While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 21

Italy coronavirus deaths surge by 627 in a day, more restrictions imposed

taly imposed further draconian restrictions on public life on Friday in an increasingly desperate effort to halt coronavirus infections after the death toll leapt by 627 in a single day, by far the biggest 24-hour rise recorded anywhere.

The mayor of the most badly affected city, Bergamo in the affluent northern region of Lombardy, said the true number of fatalities from the pandemic in his area was four times higher than was officially reported so far.

“Many of the elderly are dying in their houses or in old people’s homes, without anyone testing them either before or after they die,” Giorgio Gori told the Huffington Post.

He added that a dozen mayors of other cities had confirmed the same thing to him.


Coronavirus: WHO warns world youth ‘you are not invincible’

Coronavirus can sicken or kill young people as well and they must also avoid mingling and spreading it to older and more vulnerable people, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

With more than 210,000 cases reported worldwide and a death toll of 9,000, each day brings a “new and tragic milestone”, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“Today, I have a message for young people: You are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you. “Even if you don’t get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else,” he said.


Coronavirus: Trump lashes out at reporter after challenge on unapproved drug

President Donald Trump again encouraged Americans to try a malaria drug to fight coronavirus that the FDA hasn’t approved for the disease, and assailed a reporter who suggested that pushing it might spark a false sense of hope.

“I think people will be surprised,” Trump said of the drug, chloroquine, at a White House news conference on Friday. “It will be a game changer.”

NBC correspondent Peter Alexander pointed out that Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has said there is no “magic drug” for the virus and asked whether Trump was providing a “false sense of hope.”


Coronavirus: Britain will pay firms not to sack workers

The British government will pay a massive share of private sector wage bills to discourage bosses from firing staff in an unprecedented move to prop up the economy through the coronavirus shutdown.

“Today, I can announce that for the first time in our history the government is going to step in and help to pay people’s wages,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday.

He said there would be no cap on the size of the plan which the government would fund by selling more debt.


Dow falls again to end Wall Street’s worst week since 2008

Wall Street stocks plunged again on Friday bringing the market’s worst week since 2008 to a grim conclusion, as the worsening coronavirus pandemic hammers the economy.

After a volatile session which saw stocks spend part of the day in positive territory, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.6 per cent, or around 915 points, to end at 19,173.98, again dropping below the level when President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017.

The broad-based S&P 500 dove 4.3 per cent to close at 2,304.92, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 3.8 per cent to finish at 6,875.52.


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