While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 10

British PM Boris Johnson leaves intensive care, remains under observation

Prime Minister Boris Johnson left intensive care on Thursday evening as he continues to recover from Covid-19, but he remains under close observation in hospital, his office said on Thursday.

Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough, and was rushed to intensive care on Monday where he spent three nights receiving treatment.

“The prime minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a spokesman from his office said in an emailed statement. “He is in extremely good spirits.”

Johnson was the first world leader to be hospitalised with the coronavirus, forcing him to hand control of the world’s fifth-largest economy to foreign minister Dominic Raab just as Britain’s outbreak approaches its most deadly peak.


Coronavirus: Europe is looking at several more weeks of lockdowns

Italy and Spain are preparing for several more weeks under lockdown as volatile coronavirus infection rates prevent Europe’s governments from easing curbs on public life.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose country has reported the most virus-linked deaths worldwide, is leaning towards an extension to early May, with few concessions to business demands to allow more companies to operate normally.

Spain prolonged a state of emergency until April 25 and Britain also is likely to extend restrictions.


Coronavirus: New York City hires labourers to bury dead on Hart Island

New York City officials have hired contract labourers to bury the dead in its potter’s field on Hart Island as the city’s daily death rate from the coronavirus epidemic has reached grim new records in each of the last three days.

The city has used Hart Island to bury New Yorkers with no known next of kin or whose family are unable to arrange a funeral since the 19th century.

Typically, some 25 bodies are interred each week by low-paid jail inmates working on the island, which sits off the east shore of the city’s Bronx borough and is accessible only by boat. That number began increasing in March as the new coronavirus spread rapidly, making New York the epicentre of the global pandemic.


Coronavirus: We should worry about animals being infected by humans, experts say

The discovery that a tiger in the Bronx Zoo in New York has the Covid-19 coronavirus has fuelled discussion in research circles about the implications of the virus circulating in mammals other than humans.

Zoo officials tested the Malayan tiger, named Nadia, after she started showing symptoms – a dry cough and a mild loss of appetite – on March 27. Nadia’s sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions had also developed similar symptoms.

That Covid-19 came from wildlife at a market, has already dovetailed long held concerns in public health and wildlife conservation circles.


Coronavirus: Jerome Powell says Fed will act ‘forcefully’ to help US recovery

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the US central bank was committed to using all its powers “forcefully, pro-actively, and aggressively” to help the country recover from the devastating coronavirus pandemic, even as he laid out the boundaries to that authority.

His remarks came soon after the Fed made another slew of announcements on Thursday, rolling out new emergency lending programmes and beefing up existing facilities unveiled in recent weeks.

The sweeping package makes as much as US$2.3 trillion (S$3.2 trillion) in additional aid available, including US$600 billion for companies and US$500 billion to purchase short-term debt directly from state and local governments.


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