Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive. Australia receives defective masks from China. Germany accuses the US of ‘piracy’ as a stash of American-made masks diverted back to states.
Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized due to coronavirus, for precautionary testing.
Johnson was taken to an unnamed London hospital on Sunday after days of persistent symptoms, during which time he has been self-isolating. Last week No 10 had denied the prime minister was more seriously ill than claimed.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests. This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.”
Officials were keen to stress that this was not an emergency admission, and that Johnson will remain in charge of government, and will be in regular touch with colleagues and civil servants.
If his condition worsens Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is the designated minister to take charge.
Once again, Sean Ono Lennon injects some sanity into the coronavirus discussion. Here are his thoughts about the complaints about Johnson’s ability to get tested quickly.
People complaining that @BorisJohnson got tested for Covid ahead of people who are not the Prime Minister. I mean, idunno, seems reasonable for him to cut the line since he’s running the entire fucking country. Just saying.
— Sean Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) April 5, 2020
Tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City tests positive for COVID-19
You can add tigers to the list of species that can suffer the effects of a Wuhan Coronavirus infection.
A tiger at New York City’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement Sunday.
The tiger, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger named Nadia, developed a dry cough and a decrease in appetite. She was tested out of an abundance of caution, and the results were confirmed by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa, the society said.
Her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions also showed coronavirus symptoms, but all of the cats, including Nadia, are expected to recover.
None of the zoo’s snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, puma or serval are showing any signs of illness.
The zoo said the cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms.
Australia seizes faulty coronavirus protective equipment imported from China
Add Australia to the list of countries that have received less than effective personal protective equipment items from China.
Authorities have begun seizing Chinese-made faulty face masks and other protective clothing that is being exported to Australia to help halt the spread of coronavirus.
The ABC has learnt that in recent weeks, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have intercepted several deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE) that have been found to be counterfeit or otherwise faulty.
One law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, estimated the ABF had already seized 800,000 masks with a combined value of more than $1.2 million on the Australian market.
“We started seeing this stuff arriving roughly three weeks ago when news of the pandemic was really taking off,” the official told the ABC.
“The dodgy material is coming via air cargo because there is a backlog of sea freight at Australian ports.”
The US accused of ‘piracy’ after mask shipment is diverted from Germany
A German official accused the US of “modern piracy” after a consignment of medical masks intended for German police were reportedly diverted to the states.
Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Berlin state, described the diversion as “an act of modern piracy” and pressed to the German government to intervene and demand that Washington follows international trade rules. “This is no way to treat trans-Atlantic partners,” Geisel said. “Even in times of global crisis, there should be no Wild West methods.”
…President Trump said on Friday he ordered US companies, including 3M, to stop exporting crucial medical products needed to fight coronavirus under the Korean-War-era Defense Production Act. “We need these items immediately for domestic use,” he said. ‘We have to have them.”
Trump said US authorities had taken custody of nearly 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks and 600,000 gloves, but did not provide details about where they were seized.
South Korea’s return to normal interrupted by an uptick in coronavirus cases
It is being reported that the number of cases in South Korea is rising again.
The first wave of the coronavirus struck South Korea in mid-February after a “superspreader” from the Shincheonji Church in Daegu, a major city southeast of Seoul, infected worshippers during a service — a single case that infected more than 6,000 people.
Since then, with the swift implementation of nonpharmaceutical initiatives, like refraining from handshakes and diligently wearing masks, South Korea significantly reduced its number of daily cases from a peak of 909 in late February to as low as 76 and 64 in mid-March.
Despite this general decline, 125 new cases were reported last Monday — a slight increase from the previous day, at 78. The new stats also showed a rising death toll.
Local infection clusters have continued to set South Koreans on edge as case numbers fluctuate.
Sweden mulls U-turn on coronavirus restrictions
Sweden is one of the few European countries that has not yet put the country under some kind of coronavirus lockdown. The government is planning on passing emergency powers to change this.
Radio Sweden International reports that the Scandinavian country’s government initially sought the ability to introduce emergency measures, when required, without the approval of parliament. But after fierce opposition, ministers say they’ll now wait for other parties’ approval.
The opposition Moderate Party and the Left Party have demanded that they are allowed to examine and scrutinize any decisions the government makes under the emergency legislation. The government now hopes the new powers will be approved in the coming days.
The measures, which would last for three months, would allow ministers to stop public gatherings, close shops, entertainment venues and limit access to public transport.
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