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World coronavirus dispatch: How safe is it to go to a coffee shop?

Germany gets a respite while Brazil emerges as a hotspot, and gyms open in Beijing

Coronavirus | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Catalan police officers patrol as families with their children walk along a boulevard in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 26, 2020 as the lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus continues | Photo: AP/PTI

In a positive news from Europe, the region worst-hit by Covid-19, the number of new cases in Germany fell for the first time in four days. There were 1,158 infections in the 24 hours through Saturday morning. That was the first day in four days that cases declined, bringing the total to 170,588.

Germany is preparing to open restaurants, hotels and all shops, as well as restarting professional football games after Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday declared some progress in fighting the virus. Covid-19 has caused 7,510 deaths in the country after 118 new fatalities were reported on Friday. Read more here

Let’s look at global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 3,961,594

Change Over Yesterday: 96,898

Total Deaths: 275,527

Total Recovered: 1,334,463

Nations hit with most cases: US (1,284,708), Spain (222,857), Italy (217,185), UK (212,629) and Russia (198,676)

Source: Johns Hopkins Research Center

Spike in Covid-19 cases in South Korea linked to nightclubs: A potential second wave of infections may be coming in South Korea after confirmed cases suddenly increased after a lull, with a surge tied to nightclubs in Seoul. The total number of cases linked to nightclubs in Seoul, visited by a 29-year-old patient earlier this month, increased to 40 as of Saturday noon. Read more here

US ships Gilead’s remdesivir to more states for hospital use: The US is sending Gilead Sciences’s remdesivir to local agencies in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey after doctors raised questions about the federal allocation of the drug. State health departments -- rather than the federal government -- will distribute doses to hospitals. Read more here

Gyms open in Beijing: With the respiratory illness under control in China, the economy has begun to open up again as authorities loosen Among the facilities to open up are gymnasiums. As per government directives, only gyms above ground level are allowed to operate. Temperatures are checked at the door and names and contacts are noted. Everyone must wear a mask unless they have difficulty breathing and maintain a distance of around two metres. Read more here

Carlyle and GIC back out of deal with American Express Travel: Carlyle Group and Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC are backing out of a deal to buy a stake in American Express Global Business Travel, in another fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. The parties were in talks to renegotiate the terms of the deal, which was set to close this week, but the groups couldn’t reach an agreement. Read more here

Infections triple in two weeks in Brazil: Brazil is fast emerging as the new global hotspot for the pandemic, trailing only the U.S. in daily deaths. Health officials say the numbers are likely higher as a lack of testing has meant many cases and deaths don’t make the official count. Deaths at home have climbed 10 per cent compared to last year. Read more here

UK to quarantine travellers for 14 days: The British government has told airlines it will introduce a 14-day quarantine period for most people arriving from abroad to try to avoid a second peak of the coronavirus pandemic, an association representing the airlines said on Saturday. Read more here


How Ebola helped Africa prepare for coronavirus: Many African health experts realised the danger posed by coronavirus as soon as they saw the numbers rising in China and Europe. Yet, the worst-ever Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016 was instrumental in changing the response to health emergencies in several African nations. Ebola prompted the Geneva-based WHO to change its emergency response structure, while experts acknowledged the necessity of immediate research, rapid laboratory testing and changing the design of treatment centres. Read more here

Mental Health: The next wave of Covid-19 crisis could be suicides The isolation, grief and economic hardship related to Covid-19 are creating a mental health crisis in the US that researchers warn could make the already-rising suicide rate worse. A study released Friday tried to quantify the toll. The paper, which was not peer-reviewed, found that over the next decade as many as 75,000 additional people could die from “deaths of despair” as a result of the coronavirus crisis, a term that refers to suicides and substance-abuse-related deaths. The research was done by the Well Being Trust and researchers affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Read more here

“I moved in with my ex during lockdown”—Coronavirus and relationships

Quarantine and chill? Maybe not. That's been the reality for many couples since rules - which state we can only leave the house if it is essential - came into place. Unfortunately, seeing your other half - if you don't live with them - isn't classified as essential. In this event, some couples decided to move in together for the duration of the lockdown, or some moved to their parents’ home with the partner. Read more here


Taiwan’s weapon against coronavirus: An epidemiologist as vice president

Chen Chien-jen has embraced a rare dual role, using his political authority as vice president to criticise China’s response to the virus even as he hunkers down to analyse trends in transmission. Read more here


Is it safe to visit a coffee shop or gym? What do people think? University of Chicago professors asked people to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how often they interacted with people or touched shared surfaces at various businesses. The variation in risk between different types of businesses was surprising. People spend twice as much time at electronics stores as they do at lawn and garden stores. A display of new phones and gadgets is an invitation to mill around; you don’t linger over fertilizer. Similarly, they found that people spend nearly three times as much time searching through the racks at a Salvation Army (church) as they do scanning the shelves at a Dollar General (departmental store). Read more here

First Published: Sun, May 10 2020. 06:22 IST