10 million Covid cases, half a million deaths

The Covid case count has just topped ten million on Worldometer (it is currently 9.96 million at Reuters and 9.81 million at JHU but they will also pass 10 million today).

New case numbers climbed rapidly in March, levelled off, but then took off again late May and increased by 180,000 on Thursday and 194 thousand on Friday (current numbers are Saturday GMT).

This is just confirmed cases, there are likely to be many more than this.

A quarter of the cases – two and a half million – are in the United States. Numbers there had seemed to peak in April, dropped back a bit from there but have also surged again in the last week with the worst of the problem there moving to different states, where lockdowns were light or relaxed too soon.

Reuters: Florida, Arizona, Nevada hit daily highs for COVID-19 cases

Florida, Arizona and Nevada recorded daily highs for cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, highlighting the worsening spread of the virus in several southern and western states, prompting some of them to rollback their reopening plans.

The surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, serving as a warning to the potentially illusory nature of any perceived progress in controlling the virus.

On Friday, as the United States recorded its largest daily case count of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the government’s current strategy for finding and isolating infected people was “not working,” partly due to significant asymptomatic spread.

The number of deaths world wide is also likely to pass half a million today as well (currently 499,001).

UPDATE: deaths now 500,533

And a quarter of those deaths are in the US (128,000).

It’s not just the deaths that are causing problems – Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19

Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.

Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage.

“We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.

And recovery can be slow, incomplete and costly, with a huge impact on quality of life.

The broad and diverse manifestations of COVID-19 are somewhat unique, said Dr. Sadiya Khan, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

With influenza, people with underlying heart conditions are also at higher risk of complications, Khan said. What is surprising about this virus is the extent of the complications occurring outside the lungs.

Khan believes there will be a huge healthcare expenditure and burden for individuals who have survived COVID-19.

A lot of work is being done to try to deal with this. As world approaches 10 million coronavirus cases, doctors see hope in new treatments

Doctors say they’ve learned enough about the highly contagious virus to solve some key problems for many patients. The changes could be translating into more saved lives, although there is little conclusive data.

Nearly 30 doctors around the world, from New Orleans to London to Dubai, told Reuters they feel more prepared should cases surge again in the fall.

“​We are well-positioned for a second wave,” Patel said. “We know so much more.”

Doctors like Patel now have:

  • A clearer grasp of the disease’s side effects, like blood clotting and kidney failure
  • A better understanding of how to help patients struggling to breathe
  • More information on which drugs work for which kinds of patients.

They also have acquired new tools to aid in the battle, including:

  • Widespread testing
  • Promising new treatments like convalescent plasma, antiviral drugs and steroids
  • An evolving spate of medical research and anecdotal evidence, which doctors share across institutions, and sometimes across oceans.

Despite a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, driven to some extent by wider testing, the daily death toll from the disease is falling in some countries, including the United States. Doctors say they are more confident in caring for patients than they were in the chaotic first weeks of the pandemic, when they operated on nothing but blind instinct.

A vaccine is probably some time away from becoming widely available despite many teams of scientists working on one.

RNZ – Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK:

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials.

The trials are among many across the world – there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.

Prof Shattock said: “We’ve been able to produce a vaccine from scratch and take it to human trials in just a few months.

“If our approach works and the vaccine provides effective protection against disease, it could revolutionise how we respond to disease outbreaks in future.”

Healthline: Here’s Exactly Where We Are with Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

These drugs are still being tested in clinical trials to see whether they’re effective against COVID-19. This step is needed to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be.

It could be months before treatments are available that are known to work against COVID-19. It could be even longer for a vaccine.

“Even though technological advances allow us to do certain things more quickly,” Lee told Healthline, “we still have to rely on social distancing, contact tracing, self-isolation, and other measures.”

And that is what we are relying on in New Zealand, with now stringent (after some hiccups) isolation and testing of people coming into the country. While the number of active cases is rising, having been on zero for a while, we have just 16 and they are all contained in quarantine, and are all new Zealand citizens or residents returning to the country.

Some semblance of normality has returned to the country, except for international travel. The borders will have too remain strictly limited and controlled probably for the rest of the year at least. Even the hoped for bubble with Australia looks to be some time away after a resurgence of cases in Victoria in particular.

Even Donald Trump seems constrained after a return to running political rallies proved to be not very popular with the population, and after a number of Covid cases hitting his organising team. And now Journalist who attended Oklahoma Trump rally tests positive for Covid-19

After a number of absurd claims about testing trump now seems to be trying to ignore Covid and belatedly divert – Trump says he is staying in Washington to protect law and order

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday canceled a planned weekend visit to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, and said he was staying in Washington “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.”

“The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe – and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Trump has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing historical U.S. monuments and has threatened to use force on some protesters, as activism against racial injustice sweeps the country.

What’s he going too do, personally pepper spray anyone who protests or criticises him? More diversion from the Covid crisis:

There are far more urgent health problems facing the US right now. He has done an abysmal job of leading the country worst affected by Covid and sadly for the US that doesn’t look like changing.

Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to New Jersey comes amid a spike in coronavirus cases in many states.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the cancellation was not related to New Jersey’s requirement that visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Trump visited one of the states with high rates, Arizona, earlier this week.

Trump tweets while the country burns.

Other countries with major and growing Covid problems are Brazil, Peru, India, Russia and Mexico (which may have contracted the problem from neighbouring USA).

The pandemic is going to remain a big problem for some time to come.

 

10 million Covid cases

The Covid case count has just topped ten million on Worldometer (it is currently 9,9 million at Reuters and 9.874 million at JHU but they will also pass 10 million today).

New case numbers climbed rapidly in March, levelled off, but then took off again late May and increased by 180,000 on Thursday and 194 thousand on Friday (current numbers are Saturday GMT).

This is just confirmed cases, there are likely to be many more than this.

A quarter of the cases – two and a half million – are in the United States. Numbers there had seemed to peak in April, dropped back a bit from there but have also surged again in the last week with the worst of the problem there moving to different states, where lockdowns were light or relaxed too soon.

Reuters: Florida, Arizona, Nevada hit daily highs for COVID-19 cases

Florida, Arizona and Nevada recorded daily highs for cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, highlighting the worsening spread of the virus in several southern and western states, prompting some of them to rollback their reopening plans.

The surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, serving as a warning to the potentially illusory nature of any perceived progress in controlling the virus.

On Friday, as the United States recorded its largest daily case count of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the government’s current strategy for finding and isolating infected people was “not working,” partly due to significant asymptomatic spread.

The number of deaths world wide is also likely to pass half a million today as well (currently 499,001).

And a quarter of those deaths are in the US (128,000).

It’s not just the deaths that are causing problems – Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19

Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.

Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage.

“We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.

And recovery can be slow, incomplete and costly, with a huge impact on quality of life.

The broad and diverse manifestations of COVID-19 are somewhat unique, said Dr. Sadiya Khan, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

With influenza, people with underlying heart conditions are also at higher risk of complications, Khan said. What is surprising about this virus is the extent of the complications occurring outside the lungs.

Khan believes there will be a huge healthcare expenditure and burden for individuals who have survived COVID-19.

A lot of work is being done to try to deal with this. As world approaches 10 million coronavirus cases, doctors see hope in new treatments

Doctors say they’ve learned enough about the highly contagious virus to solve some key problems for many patients. The changes could be translating into more saved lives, although there is little conclusive data.

Nearly 30 doctors around the world, from New Orleans to London to Dubai, told Reuters they feel more prepared should cases surge again in the fall.

“​We are well-positioned for a second wave,” Patel said. “We know so much more.”

Doctors like Patel now have:

  • A clearer grasp of the disease’s side effects, like blood clotting and kidney failure
  • A better understanding of how to help patients struggling to breathe
  • More information on which drugs work for which kinds of patients.

They also have acquired new tools to aid in the battle, including:

  • Widespread testing
  • Promising new treatments like convalescent plasma, antiviral drugs and steroids
  • An evolving spate of medical research and anecdotal evidence, which doctors share across institutions, and sometimes across oceans.

Despite a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, driven to some extent by wider testing, the daily death toll from the disease is falling in some countries, including the United States. Doctors say they are more confident in caring for patients than they were in the chaotic first weeks of the pandemic, when they operated on nothing but blind instinct.

A vaccine is probably some time away from becoming widely available despite many teams of scientists working on one.

RNZ – Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK:

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials.

The trials are among many across the world – there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.

Prof Shattock said: “We’ve been able to produce a vaccine from scratch and take it to human trials in just a few months.

“If our approach works and the vaccine provides effective protection against disease, it could revolutionise how we respond to disease outbreaks in future.”

Healthline: Here’s Exactly Where We Are with Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

These drugs are still being tested in clinical trials to see whether they’re effective against COVID-19. This step is needed to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be.

It could be months before treatments are available that are known to work against COVID-19. It could be even longer for a vaccine.

“Even though technological advances allow us to do certain things more quickly,” Lee told Healthline, “we still have to rely on social distancing, contact tracing, self-isolation, and other measures.”

And that is what we are relying on in New Zealand, with now stringent (after some hiccups) isolation and testing of people coming into the country. While the number of active cases is rising, having been on zero for a while, we have just 16 and they are all contained in quarantine, and are all new Zealand citizens or residents returning to the country.

Some semblance of normality has returned to the country, except for international travel. The borders will have too remain strictly limited and controlled probably for the rest of the year at least. Even the hoped for bubble with Australia looks to be some time away after a resurgence of cases in Victoria in particular.

Even Donald Trump seems constrained after a return to running political rallies proved to be not very popular with the population, and after a number of Covid cases hitting his organising team. And now Journalist who attended Oklahoma Trump rally tests positive for Covid-19

After a number of absurd claims about testing trump now seems to be trying to ignore Covid and belatedly divert – Trump says he is staying in Washington to protect law and order

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday canceled a planned weekend visit to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, and said he was staying in Washington “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.”

“The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe – and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Trump has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing historical U.S. monuments and has threatened to use force on some protesters, as activism against racial injustice sweeps the country.

What’s he going too do, personally pepper spray anyone who protests or criticises him? More diversion from the Covid crisis:

There are far more urgent health problems facing the US right now. He has done an abysmal job of leading the country worst affected by Covid and sadly for the US that doesn’t look like changing.

Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to New Jersey comes amid a spike in coronavirus cases in many states.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the cancellation was not related to New Jersey’s requirement that visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Trump visited one of the states with high rates, Arizona, earlier this week.

Trump tweets while the country burns.

Other countries with major and growing Covid problems are Brazil, Peru, India, Russia and Mexico (which may have contracted the problem from neighbouring USA).

The pandemic is going to remain a big problem for some time to come.

 

Covid-19 deaths pass 300,000 and gloomy outlooks

The total recorded Covid-19 deaths has now passed 300,000 and is could be significantly higher than this. There are doubts that the Chinese toll of 4,600 is accurate, and while Russia has quarter of a million cases they officially have just 2,300 deaths, which seems quite out of kilter with rations in most countries.

Moscow defends reporting of low coronavirus death statistics

Russia’s high number of confirmed coronavirus cases but low number of deaths has raised questions about the veracity of the Kremlin’s reporting of the pandemic’s statistics.

But Moscow hit back on Wednesday, saying its way of counting and attributing deaths was the most accurate.

More than 60 percent of people who died in April after contracting coronavirus had their deaths ascribed to other causes, said city officials.

Of Russia’s 2,212 coronavirus deaths, Moscow, the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, accounts for 1,232.

Moscow’s department of health said Russia, unlike other countries, conducted post-mortem examinations for every death in which coronavirus was suspected as the main cause.

“Therefore, post-mortem diagnoses and causes of death recorded in Moscow are ultimately extremely accurate, and mortality data is completely transparent,” it said.

“It’s impossible in other COVID-19 cases to name the cause of death. So, for example, in over 60 percent of deaths the cause was clearly for different reasons – such as vascular failures (such as heart attacks), stage four malignant diseases, leukaemia, systemic diseases which involve organ failure, and other incurable fatal diseases.”

But:

Data released by Moscow’s city government on Friday shows that the number of overall registered deaths in the Russian capital in April exceeded the five-year average for the same period by more than 1,700. That total is far higher than the official Covid-19 death count of 642 — an indication of significant underreporting by the authorities.

A similar picture has been observed in many other countries. In neighboring Belarus, for example — where the authoritarian leader Aleksandr G. Lukashenko has rejected calls for a lockdown as “frenzy and psychosis” — the reported death rate is about 10 per million. In Mexico, officials have recorded more than three times as many deaths in the capital as the government has acknowledged.

With over 86,000 recorded deaths it looks far from over in the US.

U.S. faces ‘darkest winter’ if pandemic planning falters: whistleblower

A whistleblower who says he was removed from his government post for raising concerns about coronavirus preparedness told a congressional hearing on Thursday that the United States could face “the darkest winter” of recent times if it does not improve its response to the pandemic.

Hours after President Donald Trump railed against him on Twitter, whistleblower Rick Bright testified to a U.S. House of Representatives panel about readiness for the outbreak.

“What we do must be done carefully with guidance from the best scientific minds. Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to improve our response now, based on science, I fear the pandemic will get worse and be prolonged,” Bright said during his testimony.

Later on Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he had watched some of Bright’s hearing.

“To me he’s nothing more than a really disgruntled, unhappy person,” Trump said, adding that he did not know Bright.

A gloomy economic outlook too.

Seven weeks into coronavirus lockdowns, Fed has a new, darker message

One Thursday morning seven weeks ago, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made a rare appearance on NBC’s “Today Show” to offer a reassuring message to Americans dealing with economic fallout from measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

At the time, Powell said he expected economic activity would resume in the second half of the year, and maybe even enjoy a “good rebound.”

But on Wednesday, he offered a much more sober outlook.

In an interview webcast by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Powell warned here of an “extended period” of weak economic growth, tied to uncertainty about how well the virus could be controlled in the United States. “There is a sense, growing sense I think, that the recovery may come more slowly than we would like,” he said.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was similarly somber when he told lawmakers earlier this week that the country was by no means in “total control” of the outbreak.

“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control and, in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery,” Fauci said.

In New Zealand yesterday’s budget allowed for an increase of debt from 20% of GDP to 50%. Snowballing ebt is a problem worldwide.

Coronavirus to leave a legacy of unprecedented global debt

Enormous doses of stimulus spending are offering relief from coronavirus damage but their lifelong legacy of debt could seed future crises by hobbling economic growth and worsening poverty, especially in developing countries.

Central banks and governments worldwide have unleashed at least $15 trillion of stimulus via bond-buying and budget spending to cushion the blow of a global recession tipped to be the worst since the 1930s.

But the steps will pile even more debt on countries already struggling with the aftermath of the 2008-9 financial crisis — total global debt has risen $87 trillion since 2007, and governments, with $70 trillion, accounted for the lion’s share of that increase, the Institute of International Finance estimates (IIF).

This year alone may see the global debt-GDP ratio rise by 20 percentage points to 342%, the group said, based on 3% economic contraction and a doubling in government borrowing from 2019.

Money seems to replicate as easily as the coronavirus, but with no attempt to find an economic vaccine.

And more problems in the US.

Sen. Burr steps aside as Intelligence Committee chairman amid stock sale investigation

Republican Sen. Richard Burr has stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee amid an investigation into his stock sales during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the development in a brief statement Thursday, saying:

“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation. We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”

Later, Burr confirmed that he would be stepping aside.

Suspicions arose last month after it was revealed that several senators dumped stocks prior to the coronavirus pandemic upending the global economy. The FBI reportedly reached out to Burr to discuss the sale of as much as $1.7 million in stocks.

Senate records indicate that Burr and his wife sold between roughly $600,000 and $1.7 million in more than 30 transactions in late January and mid-February, just before the market began to nosedive and government health officials began to sound alarms about the virus. Several of the stocks were in companies that own hotels.

This all makes our Covid-19 and economic problems look puny in comparison – 21 deaths and no new cases over the last three days as our lockdown is relaxed.

 

4 million Covid-19 cases and still climbing

World wide confirmed cases of Covid-19 are now over four million, and while the rate of increase has leveled off the number of new cases each day remains mostly at at 80-90-,000 a day, although yesterday it was higher at 97,128.

About a third of cases are in the United States, currently at 1.3 million.

There are now over 275 thousand deaths attributed to Covid-19, with more than a fifth in the US, currently 78,615 – the rate of increase in the US has leveled or perhaps slowed a little but are still averaging nearly 2,000 a day (about 13,000 in the last week).

Some of the worst affected countries, Italy, Spain and Belgium, seem to be over the worst with declining rates of cases and deaths, but that’s from high totals.

The UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe and is  the second behind the US but trends appear to be declining a bit there.

Covid-19 seems to have been slower to spread in Brazil but their death rates are increasing. Yesterday they had the second highest increase at 804 and are now the sixth country to have more than 10,000 deaths.

But the problems are far from over.

Reuters: Coronavirus inflicts huge U.S. job losses as pandemic breaches White House walls

The U.S. government reported more catastrophic economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis on Friday as the pandemic pierced the very walls of the White House and California gave the green light for its factories to restart after a seven-week lockdown.

A day after the White House confirmed that President Donald Trump’s personal valet had tested positive for the virus, Trump told reporters that Katie Miller, press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence, had also been infected. She is married to senior Trump aide and immigration policy hard-liner Stephen Miller and travels frequently with Pence.

The back-to-back diagnoses of individuals close to Trump, Pence and the White House inner circle raised questions about whether the highest levels of government are adequately safeguarded from infection.

Earlier in the day, the Labor Department reported the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 14.7% last month, up from 3.5% in February, demonstrating the speed with which the workforce collapsed after stay-at-home orders meant to curb the outbreak were imposed across most of the country.

Worse economic news may be yet to come. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the unemployment rate was likely to climb to around 20% this month. The jobless rate for April already shattered the post-World War Two record of 10.8% set in November 1982.

But Trump seems increasingly turning his attention to the election campaign in the US, endorsing Republicans and criticising and blaming Democrats.

For Trump it’s mostly about ‘me’, When calling other people crazy it appears to be projection.

Another leader seemingly at odds with reality is President Bolsonaro.

The Lancet – COVID-19 in Brazil: “So what?”

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic reached Latin America later than other continents. The first case recorded in Brazil was on Feb 25, 2020. But now, Brazil has the most cases and deaths in Latin America (105 222 cases and 7288 deaths as of May 4), and these are probably substantial underestimates.

Even more worryingly, the doubling of the rate of deaths is estimated at only 5 days and a recent study by Imperial College (London, UK), which analysed the active transmission rate of COVID-19 in 48 countries, showed that Brazil is the country with the highest rate of transmission (R0 of 2·81).

Yet, perhaps the biggest threat to Brazil’s COVID-19 response is its president, Jair Bolsonaro.

When asked by journalists last week about the rapidly increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, he responded: “So what? What do you want me to do?” He not only continues to sow confusion by openly flouting and discouraging the sensible measures of physical distancing and lockdown brought in by state governors and city mayors but has also lost two important and influential ministers in the past 3 weeks.

Time will tell how bad things get in Brazil but current trends look bad, and their testing rate is very low at 1,597 per million (the US is 25k per million, New Zealand is 37k, Spain is 52k).

Covid-19 is dominating news all around the world.

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52597437

Covid cases – 3 million worldwide, 1 million in USA

The number of Covid-19 cases has now passed 3 million, and US cases have now just passed 1 million, just under a third of the world total.

Note that this is just the number of confirmed cases, there will have been many more infections that haven’t been detected or included.

Total deaths are now 211,065.

Both may be levelling off but it is hard to be sure as different regions grow as others improve. There is also a risk of further regional waves, especially as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Reuters: More U.S. states ease restrictions

Georgia on Monday allowed residents to dine at restaurants for the first time in a month, as more U.S. states began easing restrictions where the coronavirus outbreak has taken a relatively light toll.

Alaska, Oklahoma and South Carolina, along with Georgia, previously took such steps, after weeks of mandatory lockdowns that threw millions of Americans out of work.

President Donald Trump and some local officials had criticized Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for orders that enabled restaurants and theaters to join a list of businesses, such as hair and nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors, allowed to reopen last week, with social-distancing restrictions still in force.

Even so, some restaurant owners and managers in the state capital Atlanta said they would not reopen on Monday.

There will be a lot of observation and analysis of places that ease restrictions to see whether the virus keeps tracking down or comes back again, and also to see how quickly business picks up.

Italy has outlined plans to ease restrictions from 4 May as it has recorded its lowest daily death toll in about 6 weeks.

BBC: Boris Johnson says this is moment of maximum risk

Speaking outside No 10 for the first time since recovering from the virus, Mr Johnson said “we are now beginning to turn the tide” on the disease.

He said lockdown would not be relaxed too soon and details on any changes will be set out over the “coming days”.

BBC:  Coronavirus ‘currently eliminated’ in New Zealand

New Zealand says it has stopped community transmission of Covid-19, effectively eliminating the virus.

With new cases in single figures for several days – one on Sunday – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated.

But officials have warned against complacency, saying it does not mean a total end to new coronavirus cases.

ABC Australia: How Australians feel about the coronavirus crisis and Scott Morrison’s response

The coronavirus pandemic has made Australians more anxious, more confused — and a lot more bored, a new survey suggests.

The COVID-19 Monitor, a new research project from Vox Pop Labs in partnership with the ABC, takes us inside the homes of Australians to reveal how they’re really feeling as they live in self-imposed exile. It finds:

  • The number of Australians reporting poor mental health has more than doubled compared to a month ago.
  • The number frequently feeling despair has more than tripled.
  • Those frequently feeling confusion is up more than five times.
  • On a more positive note, the number of Australians frequently feeling a sense of solidarity has also jumped.

Doing enough to protect from the health risk:

  • Agree 85%
  • Disagree 14%

Doing enough to protect from economic risk:

  • Agree 75%
  • Disagree 21%

New Zealand has taken similar measures to Australia, with a slightly more restrictive lockdown but with more severe policing of breaches of social distancing rules.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has reveresed his sudden aversion with press conferences, returning to the podium to make profound statements:

“There has been so much unnecessary death in this country. It could’ve been stopped and it could’ve been stopped short, but somebody a long time ago, it seems, decided not to do it that way and the whole world is suffering because of it.”

He didn’t suggest who it was, but he’s probably looking hard for a Chinese journalist with links to the Democratic Party.

Further on in his news conference he does get more specific saying his administration has launched “very serious investigations” into China’s handling of Covid-19:

President Trump says his administration has launched “very serious investigations” into China’s response to the novel coronavirus.

“And we are not happy with China, we are not happy with that whole situation, because we believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world.”

Every virus could be stopped at the source, if the virus and the source could be identified before it spread.

“Nobody except one country can be held accountable for what happened”.

“Nobody’s blaming anybody here, we’re looking at a group of people that should’ve stopped it at the source.”

The US will never forget those who were “sacrificed for a reason of incompetence or something else other than incompetence”.

“They could’ve protected the whole world – not just us – the whole world”.

I wonder if Trump doesn’t want to be seen as being in any way responsible for what happened in the US.


Update

Both the increase in case numbers (69,746) and increase in deaths(4,532) on Monday (GMT) are down. While it could be a temporary post-weekend blip it could also be an encouraging sign that the worst is over, for now at least.

Covid-19 cases recorded worldwide passes 2 million

The total number of recorded Covid-19 cases worldwide has just ticked over the 2 million mark.

  • Total cases: 2,000,734
  • Total deaths: 126,775
  • Total recovered: 484,781
  • Active cases: 1,389,177
  • Serious/critical: 51,603

 

 

That’s at 7:20 am Wednesday GMT so most countries haven’t updated for the day.

There are likely to be many more undetected or uncounted cases around the world.

Australia and new Zealand with today’s updated totals:

Note that both Australia and New Zealand have more recovered cases than active cases, which contrasts with the world ratio of 3 times as many active cases than recovered cases.

The USA in particular has a bad recovered ratio 549,362 active to 38,320 recovered.

From https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Covid-19 death toll now over 100,000

The official world-wide death toll is now over 100,000 – current numbers as at 8:00 pm Friday 10 April 2020 GMT (Worldometer):

  • Total cases 1.685,533
  • Recovered cases 375,221
  • Active cases 1,208,213
  • Attributed deaths 102,099

Cases rose yesterday (Thursday GMT) by 85,589 and deaths by 7,234, with similar increases looking likely today.

As at the end of 10 April GMT:

Over the past week about a third of new cases and a quarter of new deaths have been recorded in the US. Total US cases are now 493,426 and total deaths 18,331 (just 500 fewer than Italy).

Italy and Spain seem to have flattened off at around 6-700 deaths per day.

France (+987 deaths)  and the UK (+980) are increasing rapidly, as is Belgium (+496).

Largest death totals (9 pm Friday GMT):

  • Italy 18,849 (312 per 1m)
  • USA 18,430 (56 per 1m)
  • Spain 15,970 (342 per 1m)
  • France 13,197 (202 per 1m)
  • UK 8,958 (132 per 1m)
  • Iran 4,232 (50 per 1m)
  • China 3,336 (2 per 1m)
  • Germany 2,728 (33 per 1m)
  • Belgium 3,019 (260 per 1m)
  • Netherlands 2,511 (147 per 1m)

So Spain now has the most deaths per 1m population.

New Zealand currently has 1,283 cases and 2 deaths, and for now is ‘flattening the curve’ with daily new cases less than recovered cases.

New confirmed and probable cases over time

Australia has 6,203 confirmed cases and 53 deaths but also seems to be flattening:

This graph shows new cases of COVID-19 in Australia by date of notification. See the Description field on the publication page for a full description

Covid-19 cases, tests and deaths (per million)

Total Covid-19 cases, tests and deaths to date ordered by deaths per million of population
As at 9 April 2020 8pm GMT
– note that these totals are changing quickly

Total Tot Cases/ Total Tests/ Total Deaths/
Country Cases 1M pop Tests 1M pop Deaths 1M pop
World 1,582,135 203 94,573 12.1
San Marino 308 9,077 722 21,278 34 1,002
Spain 152,446 3,261 355,000 7,593 15,238 326
Andorra 583 7,545 1,673 21,653 25 324
Italy 143,626 2,375 853,369 14,114 18,279 302
Belgium 24,983 2,156 84,248 7,269 2,523 218
France 117,749 1,804 224,254 3,436 12,210 187
Netherlands 21,762 1,270 101,534 5,926 2,396 140
Sint Maarten 43 1,003 112 2,612 6 140
UK 65,077 959 298,169 4,392 7,978 118
Switzerland 24,046 2,778 178,500 20,625 948 110
Luxembourg 3,115 4,976 27,521 43,965 52 83
Sweden 9,141 905 54,700 5,416 793 79
Ireland 6,574 1,331 53,000 10,734 263 53
Saint Martin 32 828 2 52
USA 455,454 1,376 2,309,686 6,978 16,114 49
Iran 66,220 788 231,393 2,755 4,110 49
Bermuda 39 626 315 5,058 3 48
Channel Islands 361 2,076 1,157 6,655 8 46
Denmark 5,635 973 64,002 11,050 237 41
Portugal 13,956 1,369 140,368 13,766 409 40
Austria 13,237 1,470 126,287 14,022 295 33
Germany 115,523 1,379 1,317,887 15,730 2,451 29
Liechtenstein 78 2,046 900 23,605 1 26
Turks and Caicos 8 207 61 1,576 1 26
Monaco 84 2,141 1 25
Slovenia 1,124 541 31,813 15,303 43 21
Norway 6,160 1,136 121,034 22,326 108 20
Guadeloupe 141 352 8 20
Antigua and Barbuda 19 194 40 408 2 20
Iceland 1,648 4,829 32,663 95,718 6 18
Estonia 1,207 910 26,416 19,914 24 18
Bahamas 40 102 7 18
Martinique 154 410 6 16
Ecuador 4,965 281 19,102 1,083 272 15
Panama 2,528 586 11,776 2,729 63 15
Cayman Islands 45 685 479 7,288 1 15
North Macedonia 663 318 6,571 3,154 30 14
Canada 20,690 548 370,315 9,812 503 13
Romania 5,202 270 51,802 2,693 248 13
Isle of Man 190 2,234 1,879 22,097 1 12
Turkey 42,282 501 276,338 3,277 908 11
Dominican Republic 2,349 217 7,151 659 118 11
Bosnia and Herzegovina 858 262 6,911 2,106 35 11
Israel 9,968 1,152 117,339 13,557 86 10
Czechia 5,467 511 106,845 9,977 112 10
Barbados 63 219 655 2,279 3 10
Serbia 2,867 328 12,347 1,413 66 8
Finland 2,605 470 39,000 7,039 42 8
Greece 1,955 188 33,634 3,227 87 8
Cyprus 564 467 14,273 11,822 10 8
Albania 409 142 3,223 1,120 23 8
Guyana 37 47 145 184 6 8
Moldova 1,289 320 5,108 1,266 29 7
Hungary 980 101 27,826 2,880 66 7
Mayotte 184 674 1,100 4,032 2 7
Lithuania 955 351 32,809 12,052 16 6
Mauritius 314 247 6,730 5,292 7 6
Trinidad and Tobago 109 78 987 705 8 6
Curaçao 14 85 1 6
Poland 5,575 147 107,597 2,843 174 5
Algeria 1,666 38 3,359 77 235 5
Croatia 1,407 343 13,680 3,332 20 5
Malta 337 763 13,732 31,100 2 5
Brazil 16,474 78 63,000 296 839 4
S. Korea 10,423 203 477,304 9,310 204 4
Peru 4,342 132 39,599 1,201 138 4
Chile 5,972 312 68,353 3,576 57 3
Morocco 1,374 37 6,116 166 97 3
Armenia 921 311 5,823 1,965 10 3
Bahrain 887 521 55,096 32,379 5 3
Bulgaria 618 89 15,899 2,288 24 3
Lebanon 582 85 12,524 1,835 19 3
Montenegro 252 401 2,329 3,708 2 3
Belize 9 23 364 915 1 3
China 81,865 57 3,335 2
Australia 6,104 239 330,134 12,946 51 2
Malaysia 4,228 131 63,367 1,958 67 2
Philippines 4,076 37 24,500 224 203 2
Qatar 2,376 825 43,144 14,975 6 2
Argentina 1,795 40 14,850 329 71 2
Belarus 1,486 157 49,000 5,186 16 2
Iraq 1,232 31 30,466 757 69 2
Tunisia 643 54 9,570 810 25 2
Latvia 589 312 25,458 13,497 3 2
Uruguay 456 131 6,175 1,778 7 2
Honduras 343 35 23 2
Bolivia 264 23 591 51 18 2
Brunei 135 309 8,985 20,538 1 2
Suriname 10 17 1 2
Cabo Verde 7 13 1 2
Indonesia 3,293 12 14,354 52 280 1
Saudi Arabia 3,287 94 44 1
Mexico 3,181 25 25,410 197 174 1
UAE 2,659 269 593,095 59,967 12 1
Colombia 2,054 40 33,575 660 55 1
Singapore 1,910 326 65,000 11,110 6 1
Ukraine 1,892 43 20,608 471 57 1
Egypt 1,560 15 25,000 244 103 1
Cuba 515 45 9,410 831 15 1
Burkina Faso 443 21 24 1
Jamaica 63 21 907 306 4 1
Azerbaijan 926 91 57,371 5,658 9 0.9
Congo 60 11 5 0.9
Georgia 218 55 3,271 820 3 0.8
El Salvador 103 16 5 0.8
Liberia 31 6 4 0.8
Japan 4,667 37 61,498 486 94 0.7
Jordan 372 36 17,000 1,666 7 0.7
Paraguay 124 17 2,039 286 5 0.7
Costa Rica 502 99 6,035 1,185 3 0.6
Oman 457 89 3 0.6
Kyrgyzstan 280 43 9,618 1,474 4 0.6
Russia 10,131 69 1,004,719 6,885 76 0.5
Thailand 2,423 35 71,860 1,030 32 0.5
Hong Kong 974 130 96,709 12,900 4 0.5
Niger 342 14 4,199 173 11 0.5
Kazakhstan 764 41 59,371 3,162 7 0.4
Cameroon 730 27 10 0.4
Slovakia 701 128 21,371 3,914 2 0.4
Afghanistan 484 12 15 0.4
Togo 73 9 1,747 211 3 0.4
Gabon 34 15 1 0.4
Botswana 13 6 1,154 491 1 0.4
Gambia 4 2 1 0.4
Pakistan 4,489 20 44,896 203 65 0.3
South Africa 1,934 33 63,776 1,075 18 0.3
Sri Lanka 190 9 3,248 152 7 0.3
Venezuela 171 6 139,282 4,898 9 0.3
Mali 74 4 7 0.3
India 6,725 5 177,584 129 226 0.2
New Zealand 1,239 257 51,165 10,610 1 0.2
Kuwait 910 213 1 0.2
Taiwan 380 16 42,315 1,777 5 0.2
Ghana 313 10 6 0.2
Palestine 263 52 16,068 3,150 1 0.2
DRC 180 2 18 0.2
Guatemala 95 5 1,134 63 3 0.2
Haiti 30 3 257 23 2 0.2
Zimbabwe 11 0.7 371 25 3 0.2
Mauritania 7 2 67 14 1 0.2
Nicaragua 7 1 1 0.2
Ivory Coast 384 15 3 0.1
Bangladesh 330 2 6,175 37 21 0.1
Senegal 250 15 2 0.1
Kenya 184 3 5,278 98 7 0.1
Libya 24 3 374 54 1 0.1
Syria 19 1 2 0.1
Uzbekistan 582 17 70,000 2,091 3 0.09
Benin 26 2 1 0.08
Myanmar 23 0.4 1,246 23 3 0.06
Angola 19 0.6 2 0.06
Somalia 12 0.8 1 0.06
Zambia 39 2 1,239 67 1 0.05
Sudan 15 0.3 2 0.05
Malawi 8 0.4 1 0.05
Nigeria 276 1 5,000 24 6 0.03
Ethiopia 56 0.5 2,790 24 2 0.02
Tanzania 25 0.4 1 0.02
Diamond Princess 712 11

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

New York currently has 360 deaths per million, and neighbouring New Jersey has 191 deaths per million (there’s a lot of people movement between the two states).

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

World Covid trends

It appears for now the worst may be over in Italy and Spain for now at least, the death climb seems to have at least flattened (current total 15,362 in Italy, 11,744 in Spain) and Italy has recorded the lowest daily increase for two weeks.

Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling

Spain’s confirmed cases increased by 7,026 to 124,736 over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. Total cases are now higher than Italy’s 124,632, where the country reported the fewest number of new deaths since March 26. In France, the total number of fatalities rose to 7,560 and the U.K. reported its deadliest day yet with an increase of 708 deaths.

The virus has crippled Europe at different times with most countries now in some form of lockdown, even as nations like Sweden and the U.K. were more reluctant to take drastic measures earlier. Governments and policy-makers are scrambling to find ways to mitigate the damage with entire economies headed into deep recession and a common approach still elusive.

Spain to extend state of emergency to April 26 as rise in infections slows

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would ask parliament to extend lockdown measures by 15 days until April 26, as the rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths slowed again in one of the world’s worst-hit countries.

But they still have significant problems – RNZ Live:

As nursing and care homes across Europe try to stop the spread of Covid-19 among the elderly, France has revealed 1416 rest-home residents have been killed by the virus.

Alarming cases have emerged in the Spanish capital Madrid, with reports of dozens of deaths in two nursing homes.

Residents were taken to hospital in the Italian city of Naples after a care home outbreak claimed several lives.

Cases have also been reported in 100 care homes around the Swedish capital. Local media SVT say more than 400 people in the Stockholm region have been infected and about 50 have died.

A Glasgow rest home has had 13 residents die in one week following a suspected coronavirus outbreak. Two staff members have tested positive for the virus and are being treated in hospital, but the rest home says the residents were not tested.

France hasn’t been getting much attention here but has the fourth highest number of deaths recorded and the third highest deaths per million population.

Covid-19: 7,560 deaths in France

The number of deaths in France in hospitals from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours is 441, the director of the health service announced this evening.

This is a drop on yesterday’s figure which set a record at 588 deaths in the preceding 24 hours.

The total number of hospital deaths in France since the beginning of the epidemic is now 5,532.

But official French figures were understating the real toll.

In retirement homes and other medicalised institutions which were not counted in the figures before last Thursday, the number of deaths has been given as 2,028, bringing the total number of deaths in France to 7,560.

Health service director Jérôme Salomon said 28,143 people were currently hospitalised, 711 more than yesterday. Of hospitalised patients, 6,838 are in intensive care, an increase of 176 people in 24 hours. Friday’s figures gave 263 people admitted to intensive care in the preceding 24 hours.

India reports 2,902 cases of coronavirus, with 68 deaths

India reported six fresh deaths in the last 24 hours due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) taking the total death toll to 68 and the total number of confirmed cases to 2,902, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday, April 4.

But India was relatively late getting infected and with deaths now reported from Asia’s largest slum in Mumbai there are fears of much worse.

UK – ‘We’re on our knees’ says nurse

Shirley Watts, an operating theatre nurse at a hospital in Basildon, posted a video to a Facebook group after a long and difficult shift in ICU treating patients with coronavirus.

The US is currently recording about a third of the world total daily increase in cases, and deaths are also climbing more quickly – 1,328 yesterday and already 902 today (GMT). New York is bearing the brunt with about half the US deaths:  New York reels as 630 die in a day, the state’s bleakest toll yet

Coronavirus-related illnesses killed 630 people in the last day in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday, in the grimmest 24 hours yet for the U.S. state hit hardest by the pandemic.

The novel coronavirus has now killed 3,565 people in the state and the situation is particularly worrying on Long Island, east of New York City, where the number of cases “is like a fire spreading,” Cuomo told a news conference.

Health experts calculate that New York, home both to bustling Manhattan and hilly farm country stretching to the Canadian border, might be around a week away from the worst point in the health crisis which has killed about 60,000 people worldwide.

“We’re not yet at the apex, we’re getting closer … Our reading of the projections is we’re somewhere in the seven-day range,” Cuomo said.

“It’s only been 30 days since our first case,” he said. “It feels like an entire lifetime.”

In contrast California had also seemed to be hit at a similar time to New York but lockdown quick and seems to have the virus under far better control.

All countries are making mistakes (understandable in such a rapidly changing crisis) –  Exclusive: Pressed by Trump, U.S. pushed unproven coronavirus treatment guidance

In mid-March, President Donald Trump personally pressed federal health officials to make malaria drugs available to treat the novel coronavirus, though they had been untested for COVID-19, two sources told Reuters.

Shortly afterward, the federal government published highly unusual guidance informing doctors they had the option to prescribe the drugs, with key dosing information based on unattributed anecdotes rather than peer-reviewed science.

While Trump, in a series of tweets and press comments, had made his opinions on the drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, well known, the nature of his behind-the-scenes intervention has not been previously reported. The guidance, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has received scant notice outside medical circles.

The episode reveals how the president’s efforts could change the nature of drug oversight, a field long governed by strict rules of science and testing. Rarely, if ever, has a U.S. president lobbied regulators and health officials to focus their efforts on specific unproven drugs.

“The president is short-circuiting the process with his gut feelings,” said Jeffrey Flier, a former dean of Harvard Medical School. “We are in an emergency and we need to rely on our government to ensure that all these potential therapies are tested in the most effective and objective way.”

Not only life and death decisions being made by leaders around the world, but also life and death tweets.

 

Covid-19 climbs around the world, last day before NZ lockdown

Cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus and deaths continue to climb around the world, with many countries having significant increases.

Currently (JHU data):

  • Total confirmed 407,485
  • Total deaths 18,227
  • Total recovered 104,234

 

The February spike will be China, but the rest of the world is now picking up.

The toll across the United Kingdom rose by 87 in the last day to 422 (a 26% increase) and confirmed cases were up 21% to over 8,000. They are still having problems with crowded trains.

Spain has had more than 500 deaths in a day, making a total of 2,800 who’ve died from its 39,676 cases.

Germany has had a relatively low number of deaths from 31,991 cases but have jumped recently to 149.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Either the spread or detection is slow in most parts of Africa.

Conspicuous is the lack of reported cases and deaths in Russia.

Official: Russia has no ‘clear picture’ of extent of Covid-19 outbreak

Russia, which shares a border with China and has a population of 144 million, has so far reported 495 cases of the coronavirus but no confirmed fatalities.

“The problem is that the volume of testing is very low and nobody has a clear picture” of the situation in Russia and the world, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told President Vladimir Putin during a meeting.

“The picture that is unfolding is serious,” said Sobyanin

This photo from a store in Moscow suggests it is a major concern of not a problem there.

A man, wearing a protective mask, walks past empty shelves in a store, due to the fear of Covid-19 outbreak in Moscow March 17, 2020. — Reuters pic

JHU data shows 519 cases in India and 10 deaths, which seem very low for such a densely populated country.

India’s 1.3b people to enter ‘total lockdown’

India is to impose a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced.

The restrictions will apply from midnight local time and will be enforced for 21 days.

“There will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” Modi said in a televised address.

The US could soon become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic after a ‘very large acceleration’ in cases, WHO warns

  • The US could soon become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation warned Tuesday.
  • A WHO spokeswoman, Margaret Harris, noted that there had been a “very large acceleration” in cases in the US in recent days.
  • In the past 24 hours, 85% of all new coronavirus cases were in the US and Europe. In the US, 553 people have died from COVID-19.
  • President Donald Trump has refused to impose a national lockdown, however, and has instead insisted the US will soon be “open for business.”

Current John Hopkins data shows 49,768 cases in the US (third to China and Italy and ahead of Spain) and 600 deaths.

Despite this Pence says White House not considering a nationwide coronavirus lockdown (a number of states are in lockdown) and:

Trump, during Fox News coronavirus town hall, calls for re-starting economy by Easter: ‘We have to get back to work’

President Trump said Tuesday during a Fox News virtual townhall that he wants the country’s economy re-opened by Easter amid questions over how long people should stay home and businesses should remain closed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking from the Rose Garden alongside others on his coronavirus taskforce, Trump said he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” The holiday this year lands on April 12.

Trump argued he doesn’t want “to turn the country off” and see a continued economic downfall from the pandemic. He also said he worries the U.S. will see “suicides by the thousands” if coronavirus devastates the economy.

“We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off,” Trump said during the interview.

“We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We don’t call up the automobile companies and say stop making cars. We have to get back to work.”

That’s contrary to how most countries are handling Covid-19, and also major US states.

And contrary to US officials:

During a coronavirus town hall with U.S. forces around the world, Defense Secretary Mark Esper estimated it could take up to 10 weeks, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley went a little further saying he expected the military to be dealing with the virus for the next three months.

Currently in Australia there are 2,139 confirmed cases and 8 deaths.

Many New Zealanders who have suddenly lost jobs in Australia and will get no Government assistance there are trying to come back here.

Australian states have taken different actions, but some restrictions have been applied to the whole country. Official information:

  • Tight new restrictions on weddings, funerals, fitness classes, beauty salons, arcades and play centres will be implemented from 11:59pm, 25 March. An international travel ban (with some exemptions) will also be introduced. Read more.
  • Some states and territories are closing their borders, meaning anyone entering will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Currently, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia have announced they will close their borders. Essential services are generally exempt from this requirement but some states require undertakings and/or evidence be provided to prove that entry into the state is essential.
  • School closures (both government and non-government) are a matter of the respective state and territory education authorities. Read more.
    (Schools aren’t being closed yet in Queensland but parents can choose to keep their children at home).
  • All pubs, licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation), places of worship, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, casinos must be closed. Restaurants and cafes can offer takeaway options. Supermarkets, pharmacies and essential services can remain open. Read more.

Cases in New Zealand (confirmed and probable) jumped to 152 yesterday. We go into full lockdown (except for essential services, shops and petrol stations) at 11:59 pm tonight.

A state of emergency will be declared in Parliament today. A UBI is being considered as one option.

People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday.