Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020

Chinese Markets Linked To Coronavirus Already Re-Opening Selling Bats And Scorpions

Animals, Rat

Bats and scorpions are back on sale at Chinese meat markets – just months after the outbreak of coronavirus which has caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world.

A shocking eyewitness report claims huge crowds descended on indoor markets in Guilin, south west China, and Dongguan, southern China, when they re-opened yesterday.

Many places in China, where the killer disease originated, have celebrated "victory" over coronavirus as businesses open their doors for the first time in weeks.

The scene was witnessed by a Mail on Sunday correspondent, who described it as "deeply troubling".

The paper reports that no efforts seemed to have been made to prevent a future outbreak by raising hygiene standards.

In Dongguan, bats – linked to the Covid-19 outbreak – are advertised by a medicine seller.

The Chinese population have been urged by the government to return to normal, with just a tiny number of new infections reported.

The unnamed China-based correspondent said: "Everyone here believes the outbreak is over and there's nothing to worry about any more.

"It's just a foreign problem now as far as they are concerned."

Animal Market in Wuhan

And in Dongguan, they stated, the only change was that guards were stopping people taking pictures.

"The markets have gone back to operating in exactly the same way as they did before coronavirus," they said.

The coronavirus has been traced back to a market in Wuhan, which was completely shut down in the aftermath of the outbreak.

Wuhan Animal Wet Market

More than 665,000 people have been infected around the world, with Spain, Italy, the US and Britain among the worst-affected countries.

At least 30,900 people are known to have died.

[By Dailystar]
March 29, 2020

Tornado Caught On Camera Tearing Through Arkansas Town

Arcansas Tornado

JONESBORO, Ark. — A tornado ripped through northeast Arkansas on Saturday, leaving six people hurt after hitting commercial and residential areas in the college town of Jonesboro.

The six people reported injured were taken to a local hospital with minor juries, Jonesboro E-911 Director Jeff Presley said. The tornado did major damage at the Mall at Turtle Creek and Jonesboro Municipal Airport.

Like much of the rest of the world, Jonesboro is working to fight the spread of COVID-19. Because of that, most stores in the Mall at Turtle Creek were closed Saturday to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Severe weather could have been much worse if not for that, Presley said.

“At 5 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon that place would’ve been packed, and at this point there was hardly anyone in there,” Presley said. “It’s a blessing in disguise.”

Power was out in sections of the city, which affects the city’s traffic lights. Wreckage tossed about by the twister also blocked roads. They mayor issued a 7 p.m. curfew, and authorities asked people not to drive around.

The storm also derailed a train, Presley said. Crews were examining damage and trying to determine whether there it had been hauling anything hazardous.

The National Weather Service tweeted a video from the Arkansas Department of Transportation that showed a large tornado dropping from storm clouds in Jonesboro.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, who represents much of eastern Arkansas, said on Twitter that a tornado tore through “the heart of town” and asked for prayers for first responders. Crawford said his staff and family were safe.

Jonesboro is home to Arkansas State University. The university tweeted that campus was not damaged.

Forecasters with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, warned that a severe weather outbreak was possible later Saturday for much of the central U.S.

The National Weather Service reported other possible tornadoes Saturday in Illinois and Iowa.

[ By Global News ]

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28, 2020

Coronavirus: Netherlands Recalls ‘Defective’ Masks Bought From China

defective mask, China

Hundreds of thousands of masks sent to Dutch hospitals have been recalled after tests showed they failed to protect the face or had defective filters. The Netherlands recently bought 1.3 million masks from China.

The Dutch government has ordered a recall of around 600,000 masks out of a shipment of 1.3 million from China after they failed to meet quality standards.

The defective masks had already been distributed to several hospitals currently battling the COVID-19 outbreak, news agency AFP and Dutch media reported. The Dutch Health Ministry has kept the rest of the shipment on hold.

An inspection revealed that the FFP2 masks did not protect the face properly or had defective filter membranes. The fine filters stop the virus from entering the mouth or nose. The masks failed more than one inspection.

"A second test also revealed that the masks did not meet the quality norms. Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment," said the health ministry said in a statement to news agency AFP.

defective mask, China

The masks were delivered to the Netherlands by a Chinese manufacturer on March 21. The Health Ministry said it would conduct extra testing on any future shipments.

Several hospitals in the Netherlands had already rejected some of the shipment even before the Health Ministry issued the recall.

"When they were delivered to our hospital, I immediately rejected those masks," a hospital source told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

China is sending millions of masks and medical supplies to countries across the world to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Countries that are receiving China's supplies include Serbia, Liberia, France, Philippines, Czech Republic.

The Netherlands currently has over 9,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Over 630 people have already died in the western European country due to the virus.

[ By DW ]
March 28, 2020

Princess Maria Teresa Of Spain Becomes First Royal To Die From COVID-19

Spanish Princess Maria Teresa

Washington: Spanish Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first royal to pass away due to coronavirus complications.

According to Fox News, the 86-year-old was a cousin of Spain's King Felipe VI. Her brother Prince Sixto Enrique de Borbon, the Duke of Aranjuez, announced on Facebook that she died after contracting COVID-19. The post reads, "On this afternoon... our sister Maria Teresa de Borbon Parma and Borbon Busset, a victim of the coronavirus COVID-19, died in Paris at the age of eighty-six."

Princess Teresa's death comes weeks after King Felipe VI of Spain tested negative for the virus.

According to People magazine, Born on July 28, 1933, Princess Maria Teresa studied in France and became a professor at Paris' Sorbonne as well as a professor of Sociology at Madrid's Complutense University.

Spanish Princess Maria Teresa

She was known for her outspoken views and activist work, which led to her nickname the "Red Princess."

A funeral service for the princess was held on Friday in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles became the first British royal to be tested positive for the coronavirus, earlier this week. The Clarence House confirmed the same to Fox News in a statement issued on Wednesday morning that reads, "The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual."

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told Fox News, that Prince Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, remains in a healthy condition despite her son testing positive.

[ By Gulf News ]
March 28, 2020

New York City Coronavirus Cases Reach Nearly 30,000, With A Death Every 9.5 Minutes

New York City Coronavirus

Troubling new data released Saturday shows the death rate from coronavirus sharply accelerating in the Big Apple, with one person dying every 9.5 minutes in the last 24 hours.

At least 67 more people died overnight from COVID-19, bringing the death toll for the five boroughs to 517, new numbers released by the city reveal.

The new figures reveal that 151 people died since the same time early Friday — revealing an even deadlier toll per minute compared to the Thursday to Friday evening calculation of one death every 17 minutes.

The total number of infected in the city rose to 29,158, up by 2,461 overnight.

The highest number of sick are in Queens, with 9,228. Brooklyn is next, with 7,789, followed by the Bronx, with 5,352, and Manhattan, with 5,036. Staten Island has 1,718 cases.

[ By New York Post ]
March 28, 2020

Coronavirus Killing People In New York City At Rate Of One Every 17 Minutes

New Yorker, Coronavirus,Time Square

Mayor de Blasio warned Friday that critical resources to combat the outbreak in the country’s epicenter could run out by Sunday, April 5, as hospitals remain completely overwhelmed.

For the past two days, New Yorkers have been dying at a rate of one every 17 minutes, according to the latest grim citywide statistics.

On both Thursday and Friday, another 84 people died in the city from the coronavirus, as the number of positive cases and of those who are critically ill also climbed.

The COVID-19 death toll in the city was 450 as of Friday evening, up from 366 reported fatalities in the morning.

Total citywide coronavirus cases rose to 26,697, up 4.4 percent from the 25,573 reported in the morning.

Mayor de Blasio warned Friday that critical resources to combat the outbreak in the country’s epicenter could run out by Sunday, April 5, as hospitals remain completely overwhelmed.

“After next Sunday, April 5th is when I get very, very worried about everything we’re going to need,” de Blasio said during a briefing on the virus Friday. The people power we’re going to need, the equipment, the supplies, obviously the ventilators.”

The coronavirus has hospitalized 5,250 people in New York City and the number of patients requiring ICU treatment rose significantly over the last 24 hours. A total of 1,175 patients are in ICUs, a 37.6 percent rise from the 850 that needed such care as of Thursday evening.

Queens continues to lead the five boroughs with 8,529 confirmed cases, followed by Brooklyn with 7,091, The Bronx with 4,880, Manhattan with 4,627 and Staten Island with 1,534.

March 28, 2020

Meet Xherdan, Unofficially the World’s Scariest-Looking Cat

We’ve featured our share of famous internet felines, from grumpy cats, to incredibly beautiful fur balls, but we never really posted about scary-looking felines. That ends today, with Xherdan, the scariest-looking sphinx you’ve ever seen.

The phrase “a face only a mother could love” is usually used maliciously, but in the case of Xherdan, a bald, wrinkly and evil-looking cat, it couldn’t be more true, And his mother, 47-year-old Sandra Filippi, from the Swiss town of Rüti, does indeed love him very much and claims that despite his scary look, he is a sweet pet who loves to sleep and interact with his human owners. She claims that although most people are indeed a bit scared the first time they see Xherdan, they eventually grow to like him after seeing how playful and friendly he really is.

Grumpiest Cat, Xherdan,Sphinx

“When I first saw him, he immediately stole my heart. His wrinkled pink skin, as fine as a peach, and his turquoise eyes, I was in love!” Sandra recently told Caters News. “He has had this many wrinkles since the day he was born.”

“Xherdan is a very active cat and he talks a great deal, in all pitches, when he is excited, when he is hungry, when he plays or while cuddling and falling asleep, he is like a child and his character is very lovely,” the cat’s owner added.

After a video of Xherdan recently went viral online, people compared the wrinkly feline with a brain, a caterpillar or an alien, among other things, but to his owner, he couldn’t look more perfect.

If you’d like to see more of the world’s scariest looking cat, check out his Instagram and YouTube channels, where Sandra Filippi regularly posts photos and videos of her beloved pet.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 🎀 Xherdan the naked Cat 🎀 (@xherdanthenakedcat) on

March 28, 2020

Coronavirus: Spain Deaths Surge By 832 In 24 Hours

A medical director in Madrid has told Sky News he fears more and more healthcare workers are going to become infected.

Members of the Military Emergency Unit leave an elderly home in Madrid after carrying out disinfection procedures

The number of people to have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Spain has surged by 832 to 5,690.

A further 8,189 cases were detected in the country in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 72,248.

Professor Julio Mayol, medical director at the Clinico San Carlos Hospital in Madrid, has told Sky News he fears more and more healthcare professionals fighting the illness will become infected.

He said: "It is a bad situation, it is really bad and it is getting worse day by day, because the number of positive COVID-19 patients is increasing."

"We have a large number of patients, and the problem is we can't increase the room available.

"We can provide them with more beds, but we need personal protection equipment (PPE), and there is a global shortage, and this is makes it very difficult for us to send healthcare workers to battle on the frontline without the adequate equipment."

Professor Julio Mayol

patients lined-up in hospital corridors

Professor Mayol continued: "Secondly, healthcare professionals are getting infected. I estimate it could be as many as 25% in the near future if we don't do something.

"Right now two of my closest collaborators are COVID-19 positive, so it is becoming a nightmare.

"Many of our doctors have been admitted, even those fighting the virus.

"Nurses are also a major problem for us, especially those in the intensive care units.

"If we don't get the right personnel to handle these ICU patients, its going to be almost impossible to increase the number of ICU beds, because we won't have trained personnel to take care of our patients."

The rise in Spain came as German chancellor Angela Merkel thanked people in her country for being largely compliant during the lockdown there.

The number of confirmed cases in Germany has continued to increase, with Ms Merkel's chief of staff saying the shutdown would not be eased before 20 April.

The German chancellor said in her weekly podcast: "When I see today how almost everyone has completely changed their behaviour, how the vast majority of you really do avoid any unnecessary contact, precisely because it can also contain a risk of infection, then I would simply like to say: thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

[By News Sky]
March 28, 2020

First Known Cat Infected With Coronavirus Reported In Belgium

First Cat Positive of Coronavirus

A cat in Belgian has tested positive for the coronavirus after catching the potentially deadly bug from an infected owner, officials said Friday.

The sick pet in Liège tested positive after showing classic symptoms of COVID-19 — including difficulty breathing — a week after its owner first fell sick, health officials told a press conference, the Brussels Times reports.

While it is the first known infection of a cat, two dogs in Hong Kong have previously tested positive — with the first, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, dying after returning home from quarantine.

“The cat had diarrhea, kept vomiting and had breathing difficulties. The researchers found the virus in the cat’s feces,” professor Steven Van Gucht said Friday, according to the outlet.

No information was given on the conditions of either the cat or its owner, the Brussels Times said.

First Cat Positive of Coronavirus

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization insists that there is “no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19” to humans.

Van Gucht also stressed that the Liège case appeared to be the owner getting her pet sick.

“We want to stress that this is an isolated case,” he said, according to the Belgian newspaper. “The risk of animal-to-human transmission is very small.”

Belgium’s National Council for Animal Protection (CNPA) also told the paper that there is no known threat from pets.

“Animals are not vectors of the epidemic, so there is no reason to abandon your animal,” the agency said — while advising owners to “not rub their nose against their pets.”

As well as the cat, 7,284 people have been confirmed infected with coronavirus in Belgium, with almost 300 deaths, officials also said at the press conference.

[ By New York Post ]

Friday, March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Coronavirus: Italy Reports 919 Deaths In One Day

Italy has reported its highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in one day, with 919 deaths announced on Friday.

It has also surpassed China in the number of confirmed cases, with 86,498 cases compared to China's 81,897, according to Italy's Civil Protection Agency.

The hardest-hit region of Lombardy reported a sharp rise in fatalities compared with the day before, with 541 more deaths.

Italy has the highest death toll of any country, recording 9,134 deaths.

Prior to Friday's figure, the largest daily death toll was reported on March 21st, when 793 people were said to have died.

Some 10,950 of those infected in the country had fully recovered on Friday, compared to 10,361 the day before.

Italy has the most COVID-19 related deaths, followed by Spain on 4,858 and China's Hubei province on 3,174.

Following Hubei is Iran on 2,378, France on 1,696 and the UK on 769.

But it is the US that has the most number of confirmed cases worldwide after overtaking China on Thursday.

It has had more than 90,000 positive tests as of 5.00pm on Friday, moving ahead of China, where the disease originally emerged back in December.

Ireland reported a jump in deaths on Thursday, with the toll here rising to 19.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) also reported 255 new confirmed cases of the virus.

This brought the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland to 1,819.

Of those for whom transmission status was known community transmission accounted for 51%, close contact accounted for 22% and travel abroad accounted for 27%.

[ By Newstalk ]
March 27, 2020

101-Year-Old Man Who Survived Spanish Flu and World War 2, Now Beats Coronavirus Too

Some people never get to catch a break; this 101-year-old man from the coastal Italian city Rimini, was born amid the 1918 Spanish Flu, grew up between two World Wars, and now, he became the oldest person to recover from the novel coronavirus in Italy, as reported by the Italian media.

The patient referred to only as “Mr. P”, was admitted to the Rimini hospital – Ospedale Infermi di Rimini – seven days ago after testing positive for COVID-19. Mr. P is not a stranger to pandemics; he was born in 1919 while the 1918 flu pandemic was raging his town. The Spanish Flu would take an estimated number of 600,000 Italians but spare him.

One hundred years later, he would find himself in a hospital, having returned to where he once started.

After he was hospitalized, the medical staff was rather hopeless since coronavirus hits people above 65 the hardest, however, according to Gloria Lisi, Vice-Mayor of Rimini, once the patient started recovering quickly, he became “the story everyone talked about” in the hospital. She added, “Everyone saw hope for the future of all of us in the recovery of a person more than 100 years old."

Upon recovery, Mr. P was discharged from the hospital. As Lisi beautifully put, “Mr. P made it. His family brought him home yesterday evening, to teach us that even at 101 years, the future is yet to be written.”

It can be hard to cling to hope with negative news flying at you from every direction; however, Mr. P’s story is undoubtedly something to behold. His case might be a rarity among many, but nonetheless, reminds us to never give in to despair, since humanity has the power to surprise you, even in the bleak and scary reality of a pandemic.

March 27, 2020

Fish Used For Sushi Now Carry 283 Times More Parasites Than In 1980s

fish sushi parasite

Fish are infected with 283 times more parasitic worms than they were 40 years ago. Anisakis worms can infect a variety of marine fish and squid, as well as marine mammals such as whales and dolphins – and can be present in fish used raw for sushi.

Chelsea Wood at the University of Washington in Seattle and her colleagues analysed the abundance of Anisakis, or herring worm, between 1978 and 2015. The team gathered data on the average number of parasites per fish from 123 studies – which included 56,778 fish across 215 species – and found a 283-fold increase over nearly 40 years.

Anasakis starts its life cycle in the intestines of marine mammals, is excreted into their faeces and then infects fish, small crustaceans or krill in the larval stage.

“If eaten by fish they go on to form a cyst in the muscle tissue of that fish,” says Wood. When the fish gets eaten by the marine mammal, the life cycle recommences.

Humans can also contract these parasitic worms by consuming infected fish that is raw, smoked or improperly frozen.

However, the worm can’t survive in us. “When they enter the intestine of a human, it’s a great disappointment to the worm. They’re not going to be able to complete their life cycle there,” says Wood. But the presence of this parasite can still initiate an immune response in people that can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

fish sushi parasite

Wood says fish consumers needn’t be overly worried. The seafood processing industry and sushi chefs are skilled at spotting and removing these worms, she says. “I still eat sushi all the time.”

The reason for the increased abundance of the parasites is unclear, but Wood says that it may be linked to the rise in marine mammal numbers from the 1970s onwards after the introduction of protections against hunting. Warming seas could also increase the rate of Anasakis reproduction, she says.

“We want to try and minimise the number of worms that people are encountering in their sushi dinner,” says Wood. “That is going to become more challenging into the future as we get these increasing abundances.”

Journal reference: Global Change Biology, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15048