COVID-19: Drug 'NEW' Trials Showing 'RAPID RECOVERIES'

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

Editor's Note:

Good morning! 

Due to a technical error; yesterday's COVID-19 daily digest wasn't published in OneTubeDaily; if you still wish to catch up with yesterday's updates, here's the link: 

COVID-19: WHO "Drinking Alcohol Makes Coronavirus Worse"

Recenlty, several members messaged us asking to keep the 'continents' categories in the Global Update chart, be it so hard to find certain countries through an incredibly long list. A person like me , with far-sighted vision below 50%, knows that pain; so from today onward, the global chart will have each country's flag next to the country's name; hope your life get easier with the new format; besides, there's a new Percentage Analysis chart being published for the first time today; enjoy your day and the weekend with the good news about the drug trials :)  


COVID-19 Drug Trials Showing Promising Results

Gilead Sciences shares surged  by more than 15% in after-hours trading after an industry publication said Covid-19 patients being treated with the companys antiviral drug Remdesivir appear to have rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms. 

STAT News said a doctor running a Chicago-based hospital conducting a closely watched trial on the drug found that most of its patients had been discharged in less than a week

There are no proven therapies to treat Covid-19, which has infected more than 2 million worldwide as of Thursday night, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Some health authorities in the U.S. and China have been using  Remdesivir, which was tested as a possible treatment for the Ebola outbreak, in hopes that the drug can reduce the duration of the virus in patients. 


The pace of the CoronaVirus in Hard-hit Countries

This is a newly compiled analysis showing the percentage of: Still infected + Deaths + Recoveries in countries with the largest number of confirmed cases. 

A Rush of Local News

The Chinese mainland reported 26 more COVID-19 cases on Thursday, 15 of which were imported from abroad, according to the National Health Commission, which also reported 66 new asymptomatic patients. 

The Chinese economy fell 6.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday. 

Aid to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso:  

Chinese medical experts on Thursday set off to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso to support the African countries' fight against COVID-19, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. The two medical teams were established by China's National Health Commission, and the medical experts were dispatched by the health commissions from Sichuan Province and Tianjin Municipality.

China Sending Aid to India: 

China is sending medical supplies to India to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. In a tweet Thursday, the Indian ambassador to Beijing, Vikram Misri, said that China had dispatched 650,000 kits -- including RNA extraction kits and rapid antibody tests, which are both used to test for coronavirus.

Beijing: Home quarantine violators will be sent to centralized isolation at their own cost

Those who violate the home quarantine rules will be sent to a centralized isolation for 14 days. A Beijing municipal government official announced at a press conference on Thursday, adding all the expense during the centralized isolation won't be covered by the government. Currently, people coming from other parts of China to Beijing are required to conduct a 14-day home isolation if they have a fixed residence in the city.  While for all international arrivals to Beijing, nucleic acid test and centralized quarantine are compulsory. 

A Rush of News

3% of Dutch have Antibodies: Research into blood donors in the Netherlands suggests that around 3% of the Dutch population may have developed antibodies against Covid-19, according to the country's government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was postponing a massive World War II parade held annually on May 9 in the capital, Moscow.

South Africa will allow mines to operate at a capacity of 50 percent during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

The Portuguese government has extended a state of emergency over Covid-19 until May 2, when it will then ease some of the restrictions in place.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has extended a state of emergency due to the coronavirus to cover the whole country to stem the spread of the disease. 

Best-selling Chilean writer Luis Sepulveda has died at a hospital in northern Spain some six weeks after testing positive for coronavirus, his publishing house says. He was 70.  

Hungary is extending lockdown measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus by one week from Saturday. 

Poland will reopen parks and forests on Monday and then revise the rules on the number of customers allowed in shops, as the country starts to loosen its coronavirus lockdown, State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin says. The country's borders will remain closed until at least May 3, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

The number of USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmembers who have tested positive for coronavirus continues to grow. On Thursday, the U.S. Navy said 655 sailors assigned to the ship had tested positive for COVID-19.

Australia will keep in place restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus for at least four more weeks, says Prime Minister Scott Morrison, despite signs that Canberra has been successful in slowing infection rates.

Masks increasingly compulsory in various US States: The governors of the US states of New York and Maryland and Pennsylvania are ordering residents to wear face masks in public spaces.

The Spanish region of Catalonia may have twice the official number of deaths reported so far by the Spanish government, according to new data from the regions department of health.

First known NFL player tests positive for Covid-19: Brian Allen, a center for the Los Angeles Rams, has tested positive for the coronavirus, a Rams spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

The wife of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, Cristina Cuomo,  has been diagnosed with coronavirus two weeks after he announced he was infected. 

Germany's Constitutional Court has ruled that people in the country have the right to hold political protests if they adhere to physical distancing rules.

US Jobless 22 million: 5.2 million more jobless claims push the ranks of America's unemployed to 22 million.

Georgia banned movement of all private vehicles from Friday until April 21, tightening the state of emergency, the government said.

Egypt will suspend all public transportation and coach trips on Monday to limit crowds down during a major public holiday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the US state's shutdown order Thursday until May 15.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government had decided to extend a near-lockdown by "at least" three weeks.

Switzerland will start gradually relaxing from April 27, the government said on Thursday. Hospitals will be allowed to perform all procedures, while hair salons, massage parlours and cosmetic studies will be allowed to reopen. This will be followed by compulsory schools, shops and markets from May 11, it added. 

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. 

Netherlands: The number of new cases rose by 1,061 to 29,214, health authorities have said, with 181 new deaths. The total death toll in the country is 3,315, the Netherlands' Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said in its daily update. 

Spain: Over the past 24 hours, 551 people died up from 523 the previous day, according to the Spanish health ministry, bringing total death toll to 19,130. The overall number of cases rose to 182,816, from 177,633 on Wednesday.

Russia reported 3,448 new confirmed cases, up from 3,388 the day earlier, the highest daily increase to date.  The overall number of cases has reached 27,938. 34 people died in the last 24 hours, which took the national coronavirus death toll to 232, the Russian coronavirus crisis response centre said.

Germany's confirmed cases have risen by 2,866 to 130,450, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases shows, meaning the number of new infections rose for a second consecutive day. The reported death toll has risen by 315 to 3,569, the tally shows.

Iran reported 1,606 new COVID-19 cases, total now at 77,995. Iran also reported 92 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the death toll to 4,869. So far, 52,229 patients have recovered from the disease in the country.

Italy: The number of deaths increased by 525, down from 578 on Wednesday, but the number of new cases accelerated sharply to 3,786 from a previous 2,667. The total death toll rose to 22,170, the Civil Protection Agency said. The number of confirmed cases climbed to 168,941. There were 2,936 people in intensive care on Thursday against 3,079 on Wednesday.

UK: The number of death increased by 861 to 13,729, according to the health ministry. Following several days of decreasing numbers, the figure represents a rise of 100 on the previous day's rate of increase. The number of people to have tested positive exceeded 100,000.

668 of the 1,767 Sailors Onboard the French Carrier Tested Positive

The French navy has launched inquiries into the cluster of Covid-19 cases onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, navy prefecture Christine Ribb said during a Thursday press conference in Toulon. 

On Wednesday, the French Ministry of Armed Forces announced that 668 of the 1,767 sailors on board the vessel had tested positive for Covid-19.

We have two inquiries underway: an epidemiological enquiry headed by the army health service and the chief of state of the navy ordered an inquiry so that light can be shed on the facts as calmly as possible," Ribb said.

Symptomatic people are being confined with closer surveillance than those who are not symptomatic, Martinez said.

EU leader apologizes to Italy for not being "there on time"

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen holds a press conference on the EU's response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Brussels, Belgium, on April 15. John Thys/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday apologized to Italy for the EU not being there on time when it needed help at the start of its coronavirus outbreak.

Von der Leyen, speaking during a plenary session of the European Parliament on coronavirus measures, said: Yes, it is true that no one was really ready for this. It is also true that too many were not there on time when Italy a needed a helping hand at the very beginning. And yes, for that, it is right that Europe as a whole offers a heartfelt apology.

She added: But saying sorry only counts for something if it changes behavior. The truth is that it did not take long before everyone realized that we must protect each other to protect ourselves."

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio responded to her apology on Facebook Thursday, saying: "Ursula Von der Leyen today apologized to Italy, admitting that many countries at the beginning of the pandemic were not present when we needed help. Her words represent an important act of truth, which is good for Europe and our community.

India says Zoom 'not a safe platform' for video conferencing

A student takes online classes at home, with his companions, using the Zoom App during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in El Masnou, north of Barcelona, Spain [Albert Gea/Reuters]

India said has video conferencing software Zoom is "not a safe platform", joining other countries that have expressed concern about the security of an application that has become hugely popular worldwide during the coronavirus lockdown.

US-based Zoom Video Communications Inc has apologised for security flaws and says it is working to fix them. Problems have included "Zoombombing", when uninvited users gatecrash a video conference.

(China) Taiwan and Germany have already curbed the use of Zoom, while Google banned the desktop version from corporate laptops this month.

Pregnant Nurse Dies After Contracting Virus, Baby Saved

An image of Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong taken from a GoFundMe page set up to support her family. From GoFundME

A pregnant nurse has died after contracting the coronavirus but her baby, a girl, was delivered successfully and is doing well, according to the British hospital where she worked. 

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, 28, who had worked as a nurse on a general ward at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, to the north of London, died on Sunday. It was not clear if the baby had tested positive for the disease. The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says that Ms Agyapong tested positive on April 5 and was admitted to the hospital she worked at on April 7.

"It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of one of our nurses, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, who passed away on Sunday," said David Carter, chief executive of the trust, in a statement. 

99-year-old 'Captain Tom' Raises $15 million for COVID-19

Tom Moore, the 99-year-old war veteran raising funds for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) by walking 100 lengths of his garden, has completed the challenge and raised more than 12 million ($15 million) in donations.

Moore, from Yorkshire, northern England, walked the last 10 lengths of his garden on Thursday morning, aided by a walking frame.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment gave Moore a guard of honor as he completed the final lap.

Moore began the fundraiser on April 8, initially hoping to raise 1,000 for NHS Charities Together, which raises funds for UK hospitals, including for staff, volunteers and patients affected by the coronavirus crisis.

More than 648,000 individual donations had been made to his JustGiving page at the time of writing, topping 12.7 million ($15.8 million).

More than 140 seemingly recovered patients have retested positive for Covid-19, says South Korea

A medical staff member takes samples from a man at a walk-thru Covid-19 testing station set up at Jamsil Sports Complex in Seoul, South Korea, on April 3. Jung Yeon-je /AFP/Getty Images

A total of 141 people who had apparently recovered from Covid-19 have tested positive again, South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Thursday.

KCDC deputy director Kwon Joon-wook said the agency did not know what caused the people to retest positive and was investigating. 

Most experts think it's unlikely that somebody will be re-infected for the coronavirus soon after recovering. It's possible that issues with testing or varying amounts of viral RNA in the body, which the tests look for could explain why people tested positive after testing negative. 

Our KCDC workers are working day and night to collect samples and conduct studies, Kwon said.

In Brazil, a 99-year-old war veteran has defeated the coronavirus

Ermando Piveta was discharged from the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasilia on Tuesday after receiving treatment for eight days. Reuters/Brazil Military handout

A 99-year-old Brazilian World War II veteran won another important battle this week: He defeated the coronavirus.

Ermando Piveta was discharged from the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasilia on Tuesday, after receiving treatment for eight days. Piveta is the oldest person to have overcome the virus in the Brazil, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Piveta arrived at the hospital on April 6, after he showed symptoms of the virus and later tested positive for Covid-19.  Medics said goodbye to Piveta with a round of applause as he left the hospital.

Emirates airline begins testing passengers for coronavirus

An Emirates aircraft takes off from Dubai International Airport on April 6, 2020. GETTY

The Dubai-based Emirates airlines has begun conducting coronavirus tests on all passengers before they board a flight. The company on Wednesday announced that passengers on flights to Tunisia were tested for the coronavirus before departing from Dubai International Airport. The results from the blood test, conducted by the Dubai Health Authority, were available within 10 minutes.

"We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights," said Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha. "This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates."


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