People must abide by restrictions, Merkel warns.
Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “cautious hope” that the Germans prevented the spread of the corona virus from straining the health system and slowing the rate of infection, but warned that the number was no reason to abandon serious restrictions on social contact and personal freedoms.
“The latest developments give us cause for cautious hope,” Merkel said. “The numbers are an indication that measures are working.”
“We cannot be ruthless, we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security,” she warned at a news conference. “I know this from personal experience: you have some hope, then you get confidence, then you are a little more relaxed inside and then you are a little ruthless.”
The daily number of new infections in Germany has dropped from as many as 7,000 to an average of about 4,000 in the past week. Other hard-hit countries in Europe have seen comparable declines.
German authorities have credited early planning, extensive testing and a robust health system that resulted in a low death rate compared to neighboring countries. In Germany, more than 2,000 people died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, compared with about 7,000 in the UK, 11,000 in France, 15,000 in Spain and almost 18,000 in Italy, according to a database from the New York Times.
The chancellor said her government was working to procure more masks and protective equipment from overseas, as well as exploring ways to increase domestic production, to meet domestic and European needs.
The world began this week to see small but encouraging signs that coordinated efforts to drastically change human behavior – interrupting daily routines by staying at home – slows the spread of the new corona virus, which has killed tens of thousands and sickened more than 1.5 million people over Worldwide.
Some countries take a hopeful approach, and countries in Europe set a timeline to facilitate restrictive measures. Poland became the latest, with its Health Minister on Thursday proposing that restrictions be eased after Easter to support the country’s economy.
But epidemiologists warn that early indications, even if promised, should not be interpreted so that everything will be fine in the coming weeks. And all over the world, evidence of the depth of the crisis continues to emerge.
Singapore, Considered a model for its effective response to the crisis with its rigorous surveillance and quarantine measures, is the beginning of a second rise in the disease, with dozens of new cases reported this week.
Iran’s supreme leader suggested that mass gatherings could be hindered by Holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan amid the pandemic.
On Thursday, the World Bank predicted sub-Saharan Africa would suffer its first recession in 25 years as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak continues to destroy the US economy, and Thursday brought new evidence with the Labor Department announces 6.6 million new unemployment requirements last week, almost 10 times the record before the krona virus crisis.
In large parts of Europe, countries support the Easter weekend and increase compliance with social distance measures as much of the continent adjusts the planned celebration for the new, socially isolated reality.
As many as 150,000 West Bank residents who usually work in Israel or Israeli settlements are crucial to the West Bank’s economy, which estimates $ 2.5 billion a year.
But after an outbreak at two kosher chicken slaughterhouses on the Israeli side that killed dozens of Palestinian workers, it has become clear that they are also taking back something else: the corona virus.
Returning workers accounted for at least a third of the known cases in the West Bank, including its single death, Palestinian officials say. Only a few hundred infections have been confirmed there, although testing has been very limited compared to about 10,000 in Israel.
Initially, Palestinian officials expected Israel to take care of all workers affected by the virus. But after a vulnerable worker was unduly dumped at a checkpoint by the Israeli police (he later tested negative), the Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh turned himself in and urged the workers to return to the West Bank for their own safety.
Now, however, the fear is that many will take his advice – and that a large number of returning workers may turn out to be unknown carriers of the virus. It would quickly overwhelm the West Bank’s undervalued hospital.
The stress on the Palestinian side is reflected in a rhetoric of rhetoric that believes in the close cooperation between Israeli and West Bank officials behind the scenes – cooperation that the UN has publicly praised.
About 13 percent of the revenue earned by the West Bank comes from jobs in Israel or Israeli settlements.
European finance ministers meet for the second time this week on Thursday afternoon to take a new knife in potential joint action to curb the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the region’s economy, after their previous attempts collapsed in crime without results.
At stake is the recovery of the world’s richest bloc of nations, of which 19 members also share one of the most important currencies in the world, the euro. The recession ahead will be brutal: the bloc is likely to shrink by about 10 percent, economists predict. In the worst year, 2009, the downturn that followed the global financial crisis was 4.5 percent.
But the meeting will also determine whether the European countries affected by the virus unevenly, with Spain and Italy suffering the most losses, will be able to leave their usual battles aside – north to south, richer than poorer – and address the issue as a .
Some of the proposed measures have largely been controversial, such as a joint scheme to finance unemployment benefits and investments to support small businesses, but larger and more courageous proposals have been fragmented.
Particularly tough agreement has been reached on whether reform conditions should be linked to loans that a disbursement fund can provide to Italy and others. Italy, the bloc’s third largest economy, is keen to secure funding without strings, but the Netherlands is pressing conditions.
The ultimate stumbling block is whether ministers can agree on the possibility of issuing joint bonds in the future. This is no way for some Northern European countries like Germany and the Netherlands: They do not want to subsidize cheap debt for their southern counterparts and claim that the move would be legal and practically time consuming and politically unsustainable at home.
As the United States and Europe compete to provide scarce medical equipment to fight the spread of coronavirus, poorer countries are losing to richer in the global scrum of masks and test materials.
As richer nations face allegations of “modern piracy” for trying to secure medical supplies for their own people, manufacturers say orders for important test kits cannot be filled in Africa and Latin America because almost everything they produce goes to America or Europe. UNICEF says it is trying to buy 240 million masks to help 100 countries, but so far it has only managed to source about 28 million.
“There is a war going on behind the scenes, and we are most worried about the loss of poorer countries,” Dr. Catharina Boehme, Executive Director of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, which works with the World Health Organization to help poorer countries gain access to medical tests.
The delivery partially shares issues because testing is the first defense against the virus and an important tool to prevent so many patients from going to hospital.
To date, the developing world has reported far fewer cases and deaths from coronaviruses than the rich, but if the pandemic strikes harder, it would prove devastating in countries whose health systems are already fragile and underfunded. A new study showed that some poor countries have only one equipped intensive care bed per million inhabitants.
New research suggests that the corona virus began circulating in the New York area in mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case there, and that travelers brought it mainly from Europe, not Asia.
Law at the Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Sinai and N.Y.U. The Grossman School of Medicine – both in New York but working separately, for different groups of cases – came to strikingly similar conclusions about the coronavirus virus from residents of the city beginning in mid-March.
Some virus strains found in New York were virtually identical to those in Europe. They reveal a period of untracked global transmission that began in late January, more than a month before the US blocked most trips from Europe.
Other viruses were identical to those seen in Washington State, suggesting that the virus probably also moved across the United States for weeks.
The early spread may have been detected if aggressive testing programs had been introduced.
The researchers warned that although the mutations they studied are useful for dividing lines, they have no apparent effect on how the virus works. This is good news for researchers working on a vaccine. In another promising sign for vaccine manufacturers, the virus also seems to mutate rather slowly, unlike the flu.
More than two dozen companies have been promising vaccine programs in recent weeks, faster through the early stages of testing unlike ever before.
Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday, said he had been targeted by racist comments and death threats that originated in Taiwan over the past three months, including being called “a Negro.”
Dr. Tedros stated the Taiwanese government, which has been frozen out of W.H.O. after pressure from Beijing.
“They didn’t take care of themselves,” he said of Taiwanese officials. “They even began to criticize me in the midst of all insults and slurs, but I didn’t care.”
He said in a coronavirus news letter on Wednesday that while he did not care about the personal attacks, he could not accept degradation against all black people.
“When the whole black community is offended, when Africa is offended, I will not tolerate it,” he said.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen hit back on Thursday, writing on Facebook: “Taiwan has always opposed all forms of discrimination. For several years we have been excluded from international organizations and we know better than anyone else how it feels to be discriminated against and isolated. “
Dr. Tedros also made an excited plea for solidarity, warning that politicizing the coronavirus pandemic would result in “many more body bags.”
He commented on President Trump released a tirade against the organization on Tuesday, accused it of acting too slowly to sound the alarm and to treat the Chinese government favorably. While the president, who threatened to withhold US funding for the organization, spoke in unusually harsh terms, he was not alone in such criticism.
Critics say that W.H.O. has been too reliant on the Chinese government, which initially tried to hide the outbreak. Others have misrepresented the organization for not moving faster when explaining global health care.
When asked about Trump’s comments on Wednesday, Dr. Tedros: “Please do not police this virus. If you want to be utilized and you want many more body bags, do it. If you do not want many more body bags, you refrain from policing it. “
Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union, said on Twitter: “The focus should remain on the collective fight against Covid-19 as a united global society. The time for accountability is coming. “
More than 50 African states have reported so far a total of 10,252 cases of coronavirus and 492 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Thursday, the World Bank said sub-Saharan Africa would suffer its first recession in 25 years as a result of the outbreak.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson having spent his third night in intensive care and Britain crawling towards the end of a the first three weeks of lock-in to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the government is preparing to make a decision to extend the measures.
The Government’s Cobra Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the effectiveness of the shutdown measures introduced on March 23, although a decision on whether the restrictions should be extended, relaxed or tightened is not expected until next week.
With temperatures expected to reach up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend, the public has been invited to stay home. London Mayor Sadiq Khan asked the public on Wednesday to refrain from sunbathing, having barbecues in parks and playing team sports.
“I think we’re not close to lifting the lockdown,” he told the BBC, indicating that the country was at least ten days away from a potential peak in the number of cases.
Mr Johnson, meanwhile, “had a good night and continues to improve” in intensive care after being infected by the virus, officials said on Thursday. He’s still taking standard oxygen treatment, Downing Street said, but was in “good spirits.”
After the UK reported its highest daily death toll from the virus on Wednesday, with 938 deaths registered in hospitals in 24 hours, public health services in England, Scotland and Wales reported 887 new deaths on Thursday. Northern Ireland had not yet reported on its daily results.
The country’s economic crisis is also deepening as a result of the outbreak, and the UK government on Thursday said 1.2 million new welfare payments have been made since mid-March. During a typical two-week period, there are usually about 100,000 claims, according to the BBC.
In the Spanish city of Seville, the Holy Week is celebrated by processions of the main drag which draws hundreds of thousands of believers and tourists to the city’s streets for the Passover spectacle.
But the festivities and the concept of punishment, a big theme of the week, have taken on a special significance during one nationwide coronavirus lockout, as believers must stay at home rather than meander through the city to the sounds of drums and trumpets along with richly decorated floats. The parties are led by fraternities, associations formed by residents whose main task is to prepare religious events, especially during Holy Week.
“This is an outstanding situation where we have to prepare for a much longer period of penitence, also because of the financial difficulty that awaits us even after the virus has passed,” said Alejandro López, spokesman for the Macarena Brotherhood, the largest in Seville, with about 15,000 members.
The processions are usually beautiful during Holy Week, and Macarenas would take place at midnight Thursday. But with its basilica closed, the brotherhood will instead stream video online from the church.
For those who have spent months preparing for the procession, “no doubt there are some inner feelings of nostalgia and sadness,” López said. “But we are all mature Christians.”
Not everyone has followed the closure measures, and last Sunday, officers broke up a roof on Seville with a dozen people. The police have intervened to stop any religious events that may violate the national lockdown rules.
Spain still faces a major outbreak: On Thursday, the country passed the dismal milestone of 15,000 dead, with 683 more deaths reported overnight.
As coronavirus cases rise in India, the country’s top political leaders have indicated that a The 21-day nationwide lockdown that will expire next week would probably continue in some form.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the government ministers on Wednesday that a complete lifting of the lockdown “is not possible”, according to Indian news reports and people who attended the meeting.
“The government’s priority is to save every life,” Modi was quoted as saying. “The situation in the country is similar to a” social emergency. “It has taken tough decisions and we must continue to be vigilant.”
India’s lockdown, which runs until April 15 and applies to all 1.3 billion Indians, was the most serious action taken anywhere to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The borders between the states were closed. Schools, offices, factories, parks, restaurants and airspace have closed.
In addition, the cities of Mumbai and New Delhi called this week that people wear face masks when they leave their homes. And on Thursday, the government of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, said residents must stay indoors and allow only important items such as food to be delivered.
Although India still has a relatively small number of infections – 178 deaths and fewer than 6,000 confirmed cases as of Thursday – experts warn that widespread transmission of the coronavirus can be disastrous in a country where millions of people live in dense slums, social distancing is often impossible and healthcare is overloaded.
Australian authorities on Wednesday boarded the cruise ship Ruby Princess, which is docked off the country’s east coast, and seized the ship’s “black box” as part of an assassination investigation into how infected passengers were allowed to leave last month.
The vessel allowed about 2,700 untested passengers to board Sydney. Hundreds of others later tested positive for coronavirus, causing cases in the state of New South Wales to skyrocket. Fifteen of them died later.
It is the deadliest single source of infection in Australia, which had 50 deaths and more than 6,000 cases as of Thursday.
Authorities are trying to determine if the number of potential coronavirus cases aboard Ruby Princess were played before it arrived. They boarded the ship to collect evidence, including a black box similar to those used in aircraft and to talk to its captain.
Authorities say more than 1,000 crew members, many from other countries, are still on the ship, and a number of them have been affected by the corona virus.
Dean Summers, Australia’s coordinator for the International Transport Workers’ Federation, said a number of them were “totally confused” and desperate to be tested for the virus.
“That ship obviously has a lot of exposure to coronavirus,” he said. “Why was no one tested?”
addition eight doctors, all immigrants, who have died while fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, at least six nurses and a medical assistant are believed to have died after receiving the virus.
Authorities have criticized for apparently not keeping an accurate summary of coronavirus deaths among medical workers other than doctors.
Matt Hancock, the British secretary of health, came under fire last week after he said on national television: “Unfortunately, we have seen four doctors die so far and some nurses.”
“They don’t even count the nurses,” said Donna Kinnair, executive director and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, during the BBC show “Question Time.”
Among the dead are Alice Kit Tak Ong, 70; Aimee O’Rourke, 39; and Thomas Harvey, 57. Ms. O’Rourke, a nurse in the emergency medical unit at Queen Elizabeth’s Queen Mother’s Hospital in Margate, a town in south-east England, died after testing positive for coronavirus, the hospital said in a statement last week. The hospital plans to erect a permanent memorial in her honor.
Ong, who is originally from Hong Kong and had worked for the National Health Service for 44 years, died on Tuesday in London, her daughter told The Guardian. She said her mother had worked without protective gear.
The family of Mr. Harvey, who became ill after treating a patient who later tested positive for the virus, said health care had failed them.
The lack of protective equipment has been a concern throughout the world, with some medical workers making their own dresses from the trash. A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Nursing said in an email on Wednesday that the facility had requested more and better protective equipment for staff over and over.
All nurses treating patients with coronavirus were at risk of infection, she added.
Police in a southwestern corner of Germany will monitor who is following the social-ordering orders outdoors during the Easter weekend using an unusual means of transport – a zeppelin.
The city of Friedrichshafen got the aircraft – emblazoned with the slogan “Alle fur Alle” or “Alle together” – to make a daily loop through the sky over the shores of Lake Constance to motivate the Germans to follow regulations to stay indoors.
Officials reached out to police and offered a ride, said Markus Sauter, spokesperson for regional police in Ravensburg. The authorities readily accepted.
“Our focus will be the Bodensjö region, because from zeppelin it is easier for us to see where large groups of people can form than it is on the ground,” Sauter said in a telephone interview. The lake, which forms Germany’s southern border with Switzerland and a corner of Austria, is a popular destination for cyclists, hikers and other day tourists.
Six police officers will ride in zeppelin and be in radio contact with their colleagues on the ground and warn them if they discover any large groups.
The Germans remain under order to stay at home, just go out for necessities. But with 113,296 people infected and 2,349 killed, according to Johns Hopkins, Germany is slowly seeing the rate of new infections. Leaders hover over the possibility that certain restrictions can be eased after Easter, warning that it can only happen if people stay distant during the weekend.
With a warm, sunny weather forecast, the authorities worry that it can be challenging, even in a country with a penchant for following the rules.
Even after Japan declared an emergency to fight the coronavirus pandemic in its largest population centers earlier this week, the central government calls on governments to wait two weeks to ask companies to shut down fears of damaging the economy.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially announced the emergency declarations earlier this week for seven prefectures that include Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka and Yokohama and represent a population of 56.1 million people. The government does not have the legal authority to issue residency orders or force companies to close, but governors can request that companies suspend operations to help contain the spread of infections.
While some of the governors want companies to close now, the central government wants them to wait to see if individual citizens will flatten the infection curve by refraining from going outside and working from home. On Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced 511 newly confirmed cases – a jump of 46 percent over a day earlier.
A municipality takes matters into its own hands. Gotemba, a city of approximately 88,000 feet at the foot of Mount Fuji, offers owners of businesses such as bars and nightclubs a maximum of 1 million yen (about $ 9,200) in compensation for closing between April 16 and 30.
Usually, it is the world’s largest oil producing countries that penetrate when a large fall in prices falls on the oil market. But these are not normal times.
On Friday, a day after the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries and other producers led by Russia will hold their own meeting, representatives of the group of 20 rich nations are expected to hold a virtual conference to try to prevent the latest step in energy prices.
The pandemic has played a crucial role in this drama, but there is also a lot of jockeying among the three oil superpowers: Saudi Arabia and Russia, two longtime petro-rivals, and the United States, whose rising prominence as an oil exporter has disturbed the industry.
How to Celebrate in Coronavirus Times |
Every home order does not have to put a damper on your special days. Here are some ways to celebrate birthdays, weddings and the upcoming spring weekend.
In Dubai, the largest and most cosmopolitan in the United Arab Emirates, the large foreign population can now have alcohol delivered to the home even when the city has frozen in place to stop the spread of a coronavirus outbreak.
Allowing alcohol deliveries in Dubai during the pandemic may be surprising to some, as drinking is illegal in the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah and the nations of Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
But in normal times, Dubai residents can sip cocktail lounges or indulge in Champagne brunch, perhaps the most visible compromise the emirate has made between its Muslim identity and its many foreign workers and tourists. Foreigners drive cabins, pick up garbage, run restaurants and run the other industries that make Dubai a global business area and tourist destination, leading to looser restrictions on behavior than in many of its neighbors.
But allowing home delivery of liquor is new.
Alcohol delivery, now offered through Online ordering of the city’s major alcohol distributors is a nod to another reality – the one for a city-wide lockdown, where only one member of each household is allowed outside at a time for essential travel. Only tourists who can show a foreign passport and residents with an alcohol license, available to non-Muslims over 21, can order the alcohol, ranging from a $ 4.36 bottle of Indian blended whiskey to a $ 780 bottle of California red wine.
The closure is strictly enforced and blends the highly effective efficiency that has streamlined Dubai’s economy and the authority’s authoritarianism which raises little inequality. People have to obtain police permission online every time they leave home. Everyone must wear masks and gloves outside.
Dubai police have said they will not hesitate to “name shame”, arrest and even jail people who mock at home on social media.
But it was a striking contrast to the policy in Bangkok, where authorities announced on Thursday that the sale of alcohol would be banned from Friday to April 20 to thwart collections next week during Songkran, the Thai New Year. The Songkran celebration, which can attract large crowds, was interrupted earlier.
Bangkok, which is under partial closure, is one of more than 10 jurisdictions in Thailand that have adopted some form of alcohol ban in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Reporting was contributed by Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Jane Bradley, Stephen Castle, Abdi Latif Dahir, Vivian Yee, Melissa Eddy, Raphael Minder, Ceylan Yeginsu, Iliana Magra, Richard C. Paddock, Mike Ives, Megan Specia, Yonette Joseph, Kai Schultz, Elaine Yu, Motoko Rich, Hisako Ueno, Makiko Inoue, Rory Smith, Tariq Panja, Livia Albeck-Ripka, Carl Zimmer, James Gorman, Michael Levenson, Dan Barry, Ben Hubbard, Stanley Reed, Clifford Krauss, Andrew E. Kramer, Dionne Searcey, Ruth Maclean, Denise Grady, Katie Thomas, Patrick J. Lyons, Karen Zraick, Richard Pérez-Peña, Mohammed Najib, David M. Halbfinger, Melissa Eddy and Christopher F. Schuetze.