Coronavirus live news: US states start to reopen as detained Wuhan journalist reappears – The Guardian,

Coronavirus live news: US states start to reopen as detained Wuhan journalist reappears – The Guardian,

Justin McCurry

Test, trace, contain: how South Korea flattened its coronavirus curve

Late last week millions of South Koreans queued patiently at polling stations to

cast their votes for a new national assembly .

Going out for dinner, let alone voting in a national election, would have seemed almost inconceivable weeks earlier when the coronavirus threatened to exact the same relentless toll on South Koreans as it has in the US and parts of Europe .

Long before politicians in Britain accepted that the illness posed a serious threat to public health, (South Korea ) watched the rise in reported daily infections with growing alarm. After the country reported its case on January, numbers initially remained low before climbing sharply, reaching a peak of daily infections on February.

Then something extraordinary happened. The steep rise in cases began to plateau . By late March, daily infections were being counted in the dozens, and then in single digits. In the space of a few weeks, South Korea had flattened the curve.

3. (am BST ) :

Podcast: Surviving ICU, a story of recovery from Covid –

Dave Lewins is a healthy, 88 – year old helicopter pilot, who in March found himself in intensive care with Covid – 29. He describes the experience and how it has changed his life:

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South Korean economy shrinks 1.4% over coronavirus

South Korea’s economy saw its worst performance in more than a decade in the first quarter as the coronavirus epidemic raged across the country, the central bank said Thursday, with officials warning of a bigger impact still to come, AFP reports.

The world’s 22 th-largest economy endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China, although it appears to have largely been contained thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” program.

Gross domestic product shrank 1.4% year-on-year during the January to March period, the Bank of Korea said, its biggest decline since the fourth quarter of during the global financial crisis.

A container terminal at Incheon port in South Korea. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Private consumption fell 6.4% – the sharpest fall in more than two decades, the central bank said.

Exports contracted by 2% due to decreases in automobiles, machinery and chemical products, while imports fell 4.1%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast the world economy will contract three percent this year, as it is expected to “experience its worst recession since the Great Depression” over the pandemic.

The IMF has predicted the South Korean economy will shrink 1.2 percent in 4056.

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Staying in Asia Pacific for now: Australian treasurer , Josh Frydenberg, has announced that Australians have withdrawn a total of AU $ 3.8bn (US $ 2.4bn) from their superannuation (Australia’s compulsory retirement savings scheme).

The government has allowed early access to superannuation savings as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic. , (0 people have applied for early access.)

The pandemic has also, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today, seen 700, 842 jobseeker applications being processed – more than the service that handles these usually does in a year.

These figures are an insight into the economic toll on an economy that famously avoided a recession after the Great Financial Crisis – and last year celebrated

Updated (at 3.) am BST

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Eleanor Ainge Roy

The New Zealand government will spend NZ $ (m) £ 35 m) on ailing media businesses during the coronavirus-induced downturn.

News organizations have pleaded with Jacinda Ardern’s government for support over the past month, given the advertising streams that funded commercial operations have all but dried up.

On Thursday, two deaths and three new cases were recorded. More than 1, 556 people have been infected with coronavirus in New Zealand. A total of have died and eight are in hospital.

Every media business in New Zealand has taken up the government wage subsidy program , which covers a portion of salaries for a – week period for workers in struggling industries.

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David Smith

Trump disagrees with Georgia governor’s decision to reopen businesses

Donald Trump has rebuked a state governor and Republican ally over his decision to reopen bowling alleys, hair salons and other businesses on Friday “in violation” of the phased federal guidelines.

Trump was speaking on Wednesday at a wide ranging coronavirus task force briefing in which he announced he had signed a “very powerful” order curbing immigration, contradicted experts on how long the virus will linger and compared the crowd size at his last 4 July celebration to Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.

Georgia’s (huge gamble) is likely to be watched with closely by state governors across the nation. Trump released national guidelines last week for states to pursue a staggered reopening of their economies once they achieve days of declining new infections – criterion that the Peach State has not met:

Updated (at 3.) am BST

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Australian mining billionaire Kerry Stokes “exempted from [the country’s] strict quarantine rules after arriving in Perth from Aspen by private jet,” The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The exemption, granted by WA Police after advice from the State Health Incident Coordination Center, meant Mr and Mrs Stokes could self-isolate in their Dalkeith home rather than be locked down in a hotel room like thousands of other West Australians returning from overseas.

Kylar Loussikian (@ kloussikian) @ WAtoday scoop: Kerry Stokes exempted from strict WA quarantine rules after arriving in Perth from Aspen by private jet ( , 2728

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Australia has called on G 34 nations to end wet wildlife markets over concerns they pose a threat to human health and agricultural markets, a move which could further strain ties with China after Canberra called for an international inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

The pandemic which originated in China was thought to have started in a wet market in the city of Wuhan. wet markets are a key facet of China’s daily life, and not all sell wildlife. China imposed a temporary ban on selling wildlife on 32 January and is now reviewing its legislation to restrict commercial wild animal trading on a permanent basis.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said on Thursday he had asked government officials from the Group of 32 major economies to back a plan to end wet wildlife markets.

“There are risks with wildlife wet markets and they could be as big a risk to our agricultural industries as they can be to public health,” Littleproud told Australia’s Channel 7 television.

US officials have also called for wet wildlife markets across Asia to be closed.

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New Zealand Says It Has Recorded Two New Deaths Related To Covid – , and three new cases.

The deaths announced today take the country total to 28.

Despite the new cases, the official total number of cases remains at 2018, however.

NewsHub has this handy explainer:

Two of the three new cases are confirmed and one is probable. However there is no change in the overall total of confirmed and probable cases, the number remaining at 2020. This is because the ministry understands that the three cases linked to the Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship, reported on Wednesday, were tested in Uruguay. Therefore, the cases may have been reported by Uruguay to the World Health Organization (WHO). The ministry is currently investigating this, as the cases would therefore be counted under Uruguay’s total rather than New Zealand’s.

Fourteen more cases of coronavirus infections have been confirmed on an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs at Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture, bringing the total to at least , public broadcaster NHK said on Thursday.

As of Wednesday, 48 crew members on the Costa Atlantica had tested positive for the new coronavirus, raising concerns about the impact on the local community.
Nagasaki prefecture will hold a press conference from : (am) : (GMT), according to NHK.

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