Coronavirus Global Roundup, May 8: Nearly 4 million cases, Japan approves Remdesivir, Australia's three-step reopening

Over 3.94 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19 and 271,029 people have passed away.

Myupchar May 08, 2020 20:27:54 IST
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Coronavirus Global Roundup, May 8: Nearly 4 million cases, Japan approves Remdesivir, Australia's three-step reopening

Over 3.94 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19 and 271,029 people have passed away. About 1.35 million people in the world have already recovered from the disease.

Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO animal disease expert reportedly said today that SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 , belongs to a group of viruses that is found in bats. The virus may have jumped to humans from an animal. However, we still don’t know which animal humans got it from. Also, not all of the first patients in Wuhan had contact with the wet market.

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Representational image. Image by Mircea Iancu from Pixabay.

Australia to ease restrictions from Monday and open in three phases till July

In the wake of declining cases, Australian PM Scott Morrison announced on Friday that the country is set to ease restrictions slowly to bring the social life and economy back to normal.

Some states including Queensland are going to lift some restrictions starting Monday. However, areas with cluster cases would still take some time to start getting out of the lockdown.

Cafes and takeaway restaurants will open first, followed by gyms and cinema halls in phase 2 and offices in phase 3.

Australia has a total of 15,774 cases and 614 people have succumbed to the disease in the country so far.

Russia saw a rise of 10,000 cases again, Germany saw the biggest rise in a week

On Friday, Russia saw 10,699 new cases and 98 new deaths. With 10,000 plus cases six days in a row, the total number of cases in the country is now above 187,000. As of May 8, 1,723 people have died of the disease in Russia.

Germany saw the highest rise in cases on Friday when 1,268 people tested positive for the disease in one day bringing the total number of cases in the country to 169,430. The country has been seeing more and more new cases since May 4.

Spain opens beaches, Indonesia considering easing of restrictions, Shanghai Disneyland to open May 11

On Friday, beaches in Barcelona opened between 6-10 am to allow people to walk/jog and swim. The government of Spain is reportedly to make a decision now on opening restaurants, bars and religious places in some areas. The worst-hit areas - Madrid and Catalonia - will likely still have to stay under lockdown for a while longer.

Indonesia is now considering easing of restrictions in the country starting June to restart its economy and completely come out of the lockdown by July/August. The social distancing measures would reportedly be lifted in a five-step strategy.

Shanghai is set to open its Disneyland on May 11 and as per media reports, the tickets for the day got sold out within minutes. Disney had closed the Shanghai park in late January after the number of cases rose in China. That people are ready to spend money after four months of lockdown is being considered a positive sign for the economy.

Japan approved remdesivir

After the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency use approval to the Gilead drug remdesivir, Japan also gave exceptional approval to the drug for the treatment of severe cases of COVID-19 in the country on Thursday.

The approval has been granted on the basis of the phase 3 trials conducted by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences and studies done by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the US.

Apart from Japan, no other country has approved remdesivir so far. It is still being considered an investigational drug by the FDA.

For more information, read our article on All you wanted to know about remdesivir.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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