Latest about pandemic coronavirus. New Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can cause more severe illness or death.
– The crisis of the UK virus is deepening, while New York is looking positive.
– South Korea is considering establishing guidelines for plasma care.
– New Zealand declared Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy as an important worker.
LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in an intensive care unit in a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms dramatically worsened.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove told the BBC that Johnson received oxygen but did not use a ventilator.
Gove said that he “received the very, very best care from the team at St. Thomas’ and our hopes and prayers were with him and with his family.”
The 55-year-old Conservative leader was treated at St. Hospital. Thomas on Sunday night, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, the first world leader to be confirmed to have the virus.
He was transferred to intensive care after his condition worsened on Monday.
Britain has no official deputy prime minister, but Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has been appointed to take over if Johnson becomes incapable.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea said it would soon announce guidelines for hospitals on treating coronavirus experimental using blood donated from survivors.
Kwon Jun-wook, an official from the South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Tuesday the guidelines would draw from the country’s experience with similar treatments in patients infected with the MERS virus during the outbreak in 2015.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, discovered in 2012, is caused by a coronavirus in the same family as the common cold, SARS and a new virus that causes COVID-19 disease. The 2015 outbreak killed 36 people and made nearly 200 people sick in South Korea.
Kwon said officials were examining the recent recovery of two elderly COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Seoul that had been infused with surviving plasma – a liquid part of the blood containing antibodies – after other treatment efforts failed to improve their condition.
He warned there was still no guarantee that plasma treatment would work, and that health authorities and civilian experts continued to debate its effectiveness.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand has decided there is a miracle in the world after officially declaring children’s favorite Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy are important workers.
That means they can continue their work while others stay at home for a month.
“You will be pleased to know that we regard the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny as important workers,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday. “But, as you can imagine right now, of course, they will potentially be quite busy at home with their families and their own rabbits.”
TOKYO – The Japanese Ministry of Defense said it had sent a group of soldiers to a Tokyo hotel to prepare rooms for COVID-19 patients who had no or few symptoms to stay.
This is an effort to relieve burdened hospitals and save beds for patients with more serious symptoms because Tokyo sees the number of cases increasing. The Defense Ministry said 10 soldiers would support the transfer of patients, provide food and provide other assistance.
The move, under the health ministry’s new medical care guidelines for coronavirus, is designed to relieve burdened hospitals amid growing concerns about the collapse of the medical system. Monday’s pilot case began at Toyoko Inn, where about 100 people can stay in a single room while being watched.
The move comes hours before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures late Tuesday to support socially excluded steps in the affected areas.
Tokyo has seen a spike in new cases since the end of March, with the total city doubling every few days to 1,116 on Monday, said an expert in an infection explosion. Nationally, Japan has 4,618 cases including 712 from cruise ships.
NEW DELHI – India has said it will lift a ban on several drug exports including hydroxychloroquine after President Donald Trump threatened to retaliate if India fails to send anti-malaria drugs to the United States.
Foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a statement Tuesday that after confirming adequate supplies for India’s needs, export restrictions were “largely lifted.”
The White House has championed hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, although it has not been proven effective against this disease. This drug is officially approved in the US to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and experts warn it can cause heart rhythm problems.
Trump has said that he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week about lifting the ban, and in a press conference Monday that he would be surprised if Modi did not comply.
“If he doesn’t let him out, that will be fine, but of course there might be retaliation. Why isn’t there?” Trump said.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The New Zealand Minister of Health described himself as an “idiot” and has been stripped of his responsibilities after breaking the country’s strict locking measures.
David Clark drove about 12 miles to the beach to take a walk with his family. He said that when the government asked New Zealanders to make a historic sacrifice by staying at home, he had disappointed them.
“I have become an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me,” he said in a statement.
Clark previously claimed to drive to a park near his home for mountain biking.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that under normal circumstances he would fire Clark. But he said the country was unable to carry out massive disruption in its health sector while fighting the virus. Instead, he said, he stripped Clark of his role as Associate Finance Minister and lowered him to the bottom of the Cabinet.
New Zealand is almost halfway from a planned four-week lockdown to minimize the spread of the virus.
Hong Kong will continue to be closed to foreigners, extending the initial two-week restriction on non-residents without limits.
Non-residents who come from abroad to Hong Kong by plane will be refused entry, and those who come from mainland China, Macao and Taiwan will be barred from entering if they have been abroad in the past 14 days.
The move to continue closing foreigners was announced by the government on Monday, and came as the number of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong rose to 915. Hong Kong has seen an increase in the number of imported cases in the city, and confirmed cases have more than doubled in the past two weeks.
On Sunday, the Hong Kong airport saw only 813 arrivals, a decrease of close to 82% compared to before restrictions were imposed on March 24.
Restrictions on entry to Hong Kong exempt certain groups, including flight crew, government officials on duty, spouses and young children of Hong Kong residents and personnel involved by the government in anti-epidemic work.
UNITED NATIONS – More than 160 current and former global and VIP leaders urged 20 of the world’s major industrial nations to agree to an $ 8 billion global health emergency fund to speed up vaccine search, healing and care for COVID-19 and prevent the second wave coronavirus pandemic.
In an open letter to the governments of the Group of 20 countries released Monday night, leaders, ministers, top executives, and scientists also called for $ 35 billion to support countries with weaker health systems and especially vulnerable populations, and at least $ 150 billion for developing countries to fight the medical and economic crisis.
They also urged the international community to set aside debt payments this year from poor countries, including $ 44 billion due from Africa,
While the communique from the G20 summit on March 26 recognized the gravity and urgency of a health and economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, the letter said, “We now need special urgent measures that can be agreed with speed and scale.”
The group called for a global guarantee conference, coordinated by the G20 task force, to commit resources to meet emergency needs to address COVID-19.
The 165 signatories included former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, 92 former presidents and prime ministers, current prime ministers from Ethiopia and Bangladesh, president Sierra Leone, philanthropist George Soros, former Irish president Mary Robinson who led The Elders, and Graca Machel, vice chairman of the group.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean officials are considering using an electronic bracelet to monitor more and more people who are placed under quarantine themselves to slow the spread of the new corona virus.
Ministry of Health official Yoon Tae-ho said on Tuesday the device was one of several steps discussed by officials as they sought “practical and effective ways” to monitor isolated people in homes and facilities.
Yoon acknowledged that the bracelet would come with privacy issues and did not offer specific answers when asked how likely the government would enforce its use.
The number of people placed under quarantine has increased since last week when South Korea began imposing a 14-day quarantine on all passengers who came from abroad to stem the increase in imported infections.
Lee Byeong-cheol, an official from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, said more than 46,500 people were under quarantine on Monday night, including 38,400 who had just arrived from abroad. He said the number could eventually reach 80,000 or 90,000.
While quarantined individuals are required to download applications that notify authorities if they leave their homes or facilities, Yoon said applications are not enough when people sneak out by leaving their smartphones behind or turning off location functions.
Lee said South Korean police are currently investigating more than 70 people for alleged quarantine violations.
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