UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive

The latest in COVID-19

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive

Quick Take

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson becomes the first leader of a major power test positive for coronavirus. 
  • US President Donald Trump calls for U.S. manufacturers to build 100,000 ventilators.
  • US FDA allows hospitals to repurpose medical equipment to serve as ventilators.
  • Apple works with CDC and FEMA to develop a COVID-19 screening application.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Twitter this morning that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at his residence. The prime minister experienced mild symptoms on Thursday and received the positive test result at around midnight. Johnson said he would still lead the government’s response to the outbreak.

Johnson is the first leader of a major power to announce a positive test result for coronavirus. Health minister Matt Hancock, another senior member of the British government’s response team, also tested positive and is self-isolating at home. The UK reported 181 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours and is topping 15,000 confirmed cases. Chancellor Michael Gove announced that an extra 33,000 beds are being created for coronavirus patients.

Italy Reports Nearly 1,000 Deaths

Today, Italy reported its worst single-day with 919 new fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 9,134. Coronavirus deaths in Italy make up about a third of all fatalities worldwide. Nearly 23% of Italy’s population is over the age of 65.

Italy has more than 86,000 cases, more than any country apart from the U.S., but experts believe the real numbers are likely much higher as only critical cases are being tested and the cause of death is still being determined for many people. Italy’s outbreak began in mid-February, weeks after China placed millions under lockdown. Italian authorities quickly shut down the entire country, but the virus had already been spreading in the country. 

Trump Signs $2.2T Stimulus Package

U.S. President Donald Trump has officially signed a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package into law. The stimulus package will provide direct cash to most Americans as well as loans and grants to small businesses.

President Trump has also called for U.S. manufacturers to build 100,000 ventilators. The president’s call comes just one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited medical experts’ prediction that New York will need between 30,000 to 40,000 ventilators when the outbreak peaks. Trump also said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the need for more ventilators in his country moments after he tested positive.

Hospital Ship Arrives At Port Of Los Angeles

The USNS Mercy hospital ship has docked at the Port of Los Angeles and will begin taking patients on Saturday, in an effort to relieve strain on medical facilities in the city. The captain said operations will ramp up slowly, taking a handful of patients the first day and then gradually expanding over time.

The USNS Comfort, the Navy’s second hospital ship, will leave Virginia on Saturday, heading to New York City. The ships will only care for non-virus patients, freeing up hospital beds in the city for those who are infected. The ships are equipped with 1,000 beds and more than 500 medical staff.

FDA Allowing CPAP Ventilators 

The U.S. FDA is allowing hospitals to repurpose medical equipment, including anesthesia machines and CPAP devices, to serve as ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn announced the regulatory changes to ease burdens on the health care system during the pandemic. U.S. regulators have waived dozens of regulations in recent weeks to try and boost levels of critical medical supplies.

California Bans Evictions For Renters 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a temporary ban on evictions statewide for those affected by the novel coronavirus. The measure prevents the evictions of renters over the nonpayment of rent through May 31st. It covers those who have lost work because of the pandemic, have become sick or have had to take care of family members with COVID-19.

Law enforcement and the court system will also be prohibited from executing evictions while the order is in effect. Renters would still be required to eventually pay all the rent they owe, and must notify their landlords in writing within seven days of their nonpayment.

Apple Works With CDC For Screening App

Apple has worked with the CDC, FEMA, and The White House to develop a COVID-19 screening application. The tool provides information about COVID-19, testing, and screening questions to determine whether people should visit their doctor. The application is currently available in the Apple App Store.

Eiffel Tower Lights “Merci” To Healthcare Providers

The Eiffel Tower in Paris has lit up the word “Merci” which means “thank you” in French, to recognise health workers fighting to save lives. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the light show will take place every evening on the tower.

French hospitals have recorded nearly 2,000 deaths and more than 3,800 people are in intensive care. France has also extended its lockdown for another two weeks.