COVID-19: Rare Disease Found in Infected Child; Beijing eases...

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


Rare disease found in US child: 

US doctors say they may have seen a possible complication of coronavirus infection in a young child: a rare inflammatory condition called Kawasaki disease.

Britains National Health Service sent an alert to doctors Sunday saying they had seen cases of atypical Kawasaki disease that could be linked to coronavirus.

A team at Stanford Childrens Hospital said they had, also. They described the case of a 6-month-old girl admitted to the hospital with the disease and later also diagnosed with coronavirus.

What is Kawasaki disease? It's a rare childhood illness that causes the walls of the blood vessels in the body to become inflamed and can limit blood flow to the heart. It is usually treatable and most children recover without serious problems, but it can be deadly.

What causes it? No one knows what causes Kawasaki disease, but some studies have pointed to a link between viruses or a bacterial infection.

Further research: The authors of the study suggest that since the coronavirus is new, and not all symptoms in children are known, scientists will want to further research the potential association of Kawasaki Disease with Covid-19.

Restrictions Partially Removed for Beijing Visitors  

Beijing will lower its coronavirus virus emergency response level from one to two, starting this Thursday, April 30, the municipal government announced at a daily press conference on Wednesday.

In China's four-tier response level, level one is the most severe. 

Beijing activated the highest level of public health emergency response on January 24.

The municipal government also said people arriving from places in China deemed "low risk" will no longer be required to quarantine for two weeks.

Additionally, nucleic acid testing results will no longer be needed to book a room at a hotel in Beijing. 

But the 14-day quarantine still applies to all international arrivals to Beijing and people coming from Hubei Province, said local authorities.

Meanwhile, museums in Beijing will reopen from May 1, announced Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage. Group bookings will not be accepted.

Visitors will have to make reservations and museums will operate at a 50-percent maximum daily capacity. 

Other protocols include temperature scanners, face masks and visitor registration. 

A Rush of Local News

Four new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday were imported cases, according to China's National Health Commission. 

The commission also reported 33 new asymptomatic patients and no new deaths.

Wuhan: The last 5A tourist attraction in Wuhan, Huanghelou, also known as the Yellow Crane Tower, opened for tourists on Wednesday, after being closed for nearly 100 days as the city was being ravaged by the novel coronavirus.

Beijing's Haidian district opened a drive-thru testing point for nucleic acid tests of the coronavirus with the whole process taking just two minutes and experts said the move would widen the testing scale in Beijing to find more asymptomatic COVID-19 infections ahead of a massive work resumption.

A drive-through testing point in Haidian district, Beijing Photo: Courtesy of Pony Testing International Group

The drive-through test need to be pre-booked through WeChat official account BeijingBenDiBao. 

A Rush of News

The UK government retroactively revised its death toll on Wednesday, increasing the figure to reflect a new counting method. Public Health England announced on Tuesday it would begin to report deaths in all settings -- meaning in hospitals, care homes and the wider community -- in its daily figures. The death toll in the country now stands at 26,166.

U.S. economic activity in the first quarter contracted at an annual rate of 4.8 percent amid the COVID-19 impact, the biggest decline since the Great Recession, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Germany is extending an existing warning against foreign travel until June 14 to stem the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said. Europe's biggest economy has brought home 240,000 stranded tourists in the last four weeks, Maas said, adding that "we're not going to undertake such an action again in the coming summer".

Russia on Wednesday extended the restrictions on foreigners entering Russia until the situation of COVID-19 outbreak improves and the country wins the fight against the disease.

Slovenia: Starting from Thursday, citizens will be allowed to travel outside their local municipalities for the first time in a month. Meanwhile, Education Minister Simona Kustec said that schools and kindergartens, which have been closed since the middle of March, would gradually reopen.

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin said children would return to school gradually, starting on May 14 for a little more than two weeks, before their summer break begins as usual at the start of June.

The German economy is expected to shrink 6.3 percent in 2020 because of the coronavirus, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said, the biggest slump in Europe's top economy since records began in 1970.

Gilead Science Inc said its experimental antiviral drug remdesivir helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19 in a clinical trial, and provided data suggesting it worked better when given earlier in the course of illness caused by the virus.

MotoGP's German, Dutch and Finnish rounds in June and July have all been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport's governing body and promoter announced.

The season-opening Qatar MotoGP scheduled for March was cancelled [Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images]

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have announced the birth of a healthy baby boy. Both had suffered from coronavirus. Both have now recovered and Johnson recently returned to work.

Poland will reopen hotels and shopping malls on May 4 while it will consider reopening pre-schools on May 6, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

Azerbaijan will keep its borders closed until May 31, the government said on Wednesday.

Turkey has extended the closure of schools until the end of May, Education Minister Ziya Selcuk said.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has called for an extension of Japan's nationwide "state of emergency," which requests people to stay home and social distance, to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The state of emergency, declared by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, lasts through May 6.

Iran reopened for business despite its persistent coronavirus outbreak as there was no end in sight to the crisis, its president said.

UK: 85 National Health Service (NHS) staff and 23 social care workers in the UK have died from coronavirus, says the countrys Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Masks in the sky: United Airlines and American Airlines will begin to provide masks to passengers beginning in early May. It follows an announcement from Jet Blue on Monday saying all passengers will be required to wear a face covering during travel from May 4.

Juventus striker Paulo Dybala has tested positive for the coronavirus for the fourth time in six weeks, a source close to the player has told CNN.

Juventus' Argentine forward Paulo Dybala is pictured during the UEFA Champions League match between Lyon and Juventus at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, France, on February 26. Franck Fife/AFP/GEtty Images

Airbus, has reported a huge loss as coronavirus hits its business. The firm reported a net loss of 481 million ($522 million) for the first three months of the year compared to a profit of 40 million ($43 million) for the same period last year, the company said in its results Wednesday.

Boeing Co said on Wednesday it would cut its workforce by about 10 percent and further reduce 787 Dreamliner production after reporting a loss of $641m for the second straight quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hits global travel demand.

Volkswagen, the world's largest carmaker said Wednesday that first-quarter operating profit plummeted to 904 million ($978 million) from 3.9 billion ($3.3 billion) a year ago, as vehicle sales fell. It warned that profit for the full year would be considerably below 2019, but still positive.

GE posted a total revenue of $20.524 billion, which represents a year-over-year decline of 8%. GE Industrial profits fell 46% year over year to $1.096 billion from $2.017 billion. 

France is to be divided into red or green zones as the nation's lockdown is eased, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Wednesday as he presented plans for the next phase of coronavirus measures. Masks will be mandatory on public transport and high school students will also be required to wear masks. 

U.S. coronavirus deaths now exceed the number of American soldiers killed in the 20 years of the Vietnam War 58,220.

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. 

India saw its highest jump in deaths in a 24-hour period even as regional governments prepared to ease lockdown restrictions. A total of 73 people had died since Tuesday morning, taking the country-wide toll to 1,007, the federal health ministry said. The number of positive cases crossed 30,000.

South Africa reported 354 new cases in the last 24 hours, its highest jump to date, bringing the total number to 5,350. Death toll had risen by 10 to 103.

Iran: The death toll rose by 80 in the past 24 hours to 5,957, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV The total number of diagnosed cases has reached 93,657, he said.

Spain recorded 325 deaths overnight, up from 301 reported the previous day, the health ministry said.  The overall death toll rose by 453 to 24,275. The number of diagnosed cases rose by 2,144 from Tuesday to 212,917, the ministry said.

Russia has reported 5,841 new cases bringing its overall nationwide case tally to 99,399. The official nationwide death toll reached 972 after 108 people with the virus died in the last 24 hours, Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said.

Singapore's health ministry confirmed 690 more coronavirus infections, taking total cases in the country to 15,641.

Pakistan registered its deadliest day on Tuesday, with 26 people dying, taking the country's death toll to 327. Cases also rose by their highest single-day amount on Tuesday, increasing by 806 to 14,885.

Brazil's The number of confirmed cases in Brazil soared by a record 6,276 to 78,162, according to the countrys health ministry. The death toll stood at 5,466 deaths.

UK: A total of 26,097 patients have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in Britain as of Tuesday afternoon, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Wednesday. It is the first time government figures have included deaths in care homes and the community, in addition to those in hospitals. A total of 4,076 new cases were reported in one day, bringing the total to 165,221.

Netherlands: The number of cases has risen by 386 to 38,802 health authorities said, with 145 new deaths. The death toll stands at 4,711, the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said in its daily update. 

German Company Begins Testing Possible Vaccine

German pharmaceutical company BioNTech said it has begun testing a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus on volunteers.

BioNTech, which is working with US-based Pfizer, said 12 participants of a clinical trial in Germany have received doses of the vaccine candidate BNT162 since April 23.

BioNTech said in a statement that in a next step, it will begin increasing the dose of BNT162 in a trial involving about 200 participants aged 18 to 55.

First Dog in US to Test Positive for coronavirus

Winston is believed to be the first dog in the US to have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans, [Heather Seabury McLean/via Reuters]

A pug named Winston has become the first pet dog in the United States to test positive for the coronavirus.

Winston belongs to a family who are taking part in the Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection research study at Duke University.

A handful of pet cats and dogs have previously been found with the virus.

The World May Never Recover Its Thirst for Oil

The world is learning to live with less oil. It may never look back. 

The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for gasoline and jet fuel as billions of people stay home, and there's no guarantee it will ever fully recover despite rock-bottom prices. 

The oil industry is bracing for the effects of the crisis to linger. Employees keep working from home. International travel stays scarce. And citizens in once-polluted cities, having become accustomed to blue skies, demand tougher emissions controls.

Such changes would come on top of a push for investors to dump oil assets that had been gaining momentum before the recent price crash. Sustainable energy investments, by comparison, appear to have held up relatively well despite stock market volatility.

This could mean that global demand never returns to its 2019 record high, a scary prospect for oil companies and their employees from Texas to Western Europe, and countries such as Russia, Nigeria or Iraq that depend heavily on selling crude.

Turkey Claims Success Treating COVID-19 Patients

Health workers help a woman who has tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19 at Bagcilar in Istanbul, April 28, 2019. BULENT KILIC/AFP/GETTY

Turkey has the biggest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, with more than 114,000 confirmed infections. Almost 3,000 people have died. But while the number of cases has risen fast for six weeks, the fatality rate has remained relatively low, at about 2.5%. That's much lower than in many European countries, or the U.S.

Turkey's Ministry of Health says the relatively low death toll is thanks to treatment protocols in the country, which involve two existing drugs the controversial malaria drug hydroxychloroquine touted by President Trump, and Japanese antiviral favipiravir.

"Doctors prescribe hydroxychloroquine to everyone who is tested positive for coronavirus" said Dr. Sema Turan, a member of the Turkish government's coronavirus advisory board, told CBS News. Hospitalized patients may be given favipiravir as well if they encounter breathing problems, Turan said.   

She said the combination of drugs appeared to "delay or eliminate the need for intensive care for patients."  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved emergency use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients, but has warned it should only be used in clinical trials or under the close observation of doctors, citing risks of heart complications.

Top Automakers to Delay Restarting of US Production

While Volkswagen resumed production in Germany, the motomaker has postponed the re-starting of its activities in the US amid concerns over the automotive supply network [Swen Pfoertner/Reuters]

Volkswagen AG (VW) and Toyota Motor Corp said they would delay restarting US production amid concerns over the automotive supply network.

VW said it was indefinitely delaying the resumption of production at its Tennessee assembly plant that had been set to restart on May 3.

Toyota said it would delay the resumption of North American manufacturing operations to the week of May 11 from the week of May 4 after an "extensive review with our supplier and logistics network."


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