International Covid-19 wrap: Italy's big plan to help economy, Boris Johnson in intensive care

2020-04-06 22:31

Italy on Monday unveiled a record 400 billion euro stimulus to help businesses hurt by a month-long national lockdown that is like to run on for many more weeks, AFP reports.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the nation to be patient in the face of a pandemic that has now officially claimed 16 523 lives in the Mediterranean country and left millions at least temporarily unemployed

"We will soon see a new spring for Italy but for the moment we must stay at home," the Italian leader said in a television address.

The programme will add to the 340 billion euros in government-backed loans announced last month.

Conte said it represented "the most powerful intervention in the country's history".

Just how much of the world’s population is at home? 

Al Jazeera looked at Google’s recently released its Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports tracker, which makes use of anonymised mobile phone data from 131 countries around the world. 

It found that almost the entire planet was spending more time at home, recreational activities were seriously down, people were not in their workplaces or outdoors.

The biggest decline worldwide was the amount of time spent on public transport, like trains and buses. 

WHO slams ‘racist’ testing suggestions

The World Health Organization chief angrily slammed recent comments made by scientists suggesting a vaccine for the new coronavirus should be tested in Africa as "racist" and a hangover from the "colonial mentality", AFP reported. 

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted as saying: "Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine," and he insisted, "we will follow all the rules to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world... whether it is in Europe, Africa or wherever."

Boris Johnson in intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was diagnosed with coronavirus late last month, was on Monday moved to an intensive care unit after his condition worsened, AFP reports.

The 55-year-old, who was admitted to a London hospital on Sunday evening for tests after continuing to suffer a cough and high temperature, has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab "to deputise for him where necessary", a spokesperson said.

Johnson announced he had mild symptoms of Covid-19 on 27 March and had been in self-isolation at his Downing Street residence for seven days.

Read more on:    coronavirus

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