On the evening of April 5th, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted in the intensive care unit, to be treated for severe symptoms of COVID-19.
He was on the 10th day of isolation after showing symptoms, and his condition deteriorated, as he was planning to exit isolation and return to work on April 10th.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
According to Downing Street officials, Johnson remains conscious and has been moved to the intensive care unit as a precaution, in case he requires ventilation.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State and the most senior Cabinet minister, said Johnson had asked him to deputize for the leader where necessary.
Raab chaired April 6th’s regular morning coronavirus briefing and made a televised statement saying that the government will continue Johnson’s direction in responding to the outbreak.
“The government’s business will continue and the Prime Minister is in safe hands with a brilliant team at St Thomas’s hospital. And the focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister’s direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward,” he said.
He added there was an “incredibly strong team spirit” in government behind the Prime Minister.
The UK currently has 51,600 cases, out of which 5,373 have resulted in a fatality.
In Italy, the daily recorded cases continued to reduce, as the number of patients hospitalized in intensive care has declined for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic in Italy, starting on April 4th.
The target of bringing down the reproductive number (R0) to 1 has been reached. Now the goal is to bring it below 1. Earlier in the epidemic, it was as high as 3. This value represents the average number of people to which a single infected person will transmit the virus. An epidemic with a reproductive number below 1 will gradually disappear
According to Carlo La Vecchia, a Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the Statale di Milano University, the actual number of COVID-19 cases in Italy could be up to 5 million.
The study he led polled people who had symptoms but hadn’t been tested. Highest estimations includes numbers between 10 million and 20 million. However, this still isn’t enough for “herd immunity” as it requires 2/3 of the population, or approximately 40 million people to go through it.
However, the number of deaths to COVID-19, according to him could also be underestimated, and could be 4 times as high, and close to 60,000 in total.
This, in the end means that the cases could be as much as between 100 and 200 times more, and the mortality could be as much as 4 times more, meaning that the virus is much less lethal than the official numbers show.
In Spain, for the 6th day in a row, the recorded number of cases saw a reduction, with fatalities also appearing to be going down.
In a sign that Europe is potentially on the way to recovery, Austria announced that it plans to reopen its economy, starting as early as the week beginning on April 13th.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced a new timetable to restart the Austrian economy, detailing a series of phased steps to bring life back to normal while minimizing the risk.
Kurz warned Austrians not to engage in Easter celebrations.
The lockdown must continue to be adhered to, he said, or the reopening would not happen.
According to the chancellor’s plan, some shops would start reopening, with others reopening the following week, with reopenings happening gradually by industry until restaurants and bars (expected to be the last on the list) are allowed to reopen by the end of May.
China announced 32 new cases, all of them imported, but no new deaths for the first time since it began regularly reporting figures in January.
In the US, cases surpassed 360,000, and are nearing 11,000 fatalities.
It also appears that black Americans make up a larger percentage of the COVID-19 fatalities.
In Chicago, 72% of the people who have died from Covid-19 are black, though they make up 30% of the population, officials said.
“This new data offers a deeply concerning glimpse into the spread of Covid-19 and is a stark reminder of the deep-seated issues which have long created disparate health impacts in communities across Chicago,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
In Louisiana, where 32% of the population is African American, those residents account for about 70% of coronavirus deaths.
“We’re going to try to figure out what that is attributable to and what we can do about that is as quickly as possible,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will test more people for antibodies from the novel coronavirus to see whether they have already had the virus, according to a statement.
A set of blood-based tests — serological essays — will be able to detect antibodies that are specific to the virus, spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.
“We are also preparing to deploy them to larger surveys within the coming weeks to further identify individuals who, due to mild infection, may have not known they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and to monitor immunity in recovered individuals,” Nordlund said.
Meanwhile, economically, New York Fed released a survey of consumer expectations, which showed that people expected all of their finances to be worse off, and very much so, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
However, they also expect that US stock prices will be the highest on record this time next year. The graphs are with numbers from US Fed, and have been presented by Zero Hedge.
In terms of looking for a vaccine, it appeared that two French scientists suggested that Africa should be used as a testing ground.
“Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine. We will follow all the rules to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world, using exactly the same rule,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian national, Director-General of the WHO.
Speaking at a WHO video press conference, he said: “Whether it’s in Europe, Africa, or wherever, we will use the same protocol.”
“And the hangover from a colonial mentality has to stop,” said Tedros, adding: “WHO will not allow this to happen.”
It’s also improtant to note that during the past 24 hours, there were 0 deaths in China. The country became the source of the COVID-19 outbreak and its center at its first stage. However, it has successfully overcome the COVID-19 spread and is already working to return people into normal life after the regional lockdown.
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