Coronavirus latest: 300,000 illegal face-masks seized in Italy
Spain introducing mandatory face-mask on public transport from Monday
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has announced today that from Monday wearing a face-mask on public transport will be compulsory.
The measure aims at preventing another contagion spike as the country begins its gradual deconfinement.
The government will also distribute 6 million masks across the country on Monday.
Mick Jagger and Will Smith to take part in fundraising online show for India
Rock legend Mick Jagger and American actor Will Smith are among the international and Bollywood stars that will take part in a four-hour online show on Sunday that will raise funds for the fight against Covid-19 in India.
The captain of India’s national cricket team Virat Kohli, the actors Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan are among the Indian stars who will perform or read messages from home.
Italy confiscates 300,000 illegal face-maks
Italy’s authorities said today they seized a huge load of illegal PPE near Varese, northern Italy.
The country’s police force Guardia di Finanza confiscated over 300,000 face-masks. They were all made in China and had counterfeit CE marking.
The equipment did not meet the country’s health standards.
Three businessmen have been charged over “commercial fraud”.
Italy’s authorities also seized 24,000 illegal face-maks and 5,000 medicines during a police operation in Napoli, southern Italy, on April 24.
Police said masks and medicines did not match the Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA) safety standards.
A 39-year-old man has been charged with unauthorised medicine trade and over “receiving stolen goods.”
Russia reports record daily coronavirus infections
Russia has registered nearly 10,000 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a sad contamination record per single day in the country.
So far Russia has recorded a total of 124,000 infections with more than 1,200 deaths.
Moscow has been reported as the epicentre of the Covid-19 cases in the country.
The city’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that ‘the threat continues to grow’, whilst the city announced today that it doubled the numbers of its Covid-19 tests conducted per day.
More than 1.5 million cases in Europe officially confirmed
More than one and a half million cases of coronavirus have been officially diagnosed in Europe, a little less than half of the world total.
With at least 1,506,853 cases and 140,260 deaths, Europe is the continent most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 3,350,224 cases and 238,334 deaths have been recorded worldwide.
Spain (215,216 cases, 24,824 deaths), Italy (207,428, 28,236), the United Kingdom (177,454, 27,510), France (167,346, 24,594) and Germany (161,703, 6,575) are the five European countries with officially more than 150,000 cases on their territory, while Russia (124,054, 1,222) is currently recording the highest number of new cases on a daily basis.
This number of diagnosed cases, however, reflects only a fraction of the actual number of infections, as many countries now test only those cases requiring hospital care.
First taste of freedom after weeks of lockdown in Spain
People in Spain have this morning been able to leave their homes for exercise for the first time since late March.
With cases skyrocketing by the end of March, and health systems becoming overloaded, the country enforced a strict lockdown on March 28, banning all non-essential activity. From today, people older than 14 are able to leave their homes for reasons other than shopping for food or getting medical assistance.
This includes going for a run, a walk, or taking a bike ride.
US approves use of ebola drug for treating COVID-19
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for the treatment of COVID-19, which was originally developed to treat ebola.
The FDA acted after preliminary results from a government-sponsored study showed that the drug, remdesivir, shortened the time to recovery by 31%, or about four days on average, for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The study of 1,063 patients is the largest and most strict test of the drug and included a comparison group.
However, the full results of the trial have not been published, which has led to criticism from the scientific community who are waiting for the study to be evaluated and published by a medical journal.
The results suggest that remdesivir reduces the risk of death, but this data is considered less reliable because it is below the level of statistical significance. 8% of patients treated, compared to 11.6% in the control group, died in this trial.
Ireland extends restrictions
Irelands Taoiseach announced an extension of the countrys coronavirus restrictions to May 18 on Friday. “We need two more weeks of tight restrictions to weaken the virus further,” Leo Varadkar said.
However, he said people over 70 years old who have been told to stay home, or “cocoon” can start going outside their homes starting from Tuesday, as long as they avoid all contact with people.
The 2-kilometer limit that people are allowed to exercise outside their homes will also be extended to 5 kilometers.
Varadhar said that starting May 18, the country plans to reopen the economy in five stages, should the virus stay under control, with the last stage planned for August. Schools will not reopen before the start of the September school year however.
Three people at FC Cologne test positive
Three people at Bundesliga club FC Cologne tested positive for coronavirus, and have been placed in quarantine, the club announced.
In a statement on its website, the club said the entire team, coaching staff and backroom staff had been tested on Thursday, and three tested positive, despite being symptom free. They will stay at home in quarantine for 14 days, and will not be named, the club added. The team intends to continue training.
Bundesliga clubs have declared they are ready to continue the seaosn as early as May 9, and resumed training with players in small groups in April. A decision on whether the league will continue has been pushed back to May 6.