Thursday 18 June
- Will Florida be the next epicentre on the coronavirus?
- A life-saving drug used across the NHS from today.
- UK public health bodies reviewing vitamin D’s effect on coronavirus.
- Hydroxychloroquine test against coronavirus halted.
- Eiffel Tower to re-open after lockdown but visitors will have to use the stairs.
Life-saving Covid drug used across the NHS from today
Dexamethasone – a cheap, widely-available steroid – was shown to reduce deaths among patients on ventilators and on oxygen.
The UK’s chief medical officers say it should be used “with immediate effect”.
And there are no issues with supplies of the medicine in the UK.
Read the full story on BBC News
Florida has all the markings of the next big epicentre
The other areas of concern for additional widespread community transmission include the Carolinas, Texas, and Arizona.
The model was put together by a team of scientists at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.
Read the full story on CNN
UK public health bodies reviewing vitamin D’s effect on coronavirus
The Guardian says public health officials are urgently reviewing the potential ability of vitamin D to reduce the risk of coronavirus.
A delayed Public Health England review into the reasons why BAME people are disproportionately affected, which pointed to historical racism, did not review the role of diet and vitamin D.
Read the full story on The Guardian
Hydroxychloroquine test against coronavirus halted
Aljazeera The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in its large multi-country trial of treatments for COVID-19 patients had been halted after new data and studies showed no benefit.
Read the full story on Aljazeera
Eiffel Tower to re-open after lockdown but visitors will have to use the stairs
France24 says the Eiffel Tower is preparing to re-open after the Covid-19 lockdown, but visitors will need to be fit: Because of lingering concerns about infection, the elevators will initially be off-limits.
Workers at the Parisian landmark, which looms 324 metres (1,062 feet) over the French capital, were on Wednesday making preparations to re-open on June 25, after three months of shutdown. It has been the site’s longest period out of action since World War Two.
Read the full story on France24
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A quick look at the other top stories this morning
Rayshard Brookes: Murder charge for officer who shot a black man in the back
Sky News says the police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks outside an Atlanta restaurant will be charged with murder, a US prosecutor has said.
‘Back to the Middle Ages’: Outrage in Romania over gender studies ban
EuroNews says Romanian academics, students and human rights groups have condemned a new law banning gender identity studies in schools and universities and accused lawmakers of wanting to send the country’s education “back to the Middle Ages”.
Tanzania’s ban on public interest litigation bad for human rights
AfricaNews says Tanzania lawmakers recently passed a bill that outlaws public interest litigation. It says any individual seeking to use the measure must show the extent to which a law “has affected such a person personally.”
New US sanctions target Syria’s foreign backers
BBC News says the US has imposed tough new economic sanctions aimed at deterring foreign business activity with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The measures in the Caesar Act seek to compel the government to “halt its murderous attacks” on civilians and accept a peaceful political transition.
Trump asked China’s Xi for re-election help, claims Bolton
CNA says Donald Trump pleaded with China’s leader Xi Jinping for help to win re-election in 2020, the US president’s former national security advisor John Bolton writes in an explosive new behind-the-scenes book, according to excerpts published on Wednesday.