(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
FILE PHOTO: Ambulances arrive to the Elmhurst Hospital center as the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the neighborhood of Queens in New York, U.S., April 5, 2020. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz
Deaths fall in New York, U.S. epicenter of virus
U.S. President Donald Trump cited the fact that, for the first time in a week, deaths from the coronavirus in New York fell slightly from the day before as evidence of a turn for the better.
“We see light at the end of the tunnel. Things are happening,” he told reporters. While there were still nearly 600 new fatalities in the state, new hospitalizations over the weekend fell sharply.
Yet Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, cautioned that it would take weeks for the stay-at-home orders to truly slow the spread.
“What you’re hearing about potential light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t take away from the fact that tomorrow, the next day, are going to look really bad,” he said.
No clear ‘Plan B’
Britain’s constitution offers no clear answer to the question now on many Britons’ minds: who takes over if Boris Johnson gets too sick to lead the country?
Unlike the role of vice president in the United States, Britain has no formal deputy or caretaker prime minister, although Downing Street has already said that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will deputise if necessary.
When asked about who would stand in for the prime minister, his spokesman said: “The prime minister has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers, but for now it is the prime minister and then the foreign secretary.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday, giving governors stronger legal authority to urge people to stay home and businesses to close.
In contrast to stringent lockdowns in some countries, mandating fines and arrests for non-compliance, enforcement in Japan will rely more on peer pressure and a deep-rooted tradition of respect for authority.
Italy reported its lowest daily death toll related to the coronavirus for more than two weeks on Sunday, as authorities began to look ahead to a second phase of the battle.
“There are difficult months ahead. Our task is to create the conditions to live with the virus”, at least until a vaccine is developed, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told the daily La Repubblica newspaper.
France reported a slowing daily death toll over the last 24 hours, and Germany marked a fourth straight day with a drop in new confirmed cases.
(For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.)
Scotland’s chief medical officer quits after flouting own advice
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood, resigned on Sunday after she flouted her own advice to stay at home by travelling to her second home on two successive weekends.
She said the justifiable focus on her behaviour risked becoming a distraction from the hugely important job that the government and the medical profession had to do in getting the country through this pandemic.
Compiled by Karishma Singh and Mark John; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Nick Macfie