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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 14th May 2020

News Highlights

Lockdown restrictions are being relaxed around the world in an effort to resuscitate dormant economies even as governments grapple with the risks involved in taking such a decision.

According to researchers at Insead, France may see more than 150,000 new coronavirus cases and 5,000 deaths this month as the virus circulates more rapidly in the absence of lockdown. Schools have been reopened in France, but social distancing measures are in place, both in classrooms and playgrounds. A photograph of seven nursery school children trying to play, while sitting apart from each other in chalk-drawn squares in the playground, sparked criticism from several French media commentators.

New Zealand reported no new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the second day in a row without any cases. The country's handling of the pandemic has earned plaudits around the world, in particular for its use of 'social bubbles' as a method of social distancing, a technique now being considered in the UK. For seven weeks during lockdown, five million people were forced into household or family 'bubbles' and company, while exercising or shopping, could only come from people who shared an individual's 'social bubble,' so it could not include outsiders. 

However, some countries are reimposing restrictions. Lebanon, on Tuesday, became the latest country to do so, after experiencing a surge in infections, almost two weeks after it had appeared to have contained the spread of the virus. Authorities have now ordered a four-day, near-complete lockdown to allow officials time to assess the rise in numbers.

Lockdown Exit
UK property website Rightmove sees signs of life as lockdown eases
British property website Rightmove said visits to its site rose 45% on Wednesday morning compared with a day earlier after the government moved to reopen the housing market which it had effectively closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown. Email enquiries to agents rose by 70% and new listings also increased with 2,115 new properties added in five hours, Rightmove said. Buyers and renters in England were given the go-ahead to move house again by the government on Wednesday when estate agents’ offices reopened and buyers and renters were allowed to able to view properties in person.
Coronavirus: Lockdown confusion at the borders
Lockdown rules are now different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But where does that leave those who live on a border, or live in one country and work in another? In England's northernmost town, Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, some residents told us they felt torn. Boris Johnson encouraged people in England who could not work from home to go back to work. Yet over the border in Scotland, the message has remained "stay at home".
Coronavirus: Some return to work as lockdown eases slightly in England
Some people in England who cannot work from home are returning to their workplaces today, as the government begins easing some lockdown measures. The government urged people to avoid public transport if possible. But some commuters said Tube trains and buses were still too busy to observe social distancing rules. Meanwhile, new guidance issued by the College of Policing said officers had "no powers to enforce two-metre distancing" in England.
Coastal towns tell visitors to stay away as lockdown eases in England
Britain’s coastal resorts have told visitors to stay away amid concerns that people may be drawn to the seaside as the weather improves and the lockdown is eased in England. The tourism body for Blackpool has rebranded as Do Not Visit Blackpool in an attempt to discourage visitors after new guidance came into force on Wednesday allowing people in England to “travel to open space, irrespective of distance”. Simon Blackburn, the leader of Blackpool council, said the UK government’s new message meant there was “nothing we can do” to stop visitors but he urged people to stay away.
Coronavirus: Union warns it will 'stop trains' after crowds on first day of eased lockdown
People who cannot work from home are now being urged to go back to work as the government eases lockdown rules in England.
Coronavirus: Moving home allowed as curbs lift on estate agents in England
The government has set out plans to restart England's housing market, which has been in deep freeze since the coronavirus lockdown. Estate agents can now open, viewings can be carried out and removal firms and conveyancers can restart operations. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the changes must be carried out under social distancing and safety rules. It is estimated there are 450,000 buyers and renters with plans on hold.
England tiptoes out of lockdown as economy dives
England tentatively began easing its coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday, with some people who cannot do their jobs at home urged to return to work, as stark economic data showed the disastrous impact of the pandemic.
Italians across country reflect on lockdown as restrictions ease
Italy began easing its coronavirus restrictions on May 4. Before that, the country had been carrying out one of the world's strictest lockdowns, and the country is still urging people to follow social distancing. Business Insider talked to a handful of people throughout Italy about how they had been navigating the lockdown and what they were doing with some of their new freedom.
Teachers in France paint squares to enforce social distancing for school children
Teachers in France are using paint and chalk to ensure social distancing measures are enforced as students return to school this week. France is gradually lifting stay at home measures following two months of coronavirus lockdown. Teachers have been told they must wear face masks and classes are capped at 10 students at preschools and 15 elsewhere. Images of school children playing in 'isolated squares' in Tourcoing, northern France were taken by Lionel Top, a TV journalist with the BFM news channel, on Tuesday. He said the children had been told to stay in their zones.
Coronavirus: ‘Heartbreaking’ photo shows nursery children in France forced to play in isolation chalk squares after lockdown
A photograph of nursery school children sitting apart from each another in squares drawn on the ground in chalk has caused sadness and outrage in France. The picture was taken by TV journalist Lionel Top on Tuesday in the northern town of Tourcoing, on the border with Belgium. It shows a group of seven children trying to play while being isolated by chalk squares. Around 1.5 million elementary and primary school pupils returned to classes this week after the French government relaxed restrictions after almost two months of coronavirus lockdown.
France Seen Facing 5,000 More Deaths in May as Lockdown Eases
France’s tentative exit from lockdown will probably allow coronavirus infections to rebound, leading to more than 150,000 new cases and 5,000 deaths this month, according to researchers at the business school Insead. As restrictions ease and the virus circulates more actively, the number of new Covid-19 cases will likely start rising again, Insead’s Phebo Wibbens and two colleagues said in a report. To bring new daily infection numbers to just 100, France would have needed to prolong its lockdown by three months, according to their statistical model.
Bus drivers fear for safety as lockdown eases
Bus drivers have expressed concerns over their safety as lockdown measures ease and passenger numbers rise. The Office for National Statistics said road transport drivers had "some of the highest rates of death" involving coronavirus of any working group. Forty two London transport staff, including 12 bus workers, have died after contracting Covid-19. People in England are being encouraged to return to work if they cannot work at home, but avoid public transport.
Russian factory workers return after Putin eases coronavirus lockdown as cases surpass Britain's tally
Factory and construction workers in Russia were set to return to work on Tuesday (May 12) after President Vladimir Putin ordered a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown measures despite a sharp increase in new cases of the novel virus. Putin, in a surprise announcement on Monday, said it was time after six weeks to lift nationwide restrictions that had forced many people to work from home and businesses to temporarily close. He made the announcement on a day when Russia overtook Italy to become the country with the fourth-highest number of cases in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
South Korea sticks with virus lockdown rollback despite nightclub outbreak
South Korea health authorities said on Wednesday they had no immediate plans to reinstate strict social distancing rules despite a fresh coronavirus outbreak in the capital of Seoul.
New Zealand Sees No New Coronavirus Cases for Second Day Ahead of Lockdown Relaxations
New Zealand reported zero new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the second day in a row without any new cases and the fourth day since early last week. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was encouraging news as the country prepares to ease many of its lockdown restrictions from midnight. Most businesses, including malls, retail stores and sit-down restaurants, will be able to reopen. Social distancing rules will remain in place and gatherings will be limited to 10 people. "The sense of anticipation is both palpable and understandable," Bloomfield said
Coronavirus: Hollywood looks to New Zealand amid US Covid-19 crisis
Segments of Hollywood are looking to move to New Zealand's near-Covid-free shores as the country's film industry stands to win big in coming months. New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Annabelle Sheehan's optimism is matched by BusinessNZ, Equity NZ, and the Wellywood councillor in charge of economic development. Sheehan said 47 local productions with a spend of around $200 million were stalled or unable to start when lockdown hit. That was on top of seven or eight international projects in production or about to start, employing about 3300 people and spending just under $400m.
Lockdown life in New Zealand, the bubble that 'beat' coronavirus
Some might have been tempted to complain that such restrictions were draconian. But Ardern relayed the order with clarity and empathy. On that day she also introduced "the bubble", a concept to help New Zealanders visualise who they might have close contact with during lockdown - typically just their own household. The concept made social distancing into something tangible, like a two-metre shell protecting anyone who ventured outside. "Be strong, and be kind," the prime minister said that day, a five-word slogan that would come to symbolise the country's unity during the lockdown, as messages like "be kind" or "kia kaha" (te reo Māori for "be strong") were etched in chalk on pavements by children, while teddy bears were left in windows as part of a nationwide game of I-spy.
Investors Optimistic as New Zealand Begins to Exit Lockdown
New Zealand equity investors are among the most positive in the region as Kiwis begin to exit from one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. The nation’s stock market is the second-best performer in the Asia-Pacific since global benchmarks plunged to their March lows, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A fading infection count and moves to unwind virus restrictions have helped unwind virus restrictions and helped the market recover about 27% from its trough, trailing only South Korea’s 33% improvement.
People Return to Sidewalk Cafes in Northeastern Spain as Lockdown Restrictions Eased
Restaurants, cafes, and some nonessential shops have reopened in Spain as parts of the country moved into “phase 1” of the nation’s coronavirus reopening plan on May 11. El Pais reported the government announced that more than half of the country’s population will be able to visit loved ones, attend funerals, go shopping without a prior appointment, and have a drink at a street cafe. In some regions, according to the report, restaurants and cafes can open their terraces at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 10 people per table.
Coronavirus Australia: Victorians wake to relaxed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Victorians can now invite five friends or family members over, attend mass or tee off at their favourite golf course, as the state officially relaxes its coronavirus restrictions. As of 11.59pm on Tuesday, Victorians can invite five friends or family members over to their home, but Premier Daniel Andrews has warned it is “not an invitation to host a dinner party every night of the week”. “It’s not about having a rotating roster of acquaintances and associates, or your third-best friend from primary school over for a visit,” he said earlier in the week.
France reports 348 new Covid-19 deaths as country emerges from lockdown
People wearing protective face masks walk at the financial district of La Défense near Paris as France begun a gradual end to a two-month nationwide lockdown intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus causing Covid-19
Exit Strategies
Exclusive: First coronavirus antibody test given approval by Public Health England
One hundred per cent accuracy of test developed by Swiss firm Roche confirmed by experts at PHE's Porton Down facility last week
Coronavirus lockdown: How Northern Ireland differs to other UK regions and Republic
Despite the UK Government’s preference for a “four nations approach” towards softening the lockdown, clear differences have emerged between the countries. The devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have diverged from England, notably in keeping the “stay at home” slogan after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his new “stay alert” message on Sunday. Here is a look at how the four UK nations – and the Republic of Ireland – differ in their approach to exiting the restrictive regime which was imposed across the board on March 23.
UK lockdown: Who is encouraged to return to work after Boris Johnson’s speech?
On Sunday 10 May, Boris Johnson announced the implementation of new measures to ease lockdown in England. Among the new guidelines, the prime minister unveiled a change to the advice being given to workers across the nation. When the lockdown was first introduced on Monday 23 March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government stated that if members of the public are able to work from home, then they should do so accordingly.
Coronavirus: How lockdown rules differ across the UK
After almost two months of being urged to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives, the terms of the UK lockdown have now changed. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to get parts of the British economy moving again, the restrictive measures we have become used to are now different depending on which of the home nations you live in.
The UK seems to be betting on the R number to help lift lockdown, but it may not be the easy way out
Easing the lockdown so that people in the UK can slowly return to their pre-pandemic lives depends on many factors, but there is one number that is mentioned time and again. The R number, or R rate, refers to the reproduction rate of coronavirus - basically how many people on average an infected individual will pass Covid-19 to.
When will gyms reopen in the UK? If fitness centres could be among the last to open when lockdown is eased
The Prime Minister revealed the government’s plans for the “roadmap” out of lockdown on Sunday 10 May. However, Scotland is not replacing the “stay home” message with Johnson’s new “stay alert” slogan. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has instead ordered those in Scotland to follow different advice on outdoors exercise.
Coronavirus: Italy allows bars, restaurants and hair salons to reopen from next week
Prime minister Giuseppe Conte lets regional leaders lift restrictions from 18 May. Italy’s bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons will be able to reopen next week after the government announced new moves to relax lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s regional authorities have been granted the power to lift restrictions on bars and other popular leisure businesses from 18 May. It follows pressure from local government leaders for an easing of the rules, as the number of new Covid-19 cases reaches its lowest level in more than two months.
Ski resorts in Europe set to reopen for summer as lockdown measures are eased
High-altitude ski resorts in France, Austria and Switzerland are to reopen their slopes for the summer as lockdown measures begin to ease around Europe.
Russia eases lockdown at the height of its coronavirus crisis
The "regime of non-working days," as the state of affairs in Russia has officially been called for the last six weeks, ended on Tuesday. The situation allows the gradual abolition of all restrictions, Putin said in his recent speech to the nation. This applies to all sectors of the economy, he said, adding that all businesses should be able to function again: heavy industry, construction, agriculture, transport and energy. People older than 65 and those in risk groups must, however, continue to stay at home, Putin said. Nationwide, people must wear face masks in public. Many citizens were surprised about the eased regulations because Russia, with more than 10,000 new cases per day, now ranks first in the worldwide statistics of new infections and second in the absolute number of infected people. Why then, many wondered, these relaxations? And why now and not a few weeks ago, when the official infection figures were much lower?
What Canada can learn from other countries about lifting lockdown measures too soon
As Canada moves to start easing lockdown measures, experts say there are key lessons we can learn from other countries to avoid risking a sudden spike in new COVID-19 cases. Countries like South Korea and Germany lifted some restrictions and have faced setbacks — but also did some things right. What they've shown is that easing measures could result in new outbreaks and a return to restrictions if not handled correctly. Experts say effective testing, tracing and isolating of cases need to be put in place before reopening. "Shutting your eyes and trying to drive through this blind is about as silly an equation as I've seen," Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization's top emergencies expert, said this week. "And I'm really concerned that certain countries are setting themselves up for some seriously blind driving over the next few months."
Coronavirus: Three mistakes Australia must avoid to prevent a deadly second wave
Australia should be looking to other countries for “cautionary tales” as it eases lockdown restrictions and the coronavirus curve flattens. Many countries overseas who have experienced soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, such as Germany and the UK, have started easing lockdown as Australia too announced rules would be relaxed. But with this comes the risk of a spike in coronavirus cases and the feared second wave of outbreaks. So what ‘mistakes’ have other countries made and what lessons can Australia learn to ensure cases can remain controlled.
Australia is 'winning' against coronavirus, finance minister says as country eases restrictions
As authorities globally look to ease restrictions intended to contain the coronavirus and reopen economies, Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the country is on the path to victory against the coronavirus. Acknowledging that Australia remains “very focused on avoiding a second wave” of infections, Cormann said the health risk is “appropriately managed at the moment.” Australia has been among the countries in Asia Pacific that have announced plans to ease lockdown measures put in place earlier to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Life in a bubble: Britain embraces New Zealand’s method for halting coronavirus spread
The bubble method of social distancing being adopted in the UK was pioneered by New Zealand and is credited with helping the country to all but eliminate Covid-19 with only 21 deaths. For seven weeks, a lockdown forced five million people into household or family “bubbles” in which they had to stay. Company while exercising or shopping could only be drawn from an individual’s bubble, which could not include outsiders. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, spoke often through social media to New Zealanders from her bubble in her official Wellington residence. It was limited to her partner, infant daughter and her parents. In late March, using Facebook Live, she apologised for wearing a casual green jumper, saying that she had just put her daughter
Russia moves to ease lockdown despite surge in virus cases
Russia moved to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday despite a surge in cases that has seen it register one of the world's highest number of infections. With pressure building to get the economy moving again, President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced an end to a national "non-working" period in place since late March. Containment measures remained in many parts of the vast country, including hard-hit Moscow which is on lockdown until the end of May, but others began to lift some restrictions. In Bashkortostan in the Urals officials reopened parks and river banks and in Magadan in the Far East residents were allowed to leave their homes to exercise. In Moscow some half-a-million construction and industrial workers were allowed back on the job, as wearing masks and gloves became mandatory in shops and on public transport.
Coronavirus in U.K.: Boris Johnson's Reopening Plans Leaves Britons Confused
Critics say the government has failed to answer some basic questions. Among them: 1) when to return to work and 2) how to get there.
Partisan Exits
China-linked hackers are targeting US coronavirus vaccine research, FBI warns
Hackers linked to the Chinese government are trying to steal coronavirus-related research on vaccines, treatments and testing, the FBI and a U.S. cybersecurity agency warned. The FBI, in a joint statement with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said it is investigating “the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by [People’s Republic of China]-affiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors.” The hackers have been caught attempting to “identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property” and public health data related to coronavirus research, according to the statement.
PM: UK will ‘go forward together’ despite lockdown splits
Boris Johnson has insisted the UK will “go forward together” out of coronavirus lockdown after facing claims that devolved administrations had been “shut out” of the UK Government’s plans.
German adviser sacked for report on 'lockdown peril'
A German ministerial adviser has been sacked for circulating a report that described coronavirus as a “false alarm” and accused the government of causing “a large number of avoidable deaths” through its lockdown. The 92-page document was drawn up by a civil servant in the interior ministry and leaked to a right-wing website, apparently after he felt that his misgivings were being ignored by his superiors. “The (entirely unforced) collateral damage of the corona crisis has by now become gigantic,” it says. “The protection measures ordered by the state … have meanwhile lost any purpose but remain largely in force.
Italy's South Tyrol invokes autonomy to pry open lockdown
Spurred by economic pressure, the provincial governor defied Rome this week and reasserted South Tyrol’s cherished autonomy, allowing restaurants, hair salons, tattoo parlors and museums to reopen Monday -- well ahead of the timetable set by Italy’s government. ‘’We have a relatively positive situation regarding the epidemic, with a rate of contagion the lowest in Italy,’’ said Gov. Arno Kompatscher, whose South Tyrolean People’s Party has controlled the province since 1948. The party’s legislators in the national parliament back Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte’s government. ‘’We appreciated the actions of the government in the phase of emergency, where it was necessary to move in a united way,” Kompatscher said. “But we are very proud and jealous of our autonomy.’’
Tensions mount as Scotland goes its own way on virus lockdown
First independence. Then Brexit. Now Scotland's handling of the coronavirus outbreak has stirred up fresh tensions with the UK government, despite an initial unified approach. The leader of the Scottish government, Nicola Sturgeon, has put clear water between Edinburgh and London by refusing to implement the same easing of lockdown measures. At the weekend, she warned lives could be at risk if stay-at-home restrictions were lifted too soon, just before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a plan for a gradual return to normality.
Confusion as UK publishes lockdown exit plan
The publication of a 50-page document followed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s televised address to the nation on Sunday evening, which was widely criticized for lacking precision. A broadcast round by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday morning ahead of the document’s release added to the confusion when he appeared to contradict the prime minister’s assertion that anyone who is able to work safely should return to their jobs on Wednesday, not Monday as Johnson had stated the night before.
Continued Lockdown
How the coronavirus crisis destroyed work-life balance in Spain
The lockdown has given the 4.5 million families in the country with small children an overload of responsibility. Experts are calling for urgent measures
Coronavirus UK: Contract tracing may mean 770k self-isolate a day
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) made the estimate. They say for every 20,000 new cases each day, 770,000 people would be traced. Currently 3,000 cases are diagnosed per day but it is heavily under-reported. The study measured the impact of app-based tracing against manual tracing . Both methods are due to be implemented by health chiefs in the coming weeks.
Coronavirus: Saskatchewan government detaining people who won’t self-isolate
The Saskatchewan government is detaining people who are allegedly not self-isolating and putting them in a place where prisoners who are awaiting bail or trial are usually held. According to the Ministry of Justice, the White Birch Remand Centre in Regina is being used as an “isolation centre” for those “unwilling or unable to follow the self-isolation orders established by the chief medical officer of Saskatchewan.”
South Sudan: Coronavirus cases confirmed inside UN civilian protection site
The UN Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) told the UN Spokesperson’s Office on Wednesday that the appearance of cases within one of the camps in the capital was “not unexpected, given the rising number of cases confirmed within communities across the city.” “The UN continues to urge displaced people in the sites to follow prevention measures such as social distancing, handwashing, and isolating themselves if they become sick”, Stéphane Dujarric told reporters during the regular online briefing in New York.
Coronavirus: UAE announces 725 new cases, 511 recoveries
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday announced 725 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, as well as 511 new recoveries. The total number of cases in the country has reached 20,386 and the total number of recoveries has also reached 6,523. As many as 34,869 new tests have also been carried out, the ministry added. 3 people have succumbed to the illness, bringing the total number of deaths to 206 in the country. The UAE's daily testing average is equivalent to a four-month screening average in other countries, and the country has conducted over 1.5 million Covid-19 tests so far, the ministry had said earlier.
Madrid protests at continued lockdown as Spain starts to reopen
A top official in Madrid has called on Spain’s government to move faster to end the city’s lockdown, arguing that keeping residents at home as other areas start to ease restrictions serves little health purpose and will deepen the damage to the nation’s economy. Ignacio Aguado, deputy head of the Madrid regional government, said there would be severe consequences for unemployment and poverty if Madrid was left behind after half the country began phasing out the coronavirus lockdown this week.
Philippines extends lockdown in capital beyond 11 weeks
The Philippines on Tuesday announced an extension of a lockdown of its capital, Manila, to 11 weeks, stretching one of the world's strictest and longest community quarantines to June to try to contain coronavirus outbreaks.
Putin's coronavirus crisis deepens with fatal hospital fire and spokesman's diagnosis
A fire in a hospital treating coronavirus victims claimed the lives of five patients and forced the evacuation of 150 people in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Tuesday, further testing the Russian government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic amid a growing crisis that has reached the Kremlin's inner circle. The St. Petersburg fire broke out on the sixth floor of an intensive care unit at the St. George Hospital, killing five coronavirus patients connected to ventilating equipment, the TASS news agency reported, citing medical personnel. According to initial findings, the fire may have been caused by a short circuit in a ventilator or its malfunction, state news agencies said. The Investigative Committee, Russia's top law enforcement body, said a criminal investigation had been opened into the matter.
Scientific Viewpoint
Coronavirus: Experts warn 100,000 people could die if UK lockdown lifted early
The UK death toll could surpass 100,000 if lockdown restrictions are eased too soon, leading academics have warned. As many as 73,000 excess deaths could happen in the next year as a direct or indirect result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report published in the Lancet. The UK’s COVID-19 death toll now exceeds 40,000, which is the worst in Europe, and the government has just eased restrictions. Dr Amitava Banerjee, from University College London (UCL), is the lead author on the new study.
Lockdown ease in Europe gains pace as Fauci warns of danger if US re-opens too soon
Austria announced its border with Germany would be unlocked following a two-month shutdown and Britons were allowed unlimited outdoor exercise, despite a global death toll closing in on 300,000. Curbs that have confined billions to their homes continued easing but the death toll spiked in some of the world's most populated countries, with Brazil, Russia and the US all reporting bad news. It came as US government expert Anthony Fauci issued a stark warning to Congress about the dangers of resuming normal life too soon, saying a run of 14 days with falling cases was a vital first step.
Italian hospital sees 30-FOLD increase in children admitted for rare inflammatory condition - with 80% of those testing positive for coronavirus - suggesting the diseases are linked
In Lombardy, Italy, over the last 5 years, 19 children were admitted to a hospital with an inflammatory syndrome with symptoms resembling Kawasaki Disease. Between February 18, 2020 and April 20, 2020, 10 children were admitted with the same symptoms such as a full body rash. 80% of the 10 tested positive for coronavirus bodies and 60% had more severe complications such as heart issues. Researchers say this is evidence the mysterious condition is linked to COVID-19 and that it should be classified as 'Kawasaki-like Disease.' On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed 15 US states are investigating a link between coronavirus and the syndrome
Coronavirus UK: Thousands of coronavirus test results 'disappear'
The results of tens of thousands of Covid-19 key worker testing kits have reportedly gone missing, it has emerged. Data from essential workers’ home testing and drive-through kits have been ‘disappearing into a black hole,’ according to NHS sources, reported the HSJ. Without the information, local authorities and organisations do not know exactly how many people in their area have tested positive for the virus. A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson has denied that tests have been lost and said there was a ‘technical error relating to postcode data, but this has now been fixed’.
Abbott's rapid coronavirus test misses nearly half of positive cases, study finds | TheHill
A rapid coronavirus diagnostic test manufactured by Abbott may miss nearly half of all positive infections, according to a pre-published study from New York University. The analysis of Abbott's ID NOW system, which has not been peer-reviewed, found the test to be "unacceptable" in a clinical setting. But Abbott said it's not clear if the researchers used the samples correctly. A spokesperson said the company's own rate of false negatives that it has shared with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is .02 percent.
In France, Covid-19 is said to have contaminated less than 5% of the population, far from collective immunity
Even in the most affected regions, less than 10% of the inhabitants have been infected, according to this updated study by French epidemiologists.
Moscow defends reporting of low coronavirus death statistics
Deaths of those infected with coronavirus were ascribed to other causes following post-mortem exams, said officials.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Spain's New Virus Cases, Deaths Edge Higher as Lockdown Eases
PM Pedro Sanchez is also facing growing pressure from industry groups, particularly in the tourism and restaurant sectors hammered by the fallout from the virus. The government issued a decree Tuesday mandating a 14-day confinement for people arriving from outside Spain, a potential blow to travel companies desperate for a return to normality.
Wuhan to use massive testing against COVID-19 resurgence; Russia cases soar
Two countries—China and Singapore—are taking massive testing steps to tamp down COVID-19 resurgences, as cases continued to soar in Russia, now the country with the third-highest number of cases. The global total today climbed to 4,239,872 cases, and 290,390 people have died from COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.
South Korea To Refrain From Reimposing Lockdown Despite Surge In COVID-19 Cases
Authorities in South Korea,May 13 said that there were no immediate plans on reinstating stringent social distancing rules despite fresh surge in COVID-19 cases
Coronavirus flare-ups in China and South Korea prompt new fears of a 2nd wave
China plans to test all 11 million people in epicenter city Wuhan after finding new cases, while South Korea races to contain a new cluster in Seoul.
China ‘to test all 11m Wuhan residents’ amid fears of coronavirus comeback
Authorities in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic first broke out are planning to test all 11 million residents in the next 10 days, local media have reported. No official announcement has been made,
South Korea And China See COVID-19 Resurgence After Easing Restrictions
South Korea is now grappling with some of its largest infection clusters yet after authorities began to loosen some social distancing restrictions this month. Scores of new cases have been reported in the past two weeks, many of which are linked to a young man who stopped in at several clubs and bars in Seoul the night of May 1. Officials do not know how he contracted the virus in the first place. It's a demoralizing development for officials there, who postponed their plans to reopen on-site classes in schools for the first time in more than two months. But South Korea is not the only apparent success story to report a regression recently.
Chinese city in partial lockdown, 'major risk' of virus spreading
A city in northeastern China has partially shut its borders and cut off transport links after the emergence of a local coronavirus cluster that has fuelled growing fears of a second wave of infections. Jilin, with a population of more than four million, suspended bus services Wednesday and said it will only allow residents to leave the city if they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the past 48 hours and complete an unspecified period of "strict self-isolation". All cinemas, indoor gyms, internet cafes and other enclosed entertainment venues must shut immediately, and pharmacies must report all sales of fever and antiviral medicines, the local government said in a statement.
New Lockdown
Some countries reimposing coronavirus lockdowns after renewed spikes
Lebanon on Tuesday became the latest country to reimpose restrictions after experiencing a surge of infections, almost exactly two weeks after it appeared to have contained the spread of the virus and began easing up. Authorities ordered a four-day, near-complete lockdown to allow officials time to assess the rise in numbers. The reemergence of coronavirus cases in many parts of Asia is also prompting a return to closures in places that had claimed success in battling the disease or appeared to have eradicated it altogether, including South Korea, regarded as one of the continent's top success stories.
China’s Jilin city goes into partial lockdown to contain coronavirus cluster
Jilin city in northeast China has closed schools, imposed restrictions on transport and banned gatherings as a cluster outbreak sparks fears of a new wave of Covid-19 infections. Train and long-distance bus services have been stopped, gatherings banned and indoor public venues closed after six new cases were confirmed on Tuesday. That brought the total to 21 community cases, with two asymptomatic patients, since the first infection in the cluster was reported a week ago. Anyone who wants to leave Jilin – the second biggest city in the province of the same name – must provide a negative report for a nucleic acid test done in the 48 hours before departure. Social gatherings have also been banned and indoor public venues – such as theatres, internet cafes, mahjong parlours and public bathhouses – have been closed until further notice, the statement said.