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  • Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdown news

    Trump repeated a favorite refrain of some conservatives, who have said that the coronavirus “cure”—that is, a nationwide shutdown—cannot be worse than the disease itself.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 21:39:40 -0400
  • Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News Explains news

    Coronavirus patients are showing a wide range of symptoms and the exact reason why is still a mystery — but we do have some clues as to what factors can influence the severity of the disease.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 15:10:26 -0400
  • An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears news

    Experts predicted the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could lead to an uptick in domestic violence.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 16:19:30 -0400
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hospitalized with virus news

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday for tests, his office said, because he is still suffering symptoms, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. The prime minister's Downing St. office said it was a “precautionary step” and Johnson remains in charge of the government. Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 — the first known head of government to fall ill with the virus.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 16:27:02 -0400
  • Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules news

    Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during discussions with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening they agreed her actions risked distracting from the "hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic". Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 12:40:24 -0400
  • Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon news

    American televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 15:46:00 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess news

    Passengers from the Ruby Princess disembarked in Sydney without knowing the coronavirus was on board.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 06:26:12 -0400
  • Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal' news

    "I think the guy should ... have a commendation rather than be fired," Biden said.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 11:18:00 -0400
  • Japan’s Abe Set to Declare State of Emergency, Media Say news

    (Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency within days, after coronavirus cases in Tokyo jumped over the weekend to top 1,000 for the first time and raised worries of a more explosive surge, media reports said.Abe will announce the plan as soon as Monday, with the formal declaration for the Tokyo area coming as early as Tuesday, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, without attribution. Osaka is also likely to be included, while Hyogo, Saitama and Hokkaido prefectures are under consideration, according to Kyodo News and other media reports. Japan’s biggest-ever stimulus package worth 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) may also be announced Tuesday.Abe is expected to call a meeting of his advisory panel on the virus before announcing the decision. The state of emergency will be issued for specific areas and a time period will be set.Abe’s government saw its approval rating slip to its lowest since October 2018 in a poll from broadcaster JNN released Monday with a majority of respondents faulting the way the government has managed the virus crisis. The poll taken April 4-5 showed that about 80% of respondents said the declaration should be made.While Abe’s government has said the country is on the brink of an explosive surge, it has resisted calls to declare an emergency. The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have been pushing for the declaration as the recent spike in cases sparked concerns Japan is headed for a crisis on the levels seen in the U.S. and several countries in Europe.Declaring a state of emergency hands powers to local governments, including to urge residents to stay at home. By contrast with some other countries though, there is no legal power to enforce such requests due to civil liberties protections in Japanese law.While Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection, it has fared better than most, with about 3,150 reported cases as of Monday -- a jump from less than 500 just a month ago. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens to return home, saying Japan’s low testing rate makes it hard to accurately assess the prevalence of the virus. The Japan Medical Association warned last week that the jump in cases in the nation’s most populous cities is putting more pressure on medical resources and that the government should declare a state of emergency.Tokyo reported 143 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, its largest single day. It marked the second straight day the city’s daily infection tally exceeded 100.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is already pressing residents to avoid unnecessary outings, and television showed many of the capital’s main shopping areas almost deserted over the weekend. The Tokyo local government is set to begin leasing hotels this week to accommodate mild cases, to make room in its hospitals for the seriously ill.Abe told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to take the step if the time comes.(Updates with details throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 21:20:17 -0400
  • Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war? news

    Iran is experiencing on of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world. Will the instability cause the country's leaders to lash out against America?

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 09:14:33 -0400
  • Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus news

    Just a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 14:58:52 -0400
  • 'I'm worried that I have infected 1000 people in the last three days': Amazon workers reveal all the reasons why they're afraid to go to work news

    Amazon workers claim the company is not doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout their facilities and the communities they serve.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 13:06:52 -0400
  • The Latest: Nearly 3,000 released from Sri Lanka prisons news

    — Italy's Lombardy region requires people to wear masks outside. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Nearly 2900 prisoners have been released from overcrowded prisons in Sri Lanka as the Indian ocean island nation has stepped up it’s efforts to contain the spreading of the new coronavirus. Sri Lanka has been under a countrywide curfew since March 20.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 03:28:37 -0400
  • Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’ news

    President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 22:38:08 -0400
  • Oil prices decline $3 a barrel as market remains uncertain on supply outlook news

    Global benchmark oil prices traded as much as $3 a barrel lower as the market opened for Monday's trading session, reflecting fears of oversupply after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed to Thursday a meeting about a potential pact to cut production. Late last week, prices had surged, with both U.S. and Brent contracts posting their largest weekly percentage gains on record due to hopes that OPEC and its allies would strike a global deal to cut crude supply worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has cut demand and a month-long price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has left the market awash in crude.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 15:44:58 -0400
  • Police in Russia shoved a man into a van and forced him to abandon his dog in a park for violating the city's lockdown order news

    At the end of March, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin closed all restaurants, cafe, bars, and parks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 13:16:46 -0400
  • Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippers news

    The largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:23:04 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise news

    Germany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:56:11 -0400
  • Trump defends decision to fire inspector general, calls him a 'disgrace' news

    “That’s my decision. I have the absolute right,” Trump said about Michael Atkinson's firing, the intelligence community inspector general who flagged the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 17:54:11 -0400
  • 'Grateful that we have this option': Some pregnant women turn to home births amid coronavirus pandemic news

    Some pregnant women say home births feel safer and offer more control during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 12:21:23 -0400
  • Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantities news

    Amazon employs some 400,000 warehouse workers across 175-plus facilities. Workers at more than 50 warehouses have tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 21:44:58 -0400
  • Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis news

    Coronavirus crisis proves communism is still a grave threat to the entire world. If Beijing had just been honest, the pandemic could be preventable.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 06:00:12 -0400
  • No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says news

    (Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it’s unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration’s initial response to the pandemic that’s claimed thousands of American lives.“This committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’re not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us.”The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered.“The American people are now out of work, millions of them out of work,” he said. “The question is whether or not the money that’s appropriated will go to support them and their families, or whether or not this money will end up in the pockets of a few profiteers.”Clyburn’s remarks arrive as some Democratic governors criticize the Trump administration for what they say is a failure to provide adequate supplies or centralized policies to the states to address the crisis, despite having weeks or months of lead time.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a Sunday news conference that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the virus as early as January but failed to act quickly enough.“The idea that the United States federal government did nearly nothing for quite a long time is now being visited upon us,” Pritzker said. “If action had been taken earlier a lot fewer lives would be lost.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 17:17:15 -0400
  • Number of coronavirus intensive care patients in Italy drops for first time news

    Italy reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday and said the number of patients in intensive care had fallen for the first time. The Civil Protection department reported 681 deaths, bringing the total to 15,632 since the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic in northern Italy on Feb. 21. The total number of confirmed cases rose to 124,632 from 119,827 reported on Friday but for the first time, the number of patients in badly stretched intensive care units fell, with 3,994 patients being treated, down 74 from 4,068 on Friday.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 12:31:50 -0400
  • Women in ICE custody plead for release amid pandemic news

    Immigrant women detained in rural Louisiana feel powerless to shield themselves from the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. They're asking the U.S. not to forget about them.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 00:59:48 -0400
  • Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soon news

    Iran said Sunday it will allow "low-risk" economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day. "Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home," President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran's anti-coronavirus task force. The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as "low risk" activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 12:24:11 -0400
  • Imprisoned Chinese rights lawyer released, his wife says news

    Wang Quanzhang, a well-known Chinese rights lawyer, was released from prison Sunday after being held for more than four years, his wife said. It was unclear whether he would be allowed to return to Beijing, where he practiced and lived with his wife and young son. Police took him to his house in his hometown of Jinan in eastern China, his wife said in a tweet on her verified Twitter account.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 03:59:07 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Trump says teenage son Barron ‘isn’t as happy as he could be’ as quarantine frustrations hit White House news

    Donald Trump offered a rare personal insight into the life of his 14-year-old son Barron Trump and how he is faring in quarantine during his latest White House briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.The president had tweeted a message of encouragement to the nation’s frustrated Little League baseball players earlier in the day, telling them to “Hang in there!”

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 03:44:12 -0400
  • Black mistrust of medicine looms amid coronavirus pandemic news

    Roughly 40 million black Americans are deciding whether to put their faith in government and the medical community during the coronavirus pandemic. Historic failures in government responses to disasters and emergencies, medical abuse, neglect and exploitation have jaded generations of black people into a distrust of some public institutions.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 11:32:18 -0400
  • An at-home fingerprick blood test may help detect your exposure to coronavirus news

    If approved, the blood test could show if your immune system has developed coronavirus antibodies. But a positive result isn't a license to return to work.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 07:42:00 -0400
  • Italy, Spain, and France reported declines in daily coronavirus death tolls. Their governments don't plan to lift national lockdowns and social distancing rules anytime soon. news

    "We are suffering very much. It's a devastating pain," Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Sunday.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 16:43:03 -0400
  • Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend news

    Medical professionals are being deployed to New York City. Two Coral Princess cruise passengers have died. Here's the weekend's biggest news.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 18:36:15 -0400
  • China sees rises in new coronavirus cases, asymptomatic patients news

    Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged, as Beijing continued to struggle to extinguish the outbreak despite drastic containment efforts. The National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of the day on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before. Imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who have the virus and can give it to others but show no symptoms, have become China's chief concern in recent weeks after draconian containment measures succeeded in slashing the infection rate.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 21:15:57 -0400
  • 'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposure news

    Ice detainees isolated after one had Covid-19 symptoms tell the Guardian that cries for help and protection have gone ignored * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageDetainees in a US immigration jail are begging to be released after potential Covid-19 exposure, saying the conditions are so brutal that they would rather suffer deportation than remain locked up.Three men incarcerated at the Winn correctional center in a remote part of Louisiana told the Guardian that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has isolated 44 of them together after they were possibly exposed to coronavirus. Some of the detainees are so desperate to leave that they are seeking voluntary deportation. They say their cries for masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies have gone ignored, including for elderly detainees and those with asthma.In a series of phone calls, the men described a nightmare ordeal over the last two weeks, citing rampant mistreatment and a terrifying lack of information from Ice after they learned they were under some kind of quarantine. They also said that seven of their fellow detainees were deported on a flight to Colombia this week, four days into a 14-day quarantine period, which would appear to violate basic standards of coronavirus containment.Their firsthand accounts escalate concerns that human rights lawyers have been raising for weeks, that Ice jails could become death traps during the pandemic and that the only way to save lives and slow the spread is to release people en masse.“People are writing to the judge that they want to be deported as soon as possible. They don’t want to continue fighting,” said a detainee from El Salvador in his 30s, who declined to give his name. He said he was trying to self-deport and was also helping an asylum seeker seek deportation. “He told me, ‘I’d prefer to go home instead of being in this jail.’ … Ice has to release all the people, immediately.”One of the detainees speaking out and advocating for the release of immigrant prisoners is Dr Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US trial last year but continues to face detention. The 59-year-old professor shared his story with the Guardian last week, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to call for his release.The men were first detained at the Alexandria staging facility (ASF) in Louisiana, where Asgari said Ice was continuing to bring in new detainees from around the country in cramped quarters where they were denied masks and basic supplies to protect themselves.Then on 26 March, ASF staff put up a sign outside the pod where they slept, which said the room was under “medical observation” due to the possibility of exposure, saying the risk was “high”, Asgari recounted this week. He heard that a detainee had a fever. But Ice, he alleged, gave the detainees no information and declined to tell them whether it was Covid-19.“Everybody got panicked,” he said, describing a chaotic scene of the detainees yelling for help and information. “We had two elderly people in their 70s, younger people with respiratory problems. One guy is crying, saying, ‘My life is in danger, we have been exposed.’ People were screaming, ‘Give us masks!’ … ‘We’re gonna die!’”One officer suggested there was nothing to worry about, but then staff kept the pod completely isolated from other detainees, suggesting they were under quarantine, Asgari said. Despite what seemed to be a strict quarantine, seven of them were deported to Colombia a few days later, he said.Roughly 30 men who remained behind were then taken to Winn, but were still given no information, the detainees said. But once they had medical visits, he said they confirmed their fears after asking the nurse to look at their records, which all said “possible exposure to Covid-19” and listed as 8 April as a “release date” which would be the end of a 14-day quarantine period. The men joined a dozen other detainees in that facility who were also suspected of having exposure, Asgari said.Bryan Cox, an Ice spokesman, declined to respond to many of their specific claims, but said no detainee has tested positive for Covid-19 at ASF. He did not answer questions about whether the men were given tests or whether there was a direct exposure or quarantine. He said Ice groups detainees in “medical cohorts”, meaning separating potential Covid-19 patients from others, but said that a “cohort for potential exposure does not mean a person has been exposed”.He said the men were spreading “unsubstantiated rumor and false allegations”, but did not offer specifics.“We are just a number to them. They don’t care,” said a detainee in his 30s who is facing deportation to Guatemala, and was also moved from ASF to Winn alongside Asgari. “I’m really afraid … They put you in jail with all these people and you don’t know where they’ve come from. It doesn’t make any sense.”This detainee said he had lived in the US for more than a decade and that he was arrested in New York in mid-March as Ice continued its raids and arrests amid the worsening pandemic. He said he has little information about his case and is fighting to get out: “I’m trying to do something, but I can’t. I haven’t seen a judge, nothing. They are just moving me around.” ‘Disgusting’ conditions and silence from IceThe men said the conditions at Winn were appalling. The detainees are responsible for all cleaning, and there is a single shower and only two toilets for all 44 of them to share. They are also sleeping on beds roughly two feet apart from each other, and the humidity when they first arrived left the sheets wet and beds rusted, they alleged.“When we got inside, everyone was absolutely shocked at the living conditions,” said Asgari, who has a history of respiratory problems and is at risk of death. “It’s frustrating, disgusting and humiliating. We get outside for one hour a day. That’s the only good thing.”By Friday, a majority of the detainees were suffering from some kind of cold, according to Asgari, who said he now has a bad cough and fears it will infect his lungs. They don’t have fevers, and he said he hopes it’s not coronavirus.The man from El Salvador said the staff at Winn were taking their temperatures daily, but otherwise doing little else related to Covid-19 prevention. He said Ice should consider releasing them in the US for their own safety, noting that he didn’t know the status of the outbreak in El Salvador and whether it would be dangerous to return. But ultimately, he said he was desperate to get out, fearing staff could bring the virus to the facility or that he could be moved again and exposed to hundreds more detainees in other jails.One Ice officer told him he could submit a formal request and get a reply in seven or eight days, he said: “I want to know what is happening with us. They don’t answer, nothing.”On Friday, the man from El Salvador was deported, according to Asgari.> People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions> > Mehrnoush YazdanyarAsgari has also been trying to self-deport to Iran, where there is a massive Covid-19 outbreak.“They are asking to be sent anywhere but there,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, an attorney who has talked to multiple Winn detainees and is helping Asgari’s family. “People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions.”Cox, the Ice spokesman, said all detainees are screened upon arrival to facilities and that Ice conducts Covid-19 testing in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. He said Ice provides soap and “other appropriate cleaning supplies” and “necessary and appropriate medical care” to detainees.Advocates have raised similar complaints about Ice conditions across the country. Karlyn Kurichety, an attorney with immigrant rights group Al Otro Lado, said that at California’s largest Ice jail, detainees lack basic sanitation supplies and that Ice has placed some detainees in quarantine without telling them why.“We’re concerned there’s going to be a massive outbreak in one of these facilities, and literally thousands of people could die,” she said.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 06:00:02 -0400
  • Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus response news

    Jordan on Sunday started to deploy drones to fight the coronavirus pandemic, joining a host of Middle East countries using the technology to enforce curfews, deliver public health announcements and even monitor people's temperatures. Jordan has declared five deaths and 323 cases of COVID-19 and says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating a nationwide curfew in force since last month. "The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras," Minister of State for Information, Amjad al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 11:57:34 -0400
  • 'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virus news

    Some of Uganda’s poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 04:55:25 -0400
  • Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be' news

    Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday spoke about the declining numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Spain and Italy. She believes it can offer hope to the United States.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 20:28:19 -0400
  • New York governor sees 'return to normalcy' with rapid coronavirus testing news

    Cuomo, whose state is the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, said New York was part of an effort to develop a program that would identify people who are both negative and not in a vulnerable category, allowing them to go back to work. "That is going to be the answer, I believe."

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 12:54:25 -0400
  • Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank news

    At least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 19:32:18 -0400
  • Why wear face masks in public? Here's what the research shows news

    With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores. But can these masks be effective?President Donald Trump, in announcing the change in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on April 3, stressed that the recommendation was voluntary and said he probably wouldn’t follow it. Governors and mayors, however, have started encouraging the precautions to reduce the spread of the virus by people who might not know they are infected.Some cities have gone as far as setting fines for failing to wear a mask. In Laredo, Texas, anyone over the age of five who walks into a store or takes public transit without their mouth and nose covered by a mask or bandana could now be fined up to $1,000. These new measures are designed to “flatten the curve,” or slow the spread of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.They’re also a shift from the advice Americans have been hearing since the coronavirus pandemic began.The World Health Organization and the CDC have repeatedly said that most people do not need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. In February, the U.S. surgeon general even urged the public to stop buying medical masks, warning that it would not help against the spread of the coronavirus. Part of the reason was to reserve N95 respirators and masks for healthcare workers like myself who are on the front lines and exposed to people with COVID-19. Today, there is much more data and evidence on how COVID-19 is spread, and the prevalence of the disease itself is far more widespread than previously thought. Sick, but no symptomsAs recently as early February, the World Health Organization stated that viral transmission from asymptomatic people was likely “rare,” based on information available at the time. But a growing body of data now suggests that a significant number of infected people who don’t have symptoms can still transmit the virus to others. A CDC report issued March 23 on COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise ships offers a glimpse of the danger. It describes how the testing of passengers and crew on board the Diamond Princess found that nearly half – 46.5% – of the more than 700 people found to be infected with the new coronavirus had no symptoms at the time of testing. The CDC explained that “a high proportion of asymptomatic infections could partially explain the high attack rate among cruise ship passengers and crew.”Dr. Harvey Fineberg, former president of the National Academy of Medicine and head of a new federal committee on infectious diseases, told CNN on April 2 that he will start wearing a mask in public, especially at grocery stores, for this very reason. “While the current specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” he said. It is these “silent carriers” – people infected with the virus but without fever, cough, or muscle aches – that proponents of universal mask wearing point to as proof that more could be done beyond social distancing to slow the virus’s spread. More effective than doing nothingWhile research on the effectiveness of universal mask wearing for reducing respiratory droplet transmission is still thin, there is evidence to support it.Research on SARS, another coronavirus, found that N95 masks were highly effective at blocking transmission of that virus. Even ill-fitting medical face masks have been found to interrupt airborne particles and viruses, keeping them from reaching as far when someone sneezes.Another study determined that, while masks made out of cotton T-shirts were far less effective than manufactured surgical masks in preventing wearers from expelling droplets, they did reduce droplets and were better than no protection at all. A challenge with cloth: washingThe surgical masks that doctors and nurses typically wear are designed for one-time use, while cloth masks used by the general public would likely be washed, which raises another concern.A study from Nepal on cloth masks designed to protect wearers from larger particles, such as pollution or pollen, found that washing and drying practices deteriorated the mask’s efficiency because they damaged the cloth material. It is clear that urgent research is needed on the best material suitable for universal masks, their storage and care, or the creation of proper reusable masks for the public. A low-risk interventionAs an obstetrician-gynecologist and researcher, I believe that some protection for the public is better than none. A recent article in the medical journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine states a similar rationale.The universal use of mouth and nose covering with masks is a low-risk intervention that can only assist in reducing the spread of this terrible illness. If everyone wears a mask, individuals protect one another, reducing overall community transmission. It could even remind people not to touch their faces after touching potentially contaminated surfaces. As the research shows, masks aren’t shields. It’s still important to help prevent transmission by practicing social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others in public, staying home as much as possible, and washing hands frequently and properly. [Get facts about coronavirus and the latest research. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Coronavirus case counts are going to go up – but that doesn’t mean social distancing is a bust * Social distancing works – just ask lobsters, ants and vampire batsHector Chapa does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:00:21 -0400
  • Cheap gas and weaker US rules for fuel economy aren't going to help Tesla sell more electric cars news

    The company could manage one of those developments, but having two occur at the same time could be challenging.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 09:24:00 -0400
  • Aid workers seek to avoid coronavirus outbreak at Matamoros migrant camp news

    Asylum-seekers camp near the border in crowded conditions, waiting indefinitely as the U.S. puts their cases on hold. Health workers fear an outbreak.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:00:04 -0400
  • Fact check: Did the Obama administration deplete the federal stockpile of N95 masks? news

    During the presidency of Barack Obama, the national stockpile was seriously taxed as the administration addressed multiple crises over eight years.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 15:31:27 -0400
  • Vanuatu braces as monster storm strengthens in Pacific news

    A deadly cyclone bearing down on the Pacific nation of Vanuatu has intensified into a Category Five super storm, generating destructive winds and "phenomenal" seas, forecasters said Monday. Tropical cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened overnight Sunday as it moved east, Vanuatu's meteorology service said. Harold is forecast to pass north of the capital Port Vila early Tuesday.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 18:19:19 -0400
  • Fitch Kicks South Africa Deeper Into Junk a Week After Moody’s news

    (Bloomberg) -- Fitch Ratings added to South Africa’s misery on Friday, downgrading the country’s debt further into junk territory a week after Moody’s Investors Service removed its investment-grade credit assessment.Fitch now assesses the nation’s foreign- and local-currency debt at BB, two steps below investment grade. The foreign-currency assessment is now the same level as S&P Global Ratings, which demoted South Africa to sub-investment grade exactly three years ago. The outlook on the Fitch rating remains negative, which means the next move could be a further downgrade.The rand extended its decline to its weakest level on record. The currency slumped as much as 3.4%, breaching 19 per dollar for the first time, and traded at 19.0410 by 10:59 p.m. on Friday in Johannesburg.The downgrade is justified because the government hasn’t shown a clear path toward stabilizing its debt, as well as the expected impact of the Covid-19 shock on public finances and economic growth, Fitch said in a statement Friday. Gross domestic product will contract by 3.8% this year, the company said, as a 21-day lockdown that started a week ago shut down large parts of the economy, including most mines and factories.Downward CycleAfrica’s most-industrialized economy is stuck in the longest downward cycle since at least 1945, with business confidence at the lowest in more than two decades and almost a third of the labor force unemployed. Output has been weighed down by power-supply constraints. Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which generates about 95% of South Africa’s electricity, regularly implements rolling blackouts to prevent a total collapse of the national grid, and survives on government bailouts.The coronavirus crisis is hitting public finances that are already weak, Fitch said. The company sees the budget deficit widening to 11.5% of gross domestic product in 2020-21, compared with the government’s February projection of 6.8%. That means general government debt will rise to 80.2% of GDP in 2021-22, Fitch said.The Treasury’s budget estimates relied heavily on planned spending cuts, which included trimming the public-sector wage bill. Labor unions representing government workers have rejected a revised wage offer that sought to increase the salaries of lower-paid workers by 4.4%, which is less than inflation, while not giving a pay rise to the rest of the civil servants.The saving on public-sector compensation for this fiscal year is now unlikely to materialize and a new wage deal next year is also unlikely to result in the projected cutbacks, Fitch said.“The government reiterates its commitment to implement structural economic reforms to address the weak economic growth, constrained fiscus and ailing state-owned companies,” the National Treasury said in an emailed statement. “Furthermore, government continues to prioritize and implement measures announced by the president aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 as well as limiting its impact on the economy.”Fitch and S&P first cut South Africa to junk in 2017. While S&P, which also has a negative outlook on the country’s ratings, is scheduled to publish an assessment on May 22, ratings companies can take action at any time if circumstances justify it.(Updates with wage talks in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 06:52:42 -0400
  • Europe sees more signs of hope as Italy's virus curve falls news

    Europe saw further signs of hope in the coronavirus outbreak Sunday as Italy's daily death toll was at its lowest in more than two weeks and its infection curve was finally on a downward slope. Angelo Borrelli, the head of Italy's Civil Protection agency on Sunday, said there were 525 deaths in the 24-hour period since Saturday evening. Italy now has a total of 15,887 deaths and nearly 129,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 13:51:52 -0400
  • Ireland's PM returns to medical practice to help in coronavirus crisis news

    Ireland's prime minister Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help out during the coronavirus crisis, his office said on Sunday. Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession to become a politician and was removed from the medical register in 2013. Last month, health minister Simon Harris launched a recruitment drive for the country's struggling health service to tackle the coronavirus outbreak with a stark message: "Your country needs you".

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 13:57:15 -0400
  • Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD says news

    An unidentified woman and three teens are alleged to have attacked a 51-year-old Asian woman, hitting her on the head with an umbrella after making anti-Asian remarks.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 11:57:00 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Trump to defy 'voluntary' advice for Americans to wear masks news

    The US president says he does not want to be seen in one, despite Centers for Disease Control guidance.

    Sat, 04 Apr 2020 03:51:48 -0400
  • Fauci warned that coronavirus could likely become seasonal news

    Fauci said that the difficulty in containing the outbreak globally meant there could be a resurgence by next season.

    Sun, 05 Apr 2020 15:06:38 -0400
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