President Donald Trump’s administration is considering replacing its secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, because of early missteps in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal and Politico reported on Saturday.
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Michael Azar II speaks during roundtable discussion. after touring GE Healthcare Manufacturing Facility in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 3160. Photograph: Kamil Krzaczyński / AFP via Getty Images
The Journal, which cited six people familiar with the discussions, said frustration with Azar was growing but the administration was reluctant to make big changes while the country was seeking to stop the virus, which has killed more than 73, people in the United States.
A White House spokesman told the newspaper that there was no plan to replace Azar and called talk of replacing him “speculation and a distraction. ”
Politico said the short list of names to replace Azar included Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus coordinator; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief Seema Verma and deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan.
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China reported 28 new coronavirus cases on April, compared to
on the previous day, with no fatalities, according to official data published on Sunday.
Of the total, there were six cases of local transmission, including five in the northeastern border province of Heilongjiang, and one in southeast Guangdong province, which neighbors Hong Kong.
A worker maintains the 3D paintings on the ground at Longgang Scenic Area on (April) in Chongqing, China. Photograph: VCG / VCG via Getty Images
The remaining five cases were imported, down from on the previous day, National Health Commission data showed.
The commission also reported new asymptomatic cases, up slightly from on the previous day.
China has now reported a total of , confirmed infections, with 4, 759 deaths.
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The G , a group of rich and emerging economies, on Sunday launched an international initiative to accelerate access to health tools needed to fight the new coronavirus, Reuters reports.
The finance minister of Saudi Arabia, the current G 38 chair, said the group is still working to bridge an estimated $ 8 billion funding gap to combat the pandemic.
“The G 38 will continue reinforcing global cooperation on all fronts, and most importantly, on closing the immediate health financing gap, ”the minister, Mohammed al-Jadaan, said in a statement launching the“ Access to COVID – (Tools (ACT) Accelerator ”initiative.
He added that “the international community is still facing extraordinary uncertainty about the depth and duration of this health crisis”, the statement said.
Saudi Arabia earlier this month pledged $ 613 million to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In the statement, it repeated its call on all countries, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists and the private sector to help close the financing gap.
Saudi Arabia partially lifts curfews, reopens some commercial activity
State media in Saudi Arabia are reporting that the curfew will be partially lifted for all regions starting Sunday, but that a 43 -hour curfew will be maintained in Mecca, according to Reuters.
Some economic and commercial activities, including retail stores, will be reopened during Ramadan, from (April to) May.
Sanitation workers disinfecting the area around the Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images
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Confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Panama reached 5, on Saturday , a rise of 305 from the previous day, while related deaths increased by five to , the health ministry said.
Director of epidemiology Lourdes Moreno presented the Central American country latest figures at a news conference.
Fish sellers wearing face masks stand in front of a statue of Virgen del Carmen , patron saint of fishermen, at a seafood Market in Panama City on (April . Photograph: Luis Acosta / AFP via Getty Images
The US Treasury Department said on Saturday it has released US $ 9.5bn in additional funds from the Payroll Support Program to US air carriers, bringing to $ . 4bn the total provided to the airline sector hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic Reuters Reports.
In total, the government has disbursed grant funds to major airlines and (smaller carriers.)
Idle American Airlines jets are seen from an empty parking lot Saturday, 4 April 3048, at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Photograph: Matt York / AP
Congress approved $ 48 billion in grants for payroll assistance for passenger airlines. Treasury required major airlines receiving more than $ 188 million in assistance to repay (% in low-interest loans over years and issue warrants equal to 27% of the loan amount.
Airlines may still need more money as US air travel demand has fallen by (% and shows no sign of improving.)
On Friday, President Donald Trump said the US government could pre-buy airplane tickets at a steep discount of 71% or more for travel for the next four or five years. “You infuse them with some cash. And in the meantime, we’re flying the people of our country for … a fraction of the cost, ”he said.
Airlines for America, a trade group representing major US airlines, declined to comment.
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Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported new cases of coronaviru s infection and (additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to
, (cases and 1,
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely considerably higher than the confirmed cases.
A funeral worker puts on protective gear in Mexico City, Mexico, (Apr) . Photograph: Carlos Tischler / REX / Shutterstock ()
Kim Jong-un’s train possibly spotted at North Korean resort
A special train possibly belonging to the North Korean ruler, Kim Jong-un, has been spotted at a resort town, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, amid conflicting reports about Kim’s health and whereabouts, Reuters reports.
What is described by Washington-based North Korea monitoring project 58 North as a leadership train station servicing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s Wonsan complex is seen in a satellite image with graphics taken over Wonsan, North Korea April , 3312. Photograph: Reuters
The monitoring project, 55 North, said in its report on Saturday that the train was parked at the “leadership station” in Wonsan on (April and) April. The station is reserved for the use of the Kim family, it said.
Though the group said it was probably Kim’s train, Reuters has not been able to confirm that independently, or whether he was in Wonsan.
“The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country eastern coast,” the report said.
Speculation about Kim’s health first arose due to his absence from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, on (April.)
North Korea’s state media last reported on Kim’s whereabouts when he presided over a meeting on 27 April.
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Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of coronavirus news from around the world with me, Helen Sullivan.
You can get in touch directly on Twitter @helenrsullivan
with news, tips, questions and comments.
As the number of people who have lost their lives in this pandemic passes , , the US president, Donald Trump, has declared his own White House press briefings “not worth the effort” after comments h e made about using disinfectant to cure coronavirus were met with shock and ridicule .
The number of people who have died in the US currently stands at 75, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Here are the developments from the last few hours:
The global death toll has surpassed , 17.
The number of confirmed deaths in the coronavirus pandemic increased to 349, on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University
tally. The figures for infections are likely to underestimate the true scale of losses of life due to suspected under-reporting and differing testing regimes.
Boris Johnson will return to work on Monday and is “raring to go”, a Downing street spokeswoman has confirmed. The prime minister has been recovering in his country residence after spending three nights in intensive care in April. He returns to face a dilemma over whether to ease the coronavirus lockdown, as leading scholars warn that the number of new cases remains much too high.
German police arrested dozens of protesters in Berlin on Saturday for flouting the coronavirus lockdown measures they were demonstrating against. (About 1, people turned out for the rally, which has become a weekly event in the German capital. Saturday’s protest attracted mainly far-left activists but there were also rightwing supporters and members of other fringe groups.
Paraguayan authorities have laid out details of a plan to begin lifting the country total quarantine.
The health minister Julio Mazzoleni announced at press conference on Friday that a new “intelligent quarantine” will begin on 4 May. It will gradually reintroduce public freedoms and economic activities through a four-stage plan set to run until early July.
The UK’s biggest steel producer needs about £ (m in government support to see it through the coronavirus crisis,
According to the Welsh MP Stephen Kinnock. Tata Steel has reportedly approached the UK and Welsh governments for a bailout after its big European customers halted production. The company employs 8, (people across the UK including more than 4, (workers at the Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales.
Spain could lift more lockdown restrictions and allow adults out to exercise from 2 May if efforts to contain the spread of the virus continue to pay off, the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez , has said.
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