International Covid-19 update | Nearly 2 600 US coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, Wuhan's 'wet markets' struggle, New Zealand considers plan to ease lockdown

2020-04-16 09:04

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

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Nearly 2 600 US coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: tally

The United States on Wednesday recorded nearly 2 600 additional deaths from the new coronavirus in 24 hours, a new record and the heaviest daily toll of any country, Johns Hopkins University said.

A running tally from Johns Hopkins showed 2 569 victims at 00:30 on Thursday, compared with the same time the previous evening, bringing the total number of US deaths to 28 326 - higher than any other nation.

- AFP


New Zealand considers plan to ease virus lockdown              

New Zealand is expected to start easing a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus next week, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Thursday it would be far from a return to normal.

The Pacific country of five million people has been one of the most successful in containing the outbreak, with just over 1,000 known cases and nine deaths.

It had only six confirmed new infections on Thursday.

"There are promising signs our go-hard-and-go-early elimination strategy is working and the lockdown is breaking the chain of community transmission," Ardern said.

- AFP


Wuhan's 'wet markets' struggle after virus lockdown

At a large food market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, signs forbid the selling of wild animals and live fowl, while announcements calling for "victory" over Covid-19 play on a loop from speakers.

China's "wet markets" have been slammed internationally as the coronavirus roils the world, with the disease having seemingly emerged from stalls selling live game in Wuhan late last year.

The government has since banned the sale of wildlife for food, but the reopening of markets has drawn criticism from around the world as the death toll from the pandemic continues to mount.

- AFP


Galapagos Islands report 73 cases, mostly aboard a ship

Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, have 73 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, the majority on board a tourist ship, the governing council president said Wednesday.

"Forty-eight positive cases have been identified" out of the 69 people on board the Flora, Norman Wray told AFP.

Wray, who heads the Galapagos Government Council, added that all passengers are crew members, as the ship no longer has tourists on board.

"In total, we have 73" confirmed cases and two deaths on the archipelago, Wray said.

Ecuador has recorded 7,858 cases and 388 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Guayas province and its capital, port city Guayaquil, have been the hardest hit, comprising about 70 percent of the cases reported since February 29.

- AFP


Gates Foundation calls for global cooperation on vaccine for 7 billion people

The wealthy Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called Wednesday for global cooperation to ready Covid-19 vaccines for seven billion people, while offering $150 million toward developing therapeutics and treatments for the virus.

While it is likely to take as many as 18 months to develop and fully test a safe coronavirus vaccine, global authorities and businesses need to start now on plans to manufacture it, said foundation chief executive Mark Suzman.

"It's normal to have, at maximum, hundreds of millions of doses manufactured," he said.

- AFP


Displaced Syrians go home to ruins rather than risk virus

His home in volatile northwest Syria may have been destroyed, but Hassan Khraiby decided returning was better than risking his 10 children catch the coronavirus in a packed displacement camp.

"We were scared the coronavirus might spread because of the severe overcrowding. We decided to come home - even if our homes have been destroyed," 45-year-old Khraiby says.

No case of the Covid-19 illness has yet been recorded in northwest Syria, but aid organisations fear any outbreak in the last major rebel bastion of Idlib would be catastrophic.

They warn the virus could rage through jam-packed displaced camps, where maintaining basic hygiene is difficult and social distancing near impossible.

- AFP

 

Read more on:    us  |  new zealand  |  china  |  syria  |  ecuador  |  coronavirus
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