clearn.png
Friday April 3rd, 2020 6:22AM

The Latest: UN leader encouraged by ceasefires amid virus

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 460,000 people and killed over 20,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems. More than 113,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— UN chief encouraged by pause in hostilities to fight virus.

— Finland restricts travel to and from its capital city.

— WHO chief says Trump is “taking responsibility” for virus response.

___

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is welcoming calls by some groups for an immediate ceasefire to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, and says he sees “a clear conscience emerging” that it’s time to concentrate on the war against COVID-19.

He pointed to communist guerrillas in the Philippines announcing a ceasefire from Thursday to April 15 in response to his appeal, and said he was encouraged to see a truce in Libya between the warring parties “holding with difficulties.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric also noted the humanitarian truce called for by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the country’s northeast to deal with the virus. The group was allied with the United States in the fight against Islamic State extremists.

Guterres said at a humanitarian briefing Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority and Israel have also been able to work together on COVID-19, “even if we know the extreme division that exists politically between the two.”

He said U.N. envoys around the world are talking to warring parties about ceasefires and he expressed hope that “it will be possible in Yemen and Syria to make serious progress” to end fighting and tackle the coronavirus.

___

HELSINKI — The Finnish government says it will block the movement of citizens into and out of a key southern region that includes the Nordic nation's capital, Helsinki, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus to other areas.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin said late Wednesday the measure concerns the Uusimaa region including Helsinki and affects the daily lives of some 1.7 million people, nearly a third of Finland's population.

The government made the decision as the "risk of substantial spreading of the infection from the Uusimaa region to rest of Finland is high" through non-necessary travelling, said Krista Kiuru, the social affairs minister.

Police are set to enforce the new regulation, which is set to begin March 27 and end April 19. It will cease all non-necessary human traffic to and from Uusimaa, the region that has been hit worst by the virus.

Nationwide, Finland has so far confirmed 880 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths.

___

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian Health Ministry says seven new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the Gaza Strip, putting the total at nine.

The ministry said Wednesday that the seven cases were security workers who made contact with the first two people infected with the virus. Those two men had returned to the Palestinian enclave from Pakistan and tested positive last Thursday.

The ministry said the new patients have been in quarantine since the first cases were detected.

The Gaza Strip has been reeling under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, raising concerns about the capabilities of its poor health system to handle an outbreak in the overcrowded territory.

About 1,500 Palestinians who returned to Gaza via Israel and Egypt have been placed in obligatory quarantine at hastily set-up facilities.

___

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County officials say they no longer are including a 17-year-old boy in the tally of coronavirus deaths until they do more to determine his precise cause of death.

The county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said Wednesday that she’s asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the death of the youth from the desert city of Lancaster.

She said that while the child did test positive for the coronavirus, there were “extenuating circumstances that pointed to an alternative diagnosis as well.”

The death is no longer being counted among LA County’s 13 total fatalities from the virus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom chided county officials, calling the backtrack a reminder that “in this moment it’s not just speed, it’s accuracy that must be front and center.”

A report last week by the CDC found no coronavirus deaths in the U.S. among people 19 and under.

___

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's health minister says 15 people have died from the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of deaths to 59.

Fahrettin Koca tweeted Wednesday that 561 more people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of infections in the country to at least 2,433.

___

BERLIN — The U.S. Army Europe says it has delivered medical supplies and equipment to help fight the new coronavirus in Italy's hard-hit region of Lombardy.

The move, which was part of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency's humanitarian assistance program, saw the 405th Army Field Support Brigade deliver hospital beds, mattresses, adjustable IV poles and other supplies from the U.S. Army Camp Darby in Livorno, Italy.

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Army Europe's commanding general, Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, said the effort demonstrated “the U.S commitment to our NATO ally and the people of Italy during this crisis.”

___

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania lawmakers voted Wednesday to delay the state's primary election by five weeks to June 2, potentially past the spike of the state's spreading coronavirus cases.

The measure passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled state Legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said he will sign it. As a result, Pennsylvania will join more than 10 states in delaying primaries.

___

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron launched a special military operation Wednesday to help fight the new coronavirus in France, one of the world’s hardest-hit countries.

As part of the new “Operation Resilience,” France is deploying helicopter carriers to help transport patients in overseas French territories in the Caribbean, South America and the Indian Ocean.

Striking a combative tone on a visit to a military field hospital in the virus-ravaged eastern city of Mulhouse, Macron paid homage to medics who have died, “who paid with their lives to save other lives.”

Macron also promised a “massive” new investment plan for public hospitals, after years of cost cuts in France’s renowned health care system that have complicated efforts to stem the spread of the virus.

Facing criticism that his government was too slow to lock down the country as the virus spread, Macron criticized those “who would fracture the country, when we should have one obsession: to be united to fight the virus.”

Reiterating that France is at “war” with the virus, Macron warned: “We are just at the beginning. But we will make it through, because we will not surrender, because we have the strength.”

___

BERLIN — Seven German medical associations have published recommendations for how doctors should determine which seriously ill patients with the new coronavirus can be given intensive care treatment when demand outstrips available capacity.

The 13-page guide published Wednesday states that "according to current information about the COVID-19 pandemic it is likely that despite capacity increases already made there soon won't be sufficient intensive care resources available also in Germany for all patients who would need them."

The document, posted on the website of Germany's Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine, recommends not providing intensive care if the process of dying has irreversibly begun, treatment wouldn't result in improvement or stabilization, survival would depend on permanent intensive care or the patient refuses intensive care.

The guide, which is backed by six other medical associations, suggests that decisions on allocating available beds may be necessary "analogous to triage in disaster medicine." It suggests that survival chances of patients with other serious illnesses should also be weighed and that age alone shouldn't be the deciding factor.

About 1,000 of the over 30,000 COVID-19 patients in Germany are currently receiving intensive care. The government aims to double the 28,000 intensive care beds in the country to cope with a predicted increase in cases.

___

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday ordered Minnesota residents in nonessential jobs to stay at home for two weeks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the coronavirus from overwhelming the state's health care system.

The governor's order begins at midnight Friday. He said the restrictions were critical to allow the state to protect its most vulnerable people and give time to build up the state's capacity to handle a flood of infections.

“I’m asking for your patience, your cooperation and your understanding," Walz said in a live video message. “My pledge to you is to use the valuable time you're giving us.”

Walz had held off on issuing the order because he wanted to see data and modeling to show whether it would make enough of a difference to justify the disruptions that could last for weeks or months.

___

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has issued a statewide stay-at-home order as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Little announced the order Wednesday, saying it would remain in effect for 21 days.

Idaho has more than 91 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Idaho has a population of about 1.7 million.

___

GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization commended U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday for “taking responsibility” for leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a virtual press briefing in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. health agency has called repeatedly for heads of state to lead a “whole-of-government” response to the new coronavirus.

“That’s exactly what he’s doing which we appreciate because fighting this pandemic needs political commitment,” Tedros said, referring to Trump.

Tedros has previously warned that countries taking measures to lock down their societies must use the time wisely to implement other aggressive interventions, including widespread testing and efforts to track down the virus’ transmission chains. WHO and other experts say it could be months before the outbreak peaks and loosening such controls too soon could allow the virus to resurge.

On Tuesday, Trump suggested the lockdown measures in the U.S. might be lifted by Easter and predicted there would be “packed churches” across the country.

“I know he’s doing all he can,” Tedros said, noting he and Trump spoke recently. “I believe that kind of political commitment and political leadership can bring change or can stop this pandemic.”

___

NEW YORK — With Broadway shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, producers of the annual Tony Awards have postponed this year's celebration of American theater.

The show was originally scheduled for June 7 but the virus forced all 41 Broadway theaters to go dark and caused turmoil in the Tony schedule. Producers have not yet announced a rescheduled date.

Broadway abruptly closed on March 12, knocking out all shows on the Great White Way but also 16 that were still scheduled to open, including “Diana,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Company.” Broadway producers have vowed to resume musicals and plays the week of April 13.

___

BOSTON — U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton says he has decided to self-quarantine after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Moulton, a 41-year-old Democrat and former presidential hopeful from Massachusetts, said in a statement Wednesday that he began feeling unwell Thursday, with a low-grade fever and a tightness in his chest he’d never felt before. Moulton said he also had a sore throat, though no serious cough, along with body aches and unusual fatigue. His wife had similar symptoms, he said.

Well before experiencing the symptoms, Moulton said, he instructed staff members in his offices in Salem and Washington to work from home, except for two essential workers. The House’s attending physician told him that because the symptoms are minor and a test would not change his treatment, he and his wife don’t qualify for tests, he said.

Moulton said that he has been steadily improving and that unless his symptoms worsen, he can end his self-quarantine Saturday.

___

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's president says he believes his country will slow the transmission of the new coronavirus within two or three weeks.

In a televised address to the nation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed confidence that Turkey will overcome the coronavirus outbreak "in the shortest possible time with the least damage possible."

The country has so far reported 44 COVID-19 deaths and a total of 1,872 confirmed infections after conducting close to 28,000 tests.

Erdogan said, however, that the country was monitoring a further 53,000 people at their homes and 8,554 other people in hospitals.

___

NEW YORK — A “Top Chef Masters” winner and beloved restaurateur, Floyd Cardoz, has died of complications from the coronavirus. He was 59.

A statement released by his company says Cardoz died Wednesday. He was admitted a week ago to Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, New Jersey, with a fever and subsequently tested positive for the virus.

The chef won season three of Bravo's “Top Chef Masters” in 2011. He was a partner in three restaurants in his native Mumbai. In addition, he and famed restaurateur Danny Meyer operated the popular Manhattan eatery Tabla in the early 2000s. It closed in 2010.

___

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa's police minister says dog-walking is banned during the country's three-week lockdown that begins Friday to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Bheki Cele also said people can't go running, contradicting the health minister's comments earlier in the day.

And Cele warned South Africans to essentially stay sober for 21 days, emphasizing that alcohol sales are prohibited.

The military and police will patrol to regulate movement, and all ports of entry are now closed. South Africa has the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with more than 700.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: UN leader encouraged by ceasefires amid virus
 U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is welcoming calls by some groups for an immediate ceasefire to tackle the coronavirus pandemic
6:16PM ( 8 minutes ago )
New York mobilizes against onslaught from the virus
Just days after New York leaders ordered people to stay home, authorities are mobilizing to head off a potential public health disaster in the big city
6:05PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Chicago uses hotels for quarantine to ease hospital demand
Chicago's plan to reserve at least 1,000 hotel rooms for coronavirus patients through partnerships with five hotels is the first such strategy unveiled in the U.S. But it's unlikely to be the last
6:05PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: LA County no longer sure virus killed teen
Los Angeles County officials say they no longer are including a 17-year-old boy in the tally of coronavirus deaths until they do more to determine his precise cause of death
5:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
Senate leaders are grappling with last-minute snags in emergency legislation to rush sweeping aid totaling some $2 trillion to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic
5:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump's Easter goal in war on virus a nod to faith, business
President Donald Trump’s so-called beautiful idea to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter Sunday and pack church pews was dreamed up during a conference call among business leaders desperate to get the country back up and running
5:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Washington agrees on unrivaled $2 trillion virus rescue bill
The White House and Senate leaders have reached agreement on a $2 trillion measure to rush aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic
2:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Russia reports its first coronavirus deaths
Russia has reported its first deaths from the novel coronavirus infection, two elderly patients who also had underlying conditions
12:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
Wall Street looks for first back-to-back gain in six weeks
Stocks are higher in another day of bumpy trading Wednesday as Congress moves closer to passing a $2 trillion package to help the economy deal with damage caused by the coronavirus
12:41PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
France pulls out military forces in Iraq amid virus demands
France is pulling out military forces from Iraq as the French military is increasingly called upon to help fight the new virus at home
5:31PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Aid group says Mideast lockdowns hinder humanitarian efforts
An international aid group says closures aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic are preventing it from reaching 300,000 people in conflict zones across the Middle East
3:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
New York mobilizes against expected onslaught from the virus
Just days after New York leaders ordered people to stay home, authorities are mobilizing to head off a potential public health disaster in the big city
3:28PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
The Latest: WHO chief says Trump is 'taking responsibility'
The head of the World Health Organization commended U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday for “taking responsibility” for leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic
3:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Global pandemic postpones this year's glitzy Tony Awards
With Broadway shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, producers of the annual Tony Awards have postponed this year's celebration of American theater
3:16PM ( 3 hours ago )
Chef Floyd Cardoz dies at 59 of coronavirus complications
A “Top Chef Masters” winner and beloved restaurateur, Chef Floyd Cardoz, has died of complications from the coronavirus
2:32PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Nona Blues: G-Mac concerned with restaurants and his golf
Graeme McDowell is concerned with more than just the shutdown in golf
4:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
First signs of disruption appear in housing; markets 'calm'
Economists have been waiting for the first signs of virus-related disruptions in housing with the expectation that they will be seismic
4:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
'We are collapsing': Virus pummels medics in Spain and Italy
The coronavirus is waging a war of attrition against health care workers around the world
3:58PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
New York mobilizes against onslaught from the virus
Just days after New York leaders ordered people to stay home, authorities are mobilizing to head off a potential public health disaster in the big city
6:05PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Chicago uses hotels for quarantine to ease hospital demand
Chicago's plan to reserve at least 1,000 hotel rooms for coronavirus patients through partnerships with five hotels is the first such strategy unveiled in the U.S. But it's unlikely to be the last
6:05PM ( 19 minutes ago )
'The whole city laid off': US jobless claims climb sky high
New unemployment benefit claims are rising to levels unseen in recent U.S. history as a result of coronavirus concerns
6:00PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Airlines, others to benefit from $2 trillion rescue bill
The White House and Senate leaders agreed early Wednesday on a $2 trillion economic rescue package, the largest in the country's history
5:59PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Family: US believes ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson has died
The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson says U.S. government officials have concluded that he has died while in the custody of Iran
5:56PM ( 28 minutes ago )