As Covid-19 continues to spread across the US, President Donald Trump has given governors guidance on reopening state economies in the coming months. The guidelines for “Opening up America Again” outline three phases for states to gradually ease their lockdowns. They include some recommendations across all three phases including good personal hygiene and employers developing policies to ensure social distancing, testing and contact tracing.
China’s economy shrank 6.8% in the three months of 2020, the country’s first such contraction on record and a stark sign of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The news came as Chinese authorities revised the death toll in Wuhan, the hardest hit city and where the virus first emerged, up by 50%, to 3,869 from 2,579. Citing the number of patients who had died at home before reaching hospital, as well as late and inaccurate reporting.
Britain is among a number of countries investigating the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, including a possibility it could be linked to a Chinese laboratory conducting research into diseases in bats. It is thought to be considered highly likely that the novel coronavirus did occur naturally and is not man-made. NBC News reported on Thursday that the US intelligence community is examining whether it came accidentally from a Wuhan lab.
Some European countries have announced plans to ease restrictions on social life, transport and cross-border travel imposed since mid-March to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus. Britain extended its nationwide lockdown on April 16 for at least another three weeks. On April 15, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel announced partial reopening of shops next week and schools, hairdressers from May 4.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed a Yemeni man found guilty of attacking a Spanish dance troupe and wounding three people on stage before a stunned audience in the capital last year. The Interior Ministry identified the man as 33-year-old Yemeni national Emad Abdelqawi al-Mansouri. It marked the first such incidence of violence since the kingdom began loosening restrictions on entertainment around two years ago.