Coronavirus information from around the world

Measures taken by German officials to slow the spread of the coronavirus are starting to show effect.

Coronavirus field hospital opens in London

Prince Charles opened a new 4,000-bed temporary hospital in a conference centre in east London on Friday, the first of several being built in Britain to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The new state-run National Health Service (NHS) Hospital is named after the trailblazing 19th-century nurse Florence Nightingale and has been built in just nine days.

Corona beer producer halts brewing

Two Mexican brewers, including the producers of Corona beer, have said they are reducing production because of the health emergency in the country over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grupo Modelo — whose brands include Pacifico and Modelo as well as Corona — said the measure was in line with the Mexican government’s order to suspend all non-essential activities until April 30 to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Brazil health minister has big job

As if leading his country’s fight against coronavirus wasn’t hard enough, Brazil’s health minister has to deal with a boss, President Jair Bolsonaro, who criticizes, undermines and ignores him.

But Luiz Henrique Mandetta takes the far-right leader’s snubs in his stride: “I’m working here,” he says.

Tension has been brewing for weeks between the president known as the “Trump of the Tropics,” who downplays COVID-19 as a “little flu,” and the pediatric orthopedist tasked with making sure Brazil’s health system doesn’t collapse because of it.

Military aircraft brings Grand Est patients to Toulouse

A Frech military aircraft touched down at Findel airport in Luxembourg earlier this Friday. The aircraft will bring six French Covid-19 patients to Toulouse.

Lux-Aiport took to Twitter to applaud the Greater Region’s cooperation. The six patients are in serious condition. Private ambulances brought them from the Moselle region to Findel airport. Police and the head of CGDIS joined the escort at the Luxembourg border. The A330 aircraft took off for Toulouse at 1.30pm.

According to the Republicain Lorrain, the transfer had initially been planned to take place via Lorraine airport. The patients were eventually brought to Findel airport instead due to technical problems.

Drive-thru coronavirus testing in UAE

A drive-through coronavirus screening centre in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi has become a go-to destination for many wanting reassurance during the pandemic.

The facility, believed to be the first of its kind in the Gulf, greets around 600 people a day in the 12 hours it is in service.

The test is free for the elderly, pregnant women and anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19. Others can get tested for 370 dirhams ($100). A nurse approaches the car to take the passengers’ temperatures and then takes a nasal swab — a five-minute procedure.

Iran coronavirus death toll rises 134 to 3,294

Iran on Friday announced 134 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the officially confirmed total to 3,294.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that 2,715 new infections had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 53,183. Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and has been struggling to contain the outbreak since it reported its first deaths on February 19. Jahanpour said 17,935 of those hospitalised with the virus had recovered, while 4,035 were in a critical condition.

Germany’s virus curbs are working

Measures taken by German officials to slow the spread of the coronavirus are starting to show effect, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control said on Friday. “We are seeing that the spread of the virus is getting slower... it’s working,” said RKI president Lothar Wieler, stressing that restrictions on public life “need to be maintained” and it was too early to hail victory.

Nigerian man shot dead for flouting virus lockdown

A Nigerian man has been shot dead for allegedly flouting a stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, police and a lawmaker said on Friday.

Nigeria has introduced a raft of measures, including lockdowns of major cities, to try to contain the virus, which has infected 184 people, two of them fatally.

Joseph Pessu, a resident of the oil city of Warri in the southern state of Delta, was killed on Thursday by a soldier deployed to enforce the lockdown, the sources said. “The incident occurred yesterday with the youths protesting,” state police spokesman Onome Onowakpoyeya told AFP.

Angry young people lit fires in the streets but police later restored calm, he said.

Applause in Europe, lights in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Indians to hold candles and mobile phones aloft for nine minutes on Sunday to dispel the “darkness and uncertainty” of the coronavirus crisis.

On Thursday, the confirmed number of coronavirus cases in India passed 2,000 with 53 deaths, although some experts say that the country of 1.3 billion people is testing too few people.

India has been under lockdown since 25 March, leaving millions of migrant workers suddenly jobless, and prompting hundreds of thousands to try and get home to their home villages, often on foot. “Friends, amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope,” Modi said in an address to the nation on Friday.

“We must defeat the deep darkness of the crisis, by spreading the glory of light in all four directions.”

Controls in place for those thinking of holidaying

This Friday, French police will be setting up reinforced controls to continue implementing containment measures as the Easter holidays approach.

French Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, told Parisien the objective was to dissuade potential holidaymakers, using reinforced checks in major cities, stations, roads and tourist destinations. On TF1, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe supported the motion on Thursday evening, reminding the public there must be no holidays.

New coronavirus detection test developed

Siemens Healthineers, a specialist technology supplier in the medical sector, has developed a coronavirus detection test in its Esch-sur-Alzette laboratory.

The test has been designed to be used in medium-sized laboratories, such as those in hospitals.

Sebastian Kronmueller, head of molecular diagnostics, said the molecular diagnostic test would help to combat the global pandemic.

It is designed to help researchers positively identify the virus in less than three hours, which would in turn allow healthcare professionals to treat their patients as quickly and accurately as possible.