Tag Archives: Environment and nature

Latest: WHO seeks hug security for grandparents | National news | Instant News


Latest in coronavirus pandemic. 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.

—German experts say vaccines, a vital herd of immunity.

—We let the federal social distance guidelines end.

—The number of British deaths has jumped more than 26,000 with deaths in nursing homes.

GENEVA – A senior World Health Organization official said the US health agency is checking whether grandparents can hug their grandchildren safely without risking contracting the corona virus.

The comments from Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical emergency program leader, came after a Swiss health official this week suggested that grandparents could hold young grandchildren – under the age of 10 – shut down without the risk of contracting COVID-19 disease.

Most statistics show that older people and people with pre-existing health conditions make up the majority of victims who die from a pandemic.

At the WHO press conference, Van Kerkhove acknowledged that many grandparents “were very eager to hug their children, grandchildren” and said that the problem was one of the “life reviews” carried out by WHO.

DETROIT – The city of Detroit has passed 1,000 deaths due to complications from the COVID-19 virus.

Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said 1,008 people in Detroit had died. The city has 8,954 confirmed corona virus cases.

Of the last 16 deaths, 14 of the victims are aged over 70 years, while eight of them are over 80 years according to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

HELSINKI – Finland says it will gradually reopen schools starting May 14 after the closure that began last month to stem the spread of the new corona virus.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin said primary, secondary and secondary schools would be opened “in a controlled manner” in accordance with the recommendations and guidance of health officials.

Among other things, that would include keeping classrooms as separate from each other as possible in different shifts.

Public schools in Finland have been closed since March 18. Education Minister Li Andersson stressed that the government could not continue the closure “because this is not epidemiologically sustainable.”

Finland, a country of 5.5 million, has recorded 206 COVID-19 deaths and 4,906 confirmed cases.

NICOSIA, Cyprus – The President of Cyprus has launched a road map to gradually revoke strict orders, living in homes that have successfully blocked the spread of COVID-19.

But Nicos Anastasiades said “the danger is not over” because the virus will not completely disappear in the near future. He warned that “deviations from or bad disciplinary action” against the authorities’ guidelines would lead to a return to locked conditions “that no one wanted.”

Movement restrictions will begin to be canceled on May 4, with out-of-home visits increasing from once a day to three. The curfew at night will remain in effect until restrictions are completely lifted on May 21, when restaurants, hair and beauty salons will also reopen.

Anastasiades did not say when the airport will be fully operational in a country that depends on tourism. The ban on all flights is still valid until May 17.

Cyprus, with a population of around 880,000, has recorded 843 confirmed cases of the corona virus and 15 deaths.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – The Hungarian Prime Minister said restrictions on leaving home would be gradually lifted, especially in rural areas where there was little corona virus infection. Restrictions will still apply in Budapest and surrounding areas.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a Facebook video that the first phase of defending against the pandemic was over and the Hungarian health sector was now ready to deal with mass infections.

Without giving a specific date, Orban said in the countryside, shops would be able to extend opening hours and restaurants and cafes would be allowed to reopen terraces and parks.

Orban said measures that would allow only those over 65 to shop at food stores and pharmacies in the morning would remain in place.

Hungary has registered 2,727 cases of corona virus and 300 deaths.

PRAGUE – Hundreds of people have protested what they said was a chaotic response by the Czech government to the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee, which is behind the recent large-scale demonstration against Prime Minister Andrej Babis, has asked participants to keep two meters (two yards) away from each other in line with government regulations.

Wearing mandatory face masks, the protesters at Letna Prague park brought banners with their questions and messages to the Cabinet.

They read like “Let our children go back to school!” or “Why do we have to make our own face masks?”

The daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic has been under one hundred for a week, according to Ministry of Health figures.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka will reinstate a 24-hour curfew across the country as part of the country’s strict measures designed to curb the spread of the new corona virus.

According to the government’s decision, the curfew will take effect starting Thursday at 8 pm. until May 4.

The government’s decision to impose a curfew around the island came after a surge in confirmed cases in the past three days. There are now 630 COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka, including seven deaths.

The country has been under a 24-hour curfew since March 20. The curfew was lifted at noon hours in more than two-thirds of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Recently there has been a lifting of curfews in certain areas which are not considered dangerous.

The police strictly enforces the curfew and has arrested more than 41,000 violators since last month.

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said the federal government would not extend social distance guidelines when they expire Thursday at the end of the month.

Trump told reporters at the Oval Office that the coronavirus guidelines would “fade” because of the work the governors were doing in their states.

Vice President Mike Pence said the guidelines issued 45 days ago had been incorporated into the guidelines given to countries on how they could begin the process of gradually reopening their economies.

The guidelines – which were originally supposed to last 15 days and then be extended for another 30 days – include encouraging Americans to work from home and avoiding restaurants and free travel and telling older Americans and those with serious health conditions to isolate themselves .

BATON ROUGE, La. – Republican state lawmakers are fussing over Governor John Bel Edwards’ decision to extend his stay at Louisiana home until May 15.

They are considering an extraordinary step in trying to override the Democratic governor’s emergency decision making about the outbreak of the country’s coronavirus.

Edwards was in Washington for a meeting with President Donald Trump about Louisiana’s response to COVID-19 disease.

Meanwhile, some GOP legislators – especially in the House of Representatives – are trying to garner support for a rare legal maneuver that will allow them to cancel the possibility of part or all of the disaster orders and the proclamation of the governor.

The governor’s office said that it would put millions of dollars in federal aid at risk.

LONDON – The official UK death rate from coronavirus has jumped to more than 26,000, after deaths in nursing homes are added to daily totals for the first time.

The government says 3,811 more people have died after testing positive for the corona virus than previously reported.

The death toll now stands at 26,097, up from 21,678 announced Tuesday.

To date, hospital deaths have been reported every day, while deaths in nursing homes and other settings are reported separately every week.

The new total is the second highest official victim in Europe after Italy, although countries do not use the exact same action.

This might still be underestimated because testing has not been routinely done in nursing homes to date.

ROME – The increase in new Italian COVID-19 cases everyday is almost the same as the previous day’s number.

The health ministry said there were 2,086 new cases in the 24-hour period that ended late Wednesday, compared to the 2,091 increase registered the day before. The total number of known coronavirus infections in Italy is 203,591.

Italy has the most deaths in people with COVID-19 from any European country. On Wednesday, 323 deaths were reported, giving Italy a total of 27,682.

Italy is in the eighth week of national closure, with some easing restrictions on daily life scheduled to take effect on Monday.

ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey announced 89 new deaths due to coronavirus in the last 24 hours, because the number of deaths every day continues to decline.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also reported 2,936 new infections, bringing the total to 117,589. The total number of deaths now reaches 3,081.

At least 5,231 people were released from hospitals in the past 24 hours, increasing the number of patients who had recovered to 44,022, according to data shared by the minister.

The country has not reported an increase in daily deaths above 100 since April 16.

However, Koca warns against the relaxation of measures that could lead to a “second peak wave.”

“We see a downward trend but it is important that this is maintained,” Koca told reporters earlier.

CAIRO – The Sudanese Ministry of Health has reported the highest count of one-day corona virus infection in the country since the first case was confirmed more than two months ago, with 57 new COVID-19 patients and three deaths.

Wednesday’s figures make state counts for 375 confirmed cases, including 28 deaths. Some 32 people were sent home after their recovery, the ministry said.

Most COVID-19 patients in the country are in the capital, Khartoum where authorities earlier this month imposed a 24-hour curfew for three weeks to slow the spread of the virus.

Sudan’s health care system has been weakened by decades of war and sanctions. The country of 43 million people is still reeling from last year’s uprising that ousted the old ruler Omar al-Bashir.

ATHENS, Greece – Greek authorities say that the use of face masks is mandatory – with a fine of 150 euros ($ 163) – in public transportation and shops starting May 4, when the country begins to reduce lock restrictions. But they will be optional in school when middle school children start returning to class starting May 11.

Classes will not have more than 15 children separated 1.5 meters (about 5 feet), while larger classes will split up and attend lessons on alternative days, Education Minister Niki Kerameos said.

The head of the Coronavirus Sotiris Tsiodras said it was important for children to return to normal life as far as possible, adding that while the virus transmission from children to adults cannot be ruled out, “it seems unusual.”

Health officials have reported one new death and 10 new COVID-19 infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 139 deaths and 2,576 infections.

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Authorities say all schools in Bulgaria will remain closed and students will continue to use distance learning until the end of the school year.

Schools will only be opened for year-end exams for seventh grade students, which are needed for high school entrance, and graduation tests for 12th grade students, the education minister said.

The Balkan country of 7 million people has declared a national emergency until May 13 to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Bulgaria has recorded 1,447 COVID-19 confirmed cases and 64 deaths.

BERLIN – Four leading scientific research organizations in Germany say some of the steps put in place to curb the corona virus infection rate need to remain there until the vaccine is found or herd immunity is achieved.

They said in a joint statement that their mathematical model independently showed the reproduction rate of the outbreak had been below 1 in Germany since the end of March. This means that each person confirmed with COVID-19 has been infected with less than one other person during the past month.

The Fraunhofer Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Max Planck Society say the decline in new cases in Germany is thanks to restrictions and changes in behavior. But they warned “the situation is unstable, even a small increase in the reproduction rate will bring us back to the phase of exponential growth.”

They said fighting for herd immunity, where so many people gained immunity so that the virus effectively stopped spreading through the population, would need “several years” and some restrictions needed to be maintained. Experts say the vaccine may not be available until next year.

These institutions urge focus on three areas: sustainable hygiene measures; expanded testing and search capacity; and adjusted contact restrictions.

ROME – The head of Italy’s coronavirus pandemic strategy said the country was ready to face a second wave of infection “even greater than the first” if the reopening gradually led to a surge in new cases.

Domenico Arcuri told the House of Deputies that 20 Italian regions now have twice as many ventilators as are currently needed and the 5,200 intensive care beds that Italy had before the pandemic almost doubled to 9,000.

Italy, the center of a European pandemic with more than 27,000 people killed, entered the crisis with a fraction of the ICU’s capacity compared to other developed countries.

Arcuri told lawmakers that beds in sub-intensive care had increased sixfold, a similar increase in the capacity of Italian beds in infectious diseases and pneological wards.

The planned reopening of Italy begins May 4.

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British climate activists are stranded in the historic city in Kosovo | Instant News


British climate activists Rosie Watson and Mike Elm toured internationally and ran to promote their green campaign when they were trapped in Kosovo because of the coronavirus pandemic.

PRIZREN, Kosovo –
British climate activists Rosie Watson and Mike Elm are on an international bicycle and running tours to promote their green campaign when they are trapped in Kosovo because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Watson, 25, from Loweswater in northwest England, and Elm, 32, from Edinburgh, Scotland, have been stranded in Prizren, a city in Kosovo, 85 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the capital, Pristina.

Since mid-March, Kosovo has been locked with all land and air border crossings closed. This virus has killed at least 22 people in the Balkan country, which has more than 790 confirmed cases.

The couple decided not to take evacuation flights organized by the British government, saying they were against plane travel and they wanted to continue their journey if possible. Their travel is low cost and they have had free accommodation from the start.

They enjoy the historic stone streets of Prizren, a city along the Bistrica River and the Sharri Mountains which was founded in the second century CE and has a medieval castle. They also tasted fli, local butter cakes, and were convinced by traditional welcome from residents.

At Prizren, they focus on writing about their journey. Watson has a blog like Elm.

Watson started “The New Story Run” in August last year from England, planning a two-year walking tour to Mongolia “to tell the stories of people who have found better and more equal and healthier ways for us and the planets and overcome the climate crisis. “After running 3,570 kilometers (2,220 miles), or 17 kilometers (about 10 miles) per day, he has a lot to write about.

Inspired by his efforts, Elm joined him in November with the aim of cycling 12,000 kilometers (7,450 miles), or 50 kilometers (30 miles) a day. Before getting stuck, they take a different route, but they meet repeatedly along the way.

Elm meets people at Prizren who are trying to “improve this beautiful city by bringing more trees and green space.” Previously, he was in Zlarin, which aims to become the first disposable plastic-free island in Croatia. In neighboring Albania, Watson met with a community that fought against a hydroelectric power plant which he said was dangerous near Valbona National Park.

“A better world for our children needs a better world for us today,” Elm said.

The pandemic will urge people to “see some of the benefits of having fewer cars in the city and cleaner air, better sound, calmer environment,” he added.

When the border reopens, their plan is to continue their journey through Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and finally Mongolia.

“This virus has shown that we, and the government, have the ability to change people and entire countries very quickly – something we need to do to avoid the effects of the climate crisis,” Watson said.

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Llazar Semini contributed to this report from Tirana, Albania.

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Follow the AP climate coverage at http://apnews.com/Climate

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Follow the AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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Germany: Husband, father-in-law is sued for the death of the exorcism of women | Instant News


The German government has indicted four people in the death of a young woman who died in an exorcism ritual almost 4 1/2 years ago

BERLIN –
The German government has indicted four people in the death of a young woman who died in an exorcism ritual almost 4 1/2 years ago.

Berlin prosecutors said on Tuesday that the 22-year-old woman’s husband and three other defendants faced charges of causing serious bodily damage resulting in death due to their efforts to “cure” the infertility of the victim.

They accused the four of “jointly murdering” the woman, identified only as Nesma M., “by ‘treating salt water’ which was intended to drive away demons.”

Authorities say Nesma M. was forced to drink large amounts of salt water between 30 November and 7 December 2015, the day she died at the Berlin hospital due to lung embolism and excess fluid in the brain ..

Prosecutors identified the defendant as the victim’s husband, 34-year-old Wajdi H., his parents Widad A., 57, and Mohammad H., 58, and 49-year-old Mazen K., described as “physicians of Islamic miracles.” . “The authorities did not release the surnames of those involved in this case due to privacy reasons.

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Germany, Britain are calling for a ‘green recovery’ from a pandemic | Instant News


Germany and Britain say efforts to revive the global economy after the coronavirus pandemic must ensure a ‘green recovery’ that helps the world cope with climate change

BERLIN –
Germany and Britain said Monday that efforts to revive the global economy after the coronavirus pandemic must ensure a ‘green recovery’ that helps the world cope with climate change.

Speaking ahead of a virtual meeting of officials from around 30 countries, Germany living environment The minister said that it was important for the economic recovery program to invest in future resistant jobs that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, rather than aiming to return to business as usual.

“We must not invest in past technology,” Svenja Schulze told The Associated Press, noting that several countries hold plans to build new coal-fired power plants.

Some German politicians have called for stimulus money to be used to subsidize car purchases, to encourage the country’s automotive industry.

Schulze suggested that one way to do this was to help maintenance workers buy electric vehicles for house calls. “This is a lot, a lot of vehicles,” he told the AP. “This will help the economy and will advance us (in limiting emissions).”

Scientists have warned that there is little time left if the world wants to achieve the main goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement – keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), ideally 1.5 C (2.7 F).

Some also equate the strategies adopted by countries in combating pandemics – the idea of ​​flattening the infection curve so that the health system does not collapse – with the need to reduce the rate of greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming.

“Unlike in the fight against the corona virus, we already know vaccines for the climate crisis,” Schulze said, adding that they included renewable energy, electricity mobility, recycling and low-energy housing.

British Business Secretary Alok Sharma, who hosted the two-day talks, said that “the world must work together, because it must deal with a coronavirus pandemic, to support a green and resilient recovery, which leaves no one behind. “

Environmental campaigners have warned that highly polluted industries have sought to use large amounts of money lined up by the government to stimulate the economy.

“We are looking at internal documents from the industry showing that they are trying to use this moment when public money is put back into the economy to prop up their industry, whether it’s the aviation industry … (or) the oil industry,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International .

“It’s important, especially with the oil industry, to note that the kind of volatility that we see today, is an exercise for what climate chaos will bring to the oil market in the future,” he said. “This is a risky investment. They were risk investments before this crisis, and they were risk investments that moved forward. “

Ahead of the two-day meeting, known as Petersberg Climate Dialogue, 68 companies released statements Monday that said they also supported linking the pandemic recovery with the fight against climate change. Companies include AIDA Cruises, insurance giant Allianz, Deutsche Telekom and the sportswear company Puma.

US Secretary General Antonio Guterres and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will participate in Tuesday’s virtual climate meeting.

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Follow the AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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Latest: Massachusetts becomes a new virus hotspot National | Instant News


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.

– France surpassed 20,000 deaths from the corona virus.

BOSTON – Massachusetts has become a coronavirus infection hotspot, attracting the attention of federal officials and pledging aid from New York that was hit hard.

The country’s death toll is expected to exceed 2,000 this week, doubling in less than a week. Officials scramble to increase hospital capacity and track new infections to prevent the spread of the disease.

Vice President Mike Pence said the White House was watching closely from the Boston area. Federal Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, said officials were “very focused” on Massachusetts. There were 146 new deaths reported in Massachusetts on Sunday, bringing the total number of state deaths to more than 1,700.

PARIS – France has reported more than 20,000 deaths caused by the new corona virus since the pandemic began, surpassing the deadly heat wave that struck the country in 2003.

The head of the national health agency, Jerome Salomon, said France passed “a symbolic sign that was very painful” by registering 12,513 deaths in hospitals and 7,752 in nursing homes on Monday.

This country does not yet count the people who die with the virus at home.

Salomon said the virus had killed more people than died from flu in every winter in the country and more than the 2003 heat wave that killed 19,000 people.

He said that the epidemic in France had reached a “plateau” which was likely to continue to decline.

There were 5,683 patients in intensive care across the country, the number of which fell for 12 consecutive days.

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican president admitted Monday that drug cartels had distributed aid packages during the coronavirus pandemic, and asked them to stop.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said such gifts had taken place “in several places,” but said the government could not stop the practice.

“This is something that happened, it can’t be avoided,” said López Obrador.

“I don’t want to hear them say, ‘We are distributing relief packages,'” he said. “No, it is better for them to stop, and think about their families, and themselves, those who are involved in this activity and who are listening to me now or watching me.”

Videos posted on social media have shown one of Joaquin’s “El Chapo” Guzman’s drug lord’s daughters distributing a box of rice, pasta, cooking oil and toilet paper with a picture of Guzman printed on it.

ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a four-day curfew in 31 provinces to stem the spread of the corona virus.

In his address to the country after a cabinet meeting on Monday, Erdogan said the curfew will take effect on April 23, which is a public holiday in Turkey, and ends at midnight on Sunday, April 26.

“The aim is to reduce the spread of outbreaks in a way that will make it back to normal after the Ramadan holiday possible,” Erdogan said, referring to a four-day holiday that began on May 24 in Turkey and marked the end of the Muslim fasting month of fasting.

The Erdogan government has not imposed a total lockdown, worried that its negative impact on an already weak economy. Instead, they chose steps in small increments, including weekend curfews and prohibiting people over the age of 65 and under the age of 20 from leaving the house.

Coronavirus cases confirmed by Turkey increased by 4,674 in the last 24 hours to reach a total of 90,980. The reported death toll rose by 123 to a total of 2,140.

Erdogan also said Turkey plans to repatriate as many as 25,000 Turks in several countries before the Ramadan holidays.

BELGRADE, Serbia – Serbian Defense Ministers say the army has guarded 20 camps for asylum seekers in the Balkan country. The military presence is intended to ensure all migrants remain inside as part of strict measures against new coronaviruses.

Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Monday there were around 8,000 migrants in Serbia faced with a 24-hour daily curfew. Vulin said the migrants occasionally tried to leave the camps but were stopped by the army.

Serbia has imposed a state of emergency and mobilized troops to help control the virus. Troops have been deployed outside the hospital and are taking part in setting up emergency facilities.

Serbia has reported 6,630 cases of COVID-19 while 125 people have died. Health authorities say the situation has stabilized in recent days, allowing some easing of restrictions.

Migrants from the Middle East, Africa or Asia travel through Serbia while trying to reach Western Europe after fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries.

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA – More people seem to have joined the hunger strike in Bosnia because of alleged failure by the authorities to protect them from the new corona virus while forcing them to quarantine in government-run facilities.

According to the hunger strikers, nearly 80 people currently detained in quarantine at a hotel in the center of Zenica began refusing food on Monday and were soon joined by 150 other people who had been quarantined at the student hostel in Sarajevo.

Hundreds of Bosnians who rushed home amid a coronavirus pandemic were ordered to quarantine at the facility and other facilities for anywhere between 14 and 28 days.

Food strikers say they refuse food to pressure authorities to allow them to isolate themselves in their homes.

“Here, we all mix in the aisles and if one of us gets infected, we will all be infected,” Mirsad Susic, a starving striker at Zenica, told the Associated Press by telephone.

Susic claims people who are currently quarantined at Zenica, some of them for more than two weeks, have not been tested for COVID-19.

PRAGUE – The Czech government has approved a record high budget deficit when trying to overcome the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Finance Minister Alena Schillerova said the deficit for this year must reach 300 billion Czech crowns ($ 11.9 billion).

Previously, the largest deficit was 192 billion crowns ($ 7.6 billion) in 2009 during the global economic crisis.

The government has increased the deficit to 200 billion crowns, five times more than initially estimated.

Monday’s announcement came amid easing of the restrictive measures adopted in response to the plague. Farmers’ markets are open and car dealers are reopened on Monday, while professional athletes are allowed to return to outdoor training in small groups of eight people. Also, marriage with up to 10 people can be done.

The Czech Republic has 6,838 people infected and 194 people have died, according to Ministry of Health figures released Monday.

TIRANA, Albania – Albania has sent a second group of nurses consisting of 60 people to help nearby care for COVID-19 patients in his hospital.

Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said nurses would work in the zone most affected by the virus in northern Italy.

Mentioning the words of Mother Teresa, who came from Albania, he said that Albania was a small country, “but the ocean will be smaller without a drop of water.”

In late March, Albania sent 30 doctors and nurses, a move that was praised in Italy and internationally. They serve in the Italian region of Brescia.

Albania has reported 584 cases of the corona virus, with 26 deaths.

NEW YORK – The number of people who died from COVID-19 in the state of New York continues to decline slowly, with 478 deaths increasing on Sunday. It was the third day in a row in a row and the lowest death rate since April 1, when 432 people died.

State counts exclude more than 4,000 New York City deaths blamed on the virus but are not confirmed by laboratory tests.

The total number of hospitalizations remained largely unchanged at more than 16,000 and the number of new admissions remained largely flat above 1,300, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday at his daily briefing.

After weeks of increasing deaths and hospitalizations in the U.S. epidemic epicenter, Cuomo said the big question now is how fast the offspring will be if New Yorkers continue to comply with social distance restrictions.

“Does it take two weeks to get down? Some projections say that. Does it take one month? Some projections say that, “Cuomo said. “The projections are good, but I will not bet on the farm.”

MILAN – The Venice Biennale has confirmed the date for this year’s international film festival, from 2-12 September, in spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Biennale postpones and limits this year’s architectural biennale, which will run from August 29-November. 29. The Venice Biennale is the oldest among the world’s major film festivals, and usually overlaps with the Toronto Film Festival. Cannes, which usually runs in May, has delayed but not canceled this year’s edition.

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – The Prime Minister of Slovakia has launched a plan to gradually ease the restrictions imposed to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic said plans set to proceed on Wednesday would relax the restrictive measures in four stages.

At the same time, Matovic said on Monday the rules on social distance, orders for everyone to wear face masks in public and a small number of customers in the store will remain in place.

The first phase will include reopening stores with surfaces of up to 300 square meters (3,230 square feet), car dealers and outdoor markets.

Other stages must be carried out at two-week intervals, depending on the development of the outbreak.

Slovakia has recorded 1,173 cases of the virus, although the number of people tested is relatively low. Thirteen people died.

GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization has warned that “the worst is ahead of us” in a coronavirus outbreak, raising new alarm bells about pandemics as many countries begin to ease restrictive measures.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did not specify why he believed that the outbreak that had infected nearly 2.5 million people and killed more than 166,000, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, could be worse.

Tedros also alluded to what was called the Spanish flu in 1918 as a reference to a coronavirus outbreak.

“This has a very dangerous combination and this is happening in a hundred years for the first time again, like the 1918 flu that killed up to 100 million people,” he told reporters in Geneva. “But now we have technology, we can prevent that disaster, we can prevent such crises.”

“Believe us. The worst is not yet before us,” he said. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It is a virus that many people still don’t understand.”

LONDON – The head of the British finance department Rishi Sunak said around 140,000 companies had applied to take part in a government program intended to help companies keep paying workers who had been abused in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

The program, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, opened Monday. Grants will help pay the wages of more than one million people.

Sunak said that “one million people who if they are not hit will risk losing their jobs. Companies that apply today must receive cash within six working days. ‘

The program allows employers to claim cash grants of up to 80% of wages, limited to 2,500 pounds ($ 3,100) per month per worker.

ROME – Italy has marked a two-month anniversary of the coronavirus outbreak by registering the first drop in the number of patients currently infected.

Civil protection chief Angelo Borrelli said on Monday that the 108,237 currently infected were 20 fewer than the day before, “another positive point” in Italy’s general tendency to reduce pressure on the health care system.

Overall, Italy had a total of 181,228 confirmed cases, up only 1.2% from the previous day at one of the lowest day increases. Another 484 people died, bringing the total to 24,144, the highest in Europe and only second after the United States.

The Italian outbreak began two months ago when a 38-year-old Unilever employee tested positive in the city of Lombardy, Codogno. After the test was confirmed on February 21, the man spent weeks in intensive care when his pregnant wife tested positive and his father died. He was released from the hospital just in time to go home to welcome baby Giulia.

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