German cases are slow; China Lab refuses link to epidemic: virus update

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There have been signs that the global pandemic is easing in some hotspots, as regions from Spain to New York are experiencing slower deaths.

Cases in Germany increased the least this month, as the country decided to allow small stores to reopen. New Zealand has said it will ease the lock in a week. The World Health Organization has said that easing social restrictions does not mean the end of the epidemic.

A senior official in the Wuhan laboratory has denied any role in the spread of the new virus, as US President Donald Trump has raised the possibility that China may have deliberately caused the epidemic. China has promised more stimulus, while the United States has said an agreement on additional aid for small businesses is near.

Virus Tracker: cases exceed 2.4 million; Health Experts Defy US Test Goals Trump Rejects Choir, Concludes New Viral Aid Agreement Close

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Wuhan virus lab refuses link to first outbreak (2:18 p.m. HK)

A senior Wuhan laboratory official denied any role in the spread of the new coronavirus, in the highest response from an installation at the center of months of speculation about how the hitherto unknown animal disease made the leap to the man.

Communist Party leader Yuan Zhiming of the Wuhan Institute of Virology countered those who promoted theories that the virus had escaped from the establishment and caused the epidemic in central China . “There is absolutely no way that the virus could come from our institute,” Yuan said in an interview with the Chinese public television station China Global Television Network on Saturday.

President Donald Trump again fueled speculation about the origins of the virus at a press conference on Saturday, where he said China would face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the epidemic.

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany increased the least this month as the country moves forward with a cautious relaxation of restrictions on public life.

There have been 2,018 new infections in the 24 hours until Monday morning, bringing the total to 145,742, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The death toll rose by 104, the lowest since April 1, to 4,642.

Germany will begin this week to ease some of the barriers to daily life, while leaving most of the measures to limit the spread of the disease in place next month. Small shops can resume their normal activities and schools will reopen gradually, with some students taking exams allowed to return.

India ordered airlines not to sell tickets unless told otherwise, depriving them of a key source of cash as Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes bolder steps to contain the coronavirus crisis .

With India blocked nationwide until May 3, no decision has been made to allow flights after the lifting of traffic restrictions, the Civil Aviation Authority said in a published notice on Twitter. Airlines are not expected to sell tickets after the lockout, and will receive “sufficient notice and time” to resume flights, the DGCA said.

The move, which applies to local and foreign airlines, is another blow to cash-strapped carriers in one of the world’s fastest growing markets, as they use sales funds advance tickets to cover daily expenses.

New Zealand will partially loosen nationwide lockdown restrictions starting next week as declining new coronavirus cases indicate that its elimination strategy is working.

“If we strive to eradicate the virus early and quickly, supported by an effort by 5 million New Zealanders to break the chain of transmission, it means that together we have helped stop the uncontrolled explosion of Covid- 19 in New Zealand, “said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. .

Taking a step back from some of the toughest lock-in arrangements will allow parts of the economy to restart and could double the number of New Zealanders working to around one million of the 500,000 currently employed in essential jobs.

Industries such as construction and manufacturing can resume provided they can provide safe workplaces, but many businesses will continue to operate with employees working from home, while hospitality stores and retailers must respond to rigorous criteria for reopening.

Shake Shack will repay the entire loan after the tumult (12:14 p.m. HK)

Shake Shack Inc., the hamburger chain based in the United States, will repay its entire $ 10 million loan from the United States government, company executives said in a statement amid much criticism of the company. had access to funds to save small businesses before they were. impoverished.

More than a dozen publicly traded companies with revenues over $ 100 million received funding before the program ran out of money, according to a Bloomberg review of regulatory filings. Lawmakers in Congress are said to be close to an agreement to complete the loan program, while providing new funds for hospitals and coronavirus testing.

China promises more stimulus (11.36 HK)

Chinese banks cut borrowing costs, and government pledged to sell 1 trillion yuan ($ 141.3 billion) in bonds to pay stimulus spending after economy contracted for the first time in years decades due to the coronavirus epidemic.

China’s top leaders last week said the country was facing “unprecedented” economic hardship and said more stimulus packages were in the works. The meeting took place on the same day that China announced that the economy had contracted by 6.8% in the first quarter and that the country’s outlook was also weak, as the closure of other countries could weigh on the economy. export request.

Germany toast Amazon after complaints: Die Welt (11:08 a.m.KT)

The German Competition Authority has asked Amazon.com Inc. to explain how it deals with supply shortages and decides which deliveries are priority during the coronavirus crisis, the newspaper Die Welt reported, citing the head of the ‘institution.

“We are currently receiving more complaints from retailers due to the corona crisis,” the newspaper said, quoting Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt. “We continue to monitor the behavior of the company very closely. “

Los Angeles mayor says Fallout is worse than 2008 (10.52 HK)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the economic fallout from the pandemic was much worse than the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Nearly 300,000 residents are unemployed, exceeding the unemployment rate by 13% at the height of the great recession, said Garcetti, citing preliminary figures. That figure will continue to rise, he said. A survey by Loyola Marymount University found that half of the city’s residents have lost their jobs or have their hours reduced due to the crisis.

Infections in South Korea increase by 1 p.m. (9:30 a.m.KT)

South Korea has reported 13 new cases of coronavirus, after recording a minimum of two months of eight additional infections on Sunday. The total number of cases in South Korea is 10,674, according to the Ministry of Health website. The death toll increased from two to 236.

South Korea was one of the first large countries to experience a sharp drop in the number of cases after being severely affected by the virus, which could help it recover faster than its peers. The government will maintain its social distance until May 5 to avoid a new push.

India prohibits air transportation of patients through closed sidewalks (7:32 a.m.KT)

India has banned the use of air ambulances and other medical evacuations unless the treatment required is not available locally, as a nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus is widespread, people say knowing the issue.

The Indian federal government will allow medical thefts if requested by state governments, one person said. The government is also reviewing the guidelines to see if further flexibilities can be made, said the person.

Johnson, UK, defends crisis management (7:29 a.m.KT)

Boris Johnson’s British government has launched a relentless defense against his handling of the coronavirus crisis, with ministers saying there is no imminent prospect of lifting the blockade.

After a report in the Financial Times criticizing the purchase of fans and a story in the Sunday Times suggesting that Johnson did not take the virus seriously in its infancy, the government released two separate rebuttals, one of 2900 words and the other of 2100 words.

“This article contains a series of lies and errors and actively distorts the enormous amount of work that was going on in government,” the response began to The Sunday Times.

Pence to discuss test shortages with governors (7:25 a.m.KT)

Vice President Mike Pence will discuss deficiencies in U.S. coronavirus testing on Monday with governors, said President Donald Trump.

Trump has said his administration will share information with governors ahead of the call for capacity tests in their states that may not yet be used. He also said he would use the Defense Production Act, a law that gives the government greater power over industrial production in crisis, to increase the manufacture of swabs used for testing.

Trump says business aid deal is concluded (6:30 a.m.KT)

Trump said talks between the White House and Democrats in Congress were close to an agreement that would add money to a program to help small businesses.

“I think we are nearing a deal,” Trump said in the White House. “Very good negotiations are underway at the moment. The president suggested that an announcement could be made on Monday.

Democratic leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speak of a plan to add funds to a loan program to help small businesses stay afloat and provide funds to hospitals.

G-20 uncovers “systemic weaknesses” (5:20 p.m., NY)

The ministers of health of the Group of the 20 main economies declared that Covid-19 “had highlighted systemic weaknesses” in the preparation for health in the world. Officials commented in a statement released from Riyadh after a teleconference hosted by Saudi Arabia.

The ministers “addressed the need to improve the efficiency of global health systems by sharing knowledge and filling gaps in response and preparedness,” they said.

The World Health Organization was not mentioned, less than a week after Trump said he was temporarily stopping US funding for the Geneva-based agency.

The total number of deaths in the United States has doubled compared to the previous week (4 p.m. NY)

Cases in the United States increased 5.6% from Saturday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That’s more than the average daily increase of 4.8% over the past week.

New York had the highest number of confirmed cases after a 3% increase from the previous day. North Dakota experienced a 20% increase. Eight states had fewer than 1,000 cases.

But seen over a week, the total number of deaths in the United States reached 41,379, more than double the total a week ago, according to the data.

WHO says epidemic will not end soon (3 p.m. NY)

Social restrictions to contain the virus must be relaxed in stages and do not mean the end of the epidemic, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“This is just the start of the next phase,” he said in a virtual meeting of G20 health ministers. WHO will publish its second response plan with an estimate of the resources required for the next phase.

New deaths and cases down in N.Y. (2:30 p.m.)

Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York appeared to be “on the other side” of the epidemic. The state reported 507 new deaths, the lowest daily toll since April 6. The total number of new cases and hospitalizations also fell.

“If this trend continues, we have passed the climax,” said Cuomo. “Right now, we are on a descent. But he warned, “We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

The governor also said that New York will begin an aggressive program to test for antibodies.

Read the full story.

Wynn pushes for Nevada opening (2:20 p.m. NY)

Wynn Resorts Ltd. chief executive Matt Maddox is calling for parts of Nevada’s economy to reopen in early May, followed by the Las Vegas Strip in the middle or end of the month.

Maddox, in an opinion piece published by the Nevada Independent, described safeguards such as reduced hotel occupancy, physical distance measurements, temperature controls, and the absence of large gatherings. He also proposed to keep hospitalizations and deaths relative to the population below the American average.

Birx says community data key (11:50 a.m. NY)

Community-level data will be essential to show Americans the progress made in reopening, said Deborah Birx, a member of the White House task force, on CBS “Face the Nation”. Birx touted the Florida Department of Health website, which displays data by postal code.

“We really need to provide them with information in a much more granular way than in a national way or even in a state way,” she said. “It has to be in the communities so that the communities can see what’s going on in their communities and make decisions with local health and state officials.”

A majority of Americans in a Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll are concerned that the United States will lift the restrictions too quickly. Nearly 60% want to wait longer, and about 30% believe that the economic impact outweighs the health problem. The survey of 900 registered voters also revealed more anxiety about the virus, the WSJ reported.

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