CoViD-19: FIRST At-Home Coronavirus Test, Approved for Use

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


US President will sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the US

Trumps declared executive order to halt immigration would deny entry for people seeking most types of work visas for 60 (or 90 days), according to a draft version.

The new policy would include exemptions for healthcare or medical research professionals, and for those seeking jobs in "food production and directly helping to protect the supply chain", which could apply to farm workers.

The draft also states technology workers in the US on H-1B visas will have to provide updated certifications that they are not displacing US workers.

Donald Trump's new executive order banning immigration to the US will last 60 days (or 90) with the chance of renewal, and it will apply narrowly to those seeking permanent immigration status, the United States president said.

Trump said he would likely sign the order on Wednesday. He added that details would be revealed later on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

Here are some of the top rated comments in response to the above tweet: 

FDA approves first at-home coronavirus test

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced it approved the first authorized at-home coronavirus test. It is expected to go on sale for consumers in most states within weeks.

The test is a nasal swab kit developed and sold by LabCorp. People will collect their own samples using a special sterile swab provided in the kit and then send it in to one of the company's labs for analysis.

The FDA said it granted the company emergency approval to get the tests out sooner. The test will first be made available to health care workers and first responders.

The test kit costs $119, and potential customers must complete a survey about their eligibility for testing before receiving one.


A Rush of Local News

The Chinese mainland reported 30 more COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 23 of which were arrivals from abroad while seven were domestic cases, according to the National Health Commission. 

The commission also reported 42 new asymptomatic patients. No new deaths were reported. 

Shanghai reported one new imported case from the UK on Tuesday, as the citys total imported cases hit 300; 19 close contacts are put under centralized quarantine; of all the 300 imported cases, 199 have been discharged upon recovery: Shanghai authorities

Heilongjiang Province reported 7 new domestic cases for in Harbin, and one new imported case from Russia on Tuesday.

(China) Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam says the territory will extend its coronavirus restrictions by 14 days. On Monday, Hong Kong reported no new cases of the virus for the first time since early March. Under restrictions that came into force on March 29, public gatherings of more than four people are banned, gyms, cinemas, bars and other entertainment centres are closed and foreign travellers have been barred from entering the territory.

A Rush of News

Colombia is extending its coronavirus lockdown through May 10, President Ivan Duque said Monday.

Thailand's cabinet approved a second automatic visa extension for foreigners for three more months on Tuesday, in a bid to prevent long queues at immigration centres. Foreigners whose visas had expired since March 26 will be permitted to stay until July 31 without having to apply for an extension,

Austria will further loosen its coronavirus lockdown on May 15 by allowing restaurants to reopen and religious services to resume, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said. Schools are already due to reopen for senior students in early May.

Iraqi authorities will partially scale back the 24-hour curfew in a move to balance the restrictions for the month of Ramadan. The new curfew will be implemented mainly at night, from 7pm until 6am local time as of April 21 until May 11. The total ban, however, will stay in place on Fridays and Saturday.

Global hunger could double due to COVID-19: The number of people facing acute food insecurity could nearly double this year to 265 million due to the economic fallout of COVID-19, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said.

Virgin Australia, the nations second-largest airline, announced it had entered voluntary administration, seeking bankruptcy protection after a debt crisis worsened by the coronavirus shutdown pushed it into insolvency.

Denmark will not allow public gatherings to exceed 500 persons until at least September 1, the Danish health ministry said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday. 

The US Senate on Tuesday passed a $484 billion package to bolster small businesses and hospitals ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and expand testing for Covid-19.

The May Oil contracts settled at $10.01 per barrel. On Monday it fell below zero for the first time in history. However, as contracts approach expiration, trading volume is typically thin. 

The Netherlands extended by three months a ban on major public events, including professional sports and music festivals, until Sept. 1.

New Yorks unemployment website collapsed following a record surge in claims after the state shuttered nonessential businesses to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Italy is likely to start easing its coronavirus lockdown from May 4, though the long-awaited rollback will be cautious and calculated, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday.

US car rental company Hertz to lay off 10,000 staff on coronavirus hit, Hertz had about 38,000 employees as of Dec. 31, of which 29,000 were at its U.S. operations.

Coronavirus could "be even more difficult" next winter, US CDC director, Robert Redfield, said Tuesday that a coronavirus outbreak next winter could "be even more difficult" than what the nation is currently facing because it could coincide with flu season.

Spain's best-known bull running festival in the northern town of Pamplona, held annually between July 6 and 14, has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, city hall said Tuesday.

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 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands has risen by 729 to 34,134, health authorities said on Tuesday, with 165 new deaths. Total deaths stand at 3,916, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said in its daily update.

Pakistan reported 796 new coronavirus infections in the country's highest single-day jump in cases during the epidemic, according to the health ministry. The country has recorded 9,216 cases and 192 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Italy reported 534 new deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the total death tool up to 24,648 amid more than 180.000 infections

Canada confirmed a jump to 37,382 cases, from 35,392 the previous day, and 1,728 deaths, up from 1,611.

In Turkey, the health ministry announced the number of cases had risen to 95,591, with 4,611 additions in one day. The death toll rose to 2,259, with 119 additional fatalities.

Spain reported 3,968 new COVID-19 cases and 430 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 204,178, according to the countrys health ministry. Its death toll now stands at 21,282. New deaths are slightly up again, with 430 from a 4-week low of 399 daily deaths on Monday.

Iran reported 1,297 new COVID-19 cases with 88 new deaths in past 24 hours, raising total number of confirmed cases to 84,802 and the death toll now stands at 5,297.

UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) released updated data on COVID-19 death toll, showing that as of April 10, the death toll in England and Wales was about 13,121, which is 3,833 higher than the previously reported figure of 9,288. About 84 percent of those deaths occurred in hospitals.

Russia reported 5,642 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 52,763, according to local authorities.

India registered 1,336 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the country's total to 18,601 as of Tuesday morning at 8. So far, 590 patients have died. In addition, local media reported that a total of 53 journalists have tested positive for the coronavirus in Mumbai, and most of them belong to TV channels.

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,785 to 143,457, Robert Koch Institute (RKI) data showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by 194 to 4,598, according to the tally.

Jack Ma is donating millions of masks and test kits to the WHO

Supplies donated by Jack Ma are unloaded at the airport in Dakar, Senegal, on March 28. Sadak Souici/AFP/Getty Images

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, announced yesterday that he is donating millions of masks and test kits to the World Health Organization.

In a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, Ma said he and Alibaba would donate 100 million clinical masks, 1 million N-95 masks, and 1 million test kits to the WHO. "One world, one fight," the post read.

This isn't the first coronavirus aid that Ma and Alibaba have supplied:

  • In January, Alibaba announced it would set up a 1 billion yuan ($141 million) fund to buy medical supplies for Wuhan and Hubei province, the Chinese epicenter of the outbreak.

  • Days later, Ma donated 100 million yuan ($14.1 million) to help find a coronavirus vaccine.

  • On March 2, he said on Weibo he had donated 1 million masks to Japan.

  • On March 6, Ma said on Weibo he was working to ship 1 million masks to Iran.

  • On March 11, he posted that 1.8 million masks and 100,000 testing kits would go to Europe, with the first batch arriving in Belgium, with more plans to donate to Italy and Spain.

  • On March 14, Ma said he would donate half a million testing kits and 1 million face masks to the United States.

  • On March 21, leaders in Ethiopia and Rwanda said they had received the first batch of coronavirus test kits and prevention materials donated by Ma to 54 African countries.

  • Who is Jack Ma? Ma is China's most famous entrepreneur and -- with a fortune of nearly $40 billion -- one of the country's richest people.

After two decades building Alibaba into a $460 billion e-commerce business, Ma retired from the role of executive chairman and pivoted full-time to philanthropy.

He started the Jack Ma Foundation in 2014, and has cited the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an inspiration for his charitable endeavors.

Conservative groups boost anti-quarantine protests in the US

People take part in a "reopen" Pennsylvania demonstration on April 20 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of the Capitol building in Harrisburg as police barricades blocked people from advancing closer to the doors. One green rig with the words "Jesus is my vaccine" spray-painted above its front fender drove down 3rd Street, its horn blaring in support.

The demonstrators defied Pennsylvania's statewide stay-at-home orders, calling for a swift end to the government-imposed closures of regular business and for America to "open up." 

Similar events have taken place in state capitals across the country, including in Michigan, Texas, Maryland, and Washington, with upcoming protests in additional states.

ER doctor self-isolates in his kids treehouse

A South Texas emergency room physician has chosen a novel place to self-isolate as hes treating patients with the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Jason Barnes made a temporary home of his childrens treehouse in the backyard of the familys Corpus Christi home. He is among many health care workers who are leaving their homes or or taking other precautions to protect their families after being exposed to the virus. 

Barnes, a 39-year-old physician at Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville and Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that he has spent nearly three weeks in the cabin treehouse and often shouts down to his kids if he needs something or sometimes walks up to the back picture window door of their home to make his request.

Theyre within yelling distance, Barnes said. But I can call or go up to the glass. They know not to open the door and risk catching something.

Of course, this self-isolation means his two sons, ages 6 and 9, lose their playhouse.

UK to test potential coronavirus vaccine on people this week

Britains health minister said Tuesday that the country will test a potential vaccine for the coronavirus on people later this week.

A vaccine developed by researchers at Oxford University will be tested on people on Thursday, Health Minister Matt Hancock said in a daily news briefing.

In normal times, reaching this stage would take years, and Im very proud of the work taken so far, he said.

Hancock said he would make 20 million ($24.5 million) available to the scientists at Oxford, as well as an additional 22.5 million in funding for researchers at Imperial College London.

Nothing about this process is certain, he said. Vaccine development is a process of trial and error and trial again. Thats the nature of how vaccines are developed. Ryan Browne

Led by US, global auto sales expected to plummet 22% in 2020

IHS Markit lowered its global auto sales forecast, saying it expects global vehicle sales to decline 22% this year to 70.3 million units, led by a 26.6% fall in the U.S. to 12.5 million units, compared to a year ago.

710 sailors on the U.S.S. Roosevelt have tested positive

The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that 710 crew members on the U.S.S. Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 3,872 have tested negative. More than 4,100 sailors have been moved ashore.

While nine of the sailors have been hospitalized, none are currently in the ICU. One sailor, 41-year-old Charles Robert Thacker Jr., has died, and 42 have recovered, the Navy said. 


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