By Neeraj Bajpai
The Coronavirus infections surpassed over 2.65 million and killed more than 185,434 people globally, according to Johns Hopkins University today. In India, cases have surged past 2,700 cases with 686 deaths, Health Ministry figures say.
Out of those killed globally, a total of 46,851 were in the worst-hit US which has so far reported 843937 infections. New York City alone accounted for about 15074. In the UK, Cases have surpassed 139,243 with a death toll of 18,738
NY governor on reopening” We can’t be stupid, it would set us back”. Public health concerns grow as some states move to open.
In Canada, the Number of infections shot to about 41650 with a death toll of 2080. Likewise, In Sweden, as many as 15,322 cases into light with a death toll of 1765 till yesterday.
In France, the death toll soared to over 213,40, and cases crossed 157135. In Russia, cases jumped to 62773 with 555 deaths. Germany has reported 151,022 cases and 5354 deaths. It has lifted restrictions too in the same sectors.
In Spain, there are more than 213,024 cases and 22,157 deaths against Itlay’s.187, 327 cases, and over 25,085 deaths. Both countries have relaxed some restrictions. Iran has reported 5481 deaths while in UAE, The death toll is 56 and cases are 8736 .
Japan has reported 11950 cases and 299 deaths while in South Korea, figures stand at 10,702 cases and 240 deaths. Singapore has 11178 cases and 52 deaths.
In the US amid the raging war against the pandemic, President Donald Trump has said:” I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea. States are safely coming back.
Our Country is starting to OPEN FOR BUSINESS again. Special care is, and always will be, given to our beloved seniors (except me!). Their lives will be better than ever…WE LOVE YOU ALL! I will be signing my Executive Order prohibiting immigration into our country today.
In the meantime, even without this order, our Southern Border, aided substantially by the 170 miles of new Border Wall & 27,000 Mexican soldiers, is very tight – including for human trafficking!”
President Donald Trump had said on Monday night that he will sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the US, as the nation battles the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday He said: In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States! ”
“At a time when millions of American workers and families are struggling with the financial consequences of the virus, it’s critical to continue the medical war while reopening the economy in a safe and responsible fashion.”
A total number of unemployment allowance seekers have jumped to 26.4 million with an addition of 4.4 million people this week. Meanwhile, the labor department said: In the week ending April 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 4,427,000, a decrease of 810,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 8,000 from 5,245,000 to 5,237,000. The 4-week moving average was 5,786,500, an increase of 280,000 from the previous week’s revised average.
The previous week’s average was revised down by 2,000 from 5,508,500 to 5,506,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 11.0 percent for the week ending April 11, an
increase of 2.8 percentage points from the previous week’s unrevised rate. This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 11 was 15,976,000, an increase of 4,064,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous week’s level was revised down by 64,000 from 11,976,000 to 11,912,000)
The EU Commission has decided to launch a new common platform, EU COVID-19 Data Portal, at the European level to help scientists and researchers store, share, and analyze their information on coronavirus. This was announced by the president of the European executive Ursula von der Leyen. “By working together to improve tests and treatments, as well as by sharing the skills to develop a vaccine, we will win against this virus,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. “I invite all researchers to join on this data collection platform.”
In India, the lockdown continues while some relaxations have been allowed even as the cases surged past 2139 with 681 deaths.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against complacency as countries continue to confront COVID-19 and citizens grow weary of stay-at-home measures aimed at preventing the spread of the disease. Speaking on Wednesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that most countries are still in the very early stages of their epidemics, while some that had been affected earlier are now starting to see a resurgence in cases.
“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time”, he stated.
While most of the epidemics in Western Europe appear to be stable or declining, “worrying upward trends” are visible in Africa, Central America, South America, and Eastern Europe, despite low case numbers. Tedros told journalists that although lockdowns and physical distancing have helped suppress transmission in many countries, the virus remains “extremely dangerous”.
Most of the global population continues to be highly susceptible, which means epidemics can easily re-ignite.
Tired of being home
“One of the greatest dangers we face now is complacency. People in countries with stay-at-home orders are understandably frustrated with being confined to their homes for weeks on end”, he said.
“People understandably want to get on with their lives, because their lives and livelihoods are at stake. That’s what WHO wants too. And that’s what we are working for, all day, every day.”
However, Tedros said moving forward will have to mean accepting “a new normal”, and forging a world that is healthier, safer, and better prepared.
He underlined the six public health measures WHO has been advocating since the pandemic started, which center around detection, isolation, testing, treatment and quarantine
The last step involves educating and empowering the public.
“Countries that don’t do these six central things, and do them consistently, will see more cases, and more lives will be lost”, said Tedros.
Mobile message initiative
Telecommunications companies across the world are being encouraged to support a WHO initiative to provide COVID-19 information via mobile text messages, announced earlier this week in conjunction with sister UN agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The goal is to help reach the half of the global population that lacks internet access, starting in the Asia-Pacific region before a global rollout.
“We also issued a call with the World Trade Organization, calling on countries to ensure the normal cross-border flow of vital medical supplies and other goods and services, and to resolve unnecessary disruptions to global supply chains”, Tedros further reported.
“We need to ensure these products reach those in need quickly, and we emphasize the importance of regulatory cooperation and international standards.”
Solidarity, not stigma
In addition to fighting the new coronavirus disease, WHO is also working to stamp out related stigma and discrimination.
There have been “disturbing reports” about COVID-19 discrimination in many countries, and in all regions, according to Tedros.
“Stigma and discrimination are never acceptable anywhere at any time, and must be fought in all countries”, he said, adding, “as I have said many times, this is a time for solidarity, not stigma”.
The strain on the brain
The UN agency has also been addressing the pandemic’s impact on mental health.
WHO has produced technical guidance for individuals and health workers, who are under enormous strain at this time.
Meanwhile, a free children’s book about COVID-19, which the agency recently launched, is being used among Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh, and children in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Greece and Nigeria.
WHO has also received requests to translate the book into more than 100 languages.
The book, My Hero is You: How kids can fight COVID-19, uses a fantasy creature called Ario who explains how children can not only protect themselves from the disease but also how to manage difficult emotions that may arise as a result of the pandemic.