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Coronavirus World Updates

three movie theaters in the San Antonio area became some of the first in the country to reopen, a move that worried infectious disease experts but was applauded by those who went to the screenings.

Elsewhere, protesters pressing for the loosening of restrictions gathered in the capitals of Kentucky; Florida, where the governor has already announced a relaxing of restrictions; Oregon, where Gov. Kate Brown has extended a state of emergency through July 6; and Michigan, where protesters pressed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen the state completely.

In Stillwater, Okla., officials abandoned a requirement that people wear masks in shops and restaurants after workers were faced with violent threats.

The website made its debut last week after Mayor Eric Garcetti declared that Los Angeles would become the first major American city to offer all residents tests for the virus, which health officials said on Sunday had caused 1,229 deaths in Los Angeles County. The city and county have the capacity to do 18,000 tests a day across 34 sites, Los Angeles officials said.

Thousands of Palestinian workers have crossed into Israel, and there’s fear they could bring the virus home with them.

Throngs of Palestinian laborers traveled to their workplaces in Israel on Sunday even though Palestinian officials have repeatedly expressed concerns about them contracting the coronavirus there and carrying it back to the West Bank.

Ibrahim Milhim, a government spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, said that thousands of workers crossed into Israel on Sunday and that thousands more would do so later in the week.

Last week, an Israeli Defense Ministry body charged with liaising with the P.A. said Palestinians with permits to work in construction, agriculture and other sectors in Israel would be allowed to cross into the country. It also said their employers would be asked to provide them with accommodations until Eid al-Fitr, the festival at the conclusion of Ramadan in about three weeks.

Rami Mehdawi, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority Labor Ministry, said Palestinian officials remained concerned that infected workers could return to their homes and spread the virus, but he said the Palestinian authorities had worked with their Israeli counterparts to prevent such a scenario. Israel and the P.A. would closely coordinate the workers’ return to the West Bank, he said.

After Palestinian laborers were last permitted to travel to their jobs in Israel in late March, Palestinian officials accused Israeli authorities of abandoning some of them at checkpoints and allowing others to cross back to the West Bank through areas they don’t control.

The P.A. has said that more than 70 percent of the 336 known cases of the virus in the West Bank are linked to Palestinians employed in Israel.

Separately, for the first time since mid-March, schools opened for some grades in Israel on Sunday, but local authorities in several cities, including Tel Aviv, kept them closed, citing concerns about safety and preparedness.

Britain’s local newspapers are struggling and could face financial ruin.

Up and down Britain, local newspapers are struggling. Hundreds of journalists have been put on leave. More than 50 small and regional publications have temporarily suspended producing their print or online products. For those still printing, some communities are depending on volunteers to deliver newspapers.

For many, cash has all but stopped coming in. With most retailers shuttered, advertising revenues have dwindled to near zero for many publications, leaving the print copies a skeleton of what they used to be.

And in Britain, where home delivery subscriptions are less common than in the United States, newspapers rely more heavily on street sales — and many newsstands and other stores are closed. Hardly anyone is commuting to work, so there’s no need to grab a paper on the way.

There is no doubt that readers are hungry for local news during the pandemic — traffic to the newspapers’ websites is higher than normal — but relatively few have paywalls to collect digital subscriptions.

The crisis has accelerated trends — the gradual loss of advertising and the migration of readers online — that have challenged the industry for decades. But now they are hitting Britain’s small and regional papers especially hard, some experts said.

The economic calamity facing publishers has not gone unnoticed by the government.

On Thursday, the government announced it would scrap a tax on e-books and e-newspapers in an effort to help both publishers and readers. And it recently announced a three-month advertising campaign to support the National Health Service that will inject up to 35 million pounds (more than $43 million) into publishers across the country.

But the government’s ad money is failing to reach many small, independent, hyperlocal news organizations, many of them online.

While experts and publishers say the advertising campaign is a welcome influx of revenue, few expect it to save the industry.

Beirut’s nightlife survived a civil war. Can it withstand a pandemic?

In Beirut, it is both a cliché and a point of pride to say that the Lebanese partied straight through a civil war from 1975 to 1990, Times correspondent Vivian Yee writes. She shared some observations from the Lebanese capital.

The barhopping neighborhood of Mar Mikhaël in Beirut used to vibrate with the clip-clop of high heels and the car-stereo beat of Western and Arabic music almost every night.

But the bars and nightclubs have been shut down since early March; many had closed before that as the city was engulfed in an epochal economic crisis. The coronavirus could only conquer what remained, putting thousands more out of work.

Nightclub appearances by D.J.s who had flown in from Europe, hyped for weeks on social media and street posters, were abruptly canceled. Soon it was just restaurants and cafes, and then not even those.

Though Lebanon appears to have dodged a mass outbreak, allowing the government to announce a staggered reopening for businesses in the coming weeks, not all will come back. Now that the Lebanese pound buys less than half what it used to, imports and drinks alike cost more.

The government has proposed allowing clubs to reopen in early June, but Joe Mourani, the owner of Ballroom Blitz, a popular alternative electronic-music nightclub, doubts he will do so.

“Clubbing, it’s really all about proximity,” Mr. Mourani said. “It’s the opposite of social distancing.”

A local D.J., Priscilla Bakalian had a different view. She believes clubbers will return, if in smaller numbers.

“People are dying to go party,” she said. “It’s in our DNA.”

Trump’s chief adviser on immigration sought to use disease to close borders even before Covid-19.

From the early days of the Trump administration, Stephen Miller, the president’s chief adviser on immigration, has repeatedly tried to use an obscure law designed to protect the nation from diseases overseas as a way to tighten the borders.

The federal law on public health that Mr. Miller has long wanted to use grants power to the surgeon general and president to block people from entering the United States when it is necessary to avert a “serious danger” posed by the presence of a communicable disease in foreign countries.

Mr. Miller pushed for invoking the president’s broad public health powers in 2019, when an outbreak of mumps spread through immigration detention facilities in six states. He tried again that year when Border Patrol stations were hit with the flu.

When vast caravans of migrants surged toward the border in 2018, Mr. Miller looked for evidence that they carried illnesses. He asked for updates on American communities that received migrants to see if new disease was spreading there.

In 2018, dozens of migrants became seriously ill in federal custody, and two under the age of 10 died within three weeks of each other. While many viewed the incidents as resulting from negligence on the part of the border authorities, Mr. Miller instead argued that they supported his argument that President Trump should use his public health powers to justify sealing the borders.

On some occasions, Mr. Miller and the president, who also embraced these ideas, were talked down by cabinet secretaries and lawyers who argued that the public health situation at the time did not provide sufficient legal basis for such a proclamation.

That changed with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.

Within days of the confirmation of the first case in the United States, the White House shut American land borders to nonessential travel, closing the door to almost all migrants, including children and teenagers who arrived at the border with no parent or other adult guardian.

Reporting was contributed by Ben Dooley, John Branch, Adam Rasgon, Peter Baker, Neil Vigdor, Michael Levenson, Claire Moses, Caitlin Dickerson and Michael D. Shear.

  • Updated April 11, 2020

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • When will this end?

      This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. A better question might be: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” In an American Enterprise Institute report, Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.

    • How can I help?

      The Times Neediest Cases Fund has started a special campaign to help those who have been affected, which accepts donations here. Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities. More than 30,000 coronavirus-related GoFundMe fund-raisers have started in the past few weeks. (The sheer number of fund-raisers means more of them are likely to fail to meet their goal, though.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • How do I get tested?

      If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.

    • How does coronavirus spread?

      It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

    • Is there a vaccine yet?

      No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.

    • What makes this outbreak so different?

      Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

    • What if somebody in my family gets sick?

      If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

    • Should I stock up on groceries?

      Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

    • Can I go to the park?

      Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.

    • Should I pull my money from the markets?

      That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.

    • What should I do with my 401(k)?

      Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions — don’t! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you’re at least saving as much as you can to get that “free money.”


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