lockdown, spread, outbreak, crisis

'Migrants never disappeared': the lone rescue ship braving a pandemic   25%

As the coronavirus crisis deepens, the plight of people crossing the Mediterranean to escape conflict has been all but forgotten. A crew of German rescuers is intent on bucking that trend

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  • After a two-month break, the Alan Kurdi migrant rescue boat is heading back out into the central Mediterranean, as asylum seekers continue to attempt the desperate journey to reach Europe despite coronavirus fears.

    The boat, operated by the German NGO Sea-Eye, left the Spanish port of Castellón de la Plana on Tuesday and is expected to reach waters off the coast of Libya this weekend.

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    Census Day is here   40%

    Wisconsin primary under siege by coronavirus — States adjust downballot primaries

    Coronavirus: former US officials implore Washington and Beijing to work together on pandemic  

    A coalition of almost 100 former high-ranking US officials and scholars have called on Washington and Beijing to put competition and acrimony on hold while working together to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.“No effort against the coronavirus – whether to save American lives at home or combat the disease abroad – will be successful without some degree of cooperation between the United States and China,” the signers, including former cabinet secretaries, past US ambassadors to China and ex-senators,…

    Watch live: Mayor Mike Duggan update on Detroit's coronavirus efforts  

    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will provide an update on the City of Detroit's response to the spread of coronavirus at 3 p.m. Monday.


    Mother sentenced to 7 months in college admissions scam will remain free until outbreak subsides   5%

    Elizabeth Henriquez is allowed to remain free until at least June 30 due to coronavirus concerns.

    Crowd in Ivory Coast destroys coronavirus testing centre in residential area   -60%

    Ivory Coast police on Monday clashed with protesters who had begun dismantling a half-built coronavirus testing centre, afraid that people using the facility would spread the epidemic through their district.

    Your money: How to adjust your autopay spending during the coronavirus pandemic  

    Coronavirus lockdowns might have caught a lot of people by surprise last month, but with April's new billing cycle, it is time for cash-strapped Americans to rethink automatic spending habits.

    Olympic Games: 7 Team GB hopefuls who can benefit from Tokyo 2020 postponement  

    The delay due to coronavirus should allow some of the up-and-coming talents to further develop in time for Tokyo

    South Africa: South African-Created Mobile Alert Puts COVID Info Into Hands of Millions   20%

    [VOA] A WhatsApp bot developed by a South African organization is helping millions of people around the world get the latest information about the coronavirus.

    Coronavirus: Chinas car part makers face collapsing orders, as factories around the world kill their engines   60%

    After a nationwide shutdown in February, car parts exporter Rita Xiao was thrilled to join the bandwagon of factories resuming work across China in March, as the country’s coronavirus crisis began to cool.But she is now wrought with anxiety, with the virus ravaging her clients in the United States and Europe. Xiao, along with many other Chinese exporters, is feeling the force of the dreaded second shock wave from the pandemic which has closed car factories across the world, in the sort of…

    China holds vigil to mourn the thousands killed by the coronavirus epidemic   -16%

    China on Saturday mourned the thousands of "martyrs" who have died in the new coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast throughout the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.

    Editorial: Can we still fight the coronavirus while holding the surveillance state at bay?   53%

    Some of the most effective strategies at containing the coronavirus are also the most intrusive. Can we adopt them without damaging our liberties?

    How a discovery that brought us Viagra could help those battling the coronavirus   60%

    Inhaled nitric oxide appeared to kill the coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and it might work on COVID-19 as well.

    Wall St. Caps a Turbulent Week With a Decline   13%

    Live updates on stock market and business news during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Coronavirus: In reversal, Pelosi suggests infrastructure may have to wait in favor of small business relief   6%

    Democratic leaders have been pushing for clean water systems, expanded rural internet access, and other infrastructure needs in the next coronavirus relief bill, but Speajer says that may have to wait

    Chinese medical team arrives in Pakistan to help fight COVID-19   -2%

    Chinese medical team arrives in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 28, 2020. [Photo via Chinese embassy in Pakistan]

    ISLAMABAD, March 28 (Xinhua) -- An 8-member medical expert team organized by the Chinese government arrived here on Saturday to help Pakistan fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcomed the Chinese medical team at the Islamabad International Airport and thanked them for coming to Pakistan to help the country overcome the disease.

    "I would like to thank the Chinese people, and the Chinese government...for going out of the way to support Pakistan and our effort to fight the COVID-19," he said.

    "We have learned from you. We have stood by you, and you're standing with us. So this (COVID-19) challenge has brought the peoples of China and Pakistan even closer. In this challenging time, the (Pakistani) people expected China to come forth and China has lived up to their expectations," the foreign minister told Xinhua.

    The team, organized by China's National Health Commission, consists of experts selected by the health commission of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and aims to provide consultations of pandemic control, patients treatment and laboratory works and guide and train Pakistani medical staff.

    Head of the medical team Ma Minghui told Xinhua that the team will also share the Chinese experiences on coronavirus control with their Pakistani counterparts.

    The medical team also brought medical assistance including over 110,000 face masks, 5,000 protection suits, 12 ventilators and other medicines to Pakistan.

    The team will stay in Pakistan for around two weeks and will also visit Punjab and Sindh provinces.


    Africa: Africa Asks World Bank, EU and IMF for Debt Relief Support   2%

    [The Exchange] African nations (via their ministers) have agreed to call a debt relief support from bilateral, multilateral and commercial partners with the support of the multilateral and bilateral financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group, and European Union (EU), amid coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) revealed in a statement.

    Short time applications reach 420,000: Ministry   10%

    Some 19,000 Turkish businesses affected by the coronavirus economic fallout have made applications to the government for short time working payments to their 420,000 employees since March 30.

    Opinion: Arkansas, Iowa, South Carolina! What are you thinking? Shut down now!  

    The 11 states that are still foolishly acting as if the coronavirus isn't a problem.

    Coronavirus and Hunter Biden: Congressional investigators prepare for war over 2020 election  

    Analysis: With lawmakers away from Washington over coronavirus concerns, congressional investigations have screeched to a halt. But the battle for public opinion — and the 2020 presidential election – hangs in the balance when investigators rev up

    Kashmir goats in a Welsh ghost town - animals take over deserted resort  

    A herd of Kashmir goats have invaded a Welsh seaside resort after the coronavirus lockdown left the streets deserted.

    A Seismic Shock: Jittery Companies Pull Back on Ads During Pandemic  

    Blank billboards and canceled online ads signal an industry in crisis as the coronavirus spreads. “There are things happening that we’ve never seen before,” one marketing executive said.

    Sony delays 'The Last of Us 2,' 'Iron Man VR,' citing coronavirus   1%

    "The Last of Us Part 2," a game, in part, about the breakdown of society due to the spread of a highly contagious virus, has been delayed indefinitely by Sony Interactive Entertainment -- despite the success of 'Animal Crossing' and more games in coronavirus quarantine.

    Nats fan organizes Take Me Out to the Ballgame balcony singalong for postponed home opener  

    Dick Lasner was inspired by videos of impromptu concerts people have been giving in Italy during the coronavirus outbreak.

    In lockdown, parents are mastering the art of the meme. What could go wrong? | Eleanor Margolis   23%

    Who thought the family WhatsApp group would alleviate our existential dread? Make no mistake: we’re in strange times

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    My dad’s latest contribution to the family WhatsApp group was a meme. One that he’d forwarded, possibly from another dad. It’s an illustration of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, walking side by side, with the caption: “Back the fuck up Piglet.”

    It’s not that the global pandemic has caused my 64-year-old father to discover memes; it’s more that he’s now come to truly appreciate them. He tells me he has “20 coming in a day, from various sources”. Like a meme sommelier, he’s become very selective about which ones he forwards to the family thread. And his taste isn’t bad. A little schlocky at times, but surprisingly acceptable for someone of a generation whose online presence is largely defined by jpegs of inspirational quotes and below-the-line bigotry. The overflow he sends to my uncle. I imagine the two of them pinging each other the latest corona content, in a sort of quarantined baby-boomer version of tennis.

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    Turkish scientist says he isolated SARS-CoV2 virus   -20%

    A Turkish virologist said he isolated SARS-COV-2, the novel coronavirus, in a bid to produce a vaccine against the deadly disease it causes which has claimed almost 68,000 lives across the globe.

    Coronavirus lockdown: as India bleeds billions in losses, some exporters eye edge over China   -18%

    Rahul Bais, the founder of an NGO that works with the rural poor in Central India’s Maharashtra state, has been inundated with queries from anxious cotton farmers over the past two weeks.About one-fifth of all cotton grown in India comes from the state, but farmers are in a dilemma.“When they harvested it in January, the rates were too low, barely matching the costs they had incurred. So, they decided to wait,” Bais said.But as India’s coronavirus infections spike and a three-week lockdown was…

    How the cell phones of spring breakers who flouted coronavirus warnings were tracked   26%

    The Trump administration wants to use Americans' smartphone location data to help track and combat the spread of coronavirus. Now, a pair of US data companies are making a public pitch to show just how that kind of technology might work.

    Stocks rally on hopes coronavirus is stabilizing   -100%

    Stocks around the world jumped on Monday after some of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus offered sparks of hope that the worst of the outbreak may be on the horizon.Gains accelerated throughout

    The Unseen Pandemic   14%

    Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.

    For weeks, Robbi has been making his way up and down the hilly dirt paths that crisscross a huge refugee camp in Bangladesh, lugging with him a box filled with small supply kits containing gloves, soap, and sanitizing liquid to donate to families. He hands out surgical masks to wiry men, curious children, and women in brightly colored headscarves, showing them how to properly fit them over their nose. Along the way, he pauses to make announcements through a small megaphone about proper hygiene and social-distancing measures. Along with a handful of others, Robbi is working, he told me, “block to block, door to door, shack to shack, to try to educate the people” about the coronavirus pandemic tearing across the globe.

    Hundreds of thousands of refugees in Bangladesh, most of them Rohingya Muslims who fled a military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar, live in camps such as this one, but authorities last year cut off internet access in the camps and imposed restrictions on phones, actions they described as necessary security measures. The curbs, which were briefly eased yesterday before being reinstated, have greatly limited the amount of reliable news refugees can access. “People aren’t getting much information, but they are getting rumors,” said Robbi, a Rohingya refugee who asked to be identified by a nickname, because the outreach he is doing is unsanctioned. For those like Robbi who manage to evade these communication restrictions, the incessant news updates have made for grim and ominous reading. He watched as countries with robust health-care systems, such as Italy and the United States, failed to stop the spread of the virus, their hospitals pushed to the breaking point and their death tolls racing upward daily. If these places were unable to contain the outbreak, he wondered, what could happen in Bangladesh? The thought, he said, frightened him. “This virus is very strong,” he said. If it makes it to the camps, he fears that “no one can stop it. Many people will die.”

    With cramped living conditions, poor hygiene infrastructure, and a lack of health-care facilities, the camps in Cox’s Bazar, on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in southeastern Bangladesh, have the qualities that make them a tinderbox for the spread of the virus. But it is not just there that  alarm is growing over an outbreak erupting among refugee and displaced communities. Of the about 25.9 million refugees globally, more than three-quarters live in developing countries, where health-care systems are already weak and, in some cases, where humanitarian crises are ongoing, further compounding risks. In Kenya and on Greek islands, in northwestern Syria and along the U.S.-Mexico border, some fear that an outbreak of a disease even wealthy countries have been unable to halt would prove catastrophic.

    [Read: The case against waging “war” on the coronavirus]

    Refugees “have lost all of what is needed to defend yourself against the virus,” Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told me. “The displaced have lost their homes, their communities, their space, their hospitals.” Egeland warned in March that the virus could “decimate” refugee groups if preventative measures were not taken. (Last month, the United Nations appealed for hundreds of millions of dollars to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus spreading among displaced people.) Driven from their home by war, violence, or natural disasters, he said, displaced people have been forced to seek refuge in areas they believed to be out of the way of danger. “They have crowded these places that they thought were safe,” he said, “and now, of course, these are the places that can be the most unsafe places possible.”

    In Cox’s Bazar, a patchwork of 34 refugee camps houses about 855,000 refugees, and more than 400,000 Bangladeshis live in close proximity to the camps. A risk report on the possibility of the spread of the coronavirus in the Cox’s Bazar camps produced in March by ACAPS, a Norwegian humanitarian-analysis group, found that the population density in the camps averages 40,000 people per square kilometer, but increases to 70,000 in the most cramped areas. By comparison, ACAPS said, the overall population density in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, is 6,000 people per square kilometer. Since being hastily erected in 2017, the Cox’s Bazar camps have precariously survived despite nearly constant threats from monsoon floods, cyclones, and rampaging elephants, but the spread of the virus would be the “worst nightmare come true,” Egeland said.

    The camps’ density, combined with their poor infrastructure, makes it hard to follow much of the advice coming from experts on how to slow the spread of the virus, such as maintaining distance from one another. “The measures which all health experts globally are putting forward are social distancing and isolation, which are simply not an option,” says Deepmala Mahla, the Asia director for CARE, a humanitarian agency with more than 1,000 staff members in Bangladesh, including some 450 in the Cox’s Bazar camps. Mahla told me that many people in the camps suffer from poor nutrition and have underlying health issues. Wash areas and public toilets are often crowded, with women in particular standing in long lines. “The situation is so risky, I shudder to think what could happen,” Mahla said.

    Difficulties within the camps are compounded by the global response to the crisis, which has at times hampered humanitarian work, Egeland said. Restrictions on movement and curfews imposed by governments have kept aid workers from doing their jobs, forcing NGOs to scramble to find work-arounds. The collapse of air travel, both domestically within countries affected and internationally, has created logistical hurdles in moving around staff members too. “If we cannot do that,” Egeland said, “we cannot sustain the operations.”

    Bangladesh, a poor country of more than 160 million, is, like many other places with large refugee populations, gravely unprepared for a wider outbreak. The authorities have imposed a near-total lockdown, shutting down public transportation and roads, and so far the country has recorded 54 cases of the virus and six deaths. But fewer than 2,000 people have been tested for the virus, health officials said Sunday, and the country’s health-care system is in dire condition. A response plan compiled by the World Health Organization and obtained by Netra News, a Bangladeshi news outlet, estimates that without interventions, 500,000 to 2 million people in the country could die from COVID-19. “These figures are not surprising when considered against modeling in other countries but they are astounding and should serve as a call to action,” the memo says.

    [Read: The problem with China’s victory lap]

    The document, which the WHO confirmed in a statement to be authentic, notes that an estimated 9 million people moved out of Dhaka, the nation’s capital, before the government announced the lockdown on March 26, possibly quickening the spread of the virus. The WHO also warned of a “complete saturation” of the country’s already weak health-care system and “rampant” exposure of health-care workers to the virus due to a lack of personal protective equipment and extremely high patient densities at hospitals.

    Last week, the first case of the virus was detected in Cox’s Bazar, and Bangladesh’s Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner began imposing new measures within the camps. Officials closed learning centers and madrasas, and ordered tea shops and nonessential stores to shut down. They also limited access to the camps to only essential services, in an effort to limit the number of people going to and from them. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said these restrictions should be further tightened. But with people reliant on manual-labor jobs, staying home is not a viable long-term option. Khin Maung, the founder of the Rohingya Youth Association, says he is worried about a coronavirus outbreak, but also notes that the restrictions are already keeping people from working and earning money, leaving them “suffering for their meals,” he said in an interview.

    Louise Donovan, a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency in Cox’s Bazar, says the organization has been preparing for the arrival of the virus in the camps for the past few weeks, implementing education campaigns and working to increase the number of isolation beds, from 400 to 1,500. CARE has also ramped up its work in the camps, installing more hand-washing stations, trying to keep the number of people gathering in public areas to a minimum, and liaising with a private ambulance service, a preemptive measure in case government services are overwhelmed. But, Mahla said, the outlook is daunting in the face of the virus. “However much we do, it will not be enough,” she said. “It will definitely not be enough.”

    Cape Diamond contributed reporting.

    North Korea insists it has no coronavirus cases, thanks to shutting borders, containment   19%

    North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as known cases of infection topped 1 million worldwide.The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China, and imposed strict containment measures.Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North’s Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted that…

    Climate clash looms over next coronavirus push  

    Flight attendants push Treasury on airline payroll aid — Coronavirus hits NTSB investigations

    Bulgaria bans entry to foreigners from almost all the world over coronavirus  

    European Union member Bulgaria banned entry to its territory to citizens from around the globe except for 19 EU member states, as it battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus, its health minister said on Monday.

    5 ways to reorientate your long-term plans during lockdown  

    Coronavirus has obliterated expectations that we can work towards our goals, writes Clare Holdsworth, but during lockdown there are five ways we can continue to make plans in a rapidly reorientated life

    How the coronavirus pandemic has affected the golf calendar   12%

    The Open has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Andrew Cuomo thanks China for ventilators as New York prepares for coronavirus peak video   26%

    The New York governor said the Chinese government would facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators to arrive into JFK airport on Saturday. Cuomo said: ‘This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us. We’re not at the apex so we’re still in the stage where we have the luxury – if you will – of gathering as much as we can.’

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    Quarantined Lyft and Uber drivers are fighting for coronavirus pay   -22%

    When Michelle, a rideshare driver for Uber and Lyft in North Carolina, came down with a fever and a cough in late March, she feared she might have coronavirus.

    In the poorest county, in Americas poorest state, a virus hits home: 'Hunger is rampant'  

    In county where every child qualifies for free school meals, a superintendent embarks on a project – driving 6,000 meals a day

    On the cracked country roads of Lexington, deep in the Mississippi delta, an empty yellow school bus drives slowly, making life-sustaining drop offs on the way.

    Here, in the poorest county, in America’s poorest state, the coronavirus has yet to ravage the jurisdiction with infection. There has been one recorded Covid-19 death in the county, Clinton Cobbins, Lexington’s first African American mayor. But even now the coronavirus still poses a serious threat to life.

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    Ban wildlife markets to avert pandemics, says UN biodiversity chief   12%

    Warning comes as destruction of nature increasingly seen as key driver of zoonotic diseases

    The United Nations’ biodiversity chief has called for a global ban on wildlife markets – such as the one in Wuhan, China, believed to be the starting point of the coronavirus outbreak – to prevent future pandemics.

    Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, said countries should move to prevent future pandemics by banning “wet markets” that sell live and dead animals for human consumption, but cautioned against unintended consequences.

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    Coronavirus: One virus caused Covid-19. Scientists say thousands more are in waiting  

    Since the start of this century, two disease outbreaks have been caused by new coronaviruses that made the leap from animal hosts to people, mutating in the process to latch onto human cells. Covid-19 is the third.Medical science is fighting back with the tools it has and building new defences, but the evidence suggests the three viruses behind these diseases are just the vanguard of an army of potential pathogens that may number in the thousands.That such a large pool of viruses exists in so…