iStock/mrtom-ukBy: JON HAWORTH and MATT ZARRELL(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed over 203,000 people worldwide.More than 2.89 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 940,000 diagnosed cases and at least 54,001 deaths.Today’s biggest developments:US cases top 900,000Global deaths tops 200,000CDC adds six new symptoms of coronavirusUnemployment rate will be comparable to Great DepressionHere’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.10:30 a.m.: More ‘consistency’ in downward trend needed before reopening, NYC mayor saysNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while there are many indicators that the number of current coronavirus patients are on a downward trend, more “consistency” is needed before the city will begin to consider taking steps towards reopening.The mayor at his daily press conference on Sunday noted the percentage of people who have tested positive, the number admitted to hospitals and those in the ICU have all gone down or stayed flat in recent days but cautioned against restarting too soon.“We restart when we have evidence. Look, we see some states around the country to restart their economies. I’m worried for them. I’m worried for their people. Some seem to be paying attention to health care indicators more than others,” de Blasio explained. “Anybody, any state, any city that doesn’t pay attention to those factual health care indicators that evidence is endangering themselves and their people and the whole idea of having a restart to have an economy again, recover, it could all backfire because the disease reasserts.”The mayor added that there are a number of outstanding questions that his administration is working to address before the city can reopen.“How do you reopen a restaurant and still do it in a way that protects the customers and protects the people that work there? What kind of protection will people need? What kind of PPE’s will people need to wear in different parts of the city, a lot of different work they do to make sure they are safe. When will they need more? When will they need less? We’ve got to start filling in those blanks,” de Blasio said.De Blasio said the recovery must address the “structural racism” and disparities that have been exposed during the pandemic, announcing the city would create a “Fair Recovery Task Force” to help New Yorkers recover from the crisis.“Recovery means to me getting back not just to a point where life feels more normal but getting back to a point of strength, additionally addressing the underlying issues we still need to address in the city,” de Blasio said.9:45 a.m.: Unemployment rate will be comparable to Great Depression, Trump adviser saysKevin Hassett, President Donald Trump’s economic adviser, said the U.S. is going to see a jobless rate comparable to what happened during the Great Depression as it recovers from the novel coronavirus pandemic.Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Hassett also measured up losses against the more recent Great Recession.“Around 2008, we lost 8.7 million jobs and the whole thing. Right now, we’re losing that many jobs about every 10 days,” he said. “And so … the economic lift for policymakers is an extraordinary one.”9:05 a.m.: Michigan governor defends stay-at-home ordersMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer disagreed Sunday that her stay-at-home orders were too aggressive in combatting the novel coronavirus pandemic in her state.“It was hitting (Michigan) incredibly hard and that’s why we have a unique solution, even though it was more aggressive than other states. We have started to really push down that curve and we’ve saved lives in the process,” the Democrat told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday on ABC’s This Week.4:25 a.m.: 3 people arrested during ‘Freedom Rally’ protest at San Diego beachThree people were arrested Saturday during a “Freedom Rally” protest in Encinitas, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.The three individuals were among a group of several dozen people that gathered at Moonlight Beach to protest the county’s beach closures and stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The three people were cited for health order violations, said sheriff’s Lt. Amber Baggs. The maximum penalty of the health orders could be citation for a $1,000 fine or up to six months in jail, or both.Baggs also said deputies issued one traffic citation and seven parking citations during the protest.According to Baggs, there were 75-100 people at the “The Surf’s Up Shred the Tidal Wave of Tyranny” protest Saturday morning. The two-hour event was organized by Crista Anne Curtis, who led a similar protest last week.“Several protestors walked onto the beach and sat as deputies began speaking to them regarding the County Public Health Order,” said Baggs. “The people were given multiple opportunities to comply with the state and county orders. Three attendees refused and were arrested.”Another protest was planned for Sunday at the Pacific Beach lifeguard station at 700 Grand Ave. starting at 1 p.m.Dubbed “A Day of Liberty San Diego Freedom Rally,” the protest is being organized by Naomi Soria, according to social media posts announcing the rally. Soria organized last week’s downtown San Diego rally.2:49 a.m.: CDC updates list of coronavirus symptomsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added six new possible symptoms of the novel coronavirus.People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:• Fever• Cough• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing• Chills• Repeated shaking with chills• Muscle pain• Headache• Sore throat• New loss of taste or smellIt had previously only noted fever, cough and shortness of breath as possible symptoms of COVID-19.1:17 a.m.: More than 100,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the United StatesAs of 8:30 p.m. ET, 100,104 people have recovered from COVID-19, according to the data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.9:33 p.m.: Hawaii extends quarantine for travelersHawaii Gov. David Ige announced he was extending the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers into the state until May 31. He is also extending the stay-at-home order until the same date.He said he was continuing to keep the quarantine in place for travelers since 100 people were still arriving every day.Tim Sakahara, spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Transportation, said passenger arrivals are down 99% from this time last year. The only flights coming in are from San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles and Guam.There have been 604 cases and 14 deaths, including two in the past day, in Hawaii. Wyoming, Montana and Alaska are the only states with fewer cases.ABC News’ Ahmad Hemingway, Jack Arnholz, Ashley Brown, Arielle Mitropoulos and Matt Foster contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Constant temperature checks, a “no mask, no service” ethos, and high-tech people-tracking: welcome to the new normal in China, where reminders of the country’s national mobilization against the coronavirus lurk around every corner.China appears to be coming to grips with the virus, which emerged late last year and has infected more than 80,000 people and killed nearly 3,000 in the country, but has slowed markedly in recent weeks.But that has come at the cost of new preventive policies that have turned life upside down and are not likely to be swiftly abandoned. The changes wrought by a contagion spread by humans and their travels is particularly felt when trying to move around within China, as AFP journalists discovered during recent trips from Shanghai up to the borders of the viral epicenter of Hubei province.Reminders of the virus begin as soon as one leaves home, with masked cab drivers in white gloves quick to admonish any passengers who forget to wear masks.Some drivers are going even further. In the city of Wenzhou, about four hours by train from Shanghai, AFP reporters jumped into car called via Didi Chuxing — China’s answer to Uber — in which a clear plastic barrier was stretched over a makeshift frame to separate driver and passengers.Didi Chuxing piloted the project in a handful of hard-hit cities and plans to spend 100 million yuan ($14 million) to expand it. Topics : ‘Sold-out’ trains Travellers booking tickets aboard the country’s efficient high-speed rail network lately are surprised to find that, despite travel being depressed by virus fears, popular booking apps like Ctrip invariably list most trains as “sold out” or with only a handful of seats left.But one such Wenzhou-bound train was full of empty seats. That is because only a fraction of tickets are being made available to prevent travellers sitting too close to each other.”We are sorry for the confusion, but China’s high-speed rail systems are contributing to the patriotic hygiene campaign. We hope you find this convenient,” said a young female train attendant.With the government calling for an all-out “People’s War” against the virus, tech champions like Alibaba and Tencent have rolled out digital mobile-phone apps that use big data to track a traveller’s movements going back as far as a month.Users are rated as green, yellow or red based on whether they visited any high-risk zones.Showing one’s code to security personnel is now compulsory in a number of cities to exit train stations, or use public transport.In Wenzhou, cab drivers, hotels, and virtually any business will ask to see the color code before letting someone pass.The system has fuelled new grumbling on China’s internet over previous accusations that the big tech firms were doing the Communist Party’s surveillance work.But most complaints seem to involve “green” ratings inexplicably turning “red”, which can result in mandatory 14-day home quarantine.The pervasive measures attest to the one-party state’s ability to marshal huge resources — financial, material, and human — for mass campaigns couched in 1950s Communist rhetoric.Red banners hang throughout now largely shut-down cities like Wenzhou, lauding the “War of Resistance Against Pneumonia”, and declaring that “Everyone Must Contribute to the Patriotic Hygiene Campaign.” Elbow bumpHotel check-ins have become mini health inspections by masked staff who measure guests’ temperatures by aiming hand-held sensors at foreheads and forearms and record the result.”Have you experienced any fever, felt unwell or visited Hubei recently?” a Wenzhou front-desk clerk asked.The temperature obsession can be taken to absurd lengths, with some hotels re-measuring guests who had stepped out only minutes earlier. On one day, an AFP reporter moving around Wenzhou had his temperature taken a dozen times, including by cab drivers, restaurant owners, convenience-store clerks, hotel security, front-desk staff and a final late-night knock on the door by a female hotel employee.”Do not walk forward! Be still please,” she snapped, before a light beep announced the result.”It’s normal. Enjoy your evening.”Beijing is pushing a long-term fight and local governments will no doubt be fearful of letting up even slightly anytime soon and being blamed for a new outbreak.That means even some of society’s most time-honored practices are on hold.When an AFP reporter presented a business card to a government liaison officer in Wenzhou, she recoiled and asked that it be placed on a table.And when it came time to shake another official’s hand, the man refused, laughing nervously.”For safety, we don’t really shake hands at the current time,” he said, instead sticking forward the crook of his arm for an “elbow bump.”
Tweet Sharing is caring! FaithLifestyle Eviction order for Burma monk Shwe Nya War Sayardaw by: – December 15, 2011 Share Share Share 27 Views no discussions Shwe Nya War Sayardaw is an abbot at Rangoon’s Sadhu monasteryA senior Burmese monk has been ordered to leave his monastery in Rangoon because of a speech he gave at a pro-democracy event.Shwe Nya War Sayardaw, a well-known critic of the government, addressed the National League for Democracy at a recent event in Mandalay.He was among several figures who met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she visited Burma in December. The Burmese government has recently implemented a series of reforms. But it still continues to hold hundreds of political prisoners and the country is still plagued by ethnic conflicts.The actual order to leave came from the monks’ governing body, but this is backed by the Burmese authorities. ‘Refusing to obey’Shwe Nya War Sayardaw, who is an abbot at Rangoon’s Sadhu monastery, received a letter from the monks’ governing body informing him that he was being disciplined for delivering a speech to pro-democracy leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).The letter states that he must move away from the Sadhu monastery and that he cannot teach in monasteries without permission from the governing body – the Sangha.Although he has been ordered to leave the Sadhu monastery, he can live in other monasteries.However, according to one local journalist, he is refusing to obey the order and says that he will stay at the monastery until forced out. He is well-known for his outspoken views and for using Buddhist stories to draw unflattering parallels between the government and past administrations, correspondents say.Ms Suu Kyi’s NLD recently re-registered as a political party, and she is expected to stand for parliament in forthcoming by-elections.Recent reforms by the government included freeing Ms Suu Kyi from detention and allowed to her take up a role in public life, prompting speculation that decades of isolation could be about to end. The army handed power to a civilian government last year, but the military’s primacy is entrenched in the country’s constitution.The US maintains tight sanctions on senior leaders in Burma, which was ruled by a brutal military junta from 1962 until 2010.Chinese meetingMeanwhile on Thursday China said its ambassador to Burma held talks with Aung San Suu Kyi in what is thought to be the first formal meeting between the most important supporter of the military-backed government and its most prominent critic. A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, Liu Weimin, said the meeting had been arranged at the request of Aung San Suu Kyi but he did not say when it took place. The spokesman said the ambassador met her because China was willing to speak to all sectors of Burmese society. Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s NLD won a landslide election victory in 1990, but the junta refused to recognise the result and the party was never allowed to take power.Ms Suu Kyi spent much of the next 20 years in detention. BBC News