For the time being, US President Donald Trump wants to avoid closing off hotspots like New York. “Quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Instead, the responsible federal agency CDC has only issued a recommendation for New Yorkers not to leave the city within the next 14 days.
A few hours earlier, Trump had publicly considered quarantining particularly affected areas such as New York City. “Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot,” Trump said. Many New Yorkers are currently traveling to Florida, Trump said. “We don’t want that.” With a view to possible restrictions on freedom of movement, he said: “I would rather not do it, but maybe we need it.”
Andrew Cuomo believes that travel restrictions have led to chaos. The stock markets would “sink like a stone,” the New York governor told CNN. the economy could not recover from it for months or years. In addition, he was not clear how Trump wanted to legally implement such far-reaching travel restrictions: “I think it is illegal.”
In the meantime, the city of New York is planning four more temporary emergency clinics. In addition to the hospitals already built and a U.S. Army hospital ship expected on Monday, buildings in the Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Bronx neighborhoods are also to be converted, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday at his daily crisis press conference.
Coronavirus baby dies in Illinois
Illinois is investigating the death of a baby infected with the coronavirus. In connection with the disease Covid-19, there has not yet been a baby death, the state health agency said in a statement on Saturday. A “comprehensive investigation” should clarify the exact cause of death, it said. The deceased child was, therefore, less than a year old. According to the Federal Center for Health Education, the course of the disease in children often appears to be less pronounced than in adults. However, severe courses would also occur, especially in younger children.
The United States is the first country in the world to list 100,000 people who tested positive for the coronavirus. At the moment, there are just under 125,000. The country thus surpasses China in the number of confirmed cases. The number of deaths in the United States has now risen to over 2000.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen defends herself against criticism of the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder about her leadership in the Corona crisis. She received a lot of recognition from the EU heads of state and government, both for her border management in Europe and for the rapid provision of billions in government aid, said the Leyen of the German Press Agency. “Incidentally, this also benefits many companies in Bavaria,” emphasized the CDU politician. Soder had accused the EU Commission of inaction. “Actually, this crisis would now be the hour of Europe and the hour of the EU Commission. But it is strangely quiet in Brussels,” said the CSU chief.
Von der Leyen fears the cohesion of the European Union. After the introduction of border controls, the Schengen Agreement for free travel was on the brink, said the Commission boss. Now everyone would see that the states hurt themselves the most by extreme foreclosure. “We have it in our own hands,” said the head of the commission. “We initially looked into the abyss, but we quickly saw the positive and the cohesion again in this crisis. I see many encouraging signs that Europeans are realizing how valuable our community is.”
According to the Chair, the Commission is working on a common exit strategy for all EU countries to gradually lift the exit restrictions. With experts, she checked “when we could gradually loosen the measures of ‘social distance’ again,” said von der Leyen. “The important thing is: this must not happen too early, because otherwise there is a risk that the virus will flare up again,” said von der Leyen. “On the other hand, it has to go as quickly as possible so that our economy does not continue to suffer unnecessarily. We rely on the advice of doctors, but also of business experts who are familiar with supply chains.”
Spain continues to tighten exit restrictions
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced a further tightening of the exit restrictions that have been in effect for two weeks. Starting Monday, all workers who are not doing any essential work should stay at home for two weeks, the Prime Minister said in a televised speech on Saturday evening. The salary will continue to be paid to those affected during this time, and the hours they have not worked can be made up later in stages. Since the alarm went into effect on March 15, employees and the self-employed have been allowed to continue to their offices despite exit restrictions.
In Spain, 832 new fatalities were recorded within 24 hours. This is the highest increase that has been registered in the country so far, according to the health authorities in their daily balance sheet. Overall, the number of victims has risen to almost 5,700 since Friday. More than 12,000 people are already healthy again.
RKI classifies Austria as a risk area
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has expanded the list of international risk areas related to the corona pandemic. Newly added are all of Austria (previously only Tyrol) as well as the Île-de-France region in France and the US state of New Jersey. The RKI defines these as areas “in which continued transmission from person to person can be suspected”.
Other risk areas in Europe are Italy and the French region of Grand Est and the Swiss cantons of Ticino, Vaud, and Geneva. The regions of Madrid, Navarra, La Rioja and Paìs Vasco in Spain are also included. Outside Europe, Egypt, Iran, South Korea include Daegu and the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do, as well as the US states of California, Washington, and New York.
Because of the dramatic plight of northern Italian hospitals in the coronavirus crisis, the Air Force flies patients to Germany. The Airbus A310 MedEvac, the Bundeswehr’s flying intensive care unit, was to take six seriously ill Italians in intensive care from Bergamo to Cologne on Saturday. The machine started in Cologne in the morning, said a spokesman for the German Press Agency. The plane will be back in Cologne by midday.
“In times of greatest need, it goes without saying that we stand by our friends,” said Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) on the mission. “That is why we are now bringing seriously ill patients from Italy to Germany for treatment with our flying intensive care unit of the Air Force. This is an important sign of solidarity. Europe must stick together.” Italy had reported nearly 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday alone.
Russia wants to close its borders from Monday
A government order released on Saturday states that this applies to all border guards, vehicles, pedestrians and maritime borders.
In the capital, Moscow, all shopping centers, restaurants, and larger parks were closed for at least a week on Saturday. There have been no comparable measures since the end of the Second World War. Nevertheless, in spring-like weather, many people were drawn to the fresh air.
There are still comparatively few corona cases in Russia, but the number is growing rapidly: on Saturday, more than 1264 people were officially registered. Against the spread of the virus, specialists disinfected many sidewalks and streets on Saturday.
In the fight against the highly contagious disease, the Russians will be sent on a seven-day forced vacation from Monday. In addition, there are no more flights and train connections abroad. Therefore, around 600 Russians stranded in Ukraine were brought to Moscow on a special train on Saturday. All domestic flights and train connections may soon be suspended.
The Vatican confirms infection of a person from the State Secretariat office
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has confirmed media reports about the infection of a person from the city-state staff with the new coronavirus. According to this, a person from the Office of the State Secretariat of the Holy See tested positive. Bruni also confirmed that the person lives in the Hotel Santa Marta, where Pope Francis also lives. As a precaution, the person was taken to a hospital in Rome for observation.
Bruni said that Vatican employees and hotel residents had more than 170 Covid-19 tests. Bruni said: “I can confirm that neither the Holy Father nor his closest associates are involved” in cases of infection. The Vatican has not declared whether a test has been done with Francis.
In the course of the corona pandemic, Pope Francis donated the special blessing “Urbi et Orbi” in a single gesture and called for more cohesion. “Deep darkness has settled on our squares, streets, and cities. It has taken over our lives and filled everything with a deafening silence and a bleak emptiness that paralyzes everything as it passes,” said the pontiff on Friday in front of the empty St. Peter’s Square in Rome. “We realized that we are all in the same boat, all weak and disoriented, but at the same time important and necessary because we are all called upon to row together.”