Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) confirmed infections worldwide have exceeded one million two hundred thousand. Italy remains the country with the highest number of deaths recorded, 15,887 until April 5, but the United States is the one with the most positive for the virus: officially more than 330 thousand. Both of these figures are considered underestimated compared to reality.
In the United States, 1,200 COVID-19 people have died in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of confirmed deaths to more than 9,600. At the same time, deaths decreased in the state of New York, the most affected by the epidemic: 594 yesterday, compared to 630 on Saturday 4 April. In other states, however - from Florida to Louisiana to Arizona - the number of infected people continues to grow rapidly. President Donald Trump said that "the light at the bottom of the tunnel" is being seen but Anthony Fauci - scientist and head of the most important American research institute on infectious diseases - has slowed down by saying that the short-term prospects are still really bad.
In the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been coronavirus positive for ten days, was taken to hospital on Sunday evening. The news was described by a spokesman as a "precautionary measure", "on the advice of his doctor". His positivity to the virus had been disclosed on March 27; Johnson said on Friday he still had a fever on Twitter. Johnson currently remains in his place at the head of the British government: if his health conditions worsen he would be replaced by Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who should already take his place at a government meeting this morning.
Sunday evening Queen Elizabeth addressed the nation with a short four-minute video message in which she said, among other things: "Together we are facing the emergency, but if we stay united and resolute we will win". «I speak to you in a moment that I know is of increasing difficulty. A moment of upheaval in the life of our country that has brought pain to some, economic problems to many and enormous changes in the daily life of all of us.
In her speech from Windsor Castle, the Queen thanked "those who stay at home" and, in doing so, "helps protect fragile people and save many families from the pain already suffered by those who have lost their loved ones". He then concluded: «I hope that in the coming years' everyone will be proud of how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say that the British of this generation has been stronger than any other, that the qualities of self-discipline, courteous determination, and mutual understanding still characterize this country.
In Spain, the government is planning to carry out 5 million serological tests on a carpet even on those who have no symptoms, but who work in essential sectors such as nursing home workers, police officers, transporters, and food chain staff. These people would contribute to the "silent spread" of the virus and it is considered essential to monitor them so that, once the measures of social removal are reduced, they are not the cause of new outbreaks. In the last 24 hours, 5,478 new infections were detected in Spain and 694 new deaths. The virus-positive toll thus rises to 131,646 and 12,641 that of the dead.
Sweden could change its approach to the measures taken so far to contain the coronavirus. Unlike many other countries, the Swedish government had decided to keep restaurants, bars, ski resorts, and some schools open. The ban on gatherings with more than 50 people had only been imposed since 29 March. But now something could change. According to local media reports, the government is drafting a new law allowing "extraordinary measures" to be taken to combat COVID-19.
On Sunday the number of people who died in Sweden after contracting the coronavirus rose to 401, an increase of 8 percent since Saturday and greater than the total of the three neighboring Nordic countries put together. For Sweden there is a ratio of 37 deaths per million inhabitants, compared to 28 in Denmark, 12 in Norway and 4.5 in Finland, states that have adopted more stringent isolation measures.
Denmark and Norway are among the many countries that have imposed severe blockages, including the closure of borders and that of schools and non-essential economic activities. Finland has isolated its main urban area around Helsinki. The Swedes, on the other hand, can still shop, go to restaurants, have their hair cut and send children under 16 to class.
China recorded a slight increase in cases of infection with 39 new infections compared to 30 reported April 4. All the cases, except one, explain the authorities, were imported from abroad. 78 new asymptomatic cases have also been reported in the country. Imported and asymptomatic cases, which can infect others but do not manifest the disease, have become China's primary monitored target in recent weeks.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to local media reports, will soon declare a state of emergency in an attempt to contain the expansion of the coronavirus, after the alarming increase in infections in the last week; in particular in Tokyo where 1,000 positive cases were exceeded over the weekend. The measure should enter into force next Wednesday: it would allow municipalities to impose citizens to stay at home and would require the closure of schools and services not strictly necessary.
The circular will allow the government to impose restrictions on gathering people and carrying out social activities in public places, including theaters and sports activities. If the national health system were to enter into crisis, the governors of the prefectures could order the requisition of private properties and buildings suitable for the needs of the system. Municipalities will also be able to seize medical supplies and food supplies from people and companies who refuse to make them commercially available.
The government will invest 56,000 billion yen, equal to about 470 billion euro, to face the emergency; in particular to help low-income families and to restart consumption, as well as to support and small and medium-sized enterprises from the damage caused by the pandemic. To date, there are 3,654 coronavirus positive people in Japan, with 85 deaths.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Jibril, former prime minister of the rebel government of Libya who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, died yesterday in Cairo after being tested for coronavirus. Jibril, 68, was hospitalized for two weeks in Cairo. The news was made public by Khaled al-Mimi, secretary of the party founded by Jibril in 2012.
In France, the toll of the COVID-19 epidemic has exceeded 8,000 deaths, but the number of deaths and ICU admissions seems to be slowing down. The fourth lockdown week will begin on Tuesday. Yesterday, hospitals registered the lowest death toll (357) in a single day since Tuesday. Almost 7,000 patients are still in intensive care.
In Ireland, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a doctor and will work one shift a week to help out during the coronavirus crisis. Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession to pursue full-time politics. In 2013 it had been removed from the doctors' register. “Many of his family and friends work in the health service. He also wanted to help out small, "explained the prime minister's spokesman.
Singapore has ordered 20,000 foreign workers to remain in their dormitories for 14 days, while coronavirus cases continue to increase. Two dormitories have been isolated: one with 13,000 workers and 63 cases and one with 6,800 workers and 28 cases. Workers will receive three meals a day, but some have complained of overcrowding and dirt conditions. In Singapore, 1,300 cases of contagion were identified and there were 6 deaths.
In terms of support for the economy, another 5.1 billion Singapore dollars (3.6 billion dollars) were announced to stimulate damage from the epidemic. Together with the two previous packages, the Southeast Asian country has invested 59.9 billion Singapore dollars ($ 41.7 billion) to deal with the emergency, equal to about 12% of the country's gross domestic product. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat have announced measures that include wage subsidies for all companies, rent exemptions and a $ 600 local cash contribution for each adult citizen.
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