Home News Morning brief: Covid-19 update for April 16, 2020

Morning brief: Covid-19 update for April 16, 2020

In Singapore, 447 new cases were reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on April 15 with the country's new total now at 3,699




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As of 8 am, April 16, 2020:

World count breaches 2 million

There are now 2,047,731 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 worldwide. The United States accounts for more than one quarter of those cases, with 639,415 infections, followed by Spain (180,659) and Italy (165,155). 

There have been 133,354 deaths worldwide. The US has highest number of deaths, 27,967, out of the countries with confirmed cases, followed by Italy, with 21,645 deaths, and Spain, with 18,812 deaths.

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More than 500,000 have recovered from Covid-19

509,876 people have recovered from Covid-19.

Singapore— New record high of 447 infections reported on Apr 15, 404 linked to dormitories

In Singapore, 447 new cases were reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on April 15. The country’s total now stands at 3,699. There are 41 additional people who have recovered from Covid-19, forming a total of 652.

A vast majority of the new cases are still linked to foreign workers dormitories, with 404 out of the 447 new cases being work permit holders who live in these dwellings. The rise in the number of confirmed cases among foreign workers can be attributed to the mass testing carried out among them of late.

As for local community cases, MOH says “In the past two weeks, the number of new cases in the community has remained stable, with an average of 36 cases per day.” 

Vaccine clinical trials may start in Singapore by August

Pre-clinical studies on a potential Covid-19 vaccine are being conducted in Singapore by Duke-NUS Medical School and Arcturus Therapeutics, a US-based firm. Clinical trials may begin as soon as August, according to the deputy director of the emerging infectious diseases programme at Duke-NUS, Professor Ooi Eng Eong.

New York residents must now wear masks

In New York, which is home to one-third of coronavirus cases in the US and where the death toll has surpassed the 10,000 mark, residents have been ordered to wear masks when they are out in public starting this Friday (Apr 17). “Stopping the spread is everything,” Governor Andrew Cuomo,  said. “How can you not wear a mask when you’re going to come close to a person?”

France’s Emmanuel Macron calls for a worldwide ceasefire

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a global truce while nations grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, and said that he hopes to win the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Macron said he has obtained agreement from several of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to back a call by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a worldwide truce. He added that China, the US and the UK were already on board with the call for the ceasefire.

He said, “President Xi Jinping confirmed his agreement to me. President Trump confirmed his agreement to me. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed his agreement to me. I think President Putin will definitely agree too.”

Trump’s move to cut WHO funding condemned

The announcement by US President Donald Trump that the US would cut funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) has been met with condemnation on several fronts. In response to President Trump, WHO Secretary-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed out that the organization is fighting a number of serious diseases worldwide.

“WHO is not only fighting Covid-19. We’re also working to address polio, measles, malaria, Ebola, H.I.V., tuberculosis, malnutrition, cancer, diabetes, mental health and many other diseases and conditions,” Dr Ghebreyesus said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the move “dangerous” and “illegal,” and said it would be “swiftly challenged.”  —/TISG

Read also: How Singapore became the world’s coronavirus cautionary tale

How Singapore became the world’s coronavirus cautionary tale

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