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Friday 1st May 2020

1 million people are confirmed to have recovered from coronavirus worldwide.

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Starting in Europe…

In the UK, prime minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that the epidemic has passed its peak. The UK has the second highest death toll in Europe, after Italy. Johnson said that it is not yet the time to relax restrictions. The Prime Minister also said that people may be encouraged to wear face masks soon… BJ: “And so I, can confirm today for the first time we are past the peak of this disease. We're past the peak and we're on the downward slide and it's thanks to that massive collective effort to shield the N HS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the reasonable, worst case scenario was 500,000 deaths. But what I think Sage is saying and well, I certainly agree with you is that it is part of coming out of the lock down. I do think that face coverings will be useful both for epidemiological reasons, but also for giving people confidence that they can go back to work”

France has also changed its position on face masks. The government is now saying that face masks will be important for people to return to work.

In Germany people are required to wear face masks on public transport and in shops. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced yesterday that most public places can now reopen, however schools remain closed.

In Italy different regions are making their own decisions of how to end lockdowns.

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Asia

In Lebanon protests are continuing. Demonstrators are protesting against rising food prices and rapid inflation. The Lebanese pound has lost half its value since October.

India is mourning the loss of two Bollywood stars. Irrfan Khan died on Wednesday, and was well known by Western audiences for Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. Rishi Kapoor was famous as a romantic hero from Bollywood films of the 70s and 80s.

In Russia, the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has confirmed that he has coronavirus. Covid 19 infections have risen dramatically in Russia this week, with total infections now over 100,000.

Both South Korea and Hong Kong have announced no new coronavirus cases.

Africa

In Ethipia people have been forcibly removed from their homes. Amnesty International say that at least one thousand people have been made homeless by municipal authorities.

To stop the flow of coronavirus into Uganda, authorities are testing every driver at the border with Kenya. Queues of 30 kilometres have been reported, with some drivers waiting for 3 days to cross.

Libya’s Tripoli government has rejected a truce with Khalifa Haftar. The warlord Khalifa Haftar declared himself the true leader of Libya on Wednesday, but the UN recognizes the Tripoli government.

Anti-apartheid activist Dennis Goldberg has died at the age of 87. The South African activist fought alongside Nelson Mandela against race separation. He was the only white man sentenced to jail in the Rivonia trial in 1963, and spent 22 years in jail.

The Americas now…

In the United States Dr Anthony Fauci has said that the drug remdesivir has shown a positive effect on coronavirus patients. Fauci, the government’s expert on infectious disease, said that there was clear evidence that the remdesivir helps patients…

AF:” the data shows that remdisivir has a clear cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery. The mortality rate trended towards being better in the sense of less deaths in the remdisivir group. What is proven is that a drug can block this virus.”

In Mexico hospital staff are protesting a lack of protective equipment. Workers say that they are suffering an unnecessary risk. Covid 19 cases continue to rise in Mexico, with 18000 confirmed cases, but with very low testing rates.

In Venezuela President Maduro has chosen an alleged drug trafficker as his new minister for oil. Tareck El Aissami was previously vide president of Venezuela, but has faced allegations of corruption, money laundering and drug trafficking.

In Peru thousands of people are leaving cities and returning to their hometowns. Bus terminals in Lima have been so busy that people are choosing to walk hundreds of kilometres. Peru has 30 000 confirmed covid 19 cases, the second highest in south America, after Brazil. However the testing rate in Peru is much better than in Ecuador and Brazil.

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In football, France has cancelled the rest of its football season. The same decision has been made in Holland, Belgium and Argentina. Spain, Italy and the UK have not yet decided whether football will continue. The UK is considering allowing the premier league to continue with players wearing facemasks.

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