Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, says international travel and mass gatherings will not be resuming ‘anytime soon’.
On lifting restrictions, Scott Morrison says don’t get your hopes up for a return to normal as we knew it.
Not until there is a vaccine (and even then, things will continue to be different. We are not going back to what we knew before):
Putting the protections in place for a Covid-safe Australia, which means we can get an economic growth occurring again, and move on to what Australians like doing again.
It won’t be exactly like it was before. I can’t see international travel occurring anytime soon. Can’t see that. The risks there are obvious.
The only exception to that, as I have flagged, is potentially with New Zealand, and we have had some good discussions about that. But outside of that, that is unlikely.
Virus crisis could lead to 18,000 more cancer deaths in UK, experts warn
The Guardian’s Denis Campbell and Caroline Bannock report:
Almost 18,000 more people with cancer in England could die after the coronavirus pandemic led hospitals to suspend treatment and deterred patients from seeking NHS care, research has found.
Cancer experts claim that an extra 6,270 people in England who have been newly diagnosed with the disease could die from it over the next 12 months as a direct result of the disruption caused by coronavirus, and the additional toll taking into account all those living with cancer could be 17,915.
That is an increase of 20% on the 89,576 deaths among cancer patients recorded annually in England, according to the latest available statistics.
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday his administration is considering requiring travelers on certain incoming international flights to undergo temperature and virus checks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, AP reports.
“We’re looking at doing it on the international flights coming out of areas that are heavily infected,” Trump said at the White House. We will be looking into that in the very near future.”
Trump said it has not been determined yet whether the federal government or the airlines would conduct the testing. “Maybe it’s a combination of both,” he said.
Trump’s comments came during an event showcasing a loan program designed to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program. He said the Small Business Administration has processed more loans in 14 days than it has in the previous 14 years.
Fitch downgrades Italy rating to BBB-
Fitch said Tuesday it was downgrading Italy’s rating to BBB- due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reports.
Italy is the European country most affected by Covid-19 and trails only the United States in the number of deaths.
The government has said it expects the country’s economic output to shrink by 8% this year and has launched a host of stimulus measures.
A view of empty Piazza del Duomo is seen as coronavirus precautions are taken in Florence, Italy on 16 April 2020. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
“The downgrade reflects the significant impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on Italy’s economy and the sovereign’s fiscal position,” the Fitch ratings agency said in a statement.
Italy’s finance ministry responded by saying that “the fundamentals of the Italian economy and public finances are solid.”
“The other rating agencies have adopted a more cautious attitude,” the ministry said in a statement.
Here’s the full story on the deadliest known outbreak at a US long-term care facility, which left 68 veterans dead:
Lebanese protesters confronted soldiers for a second day Tuesday as anger over a spiraling economic crisis re-energised a months-old anti-government movement despite a coronavirus lockdown, AFP reports.
Lebanon has 717 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, and 24 people have died.
Anti-government Lebanese protesters throw pieces of concrete during a protest against growing economic hardship. Photograph: APAImages/REX/Shutterstock
Tuesday’s confrontations were the latest in a string of anti-government protests fuelled by unprecedented inflation and a plummeting Lebanese pound.
The Lebanese pound has lost more than half of its value against the dollar on the black market, hitting record lows of 4,000 pounds to the dollar this week. Economy Minister Raoul Nehme on Tuesday said that prices have risen by 55%, while the government estimates that 45% of the population now lives below the poverty line.
In the city of Tripoli, protesters hurled rocks at security forces, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The violence came after a protester died on Tuesday from a bullet wound he had sustained during overnight confrontations between troops and hundreds of demonstrators in Tripoli.
Following the funeral of 26-year-old Fawaz al-Samman in the city’s central Al-Nour Square, demonstrators torched and vandalised banks and military vehicles.
Speaking of award-winning camerawork, here’s the Guardian’s Andrew Wheeler on what we know about the Oscars making streamed films eligible for the awards (gasp!) :
The Academy Awards will for the first time allow films that debuted on a streaming service without a theatrical run to be eligible for nominations, a break with tradition in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Academy announced the new criteria for the Oscars in a statement on Tuesday. The change is not permanent, however, and will only apply to films released this year.
The Academy also said it will condense the two sound categories into one, and, in an effort to become more carbon neutral, prohibit DVD screeners for 2022’s 94th Oscars.
Previously, a film would have required a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles county commercial theater in order to be considered for the Academy’s highest honor. Now films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are made available through on-demand service may qualify for best picture and other categories.
at 2.05am BST
The story of an unlikely self-isolation cooking hero from Australia now, from the author Jenny Valentish:
Nat’s What I Reckon: the sweary, ranty YouTuber who’s become an isolation cooking sensation
“What’s going on, Iso-Lords?” he says, introducing his latest clip, The Crowd Goes Mild Curry. “We’re back in the kitchen, saying no to jar sauce.”
Behind a sparkling-clean counter laden with fresh vegetables, spices and herbs stands Nat: black band T-shirt, hair halfway down his torso, arms and neck covered in tattoos. He walks us through the ingredients before getting stuck into the methodology.
“If you’ve got one of these cheeky bastards, use this. It’s called a microplane. I know it sounds like a small aircraft, but it’s just a pretentious name for a fine grater. If you don’t have one of these pratty things you can just use a normal grater, and if you don’t think you’ve got one of these, you’re wrong. You’ve got four of them and they’re buried behind the other three.”
Navy sailors who have been quarantined on Guam for weeks will begin moving back to the USS Theodore Roosevelt Tuesday night, US officials said. A coronavirus outbreak sidelined the aircraft carrier in late March, AP reports.
Hundreds of sailors are expected to reboard the ship over the next several days, after spending about a month in gyms, hotels and other facilities while the ship was cleaned, officials said. The sailors were expected to begin moving back during the late evening and overnight Eastern time, which would be Wednesday in Guam.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, is docked at Naval Base Guam in Apra Harbor amid the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 27 April 2020. Photograph: Tony Azios/AFP via Getty Images
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss events ahead of the announcement.
The ship gained attention when it was forced to dock in Guam because of the virus outbreak. The ship’s commander, Navy Captain Brett Crozier, was fired for sending an email pleading with commanders to take faster action to address the virus.
As of Tuesday, 940 sailors have tested positive for the virus, and 29 have recovered.
at 1.38am BST
China has reported zero new deaths as of the end of 28 April.
There were 26 new asymptomatic cases, down from 40 the day before, but 21 new imported cases, compared to three a day earlier, and 22 cases in the mainland, compared to six the day before, Reuters reports.
The total number of cases stands at 82,858 and 4633 people have died.
A woman wearing a face mask whips a spinning top at a square in Beijing, China 28 April 2020. Photograph: Carlos García Rawlins/Reuters
at 1.30am BST
Trump offers rosy predictions for coronavirus testing as US passes 1m cases
Donald Trump has predicted a “great” economic rebound in the fall and claimed the country would soon be performing 5m coronavirus diagnostic tests a day, as the number of confirmed cases in the US surpassed a million.
Some health experts have suggested that the US would have to carry out 5m tests a day by June to reopen its economy safely. Others have suggested as many as 20m tests a day would ultimately be needed. The US daily rate is currently 200,000.
Addressing a news conference on aid to small businesses on Tuesday, Trump appeared unaware of the current figures, suggesting “it could be that we’re getting very close” to 5m daily tests. “We’re going to be there very soon,” he said.
The US has carried out 5.6m tests over the past two months, which as Trump pointed out was far more than any other country, but represented about 1.6% of the population, a higher percentage than most countries, though significantly below Italy.
Trump was also bullish on the prospects for economic recovery in the fall. In what looks almost certain to become another hostage to fortune, the president implied that the pandemic would be largely cleared by the fourth quarter of the year.
The number of US deaths from the novel coronavirus has surpassed the toll of Americans killed in the Vietnam War, the Johns Hopkins University tracker showed Tuesday.
The pandemic has killed 58,365 people in the United States, the Baltimore-based university said.
According to the National Archives, 58,220 Americans were killed in combat and from other causes such as accidents during years of war in Southeast Asia.
The US death toll and number of cases – in excess of one million – far exceeds that of any other country.
Vietnam, a neighbour of China, has recorded 270 cases and no deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
The false belief that toxic methanol cures the coronavirus has seen over 700 people killed in Iran, an official said Monday. That represents a higher death toll than so far released by the Iranian Health Ministry, The Associated Press reports.
An adviser to the ministry, Hossein Hassanian, said that the difference in death tallies is because some alcohol poisoning victims died outside of hospital. Some 200 people died outside of hospitals, Hassanian told AP.
A man drives past a mosque during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in southern Tehran, Iran, Monday, 27 April 2020. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP
The national coroner’s authority said that alcohol poisoning killed 728 Iranians between 20 February and 7 April. Last year there were only 66 deaths from alcohol poisoning, according to the report.
Separately, the Iranian health ministry spokesman, Kianoush Jahanpour said that 525 people have died from swallowing toxic methanol alcohol since 20 February, state TV reported on Monday. Jahanpour said that a total of 5,011 people had been poisoned from methanol alcohol. He added that some 90 people have lost their eye sight or are suffering eye damage from the alcohol poisoning.
Hassanian also said the final tally of people who lost their eye sight could be much higher.
Iran is facing the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East with 5,806 deaths and more than 91,000 confirmed case.
Nearly 70 residents infected with coronavirus have died at a Massachusetts home for ageing veterans, as state and federal officials try to figure out what went wrong in the deadliest known outbreak at a long-term care facility in the US, AP reports.
While the death toll at the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home continues to climb, federal officials are investigating whether residents were denied proper medical care and the state’s top prosecutor is deciding whether to bring legal action.
Sixty-eight veteran residents who tested positive for the virus have died, officials said Tuesday, and it’s not known whether another person who died had Covid-19. Another 82 residents and 81 employees have tested positive.
An ambulance is parked outside of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where nearly 70 residents have died from the coronavirus. Photograph: Hoang ’Leon’ Nguyen/AP
The home’s superintendent, who’s been placed on administrative leave, has defended his response and accused state officials of falsely claiming they were unaware of the scope of the problem there.
The superintendent, Bennett Walsh, said earlier this month state officials knew that the home was in crisis mode when it came to staffing shortages and were notified early and often about the contagion at the facility.
There were nearly 230 residents living at the home in late March and only about 100 remained on Monday, The Boston Globe reported.
at 12.39am BST
Three US children with coronavirus being treated for rare inflammatory syndrome
Three US children infected with the coronavirus are being treated for a rare inflammatory syndrome that appears similar to one that has raised concerns by doctors in Britain, Italy and Spain, Reuters reports.
All three children – who range in age from 6 months to 8 years – have undergone treatment at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, and all had fever and inflammation of the heart and the gut.
“Right now, we’re at the very beginning of trying to understand what that represents,” Columbia’s Dr Mark Gorelik told Reuters.
Italian and British medical experts are investigating a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and clusters of Kawasaki disease, a severe inflammatory disease among infants arriving in hospitals with high fevers and swollen arteries.The syndrome has been largely undetected in the United States, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Gorelik said he believes the cases are likely not Kawasaki disease, but a similar process that shares an underlying mechanism with Kawasaki, which is thought to be triggered by an infectious agent that sparks an immune response.
at 12.33am BST
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic from around the world.
I’m Helen Sullivan and I’ll be with you for the next few hours. Please do get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan with any questions, comments tips, and news from where you live.
The number of deaths in Brazil has now passed 5,000, more than China’s official toll, with confirmed cases at 71,886. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been notoriously dismissive of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking outrage across the political spectrum and pot-banging protests.
Meanwhile, cases in the US have passed 1 million, accounting for roughly a third of the global total, which currently stands at over 3.1 million.
Known global death toll exceeds 215,000. According to the Johns Hopkins researchers, at least 3,110,219 people have been infected worldwide and at least 216,808 have died since the outbreak began. The numbers are likely to be significant underestimates due to suspected underreporting and differing testing and recording systems around the world.
Brazil’s total number of confirmed deaths has now overtaken the WHO’s figure for China as cases accelerate in Latin America’s biggest country. The number of deaths in Brazil has now passed 5,000.
US confirmed coronavirus cases pass one million mark, accounting for a third of cases worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US death toll is now over 57,000 people.
Streamed films to be eligible for Oscars. Films released on streaming platforms only will be eligible for Academy Awards next year because of the pandemic’s disruption to the industry, the organisers of the Oscars have said.
The head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases called on people to stay at home as much as possible as new figures show the country’s infection rate has increased.
Vladimir Putin extended a non-working period in Russia until 11 May, as he warned the rate of infection in the country has not yet peaked. The Russian president made the announcement during a meeting with senior officials and regional heads.
France began outlining the schedule for the end of the lockdown. The prime minister, Édouard Philippe said: “Who could have envisaged a France where schools, universities, cafes, restaurants, the majority of businesses, libraries … beaches, stadiums … would be closed?”
The number of confirmed cases in Saudia Arabia passed 20,000 as its health authorities reported 1,266 new infections. The kingdom reported eight deaths, bringing its total death toll to 152.
The UK said it would begin including deaths in care homes in its daily reports, as official figures show they account for almost a quarter of the total death toll in England and Wales, with yet more occurring in private homes, hospices or elsewhere. Britain also expanded the list of those eligible for coronavirus tests to asymptomatic NHS and care staff, over-65s and those who travel to work will now qualify.