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Politics • American • US
Andrew Yang announces to give 500 households $1,000 each

The Humanity Forward not-for-profit group founded by the former Democratic presidential nominee contender Andrew Yang has announced that 500 households in New York City's Bronx will receive $1,000 each in order to combat the economic difficulties during the coronavirus outbreak. The Humanity Forward organization was funded to provide money directly to the people, following Andrew Yang's repeated calls for a universal basic income during and after his campaign.

World Health Organization encourages people to stay at home, but stay in contact

The WHO has announced that it recommends using the term "physical distancing" over "social distancing". People should stay at home, but keep in contact with friends and family.

Politics • American • Canada
New Brunswick stays at 11 cases - no new infections

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, has announced that the Canadian Province New Brunswick has no new confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus and remains at eleven. She also announced that schools will continue to stay closed until April 10th and that blood donations are needed. She assured that blood could be donated safely and additional precautions are in place, but that blood donations are especially needed during pandemic times.

Politics • Asian
Taiwan announces to donate 100,000 face masks per week to the United States

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has announced that they'd donate 100,000 masks per week as soon as their production levels have stabilized. In addition to this Taiwan and the United States will increase their cooperation regarding research, development and production of tests, vaccines, medicines as well as medical supplies and equipment.

Politics • American • US
Cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles classified as "essential" business during Covid-19 outbreak

The city of Los Angeles writes in their guidelines that "cannabis dispensaries, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services" are still allowed to open during the coronavirus lockdown and forced closure of businesses.

Politics • American • South America
Brazil closes down all land borders and restricts entry of Europeans and Pacific Asians

According to AFP News Brazil announced on Thursday they would close down all land borders and prohibit people from European and many Pacific Asian countries who are not citizens of Brazil from entering the country.

Over half of US counties not equipped with ICU beds

According to an analysis by the Kaiser Health Foundation, more than half of US counties are not equipped with ICU beds. In the highly endangered group of citizens 60 and above, around 4.5 million live in counties that have hospitals but no ICU and an additional 2.7 million reside in counties with no hospital at all. Even in the top 10% counties for ICU bed count there might be as many as 450 older people per bed. While the United States have more than three times the amount of beds as Italy, this doesn't say much about the amount of ventilators available and the distribution over all counties.

Video shows Bergamo hospital from inside

In a video published on March 18th, the insides of a Bergamo hospital are shown. The cameraperson is walking around and shows multiple people attached to venting machines in rooms, but also in the hallway between rooms and a doctor in full protection gear.

Politics • American • US
Tulsi Gabbard drops out of 2020 Democratic presidential race, endorses Biden

The last competing woman in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries has dropped out of the race. The Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has announced that, after winning a total of two delegates in so far, she'll stop contesting for the Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, she endorsed former vice-president Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination.

Netflix reduces streaming quality in Europe

Following the coronavirus outbreak, more and more people in different European countries are voluntarily staying at home or forced due to movement restrictions. With this comes a higher internet usage throughout the whole continent. After talks between Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and the Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the streaming service has announced that it would reduce the data consumption by 25% by lowering the picture quality and therefore "preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the Covid-19 crisis".

"Food distribution workers" classified as emergency workers in Minnesota and Vermont

The new status as "essential tier 2 workers" has been given to jobs like store clerks and stockers in Minnesota and Vermont. With the spread of the coronavirus, these jobs are vital to the food supply chain. As a direct consequence, the workers now receive free child care.

Amidst coronavirus outbreak N95 masks priced at $7 instead of 50 cents per mask

In a CNN interview Scott Steiner, the CEO of Phoebe Putney Health System, said that while the N95 masks normally cost 58 cents per piece, they are now priced at $7 per mask by a company out of Mexico that has one million of them in stock. Even though the prices are twelve times higher than normal the company is "probably going to take them at $7 each because we are that desperate", Steiner said.

COVID-19 might cause reduced lung function in patients after recovery

According to Dr Owen Tsang Tak-yin, director of Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong, follow-up appointments of COVID-19 patients after recovery revealed that some patients showed a reduction in lung function of around 20 to 30 percent. Long-term outcome was still unclear and patients could do cardiovascular exercise to increase their lung function.

Politics • American • US
Treasury announces plans on sending money directly to US citiziens

In order to combat the economical consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced they'd be "looking at sending checks to Americans immediately" following the shutdown of many businesses across America. “Americans need cash now and the president wants to get cash now. And I mean now in the next two weeks", Mnuchin added.

Following Covid-19 diagnosis Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been released from hospital

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have transferred from the hospital to their home in Queensland, Australia and will stay in self-quarantine there. Both had been diagnosed positive with the coronavirus.

Influenza drug from Japan effective against Covid-19 according to Chinese authorities

A flu drug named favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of the Japanese company Fujifilm, appears to be effective as a treatment for the coronavirus. According to Zhang Xinmin, an official from the Chinese science and technology ministry, “It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment". The drug has been tested in clinical trials ni Wuhan and Shenzhen. In total 340 patients have been treated with it and on average been tested negative for the virus only four days after being tested positive. In addition, the lung condition of 91% of the patients had improved. This is 29% higher than for patients without the flu drug.

First COVID-19 vaccine tested

According to Associated Press the first COVID-19 vaccine was tested at the Kaiser Permanente research facility in Seattle, Washington. The vaccine was developed by the biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics and contains a harmless part of the COVID-19 viral genome. The NHS-funded trial was fast-tracked, skipping animal experiments. According to the researchers, results may take many months.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has been cancelled

The yearly musical contest has been canceled following the spread of the coronavirus. The final was scheduled for May 16th in Rotterdam after the country's win in 2019.

IKEA donates 50,000 face masks to hospital after finding forgotten stock

The Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg has gotten an unexpected gift from IKEA. In one of the stores, 50,000 face masks have been found that were bought during the bird flu outbreak. After finding them stocked away in a warehouse the management agreed to donate them to Sweden's biggest hospital.

First supermarkets create special shopping hours for elderly people to protect them from Covid-19

Multiple supermarkets and grocery chains have announced that they'll implement special shopping hours for elderly people, which are especially at risk when being infected by the coronavirus.