The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on Friday, with some countries easing restrictions and others tightening them. I’ll take you through a few of the measures in the next few posts:
The Blida province south of Algiers will be replaced with a curfew from 2 pm-7am, while a 3 pm-7am curfew in nine provinces, including Algiers, will be shortened to run from 5 pm-7am. The government made no changes to the confinement measures in the remaining provinces where a 7 pm-7am curfew has been imposed for weeks.
Algeria has so far reported 3, cases of the novel coronavirus, with 562 deaths and 1, 562 recoveries.
Staff members unload medical donations from China at Algiers International Airport. Photograph: Xinhua / REX / Shutterstock
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During the briefing, Trump was joined by Bill Bryan, who heads the science and technology directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. Bryan presented more information on how the virus reacts to heat, humidity and light on surfaces and when it is airborne.
He said the virus survived best indoors, in dry conditions. UV rays and hotter, more humid temperatures seem to cut down the half-life of the virus … but was at pains to say the research is ongoing.
After that Trump wondered whether UV light therapy or disinfectants could be a way to treat people, something that was dismissed by medical professionals, including his own coronavirus task force co-ordinator, Deborah Birx.
Medical professionals have since taken to Twitter to warn people to disregard the president’s comments.
Eugene Gu, MD (@ eugenegu) Injecting disinfectant into your body will kill you. While it feels completely unnecessary to even say this, people drank fish tank cleaner containing chloroquine because of what they heard from rumors about the substance. We must fight deadly misinformation no matter how stupid. (April) ,
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During the briefing, the president evaded questions about Rick Bright, the vaccine expert who says he was removed from his post after resisting the president’s push to use hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus without proper vetting and testing. Bright said he would file a whistleblower complaint, after being reassigned from his post overseeing the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
Kaitlan Collins (@ kaitlancollins) President Trump does not answer multiple questions about Rick Bright, who alleges his removal was retaliation. The White House has not really pushed back on his allegations in any formal capacity. (April) ,
You can read the full story on Bright below:
: US could extend social distancing
The spending package was voted through during President Trump’s daily press briefing during which he said federal social distancing guidelines could be extended through to the American summer.
“We may, we may go beyond that – we’ll have to see where it is. Until we feel it’s safe, we’re going to be extending, ”Trump said, in a change of tone from previous briefings where he has pushed strongly for the country to reopen.
The president said he was “not happy about Brian Kemp”, referring to the governor of Georgia, who has moved ahead with a plan to reopen businesses despite criticisms from the president and other Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
“I don’t want this thing to flare up because you’re deciding to do something that’s not in the guidelines,” Trump said.
President Trump said federal social distancing rules could be extended to the US summer. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
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Congress passes $ bn relief package
If you’re just joining us, the big news in the past hour or so is that the US Congress has passed a huge spending package to help deal with the coronavirus.
The package takes US spending during the crisis to nearly $ 3tr dollars.
It will rush new relief to employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of a pandemic that has claimed almost , (0 American lives and a staggering one in six US jobs.)
Anchoring the bill is the Trump administration’s $ bn funding request to replenish a fund to help small- and medium-size businesses with payroll, rent and other expenses. The payroll program provides forgivable loans so businesses can continue paying workers while forced to stay closed for social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Congress on Thursday passed a $ bn spending package. Photograph: Tom Brenner / Reuters
It also contains $ 170 bn demanded by Democrats for hospitals and a nationwide testing program, along with a $ bn set-aside for small banks and an alternative network of community development banks that focus on development in urban neighborhoods and rural areas ignored by many lenders. Theres also $ bn for small-business loans and grants delivered through the Small Business Administrations existing disaster aid program.
It came as it was reported another 4.4 million people filed
for unemployment benefits last week as layoffs sweep the economy. Over the last five weeks,
roughly million people have filed for jobless aid.
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Good morning and welcome to our live global coverage of coronavirus developments, with me Alison Rourke.
Before we get started, here are the top stories making news at the moment:
(The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world is at 2, , , while 309, 570 deaths have been recorded, according to you to Johns Hopkins University . US Congress has passed a $ bn coronavirus aid package to help small business. It comes as President Trump says federal social distancing guidelines could be extended to the summer. Democratic senator, Elizabeth Warren, has revealed her older brother has died after contracting Covid –
Indonesia has stoped non-essential travel between provinces to contain coronavirus during Ramadan. Algeria will ease confinement measures from the first day of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday by shortening a night curfew and lifting a full lockdown for a province near the capital Algiers, the prime minister’s office said on Thursday. (Remdesivir, a drug thought to be one of the best prospects for treating Covid – , failed to have any effect in the first full trial , it has been been revealed. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said the coronavirus pandemic is “still at the beginning” and parts her country may be rushing their exit from lockdown, as divided EU leaders clashed at a video summit over a desperately needed Europe-wide recovery fund. Ecuador’s health minister has said the The country coronavirus case total is twice as high as previously confirmed , as authorities added 30, 15 0 new infections that resulted from delayed testing. The new cases will be added to the confirmed total of 29, infections. The country has registered (deaths.) Four people in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon have tested positive for the coronavirus , a health official said, bringing total cases in the settlement to five. Residents of the Wavel camp in the eastern Bekaa Valley were tested after a Palestinian refugee from Syria was admitted to hospital in Beirut with symptoms.
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