People seen at the Coloseum in Rome, Italy, on May 8, 2020. (Photo by Alberto Lingria / Xinhua)
– Italy recorded the lowest COVID-19 death in one day in more than two months;
– The British PM reveals the government’s approach to tackling the pandemic in the next phase;
– France has recorded the lowest daily toll since mid-March;
– Finland has reinstated restrictions if a pandemic strikes back.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London, England, May 6, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland / Xinhua)
LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his government’s approach to addressing the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in his speech to the country Sunday night.
The prime minister said the government had a plan to ease locking, but “it was a conditional plan,” and because “our priority is protecting people and saving lives, we cannot move forward unless we meet five tests.”
The five tests previously set by the government include: protecting the NHS (National Health Service), seeing a decrease in continuing mortality, seeing a decrease in ongoing infection rates, and resolving challenges in getting enough PPE (personal protection) equipment to people who need it , make sure that whatever action is taken by the government does not force the reproduction rate of the disease, or R, backward by more than one.
This is “not the time to end this week’s lockdown,” instead “we took the first cautious steps to modify our steps,” and “the first step is a change of emphasis that we hope people will act on this week,” Johnson said.
“We now need to emphasize that anyone who cannot work from home – for example, those in construction or manufacturing – must be actively encouraged to go to work,” Johnson said.
“And we want it to be safe for you to start working. So you must avoid public transportation if possible – because we must and will maintain social distance, and therefore capacity will be limited,” Johnson said.
A man rides a bicycle on the famous Rue de Rivoli in Paris, France, May 8, 2020. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard / Xinhua)
PARIS – The number of victims of the coronavirus pandemic in France rose by 70 to 26,380, the lowest daily number in almost two months, while the number of patients in intensive care continued to decline, the Ministry of Health said Sunday.
A total of 22,569 patients with COVID-19 were in the hospital, down 45 in the last 24 hours. Of those treated at the hospital, 2,776 people received intensive care, down 36 from Saturday, ministry data showed.
The total number of confirmed cases reached 139,063 after a one-day increase of 209, down from 433 recorded on Saturday, and well below the upper limit of 3,000 the government has set to reverse the decision to start reducing lockdown on Monday.
Despite positive signs, the ministry warned that the epidemic “is still active and growing,” urging people to remain mobilized to help stem the circulation of the virus by respecting barrier movements and social distance when lockouts end on Monday.
“Tomorrow, after 55 days of confinement, a new and gradual phase of the resumption of activity begins. We invite each of you to respect all barriers, including wearing a mask when physical distance cannot be respected,” the ministry said.
People walk along the road in Rome, Italy, May 8, 2020. (Photo by Alberto Lingria / Xinhua)
ROME – Italy recorded Sunday the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths one day and the smallest number of new infections in more than two months, the Italian Ministry of Health said.
165 deaths recorded on the last day are the lowest since March 9, the day Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared the first lockout of peacetime in Europe, when the country tried to curb the spread of the corona virus. 802 new infections recorded during the previous 24 hours were the lowest number since March 6.
The figures were compared with 194 and 1,083 the day before.
The total number of deaths due to coronavirus outbreaks in Italy is now 30,560, while the total number of infections is 219,070.
The positive trend continued a week into Italy’s “Phase 2”, which refers to a loose version of the national locking of coronavirus, which began March 10.
People participate in an event to entertain the city amid a coronavirus outbreak in Helsinki, Finland, March 20, 2020. (Photo by Matti Matikainen / Xinhua)
HELSINKI – Finland is preparing to slam on the brakes again if the COVID-19 pandemic strikes back after restrictions have been reduced, national broadcaster Yle reported on Sunday.
The Finnish government has permitted travel between Finland and Estonia, and the reopening of school classrooms – both will begin on Thursday, Yle reported.
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Strategy Director at Finland’s Ministry of Social and Health, told Yle that although the government’s emergency power to close schools nationally will end this week, local governments can act using laws on infectious diseases.
The task force, chaired by Voipio-Pulkki, will monitor infection rates and hospital capacity so that backward policies may be regulated, Yle reported.■
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