Covid-19 wrap | White House readies to scrap task force, Johnson faces MPs in parliament and Australia to begin plasma therapy research

2020-05-06 12:01

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

FOLLOW THE LIVE UPDATE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates


White House readies to scrap Trump's coronavirus task force

In the latest sign that the Trump administration no longer considers the coronavirus pandemic its top daily priority, the White House is set to disband the emergency task force handling the outbreak.

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the emergency task force he heads will not be needed much longer than the end of this month.

"I think we're starting to look at the Memorial Day (25 May) window, early June window" for shutting it down, he told reporters.

- AFP

Johnson faces MPs after UK virus toll reaches grim milestone                   

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Wednesday make his first appearance in parliament since being hospitalised for coronavirus, the day after Britain became the European country worst hit by the global pandemic.

Johnson is expected to be quizzed on why things have gone so wrong during his first weekly prime minister's questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons since 25 March.

MPs are also likely to ask about how Britain will end a nationwide stay-at-home order introduced six weeks ago, which has successfully slowed the spread of the virus.

- AFP

Russia sees over 10 000 new virus cases for fourth day in row 

Russia recorded more than 10 000 new coronavirus cases for the fourth day in a row on Wednesday, surpassing Germany to become the country with the sixth-highest number of confirmed infections.

Russia has emerged as a new hotspot for the virus and in recent days has been recording the highest number of new infections in Europe.

Health officials on Wednesday reported 10 559 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 165 929, with 1 537 deaths.

- AFP

Australia to begin plasma therapy research

Research into using blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a therapy for those who become infected is set to begin in Australia, the latest country to investigate the possible treatment.

Scientists in France, the United States and China are among nations already looking at using plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19.

Melbourne-based bio-pharmaceutical firm CSL Behring said the first phase of research in Australia would focus on developing a test to detect the presence of antibodies that fight the virus in plasma.

- AFP

Stocks enjoy further gains as virus restrictions are eased          

Most equities rose again on Wednesday as investors grew increasingly, but cautiously, hopeful that the worst of the coronavirus had passed and as countries begin to slowly open up from lockdown.

While a string of data highlighted the calamity visited upon the global economy by Covid-19, a slowdown in both infections and deaths in some nations is allowing them to ease restrictions that have kept half the planet stuck at home.

- AFP

US domestic waste rises due to coronavirus restrictions           

Some places in the US are reporting a 40 percent increase in household rubbish collection and recycling because of the coronavirus movement curbs.

All this is putting a strain on the sanitation workers, who are missing a third of their teams because of the fallout from the virus.

- Al Jazeera
Read more on:    boris john­son  |  us  |  russia  |  uk  |  australia  |  coronavirus
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