Covid-19: jusqu'à la moitié des décès en Europe se sont produits dans des maisons de repos

Par Sam Wong
, Adam Vaughan
, Conrad Quilty-Harper
et Layal Liverpool

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Résidents de maisons de retraite à Brandebourg, en Allemagne, le 16 avril 2020

Images de Christoph Soeder / DPA / PA

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus à 17 heures le 23 avril

Près de la moitié des décès par coronavirus en Europe sont survenus dans des maisons de soins

Jusqu'à la moitié des personnes décédées de covid-19 en Europe se trouvaient dans des maisons de soins, selon Hans Kluge, directeur régional de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) pour l'Europe. Décrivant le résultat comme "Profondément préoccupant", Kluge a déclaré que de nombreuses maisons de soins peuvent «fournir des voies de propagation du virus» et que le problème s'est aggravé parce que les travailleurs des maisons de soins sont «surchargés, sous-payés et non protégés».

Hier, le conseiller médical en chef du gouvernement britannique Chris Witty a dit qu'il était difficile de prévenir les décès dans les maisons de soins «malheureusement parce que c'est un groupe très vulnérable».

Autres développements de coronavirus

Publicité

Les décès dus au paludisme pourraient doubler en Afrique subsaharienne cette année par rapport à 2018, en raison de l'impact de la pandémie de coronavirus sur l'accès aux moustiquaires et aux antipaludéens. "Les pays ont désormais une fenêtre d'opportunité cruciale pour assurer la maintenance des services de lutte contre le paludisme même lorsque le virus se propage", a déclaré le directeur général de l'OMS, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Plus de 15 pour cent de la main-d'œuvre américaine a maintenant déposé des demandes de prestations de chômage. 4,4 millions de citoyens américains supplémentaires a déposé des demandes de chômage la semaine dernière, portant le total depuis la mi-mars à 26,4 millions. La Chambre des représentants américaine voter aujourd'hui sur un programme supplémentaire de secours de 480 milliards de dollars contre les coronavirus pour les petites entreprises et les hôpitaux.

Le déficit budgétaire du Royaume-Uni devrait "Une augmentation absolument colossale à un niveau jamais vu en temps de paix", selon Paul Johnson, directeur du think tank Institute for Fiscal Studies. Le déficit devrait atteindre 260 milliards de livres sterling, a-t-il déclaré.

La chancelière allemande Angela Merkel a déclaré L'Allemagne est prête à verser des contributions au budget de l'UE "nettement plus élevées" pour aider les États membres à faire face à l'impact de la pandémie de coronavirus. Les dirigeants de l'UE sont devrait approuver un nouveau fonds d'urgence de 540 milliards d'euros pour les pays les plus gravement touchés mais les détails doivent encore être finalisés.

La Chine s'est engagée à faire don de 30 millions de dollars supplémentaires à l'OMS pour aider à soutenir la lutte mondiale contre le Covid-19, selon un porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères.

Le PDG de Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, a déclaré Ryanair ne reprendra pas son vol si la compagnie aérienne est obligée de laisser le siège du milieu vide respecter les règles de distanciation sociale. "Soit le gouvernement (irlandais) paie pour le siège du milieu, soit nous ne volerons pas", a-t-il déclaré.

Numéros de coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 185 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2,6 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Coronavirus dans les eaux usées: Nous ne savons pas exactement combien de personnes ont été infectées par le coronavirus en raison d'un manque de tests complets, mais nous pourrions commencer à surveiller environ 2 milliards de personnes dans le monde en ce moment, simplement en recherchant l'agent pathogène dans les eaux usées.

Essai sur le vaccin BCG: Un essai est prévu pour tester si le vaccin BCG, utilisé par certains pays pour se protéger contre la tuberculose, peut également offrir une certaine protection contre le covid-19.

Informations essentielles sur le coronavirus

Qu'est-ce que Covid-19?

Quels sont les pires symptômes et à quel point Covid-19 est-il mortel?

Pouvez-vous attraper le coronavirus deux fois?

Vous pourriez propager le coronavirus sans réaliser que vous l'avez

Comment et quand les blocages du coronavirus prendront-ils fin?

Que lire, regarder et écouter sur le coronavirus

La science d'une pandémie: Alors que le nombre de morts de Covid-19 augmente, découvrez comment les chercheurs du monde entier se précipitent pour comprendre le virus et prévenir les futures épidémies dans notre panel de discussion en ligne gratuit.

Une journée dans la vie des coronavirus en Grande-Bretagne est un documentaire édifiant de Channel 4 tourné sur 24 heures qui montre comment les citoyens britanniques font face au verrouillage.

New Scientist Weekly présente des mises à jour et des analyses sur les derniers développements de la pandémie Covid-19. Notre podcast voit des journalistes experts du magazine discuter des plus grandes histoires scientifiques qui feront la une des journaux chaque semaine – de la technologie et de l'espace à la santé et à l'environnement.

Les règles de contagion concerne la nouvelle science de la contagion et les façons surprenantes dont elle façonne nos vies et nos comportements. L'auteur, Adam Kucharski, est épidémiologiste à la London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, et dans le livre, il examine comment les choses se propagent et pourquoi elles s'arrêtent.

Explication du traqueur de trajectoire des coronavirus, une vidéo de John Burn-Murdoch pour le Financial Times, utilise la visualisation des données pour expliquer les graphiques quotidiens qui montrent comment les cas et les décès de coronavirus se développent dans le monde.

Contagion: la pandémie de la BBC Four est un documentaire sobre sur la progression d'une pandémie hypothétique que la BBC a simulé en 2017. Conçu par la journaliste scientifique et présentatrice de télévision Hannah Fry, et réalisé avec le soutien de certains des meilleurs épidémiologistes et modélistes mathématiques du pays, il est très pertinent pour la convoitise d'aujourd'hui -19 pandémie.

Mises à jour précédentes

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Des infirmières faisant partie de National Nurses United, le plus grand syndicat d'infirmières des États-Unis, manifestent devant la Maison Blanche contre le manque d'équipement de protection individuelle le 21 avril 2020 à Washington, DC.

Gagnez McNamee / Getty Images

22 avril

Avertissement d'une deuxième vague de coronavirus aux États-Unis

Une deuxième vague de cas de coronavirus aux États-Unis pourrait être encore pire que la première, selon le directeur des Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) des États-Unis, Robert Redfield. Il a dit qu'une deuxième vague coïnciderait avec la saison de la grippe et mettrait «Une pression inimaginable» sur le système de santé américain.

Les États-Unis ont plus de 820 000 cas confirmés et plus de 45 000 décès dus à Covid-19, le plus élevé au monde, selon les chiffres les plus récents de Université Johns Hopkins.

Autres développements de coronavirus

Le la pandémie a déjà fait au moins 41 000 morts au Royaume-Uni, selon un Financial Times l’analyse des données sur les «décès excessifs» provenant des Office des statistiques nationales. Le bilan des décès du gouvernement s'élève à 18 000 morts au 22 avril.

Environ 50 patients ont été refoulés de l'hôpital NHS Nightingale, un hôpital temporaire pour les patients de Covid-19 à Londres, au Royaume-Uni, car il n'y a pas assez d'infirmières.

Le L'État américain du Missouri tente de poursuivre le gouvernement chinois sur sa gestion de l'épidémie de coronavirus. Le procureur général du Missouri, Eric Schmitt, a déclaré que les résidents avaient subi des dommages économiques importants parce que la Chine n'avait pas fait assez pour arrêter la propagation du virus. Un porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères a déclaré que les tribunaux américains n'avaient aucune compétence sur le gouvernement chinois.

Espagne le Parlement débat de la possibilité de prolonger l'état d'urgence du pays pour une troisième fois jusqu'au 9 mai. Le Premier ministre Pedro Sanchez a déclaré que le verrouillage pourrait commencer à être progressivement supprimé vers la fin du mois de mai. L'Espagne a les cas de coronavirus les plus confirmés de tous les pays européens.

Et vaccin potentiel pour covid-19 développé par Pfizer et BioNTech a reçu l'approbation réglementaire pour les tests sur l'homme. Il y a au moins 70 candidats vaccins à des stades exploratoires ou précliniques, mais seul un petit nombre a reçu le feu vert pour des tests cliniques, et le développement d'un vaccin viable est devrait prendre au moins un an.

Netflix a gagné près de 16 millions de nouveaux abonnés au premier trimestre 2020, deux fois plus que ne l'avaient prédit les analystes, alors que les gens se sont tournés vers la diffusion en continu pour fournir des divertissements dans un contexte de restrictions de voyage contre les coronavirus.

Numéros de coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 179 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2,5 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Santé mentale pendant la pandémie: De l'isolement social au travail de première ligne, les défis de santé mentale de la pandémie sont de grande envergure. Nous demandons aux experts comment nous protéger.

Protégez les chimpanzés, dit Jane Goodall: Nous devons protéger les chimpanzés contre l'exposition à Covid-19, a déclaré Goodall Nouveau scientifique. "C'est une grande inquiétude", dit-elle. "Une fois que le virus est entré en eux, ce que je prie pour que ce ne soit pas le cas, alors je ne sais pas ce qui peut être fait"

Incompréhension des appels de zoom: Les appels vidéo sur des plateformes comme Zoom gagnent en popularité à mesure que le monde s'adapte aux restrictions de voyage. Mais ne pas dormir suffisamment peut vous faire mal lire les émotions lors des appels vidéo.

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Un travailleur transporte un sac de farine de blé dans un centre de distribution d'aide alimentaire du Programme alimentaire mondial à Sanaa, au Yémen, le 11 février 2020

KHALED ABDULLAH / Reuters / PA Images

21 avril

Une pandémie risque d'augmenter le nombre de personnes confrontées à la faim

Le la pandémie de covid-19 doublera le nombre de personnes souffrant de faim aiguë, selon le Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations Unies. Si aucune mesure n'est prise pour soutenir les populations des pays à revenu faible ou intermédiaire, plus de 265 millions de personnes seront en crise et auront du mal à se procurer ou à payer de la nourriture d'ici la fin de 2020, contre 135 millions en 2019.

Autres développements de coronavirus

Le président américain Donald Trump a déclaré que l'immigration aux États-Unis doit être temporairement suspendue en raison de la pandémie, mais il est difficile de savoir si Trump serait légalement autorisé à exécuter l'ordre.

Cas confirmés de coronavirus ont plus que doublé à Singapour depuis la semaine dernière, passant à plus de 9000, le plus élevé d'Asie du Sud-Est. Bon nombre des nouvelles infections ont été signalées dans des dortoirs construits par le gouvernement qui abritent jusqu'à 200 000 travailleurs migrants, certains avec jusqu'à 20 personnes dans une seule pièce.

Plus de 28 000 décès par coronavirus pourraient être «manquants»"D'après les chiffres officiels du gouvernement, selon un New York Times analyse des données de 11 pays et régions, dont l'Espagne, l'Angleterre, le Pays de Galles, la France et New York.

Le Royaume-Uni Office des statistiques nationales a déclaré qu'il y avait eu 18 516 décès toutes causes confondues au cours de la semaine se terminant le 10 avril, le chiffre le épidémie de grippe hivernale en 2000.

Milan a annoncé un nouveau programme pour réduire l'utilisation de la voiture après le verrouillage en réaffectant 35 km d'espace de la rue des voitures aux cyclistes et aux piétons.

Les prix du pétrole continuent de baisser dans le monde, le prix du baril de Brent tombant en dessous de 20 $ aujourd'hui, le prix le plus bas depuis 2002.

Deuxième compagnie aérienne australienne Virgin Australia est entrée en administration en raison de l'impact du coronavirus mais continue à exploiter tous les vols réguliers. Au Royaume-Uni, l'entrepreneur Richard Branson, propriétaire à 10% de Virgin Australia, sollicite une aide financière du gouvernement britannique pour soutenir Virgin Atlantic.

Numéros de coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 171 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2,5 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Covid-19 frappe plus durement les minorités ethniques: Les personnes issues d'une minorité ethnique sont touchées de manière disproportionnée par Covid-19. Les chercheurs disent que les raisons sont enracinées dans les inégalités sociales et sanitaires existantes.

Les exercices de respiration peuvent-ils aider?: Des respirations profondes et une toux forcée pourraient aider à éliminer le mucus, mais ne devraient pas aider les personnes souffrant de toux sèche et de cas légers de covid-19 – contrairement à de nombreux conseils circulant sur les réseaux sociaux.

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Les manifestants de l'éloignement social portent des fusils près des marches du bâtiment du Michigan State Capitol à Lansing, Michigan le mercredi 15 avril 2020.

Paul Sancya / AP / Shutterstock

20 avril

Des groupes pro-gun promeuvent des manifestations de distanciation sociale aux États-Unis

Vendredi, le président américain Donald Trump a publié un série de tweets approuvant les protestations contre les mesures de distanciation sociale au Minnesota, au Michigan et en Virginie. Au cours du week-end, d'autres manifestations ont eu lieu, notamment à Denver, dans le Colorado, où les infirmières se tenaient sur la route pour bloquer les conducteurs sur le chemin des rassemblements.

Une enquête du Washington Post a constaté que les protestations étaient promu à l'aide de groupes Facebook mis en place par un petit groupe de militants d'extrême droite pro-armes à feu ayant des liens avec le mari de la secrétaire à l'éducation Betsy DeVos. Plus de 95% des électeurs démocrates et 70% des électeurs républicains soutenir les mesures de maintien à domicile, selon un récent sondage.

Plus de 760 000 cas confirmés de coronavirus et 40 000 décès ont été signalés aux États-Unis, selon les derniers chiffres de Université Johns Hopkins, bien que ce soit une sous-estimation.

Autres développements de coronavirus

La baisse de la demande de transport provoquée par la pandémie a aidé Les prix du pétrole américain tombent en dessous de 3 $ le baril aujourd'hui, en baisse par rapport aux prix pré-pandémiques de 60 $ le baril.

Non de nouveaux cas de coronavirus ont été enregistrés à Hong Kong hier pour la première fois depuis le 5 mars.

Le nombre de morts par jour en Espagne est tombé en dessous de 400 pour la première fois depuis le 11 mars. Hier, 399 personnes ont été confirmées comme étant mortes de Covid-19, le nombre le plus bas en quatre semaines.

Le Le gouvernement britannique a été critiqué pour sa réponse à la pandémie de coronavirus après la Sunday Times rapporte que Boris Johnson a raté cinq réunions Cobra sur le virus entre janvier et début mars. Le ministère de la Santé et des Affaires sociales a publié un longue réponse.

Le programme gouvernemental de maintien en poste des coronavirus, qui couvre jusqu'à 80 pour cent des salaires des employés jusqu'à une limite de 2500 £ par mois, a ouvert ses portes ce matin. On prévoit que jusqu'à 8 millions de personnes appliqueront au programme.

Les personnes qui se sont rétablies d'un coronavirus au Royaume-Uni sont être invité à donner du plasma sanguin dans le cadre d'un essai clinique potentiel pour savoir si leurs anticorps pourraient aider à lutter contre la maladie.

Magasins non essentiels dans certains États allemands y compris les concessionnaires automobiles, les magasins de livres et de vélos a rouvert ses portes aujourd'hui, alors que le pays continue d'assouplir progressivement certaines de ses restrictions.

Des millions de personnes en Inde travaillant dans l'agriculture, la pêche et les plantations ont été autorisées à reprendre le travail en tant que gouvernement assoupli certaines restrictions sur les coronavirus afin d'éviter les pénuries alimentaires.

Numéros de coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 166 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2,4 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Traitement révolutionnaire: Nous entendons toujours dire que tel ou tel médicament changera la donne dans la pandémie de coronavirus. Mais que devrait vraiment faire un traitement pour changer la donne?

Décisions de fin de vie: La pandémie de coronavirus oblige les gens à faire face à des dilemmes quant à la quantité de soins médicaux à prodiguer en fin de vie. La situation d'urgence signifie que les médecins et les patients doivent précipiter les décisions controversées sur le refus de certains traitements, disent les experts en soins palliatifs.

Conseils scientifiques sur les coronavirus au Royaume-Uni: Selon Patrick Vallance, le conseiller scientifique en chef du gouvernement, les données et les conseils scientifiques clés que le gouvernement britannique utilise pour guider sa réponse à la covid-19 ne seront pas publiés avant la fin de la pandémie.

Comment la pandémie affecte-t-elle les hommes et les femmes différemment? Caroline Criado Perez parle à New Scientist des préjugés sexistes à l'époque des coronavirus sur le podcast Big Interview et notre chaîne YouTube.

Mises à jour précédentes

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Des travailleurs médicaux à l'hôpital de Wuhan Union lors d'un mémorial national de trois minutes le 4 avril 2020.

Wu Yili / China News Service via Getty Images

17 avril

Le nombre de morts à Wuhan révisé de 50%

La Chine a a révisé le bilan des morts de covid-19 à Wuhan en hausse de 50 pour cent à 3869 par rapport à 2579, indiquant que le nombre total tient désormais compte des décès à domicile et des retards dans la notification. Le Le gouvernement chinois a nié toute dissimulation dans sa gestion de la crise ou le partage des données.

Le président français Emmanuel Macron a interrogé la direction de la Chine de l'épidémie, en disant «il y a clairement des choses qui se sont produites que nous ignorons».

Prolongation de la distance sociale au Royaume-Uni

Le Royaume-Uni a confirmé que ses mesures de distanciation sociale dureront encore au moins trois semaines et le soutien financier aux employés en congé prolongé d'un mois supplémentaire jusqu'à fin juin.

Le ministre des Affaires étrangères Dominic Raab décrit cinq conditions ces conditions doivent être remplies avant que les restrictions ne soient assouplies, notamment une baisse «soutenue et constante» du taux de mortalité quotidien et des tests adéquats.

Le ministre de la Santé, Matt Hancock, a déclaré que 18 000 coronavirus des tests sont effectués chaque jour au Royaume-Uni. Le pays est maintenant à moins de deux semaines de l'objectif du gouvernement de faire 100 000 tests quotidiens. Hancock a déclaré que la grande majorité des tests jusqu'à présent étaient des tests sur écouvillon du NHS pour les patients et les travailleurs clés, et que tests d'anticorps – qui pourrait montrer qu'une personne a eu le virus et est immunisée – n'était pas encore prête pour une utilisation clinique. En mars, le gouvernement a versé 16 millions de livres sterling à deux sociétés chinoises pour des tests d'anticorps qui se révélaient auparavant inefficaces.

Le public ne sera pas dit de porter des masques en tissu à moins que les scientifiques ne disent que c'est nécessaire, selon le ministre des Transports Grant Shapps. On ne sait pas si les masques en tissu minimisent la propagation du coronavirus, mais de nombreux endroits dans le monde, y compris à New York, ont rendu obligatoire de les porter à l'extérieur.

Autres développements de coronavirus

L'économie chinoise a diminué de près de 7% au premier trimestre de cette année, les usines et les entreprises ayant dû fermer en raison de l'épidémie de coronavirus. Il s'agit de la première baisse signalée du PIB du pays depuis les années 1970.

Donald Trump a publié des orientations aux gouverneurs des États recommandant une approche en trois phases pour la réouverture de leurs économies, mais a reconnu qu'il appartenait aux gouverneurs des États de décider comment assouplir les restrictions.

Le ministre allemand de la Santé, Jens Spahn, a déclaré que l'épidémie de coronavirus du pays est désormais «contrôlable» et que le système de santé allemand n'a «à aucun moment été dépassé».

Le plus grand essai de drogue au monde pour traiter les patients de covid-19, avec plus de 5000 participants, a été mis en place au Royaume-Uni et espère avoir des réponses pour savoir si certains médicaments améliorent les résultats «en quelques semaines».

Numéros de coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Ce graphique est le dernier décompte des décès rapporté par différents gouvernements, et non le nombre réel de décès au cours des dernières 24 heures. Le Royaume-Uni est maintenant affiché avec deux lignes: l'une montre le nombre de décès dans tous les endroits avec un décalage significatif; l'autre, les décès survenus dans les hôpitaux. Les chiffres récents des États-Unis et de la Chine incluent des révisions pour inclure les décès auparavant non dénombrés dans les maisons de soins.

Matthew Rowett

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 147 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2,1 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Les applications de suivi des contacts peuvent ne pas fonctionner: Alors que les pays recherchent des moyens de sortir du verrouillage et d'éviter ou de gérer une deuxième vague de cas covid-19, beaucoup se sont tournés vers la promesse tenue par les applications de suivi des contacts. Mais il y a de plus en plus de preuves qu'il sera difficile de les faire fonctionner.

Covid-19 chez les hommes: Nous savons que les personnes âgées sont plus vulnérables à covid-19, mais un autre facteur de risque majeur est apparu: être un homme. Pourquoi les hommes sont-ils plus susceptibles d'aggraver les symptômes et de mourir de la covid-19?

Les avis scientifiques sur les coronavirus au Royaume-Uni ne seront pas publiés avant la fin de la pandémie: «C'est honteux», déclare Allyson Pollock, directrice de l'Institute of Health and Society de l'Université de Newcastle, au Royaume-Uni, qui faisait partie des dizaines d'experts qui ont publié une lettre dans The Lancet journal médical le mois dernier, faisant valoir que les conseillers gouvernementaux devraient être plus transparents.

La crise des coronavirus pourrait réduire les besoins en électricité du Royaume-Uni: L’arrêt par coronavirus d’une grande partie de l’économie devrait réduire considérablement les besoins en électricité du Royaume-Uni cet été, potentiellement jusqu’à un cinquième.

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Les manifestants de North Carolin souhaitent que l'économie de l'État soit ouverte au plus tard le 29 avril.

LOGAN CYRUS / AFP via Getty Images

16 avril

Des millions d'autres demandent des allocations de chômage aux États-Unis

Un autre 5,2 millions de citoyens américains ont déposé une demande de prestations de chômage la semaine dernière, portant le total des quatre dernières semaines à 22 millions de demandes. Cela représente environ 13% de l’ensemble de la main-d’œuvre du pays, le taux de chômage le plus élevé depuis le début de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Le président Donald Trump est devrait annoncer des lignes directrices sur la réouverture de l'économie américaine plus tard dans la journée, mais de nombreux chefs d'État ont déclaré qu'ils n'étaient pas prêts à assouplir les restrictions et que la décision sur la meilleure façon de procéder sans provoquer une deuxième vague d'infections dépend de la capacité de test

Hier, les États-Unis ont signalé 4811 décès, le nombre de morts par jour le plus élevé de tous les pays. Plus de 640 000 cas confirmés de coronavirus et 31 000 décès ont été signalés aux États-Unis selon Données de l'Université John Hopkins.

Autres développements de coronavirus

La présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, a offert une excuses à l'Italie au nom de l'Europe pour ne pas avoir fourni suffisamment de soutien au début de la crise de la covid-19 du pays. L'Italie a signalé plus de 21 000 décès par coronavirus, le nombre le plus élevé de tous les pays européens. "Trop nombreux n'étaient pas là à temps quand l'Italie avait besoin d'un coup de main", a-t-elle déclaré au Parlement européen.

La présidente du Fonds monétaire international, Kristalina Georgieva, a déclaré que le Royaume-Uni et l'Union européenne ne devrait pas refuser de prolonger la période de négociation d'un accord commercial post-Brexit, car cela ajouterait à l'incertitude pendant la pandémie de coronavirus. Si un accord n'est pas signé avant le 31 décembre 2020, le Royaume-Uni et l'UE négocieraient aux conditions de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce, ce qui comprendrait de nouvelles taxes et restrictions sur les biens échangés.

Le Le Royaume-Uni devra maintenir un «niveau significatif» de distanciation sociale jusqu'à ce qu'un vaccin contre le coronavirus ait été trouvé, selon Neil Ferguson, un épidémiologiste conseillant le gouvernement dont les recherches influencé les changements apportés à la politique britannique sur les coronavirus. Cependant, Mark Woolhouse, épidémiologiste à l'Université d'Édimbourg, Royaume-Uni, récemment dit Nouveau scientifique qu'attendre un vaccin n'était pas un bon plan: "Je ne pense pas que l'attente d'un vaccin devrait être digne du mot" stratégie ". Ce n'est pas une stratégie, c'est un espoir. »

Et nouveau type de ventilateur pour soutenir les patients de covid-19 a reçu l'approbation réglementaire au Royaume-Uni et le gouvernement a confirmé une commande de 15 000 personnes.

L'Allemagne est devenue le dernier de plusieurs pays européens à annoncer une assouplissement progressif des blocages des coronavirus dans les semaines à venir. Selon la chancelière fédérale Angela Merkel, les magasins d'une superficie maximale de 800 mètres carrés pourront rouvrir à condition de respecter des mesures d'hygiène strictes.

EasyJet explore la possibilité de garder certains sièges vides pour respecter les règles de distanciation sociale une fois les restrictions de voyage contre les coronavirus levées. L’ensemble de la flotte d’avions d’EasyJet est immobilisé depuis le 30 mars. Il est difficile de savoir si de telles mesures contribueraient à réduire la propagation du virus à bord des avions.

Numéros de coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de décès signalés au Royaume-Uni ne comprend que les décès dans les hôpitaux.

Matthew Rowett

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 139 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Les médecins des soins intensifs partagent leurs histoires: Trois médecins révèlent à quoi cela ressemblait au cœur de la crise des coronavirus dans la province du Hubei, alors que l'épidémie atteignait son apogée à Wuhan et se propageait à travers le monde.

Pourquoi les hommes sont-ils plus susceptibles d’aggraver les symptômes et de mourir du coronanvirus? La différence ne semble pas être due à des taux différentiels d'infection: une étude de New York, par exemple, a constaté qu'un nombre égal d'hommes et de femmes attrapent le virus. Mais les hommes sont plus susceptibles d'évoluer vers une maladie grave et la mort.

Les fossoyeurs portant des combinaisons de protection

Des fossoyeurs portant des combinaisons de protection à Vila Formosa, São Paulo, le plus grand cimetière du Brésil.

/ Photo prise le 26 novembre 2018 / REUTERS / Amanda Perobelli

15 avril

Les cas de coronavirus dans le monde dépassent les 2 millions

Il y a maintenant plus de 2 millions de cas confirmés de coronavirus dans le monde selon les derniers chiffres de Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas être beaucoup plus élevé. Le nombre total est passé de 1 million à 2 millions de cas confirmés en moins de deux semaines, et plus de 600 000 cas ont été enregistrés aux États-Unis seulement.

Autres développements de coronavirus

L'un des hôpitaux temporaires construits à Wuhan, Chine, en février a été fermé et mis en veille. Plus de la moitié des nouveaux cas de coronavirus en Chine depuis le début du mois d'avril sont venus de l'étranger, beaucoup voyageant à travers les frontières terrestres avec la Russie qui sont maintenant fermés.

Taiwan n'a signalé aucun nouveau cas de coronavirus pour la première fois hier en 36 jours. Le ministre de la Santé, Chen Shih-chung, a déclaré que l'identification, l'isolement et le suivi de tous les contacts des personnes infectées par le coronavirus étaient la raison pour laquelle aucun nouveau cas n'a été détecté.

La Corée du Sud a tenu une élection aujourd'hui dans le cadre de mesures strictes de distanciation sociale pour minimiser la propagation du coronavirus. Les électeurs, dont beaucoup portaient des masques et des gants, devaient se tenir à au moins 1 mètre l'un de l'autre et avant d'entrer dans le bureau de vote, la température de chacun était prise. Quiconque dont la température était supérieure à 37,5 ° C serait conduit dans une zone séparée pour voter, loin des autres personnes.

Le président américain Donald Trump a déclaré les États-Unis cesseront de donner des fonds à l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), mais on ne sait toujours pas comment ce changement sera mis en œuvre. Les États-Unis sont le plus grand contributeur individuel au financement de l'OMS, 553 millions de dollars du budget de 6 milliards de dollars de l’OMS l’année dernière. Le secrétaire général de l'ONU, António Guterres, a déclaré "Pas le temps" de réduire les ressources de l’OMS.

Le Premier ministre néo-zélandais Jacinda Ardern et d'autres ministres du gouvernement 20% de réduction de salaire pendant six mois par solidarité avec ceux touchés par l'épidémie de coronavirus.

De nombreux pays africains ont mis en place des verrouillages en réponse à la pandémie, mais il existe craint que cela ne fasse plus de mal que de bien. Un grand nombre de personnes dans de nombreux pays africains dépendent de l'argent quotidien gagné sur les marchés pour acheter de la nourriture.

L'Inde assouplira les restrictions pour les personnes travaillant dans l'agriculture, la banque et les travaux publics, mais les services de transport et la plupart des autres entreprises doivent rester fermés. Le verrouillage national du pays a été récemment prolongé et prendra fin le 3 mai. Dans certaines villes, l'annonce de l'extension a incité des milliers de travailleurs migrants dans les rues pour protester, exigeant qu'ils soient autorisés à rentrer chez eux dans leurs villages.

Numéros de coronavirus

graphique montrant le nombre total de décès dus aux coronavirus dans certains pays

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 129 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 2 millions, selon le carte et tableau de bord de l'Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur les coronavirus d'un nouveau scientifique

Fatigue post-virale: Des conditions telles que le syndrome de fatigue chronique ont été liées à des infections virales, il est donc possible que le virus covid-19 continue à déclencher des conditions similaires.

Relations pendant le verrouillage: Robin Dunbar a passé des décennies à étudier les relations, les liens sociaux et l'importance du toucher et du toilettage pour forger et maintenir nos liens avec les autres. Comme une grande partie du monde reste enfermé, incapable de rencontrer ses proches et ses amis en personne, Nouveau scientifique l'a rattrapé pour lui demander quelles implications cela pouvait avoir.

un travailleur dans les rues de bilbao

Un travailleur à Bilbao, en Espagne, le mardi 14 avril.

H. Bilbao / Europa Press via Getty Images

14 avril

Certains pays européens commencent à assouplir les restrictions

Certains Pays européens permettent à certains travailleurs non essentiels de reprendre leur emploi cette semaine, notamment en Espagne, qui a été l'un des pays les plus touchés par la pandémie. Plus de 300 000 personnes qui travaillent dans la construction et la fabrication et qui ne peuvent pas travailler à domicile seront autorisées à rentrer, mais les écoles et les restaurants resteront fermés.

L'Autriche prévoit d'ouvrir la plupart des magasins, y compris les centres commerciaux et les coiffeurs à partir du 1er mai, mais les restaurants et les hôtels resteront fermés et les masques en tissu seront obligatoires pour tout le monde à l'extérieur. En Italie, des librairies et des magasins de vêtements pour enfants ont ouvert leurs portes aujourd'hui et au Danemark cette semaine, certaines crèches et écoles permettront aux enfants de rentrer. La chancelière allemande Angela Merkel envisager d'assouplir les restrictions à travers l'Allemagne lors d'une réunion le 15 avril.

En France, les mesures de verrouillage pourraient être prolongées jusqu'au 11 mai. Le gouvernement britannique est également susceptible de prolonger le verrouillage et peut introduire de nouvelles restrictions, y compris l'interdiction de l'exercice en plein air si les gens ne respectent pas les lois de distanciation sociale. Cependant, le verrouillage au Royaume-Uni a été moins restrictif que dans d'autres pays et ne s'applique pas à de nombreux emplois qui ne peuvent pas être effectués à domicile, y compris la construction. Selon l'Office for National Statistics, plus d'un cinquième des décès en Angleterre et au pays de Galles au cours de la semaine se terminant le 3 avril étaient liés au coronavirus.

Aux États-Unis, qui ont les cas et les décès les plus confirmés de tous les pays du monde, le président Donald Trump a déclaré qu'il souhaitait alléger les restrictions 1er mai. Hier, lors d'une conférence de presse, il a affirmé qu'il avait une autorité «totale» pour lever le verrouillage, attirant les critiques des gouverneurs des États, dont le gouverneur de New York, Andrew Cuomo, qui a déclaré que Trump était agissant comme un «roi».

Le verrouillage national de l'Inde sera prolongé jusqu'au 3 mai au moins, selon le Premier ministre Narendra Modi. Le verrouillage devait initialement se terminer aujourd'hui. Modi a déclaré que certaines restrictions dans les régions en dehors des points chauds d'infection seraient assouplies le 20 avril pour aider les personnes les plus pauvres qui dépendent du salaire journalier.

Autres développements de coronavirus

Deux des plus grandes sociétés pharmaceutiques du monde, GlaxoSmithKline et Sanofi, disent qu’elles travailleront ensemble sur un vaccin contre le coronavirus, qui pourrait être testé chez l'homme en quelques mois.

L'économiste en chef du Fonds monétaire international (FMI), Gita Gopinath, a déclaré que la crise des coronavirus pourrait retirer 9 billions de dollars du PIB mondial au cours des deux prochaines années, une baisse de 3% de l'économie mondiale.

Une étude a suggéré que l'éloignement social prolongé ou intermittent pourrait devoir s'étendre jusqu'en 2022 pour éviter que les hôpitaux ne soient submergés.

Numéros de coronavirus

graphique des décès dus aux coronavirus dans certains pays

Le nombre de morts par jour aux États-Unis est plus élevé que dans tous les pays et le nombre total de morts approche désormais les 25 000.

Matthew Rowett

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 121 000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1.9 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Ebola and coronavirus: Fresh cases of Ebola have been detected just days before the deadly epidemic in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was to be declared over. The problem is made worse by the emergence of coronavirus in the DRC last month.

How to end lockdown: An end to lockdown is many weeks away for some nations, but decisions on how to do it need to be made now so we can make preparations and communicate it clearly.

An ambulance in Brooklyn, New York

An ambulance in Brooklyn, New York

John Minchillo/AP/Shutterstock

9 April

Worldwide cases pass 1.5 million

More than 1.5 million confirmed cases have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 90,000 people have died, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Yesterday more than 2000 deaths were recorded in the US for the second day in a row, while in the UK the daily death toll hit a record 938. Spain, the country with the highest number of detected cases in Europe, reported 683 deaths – lower than the previous two days.

Other coronavirus developments

More than 6 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week, bringing the total number of claims in the last three weeks above 16 million. Two people in the US have been charged with terrorism offences after threatening to spread the coronavirus.

US president Donald Trump has threatened to cut government funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) and criticised the organisation’s response to the pandemic for being “China centric” and for withholding information. Lawrence Gostin, a public health law professor at Georgetown University, said its annual budget was insufficient for its role and should be increased.

Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has warned that the European Union (EU) risks failing as a political project unless member countries share the financial cost of the coronavirus crisis. Conte called upon the EU to rise to the challenge of “the biggest test since the Second World War.”

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has now spent three nights in intensive care with covid-19.

People from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK are being disproportionately impacted by the outbreak according to the non-profit Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre. Et similar pattern seems to be occurring in the US.


Coronavirus numbers

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide death toll has passed 90,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1,500,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Do facemasks work?: As cases of covid-19 continue to rise in many countries, many people are choosing to wear a face mask when out in public – but do they work?

Fever can help the immune system: Fever is a pain, quite literally, but new evidence hints at its purpose. Here’s what you need to know.

Coronavirus and internet use: The covid-19 pandemic has many of us stuck at home. The result could completely reshape how we use the internet, writes Annalee Newitz.

As one epidemic ends, another begins: The WHO is set to declare the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola epidemic over on Sunday, but now the country must pivot to fight covid-19 instead.

woman attendant on train leaving wuhan after coronavirus lockdown ends

A train attendantwaves to passengers before departing from Wuhan, China today.

Xinhua/Shutterstock

8 April

Lockdown lifted in Wuhan

Le lockdown in Wuhan, China, which has been in place since 23 January was lifted today, four months after the world’s first reported coronavirus cases were detected there last year.

People with a “green” code on a government-issued smartphone health app are now allowed to leave the city, and train, road and rail connections have reopened. Some limits on transport remain and schools will stay closed for now.

Other coronavirus developments

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa has passed 10,000, with more than 500 deaths across the continent from covid-19 so far.

Le US recorded the world’s highest death toll in a single day on Tuesday, with more than 1800 deaths.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is “improving” after he spent two nights in intensive care in hospital being treated for covid-19.

Mauro Ferrari, the president of the European Research Council (ERC), the EU’s most prestigious scientific research organisation, has resigned and criticised the EU’s coronavirus response. Ferrari wanted the ERC to provide funding for a large-scale programme to support scientists researching covid-19, but his proposal was rejected.

The coronavirus can infect and replicate in domestic cats and ferrets, but replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks, according to a study. The virus is thought to have originated in bats, although it is not known if the virus crossed over into other animals before it first spread to humans.

Researchers are investigating whether people who have recently recovered from mild coronavirus infections can become infected again. A preliminary study found that 175 recently-recovered individuals had unexpectedly low levels of antibodies against the virus, which might be too low to provide protection.

Coronavirus numbers

The worldwide death toll has passed 83,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1,400,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

chart showing coronavirus death count by country on 8 april 2020" data-credit="Matthew Rowett" data-caption="Deaths in the UK and France continue to accelerate, with the US reporting the highest single daily death count in the world. The UK trajectory continues to track Italy's.

The worldwide death toll has passed 83,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1,400,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Protecting children: Children will face many hidden negative effects from the new coronavirus, but it’s not too late to avert them, says Paul Ramchandani.

Covid-19 risk for underlying conditions: Does a cell surface protein explain why the coronavirus is more likely to kill people with diabetes or heart disease? Researchers are trying to find out.

Coronavirus uder control in Australia: Early signs suggest Australia is starting to beat the coronavirus, with the rate of new infections slowing for more than a week. How is it achieving this and will the trend continue?

New Scientist Default Image

People gather along the waterfront of the Bund in Shanghai, China on 7 April 2020.

Yves Dean/Getty Images

7 April

No new deaths in China and hope of a plateau in New York

China reported no new coronavirus deaths today for the first time since the outbreak started. Concerns remain about a second wave of infections being brought into China by people arriving from abroad. A total of 32 new cases were confirmed in China today, all of whom had arrived from other countries.

There are hopes that the outbreak may be starting to plateau in New York. The state reported 599 deaths yesterday, on par with previous days. Over 4800 people have died of coronavirus in New York, nearly half the national death toll.

Other coronavirus developments

The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, spent the night in intensive care with covid-19, and is reported to be in a stable condition in hospital. Although he did receive oxygen support, he did not require ventilation, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said this morning.

US president Donald Trump has said he asked US pharmaceutical companies working on experimental coronavirus drugs to approach Boris Johnson’s doctors and offer their help.

People in Wisconsin are casting their votes in the Democratic presidential primary today, as well as electing a state supreme court judge. The state’s governor tried to call off the election because of the risk to public health, but his decision was overruled by the state supreme court.

African-Americans may be disproportionately affected by covid-19, according to data from some states, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are not releasing data on race or ethnicity at a national level.

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has declared a state of emergency in seven urban centres with high numbers of covid-19 cases, including Tokyo. The country reported seven more deaths yesterday, bringing the country’s total to 91.

Brexit trade negotiations have stalled as the UK and EU have yet to agree a timetable for video-conferencing to replace meetings that were disrupted by the pandemic.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging the UN to set the baseline from which air traffic growth will be judged to pre-pandemic levels, saying that setting the baseline with air traffic at half the normal levels would create an “inappropriate economic burden.”


Coronavirus numbers

New Scientist Default Image

Daily death tolls in Spain and Italy are declining as the UK and France follow Italy’s trajectory. The daily death toll in the US continues to accelerate, with 1164 deaths reported yesterday.

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide death toll has passed 78,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1,300,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus exit strategies: How do we get out of lockdown? There are three main strategies for leaving coronavirus lockdown, but each risks a dangerous second wave and further lockdowns if things don’t go as planned.

What is an ECMO?: An ECMO machine is a life support machine that takes over the function of the heart and lungs. It’s different from a ventilator, which enhances the function of a patient’s own lungs.

Post-pandemic fiction: Resident Evil 3 provides a glimpse into post-pandemic fiction, writes Jacob Aron. The game is a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, which was released for the original PlayStation in 1999.

US Army personnel in New York City

US Army personnel wearing masks in New York City.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

6 April

Daily death tolls decline in Europe’s worst-hit countries as US braces for “peak death week”

In Europe, Italy and Spain have the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths from covid-19, but infections appear to be slowing and the number of new deaths in both countries has been falling for several days in a row. The number of deaths in one day in Spain peaked on Thursday last week, when 950 people died; yesterday, the Spanish government reported 637 deaths. The number of deaths in Italy peaked with 919 deaths on 27 March, compared with 525 deaths reported yesterday.

The lockdown measures in both countries have been extended, with restrictions in Spain set to last until at least 25 April. Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s public health institute, says that the lockdown measures have led to a “significant slowdown in the spread” of the virus.

The US, which is now the worst-affected country in the world, is bracing for “peak death week”, according to White House officials. US surgeon general, Jerome Adams, warned that this will be “the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives.” US president Donald Trump pointed to the signs of change in Europe as “the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Some lockdown measures are gradually being lifted in Europe including in Austria which will start reopening non-essential shops, with strict hygiene measures, next week. Le Czech government is also considering relaxing lockdown measures, with more shops allowed to reopen from 9 April. Danish prime minister Mette Frederikse, announced last week that restrictions in the country would gradually be lifted after Easter.

Other coronavirus developments

The stock markets on Wall Street opened higher today, as investors appear to welcome signs that coronavirus outbreaks are stabilising in some of the worst-affected countries, including Spain and Italy.

Scientists have warned that a large stock of 17.5 million home antibody testing kits ordered by the UK government could be unreliable, failing to detect up to half of coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent last night in hospital for tests after testing positive for coronavirus 10 days ago.

Europe is seeing a drop in air pollution similar to that seen in China during lockdown. Scientists detected a drop in nitrogen dioxide emissions over several cities including Paris, Milan and Madrid.

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for coronavirus. The tiger is one of seven big cats to be diagnosed.

Coronavirus numbers

New Scientist Default Image

Daily death tolls in Spain and Italy are starting to drop from their peaks

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide death toll has passed 70,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1,200,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus death toll has little meaning: With all the unknowns about covid-19, any numbers you hear about the global death toll or how long restrictions will last should be taken not just with a pinch of salt but with a sack of it.

How realistic is Contagion?: The 2011 film Contagion is one of the few Hollywood productions that realistically portrays the process of science – both its successes and frustrations. Scientists race to develop ways of fighting back against a fictional deadly virus, which kills people within days of infection.

testing for coronavirus at chessington world of adventures

Tests being carried out at a coronavirus testing site in a car park at Chessington World of Adventures near London

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

3 April

Worldwide cases pass one million

Coronavirus cases and deaths have begun to plateau in some European countries, including Italy and Spain, although cases and deaths continue to accelerate in the UK and the US. More people in the UK have died with coronavirus than in China, according to today’s figures from Johns Hopkins University.

In the US hospitals across the country are coming under increasing strain. In Louisiana, the death toll is mounting and there are concerns that the state could run out of hospital beds. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the National Guard to seize and redistribute any ventilators and personal protective equipment from facilities in the state. Florida has issued a stay-at-home order – over the past week cases in the state have been growing by hundreds daily.

There have now been more than one million confirmed coronavirus cases diagnosed across the globe, though the true number of cases will be much higher. More than 55,000 people have died from covid-19.

UK government faces questions over testing

UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, has pledged to have 100,000 people in England tested per day by the end of the month, following criticism of the UK’s coronavirus testing strategy.
Last month, Boris Johnson promised to move up to 25,000 tests a day with a goal of 250,000, but the UK is still only carrying out around 10,000 coronavirus tests per day.

The new testing target for England includes the introduction of antibody tests, to check whether people have already had the virus, in addition to the existing swab tests, which determine whether a person is currently infected. Antibody tests are still being validated and the government says they won’t roll them out if they aren’t effective.

Other coronavirus developments

Following widespread debate over whether people should wear masks in public spaces, a new study has found that surgical face masks could prevent people with symptoms from spreading seasonal human coronaviruses and influenza viruses. It is not yet clear whether these findings could be extended to more severe coronaviruses, such as the covid-19 virus, as the study did not include any participants with covid-19, SARS or MERS.

The White House is expected to advise US citizens in coronavirus hotspots to wear non-medical cloth masks or scarves in public places to help limit the spread of the virus.

Authorities in Mumbai, India, are concerned about the spread of coronavirus in Dharavi slum, one of the planet’s most densely populated areas where up to 1 million people live in cramped and unsanitary conditions.

A North Korean official has claimed that “not one single person” in the country is infected with coronavirus. The claim has been met with significant scepticism, given that North Korea shares borders with China and South Korea – two of the worst affected countries globally.

There are concerns that the Cheltenham Festival in the UK may have contributed to the spread of coronavirus across the country. More than 250,000 people attended the horseracing meeting between 10 and13 March.

Le Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships have docked in Florida after spending weeks at sea with passengers ill and dying of covid-19 aboard. The Coral Princess cruise ship, which was turned away from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 19 March, is expected to arrive in Florida on Sunday.


Coronavirus numbers

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide death toll has passed 55,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 1,000,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Death rate: Why we still don’t know what the death rate is for covid-19.

Impact on poorer countries: The covid-19 pandemic may prove disastrous for the world’s poorest people, including those living in slums and refugee camps.


China’s wildlife trade: China’s ban on eating and trading wildlife due to the coronavirus crisis could become law within the next three months, according to conservationists.

Best sci-fi to stream: Looking for something to do during lockdown? These are the best science fiction TV shows to stream right now.

Getting the health benefits of nature: Going out into the natural world is good for your health and mind, and you can still get some of the same benefits even when stuck inside.

healthcare worker fighting coronavirus in brookly new york

A healthcare worker is seen by the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

2 April

New York City hospitals and morgues overwhelmed

A doctor in New York City has described the situation in hospitals as “apocalyptic, complete chaos.” They said, “We just aren’t able to offer people a proper standard of care – like sitting and talking to them about their treatment – and it’s getting worse day by day.” Some of the morgues in the city are already filled to capacity.

US unemployment claims hit new record

A record 6.6 million US citizens applied for unemployment benefits last week, reflecting thehuge impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. The job losses have mostly affected people who work in retail, restaurants, travel, hotels and leisure industries. The previous weekly unemployment record was set a week earlier, at 3.3 million. State services across the US have been overwhelmed with the large numbers of people filing for benefits.

Other coronavirus developments

The Indian government has launched a coronavirus tracker app that alerts people if they have crossed paths with someone infected with the virus. The app, called Aarogya Setu or “bridge to health”, uses the smartphone’s location data and Bluetooth to check where infected people are and to alert users in their vicinity. Similar technology has been used in China.

The US coast guard is directing cruise ships registered in the Bahamas to seek aid there first, even if they are owned by Miami based companies. All ships with more than 50 people on board have been advised that they may be sequestered indefinitely.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has announced that parents will be offered free childcare. The government has pledged A$1.6 billion to ensure childcare centres remain open, provided they do not charge parents.

A preliminary study has suggested that countries with mandatory TB vaccination have fewer coronavirus deaths, but more research is needed to confirm the link. Le TB vaccine is being tested to see if it protects people against covid-19.

Amid the lockdown, photographers have captured the world’s silent streets and stations with photographs taken in various cities at midday.

Coronavirus numbers

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide death toll has passed 49,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 960,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

What drugs work?: To fight the new coronavirus, researchers are investigating more than 60 drugs, including remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine and brand new ones.

Orangutans under threat: Orangutans and other endangered great apes are at greater risk because of the threat of covid-19, according to researchers.

Covid-19 and climate change: Our approach to covid-19 can also help tackle climate change. We can’t lose sight of the climate emergency when dealing with the covid-19 pandemic, say Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac.

New Scientist Default Image

US president Donald Trump said at a press conference that the death range would indicate his administration had “done a very good job.”

Chris Kleponis / Pool via CNP | usage worldwide

1 April

Deaths in Italy plateau, while deaths in US and UK continue to accelerate

More than 12,000 people in Italy have died with covid-19 so far, but the number of new cases of coronavirus in Italy has fallen for several days in a row, and the number of new deaths each day is plateauing. Le lockdown measures that have been in place in Italy since 9 March will continue until at least the middle of April, according to health minister Roberto Speranza.

New cases and deaths continue to accelerate in the UK and the US. Yesterday US president Donald Trump said that between 100,000 and 240,000 people will die in the US from the outbreak. The president has been strongly criticised for downplaying the expected impact of the crisis over the last two months.

Other coronavirus developments

Governments around the world are considering whether to recommend that everyone wears face masks in their daily lives. Taiwan has made these mandatory on trains and buses, and Austria plans to make masks compulsory for supermarket shoppers. The US Coronavirus Task Force is considering suggesting that everyone wears face masks, as is Germany.

In the UK, there is continuing concern over the low levels of coronavirus testing. The government has blamed a global shortage of the required chemicals, but the UK Chemicals Industry Association have said there is no shortage. Et leaked government briefing note seems to disagree with World Health Organization advice about testing.

Amid uncertainty about the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has asked Muslims planning to take part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to delay booking their trips.

Data security and privacy concerns have been raised about Zoom, the videoconferencing app now being used by millions of people as more countries are under lockdown.

Elon Musk announced yesterday that Tesla has purchased FDA-approved ventilators, which he said the firm would give them to hospitals worldwide for free, within Tesla delivery regions.

Timelapse footage has captured the conversion of London’s ExCeL exhibition centre into one of the NHS Nightingale field hospitals built to cope with the expected surge of covid-19 patients.

Coronavirus cases

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide death toll has passed 44,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 880,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

The hunt for patient zero: Growing evidence suggests the covid-19 outbreak may not have started at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market in December after all. Finding its origins may help us stop it happening again.

New York City: The coronavirus outbreak in New York City is already overwhelming hospitals. Last week, the focus of the outbreak in the US shifted from the west coast to New York City.

Will the spread of covid-19 be affected by changing seasons? The factors that cause flu to decline in spring might apply to covid-19 too. But we don’t know yet if warm weather can curb the spread of the coronavirus.

planes parked at gatwick airport

British Airways planes parked up in a row at Gatwick airport.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

31 March

Planes grounded as flight demand continues to fall

British Airways will suspend all flights to and from London’s Gatwick airport. The airline will continue operating limited flights from London Heathrow on a significantly reduced timetable. This comes after EasyJet’s entire fleet of aircraft was grounded.

American Airlines announced it will seek $12 billion in financial aid from the US government because of the impact of the pandemic.

With flights grounded and energy consumption slashed, global carbon dioxide emissions are likely to drop by at least 0.3 per cent in 2020, and perhaps as much as 2.2 per cent. But no credible environmentalists say the response forced by the pandemic is a solution for climate change, Adam Vaughan reports.

Other coronavirus developments

China will release daily numbers of asymptomatic covid-19 cases starting tomorrow, according to the head of the national disease control bureau. There is evidence that the virus is mostly being spread by people with mild or no symptoms.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reviewing advice to the public about covering their mouths and noses with cloth face masks. Current guidance is that healthy people don’t need masks or face coverings. Any new advice would make it clear that the general public should not wear medical masks, including surgical and N95 masks, as they are in short supply and needed by healthcare workers.

Et century-old vaccine against tuberculosis is being tested to see if it protects people against the coronavirus. Healthcare workers in Melbourne, Australia, will receive the vaccine as part of a trial. The BCG vaccine is known for its ability to boost immune responses to other infections and has also been used to treat early-stage bladder cancer.

Popular video chat and game app Houseparty has claimed it is a victim of corporate sabotage after rumours circulated that downloading the app leaves users vulnerable to hacking.

For the first time since the second world war, the Wimbledon tennis tournament will be cancelled.

Latest coronavirus numbers

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide death toll has passed 40,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 820,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Antibodies and antibody testing: Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins produced as part of the body’s immune response to infection. Antibody tests take advantage of the microbe-specific antibodies that remain in the blood after a person has recovered from an infection.

Pandemics and our fascination with dying: Pandemics of the past can teach us about the current one, says John Troyer, who studies how we use technology to alter the experience of death.

Park avenue in New York during the pandemic

Park Avenue in New York has been closed to vehicle traffic to allow more space for pedestrians )

Noam Galai/Getty Images

30 March

Government interventions ‘averted 59,000 deaths’ in 11 countries

Government interventions across 11 European countries have already saved 59,000 lives, according to a new report from scientists at Imperial College London which includes Neil Ferguson, whose modelling has informed the UK’s coronavirus strategy. The researchers modelled the impact of social distancing, school closures, lockdowns and the banning of large gatherings in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

New breathing aid developed for covid-19 patients

Et new breathing aid to help keep covid-19 patients out of intensive care will soon undergo clinical trials in several London hospitals. The device can deliver oxygen to the lungs without the need for a ventilator. It was designed and built in under a week as part of a collaboration between engineers and doctors at University College London and Mercedes Formula One.

The new device has already been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and, if trials are successful, up to 1000 could be produced per day.

Restrictions extended

US president Donald Trump has said restrictions in the country will be extended until at least 30 April. This follows a warning from the US government’s leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, over the weekend that the coronavirus could kill as many as 200,000 people in the US.

It could be six months before life in the UK returns to “normal”, according to the UK’s deputy chief medical officer. UK prime minister Boris Johnson said that 20,000 former UK National Health Service (NHS) staff have returned to work to help in the fight against the virus.

Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet flight attendants are being offered work at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London. EasyJet’s entire fleet of aircrafts has been grounded due to the pandemic.

Other coronavirus developments

Hungary’s parliament has granted the country’s prime minister Viktor Orban new powers that some argue amount to a suspension of the country’s democracy. Elections will be stopped, parliament will not sit and the government will be able to imprison people for charges such as “spreading fake news.”

As a result of India’s lockdown, thousands of migrant workers have been facing day-long walks to get back home from cities like Delhi and Mumbai, and at least 22 people are reported to have died. At the weekend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the nation’s forgiveness for imposing the sweeping lockdown.

New dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games have been set for 23 July to 8 August 2021, while the Paralympics will happen from 24 August to 5 September 2021.

Latest coronavirus cases and deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 35,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 740,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

What you can do to help: The new coronavirus is upending our lives, but simple actions can slow its spread, help our neighbours, foster a sense of togetherness and rejuvenate our immune systems.

A message from Greta Thunberg: We must fight the climate crisis and pandemic simultaneously, Thunberg told New Scientist.

Previous updates

New Scientist Default Image

New York has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Marcus Santos/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock

27 March

US overtakes China with highest number of cases

Le US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases of any country with 86,000 positive tests, overtaking China. Worldwide confirmed cases passed half a million yesterday.

China will ban entry of non-nationals including those with valid Chinese visas and residence permits from tomorrow in an effort to limit the import of new coronavirus cases.

In Italy, there are fears that the south could become the country’s next hotspot. The most recent numbers from the northern region of Lombardy indicate that the epidemic there may be slowing down.

Other coronavirus developments

Le G20 has pledged to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy.

The UK department of health is reported to have previously rejected high-level medical advice about providing healthcare workers with certain protective equipment during a flu pandemic, because of the cost of stockpiling it.

The UK’s privacy watchdog approved the use of data from people’s mobile phones to track and monitor behaviour to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The world’s top condom producer has expressed concerns about a potential global shortage after a lockdown in Malaysia, where the company’s factories are based. Malaysia is South East Asia’s worst affected country.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is now self-isolating. He says he will continue to lead the government’s response remotely. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has also tested positive for the virus, while Chris Witty, the chief medical adviser, also says he has experienced symptoms and is now self-isolating at home.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 25,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 560,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Antibody test: The UK has ordered 3.5 million antibody tests designed to reveal whether people have been infected with the new coronavirus, but will a home antibody test for covid-19 really be a game changer?

Does a high dose of virus make covid-19 worse?: Emerging research indicates that the relationship between infection and covid-19 severity may be complex and perhaps different from that of other respiratory illnesses.

UK epidemic expected to peak in a month: UK science advisers expect that the coronavirus epidemic will reach its peak in a month’s time, according to their most recent analysis.

Coronavirus and weather forecasting: The coronavirus pandemic could make weather forecasts less accurate, due to the reduction in flights by commercial airliners, which carry meteorological instruments.

Previous updates

men in front of stock ticker

The impact of the pandemic on the global economy is unprecedented in modern times

FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

26 March

Covid-19 impact will be “worse than the global financial crisis”

The impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the global economy will be worse than the 2008 recession, according to the World Trade Organization’s director general, Roberto Azevêdo.

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, has asked G20 leaders to support an increase of its emergency financing capacity to boost its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Singapore’s economy has experienced its largest contraction in a decade in the first quarter of this year, according to data released on 26 March. The country is planning for a deep recession.

Numbers released from the US Labor Department today revealed that a record 3.3 million US citizens filed for unemployment last week. The US Senate recently passed a stimulus bill of approximately $2 trillion.

In India, the government announced a $22 billion bailout for people in urgent need of financial support. This comes amid concerns about the prospects for the millions of daily-wage earners in the country, after it went into lockdown earlier this week.

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, says self-employed people will have up to 80 per cent of their wages covered by the government during the pandemic.

Other coronavirus developments

A study of 33 newborns born to mothers with covid-19 in Wuhan, China, found that 9 per cent of the infants had covid-19 symptoms but no deaths were reported. It remains unclear whether the virus can transmit from a mother to a fetus during pregnancy.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration has announced they will significantly reduce the number of flights in and out of the country to prevent a second coronavirus outbreak.

The UN’s food body has warned that protectionist measures brought in by national governments during the pandemic could lead to food shortages around the world.

This year’s Tour de France may go ahead without spectators, according to France’s sports minister. The race is due to start on 27 June.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 23,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 510,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

How long does the coronavirus stay on surfaces?: Research conducted on the new coronavirus and others similar to it, such as SARS, suggest the virus can spread through particles in the air and via contaminated surfaces. How does this happen?

Life-or-death choices: If there’s a shortage of ventilators, how will doctors decide which covid-19 patients get one? This is the grim question doctors around the world are currently grappling with.

man with lancelet test

A test could be available within days in the UK to see if people had covid-19

IPG Gutenberg UK/Getty Images

25 March

Coronavirus antibody test could be available within days

The UK government has ordered more than 3 million finger prick antibody tests that could be ready in a matter of days. The tests could reveal whether someone had covid-19, but they are being checked first to show that they work properly. It is also still not known whether it’s possible to develop long-lasting immunity to the coronavirus.

Travel restrictions lifted in Hubei province

China’s Hubei province lifted all travel restrictions today, with the exception of Wuhan, where restrictions won’t be eased until 8 April.

In Malaysia, which is currently the worst-hit country in South East Asia, the lockdown has been extended for two more weeks.

Other coronavirus developments

Facebook usage has surged in countries under lockdowns. It’s estimated that a quarter of the world’s population is currently under lockdown and, although Facebook usage is up, the tech giant’s advertising revenue is falling.

The White House and the Senate have agreed a stimulus package worth more than $1.8 trillion to help ease the economic impact of coronavirus in the US.

Some prisoners could be temporarily released in several countries, including England and Wales, to ease pressure on jails caused by more staff taking sick leave and self-isolating, the BBC reports.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson gave evidence to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology today as part of an inquiry into the nation’s response to the pandemic. He said that he is “reasonably confident” that the health service will be able to cope during the predicted peak of the epidemic in two or three weeks, because of expected increases in National Health Service capacity and on-going travel restrictions.

This comes as the UK government has confirmed that it is not participating in European Union efforts to secure more personal protective equipment and ventilators for the NHS.

Prince Charles has tested positive for covid-19. He has mild symptoms but is otherwise in good health, according to a spokesperson.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 19,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 440,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

A factory worker in Wuhan eating lunch

Employees eat their lunch while staying 2 meters away from each other at a factory in Wuhan

Stringer/Getty Images

24 March

Plans to lift lockdown in Wuhan

Residents of Wuhan in Hubei province will be allowed to leave the city from 8 April if they are given the all-clear from a health app issued by Chinese authorities. The city has been under complete lockdown since 23 January. People in other areas of Hubei will be able to travel from tomorrow.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the US may become the next centre of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump has controversially suggested that the US could soon re-open for business.

Olympics postponed to 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be postponed to summer 2021. Many other major sporting events, including Six Nations Rugby, the UEFA European Football Championship and the London Marathon have also been postponed.

Other coronavirus developments

India has announced a total lockdown of its 1.3 billion citizens for 21 days. This comes after the WHO warned yesterday that the pandemic is accelerating.

Ivory Coast and Senegal have both declared states of emergency. Ivory Coast has begun to introduce confinement measures, while Senegal will introduce a curfew from dusk to dawn.

Et modelling study of a simulated Singapore published in The Lancet has estimated that a combination of physical distancing interventions, including quarantine for infected individuals and their families, school closures, and workplace distancing is most effective at reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

Researchers are inventing new types of masks and ventilators to help tackle the pandemic. A new ventilator has already been used to treat a person in the UK.

In the UK, the government said a decision to temporarily allow early medical abortions to be carried out at home was published in error.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 17,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 390,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Spread without symptoms: You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it. Studies suggest peak infectiousness may occur before people even realise they are sick.

Why the US is so vulnerable: The economic and healthcare policies pursued by the US in recent years have failed to prioritise public health and made it vulnerable to a pandemic.

Greta Thunberg may have had covid-19: Climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg says she may have had covid-19 and has self-isolated. “I don’t want to put anyone else at risk,” she told New Scientist.

What is a virus?: For something so small, viruses have a huge impact on the world. They are the most abundant organisms on Earth, and probably played a pivotal role in the origin of life.

New Scientist Default Image

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO

SALVATORE DI NOLFI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

23 March

“The pandemic is accelerating”

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today in a press briefing as the number of deaths from covid-19 passed 15,000.

Stricter lockdowns

The UK government is considering firmer policies to force people to distance themselves from others, while the lockdown in Italy has already been ramped up further with all non-essential businesses now closed.

100 million people are now under lockdown in India and more than 1000 people have been arrested in Sri Lanka for breaking a nationwide curfew declared on Friday.

The world’s busiest international airport in Dubai will suspend all passenger flights for two weeks from 25 March. All domestic flights in India will be grounded from 25 March onwards.

Other coronavirus developments

There are early signs that the rise in new infections in Germany may be plateauing, according to the head of the country’s public health institute, Lothar Wieler. South Korea today reported the fewest new covid-19 cases since the peak on 29 February.

The first two cases of coronavirus have been reported in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, where about two million people live in overcrowded cities and refugee camps. Syria is bracing for lockdown after the Health Ministry reported the first case of coronavirus on Sunday.

A prominent member of the International Olympic Committee says the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be postponed. Australia and Canada have already announced they won’t be sending teams to compete.

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook has donated 720,000 masks to healthcare workers in the US. Over the weekend, the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, donated millions of face masks, testing kits and other equipment to countries in Africa.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 15,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 360,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Cause for concern in the UK: The UK guidance on coronavirus seems to rely heavily on a single model of the outbreak, which some scientists suggest contains systematic errors.

David Attenborough on coronavirus: Attenborough shares his thoughts on everything from climate change to coronavirus. “I don’t think that we can draw a big moral lesson about how we are treating nature so badly that she’s kicking back,” he says. “I think it’s just part of life.”

How hand sanitiser works: Alcohol-based hand sanitisers, with at least 60 per cent alcohol, destroy the coronavirus by damaging its fatty outer layer.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak

The UK Chancellor said wages would be covered for employees at companies affected by the virus

BBC

20 March

UK government to cover affected workers’ wages

The UK government has announced that it will pay 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month for employees who are not working during the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will last at least three months, backdated to 1 March, and it could be extended for longer if necessary. UK pubs and restaurants will also close, mirroring moves in other countries around the world.

Coronavirus vaccine trials get underway

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK are planning a safety trial for a vaccine against coronavirus in humans. Normally vaccines are tested in animals first, but the trial has been accelerated due to the speed of the coronavirus outbreak.

The first human trial of a vaccine to protect against the covid-19 coronavirus began in the US earlier this week. Other vaccines are in development in Germany and China. Development of an antibody test will also be important to confirm whether people have acquired immunity to the coronavirus.

Other coronavirus developments

China reported no new local coronavirus cases on Wednesday and Thursday. All new cases reported on those two days were from returning travellers who are thought to have contracted the virus while outside China. Nasa’s pollution monitoring satellites have detected a drop in nitrogen dioxide over China which is thought to be partly due to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Schools are to reopen in Singapore but with strict social isolation rules for teachers and children who have recently been abroad. Singapore was one of the first countries to be hit by the virus, in late January.

More lockdowns, border closures and travel restrictions came into effect around the world today. Argentina has imposed a nationwide lockdown and The Philippines has closed borders to non-nationals. Curfew has been imposed in Sri Lanka and a stay-at-home order has been announced in the US state of California.

Police on the Isle of Man arrested a man for allegedly failing to self-isolate, and he could face a fine of up to £10,000 or a three month prison sentence. In the UK, more than 65,000 retired medics are being asked to return to work to help fight the virus.

Documents from the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) suggest that policies to limit the spread of coronavirus would need to be in place for “at least most of a year” in order to prevent healthcare services from becoming overwhelmed.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 10,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 240,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Fighting the pandemic: To fight the coronavirus pandemic effectively we need lots more data. Evidence from China so far suggests the way to get on top of the covid-19 outbreak is through rapid testing, isolation and quarantine rather than lockdowns and big travel restrictions.

medics in Jiangsu province

Medics in Jiangsu province mark their departure after helping with the COVID-19 coronavirus recovery effort, in Wuhan.

STR/AFP via Getty Images

19 March

China reports no new local cases

For the first time since the outbreak began in late December, China reported that yesterday there were no new local cases of the coronavirus. Le lockdown could be lifted in Wuhan, China, once there are no new cases for 14 days, according to the China Daily newspaper. In Italy, the number of people who have died has overtaken China.

The probability of dying after developing symptoms of covid-19 in Wuhan, where the new coronavirus was first detected, was 1.4 per cent as of 29 February, according to a new study. This is lower than was previously thought.

Other coronavirus developments

The European Central Bank has launched an emergency €750 billion package to ease the economic impact of the pandemic, and the Bank of England cut the base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.1%, a record low.

More travel restrictions have been put into place around the world to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Australia and New Zealand have completely closed their borders to foreigners and, in the UK, up to 40 London Underground stations are to be shut.

On-going lockdowns in France and Italy may be extended into April. India’s population of 1.3 billion have been asked to observe a curfew on Sunday to test the country’s ability to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

At a press briefing, Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said it is now highly improbable that the virus can be made to “go away”. Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said it was not possible to put a timeline on when the country will be able to relax its measures for controlling the virus.

In the world of sports, there is still no sign of the Tokyo Olympics being postponed or cancelled, but all English football will be suspended until at least 30 April.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 9000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 220,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Understanding the virus: Scientists are working around the clock to understand the biology of the covid-19 virus and how it infects human cells, which will help us design treatments to stop it.

Comment: UK politicians are invoking science to defend their policies but even the ‘best science’ doesn’t have the final word on covid-19.

Coronavirus origin: No, the covid-19 virus is not a bioweapon and it was not made in a lab.

Who is the WHO: Find out more about the organisation guiding global responses to the pandemic.

spanish policeman at the border with France

Spanish policemen control the border crossing between Spain and France

GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

18 March

Travel bans come into effect around the world

Germany joined France, Spain and Italy in closing schools, closing non-essential shops and urging its citizens to stay at home as much as possible. As the EU’s new 30-day travel ban came into effect today, thousands of passengers were stopped at Germany’s largest airport, Frankfurt Am Main. Traffic was backed up for more than 60 kilometres on the motorway at the German-Polish border as Poland introduced border controls. Le FT reports that London could be “locked down” imminently with similarly strict rules on being outdoors to that seen in Spain and Italy.

Several countries in Africa have also announced travel bans, including Nigeria, and, in South America, Brazil has closed its border to Venezuela. The US-Canada border will also close temporarily.

Governments around the world, including in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Norway and the United Arab Emirates, are now urging their citizens to return home as the coronavirus spreads.

Other coronavirus developments

The UK has announced that it is closing schools from Friday, except for the children of key workers in the NHS, police and supermarkets. Schools will be asked to make provisions for the children of these key workers and to look after the most vulnerable children. Exams have also been cancelled for the year.

The Trump administration has outlined a $1 trillion package to support the US economy. This follows the UK government announcement of a £330 billion stimulus package yesterday. Despite this, share prices in Europe, the US and Asia continue to fall.

Several foreign countries have cancelled or postponed their national team training camps for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games which are still scheduled to take place in July. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told the BBC they are committed to finding a solution with the least negative impact for the athletes, while protecting the integrity of the competition and the athletes’ health.

A drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appears to be effective at treating the coronavirus, but it doesn’t appear to be effective in more severe cases, medical authorities in China have said.

Following confusion over the use of ibuprofen by people with suspected or confirmed covid-19, the UK’s National Health Service has now advised people to take paracetamol to treat coronavirus symptoms, unless their doctor has told them otherwise. In a statement, they said “there is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (covid-19) worse.”

Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College London scientist who led research that is reported to have influenced changes to the UK’s coronavirus policy, has developed covid-19 symptoms and is self isolating.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 8000. The number of confirmed cases is now over 200,000, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus vaccine: Researchers are racing to develop a vaccine against covid-19 within 12 to 18 months. This will mean relying on untested techniques – and that comes with its own risks.

Travel restrictions: Australia has announced major restrictions on overseas travel, large gatherings, and visits to aged care homes in an effort to limit the spread of covid-19. The country is still in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Regent Street in London without people

A quiet Regent Street in London.

Rick Findler/PA Wire/PA Images

17 March

WHO on how countries can beat coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) said today a combination of actions by governments including more testing and contact tracing could save lives. “The experience of China and others shows testing and contact tracing, combined with social distancing measures and community mobilisation, when put in place quickly and effectively, can prevent infections and can save lives,” said Hans Kluge at the WHO, during an update on the situation in Europe.

He said the virus could be beaten back by solidarity within communities and between countries. “These are unprecedented times. It is important that countries work together, learn from each other and harmonise the efforts.” Asked by New Scientist about the new measures announced by the UK yesterday, he said he applauded them. “We are pleased to see the UK is getting into the mainstream and stepping up its efforts.”

UK health service under pressure

The UK’s chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance said today there were probably around 55,000 cases in the country, as official cases jumped to 1950, up 407 on yesterday. By comparison to the roughly 8000 annual deaths from the flu he said it would be a “good outcome” if the UK’s new measures kept coronavirus deaths to below 20,000.

“But I mean it is still horrible; that’s still an enormous number of deaths and an enormous pressure on the health service,” Vallance told MPs on the health and social care committee. Asked why schools had not closed yet as they have in other countries, he said it did not have as much impact as other measures at slowing the virus’s spread, and it had “complicating effects”, including children mixing with grandparents, and the impact on the National Health Service workforce. But he said: “It’s absolutely still on the table.”

The chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, said in response to the crisis the health service was freeing up 30,000 of 100,000 acute care beds for coronavirus patients. He also announced the NHS was stopping all non-urgent surgery from 15 April for three months. Stevens added the UK had access to more than 8000 ventilators for intensive care now, and would soon have around 12,000. But he would not be drawn on whether that would be enough to cope with the peak of the epidemic.

Other coronavirus developments

A strict travel lockdown came into force in France at midday, requiring anyone leaving their home to sign a document declaring that they are doing so for a permitted purpose, including exercise or buying food.

Human volunteers have been injected with an experimental covid-19 vaccine for the first time as a clinical trial in Seattle gets under way, and the first commercial tests for the virus have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, which should greatly increase testing capacity.

Amazon says it will hire an extra 100,000 workers to respond to a surge in demand for online services.

France’s health ministry has suggested that popular anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen could worsen the effects of the coronavirus. Experts say more evidence is needed.

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has promised £330 billion worth of government-backed loans and guarantees and additional measures to support businesses and households including small cash grants and mortgage holidays. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK government must act like a war-time government.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 7500. Keep up with the best data on the global cases with this map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Analysis suggests UK still not doing enough: The UK is introducing stronger measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, but some of the science that helped inform this approach suggests it still won’t be enough to avoid a large number of deaths.

Social distancing: Governments around the world are responding to the covid-19 pandemic and social distancing is a central aspect of plans to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But what is social distancing and how do you do it?

German police at French border

German Federal police officers stand at the closed border to France due the Coronovirus Epidemic in Kehl, German

RONALD WITTEK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

16 March

The UK government has announced that everyone in the country should avoid “non-essential” travel and should voluntarily avoid pubs, clubs and theatres.

Governments around the world continued to limit travel and close borders. In Europe, Germany partially closed its borders with five countries. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed that there should be a ban on all non-essential travel from outside the European Union for 30 days with exemptions for long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats.

South Africa and Kenya have imposed strict bans on travel from the worst affected countries.

In the US, flight bans that were extended to the UK and Ireland came into effect. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut forced the closure of restaurants, bars and cinemas. Australia’s prime minister said all travellers arriving in the country would have to self-isolate for 14 days, or risk prison and fines.

In Italy, Lombardy’s governor says the growth of new cases has slowed slightly, but cases in Italy and Spain are still increasing much more rapidly than they did in China, as this (log scale) chart from the Financial Times shows.

Coronavirus cases

The worldwide death toll has passed 6500. Keep up with the best data on the global cases with this map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Testing is key: The WHO’s assistant director general Bruce Aylward tells New Scientist that effective quarantine is essential for tackling the coronavirus, but this cannot happen without extensive testing for covid-19. Read our full interview with Bruce Aylward.

Pregnancy and babies: According to initial reports based on small numbers of people, pregnant women and their babies do not seem to be more vulnerable to covid-19 than other groups of people, but doctors warn that it is too early to know for sure. Early reports suggest the virus doesn’t pass from mother to baby via breast milk, but health bodies are advising new mothers who are infected with the virus to take precautions while breastfeeding, such as washing their hands and wearing a facemask.

Psychological responses: When facing uncertainty, we are motivated to take actions that increase our sense of control over the situation, explains psychologist Rachel McCloy. Unfortunately, this can lead to behaviours such as panic buying, which do not actually help to control the virus and may make the situation worse.

More on these topics:

Covid-19: jusqu'à la moitié des décès en Europe se sont produits dans des maisons de repos
4.9 (98%) 32 votes