COVID-19: 111 Africans in GZ Test Positive; 70 Vaccines race...

Source: People's Daily, Xinhua, CGTN, China Daily, Global Times, CBS, iFeng, Baidu, Global  News Agencies, Majdi


The race for coronavirus vaccines picks up with 70 now in development 

Seventy possible vaccines are now in development for Covid-19, up from to 44 on March 20, according to a document from WHO published Saturday. Scientists expect it to take between 12 and 18 months to get a vaccine approved for mass use. 

Of the 70 Covid-19 vaccines in development, only three are in clinical trials, meaning they are being tested on humans. Clinical trials are designed to assess the safety and efficacy of a new drug and consist of several phases, each involving more patients. 

Chinas CanSino Biological, in partnership with the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, is in the lead, with the only candidate vaccine currently in phase two trials. U.S. players Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are the other two developers testing vaccines on humans and both are currently in phase one. The remaining 67 potential vaccines are still only in the preclinical trial stage. 

111 Africans in Guangzhou test positive for COVID-19

[CGTN, Xinhua] A total of 111 African people in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, had been tested positive for COVID-19 by Monday, local authorities said.

Among them, 19 were imported confirmed cases, Chen Zhiying, executive vice mayor of Guangzhou, said late Monday.

All of them, including asymptomatic cases, were being treated, he said.

A total of 4,553 African people in the metropolis had undergone nucleic acid testing since April 4, Chen said.

"Timely identifying COVID-19 cases based on proactive screening is an important measure to ensure the safety of the lives and health of African people in Guangzhou," said Tang Xiaoping, director of the Guangzhou municipal health commission.

Chen Yongqiu, deputy chief of the city's public security bureau, said in the recent epidemic prevention and control work, the isolation and nucleic acid testing measures for Africans in Guangzhou fully followed previous measures for Chinese citizens and other foreigners.

"We arranged the same designated hotels and personnel for Africans when they were quarantined, without any racial or national discrimination," Chen said.


A Rush of Local News

Chinese mainland reports 46 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 36 imported cases, and 57 new asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.

Heilongjiang Province reported 8 new confirmed local COVID-19 cases and 14  imported cases on Tuesday, 12 from Russia, 1 from Italy, 1 from Japan.

Shanghai reported 4 new imported coronavirus cases from Russia on Tuesday, as the citys total imported cases hit 283; 76 close contacts are put under centralized quarantine: Shanghai authorities

(China) Taiwan reported no new cases of the coronavirus for the first time in more than a month, in the latest sign that the island's early and effective prevention methods have paid off.

2nd Batch of Aid to South Africa Arrives: The second batch of Chinese medical supplies arrived in South Africa on Tuesday, the Chinese embassy confirmed. The shipment includes 11,000 N95 masks, 50,000 surgical masks, 3,000 sets of protective suits, 500 portable infrared thermometers, 3,000 goggles, 11,000 pairs of surgical gloves and 11,000 pairs of medical shoe covers.

Chinese experts hold Video Conference with Italian Peers

Chinese experts from West China Hospital shared their experience tackling COVID-19 with Italian peers during a video conference. Experts at Policlinico di Bari who attended the conference raised questions on the treatment of patients in severe and critical condition.

China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines to combat the new coronavirus, state media outlet Xinhua reported on Tuesday. The vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech, and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group.

Heilongjiang offers up to 5,000 Yuan for Reporting Illegal migrants: 

Authorities in China's northeastern province of Heilongjiang have established a hotline to reward citizens for reporting people crossing the border illegally, after a jump in the number of coronavirus cases imported from Russia. According to a notice, people supplying verified information about illegal cross-border crimes will get 3,000 yuan ($426). Those who apprehend any illegal migrants and hand them over to authorities will get 5,000 yuan ($710).

A Rush of News

Johns Hopkins tally of COVID-19 cases corrected after miscalculation: Johns Hopkins University had quickly adjusted its tally for COVID-19 confirmed cases in the United States from the previous 682,619 cases to 581,918 as of Tuesday morning. 

In a White House press briefing on Tuesday U.S. President Trump announced the halt of direct payments to the World Health Organization.

Heathrow Airport, traditionally the busiest in Europe, forecast that passenger demand would plunge by over 90 percent in April, as coronavirus restrictions stop most travel.

IcelandFrom May 4, universities and high schools will reopen with some limitations while schools for younger children will operate as normal.  Hair salons, dentists and museums will be allowed to operate, while gatherings of as many as 50 people will be allowed. A two-metre (6.5-feet) social distancing rule will remain in place.

Poland will gradually lift lockdown measures imposed to contain the novel coronavirus starting from this coming Sunday, the government said on Tuesday.

The governor of Rio de Janeiro state,  Wilson Witzel,  said that he had tested positive for the new coronavirus. 

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just announced the country's nationwide lockdown will be extended until May 3 to battle the coronavirus.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the country remains "many weeks away" from lifting any restrictions despite the sharp slowdown in coronavirus cases. "Patience has got to be our virtue here," Morrison said.

Pakistans Prime Minister Imran Khan extended a "partial lockdown" across the country until the end of April.  

The British economy could shrink by 35% in the second quarter if there is three months' worth of restrictions, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), UKs independent public finances watchdog, warned.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said the country's economy is expected to shrink by 8% this year.

At least 589 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a US Navy official.

5 Soccer Leagues are still playing: Soccer leagues around the world have been suspended to help stop the spread of Covid-19. At present, 206 out of FIFA's 211 national associations have stopped playing football. However, Belarus, Burundi, Nicaragua, Tajikistan and (China) Taiwan are bucking the trend despite pleas from the WHO to stop.

Malaysia will run out of personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers in two weeks unless it can purchase more or receives donations, said Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the director-general of the country's health ministry.

Austria allowed thousands of shops to reopen on Tuesday, becoming one of the first countries in Europe to loosen a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Uganda extended initial 14-day lockdown by an extra three weeks, until May 5.

Pakistan has extended its countrywide state of lockdown on schools, shopping malls, public gatherings and non-essential services for two weeks, but has made exceptions for certain sectors of the economy. The construction sector would begin to reopen on Wednesday, said Prime Minister Imran Khan at a news conference, 

Georgia will lock down four big cities, Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi, for 10 days from April 15 in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The emergency situation in the country would be extended until May 10.

Boeing customers canceled a staggering number of 737 Max orders last month, deepening the crisis the company faces amid the coronavirus pandemic and the continued grounding of its bestselling plane after two fatal crashes. Boeing shares were down more than 3% shortly after the company posted the dismal figures, trading near session lows.

The US may have to keep social distancing measures such as stay-at-home orders and school closures  in effect until 2022, unless a vaccine becomes available quickly, researchers projected today.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is continuing his recovery at Chequers, and his medical team has advised him not to immediately return to work, said Johnson's spokesperson on Tuesday. 

Spanish deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, 62, who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25, Tuesday announced on Twitter that she had recovered.

Nigeria has extended its COVID-19 lockdown for a further two weeks in the capital Abuja and Lagos, the commercial hub, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has announced.

Forest fires around the defunct Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant have been extinguished, Ukrainian emergency officials said Tuesday. The rescuers will need a few more days to put down the smoulderings, but there is no danger remained for the Chernobyl nuclear plant, according to Head of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine Mykola Chechotkin.

Honolulu will begin requiring people to wear facial coverings when visiting essential businesses starting Monday. 

How COVID-19 Spread in Africa

Hard-Hit Countries/Regions Official Announcements

Note: The news under this section are according to official reports in these countries; the numbers might not necessarily correspond to the data in the Global table, at the top of this article, which is calculated based on Beijing 24 hours time zone at around 10:00 AM. 

Dutch coronavirus cases rise by 868 to 27,419, health authorities said, with 122 new deaths. Total deaths in the country are at 2,945, the Netherlands Institute for Public Health said in its daily update.

Spain reported 567 deaths, a slight increase after a one day decline, bringing the total number of fatalities to 18,056. The number of new infections rose by 1.8 percent to 172,541 cases, according to the health ministry, the smallest increase since the country imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 14 to curb the spread of the virus.

Germany: The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has announced 2,082 more cases, bringing the total to 125,098. This is the fourth day of decline after four days of increases in new cases. A further 170 people died from the virus, RKI said on Tuesday.

Iran has reported 98 new deaths over the past 24 hours, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpoor said on state TV on Tuesday. Jahanpoor announced 1,574 new cases of coronavirus across the country on Tuesday, bringing the total to 74,877. The 98 new deaths he announced bring Iran's death toll from coronavirus to 4,683.

Italy's deaths rose by 602, up from 566 the day before, posting a second consecutive daily increase, but new infections slowed to 2,972 from 3,153, seeing the smallest daily tally since March 13. The total death toll rose to 21,067, the Civil Protection Agency said. The confirmed cases climbed to 162,488. There were 3,186 people in intensive care on Tuesday against 3,260 on Monday - an 11th consecutive daily decline.

Turkey's confirmed cases increased by 4,093 in the past 24 hours, and 98 more people have died, taking the death toll to 1,296, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. The total number of cases stood at 61,049.

Russia posts another record daily rise in new COVID-19 cases

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia has crossed 20,000, while the death toll is nearing 200, authorities said.

A total of 2,774 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall case count to 21,102, Russias coronavirus task force said in a statement.

The death toll has risen to 170 after 22 more fatalities, while recoveries reached 1,694 as 224 more patients were discharged from hospitals.

International aviation group says global loses will top $314 billion

An international aviation group now expects worldwide losses due to the coronavirus to top $314 billion, higher than earlier estimates. 

The estimate from the International Air Transport Association says travel worldwide has plummeted by 80%, much deeper than its earlier predictions. 

It said the industry is virtually grounded outside [the] U.S.  US government stimulus measures require airlines to continue a minimal level of domestic service. 

IATA previously estimated $252 billion in worldwide losses.  

Italy cautiously eases some lockdown measures

A man stands in front of a store in Catania, Italy, after the Italian government allowed some shops to reopen on April 14. Antonio Parrinello/Reuters

Some shops and business in Italy will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, according to a government decree signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as the country tentatively seeks to emerge from its coronavirus lockdown.

Among the stores permitted to reopen are book shops, laundries, stationery shops and clothing stores for babies and children. However, some regions have decided to delay lifting restrictions.

The measures will be in place until May 3, according to the government decree.

The government has also expanded the list of permitted production activities to allow some forestry, landscape care and maintenance and hydraulic works to resume. Computer manufacturers and wholesalers of paper and cardboard products can restart production.

One Third of UK's Tested Health Staff, are Positive

One third of National Health Service staff and other key workers whove been tested for coronavirus have returned positive results, according to data released by the British government.

According to the figures released Monday, 16,888 people who fall into the category of key workers and their households have been tested. So far, 5,733 or 34% -- are confirmed to have the virus.

The government has been under pressure to ramp up testing for NHS workers and their families, amid concerns about a lack of appropriate personal protective equipment.

Coronavirus to cut global economy by 3 pct in 2020: IMF

The coronavirus pandemic is pushing the global economy into a deep recession this year, cutting world output by 3 percent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday. 

If the virus is contained and economies can begin operating again, 2021 should see a rebound of 5.8 percent, according to the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook. 

"Pandemic Gardens" Leading to Shortage of Seeds

After masks, toilet papers and sanitizers; now people are reporting another shortage: seeds to start their "pandemic gardens." 

Some seed companies said they've temporarily stopped taking new orders after seeing an overwhelming surge in demand. The increase in orders is "just unbelievable," said George Ball, chairman of Burpee Seeds, a 144-year-old seed company in Pennsylvania. The company closed to new orders last week because it needed time to catch up, although it plans to start accepting them again on Wednesday.

With Americans largely stuck in place, many are turning to home-based activities that are boosting sales of home improvement goods, alcohol and gardening supplies

A 99-year-old World War II veteran raises $2.8 million for UK health-care workers amid the coronavirus

World War II veteran Tom Moore is raising money for the NHS, by aiming to complete 100 laps of his garden by his 100th birthday at the end of April.

A 99-year-old World War II veteran has raised more than 2.2 million ($2.8 million) for workers in the U.K.s National Health Service during the coronavirus pandemic. 

With the help of a walking frame, Tom Moore has challenged himself to walk 100 lengths of his backyard, which is 25 meters (82 feet) long, before he turns 100 years old at the end of April. 

Moore is doing 10 laps a day in order to complete the challenge.  He decided to take on the challenge after receiving treatment from the NHS for skin cancer and a broken hip, praising health-care workers for their patience and kindness in a TV interview. 

Moore smashed his original fundraising target of 1,000 ($1,257), receiving nearly $2 million in donations on Tuesday alone. 

On Twitter, Moore said he was blown away by the Great British public and their generosity.

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