COVID-19: "COVID-Toes" a sign of infection; "102 Vaccines on..

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


WHO: "102 potential Covid-19 Vaccines in the Works Worldwide"

An engineer looks through a microscope as he checks tests on an experimental vaccine for Covid-19 at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing on April 29. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 102 potential Covid-19 vaccines are in development around the world, according to documents posted on the organizations website. 

Eight of the potential vaccines are approved for clinical trials. That is up from seven vaccines four days ago. The additional group is from China, but it is unclear if they have started trials on human study subjects the other seven have.

Of the groups approved for clinical trials on humans, four are from China, one is from England, one is American and another is a combined American and European group.

The American National Institutes of Health (NIH) trial was the first to start testing in human trial subjects on March 16.

"COVID toes" and Other Skin Symptoms May be a Sign of Coronavirus

There is still much to learn about the novel coronavirus, including a wide range of symptoms that appears to be expanding. Common symptoms of the respiratory illness include fever, cough, shortness of breath and chills, but some doctors have reported less obvious symptoms in some patients including what some are calling "COVID toes" and other skin ailments.

Esther Freeman, director of Global Health & Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor a Harvard Medical School, said "COVID toe" cases look similar to pernio or chilblains, a condition of inflamed blood vessels caused by cold temperatures.

"We're seeing this inflammatory response that we would normally see when someone was exposed to the cold temperature... like someone who has been playing outside with wet socks," Freeman told CBS News. "However, in this setting, we're seeing it in warm climates and we're seeing it in patients who have been indoors and sheltering in place."

Freeman said it's not unusual for a virus to cause a rash, so most dermatologists aren't surprised that COVID-19 could cause skin symptoms. "What is surprising to me are these 'COVID toes,' these pernio-like lesions...because we haven't seen as many reports of these in other viruses."

Freeman said "COVID toes" have been seen in both children and adults. Sometimes they are the only symptom the patient is experiencing. Freeman said it is important to be cautious because some "COVID toe" patients might still be infectious.

A team of dermatologists from Brussels, Belgium and and Portland, Oregon have also studied toe and skin infections in relation to COVID-19. In a case report published in JAAD, they say it's important for dermatologists to recognize the signs.


A Rush of Local News

Twelve new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on the Chinese mainland on Thursday, six were imported, according to China's National Health Commission. 

The commission also reported 25 new asymptomatic patients and no new deaths.

The Ministry of Education on Thursday said more than 1 million college students have returned to the universities, and universities in nine provinces will resume classes after the May Day holiday.

China and South Korea on Wednesday have agreed to allow a fast-track entry for business people between two countries to mainly facilitate trade-related personnel and ensure the smooth operation of industrial and supply chains, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on Thursday.

Beijing will increase COVID-19 nucleic acid testing capability to more than 50,000 tests per day, Gao Xiaojun, a spokesperson of Beijing municipal health commission, told a news conference, encouraging qualified third-party medical testing institutions to carry out the tests.

Wuhan's GDP in Q1 plummeted  40.5% y-o-y as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc, bringing an unprecedented blow to the city's economy and society.

The Boao Forum for Asia has decided not to hold its annual conference this year. It was due to be held in late March in South China's Hainan. 

As of Tuesday, 76.6% of the 8,200 surveyed foreign-funded enterprises in China resumed their production rate above 70%: Ministry of Commerce. Specifically, 81.2% of manufacturing companies and 66.8% from the service sector resumed work with a production rate of over 70%.

China's Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, will partially reopen from May 1, the start of a five-day public holiday, according to a notice on its website. The Palace Museum stopped admitting visitors from January 25 amid nationwide measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Those looking to tour the venue need to make online reservations, and the daily number of visitors is limited to 5,000, said the notice. ID cards and personal "health codes," which can be applied for via a local health app, are required before entering the compound. Those who are found to have body temperatures higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius or display symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath will be denied entry.

A Rush of News

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told President Vladimir Putin that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Speaking at a televised meeting, Mishustin suggested that First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov should serve as acting prime minister in his absence. Putin supported his proposal.

The eurozone economy shrank by 3.8% in the first quarter of the year as coronavirus lockdown measures began to bite, official data has shown.

The Spanish economy shrank by 4.1% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, and 5.2% compared to the last 2019 Q4. 

Italy's economy slumped 4.7% in the first quarter of 2020,

The French economy has shrunk by 5.8% in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter -- the biggest drop since the country began recording its quarterly GDP in 1949, said France's national statistics agency, INSEE, on Thursday.

South Korea: The country reported zero local transmissions yesterday for the first time since February 18. Four new cases yesterday were imported.

Germany's labs have increased their coronavirus testing capacity to 141,815 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests a day, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the national center for disease control. That means 860,494 tests a week, 

NASCAR will be the first major sport in the United States to return to action amid the COVID-19 pandemic after the organisers of the popular racing series said that the season will resume without fans in mid-May.

Britain is "past the peak" of its coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, despite recording another 674 deaths in the last 24 hours. 

Poland: People working or studying close to the Polish border will be able to cross it regularly again as of May 4 without needing to undergo a two-week quarantine. This applies to those resident in areas of Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic close to the land border with Poland. But entry into Poland remains barred to all others unless they undergo the two-week quarantine.

Pfizer aims to make 10-20 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine it is developing with Germany's BioNtech by the end of 2020 for possible emergency use depending on trial results, the US drugmaker's vaccines head said.

Bosnia's central government extended until June a halt to all passenger air traffic to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Britain's government is focused on May 7 when a review of social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak is due, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. 

US Unemployment: More than 30 million people have filed unemployment claims since mid-March after parts of the economy were shut down to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The US registered an additional 3.8 million unemployment claims last week, according to data released by the Department of Labor on Thursday. 

Japan PM said it will be "hard" to lift a nationwide state of emergency next week as local media reported, but he plans for an extension, possibly by another month. 

The top U.S. spy agency said for the first time that the nations collective intelligence community does not believe that the coronavirus was man-made or genetically modified.

Germany is poised to reopen churches, mosques and synagogues for religious services, but under stringent conditions, a government source told AFP news agency Thursday.

Tajikistan has confirmed its first 15 coronavirus cases, the Healthcare Ministry has said. Five cases have been confirmed in the capital city of Dushanbe and 10 more in the Sughd province which borders Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Schools in Hungary will remain closed until the end of May and events with more than 500 participants cannot be held until Aug. 15, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff Gergely Gulyas has said. 

US Vice President Mike Pence wore a mask while touring an Indiana facility that is making ventilators, two days after igniting a storm of criticism for failing to put on a mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic despite strict coronavirus restrictions there.

Vice President seen wearing a face mask at the GM plant in Kokomo, IN with Transport Secretary Elaine Chao and General Motors CEO Mary Barra, after being criticized for not wearing a mask during a recent visit to the Mayo Clinic.

Honda Motor is joining General Motors, Ford Motor and others in assisting the health-care industry with ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic. Honda is producing diaphragm compressors, a key component of portable ventilators, aiming to produce 10,000 compressors per month once production reaches capacity. 

Amazon recorded sales of $75.4 billion in the first three months of the year, a record for the ecommerce giant, as many consumers stepped up their online purchases during coronavirus-fueled lockdowns.

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. 

Brazil reported a record 7,218 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total to 85,380 cases. The country's health ministry added the death toll had increased by 435 to 5,901.

Peru: The death toll rose to 1,051 from 943 the previous day, the country's ministry of health said in a statement.  Meanwhile, the number of cases had risen by 3,045 to 36,976. Peru has the second highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in Latin America.

Italy: Deaths climbed by 285, against 323 on Wednesday, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections stood at 1,872, down from 2,086 the day before. The total death toll stands at 27,967 while the number of officially confirmed cases was 205,463.

Turkey: The number of positive cases rose by 2,615, according to the health ministry, brining the total number of cases in the country to 120,204. The death toll has risen by 93, brining the total number to 3,174.

The Netherlands' number of confirmed cases has risen by 514 to 39,316 health authorities said, with 84 new deaths. The country's death toll stands at 4,795.

Iran's health ministry reported 71 new fatalities which took the country's overall death toll to 6,028.

Spain: The number of fatalities recorded overnight fell to 268, the lowest in nearly six weeks, the country's health ministry has said. The overall death toll rose to 24,543 on Thursday up from 24,275. The number of cases rose to 213,435 from 212,917 the day before.

Pakistan cases have risen by 874, the highest single day increase, for the second consecutive day, to 15,759 cases countrywide, according to government data. New deaths rose by 19 to a total 346, with 4,052 patients having recovered.

Russia has reported 7,099 new cases, a record daily rise, bringing its nationwide tally to 106,498. The official nationwide death toll rose to 1,073 after 101 people with the virus died in the last 24 hours, Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said.

Singapore has confirmed 528 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its Health Hinistry said, taking the city-state's total cases to 16,169. Singapore has so far reported the most cases in South East Asia.

Airlines News

Pilots at Lufthansa are ready to sacrifice up to 45 percent of their salaries for more than two years to help cut costs, their union, Cockpit, has said, as the airline struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

British Airways is seeking to cut pilot numbers by a quarter as it slashes costs to weather the coronavirus crisis, according to a letter sent to union leaders and seen by Reuters news agency.

Under the plan, BA would cut 1,130 captain and co-pilot jobs from its headcount of 4,346, the IAG-owned airline's head of flight operations told the BALPA union in the letter.

Kuwait's Jazeera Airways has laid off 320 employees, including cabin crew, ground staff and support staff, or 37% of its workforce.

United Airlines Thursday posted its biggest quarterly loss since 2008 and expects to burn an average of $40 million to $45 million a day in the second quarter as the coronavirus continues to hurt bookings. The airline is facing 95% decline in U.S. air travel. 

United swung to a $1.7 billion loss in the three months ended March 31, from a $292 million profit in the same period of 2019. 

100-year-old British War Veteran Raises Over $38 million for Public Health Care

Colonel Tom Moore and his daughter Hannah celebrate his 100th birthday with an RAF flypast over his home in Marston Moretaine, England on April 30. Emma Sohl/Capture the Light Photography/Getty Images

Tom Moore, a British war veteran, has raised over $38 million for public health care from his fundraising activities.

More than 1.4 million people have so far contributed to the appeal on his JustGiving page, for which Moore pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for the UKs National Health Service.

On Thursday, as Moore celebrated his 100th birthday, he was promoted to an honorary Colonel of the British Army in recognition of his efforts.

The veteran also received a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II.

Pharma Company CEO Says They'll Know if Oxford's Vaccine Works in June or July 

The chief executive of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it will know by June or July whether a coronavirus vaccine it is working on with the University of Oxford will be effective or not.

"By June, July we will already have a very good idea of the direction of travel in terms of its potential efficacy," CEO Pascal Soriot told BBC radio on Thursday.

"We'll continue working with the Oxford Vaccine Unit to bring it to patients and to regulatory authorities first of all as soon as possible," he added.

Rome and Florence Airports to Reopen May 4

Florences Peretola airport and Romes Ciampino airport will fully reopen May 4, according to Italian Transport Minister Paola De Micheli.  

The two airports will reopen after a request by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority "to meet the increased traffic needs and at the same time allow the testing of a screening system for Covid-19 passengers," a note from the Transportation Ministry read.

The note also said that long-distance railway connections will be implemented.

All civilian flight operations have been suspended since March 14 at these two airports.

Chinas Largest Travel Platform Predicts Tourism Recovery During May Day Holiday

People visit Chishui Danxia Tourist Area in the Guizhou Province of China on April 24. Qu Honglun/China News Service/Getty Images

Chinas largest online travel platform, Group, said it expects the country's travel figures during the May Day holiday to possibly double the 43 million trips made during Aprils Qingming festival.

The companys 2020 May Day Tourism Trends Report, released on April 23, states the combination of easing of restrictions with the five-day holiday marks a significant milestone for recovery of the tourism industry. estimates that over 80 million trips will be made. Chinas May Day holiday weekend takes place from May 1 to May 5.

New Cases Reported Daily by Region


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