COVID-19 Global Roundup: France reports 1,417 deaths in 24 hours, Boris Johnson spends second night in hospital, Wuhan lifts lockdown

The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 1.45 million and the death toll is over 83,500. So far, over 309,000 patients have recovered.

Myupchar April 09, 2020 09:15:13 IST
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COVID-19 Global Roundup: France reports 1,417 deaths in 24 hours, Boris Johnson spends second night in hospital, Wuhan lifts lockdown

The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 1.45 million and the death toll is over 83,500. So far, over 309,000 patients have recovered.

A new study published by Harvard University suggested that there may be a correlation between air pollution and mortality rates. It claims that countries that have high levels of air pollution and where people have had long-term exposure to pollution are likely to have a higher death toll. 

COVID19 Global Roundup France reports 1417 deaths in 24 hours Boris Johnson spends second night in hospital Wuhan lifts lockdown

Representational image. AP

On the bright side, in New Zealand, only 50 people were found to be positive of the coronavirus on Wednesday - which is the lowest new number of cases in the last 14 days. 

Boris Johnson spends second night in the hospital

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, spent his second night in the hospital on Wednesday under intensive care. He showed mild symptoms on the 27th of March and tested positive. He sent out a video message on Twitter confirming the diagnosis but maintained that he felt perfectly okay and would continue his role in isolation. However, a high fever persisted until the 5th of April which prompted the move to the hospital. The whole nation is concerned with wishes from the Queen, as well as the former PM Theresa May, pouring in. Government officials stated that Johnson is not on a ventilator and is stable. In his absence, Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, is filling in.

Trump lashes out at WHO and threatens to withdraw funding 

Facing worldwide criticism for the poor handling of the pandemic, President Trump lashed out at the World Health Organization (WHO) for not issuing warnings sooner and ‘getting many things wrong’. He also said, and then quickly contradicted himself, that the US would cut funding to the organization.

There are now over 400,000 cases in the US, and the tardy response, in terms of the availability of testing kits and implementation of precautionary measures, is being blamed for the high caseload. While President Trump claims no warnings were issued earlier, the WHO has been ringing the alarm bells since January. In fact, a close aide to the President, Peter Navarro had written memos in January warning of the dire health and economic consequences of the virus. 

Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, opens after over 10 weeks of lockdown

Wuhan, the city with a population of over 11 million, and where the pandemic started, is finally coming out of a lockdown that started on the 23rd of January. Over 70% of Chinese cases were in the city, bringing the entire city to a halt, with people not even allowed to go out to get groceries. 

The situation in China has gradually been improving; on Tuesday, no COVID-19 deaths were reported in the country for the first time since the pandemic began. While there is a big question mark on the actual number of cases, the general trend is nonetheless encouraging. People are gradually being allowed to go back to work, provided they had government approval and were not considered contagion risks. On the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, those who were declared to be contagion-free were allowed to leave the city.

However, it will be a while before life is back to normal with experts from all over the world urging people to be cautious and remain alert to prevent another outbreak or second wave.

France death toll crosses 10,000, and cases continue to rise in neighbouring Spain and Italy

France became the fourth country after the US, Spain and Italy to suffer over 10,000 deaths. Experts say that France may become the new epicentre after it experienced 1,417 deaths in 24 hours. Spain recorded a slight bump in the number of cases on Tuesday, with 743 dead overnight. This was the first increase in 4 days, with experts suggesting that cases may now be plateauing. Similarly in Italy, 604 deaths were reported on Tuesday, which was fewer than previous days, suggesting that the disease may have peaked.

For more information, read our article on How to protect yourself against COVID-19 infection.

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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