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Trump says US topping world virus cases is ‘badge of honour’

President Donald Trump has argued it is “a badge of honour” that the US has the world’s highest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections.

“I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better,” he said at the White House.

The US has 1.5 million coronavirus cases and nearly 92,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In second place is Russia, with nearly 300,000 confirmed cases.

What did Trump say?

On Monday, Mr Trump was hosting his first cabinet meeting since the US outbreak began.

“By the way,” he told reporters, “you know when you say that we lead in cases, that’s because we have more testing than anybody else.”

“So when we have a lot of cases,” he continued, “I don’t look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better.”

He added: “So I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it’s a badge of honour.

“It’s a great tribute to the testing and all of the work that a lot of professionals have done.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency, the US had conducted 12.6m coronavirus tests by Tuesday.

Things the US has got right – and got wrong
Mr Trump was responding to a question about whether he was considering a travel ban on Latin America, Brazil in particular. That country now has the third highest number of confirmed cases, following the US and Russia.

The Democratic National Committee criticised the Republican president’s comments, tweeting that the 1.5 million Covid-19 cases in the US represented “a complete failure of leadership”.

Has the US conducted the most tests?
While the US has carried out more tests by volume than any other country, it is not first in the world on a per capita basis, according to Our World in Data, a scientific publication based at Oxford University.

Its chart ranks the US as 16th globally in terms of tests per 1,000 people, ahead of South Korea, but behind the likes of Iceland, New Zealand, Russia and Canada.

Over the past week, the US has been conducting between 300,000 and 400,000 tests daily, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer-led effort.

But Harvard Global Health Institute director Ashish Jha last week told a congressional hearing: “The US needs more than 900,000 tests every day to safely open up again. We are doing about a third of that.”

The US has also reported the most coronavirus deaths in the world, though on a per capita basis it ranks sixth behind the likes of Belgium, the United Kingdom and France, according to Johns Hopkins University.

US coronavirus testing rates have been criticised on both sides of the aisle.

At a Senate hearing last week, Mitt Romney, a Republican, criticised the country’s testing record, saying it was “nothing to celebrate whatsoever” because, he said, “we treaded water in February and March”.

Russia adds record 10,000 coronavirus cases in dramatic turnaround as Putin’s problems stack up

Russia reported 10,633 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, its fourth record single-day increase in a row, in what is becoming a major headache for President Vladimir Putin.

The country’s total number of cases is now 134,687, the seventh-highest number in the world, in a dramatic turnaround from the situation back in March.

A total of 1,280 deaths has now been recorded, the country’s coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement, adding that around 50% of the cases were asymptomatic. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit city, accounts for more than a half of total cases.

Last week, Russia extended its isolation period through May 11. “The daily increase in cases has relatively stabilized but this mustn’t calm us down, the situation is still very serious,” Putin said. “The peak is not behind us, we are about to face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic… the deadly threat of the virus remains.”

Anger is rising among the country’s health workers after two dozen hospitals had to shut down for quarantines, with many doctors falling sick. Russian independent media and non-governmental organizations have reported anonymous pleas from outraged medical workers who said they had been ordered to the frontlines without adequate protection, and that bureaucratic foot-dragging was costing lives.

On Thursday, as the number of cases passed 100,000, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin appeared on state television informing Putin by video conference that he’d tested positive for the virus. That came a day after Mishustin said it was “impossible to give an exact date” for lifting Covid-19 restrictions in Russia, including reopening the country’s borders.

On Saturday, a Chinese city on the border with Russia issued an emergency epidemic prevention notice closing all dine-in restaurants “until further notice,” according to China’s state-run CCTV.

The move by Harbin City in Heilongjiang Province came as other Chinese provinces began to lift lockdown measures. Heilongjiang has seen a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases.

Chinese health authorities recently traced dozens of cases to a single flight that arrived in Shanghai from Moscow on April 10. A wave of cases in the city of Suifenhe, on the border with Russia’s Far East, were attributed in large part to Chinese nationals returning from Russia.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported an outbreak among its personnel, cadets and civilian employees. Reports have emerged of cases at military academies across the country, including among troops who took part in the Moscow rehearsals for the May 9 Victory Day parade.

Back in March, Putin radiated confidence about his government’s response to a growing global crisis, reassuring his citizens that the situation was “under control” thanks to early intervention measures.

On April 1, the Russian President played the role of international rescuer, dispatching a planeload of medical supplies to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.

But by April 13, the mood had changed. “We have a lot of problems,” Putin said in a video conference. “There is nothing to boast about, and we must not let our guard down, because in general, as you and your specialists say, we have not passed the peak of the epidemic yet.”

In a recent essay, Tatiana Stanovaya of the Carnegie Moscow Center said the pandemic had underscored Putin’s isolation from ordinary Russians as he had failed to devise an adequate action plan or display sufficient empathy, handing the task of imposing the strictest restrictions to Sergey Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow.

Coronavirus pandemic could kill as many as 200,000 in U.S., White House warns

The White House’s coronavirus coordinator on Monday warned that the pandemic could kill as many as 200,000 Americans in even a best-case scenario as state officials intensified their stay-at-home directives — further erasing any hope that the country would have a speedy recovery from the global health crisis.

As deaths across the world from covid-19 climbed above 37,000 and those in the United States rose to more than 2,900, federal and state officials offered grim warnings that the country should expect things to get worse before they get better.

Deborah Birx, the coronavirus coordinator, told NBC News that the United States could record 200,000 deaths even “if we do things together well, almost perfectly.” President Trump, who a day earlier announced that officials would extend their guidance to Americans to practice social distancing through the end of April, said the move was necessary to prevent catastrophe: He now expects that virus-related deaths will not peak for an additional two weeks.

“We could save more than 1 million American lives,” Trump said in a briefing at the White House on Monday. “Our future is in our own hands, and the choices and sacrifices we make will determine the fate of this virus.”

The comments underscored the reality that Americans probably will need to suffer many more weeks of economic and social pain to save lives, and even then, their efforts cannot fully prevent a disaster.

The United States continued to lead the world in confirmed cases, with more than 160,000 officially reported as of Monday evening. Hot spots were popping up across the country, with the crisis accelerating in and around inland cities as cases soared and deaths mounted.

Michigan, which Trump said Monday was “becoming a hotbed,” reported an 18 percent surge in cases from a day earlier, along with more than 50 additional deaths — bringing its total fatalities to 184. Michigan’s nearly 6,500 confirmed cases was the third-highest total in the nation, behind New Jersey (more than 16,600) and New York (more than 66,000).

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said that the state’s increase was “to be expected” and that the number of cases will continue rising. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said that Michigan is still in the “early stages” of spread, that cases had not yet peaked and that some hospitals in the state’s southeast region, near Detroit, were “at capacity.”

“We know we’re on the up slope right now of cases,” Khaldun said. “We know our hospitals are going to need more beds. We’re going to need thousands more ventilators, and a lot of people are going to get sick.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced that the number of infections in the state rose by 485 in the past 24 hours to 4,025 as of noon Monday, and deaths climbed by 34 to 185. Birx warned that all states are moving on the “same curve,” and Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said he expects the virus to recur in the fall — albeit in a more prepared country.

Trump said the United States has administered more than 1 million tests, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said authorities are testing 100,000 samples a day.

Locally, Maryland, the District and Virginia joined other states that have issued stay-at-home orders to residents, threatening legal repercussions to those who buck warnings and venture out for nonessential activities. The order from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) sets a preliminary expiration date of June 10, subject to change. Trump said officials had “talked about” a nationwide stay-at-home order but said Monday it was “pretty unlikely at this time.”

The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted strong finishes Monday of 3 percent gains or more, with the Dow gaining nearly 700 points. But the quarter will still mark a historically bad one for the markets.

There was fresh evidence of economic pain when Macy’s, the country’s largest department store chain famous for its Thanksgiving Day parade, announced that it was furloughing most of its U.S. workforce after losing nearly all its sales because of coronavirus-related store closures. The company said it will keep “the absolute minimum workforce” for basic operations, with a focus on its digital business, distribution centers and call centers.

Kohl’s and Gap also announced furloughs of about 80,000 each.

Congress last week approved a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to blunt the impact of the virus, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Monday that lawmakers are considering new legislation focused on infrastructure, protections for front-line workers and funding for the District.

Lawmakers learned Monday that one of their own could be in the crosshairs for possibly taking advantage of his position during the crisis.

The Justice Department is investigating stock trades that Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) made as the outbreak began, a person familiar with the matter said Monday. Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, received frequent briefings and reports on the threat of the virus.

In mid-February, Burr sold 33 stocks that he and his spouse held, with an estimated value of between $628,033 and $1.7 million, Senate financial disclosures show. It was the largest number of stocks he had sold in one day since at least 2016, records show. Burr, who has said he did nothing wrong, had asked the Senate Ethics Committee for a review of his stock sales amid uproar about the possible influence of coronavirus briefings.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that the company is moving forward with a lead coronavirus vaccine candidate, with the first human tests projected to begin by September. Testing to demonstrate that vaccines are safe and effective is typically a years-long process, but the company said it anticipates its experimental vaccine could be available under specific “emergency use” authorization by early next year.

More immediately, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

There have been a few small, anecdotal studies that show a possible benefit of the drugs — hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine — in relieving the acute respiratory symptoms of covid-19 and clearing the virus from infected patients. Health experts warn that the drugs’ well-known side effects — headaches, nausea, vision loss and possible exacerbation of heart problems — could become more common with wider use.

In a Fox News interview Monday, Trump predicted that April would be a “month of achievement,” adding: “We will win, and it’ll be fairly soon.” But health officials suggested that the most imminent achievement would be one of mitigation: keeping enough people well so hospitals have the resources to handle the seriously ill, and building enough capacity to handle overflow.

Trump said during his White House briefing that the federal government plans to distribute hundreds of ventilators across the country, including hard-hit Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and Louisiana.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Monday that he is creating a “California health corps” to recruit medical students and retired doctors for the front line. In the past four days, he said, hospitalizations in his state have doubled, and the load in intensive care units has tripled.

In New York — which, so far, has been the state hit hardest — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said Monday afternoon that more than 1,200 people had died of covid-19, up more than 250 from the day before. He said the number of people hospitalized also continues to increase, though the rate seems to have slowed.

“To me, we’re beyond staggering already,” Cuomo said.

Bracing for the possibility that hospitals might become overwhelmed, two Navy hospital ships made their way to New York and Los Angeles to help take on non-covid patients from institutions that reach their capacity.

At a ceremony Monday morning shortly after the USNS Comfort docked in New York Harbor, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said at least half of his city’s 8.6 million residents could eventually contract coronavirus, though he said the vast majority of the cases will result in mild symptoms.

Standing in front of the hulking white ship, de Blasio warned that the Comfort’s 1,000 hospital beds represent just a fraction of the city’s medical needs — which he said could reach three times the current 20,000 beds in the city. The New York National Guard deployed a fatality search-and-recovery team to work with the city’s medical examiner to help handle those killed by the virus, authorities said.

“With what we know now, we may have to add 40 USS Comforts, as amazing as that sounds,” de Blasio said.

Cuomo said the state has had trouble acquiring needed medical equipment, especially ventilators, which he said have become far more expensive as hospitals across the country compete to buy them. He urged the nation to look at his state as a glimpse into their future.

“Tomorrow,” Cuomo said, “it’s going to be somewhere else.”

The crisis also continued to reverberate globally.

Italy, which has recorded the most fatalities of any country thus far, reported more than 800 deaths, bringing its total to more than 11,500, officials said Monday. But Angelo Borrelli, who is leading Italy’s coronavirus response, told reporters that Italy had determined that an additional 1,590 had recovered from the virus, the highest number of recoveries since the first case was recorded in February.

The health ministry of Iran, another country struggling with the virus, said that its virus-related death roll had reached more than 2,700, as state media reported unrest inside several of the country’s prisons.

Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Emergencies Program, said at a news conference that the new covid-19 cases now being recorded probably were the result of exposures two to three weeks ago — meaning there will be a lag in how officials can assess the impact of social distancing and other measures.

He said officials are hopeful that some of the countries hit hardest, particularly Spain and Italy, are nearly to the point of stabilizing. But even after that, he said, there is much to do.

“The question is, how do you go down?” Ryan said. “And going down isn’t just about a lockdown and let go. To get down from the numbers, not just stabilize, requires a redoubling of public health efforts to push down.

Coronavirus: Trump backs away from New York quarantine

US President Donald Trump has said quarantining New York “will not be necessary”, after the state’s governor said doing so would be “preposterous”.

Mr Trump said the latest decision was taken on the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The president had earlier said he might impose a quarantine on New York, and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, to slow the spread of Covid-19.

There are more than 52,000 cases in New York.

The state has about half of the total confirmed Covid-19 cases in the entire US.

Mr Trump tweeted that instead of quarantine, a “strong travel advisory” would be issued to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC then published a statement urging residents of those three states to “refrain” from all non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.

The agency said the advisory did not apply to “critical infrastructure” service providers, including healthcare professionals and food suppliers.

Speaking to reporters earlier on Saturday about the situation in New York, Mr Trump said: “We’d like to see [it] quarantined because it’s a hotspot… I’m thinking about that.”

He said it would be aimed at slowing the spread of the virus to other parts of the US.

“They’re having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers are going down. We don’t want that,” he said.

What did New York’s governor say?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo responded by saying that quarantining the state of New York would be “preposterous” and “anti-American”.

“If you said we were geographically restricted from leaving, that would be a lockdown.”

He said New York had already implemented “quarantine” measures, such as banning major gatherings and ordering people to remain at home, but that he would oppose any “lockdown” efforts.

“Then we would be Wuhan, China, and that wouldn’t make any sense,” he told CNN, adding that this would cause the stock market to crash in a way that would make it impossible for the US economy to “recover for months, if not years”.

“You would paralyse the financial sector,” he said.

He added later: “I don’t know how that can be legally enforceable. And from a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing.

“But I can tell you, I don’t even like the sound of it.”

Mr Cuomo also said he would sue nearby Rhode Island if the authorities there continued targeting New Yorkers and threatening to punish them for failing to quarantine.


On Friday, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo deployed National Guard troops to stop cars with a New York licence plate, to remind them of their state’s advice that they quarantine.

Soldiers are going door-to-door in coastal vacation communities to ask if any residents have recently visited New York City.

The White House has said anyone leaving New York City should self-isolate for 14 days.

What’s the latest in the US?

With more than 1,800 virus-related fatalities, the US death toll remains lower than those in Italy and China. But there are virus hotspots in New York, New Orleans, Detroit and Seattle.

Saturday saw the first death in the US of an infant who had tested positive for coronavirus. The baby died in Chicago.

In his press briefing, Mr Cuomo said New York was postponing its presidential primary by almost two months until 23 June as a result of the outbreak.

He also said the apex of the crisis would occur in the next 14 to 21 days.

Mr Cuomo said the state would soon require 30,000 respiratory ventilators, which had increased in price to $45,000 (£36,000) each due to demand.

He added that Mr Trump had approved the construction of four temporary hospitals.

Demand for ventilators has also doubled in the southern state of Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards said New Orleans would run out of ventilators by 2 April and possibly run out of hospital beds by 7 April if the number of new infections did not subside.

“It’s not some flimsy theory. This is what is going to happen,” he said.

President Trump has ordered a car manufacturer in Detroit to produce more ventilators.

Hospitals in New York City are rapidly running out of medical equipment and personal protective gear. More widely, the mayors of most US cities have said they expect massive shortages of critical personal safety equipment in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, Mr Trump watched as the USNS Comfort, a navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds aboard, left for New York from Virginia. It will station itself at a Manhattan pier to deal with the overload of patients that New York expects.

It came after Mr Trump signed a $2.2 trillion (£1.8tr) bailout bill passed by Congress on Friday, the largest fiscal stimulus in US history.

Coronavirus: Australia bans ‘non-essential’ gatherings of over 100 people

Australia has banned “non-essential” gatherings of more than 100 people in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced sweeping new measures on Wednesday, including discouraging travel overseas.

But he said schools, public transport and public squares would remain open, avoiding the kind of shutdown seen in some nations.

Australia has recorded over 450 positive tests and five deaths, with a sharp rise in cases in the past week.

However, the numbers remain lower than in Europe and North America.

Following a meeting of cabinet officials on Tuesday night, Mr Morrison said the government had declared a “biosecurity emergency”. He described it as a “one in a hundred-year event” but urged the public to remain calm.

“We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the First World War. But together, we are up to this challenge,” he said.

As part of the new restrictions, workplaces, prisons and other “essential” places will still operate as normal.

However, other events such as religious gatherings of more than 100 people and concerts in small venues will be prohibited.

Mr Morrison said Australians should not travel abroad anywhere – the first time such advice had been given in the nation’s history.

“The biggest risk we have had and the biggest incidents of cases we have had… has been from Australians returning from overseas,” he said.

On Sunday, Canberra ordered 14-day self-isolation for anyone arriving in the country. Australians currently abroad have been urged to return.

‘Keep away from each other’
The doubling of Australian case numbers in the past week has sparked public concern, increasing debate about whether schools and other places should shut.

Many office workers have also begun working from home as Australians practice social distancing measures.

While public health officials have encouraged this, they say they are not looking yet to implement more stringent lockdowns – predicting that the crisis could last about six months.

“There is no way that we can lock down society and make everyone stay home and then in a month’s time, undo that, because the virus will just flare up again without any real long-term benefit,” Australia’s chief medical officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, told reporters.

Instead, he urged Australians to exercise caution in social interactions: “Keep away from each other where possible.”

Dr Murphy also said the recent escalation in cases was “obviously concerning” but noted they were “largely still fuelled by imported cases”.

COVID-19 outbreak ‘a pandemic’: WHO chief

GENEVA: The World Health Organization described the new coronavirus as a pandemic for the first time on Wednesday (Mar 11), adding that Italy and Iran were now on the frontline of the disease and other countries would soon join them.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference.

He urged the global community to redouble efforts to contain the outbreak, saying aggressive measures could still play a big role to curb it.

“This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. This is the first pandemic that can be controlled,” he later tweeted.

While he acknowledged the characterisation did not change what WHO was doing or what countries needed to do, it sounded an alarm the organisation has not used so far as the virus spreads.

WHO officials have signalled for weeks that they may use the word “pandemic” as an descriptive term but have stressed that it does not carry legal significance. The WHO no longer has a category for declaring a pandemic, except for influenza. The novel coronavirus is not the flu.

The coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, has spread around the world, halting industry, bringing flights to a standstill, closing schools and forcing the postponement of sporting events and concerts.

The WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern, its “highest level of alarm”, on Jan. 30 when there were fewer than 100 cases of COVID-19 outside China and eight cases of human-to-human transmission of the disease.

Now there are more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 people have died, Tedros said, with the numbers expected to climb.

In the past two weeks the number of cases outside China had risen 13-fold, and the number of countries affected had tripled, a sombre-looking Tedros said, displaying little of his normally upbeat persona.

ON THE FRONTLINE

Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said the situation in Iran was “very serious” and the agency would like to see more surveillance and more care for the sick.

“We need to move now. Italy and Iran are in the frontline now. They are suffering but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation very soon,” Ryan said.

Ryan said that some countries were only testing the elderly or people who had travelled to China and urged them to update their monitoring and contact-tracing measures as well as do more to protect health workers exposed to the virus.

He said the experience with influenza led many people to the false conclusion that a pandemic was uncontrollable once it started.

The experience of South Korea, Singapore, and China in combating the new virus showed this was not true, he said.

“We have observation that tells us that there is a strong element of controllability in this disease,” he told the news conference.

“That doesn’t mean we will completely stop it but what it does mean is there is a real chance to blunt the curve, there is a real chance to bend the curve and reduce the number of cases that our health system has to cope with and give the health system a chance to save more lives,” he said.

Ryan said healthcare workers in Iran and Italy were under a lot of strain, citing nearly 900 people in intensive care in Italy. Confirmed cases across Italy rose to 12,462 on Wednesday, from a previous 10,149, with 827 having died.

He also pointed to shortages of protective gear, ventilators and oxygen in Iran, where the death toll has topped 350 people with around 9,000 infected.

“We’ve made clear that those supplies are very, very short and we are struggling to find other supplies externally,” he said.

WHO urges world to take COVID-19 more seriously

BEIJING : World health officials have warned that countries are not taking the coronavirus crisis seriously enough, as outbreaks surged across Europe and in the United States where medical workers sounded warnings over a “disturbing” lack of hospital preparedness.

Global markets tumbled again over concerns about the impact on the economy and as countries took more drastic steps to prevent contagion of a disease that has killed more than 3,300 people and infected nearly 100,000 in around 85 nations.

Cases soared in Italy, France, Greece, and Iran, while a cruise ship was held offshore in California to test passengers showing symptoms of the disease – echoing a harrowing episode in Japan several weeks ago that saw hundreds infected on a luxury liner.

The epidemic has wreaked havoc on international business, tourism, sports events, and schools, with almost 300 million students sent home worldwide.

Even religion is affected: The Vatican said Pope Francis may have to change his schedule, tourists have been barred from Bethlehem, and Saudi Arabia emptied Islam’s holiest site in Mecca to sterilise it.

China – where the virus emerged late last year – still accounts for the majority of cases and deaths, but infections are now rising faster abroad, with South Korea, Iran and Italy major hotspots.

The World Health Organization warned Thursday that a “long list” of countries were not showing “the level of political commitment” needed to “match the level of the threat we all face”.

“This is not a drill,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

“This epidemic is a threat for every country, rich and poor.”

Tedros called on the heads of government in every country to take charge of the response and “coordinate all sectors”, rather than leaving it to health ministries.

What is needed, he said, is “aggressive preparedness.”

In the United States, the largest nursing union said a survey of thousands of nurses at hospitals showed “truly disturbing” results.

“They show that a large percentage of our nation’s hospitals are unprepared to safely handle COVID-19,” said Jane Thomason, a hygiene specialist with the union.

Nurses are working without necessary personal protective equipment and lack education and training for handling the disease, said National Nurses United director Bonnie Castillo.

COUNTRIES SPEND

The US Congress passed an emergency US$8.3 billion spending Bill to combat the coronavirus on Thursday as the number of cases surged in the country’s northwest and deaths reached 12.

More than 180 people are infected in the United States.

But President Donald Trump has downplayed the risk, saying the WHO’s conclusion of a 3.4 per cent mortality rate was “false”.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health, estimated the death rate at “somewhere between 0.1 per cent and 1 per cent” – closer to the seasonal flu – due to a high number of unreported cases.

Passengers on a cruise ship stranded off the coast of San Francisco were confined to their cabins Thursday as tests were conducted to determine if any of the nearly 3,500 guests and crew had contracted the new coronavirus.

Health officials sounded the alarm after two passengers who had been on board during a previous voyage between San Francisco and Mexico later fell ill and one of them died.

The Grand Princess belongs to Princess Cruises, the company that operated the Diamond Princess – the coronavirus-stricken ship held off Japan last month from which more than 700 people tested positive and six died.

CHINA IMPORTS CASES

Cases in China have gradually fallen as tens of millions of people remain under strict quarantine to contain the virus.

But fresh infections rose for a second consecutive day on Friday, with 143 new cases, and 30 more deaths.

China’s death toll now stands at 3,042 with more than 80,500 infections.

Beijing faces a new concern with the number of cases imported from abroad rising to 36.

But cases are increasing faster in other countries.

Italy, which has the biggest outbreak in Europe, has ordered schools and universities shut until Mar 15, and on Thursday reported a sharp rise in deaths, bringing the total to 148.

France also reported a steep jump in cases, bringing its total to 423 with seven deaths, as President Emmanuel Macron warned the country was heading towards an “inevitable” epidemic.

Italy unveiled a 7.5-billion-euro (US$8.4-billion) economic rescue plan while South Korea – the world’s second largest hotspot after China – has proposed an extra budget of US$9.9 billion.

Stock markets in Asia were sharply down on Friday, with Tokyo losing more than 3.0 per cent by the break, following another sell-off on Wall Street as traders fret about the economic fallout from the disease.

3 Commitments to Building Integral Friendship Relationships

The strength and endurance of a friendship lies in the quality of the connection between a person and his best friend

Connections are the security you feel when you express your thoughts and feelings to friends; knowing that they will not try to change or judge you, trusting that they can help and allowing them to help whatever problems you have.

If the above describes your relationship with your friend, congratulations! You have good connections with your friends. Surely you have done a lot to build, strengthen and maintain that friendship.

However, most are not like that. Most likely you are in a difficult situation, trying to repair a broken and messy relationship, or even have taken your hands off and let a relationship break up.

I am very familiar with the situation. I have many friendship relationships that were destroyed in the past. Relationships that do not work out because of small problems that are not properly communicated and resolved. I have faced years of frustration, disappointment, and distrust.

The problem I faced at that time was that I didn’t know what a good friendship relationship was (WHAT I just didn’t know, what else with HOW). I always try to guess their needs and not fully open to my situation. I focus on what I need from them. However, I began to learn to improve and be committed. That finally changed my friendly relationship.

If you want to build connections that not only last but also bear fruit, I invite you to implement these commitments in your friendship.

Commitment 1: The goal of friendship is a safe and loving relationship.

No one starts a friendship with the aim of being disappointed and eventually breaking down. The thing we need to remember is that when we encounter problems in a relationship, we have an instinct to protect ourselves. We will close ourselves tightly and distance ourselves and others to avoid pain. If you are not committed to maintaining the goals of your friendship, this pain and fear will change your friendship goals from safe relationships to broken relationships.

Downward Spiral of Disconnection

There is a phenomenon called the ” Downward spiral of disconnection ” or downward spiral of disconnection. If someone is hurt he will close himself and stay away from relationships. Feeling this, the other person will do the same thing, withdrawing from the relationship. This will happen repeatedly and each repetition will make their relationship worse. Without them knowing they were cut off. They seemed to say to one another ” I will reward what you do worse! 

If you commit to having a safe and loving relationship, you will not withdraw when hurt and will not reciprocate when hurt. You will remember the purpose of friendship and try to build connections. You will say to your friend ” I will help you so that we reach the peak of this friendship together and I will not stop to build a better relationship  “

Building Habits

Making a good habit is very important in establishing friendly relations. I have a unique habit with one of my friends: We will call and even meet face to face if one of us has bad thoughts about the other. Then we will tell you why those bad thoughts come up, apologize, and encourage one another. We try to solve everything before more problems accumulate. With that we try to continue to build better relationships with continuous communication.

How much security do you get from your best friend?

What will you do to increase the security?

Commitment 2: Try to fulfill one another’s needs

I am the type of person who wants his needs available quickly and precisely. I want to be noticed. All of me, me, and me. It shouldn’t be like that. Humans are social creatures created by God with the aim of finding, finding, and building relationships with God. The ability to build this relationship can also be applied in friendly relations. A two-way connection that understands and tries to fulfill.

HUMANS ARE THE SOCIAL ORIGINALLY CREATED BY GOD WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF SEARCHING, FINDING, AND ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. THE ABILITY TO ESTABLISH THIS RELATIONSHIP ALSO CAN BE IMPLEMENTED IN A FRIENDSHIP RELATIONSHIP.

Needs  or needs referred to here are needs that are intangible  or without physical form. Needs with physical form such as money loans and others I believe we can easily provide. Emotional needs are sometimes difficult to meet.

Commitment 3: Learn to listen, speak the truth, and adapt.

Like a broken signal that interferes with a telephone session, you will be difficult to meet the needs of friends if the exchange of information is not established smoothly. Over the years I have had assumptions with my friends and many of them have been proven wrong. Assumptions will not help anything even more often to cause problems. I learned to be a different person, I tried to listen and ask questions. From there a sense of security and trust began to emerge on both sides.

The first step

A good relationship starts with the ability to honestly express what’s happening in your heart and mind to friends. This does not mean being blunt  without looking at the situation but telling the truth in love as said at Ephesians 4:15

OTHERWISE, TELLING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, WE WILL GROW IN EVERYTHING TO HIM, WHICH IS THE HEAD, IF CHRIST.

This is as important as being able to hear what a friend is trying to say to you, either explicitly or implicitly, then helping to fulfill what he needs. Sometimes listening is better than giving advice.

Try to understand

In the process of trying to meet someone’s needs, you will be faced with situations where you have to adjust yourself. I am not an easy person to show affection or  affection.  I remember when I tried to build a relationship with one best friend, I had to adjust myself to him who needed a lot of emotional help. I learned to listen to his curhatan (to volunteer to stay at his house because he ventured until late at night), learn to give advice without seeming to patronize, and I learn to see life from his melancholy point of view . In this way I tried to show  my affection to him.

I want to be equal with him, to be a friend who is ready to help him become a better person. I didn’t do it perfectly but I will do everything I can to make the relationship with him better. Until now we are still friends, even more closely than before.

Sometimes we are afraid that being honest or open will damage the relationship. This is a very wrong thing! Remember that you are building relationships based on security, not fear. Like a bitter medicine that must be taken to heal, openness is very important for a better relationship.

Study Suggests Moderate Drinkers Live Longer Than Tee-Totallers

Contrary to what you might immediately expect, a study has discovered drinking beer every day can vastly increase your chances of reaching the ripe old age of 90.

Yeah, you heard. This might finally be the excuse you’ve been looking for.

The study, performed by the boffins over at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, discovered men who drink half a pint of beer each day are 81 percent more likely to enter a tenth decade than those who are teetotal.

There’s good news in there for the ladies, too. Women who drink comparable amounts see their chances of blowing out an unrealistic amount of candles increased by a third.

Hell, according to these guys you can have two pints a day, or three (small) drams of whisky every day – that’s twice as much as the NHS recommends – are two thirds as likely to hit the big nine-oh.

So, after all this big talk, let’s have a look at what they actually found out.

Lead researcher Prof. Dr. Piet van den Brandt and his team tracked the boozing habits of 5,500 people over the course of 20 years.

He said: “Our analyses show significantly positive associations between alcohol and longevity in men and women.”

Their theory, or one of them at least, is that drinking in moderation is actually good for your heart, but too much is toxic.

That means that bingeing ain’t the way if you want to enjoy a lengthy life.

Also, if you’re a non-drinker, this doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path and should be hitting the hard stuff.

They continued: “The results should not be used as motivation to start drinking.”

Of course, this is just one study, and – much like a shot of tequila – should be taken with a pinch of salt.

There are other studies that suggest even one drink every week can increase your chances of getting cancer.

Don’t just take our word for it, that titbit comes from Prof Dame Sally Davies, and she’s a former Chief Medical Officer for England.

She knows what she’s talking about as much as the fellas over in Maastricht.

Sir Ian Gilmore, from the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, added: “There is no evidence to suggest non-drinkers should start for the good of their health.”

As far as the NHS guidelines go, 14 units of alcohol – that’s six pints of beer or six normal glasses of wine – should be your weekly limit.

If you’re going to live until you’re 90 – from the legal age of 18 – that’s still around 22,526 pints of beer, so you can’t complain.

Fits of anxiety and Panic Disorder

Ever encountered an abrupt flood of overpowering nervousness and dread? Investigate this manual for alarm assaults, including manifestations, treatment, and self improvement tips.

A fit of anxiety is an extraordinary flood of dread described by its startling quality and incapacitating, immobilizing power. Your heart pounds, you can’t inhale, and you may feel like you’re passing on or going insane. Fits of anxiety frequently strike suddenly, with no notice, and once in a while with no unmistakable trigger. They may even happen when you’re loose or sleeping.

A fit of anxiety might be a one-time event, albeit numerous individuals experience rehash scenes. Repetitive fits of anxiety are regularly activated by a particular circumstance, for example, crossing an extension or talking in broad daylight—particularly if that circumstance has caused a fit of anxiety previously. As a rule, the frenzy initiating circumstance is one in which you feel imperiled and incapable to evade, setting off the body’s battle or-flight reaction.

You may encounter at least one fits of anxiety, yet be in any case flawlessly upbeat and solid. Or then again your fits of anxiety may happen as a major aspect of another turmoil, for example, alarm issue, social fear, or despondency. Despite the reason, alarm assaults are treatable. There are techniques you can use to diminish or take out the manifestations of frenzy, recapture your certainty, and assume back responsibility for your life.

Fit of anxiety signs and side effects

The signs and side effects of a fit of anxiety grow unexpectedly and for the most part arrive at their top inside 10 minutes. They once in a while last over 60 minutes, with most consummation inside 20 to 30 minutes. Fits of anxiety can happen anyplace and whenever. You may have one while you’re in a store shopping, strolling down the road, driving in your vehicle, or in any event, sitting on the love seat at home.

Fit of anxiety indications include:

Brevity of breath or hyperventilation

Heart palpitations or dashing heart

Chest agony or uneasiness

Trembling or shaking

Stifling inclination

Feeling incredible or confined from your environment

Perspiring

Sickness or irritated stomach

Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or black out

Deadness or shivering sensations

Hot or cold flashes

Dread of biting the dust, losing control, or going insane

Signs and side effects of frenzy issue

While numerous individuals experience only a couple of fits of anxiety moving along without any more scenes or complexities—and there’s little motivation to stress if that is you—a few people proceed to create alarm issue. Frenzy issue is described by rehashed alarm assaults, joined with significant changes in conduct or industrious nervousness over having further assaults.

You might be experiencing alarm issue on the off chance that you:

Experience visit, sudden fits of anxiety that aren’t attached to a particular circumstance

Stress significantly over having another fit of anxiety

Are carrying on contrastingly on account of the fits of anxiety, for example, maintaining a strategic distance from places where you’ve recently terrified

While a solitary fit of anxiety may just last a couple of moments, the impacts of the experience can leave an enduring engraving. In the event that you have alarm issue, the intermittent fits of anxiety cause significant damage. The memory of the extraordinary dread and fear that you felt during the assaults can adversely affect your self-assurance and cause genuine interruption to your regular day to day existence. Inevitably, this prompts the accompanying frenzy issue indications:

Expectant nervousness – Instead of feeling loose and like your ordinary self in the middle of fits of anxiety, you feel on edge and tense. This uneasiness originates from a dread of having future fits of anxiety. This “dread of dread” is available more often than not, and can be amazingly impairing.

Phobic shirking – You start to dodge certain circumstances or conditions. This evasion might be founded on the conviction that the circumstance you’re dodging caused a past fit of anxiety. Or then again you may evade places where break would be troublesome or help would be inaccessible in the event that you had a fit of anxiety. Taken to its outrageous, phobic evasion becomes agoraphobia.

Frenzy issue with agoraphobia

Agoraphobia was customarily thought to include a dread of open places and open spaces. Nonetheless, it is presently accepted that agoraphobia creates as an inconvenience of fits of anxiety and frenzy issue. Despite the fact that it can create anytime, agoraphobia generally shows up inside a time of your first intermittent fits of anxiety.

In case you’re agoraphobic, you’re anxious about having a fit of anxiety in a circumstance where getaway would be troublesome or humiliating. You may likewise fear having a fit of anxiety where you wouldn’t have the option to find support. On account of these feelings of trepidation, you begin maintaining a strategic distance from an ever increasing number of circumstances.

For instance, you may start to stay away from:

Swarmed places, for example, shopping centers or sports fields.

Autos, planes, trams, and different types of movement.

Get-togethers, eateries, or different circumstances where it is humiliating to have a fit of anxiety.

Physical exercise on the off chance that it triggers alarm.

Certain nourishment or beverages that could incite alarm, for example, liquor, caffeine, sugar, or explicit drugs.

Going anyplace without the organization of somebody who causes you to feel safe. In increasingly extreme cases, you may just feel safe comfortable.

Reasons for alarm assaults and frenzy issue

Despite the fact that the specific reasons for alarm assaults and frenzy issue are misty, the propensity to have alarm assaults runs in families. There likewise has all the earmarks of being an association with significant life changes, for example, moving on from school and entering the working environment, getting hitched, or having a child. Extreme pressure, for example, the passing of a friend or family member, separation, or employment misfortune can likewise trigger fits of anxiety.

Fits of anxiety can likewise be brought about by ailments and other physical causes. In case you’re experiencing side effects of frenzy, it’s imperative to see a specialist to preclude the accompanying potential outcomes:

Mitral valve prolapse, a minor cardiovascular issue that happens when one of the heart’s valves doesn’t close effectively

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid organ)

Hypoglycemia (low glucose)

Energizer use (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine)

Prescription withdrawal

Self improvement tips for alarm assaults

Regardless of how frail or wild you may feel about your fits of anxiety, it’s essential to realize that there are numerous things you can do to support yourself. The accompanying self improvement systems can have a major effect to helping you conquer alarm:

Find out about frenzy and nervousness. Basically find out about frenzy can go far towards mitigating your trouble. Find out about uneasiness, alarm issue, and the battle or-flight reaction experienced during a fit of anxiety. You’ll discover that the sensations and emotions you have when you alarm are ordinary and that you aren’t going insane.

Abstain from smoking, liquor, and caffeine. These would all be able to incite alarm assaults in individuals who are helpless. In the event that you need assistance to kick the cigarette propensity, perceive How to Quit Smoking. Likewise, be cautious with meds that contain energizers, for example, diet pills and non-sluggish cold drugs.

Figure out how to control your relaxing. Hyperventilation expedites numerous sensations, (for example, tipsiness and snugness of the chest) that happen during a fit of anxiety. Profound breathing, then again, can alleviate the side effects of frenzy. By figuring out how to control your breathing, you can quiet yourself down when you start to feel on edge. What’s more, on the off chance that you realize how to control your breathing, you’re additionally more averse to make the very vibes that you’re apprehensive about.

Practice unwinding methods. At the point when rehearsed consistently, exercises, for example, yoga, contemplation, and dynamic muscle unwinding fortify the body’s unwinding reaction—something contrary to the pressure reaction engaged with uneasiness and frenzy. Furthermore, not exclusively do these unwinding rehearses advance unwinding, yet they additionally increment sentiments of delight and poise.

Associate up close and personal with loved ones. Side effects of nervousness can turn out to be more regrettable when you feel disconnected, so contact individuals who care about you all the time. In the event that you feel that you don’t have anybody to go to, investigate approaches to meet new individuals and manufacture steady companionships.

Exercise routinely. Exercise is a characteristic nervousness reliever so attempt to get going for in any event 30 minutes on most days (three 10-minute sessions is similarly as acceptable). Cadenced oxygen consuming activity that requires moving both your arms and legs—like strolling, running, swimming, or moving—can be particularly viable.

Get enough soothing rest. Lacking or low quality rest can aggravate uneasiness, so attempt to get seven to nine hours of relaxing rest a night. On the off chance that resting soundly is an issue for you, these tips to getting a decent night’s rest can help.

Treatment for alarm assaults and frenzy issue

The best type of expert treatment for handling alarm assaults, alarm issue, and agoraphobia is treatment. Indeed, even a short course of treatment can help.

Subjective conduct treatment centers around the reasoning examples and practices that are continuing or setting off your fits of anxiety and causes you take a gander at your feelings of dread in a progressively sensible light. For instance, on the off chance that you had a fit of anxiety while driving, what is the most exceedingly terrible thing that would truly occur? While you may need to head over to the roadside, you are not liable to crash your vehicle or have a cardiovascular failure. When you discover that nothing really sad will occur, the experience of frenzy turns out to be less unnerving.

Introduction treatment for alarm issue permits you to encounter the physical impressions of frenzy in a sheltered and controlled condition, allowing you the chance to learn more advantageous methods for adapting. You might be approached to hyperventilate, shake your head from side to side, or hold your breath. These various activities create uproars like the side effects of frenzy. With every presentation, you become less scared of these inside substantial sensations and feel a more prominent feeling of command over your frenzy.

Introduction treatment for alarm issue with agoraphobia incorporates presentation to the circumstances you fear and stay away from is likewise inc