Latest in corona virus pandemic. New Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some people, especially older adults and people who are already there health problem, it can cause more illness or death.
– More than a thousand contract seamen viruses on the flagship French aircraft carrier
– Germany held a virtual memorial to the release of two Nazi concentration camps
– South Korea to maintain social distance guidelines until May 5, will relax some restrictions
PARIS – Figures from the French military leadership show that more than half of the seamen aboard the country’s flagship aircraft carrier were hit by a new virus when the ship traveled through the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
A navy official said 1,046 of the 1,760 people aboard the Charles de Gaulle were tested positive for the virus.
Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Christophe Prazuck attributed the rapid spread to “large population density on board.”
Speaking on Saturday night to Europe-1 radio, Prazuck said that virus protection measures were not followed properly, which “did not allow us to detect the start of the epidemic, and therefore withhold it.”
The ship has been undergoing a long disinfection process since returning to its base in Toulon last week.
One person who served in intensive care and more than 20 others were hospitalized. Among those infected were two U.S. sailors which serves as part of an exchange program.
Investigations are underway on what happened, and French military leaders have been interrogated in parliament.
A similar outbreak on USS Theodore Roosevelt led to the shooting of his captain and the resignation of the acting secretary of the US Navy.
BERLIN – Germany held a virtual warning for the release of two Nazi concentration camps 75 years ago, because planned birthdays had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Before the outbreak occurred, dozens of victims had planned to attend the ceremony.
In a video message, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recalled more than 20,000 people who died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp north of Berlin, noting that one minute of silence for each victim would take two weeks.
Many of those killed in Sachsenhausen were Soviet soldiers. The camp is also used to intern Jews, political prisoners, gays and Jehovah’s Witnesses from more than 40 countries.
The virtual ceremony also commemorates the release of the nearest Ravensbrueck concentration camp.
The German Minister of Culture, Monika Gruetters, said the closure of the current warning site because of the pandemic made it very important to hold a virtual ceremony and remember the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
Many further ceremonies are being influenced by lockouts put in place to curb the spread of the virus, including the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 8.
CAIRO – Pope Tawadros II, the spiritual leader of Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians, has held Easter services in an empty monastery in the desert amid the coronavirus restrictions that prevented the faithful from gathering in churches and monasteries throughout the country.
The convention was held at the Monastery of Saint Pishoy, in a desert valley west of Cairo known as Wadi Natrun. Some clergy attended the convention, which was broadcast on the Coptic Orthodox television station. The scholars are seen practicing social distance during the prayers.
The Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, decided this month to postpone prayer and Easter celebrations in churches and monasteries because of the spread of the virus.
Christians make up about 10% of the more than 100 million Egyptian population who are predominantly Muslim. Egypt has 3,032 cases including 224 deaths.
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Two dozen members of the Taiwan navy’s crew have tested positive for the new corona virus after returning from a nearly two-month training mission that took them to the island nation of Palau, Pacific.
The Taiwan Center for Disease Control said Sunday that 21 other cases had been identified from a refueling ship, above three were reported Saturday. More than 700 officers and sailors from refueling vessels and two warships taking part in the mission were quarantined for 14 days.
The CDC said that a Taiwanese student returning from the United States was also positive. That makes Sunday a total of 22, upward spikes for self-governing islands. New cases have fallen to one digit in the past week, including three days where nothing was reported.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s Prime Minister said the country would maintain many social distance guidelines until May 5 but would relax some restrictions.
Comments by Chung Sye-kyun come a few hours after South Korea health The authorities reported eight more cases of the corona virus, the first time the daily increase had dropped to one digit in about two months.
Chung said the government would stop “strongly advising” religious organizations, gymnasiums and bars to suspend their operations and allow non-risk outdoor public facilities, such as recreational parks, to be reopened.
He said, outdoor sports games could also be held if there were no spectators. He said the government would allow a limited number of labor inspection and license related matters to occur if strict quarantine measures exist.
Although the trend has continued to decline recently, Chung said that “certainly not the time to be relieved.”
While saying South Korea must find a way to revitalize the economy, Chung said the government would strengthen its social rules if the danger of spreading the virus increased again.
ISLAMABAD – Although the Pakistani daily confirmed several cases above, the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan tried hard to pressure the clerics who refused to order mosques throughout the country that were closed during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Pakistan recorded 7,993 confirmed cases on Sunday, an increase of 514. Sixteen people died from the virus in the last 24 hours bringing the death toll to 159. But in Pakistan religious clerics have become a powerful force, often rocking using fear of bringing hordes to the streets as influence to force governments to submit to their demands.
Pakistan has been blamed for contributing to the outbreak of the virus in other parts of the world including Gaza after refusing to stop the meeting of tens of thousands of Tableeghi (Islamic missionary) worshipers until early March. By that time thousands had been canceled in Pakistan and many had returned to their infected countries. In Pakistan there are still several hundred Tableeghi worshipers in quarantine because they are declared positive and hundreds of others spread throughout the country carrying the virus.
With some estimates, nearly 2,000 confirmed cases in Pakistan can be traced to the Jamaat Tableeghi. But the Khan government agreed on Saturday to leave the mosques open and instead called on the faithful to practice safe social distance. The request will probably not be followed after several prominent scholars called on followers to package the mosque.
TOKYO – Submission of an old cloth mask by unpopular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as part of his coronavirus action faces complaints, because thousands of them were sent to dirty pregnant women ..
The health ministry said at the weekend that it had received at least 1,900 cases of problems reported by 80 cities that masks came with stains, dust and other contaminations. Dirty masks are among the half million masks that the government began sending to pregnant women in Japan as a priority last week. Abe announced plans on April 1 to send two cloth masks each to all 50 million households in Japan amid a mask shortage.
The wrong mask is the latest shame for the Abe government which has been criticized for inadequate, off-target, too little and too late coronaviruses.
The fabric mask also seems to have a size problem. When the masks also arrived at the parent’s care center, a television talk show showed several caregivers struggling to wear masks, saying that it was too small to cover the nose and mouth at the same time.
The ministry said it had urged mask makers to resolve the contamination problem, while asking city officials to visually inspect the mask before sending it.
SINGAPORE – Fast food giant McDonald’s said it would suspend all operations in Singapore for two weeks since Sunday after seven of its employees tested positive for the corona virus.
McDonald said in a Facebook post that he decided to follow the ministry of health’s advice to close until May 4 when part of Singapore’s lockup ended as part of preventive action in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak. It is said to continue to pay the salaries of 10,000 employees working in more than 135 outlets throughout the city-state during this period.
The fast food chain, which serves six million customers every month, did not provide further details. Seven of its employees who work in several outlets have been diagnosed with the virus in the past week.
City-state Saturday reported a record daily jump of 942 new infections, the highest one-day surge seen in Southeast Asia, bringing the total to 5,992. The government has obliged people to wear masks outside their homes and impose strict social distance measures.
SEOUL, South Korea —— South Korea has urged 51 million people to keep abreast of far-reaching social rules even though the daily increase in corona virus infections has dropped to one digit for the first time in two months.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said vigilance against the virus on Sunday must be maintained because outbreaks abroad have not been stable and local infections that cannot be traced have been continuously reported.
Jeong said that “the downward trend in new infections (in South Korea) is good news, but I am sorry to say that we cannot make optimistic predictions” on the prospect of a coronavirus pandemic.
He said health officials remained wary of the possibility that there were undocumented patients whose whereabouts were unknown or patients without minor symptoms could trigger mass group infections. He said that around 30 percent of the total cases in South Korea had no symptoms when they were diagnosed with coronavirus.
He said the coronavirus had shown “frightening transmission.”
The previous week, South Korea confirmed eight more cases of coronavirus, the first time the daily increase had dropped to a single digit in about two months.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina retail shops and public beach access points that have been closed to stop the spread of coronavirus will be allowed to reopen next week, The Post and Courier reported Saturday.
Governor Henry McMaster will issue an order Monday to allow the reopening to take place on Tuesday, the governor’s chief of staff, Trey Walker, told the newspaper.
Orders will apply to many non-essential shops, including department stores, flea markets, flower shops, bookstores and music stores. Grocery stores, pharmacies, home improvement shops and medical facilities have been permitted to remain open during the pandemic.
Occupancy at each store will be limited to five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space or 20% occupancy, whichever is lower, the newspaper said.
Local governments will still be allowed to make their own rules about waterway access.
Orders to stay in the governor’s house will continue to apply, as does a ban on eating inside restaurants, Walker said.
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