ISSN 2330-717X

Coronavirus Concerns In US, Britain As Italy And Spain Show Signs Of Progress


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who last week tested positive for coronavirus, remained hospitalized Monday after being admitted for additional testing after having a persistent high fever. 

His office called the development “precautionary” and said he remained in charge of the government. 

Britain has emerged as one of the latest hot spots in the pandemic, reporting more than 600 deaths Sunday. 

Other parts of Europe showed some improvement after weeks of devastating impacts from the virus that have caused governments to put residents on lockdown to try to slow its spread. 

Italy, which has the most deaths, reported its smallest increase in two weeks, while Spain also reported its latest in a string of lower daily death and new infection counts. 

In the United States, the western states of Oregon and Washington said they will send thousands of badly needed ventilators across the country to New York, the hardest-hit area in the country.

About one-third of 9,600 people who have died from the coronavirus in the United States have been in New York City, where makeshift field hospitals and a U.S. Navy medical ship are trying to take some of the strain off the city’s health care system. 

Other parts of the country are emerging as concerns with mounting case numbers, including Pennsylvania, Colorado and the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, where about 1,000 cases have been confirmed. 

South Korea, one of the first hot spots in the outbreak, reported just 47 new cases Monday, but the country’s vice health minister cautioned the need for continued vigilance and for people to stay home to prevent an infection “explosion.” 

Kim Gang-lip said data from smartphones showed too many people were going out to restaurants and parks in recent weeks. 

Nearby Japan has recorded 3,600 cases so far, but there are heightening concerns about certain parts of the country, including Tokyo, where those numbers have been increasing more rapidly. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government plans to declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday in Tokyo and six other areas.  It would last for about one month and involve calls for people to stay home.  The government also plans an economic aid package worth about $1 trillion. 

One country on the opposite end of the spectrum is Austria, where officials said Monday they are considering starting to lift lockdown orders to allow smaller shops to open next week and the rest of the stores in the country to open again on May 1.  Austria has confirmed 12,000 cases.   

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging governments to take steps to protect women after a “horrifying” increase in domestic violence during the outbreak. 

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