Posted on Wednesday April 15, 2020 | 4 hrs
Updated 2 hours and 18 minutes ago
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.
– China did not warn the public of a possible pandemic for 6 key days.
– Amazon threatens to suspend its activities in France following a decision to protect against viruses.
– The Italian health police said that 15 nursing homes had been closed because they posed a serious threat to the elderly.
– The Kenyan authorities declare that people not wearing a mask in public will be arrested.
PARIS – Amazon threatened on Wednesday to suspend all activity in France after a French court ruled that it was not doing enough to protect its workers.
The online giant also announced plans to appeal Tuesday’s emergency decision, which forces Amazon to stop selling non-essential goods for a month while it develops new safety measures for workers.
The sale of food, medicine and hygiene is still allowed under the decision. However, Amazon France said in a statement on Wednesday that the decision is so disruptive that it could prompt the company to suspend all activity in its six French warehouses.
The company stressed the importance of its services to the “thousands of French companies selling on Amazon” and “millions of people across the country who want access to the products they need during the crisis.”
Amazon insisted that it provided adequate security for staff, noting the implementation of temperature controls and the distribution of masks.
But the court found that Amazon hadn’t done enough to impose social distancing, to make sure the turnstiles and locker rooms were virus-free, or to increase the cleaning of its warehouses. Unions say worker infected with the virus is in intensive care.
ROME – The Italian health police say that 100 of the 600 Italian nursing homes inspected since February do not comply with standards, while hundreds of elderly people die in institutions across the country in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, the rifle police health team released a detailed summary of their virus-related inspections. They reported that 15 establishments had been closed due to a serious threat to seniors and that their residents had moved elsewhere. The report indicates that 61 people were reported to the judicial authorities, while 157 others were fined for offenses such as the lack of security standards in the establishment and the lack of protective equipment and training of the staff.
Italian prosecutors have launched criminal investigations in at least a dozen nursing homes, following reports that elderly people have been abandoned or left unprotected against the virus.
In the most significant case, concerning the 1,000-bed Pio Albergho Trivulzio facility in Milan, staff complained that management prohibited doctors and nurses from wearing protective masks for fear of alarming residents. The establishment insisted that it respect all security protocols and said that it was cooperating with the investigation.
NAIROBI, Kenya – The Inspector General said that police would arrest those who were not wearing masks in public places, vehicles and private cars.
The Kenyan government released a law last week that provides a fine of $ 200 for anyone found not wearing a mask in public as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
Hillary Mutyambai says the grace period for people to acquire and get used to wearing masks is over and the police will take action. He was speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
CANBERRA, Australia – Several Australian police recruits risk losing their jobs for hosting a party in violation of social distancing rules.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters on Wednesday that “a number of officers” have received notices explaining why they should not be fired for the noisy residential school party in Canberra on 3 April.
Australian Broadcasting Corp. quoted an anonymous police source as saying that 14 recruits could be fired.
Alcohol has been banned from college since neighbors complained about the noise of the party, ABC reported.
Australian social distancing rules require people to stay 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart and move in groups of no more than two people, except in the company of direct family members.
MILAN – Italians Show Growing Awareness of Longer-Term Changes Will Be Imposed by Virus, as Worries About Economic Well-Being Grows As National Lockout Continues, At Least Until May 4 .
More than half of Italians fear that someone in their family will lose work because of the virus – a figure that has remained stable for three consecutive weeks – with concern about the spread of the virus which has dropped from 51% the last week at 46% this week, according to SWG polling agency.
The decrease in anxiety occurs as the number of cases decreases and the pressure on hospitals decreases.
At the same time, half of Italians say the virus crisis will last more than three months – a complete turnaround from March 11 when 72% were convinced that the crisis would be over within 90 days.
Today, two-thirds say that in six months the virus will not be completely eradicated and “we will have to change our habits and behaviors permanently,” according to the survey.
Eighty-five percent agree with the lockdown – a slight erosion from 91% a month ago.
The survey is based on a sample of 2,800 adults.
BRUSSELS – European Union says US President Trump has “no reason” to freeze funding for the World Health Organization at this critical juncture and called for action to promote unity rather than division .
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the group of 27 countries “deeply” regrets the suspension of funds and that WHO is “more than ever necessary” to fight the pandemic.
Borrell said that “only by joining forces can we overcome this borderless crisis.”
Although the group has been a traditional ally of the United States for decades, the EU has increasingly criticized the Trump administration in recent years.
BEIJING – A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the country was “gravely concerned” about the US government’s decision to suspend payment to the World Health Organization.
“As the most authoritative and professional international institution in the field of global public health security, WHO plays an irreplaceable role in responding to the global public health crisis,” said the spokesperson. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was cutting US payments to the organization, accusing him of not doing enough to prevent the virus from spreading when it first appeared in China.
“WHO has failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable,” Trump said in a briefing, adding that the United States would review WHO’s actions to stop the virus before making any decision to resume help.
China has a major influence on WHO, allowing it to elect its favorite candidate, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as general manager, to dull all criticism and block the participation of its rival Taiwan.
Zhao said the US move “will weaken WHO’s capabilities and undermine international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic. It will affect all countries of the world, including the United States, in particular those vulnerable to the crisis. “
MADRID – Spain has recorded 523 new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, while infections have exploded again for the first time in five days.
As of Wednesday, 5,092 new infections, an increase of 3% overnight, brought the total number of confirmed cases to 177,633. The total death toll in the country was 18,579, the third worst in the world after the United States and Italy, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
Spain eased conditions for Europe’s tightest foreclosure this week, allowing manufacturing, construction and other non-essential activities to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.
The International Monetary Fund predicts a severe recession for Spain this year, with its gross domestic product of 1.2 trillion euros ($ 1.3 trillion) expected to decrease by 8% and unemployment to drop from 14% to 21% before a slowdown. resumed in 2021.
In the midst of strong criticism for his management of the coronavirus crisis, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told lawmakers on Wednesday that government measures had helped slow the spread of the virus and called for political unity to launch the ” reconstruction ”of the country.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand police have worked with creative people on a series of humorous videos about life in a closed environment.
There is the one on these awkward Zoom meetings, with the person who cannot understand the sound, the one who turns into a donut thanks to a random screen filter, and the one whose partner goes into pajamas.
There is another video starring a song about keeping a distance of two meters please because “I don’t want your lust if you start to sneeze. “
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford even appears on one of the videos, looking a little mad after making too much bread.
BEIJING – The U.S. Ambassador to China said he did not believe that Beijing was deliberately blocking exports of personal protective equipment and medical supplies, adding that the shipment of 1,200 tonnes of these products to the United States United could not have been possible without the support of China.
Terry Branstad also told a small group of journalists on Wednesday that the United States is concerned about how China initially handled the virus epidemic in the central city of Wuhan, but that these problems should be resolved after the global pandemic will have been brought under control.
“Now let’s focus on saving lives and helping people,” said Branstad.
Chinese authorities have reportedly delayed the outbreak of the epidemic for several crucial days in January due to political concerns, allowing the virus to spread much further than it could.
China has categorically denied such actions, despite strong evidence to the contrary, saying it has always provided accurate and timely information.
Despite working with half the staff, US diplomats and local staff in China have been able to facilitate 21 thefts of supplies on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as multiple private charter flights, said Branstad. Despite reports that US states and foreign governments are fighting over masks, dresses and other necessary equipment, he said the Beijing embassy and various consulates have made considerable efforts to respond to all requests.
CANBERRA, Australia – The Australian Prime Minister says he sympathizes with President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, but Australia will not stop funding the United Nations agency.
Trump has ordered his administration to freeze funding for the WHO, saying the agency has failed to provide adequate first reports on the coronavirus and has cost the US valuable response time.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Perth Radio 6PR on Wednesday: “I sympathize with his critics and have done some of them myself. “
Australia announced that COVID-19 had become a pandemic weeks before the WHO. According to Morrison, WHO’s support for wet Chinese markets where the virus is believed to have been transferred from animal to human is “completely mystifying.”
“WHO is also an organization that does important work, including here in our own region in the Pacific, and we are working closely with them so as not to throw the baby out with the bathwater here,” said said Morrison. . “But neither are they immune to criticism and immune to doing things better. “
WHO Special Envoy COVID-19 David Nabarro has since tightened the organization’s course on wet markets, telling the BBC that “there are real dangers in this type of environment” .
HELSINKI – The Finnish government has announced that it will end the blockade of a key southern region that includes the capital of the Nordic nation, Helsinki, in the first move to ease restrictions on COVID-19.
Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson said on Wednesday that the government had found no legal justification to continue blocking the movement of citizens to and from the Uusimaa region, a restriction that will take effect on 28 March.
The Uusimaa region is home to some 1.7 million people, almost a third of the Finnish population, including the 650,000 inhabitants of Helsinki. The region was the hardest hit by the pandemic and the lockdown was aimed at preventing the spread of the virus to the rest of the country.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin stressed that all other restrictions related to coronaviruses would remain in effect in Finland, including banning rallies and closing schools. Finland has so far recorded 64 deaths and 3,237 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
LONDON – The British government has promised to test thousands of residents and nursing home staff for the new coronavirus, as it faces criticism for failing to count nursing home deaths in its victim count.
The government says it will start testing health care workers on a regular basis and will also test all residents who show symptoms. Currently, only the first five symptomatic residents of a home are being tested for an outbreak.
British authorities are under fire for failing to conduct more tests for COVID-19. The government has promised to change that and has set a target of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April, more than five times.
Charities have accused the government of treating the elderly as unimportant, and social workers say the new coronavirus is causing “devastation” in retirement homes across the country.
Official statistics showed Tuesday that 15% more people with COVID-19 died than what was recorded in the daily count of deaths in the UK government hospital – including hundreds in nursing homes.
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