The US Food and Drug Administration warned patients about taking malaria medications touted by US President Donald Trump. The president now claims he was being sarcastic on Thursday when he suggested that injecting disinfectants might ward off the coronavirus. Disinfectant chatter soared on Twitter.
The US death toll approached 52,000, almost twice that of Italy, with the second-most fatalities. China reported 12 new cases, with 11 of them imported, along with 29 asymptomatic cases. Germany posted its lowest fatality rate in five days. Singapore had its smallest case increase in at least six days.
Thailand Reports Spike in Cases Among Migrant Workers
Thailand reported 53 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest in more than two weeks, after a cluster of infections emerged among migrant workers detained in the south, according to the Covid-19 Center’s spokesman Taweesilp Witsanuyotin.
Among the new cases, 42 are "illegal” foreign workers, mainly from Myanmar, currently in a detention center in Songkhla province, Taweeslip told a news briefing Saturday. The reported total increased after the government stepped up testing for the virus, he said.
World’s Highest Death Rate Is in Belgium
Despite having only 11 million people, Belgium has reported more deaths from the disease than China. With 55 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, it has the highest per-capita death rate in the world -- more than four times that of the US.
According to Belgian officials, the reason for the grisly figures isn’t overwhelmed hospitals -- 43% of intensive-care beds were vacant even at the peak of the crisis -- but the country’s bureaucratic rigor. Unlike many other countries, the home of the European Union’s top institutions counts deaths at nursing homes even if there wasn’t a confirmed infection.
India Allows Neighbourhood Stores to Reopen
India’s government is allowing smaller neighborhood stores to reopen, bringing relief to residents after a month into the world’s biggest lockdown that’s restricting 1.3 billion people.
The shops can deploy a maximum of 50% of their staff, all wearing masks and following social distancing rules, according to the order issued Friday night by the home ministry. The order includes standalone stores in housing complexes in municipal areas, while shops in market places within municipal areas and all malls will remain closed until May 3.
Trump Sued Over Immigrant Aid Package
Trump was sued over a provision of the coronavirus relief package that could deny US$1,200 stimulus checks to more than 1 million Americans married to immigrants without Social Security Numbers.
The suit was filed Friday by an Illinois man using the pseudonym John Doe, who seeks to represent all others in his position. Doe claims a carve-out in the relief package discriminates against him "based solely on whom he chose to marry.”
South Korean Movie Theatres Poised to Re-open
Movie lovers in South Korea will soon have more options. CJ CGV Co., a major cinema operator, said it will re-open 36 theaters that had been closed since the end of March, including in the capital Seoul and Daegu city, according to a statement posted on its website.
Although the company says it will be still difficult for most people to venture out to see a movie, it may provide a boost to the economy and help cafes and restaurants, according to a text message Saturday. The theaters will open April 29.
Mysterious Outbreak of Coronavirus Grows on Cruise Ship in Japan
Coronavirus cases are mounting among crew on a passenger-less cruise ship docked in Nagasaki, Japan, raising alarm among local health officials just months after another large outbreak in their waters.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 infections on the Costa Atlantica had climbed to 91 as of Thursday from 48 a day earlier, the Nagasaki prefecture said.
The Atlantica is operated by CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a partnership between Carnival Corp. and state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp. The Chinese entity is the majority owner. - Bloomberg
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