Friday 3 April 2020 News Briefing – Today’s headlines are dominated by the global Coronavirus Pandemic. As of 6:30 am (GMT), these are the global active numbers.
The coronavirus has infected more than 1 million people worldwide and killed over 53,000, according to a WTX News count.
Global COVID-19 UPDATE
Coronavirus Cases: 1,016,310
- Coronavirus: Global cases top 1 million.
- Japan divided on reopening schools amid pandemic.
- No 10 seeks to end lockdown with ‘immunity passports’.
- Virus fears stalk displaced camps in Nigeria.
- Two more Nightingale hospitals to open in the UK.
- Pandemic testing world leaders. Who’s stepping up?
Coronavirus: Cases top 1 million globally
CNN says global cases top 1 million. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 1,015,000 people and killed over 53,000.
The US remains the worst-hit country with more than 245,000 cases and over 5,900 deaths. A total of 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week – the highest number of initial claims in history.
US federal stockpiles of emergency medical gear are almost depleted.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump acknowledged that the stockpile is nearly depleted. “It is. We are sending it directly to hospitals,” Trump said.
Read the full story on CNN
Japan education officials divided on reopening schools amid COVID-19 outbreaks
Japan Times says education officials are trying to decide whether to reopen schools in their districts following recommendations from a top government panel on the novel coronavirus.
The panel of infectious disease experts said that extending school closures in areas hit hard by Covid-19 could be an option. More than 95 new cases were reported in Tokyo on Thursday, the sharpest rise in one day.
It did not explicitly weigh in on the prospect of reopening schools in areas with a moderate number of Covid-19 patients or places where no cases have been reported.
Read the full story on Japan Times
No 10 seeks to end coronavirus lockdown with ‘immunity passports’
The Guardian says No 10 is facing fresh questions over its virus testing plan, as it emerged that the government is hoping to exit the lockdown through controversial “immunity passports” and antibody tests that are still not proven to work.
In the face of intense criticism, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, on Thursday admitted for the first time that mistakes had been made. “There will be criticisms made, and some of them will be justified,” he told the daily press briefing.
Hancock revealed that certificates to prove someone is immune to the virus could allow some of the population to go back to work, as he made a new pledge to complete 100,000 tests a day in England by the end of the month.
Read the full story on the Guardian
Virus fears stalk Nigeria displaced camps
France24 says people are clustering around plastic washbasins hastily set up outside one of northeast Nigeria’s sprawling displaced persons’ camps, lathering their hands with soap under the gaze of security personnel.
The makeshift hygiene facilities are among urgent efforts aimed at keeping away the spread of coronavirus among the 1.8 million people displaced across the region by the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency.
Northeast Nigeria is yet to register any confirmed cases, but aid workers fear the virus could rampage through the overcrowded camps – a catastrophe for a population already living on the edge.
Around the regional capital, hundreds of thousands are crammed into government-controlled camps or huddled in makeshift shelters at unofficial locations. Running water is rare and conditions are often squalid.
Read the full story on France24
Two more Nightingale hospitals to be opened
BBC News reports two more Nightingale hospitals are to be opened to help deal with the rising number of UK coronavirus cases, the NHS has said.
The new sites, in Bristol and Harrogate, will provide up to 1,500 extra beds for patients with Covid-19.
Similar hospitals are also due to open at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre and Manchester’s Central Complex.
A 4,000-bed facility at London’s ExCel centre is due to open later. The new hospitals will be used to treat patients from around their respective regions.
Read the full story on BBC News
Covid-19 pandemic is testing world leaders. Who’s stepping up?
Aljazeera says whether millions live or die depends on the decisions the world’s leaders take in the coming days and weeks.
The pandemic is threatening lives and livelihoods across the world. In just three months, more than a million people in 180 countries have fallen sick from the viral illness, while at least 50,000 have died in a public health emergency the United Nations is calling the world’s “most challenging crisis” since WW2.
In large swathes of the globe, lockdowns aimed at stemming the virus’s spread have brought life and economic activity to a virtual standstill. In the worst-hit areas, hospitals are overwhelmed with the sick and dying, while the poor and vulnerable in many societies are facing severe food shortages and starvation.
Read the full story on Aljazeera
In other news ...
Away from coronavirus news, here are three top stories you need to know!
- Pakistan overturns convicted man’s death sentence.
- Kuwait backs OPEC+ meeting and resumes neutral zone shipments with Saudi.
- Virgin Orbit selects Japanese airport as launch site!
Daniel Pearl: Pakistan overturns convicted man’s death sentence
BBC News reports Pakistan has overturned the death sentence of the man convicted of killing US journalist Daniel Pearl, defence lawyers have said.
British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, imprisoned since 2002, has had his sentence reduced to seven years for kidnapping. Three other men given life sentences over the killing have been acquitted bu the Sindh High Court and released. The Sindh chief prosecutor has said he will lodge an appeal in the Sheikh case.
Read the full story on BBC News
Kuwait backs OPEC+ meeting, resumes Neutral Zone shipments with Saudi
Arab News says Kuwait supports Saudi Arabia’s invitation for a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, an informal grouping known as OPEC+ to curb global oil supply and halt the oil price rout, oil minister Khaled Al-Fadhel said on Friday.
Read the full story on Arab News
Virgin orbit selects Japanese airport as launch site
Space News says Virgin Orbit has announced it has identified an airport in Japan as a potential site for launch operations, joining airports in the United States and the UK as hosts for the air-launch company.
Read the full story on Space News