Healthcare workers in the Spanish city of A Coruña applaud in return as they are cheered on by Civil Guard and other security forces on March 26, 2020. The country has suffered more than 800 deaths for five days running as the global coronavirus infection rate approaches 1 million. Photo: Imaxe Press / Shutterstock
US vaccine “on track” but timeframe “optimistic”, Spain record deaths, DeSantis acts, Brazil’s first indigenous case, COP26 postponed, Wimbledon & Edinburgh cancelled. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Covid-19 cases close in on million mark
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that the coronavirus global case count will reach 1 million and the death toll 50,000 in the next few days. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, at 5.45am on Thursday morning, 937,091 people worldwide had been infected by covid-19 and there had been 47,231 deaths. But 193,764 people had recovered. Nearly half the world’s population are living under some form of requested or mandatory confinement. CNBC, The Guardian, Aljazeera, the BBC, and The Washington Post have good rolling coverage.
Luxembourg death rate up to 29
Luxembourg’s latest figures, reported at 5.45pm on Wednesday, show that there were 2,319 confirmed covid-19 cases on 1 April (up from 2,178 on 31 March) and 29 deaths (up from 23). Key figures and announcements will be reported on Delano’s update coverage.
US vaccine programme
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that tests of a potential covid-19 vaccine are “on track”, though public roll out is still 12 to 18 months away, CNBC reports. The development of a vaccine with biotech company Moderna is being fast tracked and would be the “ultimate game changer”, Fauci said on Wednesday. But some experts, including Paul Offit, the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, have warned that Fauci’s timeframe is “ridiculously optimistic”, says Business Insider.
Spain deaths again top 800
Deaths in a 24-hour period from coronavirus in Spain surpassed 800 for the fifth consecutive day, the BBC and Forbes report. Wednesday’s record 864 fatalities took the total death toll to over 9,000, but the country’s 12% increase in daily infections is evidence that the rate has stabilised, officials believe.
US stockpile down as supplies sent directly
The Washington Post broke a story that the US Department of Health and Human Services’ strategic national stockpile of respirator masks, gloves and other medical supplies is “nearly exhausted”. The paper received the information from Department of Homeland Security officials. President Donald Trump confirmed the national stockpile was low, but only because the government is sending supplies directly to hospitals. “We don’t want it to come to the stockpile,” he said at Wednesday’s press briefing according to The Guardian.
DeSantis orders Florida to stay home
Florida governor Ron DeSantis has issued state-wide stringent social-distancing orders to take effect on Friday. As the number of cases in the state soared, DeSantis was coming under increasing pressure to act, says The New York Times and Fox News.
Brazil’s first indigenous infection
Brazil’s indigenous health service has reported the first case of coronavirus infection among the country’s more than 300 tribes, The Guardian reports. Health experts fear that spread of the coronavirus could be lethal for Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous people.
Biden and Trump could discuss pandemic
Reuters reports that Democratic nominee hopeful Joe Biden may well talk with US president Donald Trump about the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden’s team apparently approached the Trump camp after Kellyanne Conway challenged him to “call the White House today and offer some support”, Fox News said. On Wednesday Trump said: “Oh absolutely, I’d love to speak to him. I always found him to be a nice guy.”
The Cop26 conference due to be held in Glasgow in November this year has been postponed to 2021. The UN climate talks would have attracted some 26,000 attendees to the city’s EC arena, which may now be turned into a field hospital to treat coronavirus victims. The Guardian, Sky News and Washington Post have more.
Wimbledon, Edinburgh Festival cancelled
The Wimbledon tennis tournament, which was due to start its fortnight of play on 29 June, has been cancelled for the first time since WWII, the BBC reports. The Edinburgh Festival and its Fringe programme have also been cancelled, says The Scotsman.
Drink up those Belgian beers
Got any trendy Belgian beers at home? Then, confinement or not, make sure you don’t keep them for too long. Scientists at the Catholic University of Louvain have discovered that within two years of storage the beers suffer a decrease of between 18% and 43% of the “bitterness intensity” that marks their hoppy taste, The Guardian reports.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts