France keeps new intensive care units ready for second wave

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Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially the elderly and people with health problems, this can cause more serious illness or death.

HIGH TIME:

– Britain reports nearly 20,000 deaths from the virus.

—EPA reminds people to only use disinfectant on surfaces.

– France will not reopen its restaurants, bars and cafes before June.

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PARIS – France plans to keep thousands of new intensive care units ready for a second wave of virus cases, even if the first wave is receding.

Health officials say France has doubled its number of intensive care beds to more than 10,000 as the virus spreads across the country.

“We have to keep the beds if the epidemic returns,” said national health agency director Jerome Salomon. “We must maintain a vigilant posture.”

Today, less than 5,000 people are in intensive care with the virus, but people with other serious illnesses also need beds.

France has reported more virus deaths than any country except the United States, Italy and Spain. Salomon has so far announced more than 22,000 deaths from viruses in hospitals and retirement homes in France.

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has said that his comments suggesting that people could ingest or inject disinfectant to combat COVID-19 was an attempt at sarcasm.

Trump noted on Thursday that researchers are examining the effects of disinfectants on the virus and wondering aloud if they could be injected into people, saying the virus “makes a huge number on the lungs, so it would be worth checking that. “

But speaking to reporters at the Oval Office on Friday, Trump insisted that his comments were misinterpreted. “I was sarcastically asking journalists like you, just to see what would happen,” said Trump.

Trump’s comments on disinfectants at Thursday’s briefing came after William Bryan, who heads the Science and Technology Branch of the Department of Homeland Security, explained how researchers are testing the effect of disinfectants on saliva loaded with viruses and respiratory fluids on surfaces.

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Apple and Google have described new privacy protections for smartphone apps that could help public health agencies send alerts to people if they spent more than 5 minutes near someone who was then tested positive for COVID-19.

Tech giants announced earlier in April that they are working together to introduce a new application creation interface in May for billions of Apple and Android phones worldwide.

The partnership will allow public health agencies to create phone apps that use short-range Bluetooth wireless beacons to automatically detect the proximity of nearby phones without revealing anyone’s identity or location.

So far, companies have resisted pressure from some governments to ease privacy restrictions to make it easier for health agencies to track the whereabouts of COVID-19 patients and their contacts.

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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has announced that the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship that has been in New York harbor for several weeks to fight coronavirus, will return to its home port, Norfolk, Virginia.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman did not say when the ship would leave New York. Once back in Norfolk, it will restock and prepare to deploy again on request. Hoffman says it will be up to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to decide whether Comfort should undertake a coronavirus support mission elsewhere.

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DENVER – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has extended home stay orders and non-essential business closings until May 8, while fellow Democrat and Colorado governor Jared Polis to ease some statewide restrictions next week.

Hancock insists that additional time is needed to speed up coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and ultimately “lock up” the virus – assuring “that he is our punk and that we are no longer his punk.”

Polis cited the economic and psychological toll that the statewide home stay order took by announcing this week that certain limits will be relaxed on Monday and that nonessential businesses can reopen, with distancing measures, on the 1st may.

Polis said local governments will have the opportunity to adopt their own measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Salons, spas and hair salons have opened in Oklahoma despite concerns from healthcare professionals and a steady increase in the number of deaths from COVID-19 and reported cases.

Governor Kevin Stitt authorized the opening of these personal care businesses earlier this week, citing an overall drop in the number of people hospitalized for the disease. These companies must keep social distance, wear masks and frequently disinfect equipment.

Some of the state’s largest cities, including Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, are choosing to maintain their ban until at least the end of the month.

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has signed nearly $ 500 billion in assistance for coronaviruses, the federal government’s latest effort to stimulate a faltering economy and submerged hospitals.

Legislation is the fourth coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress. All told, Congress has provided at least $ 2.4 trillion for business relief, testing and treatment, as well as direct payments to individuals and the unemployed, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The latest bill includes more than $ 300 billion for the paycheck protection program, which provides small businesses with loans that could be canceled if they use them on wages, benefits, rent and utilities and $ 60 billion for Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans and grants. It also includes $ 75 billion in grants for hospitals and $ 25 billion to improve screening for coronaviruses.

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Governor Bill Lee has released more details on how restaurants and retail stores in most of Tennessee should reopen next week to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, while acknowledging that the The state will not apply such measures to ensure implementation.

The Republican governor has argued that businesses and consumers will be responsible for ensuring that the state’s new recommendations, dubbed “the Tennessee pledge”, are implemented.

Tennessee abandoned the new guidelines the same day that some companies started slowly reopening in Georgia. However, several public health experts have warned that reopening a state too soon could lead to a further increase in coronavirus infections.

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ALBANY, N.Y. – New York reported its lowest number of COVID-19 daily deaths in weeks.

The state recorded 422 deaths the day before. It’s been the least since March 31, when he recorded 391 deaths. More than 16,000 people have died in the state as a result of the epidemic.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the numbers are still “unimaginable, and it is coming down somewhat”, but says it is still “devastating news”.

The total number of people hospitalized across the state continues to decline slowly, to around 14,000. But Cuomo says the number of new patients entering hospitals is basically flat.

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ISTANBUL – The Turkish Ministry of Health has announced 109 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 2,600.

According to data released by Minister Fahrettin Koca, 3,246 people have recovered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 21,737. The number of confirmed infections is now 104,912, with 3,122 new cases identified.

The country ranks seventh in the world for the number of confirmed infections, surpassing Iran and China, according to Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic around the world is much higher than Johns Hopkins’ count, in part due to limited testing and difficulty counting the dead in the midst of a crisis.

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ROME – The day-to-day increase in the number of discharges from hospitals in Italy or reported recovered from COVID-19 infections was just below the number of new confirmed cases.

The Italian health ministry said there were 3,021 new cases in the 24-hour period since Thursday evening. By comparison, 2,922 people were considered cured, including those who had been hospitalized or isolated at home.

The northern part of the nation has been largely affected by the epidemic of the disease. In comparison, for example, the south-central region of Lazio, which includes Rome, the Italian capital, recorded for the sixth consecutive day less than 100 new cases. But northern Lombardy, where the first known cases of COVID-19 in Italy surfaced at the end of February and quickly multiplied, is still recording high figures, with nearly 1,100 new cases reported.

With 420 deaths recorded in Friday’s daily increases, Italy now has nearly 26,000 deaths from people with confirmed cases of coronavirus.

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FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Andy Beshear signed an order authorizing Kentucky residents to vote by mail in the next primary election, which had already been postponed until June due to the coronavirus.

State election officials are also working on a limited face-to-face and driving vote plan for the June 23 primary, the governor’s office said. The Democratic Governor’s order authorizing postal voting came a day after Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams made recommendations on how to proceed with the primary in the midst of a public health crisis.

Kentucky will begin partial lifting of restrictions on medical services next week, but healthcare workers and patients will need to follow the safeguards as the fight against the coronavirus continues. As of Monday, non-emergency and emerging health services will resume.

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WASHINGTON – A spokesman for the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, said that the Pentagon chief will meet with the navy’s highest admiral on Friday for a briefing on a report that is expected to determine the fate of Captain Brett Crozier.

Crozier was relieved of command from the USS Theodore Roosevelt after pleading for more urgent help in a coronavirus epidemic among his crew. Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, said that Esper had an open mind about Crozier. The navy has said it will not rule out Crozier’s reinstatement.

Just days after Crozier was fired by Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, Modly resigned amid strong criticism of his handling of the case. More than 800 Roosevelt crew members tested positive for the coronavirus and one died.

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LANSING, Michigan – Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended his home stay order until May 15, while lifting restrictions so businesses can reopen.

Michigan has nearly 3,000 reported deaths related to COVID-19, behind only New York and New Jersey among the American states.

People are now required, rather than encouraged, to wear face covers in closed public spaces such as grocery stores.

Landscapers, lawn service companies, nurseries and bicycle repair shops can resume their activities, subject to social distancing rules. Stores selling non-essential supplies may reopen for collection and curbside delivery. Large-scale retailers no longer need to close garden centers and spaces dedicated to the sale of paint, floors and carpets.

Whitmer says that people with multiple homes in the state can resume travel between them, although this is strongly discouraged.

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ATHENS, Greece – Greek health officials said they have confirmed 27 new coronavirus infections and five new deaths in the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of deaths in the country to 130 and the total number of confirmed infections to 2,490.

Ministry of Health spokesperson for the coronavirus response, infectious disease specialist Sotiris Tsiodras, said that the number of people intubated in intensive care units had dropped to 48, while 60 people had left care intensive.

The government has said it will start easing restrictions on May 4, but has not yet specified how it will be done.

The specialist said the measures would be lifted gradually and warned the Greeks to remain vigilant and to maintain strict hygiene and social distancing protocols.

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LONDON – The British government claims that 684 more people have died from coronavirus in hospitals in the UK, bringing the total to 19,506.

It’s more than 616 deaths in the last 24 hours. Figures from the UK are increasingly being examined to underestimate the actual number of coronavirus-related deaths, as they do not include deaths in nursing homes or elsewhere in the community.

The UK has the fourth highest death toll in Europe, behind Italy, Spain and France, all of which have reported more than 20,000 deaths.

The government also reports that the number of daily tests has increased from about 5,000 to 28,532.

On Friday, an online link to an expanded testing program for essential workers stopped accepting applications after a few hours due to “significant demand.”

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ATHENS, Greece – Greek health officials said they have confirmed 27 new coronavirus infections and five new deaths in the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of deaths in the country to 130 and the total number of confirmed infections to 2,490.

Ministry of Health spokesperson for the coronavirus response, infectious disease specialist Sotiris Tsiodras, said that the number of people intubated in intensive care units had dropped to 48, while 60 people had left care intensive.

The government has said it will start easing restrictions on May 4, but has not yet specified how it will be done.

The specialist said the measures would be lifted gradually and warned the Greeks to remain vigilant and to maintain strict hygiene and social distancing protocols.

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PARIS – France will not reopen its restaurants, bars and cafes before June. The authorities also announced increased financial support for the sector in the context of the virus crisis.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government is postponing tax payments and extending short-term unemployment to businesses that will not be allowed to reopen next month. He says small businesses with fewer than 20 employees can request emergency assistance of up to 10,000 euros ($ 10,786).

Most French companies are expected to reopen on May 11. However, the timetable for restaurants, bars and cafes will not be decided until the end of May, Le Maire said.

France, one of the most popular tourist destinations with more than 80 million foreign visitors each year, plans an investment fund to revive this sector.

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Follow AP coronavirus pandemic news at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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