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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.


US President Trump has claimed he has seen evidence that the coronavirus started in a Chinese laboratory. President Trump said that he believed that the virus began at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This is despite US intelligence agencies saying that COVID 19 was not manmade or genetically modified. The World Health Organization have dismissed President Trump’s claim. Dr Michael Ryan of the World Health Organization, said that scientists were sure that the virus has a natural origin…

The American food and drug administration has approved the use of drug remdesivir to treat coronavirus. The FDA say that it is not a cure but may help in some cases.

Canada has banned 1500 types of gun. This decision comes two weeks after Canada’s worst mass shooting, when 22 people were killed in Nova Scotia. Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Treadeau said that there is no use for these weapons in Canada…

The government will buy back the illegal guns from people who already own them.

The parliament of Bolivia say that presidential elections must take place within 90 days. There should have been elections on May 3rd, however they were delayed by the interim government because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Bolivian parliament is controlled by the socialist movement, of ex-president Evo Morales. After disputed elections last year, Morales has been in Argentina.


Africa

Mali has released the results of parliamentary elections. Ruling party Rally for Mali gained the most seats but did not win a majority. Only 23% of Malians voted, after threats of attacks from Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahara.

In Nigeria, the president of the Humanist Association has been arrested. Mubarak Bala often criticizes religion. His friends are worried that he has been transported to Kano state, which practices Sharia Law.

Sudan has criminalized Female Genital Mutilation. According to the UN, FGM has been performed on almost 9 out of 10 Sudanese women and girls. Removal of any part of female genitalia, will now be punishable by 3 years in prison.

Asia

In Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to extended the state of emergency by a month. The Japanese island of Hokkaido reinstated lockdown after a quick rise in new infections. Japan’s confirmed COVID 19 cases are 14’000, however, testing rates in Japan are low. Japan’s economy is struggling, and unemployment is rising.

In India all districts in the country will be classified as Red, Orange or Green to start a new phase of lockdown. In all areas, including the green zones, schools, cinemas, malls, gyms and restaurants remain closed. In orange zones there are further restrictions on public transport and and private vehicle use is limited. In red zones all public transport will not function and extra restrictions apply.

Malaysia will allow most businesses to open on 4th May. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin spoke to Malaysians yesterday, telling them that the 6 week lockdown was successful in slowing the rate of infection.


Europe

In Ireland a meat factory is the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. The Rosderra meat plant in Tipperary closed after 120 workers tested positive for COVID 19.

A Pakistani journalist has been found dead in Sweden. Sajid Hussain was granted political asylum in Sweden last year, after receiving death threats in Pakistan for reporting on human rights. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that normality will not resume after lockdown is lifted. Lockdown will finish in France on May 11th, however, Macron says that easing restrictions will be a slow process.

Rock band Queen have released a new version of the song ‘we are the Champions’. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor were joined by singer Adam Lambert to take the place of Freddie Mercury. The song’s lyrics have been changed to “YOU are the champions”, referring to medical staff around the world. Money raised will go to United Nations charities.


The IMF has predicted that the world’s economy will contract by 3% in 2020, the biggest drop since The Great Depression of the 1930s.

US economy has fallen 4.8% in the first quarter of this year. However, during most of that quarter, life was relateively normal in the US. In the next quarter, from April to June, the US economy is expected to fall around 40%, the worst economic hit since World War 2. Over 20 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last 2 months.

Germany is also expected to suffer its worst recession since world war 2, with the economy falling 6.6% in the first quarter of this year.

in Sub-saharan Africa , the World Bank has predicted economic growth of -5%, the first recession in 25 years.

The International Labour Organization say that 1.6 billion people who work in the informal economy are at risk. They say that the average informal worker could lose 60% of their normal salary…

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Africa

In Senegal, the government is giving out emergency food aid. One million families will receive a supply sugar, oil, soap and 100kg of rice.

In Sierra Leone there has been a prison riot in the capital Freetown. Inmates rioted after one case of coronavirus was confirmed in the prison. Similar stories, of prison riots because of coronavirus, have been reported in the last month in Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

The high court of Kenya has ruled that the ban on the 2018 film Rafiki will continue. The Kenyan film was praised around the world, but is illegal inside Kenya, because of its coverage of homosexuality. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya.

In Libya at least one person has been killed after an attack on a medical facility. Reports suggest that the forces of Khalifa Haftar are behind the attack.

There are 36000 confirmed cases of COVID19 in Africa, less than in most parts of the world, however testing rates are low.

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The United Nations top envoy to Myanmar has stepped down. Yanghee Lee believes that Rohingya Muslims were deliberately targeted by the state. Speaking to AlJazeera yesterday, Lee said that the actions of the Burmese military had the ‘hallmarks of genecide’…

In The Philippines 100’000 people have been arrested for ignoring lockdown rules this month. The Luzon area has been under quarantine since mid March, and president Rodrigo Duterte has told police to ‘shoot to kill’. Since being president, Duterte has been criticised by human rights groups for encouraging the extrajudicial killing of supposed drug dealers.

In South Korea a fire has killed at least 36 people. The fire in a construction site is expected to have started with an explosion.


The global Airline industry has suffered greatly because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the UK Total flights are down 93%. British Airways has reported losses of $500 million and will make 10,000 people redundant. Norwegian airways will not fly at all for twelve months. Airbus, the aeroplane producing company reported a 49% drop in its profits this year. Boeing, the other major aeroplane manufacturer, has announced 16,000 job losses.

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In Italy, it is reported that the mafia is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. Orgnaized crime groups have been accused of controlling food and medical supplies. Reports suggest that Mafia groups often use disasters as opportunities to extend their power.

And in the UK, prime minister Boris Johnson had a baby boy yesterday with his fiancée Carrie Symonds. Less than a month ago the prime minister was in hospital with coronavirus, but yesterday he was in hospital to welcome his son to the world.