Coronavirus Global Roundup, April 13: Italy and Spain record a drop in death rate while UK's death toll crosses 10,000
Coronavirus Global Roundup April 13: Italy and Spain record a drop in death rate while UK's death toll crosses 10,000 and China sees a rise in cases There are now over 1.86 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe.
There are now over 1.86 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe. Of these, over 115,000 people have lost their lives whereas over 434,000 have recovered.
Europe’s worst-affected countries, Spain, Italy and France, have shown encouraging signs with the death rate across the countries slowing down. Emmanuel Macron, the French President, will address the nation on Friday - he is expected to extend the lockdown and urge citizens to respect physical distancing. On the other hand, Spain relaxed some of the rigorous lockdown measures as hundreds of thousands returned to work today. Construction and manufacturing industries were opened, while others remain shut. Public places such as restaurants, bars and cinemas are also still bolted.
China reported 108 new cases in the last 24 hours - the highest number in six weeks. According to officials, China has reduced the number of people travelling to the country by over 90%. At the same time, South Korea is getting worried about a second wave as more recovered patients test positive for COVID-19.
Russia recorded 2,558 cases in the last 24 hours, a national record. Meanwhile, the UK's death toll crossed 10,000.
The US begins study to check for antibodies across the country
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) are beginning a 10,000 participant study to check for levels of antibodies for COVID-19 across the country. Antibody tests will show those who have been infected with the disease in the past. The study will lend more insight into how widespread the disease is across the country and what populations are especially vulnerable. It can also help answer a big question - do those who recover develop immunity to COVID-19? If so, for how long?
Australia, New Zealand lauded for their COVID-19 containment efforts
Australia has a total of 61 COVID-19 deaths, whereas New Zealand has 5. In New Zealand, cases are rising at about a sixth of the rate as they were at the beginning of April. Australia saw 33 new cases on Monday - the lowest figure in a week.
Both the countries have implemented strict lockdown measures, and were especially cautious over Easter weekend and clamped down on social gatherings. To keep its economy afloat, Australia has pledged 10% of its GDP to help people and business survive this grim period.
Leadership in both countries have maintained that it is too early to relax measures now since hard-earned gains can easily be lost in this volatile situation.
Hokkaido, a Japanese Island, declares emergency for the second time
The Hokkaido region of Japan had declared a state of emergency as early as 28th February, and those measures had seemed to pay off. Now, fueled by another rise in cases, the island has declared an emergency again, asking residents to stay in place. Public places such as bars and restaurants will remain closed until early May. These developments are concerning as they may predict a trend of repeated lockdowns across the world following initial outbreaks.
Japan has recorded over 7,300 cases and 123 deaths so far. Citizens responded with anger after PM Shinzo Abe posted a video of himself lounging and self-isolating at home on Twitter - users are upset about the economic situation in the country and suggested that PM Abe was not in touch with the struggles of his country.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19 and Stigma.
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