- Singapore reports another alarming jump in new cases
- Tokyo reports ~150 new cases, asks companies to extend “Golden Week” holiday
- Sydney forced to shutter three newly reopened beaches
- China rejects US request to examine Wuhan lab
- India reports record single-day jump in cases
- Matt Hancock says ‘no set date’ for BoJo to return
- Chinese tests using blood of recovered patients show promising results
- Indonesia also reports jump in cases
* * *
As of 6amET Friday morning, the number of deaths linked to the coronavirus in the US stood at 49,963. You probably don’t need to be an ‘epidemiological expert’ to suspect that the death toll will surpass 50k on Friday – probably before lunchtime, since Gov Cuomo typically releases the latest NY state-wide death count at around 11amET.
But before we get into the big US-focused stories of the day, we believe it’s worth noting some new developments in Asia overnight suggesting that despite Singapore’s strict new lockdown – and in Japan, despite PM Shinzo Abe’s decision to expand a ‘state of emergency’ countrywide – both countries, big and small, have continued to struggle.
In Singapore, authorities disclosed 897 new infections. That’s a slight decline from Thursday’s record 1,037, but still too many for a tiny island city-state with a population of only 5.7 million people. The numbers pushed Singapore’s total case count since the beginning of the outbreak past 12,000, with the “vast majority” of them migrant workers, whom Singapore’s PM has promised to care for as if they were naturalized Singaporeans, CNA reports.
Overnight, Tokyo confirmed 161 new cases, according to a report from Nikkei. That’s up from 134 on Thursday. The governments of Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa have asked companies to extend the upcoming “Golden Week” holiday to 12 days.
In India, officials reported 1,684 new coronavirus cases, up from the 1,409 reported Thursday morning. That’s the biggest single-day spike yet for the outbreak in India, where the number of confirmed cases has reached 23,077, with 718 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, numbers that some epidemiologists fear are well below the true number of active infections. Indonesia reported 436 new cases during the last 24 hours, a new daily record, bringing the total to 8,211, with 689 deaths.
Beijing made a big decision this week by allowing a stream of foreign journalists back into Wuhan after allowing just a handful of ‘exclusive’ reports from the newly reopened city last week. However, there’s one place journalists – and US investigators – won’t be allowed to examine: the biolab suspected as the true source of the viral leak.
As more governments rapidly expand their surveillance capabilities to aid in ‘contact tracing’ of people infected with the virus (even though casual contacts have the lowest chance of infection and the people typically infected are in many cases family members and close friends), Australian PM Scott Morrison said he plans to make it illegal for any workers not in the health-care field to access the surveillance data, leaving it ‘off limits’ to cops and the government – at least in theory.
While the global outcry over expanded governmental surveillance continues, many have gladly welcomed the expansion of the surveillance state, and celebrate stories of spooks turning their attention to tracking close encounters in grocery store aisles and mass transit.
An Icelandic cop who normally tracks mobsters is now doing contact tracing of people infected with coronavirus.
He’s still using his cop skills — to track down people who try to evade quarantine.
Someone please option this:https://t.co/62zXwh3Tfq
— mims (@mims) April 24, 2020
Australia has started the process of reopening though most stores won’t reopen until the middle of next month, but local officials in Sydney decided to close three beaches that had been briefly opened because locals broke safety restrictions.
Moving on to the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that there are currently is no set date for PM Boris Johnson to return to work. Following yesterday’s failure of the EU to reach a consensus on how to finance a pan-bloc relief program, Germany on Friday reported that its coronavirus reproduction rate had increased to 0.9 according to the country’s CDC, the Robert Koch Institute, meaning every 10 people with the virus infect an average of nine others. That’s up from a reproduction rate of 0.7 a week ago.
Finally, before we go, CNN reported overnight that researchers in China have successfully cloned antibodies from recovered patients, a step toward developing a “new kind of treatment for the virus.” In test tubes, the antibodies prevented the binding of the novel coronavirus to its receptor, according to the researchers. Antibodies that block that step, which is critical for infection, could become a promising treatment.
I do not believe this gilead news. It is from the chinese trials …This is not from Gilead..
— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) April 23, 2020
….Is this ‘fake’ trial news or the real kind?