Friday, 15 May 2020 19:32


Summary of Latest Developments.

The US government plans to stockpile hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines that are currently under development, in hopes of having a successful vaccine ready for mass distribution as soon as possible, a health official has said.

Germany's coronavirus-hit economy has contracted by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of the year in its steepest three-month slump since the 2009 financial crisis.

Wuhan, the Chinese city planning to test all of its 11 million residents, has assessed more than three million people since April and will focus its testing efforts on the remaining residents. 

Officials confirmed the first coronavirus infection of a Rohingya refugee in the sprawling camps in southern Bangladesh.

Globally, more than 4.4 million people have been infected and more than 301,000 have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 1.6 million people have recovered.


Here are all the latest updates:


Ireland to introduce mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers: PM.   

Ireland will introduce a legally binding 14-day quarantine period for travellers arriving in the nation, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said. 

The Irish cabinet agreed to make it mandatory for arrivals to fill out forms outlining where they will quarantine. "We're going to examine means by which it can be enforced thereafter," Varadkar said.     

Travellers from the British province of Northern Ireland will be exempt.


WHO probing possible COVID-19 link to rare disease in children.

The WHO has said it was studying a possible link between COVID-19 and an illness similar to Kawasaki disease that has sickened and killed children in Europe and the United States.

"Initial reports hypothesise that this syndrome may be related to COVID-19," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing, calling on clinicians worldwide to help "better understand this syndrome in children."


Italy's daily death toll and new cases dip.

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy fell to 242 on Friday, against 262 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases dipped to 789 from 992 on Thursday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 31,610 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 223,885, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 72,070 from 76,440 the day before.


WHO head says vaccines, medicines must be fairly shared.

Scientists and researchers are working at "breakneck" speed to find solutions for COVID-19 but the pandemic can only be beaten with equitable distribution of medicines and vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization has said.

"Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva. 


France: First case of child dying from Kawasaki-like disease

A nine-year-old boy has died in France from a Kawasaki-like disease believed to be linked to coronavirus, his doctor said on Friday, the first such confirmed death in the country as similar child fatalities are being investigated in New York and London.

The child died after a "neurological injury related to a cardiac arrest", said Fabrice Michel, head of the paediatric intensive care unit at La Timone hospital in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille.


Brazil health minister resigns after just weeks on the job.

Brazil's health minister Nelson Teich has handed in his resignation his office said, after less than a month on the job as the country becomes a world hotspot for coronavirus.

Teich, who disagreed with right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, will hold a press conference later Friday. Brazil has now surpassed Germany and France and had more than 200,000 confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday. 

The resignation comes less than a month after Teich's predecessor, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, was dismissed by Bolsonaro after the two sparred over the country's coronavirus response. 


Yemen reports 21 new cases including 3 deaths.

Yemen's Saudi-backed government reported on Friday 21 new coronavirus cases, including three deaths, the coronavirus committee said on Twitter.

The committee added that 13 of the new cases were in Aden, and eight in Hadramout, including the three deaths.

The Aden-based government committee said the tally for confirmed coronavirus cases in areas under its control now stands at 106, including 15 deaths.


UK death toll rises 384 to 33,998.

The number of people who have died in the United Kingdom after testing positive to COVID-19 has risen by 384 to 33,998, Britain's health ministry has said.

The number of deaths was as of 1600 GMT on Thursday, the government said. A total of 236,711 people had tested positive for the virus as of 0800 GMT on Friday.


US to stockpile vaccine candidates as trials continue: Health secretary

The US government plans to stockpile hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines that are under development to combat the novel coronavirus with the goal of having one or more vaccines ready to deploy by the end of the year, the health secretary has said.

"We've got over 100 vaccine candidates that have been discovered," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox Business Network.

"What we're doing now is we're narrowing those down to the core group that we're going to place huge multi-hundred million dollar bets on and scale massive vaccine domestic production so that we by the end of the year, we hope, would have one or more safe and effective vaccines and hundreds of millions of doses."


Source: News Agencies.