Coronavirus Global Roundup, April 11: UK and US suffer worst days yet, Turkey imposes curfew, Apple and Google partner to fortify contact tracing
The world has now officially crossed a grim landmark; over 100,000 people have died from COVID-19, with over 103,000 dead at last count.
The world has now officially crossed a grim landmark; over 100,000 people have died from COVID-19 , with over 103,000 dead at last count. The number of cases is also increasing at an alarming rate with over 1.7 million confirmed cases.
The province of Hubei, China where the novel coronavirus originated, reported no new cases for the 7th day in a row.
Misery mounts in the US
The US became the first country to lose over 2,000 people in a day in the battle against COVID-19 . 2,108 people died yesterday, taking the death toll to over 18,700. The US is projected to overtake Italian deaths later today and become the country with the most fatalities.
It now has over half a million cases. A significant amount of these numbers are from New York, where the death toll has reached 5,820 (777 in the last 24 hours) and graves are being dug en masse to bury the dead. However, hospitalization rates are flattening, presenting a glimmer of hope in a difficult situation.
The UK suffers its worst day yet, numbers high but stable in Italy and Spain
The UK saw its worst day in terms of fatalities, with 980 people dead, taking the death toll to 8,958. This leap is greater than any seen in Italy or Spain.
Italy and Spain seem to have hit their peaks, whereas the UK is expected to see a rise in cases for at least two more weeks. The worst affected area is London. The vast majority of people who have died in the last 24 hours had underlying conditions - only 56 didn’t.
Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte has extended the lockdown for another three weeks; the country has been in a state of lockdown since March 9th. Malaysia and Bangladesh have extended lockdown by 14 and 11 days, respectively.
France also reported nearly 1,000 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total over 13,000. However, there has also been a sustained drop in ICU admissions in the last two days, providing hope for recovery.
Turkey, which had already imposed many social restrictions, called for a 2-day curfew in 31 districts including Istanbul and Ankara. With just a two-hour notice, citizens panicked and rushed to supermarkets to stock up on essentials fearing further curbs.
Apple and Google to partner to develop tracking app
In a surprising disclosure, Apple and Google announced that they would work together to develop software that will provide users information on whether they came in contact with a COVID-19 positive person.
The two companies are fierce competitors, so the announcement of a partnership underlines how serious the current global situation is. The software will use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to establish a voluntary contact tracing network. For example, if you have been in contact with someone who later tests positive, your phone will inform you of the interaction and ask you to self-isolate.
It will be several months before the software is rolled out with full functionality, but given the market dominance of the two companies, it is hoped that the partnership will strengthen the implementation of contact tracing.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19 prevention steps every office must take after the lockdown.
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