COVID-19 Recap

Diego Hernandez, Editor/Reporter

Sources: CNN & Reuters

May 6, 2020

  • The UK Government plans to scrap the “Stay At Home” message as it plans to ease coronavirus restrictions.

(British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs earlier in the day that he will be lifting some restrictive measures starting next Monday, and will officially announce the details on Sunday.)

  • Brazil sees a spike in COVID-19 patients.

(At least 10,503 new cases of coronavirus and 615 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in Brazil, according to the country’s health minister. There are now at least 125,218 cases of COVID-19 in the country and at least 8,536 people have died from the disease. Brazil currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America while Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced criticism for downplaying the threat of the virus. Bolsonaro has repeatedly attended large political rallies calling for an end to quarantine measures in the country.)

  • Researchers report an “unprecedented cluster” of inflammatory problems in children amid pandemic.

(Researchers in the UK say they have seen an “unprecedented cluster” of eight children with rare inflammatory problems amid the coronavirus pandemic. The cases, they said, bear resemblance to a severe form of Kawasaki disease – a rare condition that causes inflammation in the walls of the arteries and can limit blood flow to the heart. All of the children were previously fit and well, the researchers said in a study published Wednesday. Five of the children received mechanical ventilation through a tube in their windpipes, and one was put on an ECMO machine – a device that takes over for the heart and lungs.Seven of the children survived, and one died from a stroke. Four of the children had known exposure to coronavirus, and two eventually tested positive. Six of the children were of Afro-Caribbean descent, and five were boys.In the study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, the researchers said the case cluster formed the basis of a national alert. In late April, Britain’s National Health Service sent an “urgent alert” to doctors saying they had seen cases of atypical Kawasaki disease that could be linked to coronavirus. As their study went to press, the researchers said they had treated more than 20 children with similar signs. The first 10 of these children tested positive for coronavirus antibodies – including the eight who made up the original “cluster” of cases. That suggests they had been exposed to the virus in the past, even if their diagnostic test came back negative at the time.)

  • Trump says China could have stopped pandemic after initially praising their efforts.

(US President Trump has again leveled accusations that China could have stopped the global coronavirus pandemic, calling the spread “the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country.” Speaking from the Oval Office today, the President went on to say, “This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center.”)

May 7, 2020

  • Life will never be the same after the pandemic passes, says public health journalist.

(“We won’t be able to go back to normal life after the coronavirus pandemic ends,” warned Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer-prize winning public health journalist, speaking on CNN’s ongoing coronavirus town hall.)

May 8, 2020

  • Brazil reports record daily increase of COVID-19 deaths.

(Brazil reported a record daily increase of 751 Covid-19 deaths on Friday, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry. The newly reported fatalities bring the countrywide death toll to 9,897, according to the ministry. Brazil also reported 10,222 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the countrywide total of confirmed cases to 145,328.)

  • More than 50% of Spain’s population will advance to phased reopening.

(More than 50% of Spain’s population will advance to phase one on Monday as part of the country’s de-escalation process, during the coronavirus crisis, Spain’s health minister announced on Friday. But Madrid and Barcelona, the two largest cities in the country and the hardest hit by the pandemic are staying behind. At a nationally-televised news conference on Friday evening, Health Minister Salvador Illa and the Director for Health Emergencies, Dr. Fernando Simón, said the government decided which parts of the country could advance to phase one, after consulting with Spain’s 17 regional governments regarding infection rates in each region, the capacity to quickly detect any new cases and how each region’s hospitals could respond to any second wave. Simón listed a total of 11 regions that will transition fully to the next phase: Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Pais Vasco, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragon, Extremadura, Murcia, Balearic Islands, Canaries, and Spain’s two enclaves on Morocco’s north coast, Ceuta and Melilla.)

  • Queen Elizabeth: “Our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love.”

(Queen Elizabeth II has likened the British public’s response to the coronavirus pandemic with the efforts of its soldiers during World War II, in a televised speech delivered exactly 75 years after her father marked the end of fighting in Europe. Speaking on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Queen remembered her own experiences of the end of fighting on the continent and praised the “strength and courage” of British and Allied troops who brought about Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945.)

May 9, 2020

  • CDC director and FDA commissioner will testify remotely in Senate hearing.

(Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration will testify via video conference at a Senate hearing about the coronavirus next week.)

  • Fauci is now under a ‘modified quarantine’.

(Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN he is doing what he calls a “modified quarantine” after it was determined that he was not in close proximity to a White House staffer who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The nation’s top infectious disease expert said he is at “low risk” and tested negative for the virus on Friday. Fauci says he will stay at home and telework — though he might go to his office at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he is the only one there — and wear a mask continually for 14 days. He is expected to be tested every day for the virus.)

May 10, 2020

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander will self-quarantine after staffer tests positive.

(Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, will self-quarantine after a staff member in his office tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement from Alexander’s chief of staff, David Cleary.)

May 11, 2020

  • Italian regions can decide on reopening steps for themselves, official says.

(Regional governments in Italy will be able to decide for themselves how to take the next steps in easing restriction measures in their areas starting May 18, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s spokesperson told CNN on Monday. The regions will be able to decide when and how to reopen commercial activities, such as restaurants, bars, cafes and hairdressers, among others, based on a safety framework established by the government. The framework will prioritize safety and the evolution of the epidemiological curve.)

  • Turkey records lowest number of new coronavirus cases since March 26.
    (Turkey recorded its lowest number of daily positive coronavirus cases since March 26, according to the latest figures released by the Turkish health ministry on Monday. At least 1,114 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to at least 139,771, according to the figures. The daily death toll was 55, with a total of at least 3,841 deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, the health ministry said.)

May 12, 2020

  • Russia has world’s second most coronavirus cases.

(Russia is reporting the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, after the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally. As of Tuesday evening, Russia has at least 232,243 confirmed cases and at least 2,116 people have died from the virus, according to JHU. Tuesday is the tenth consecutive day that Russia has reported more than 10,000 new cases.)

  • Iceland expects to ease restrictions on international travelers “no later than June 15.”

(Iceland expects to start lifting restrictions on international arrivals to the country “no later than June 15,” the government said in a statement on Tuesday. Travelers will likely have to choose between being tested for Covid-19 or a two-week quarantine upon arrival. All arrivals will also be required to use the official tracing app during their stay.)

May 13, 2020

  • Italian soccer votes to resume on June 13.

(Italy’s Serie A soccer clubs held a vote Wednesday to resume the season starting on June 13, pending government approval. The statement from the league would only resume “in accordance with the decisions of the Government and in compliance with the medical protocols to protect players and all involved personnel.” This announcement follows Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora’s declaration at the House of Representatives today, which confirmed that the government and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have agreed to allow the league to resume training starting May 18.)

  • Brazil’s President Bolsonaro tests negative for coronavirus.

(Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for coronavirus in three separate exams that were released to the public on Wednesday afternoon. Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski released the test results. The three tests were administered between March 12 and March 17 after Bolsonaro returned from a bilateral meeting with US President Trump in Florida and many in his entourage tested positive. The release of the exams brings an end to a prolonged standoff in which Bolsonaro had refused to make tests public despite repeated legal rulings. The first request came from Brazilian newspaper Estado de S. Paulo and made its way up in the courts. In the three tests released on Wednesday, Bolsonaro uses codenames, but the ID numbers match his. Bolsonaro handed over the tests to the Supreme Court.)

  • France’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 27,000.

(France has recorded another 83 deaths due to coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths to more than 27,000 since the first of March, according to a statement from the country’s Health Ministry.)

  • Belgium to open museums and some school classes on May 18.

(Belgium will move forward with the second phase of its reopening plan on May 18, when some school classes for primary and secondary students will resume and museums will be reopened under certain conditions, the prime minister announced Wednesday.)