 mosques it surveyed in 15 cities and towns.

“In more than 80% of the mosques of Punjab and Islamabad, imams have failed to implement the government-clergy agreement during the first Taraveeh congregations on Friday evening,” it said. Taraveeh refers to special prayers offered during the month.

Most worshippers did not wear masks and few kept distance from each other while a large number were praying on the streets, it said, warning many could be contracting the virus and carrying it into their homes.

In more than two-thirds of the mosques monitored, children were also seen alongside their elders.

“This is indeed a very dangerous situation. Authorities and clerics should know that one infected person can cause massive harm,” Pattan said.

Afghanistan Sri Lanka Bangladesh

Afghanistan has reported 1,703 cases, including 57 deaths.

Sri Lanka has reported 592 cases, including seven deaths.

Bangladesh has reported 6,462 cases, including 155 deaths.

Maldives has reported 200 cases and no deaths.

Nepal has reported 54 cases and no deaths.

Bhutan has reported seven cases and no deaths.

Los Angeles to be 1st major U.S. city to offer wide-scale tests

Los Angeles will offer free Covid-19 tests to all residents of the county regardless of their symptoms, becoming the first major U.S. city to make wide-scale tests available.


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