New York has reported its deadliest single day from coronavirus with new 562 deaths, Boris Johnson says he is feeling better but remains in isolation with “mild symptoms”, while Israel, battling a resistance against quarantine laws, has sealed off an ultra-orthodox Jewish town.
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New York sees highest increase in deaths
New York has suffered its deadliest single day from the novel coronavirus, with 562 additional deaths across the state for a total of 2,935 fatalities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Almost 15,000 people were hospitalised.
Mr Cuomo warned that people were going to die in the near term due to a lack of ventilators and hospital beds.
He called for resources from across the United States to be deployed to New York to help it deal with the growing crisis in the state.
“New York is in crisis. Help New York. Then pick up … and then go to the next place as this rolls across the country,” Mr Cuomo told a daily briefing on the public health crisis.
“I’m not going to let people die because we didn’t redistribute ventilators,” Mr Cuomo said.
The state has now passed 100,000 cases, after adding another 10,000 in one day.
The United States has recorded a total of 245,658 confirmed coronavirus infection cases across the country.
UK to launch world’s biggest clinical trial of coronavirus treatments
Britain has announced it will be launching the biggest clinical trial of possible treatments for coronavirus in the world.
Almost 1,000 patients from 132 hospitals had been recruited in 15 days and thousands more were expected to join in the coming weeks, the health department said.
The trial is testing medicines more commonly used to treat malaria and HIV and is designed so that when further medicines are identified, they can be added to the study within days.
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the next round of clinical trials should include new medicines, including those that might be in development for other diseases and might “have a role to play”.
But he was cautious on the timeline for results of the trials.
“I know that there’ll be a question about when are we going to get some results from these clinical trials, and my straight answer to you is: ‘I don’t know.’ I think it’s going to be a few months,” he told a news conference.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said that until possible treatments for COVID-19 were shown to be effective, the only protection against it was to stay at home.
He said that so far, clinical trials had been focused on repurposing existing drugs and steroids for treatment of COVID-19.
“We’ve also set up an expert therapeutics taskforce to search for and shortlist other candidate medicines for trials,” Mr Hancock said.
“We need more patients to volunteer to be part of these trials because the bigger the trials, the better the data and the faster we can roll out the treatments, if — and only if — it’s proven to work.”
Boris Johnson has mild symptoms, will remain in isolation
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will stick to guidelines issued by health officials and remain in self-isolation until his high temperature falls, his spokesman said.
Earlier, Mr Johnson, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, said he was still self-isolating, longer than the recommended seven-day guidance.
“He does continue to have mild symptoms, in particular a temperature,” the spokesman said.
“The guidance is clear that if you still have a high temperature you should keep self-isolating until it returns to normal.
“The guidance is really, really explicit. It sets out that you should stay at home for seven days, but that you should stay at home for longer if a high temperature persists. The PM is following that advice to the letter.”
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Queen to address country as deaths rise
Queen Elizabeth II will make an extremely rare address to the nation on Sunday (local time) as Britain grapples with the increasingly deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The Government has put Britain into a virtual lockdown, closing pubs, restaurants and nearly all shops, while banning social gatherings and ordering people to stay at home unless it was absolutely essential to venture out.
Officials said the death toll in the United Kingdom among those who had tested positive for the virus had risen by 684 to 3,605, up 23 per cent on the previous day.
“Her Majesty the Queen has recorded a special broadcast to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus outbreak,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, without giving any details about its content.
The address was recorded at Windsor Castle where the 93-year-old monarch is staying with her husband Prince Philip.
Last month, the Queen issued a written statement in which she said the Royal Family would play its part in rising to the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak.
Israel seals off ultra-orthodox Jewish community
Israeli police have erected metal barricades and roadblocks around the town of Bnei Brak to enforce a lockdown of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town badly affected by coronavirus.
The Government declared Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, a “restricted zone” owing to its high rate of infections.
Medical experts estimate as much as 38 per cent of Bnei Brak’s 200,000 residents are infected with coronavirus and that the town could soon account for as much as 30 per cent of cases in Israel’s 8.7 million population.
“Bnei Brak is on lockdown, as of this morning, and police will prevent any movements in or out of the city,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“People are only allowed in or out for medical reasons or medical support.”
Bnei Brak is a town with a high population density — almost 100 times higher than the national average according to Israeli officials.
Many residents are poor and some have heeded rabbis who spurned anti-virus measures.
What the experts are saying about coronavirus:
Israel has reported at least 34 deaths and close to 7,000 cases of coronavirus.
Peru limits people’s movement by gender to stall virus
Peru has started to limit the times men and women can leave their homes in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Similar restrictions of movement were introduced in Panama earlier this week.
In Peru, men will only be able to leave their homes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while women can go out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Nobody will be allowed to leave home on Sunday.
“We have to get fewer people to be on the streets every day,” Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra said in a virtual news conference with his cabinet of ministers and experts.
He said the new measure, which will be in place until April 12, would not impact people who have an emergency or are authorised to work during the quarantine, such as those in essential food production, pharmacies and banks.
The country has recorded 1,414 confirmed cases with 55 deaths.
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