Thursday 14 May
- Re-starting the NHS after the virus peak ‘may take months’ experts say.
- WHO says Covid-19 ‘may never go away’ and might join the mix of viruses that kill people around the world every year. The WHO also warns of a global mental health crisis looming.
- Cases of Covid-19 have now topped 4.3 million worldwide and at least 297,000 deaths.
- Japan is set to lift its coronavirus state of emergency in 39 prefectures.
- The US says Chinese hackers are trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine as lockdown discord continues.
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran is trying to ‘foment terror’ during the pandemic.
Re-starting NHS after virus peak ‘may take months’
BBC News says re-starting the NHS services could take many months, experts say. Everything from cancer care and routine surgery to district nursing services have been disrupted across the UK by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the end of April, ministers said it was time to restore services. But three think tanks said reorganising services, coupled with the need for more PPE and extra cleaning, meant it would be some time until the NHS is fully back.
Read the full story on BBC News
WHO says Covid-19 ‘may never go away’ and warns of a mental health crisis
The Guardian reports the WHO says the coronavirus “may never go away” as its experts predicted that a global mental health crisis caused by the pandemic was looming.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday cautioned against trying to predict how long the coronavirus would keep circulating and called for a “massive effort” to overcome it.
“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” said Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief.
Read the full story on The Guardian
Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world
CNN says the more than 4.3 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide, including at least 297,000 deaths.
In Europe, the president of the European Commission warned that the region “will not just go back to business as usual soon.”
A WHO official said the novel coronavirus may never go away and may join the mix of viruses that kill people around the world every year.
In the US, a key model forecasts that 147,000 Americans will die by August. The death toll currently stands at more than 84,000.
Get more live updates on CNN
Japan to lift coronavirus state of emergency in 39 prefectures
Japan Times says the government was on Thursday set to announce the lifting of its state of emergency for 39 of the nation’s 47 prefectures more than two weeks ahead of its May 31 planned expiry as the spread of the new coronavirus eases in some areas.
The economic revitalisation minister said on Thursday morning that the government will lift the emergency in the 34 prefectures that have not been classified as areas needing “special caution.”
Read the full story on Japan Times
US says China is trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine as lockdown discord continues
France24 says US authorities said Chinese hackers are trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research, ratcheting up tensions between the superpowers. And markets slumped on warnings from the US Federal Reserve that prolonged shutdowns could cause “lasting damage.”
Europe, meanwhile, pushed ahead with plans to gradually reopen for summer tourism, even as fears persist of a second wave of infections in the pandemic that has forced more than half of humanity behind closed doors in recent months.
Read the full story on France24
Pompeo says Iran is trying to ‘foment terror’ during the pandemic
“Even during this pandemic, the Iranians are using the ayatollah regime’s resources to foment terror across the world, even when the people of Iran are struggling so mightily,” Pompeo said in Jerusalem ahead of talks with Israeli PM Netanyahu.
Read the full story on Arab News
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A quick look at the other top stories from around the world.
Whistleblower: US faces ‘darkest winter in modern history’
Aljazeera News says the USA faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, according to a government whistle-blower who alleges he was removed from his job for warning the administration of President Trump to prepare for the pandemic.
French lawmakers adopt a bill on removing hate content online
EuroNews says France’s parliament has approved a bill aimed at fighting hate online that obliges platforms and search engines to remove prohibited content within 24 hours starting July 1.
No virus-free country in Africa as Lesotho confirms Index case
AfricaNews says Lesotho confirmed its index case of COVID-19 in a press release issued on May 13. The country becomes the last on the continent to record a case.
The statement signed by Director-General of Health Services said in part: “The Ministry of Health informs the Basotho nation and the entire community living in Lesotho, that the country now has the first confirmed case of COVID-19.”
Pompeo flies to Israel despite coronavirus to discuss the peace plan
The Independent says Mike Pompeo waived strict coronavirus travel restrictions to fly to Israel on Wednesday. He had a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu and his power-sharing partner Benny Gantz to discuss a Middle East peace deal and Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
China races ahead to be the first with digital currency
ST says China has become the first major country to begin using its own digital currency, piloting it in four cities after six years of development.
If all goes well, the millions of tourists and athletes expected at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will be able to use e-yuan to pay for their transactions in an already largely cashless country.
Girmit Day: Why May 14 is significant for Fiji’s Indians
STUFF says May 14 is a significant date in the history of Fiji, especially for the Fiji Indians.
It was on May 14, 1879, that the first ship – Leonidas – arrived in Fiji with 463 Indian indentured labourers to work largely in the country’s sugar cane plantations as bonded workers, which came to be referred as Girmit (a loose modification of the word “agreement'”.