Countries around the world have now reported more than 1 million coronavirus cases, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. The respiratory disease has killed more than 51,000 people and is found in at least 181 countries and regions. The global case total includes some 209,000 people who have recovered from COVID-19. But the number of new cases has skyrocketed in the U.S., Italy and Spain in recent weeks.
The US now leads the world in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. There are almost 86,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in the US – roughly 16% of the world’s total of 532,000. This puts it ahead of China, where the virus originated. The country has seen a sharp decrease in new cases in recent weeks and has moved to suspend visits from almost all foreign nationals.
New York health officials are planning to collect plasma from people who have recovered after contracting coronavirus and inject the antibody-rich fluid into patients battling COVID-19. The US state’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced two experimental medical interventions – the blood plasma transfusions, and another involving antibody testing in order to send survivors back to work. The intervention comes as the number of confirmed cases in New York State surged to more than 20,000.
President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that he has activated the National Guard in California, New York and Washington state in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The administration emphasized that the deployment of guard members is not martial law. “I’m a wartime president,” Trump said. “This is a war — a different kind of war than we’ve ever had.”
California’s governor issued a stay at home order, which took effect Thursday night. The state’s 40 million residents were asked to leave their homes only when necessary and it will remain in place until further notice. And Senate Republicans have unveiled a plan to send direct cash payment to help Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the plan, individuals making up to $75,000 annually would be eligible for a $1,200 check from the federal government.
President Trump on Monday urged the public to avoid “discretionary” travel, frequenting restaurants or bars, attending school in person, and gathering in groups of 10 or more — a dramatic message meant to curb the spread of the pandemic coronavirus that has sickened thousands of Americans and ground daily life to a halt in countries across the globe. The president warned that such social distancing measures could be necessary until mid-summer, until the pandemic “washes through.
The US has announced a countrywide ban on some e-cigarette flavors amid concerns about vaping among teens. The ban applies to mint and fruit flavors that are offered in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, like the popular pods sold by Juul. The US will continue to allow menthol and tobacco flavors, as well as fruit flavors delivered in other ways.
Four in five 11- to 17-year-olds around the world are not taking enough physical exercise, according to the first such analysis. The World Health Organization says children’s health is being damaged as well as their brain development and social skills. It says failing to take the recommended hour a day of exercise is a universal problem in rich and poor countries.
Microplastics in drinking water do not appear to pose a health risk at current levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In its first report on the issue, the WHO found that larger particles, and most smaller ones, pass through the body without being absorbed. But it said the findings were based on “limited information” as it called for greater research on the issue.
Strains of drug-resistant malaria are becoming more dominant in Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand after spreading rapidly from Cambodia. Currently, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are the gold standard of antimalarial treatment – but in 2008, a parasite resistant to artemisinin emerged in Pailin, western Cambodia. Millions of lives will be in danger if antimalarial drug resistance spreads from Asia to Africa, doctors have warned.