Sunday 10th May 2020
“The pages of yesterday cannot be rewritten but the pages of tomorrow are blank and you hold the pen, make it an inspirational story.”
Back in love with butter – Business is booming for Graham’s Family Dairy Scotland after demand for the dairy product has more than doubled. More people are baking or at least trying to together with make dinner more like eating in a restaurant by eating significantly more butter. The dairy has upped production from 4 days to 7 to meet demand. I can’t believe that I can’t believe its not butter has not been utilised more!
In West London (UK), workers at Park Lane Stables are taking ponies around to peoples homes to spread some cheer. The Blant family enjoyed a visit from a Welsh mountain pony.
Two children in Hanoi Vietnam, recently gifted 20,000 medical masks to the United Kingdom. Using ‘lucky money’ they’d saved for a few years, the bought the masks which were then sent to the UK on a commercial flight.
50 employees of BVLGARI in Lombardy (Italy) have been producing medical grade hand sanitiser on a voluntary basis, more than 160,000 units of which have been donated to the National Health Service. The workers from the luxury Italian fashion brand have been producing the sanitiser in their perfume factory.


Roadkill is down in Belgium thanks to coronavirus. Normally over 2,000 fatal collisions with hedgehogs, badgers and polecats are reported between mid-March and mid-April but this year only 772 have been reported.

Bogart the bulldog loves looking through a hole in the fence at his home in Denmark so his owners painted the fence to make it more interesting for passers-by when Bogart pops his head through the hole. Not to be outdone, Bogarts Mum, Winston (don’t mention the male name, she doesn’t care) joined in the fun.
Heather Gigliotti l in McGaheysville, Virginia for 29 years. Heather taught kindergarten until 2008 and now the last class she taught is graduating from High School. With the graduation cancelled, Heather wanted the students to feel loved and appreciated so she bought 210 tiny candles along with bags and obtained glass yoghurts jars to hold the candles. She wrote the names of all her former students on the bags and placed them in a heart shape at the from of her house along with a display of candles laid out as 2020. Heather and her husband light the candles at night saying “the goal is to make sure the kids feel loved by her, once they have me as a teacher, they’re my kids forever”.
2 Winsconsin 4th grade school teachers are keeping students motivated by dressing up as different characters every morning for the video lessons. So far, the students have been met by Batman, Kermit the Frog and Boris the Viking. Parents have said that the kids are excited to wake up and get the lessons started. share their work and page on mine.
The idea was based on the rainbow art. Where there are so many artists in the world that can’t show their work in galleries so why not share it with pe have just done themselves without my prompt. But hopefully more will start doing it and sharing it with me.
Louise Birch.

Saturday 9th May 2020
“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless” (Bill Waterson)
The weekend is here, well, the official weekend but at the moment every day feels like the weekend. Let’s all find something pointless to do and make it count.
In China, tickets for the first days of Disneyland Shanghai sold out in minutes. The park has been closed for 3 months and Disney fans have taken full advantage of the tickets with online availability sold out until after next weekend. The entrance to the park has been capped at 30% capacity (approximately 24,000) to enable social distancing. Other safeguards include masks and temperature screenings for staff and visitors.
Gyms, beauty parlours and cinemas have reopened their doors in Hong Kong. Long queues formed outside gyms yesterday morning as people waited for employees to carry out temperature checks. People were determined to celebrate the return of a modicum of normality to the city, entertainment venue have been closed but many people made their way to watering holes as soon as the clock struck midnight signaling the dawning of the day that saw the doors reopen. New COVID-19 cases have been in single figures for the last 18 days, 11 days showing a zero count.
Jordan has identified 21 cases of coronavirus within the last 48 hours after the country thought the virus was being successfully eradicated after a harsh lockdown was imposed. Some relaxing of measures has taken place in the last 2 weeks but elements that were due to be eased this week have now been cancelled due to this surge in infections.
Fiji has seen a return to a barter system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trades have included 2 piglets for a kayak, hot cross buns in exchange for online tutoring, vegetable seedlings for home-made pies and a taxi fare in exchange for fresh produce. There have been 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no lives have been lost thus far. The population of Fiji is recorded as 895,493 and more than 100,000 people have joined a Facebook group called “Barter for Better Fiji” which was created in response to sharp falls in employment due to coronavirus.
Australia has announced a 3-step plan for easing restrictions with a plan to achieve a COVID safe economy in July this year. Step 1 – greater connection with family and friends, including children back in schools and playgrounds, golf, lap swimming and boot camps, small cafes and restaurants reopening. Step 2 – larger gatherings of up to 20 people, including the opening of cinemas and galleries, more retail opening based on COVID safe plans and organised community sport. Step 3 – gatherings of up to 100 people, most people back at work, interstate travel will resume, pubs and clubs with some restrictions will be open. However, each step will be dependent on the success of the previous one and the Prime Minister has said international travel will not be happening in the foreseeable future.
Spain is slowly reopening with beaches in Barcelona open on Friday between 6am and 10am. People were allowed to jog, paddle on boards and swim in the water under the supervision of the police. A decision is expected soon about which regions will be allowed to reopen bars, restaurants and places of worship under the next phase of the emergence from lockdown. It is likely that Madrid and Catalonia will not reopen further just yet, these regions accounting for more than half the recorded infections.
Although France has started easing restrictions, it has not started easing the need for filling in forms. After Monday, anyone travelling more than 100km will need to have an “imperative” professional or personal reason for doing so and carry a sworn declaration to that effect. Extra police and gendarmes will be patrolling major roads, motorways, service areas and popular holiday destinations to enforce the regulations. Imperative reasons might be work, as long as your employer provides attestation that the journey is necessary, a family emergency, moving house if this cannot be postponed or returning home (foreign nationals have the right to return to their home country and French nationals who went to their 2nd homes can return to their main residence but they cannot travel in the opposite direction).
Italy endured Europe’s longest lockdown thus far and has now entered phase 2 of the coronavirus emergency there. Italians are now able to travel within regions to visit relatives provided they wear masks but schools, hairdressers, gyms and other commercial premises remain closed. Cafes and restaurants offer a takeaway service only and all travel between regions remains prohibited unless for work, health or emergency situations. A maximum of 15 mourners are now allowed to attend funerals but weddings and masses are still banned.
Denmark has announced that shopping centres will reopen from 11 May with restaurants, places of worship and schools for 11 to 15yr-olds resuming a week later. Museums, theatres, cinemas, outdoor amusement parks and zoos are set to reopen from 8 June but it is anticipated that bars, night-clubs and small concert venues will have to wait until August. A restriction of gatherings of people, currently set at 10, is likely to be revised to between 30 and 50 depending on the event.
In the United Kingdom, people are waiting for an announcement on Sunday as to whether any lockdown measures will be eased. Any changes are likely to be very minor as the UK takes very tentative steps towards the exit of lockdown. People have been warned not to expect big changes as the government exercises caution with the assertion that if things start to get out of hand, there will be no hesitation in stepping back behind those closed doors.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,954,694
Total number of deaths worldwide – 271,990
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,361,803
Currently Infected – 2,320,901 active cases, 2,271,886 in mild condition, 49,015 described as serious or critical.
Solidarity through art
Rachel Impey, an artist, who lives on the Isle of Wight (UK) has come up with a way of artists from all over the world sharing their art due to galleries being shut as a result of the pandemic. Via instagram, Rachel has been encouraging people to use the windows in their houses to display their artwork, the idea being based on the “rainbow art” idea that has swept many parts of the world, this being a show of support for healthcare workers everywhere.
The pictures are some examples of the window art, we hope you enjoy them. For more examples, look up @artstreet66 on Instagram.
Information and statistics from
Friday 8 May 2020
“But life is a battle, may we all be enabled to fight it well” (Charlotte Brontë)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said “Every alert level to fight COVID-19 is its own battle. When you win one, it doesn’t mean the war is over”. This statement is ahead of the decision due to be made in the country of whether to ease restrictions further and move to alert level 2. This would mean businesses restarting for staff and customers, resumption of domestic travel, schools and early learning centres reopening, public places reopening, sport and recreation resuming including professional sports competitions and gatherings of no more than 100 people allowed. Hospitality would be permitted but must follow the three S”s – seated, separated, single-server. If the decision is made on Monday 11 May, level 2 would be implemented as soon as Wednesday 13 May. Ms Ardern emphasises that strong public health measures such as physical distancing, good hygiene and contact tracing will be essential to make level 2 work.
The premiers of 2 of the most populous states in Australia have warned that social distancing restrictions will not be eased ahead of Mothers Day which falls on May 10. This is despite a decision in Queensland that allows up to 5 members to visit a household from Sunday. The officials in New South Wales and Victoria have warned that Australia risks throwing away the successful containment of the pandemic.
India has confirmed that coronavirus cases have risen to over 50,000 despite a strict lockdown in the country. There are concerns that the pace of infection in India shows no sign of slowing down. The figures are exceptionally low compared to western countries and officials this is attributable to the move to impose stay at home orders to the 1.3 billion people early in the crisis. The surge in cases appears to have been in the densely populated areas of Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.
According to a survey from Reuters, nations across Africa are facing a rise in COVID-19 cases with less than 1 intensive care bed and 1 ventilator per 100,000 people. An analysis of researchers projections has shown that even in a best case scenario, the content could need at least 10 times the numbers it has now as the outbreak peaks. The World Health Organisation has warned that Africa could become the next centre of the pandemic. Low levels of testing in Africa make it virtually impossible to know the full extent of the infection, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has predicted that the area could see nearly 123 million cases this year causing 300,000 lives to be lost.
Iran said yesterday that the outbreak of coronavirus there was relatively stable. Having battled to contain the worst outbreak in the Middle East since reporting its first cases in mid-February, the number of new infections has exceeded more than 1000 for four consecutive days. A health ministry spokesman has said that over 986 of individuals reported on Thursday had mild to moderate symptoms.
Israel has continued to relax its restrictions by opening shopping centres, markets and gyms on Thursday. Pre-schools will also restart on Sunday. The country with a population on 9 million has seen significant drops in reported cases over the past 2 weeks. Having imposed early and stringent lockdown measures together with virtually all borders closed, around 16,300 people have tested postive for coronaries and 239 people have died.
Vietnam has confirmed a further 17 cases of coronavirus, all of which are citizens repatriated from virus hit areas. A total of 288 cases have now been confirmed there but Vietnam still has not lost one life to COVID-19
Russia has now recorded more coronavirus cases than France and Germany making it the 5th highest affected country in the world. More than half the cases and deaths are in Moscow. Restrictions in Moscow have been extended until 31 May but some measures in place, such as the return to work for industrial and construction industries, will be eased from 12 May. Russia now has 177,160 cases of coronavirus and 1,625 people have died.
Egypt has extended a nationwide nighttime curfew until the end of Ramadan to slow the spread of the virus. A total of 7,588 cases have been confirmed and 469 people have lost their lives.
Pakistan will begin easing restrictions over the weekend even as increased testing shows a rise in coronavirus cases. The easing of measures comes as many across the country have already been openly flouting restrictions such as gathering in public places especially during the evenings. There have been 24,644 cases confirmed in Pakistan and 585 people have died.
France will gradually end its lockdown from Monday but some restrictions will remain in place in the more densely populated Paris area where COVID-19 is circulating faster. The lockdown started on March 17 and will be progressive. The country is effectively cut in 2 with the virus progressing quicker is some regions, notably the Ile de France region with a concentrated population. In other parts of France, secondary schools, cafes and restaurants may reopen from early June if infection rates remain low.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,856,684
Total number of deaths worldwide – 266,481
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,317,978
Currently Infected – 2,272,225 active cases, 2,224,191 in mild condition, 48,043 described as serious or critical.
Stories to make you smile
Peter Zagara of New Jersey (USA) turned 100 recently. His grandson PJ Franovic was determined not to let the occasion pass by without something special. He arranged a street parade complete with police cars, blue lights and sirens all set to Peters favourite song “Come fly with me”. Behind the police cars, came friends, family members and firefighters, horns honking and everyone cheering. PJ had to remind his beloved “Pop” about social distancing as Pop tried to express his love and gratitude by going his grandson a hug.
Residents in a care home in Surrey British Columba have found a good way to tackle boredom during lockdown. They’ve been recreating their favourite paintings such as “Woman with a Mango” by Paul Gaugin, “Portrait of a girl with a white dog” by John Russell and “Young girl in a straw hat “ by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The challenge was set by the facility’s recreation manager who said that the idea was in 3 stages, coming up with an idea, hunting for props and then laughing their way through the photo shoots.
Thursday 7 May 2020
“Missing someone is your hearts way of reminding you that you love them”
Today is my beautiful granddaughters 4th birthday and I can’t be with her. She tells me “Mamma Portugal, you can’t come to my house because of the germs”. Like all of us, my heart aches to be able to cuddle those we love so dearly but just you wait Miss E, Mamma is saving all those cuddles and you’re in for some serious stuff.
Hopefully she won’t remember this pandemic, she might learn about it later in life and will benefit from any lessons that our world learns as we move forward.
In Ecuador, the Siekopai, an indigenous Amazon tribe with just 744 members, has confirmed 15 cases of coronavirus after 2 elders were suspected of dying from COVID-19. This has caused concern amid 500,000 indigenous peoples belonging to 11 nations in this small Latin American country as a dozen more cases have been confirmed in other communities. Almost all indigenous Amazon peoples are in self-isolation and this case reinforces the vulnerable state of these people.
Brazil has confirmed its highest daily coronavirus deaths within the last 24 hours despite some areas in the country starting to open up. Figures indicate that the country is still in the thick of the battle against the virus. The health ministry has said that there have been 6,935 new infections since Monday bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 116,299. The number of people reported to have lost their lives is 1,584.
Throughout the geographic region of South America, there have been a total of 238,542 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,717 people have died. Countries yet to report any lives lost to COVID-19 in this region include Peru, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. The Falkland Islands had reported 13 infections in total and ZERO deaths. According to official sources, all the cases there have recovered and there are currently no active infections.
Mexico has now recorded a total of 26,025 confirmed cases and 2,507 people have died. However, it is reported that a very low number of tests have been carried out and it is suspected that the actual number of infections could be as high as 104,000. In a country with a population of over 126 million, Mexico has conducted 100,041 tests which equates to 776 per 1M populous.
Chinese students in Wuhan, the global virus epicentre, returned to school yesterday, wearing masks and walking in single file past thermal scanners. Senior schools students in 121 facilities were seeing their teachers face to face after months of distance learning. Teenagers sat at individual desks spaced 1 metre apart. This back to school scenario is the latest in a gradual return to normal in Wuhan. Officials say that students and staff must have undergone virus testing before returning and all schools have been thoroughly disinfected. Anyone registering a high temperature is not allowed to enter the premises.
Taiwan appears to have been relatively successful on controlling the virus with only 439 confirmed cases and 6 deaths, apparently thanks to early preventions and detection methods. The country has never been in total lockdown although social distancing and the wearing of facemasks has been widely promoted. The baseball and football seasons started in Taiwan last month but without spectators. However, from Friday, 1,000 people will allowed in to watch baseball matches in Taipei and Taichung.
Iran is reporting a rising trend in infections that coincides with the relaxation of restrictive measures recently. A health ministry spokesman has said that the rising trend in the past 3 or 4 days is significant. The leadership in Iran has been struggling to balance the demands for a return to work with those who warn that the disease is not yet under control.
Slovakia has reopened restaurant terraces, hotels, shops outside malls and other businesses yesterday. Permission has also been given for religious services and weddings to take place with a limited number of guests. The further relaxation of measures under which hairdressers could also return to work came after tests showed 11 consecutive days of single digit growth in new infections. Slovakia has reported 1,429 confirmed infections to date and 25 people have died. Slovakia was one of the 1st countries in Europe to ban international passenger travel and acted faster than its neighbours to shut borders and impose strict measures to prevent the spread.
Sweden did not impose the kind of lockdowns seen elsewhere in Europe, opting for a softer approach based on the principle of responsibility. The country allowed schools for under 16’s, cafes, bars, restaurants and other businesses to remain open while encouraging people to maintain and respect social distancing guidelines. This approach has received criticism both domestically and internationally as the death toll climbed to nearly 3,000. Sweden’s virus death rate of 291 per million inhabitants is higher than that of Norway, Denmark and Finland.
In Canada, the province of Quebec has suffered the worst outbreak of the virus with Montreal at the centre. A total of 33,400 cases have been confirmed in Quebec and 2,398 people have lost their lives to COVID-19. Plans are underway to reopen schools with measures being introduced that will see a dramatically different classroom scenario. Class size will be limited to 15 students and school buses will only be allowed to transport a maximum of 12. Across Canada, there have been 62,046 confirmed cases and 4,043 people have died.
Director General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned of the risks if countries do not manage the transitions from lockdown in an extremely careful and phased approach. He has said “the risk of returning to lockdown is very real, the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually recede but there can be no going back to business as usual”
My thoughts, don’t throw those parachutes away just yet!
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,774,174
Total number of deaths worldwide – 261.097
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,273,606
Currently Infected – 2,239,471 active cases, 2,190,568 in mild condition, 48,903 described as serious or critical.
Good news stories
Ivy Reeves, a coronavirus patient in Wycombe Hospital (UK) has celebrated her 100th birthday after fighting coronavirus. Not able to have the celebrations planned, the nursing staff sang Happy Birthday to her and gave her son special permission to visit where he was able help her open cards, eat cake and deliver the message from the Queen.
In Indianapolis, (USA) the senior boys of Bishop Chatard High School still found a way to be dream dates even though the prom had to be cancelled. They delivered 120 flower bouquets to every girl in the senior class with a note saying “every girl deserves flowers on prom night, thank you for being a good friend”.
Still in USA but now in Arkansas, a 2 year old toddler was unable to have a traditional courtroom adoption due to the stay at home orders. However, Kimberley and Todd Wieneke were able to officially become parents of Jaden via a Zoom video conference.
Wednesday 6 May 2020.
“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it” (Mae West)
In Ireland, people aged over 70 and those in other vulnerable groups have stepped outside for exercise for the first time in weeks after the advice on self-isolation was relaxed. By 7am Tuesday, several elderly people had parked by the sea in Dun Laoghaire, opened the windows and soaked in the sounds of the waves and the smell of the sea. Although the initial isolation was advisory, health officials were still advising that the over 70’s should stay at home but in recent weeks some over 70s have been out and about walking and shopping. There have been 21,772 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland and 1,319 people have lost their lives.
Germany has released criteria according to which regional interventions would be made in the case of a rise in coronavirus cases. If the number of new cases in a 7-day period rises to more than 35 per 100,000 residents the local authority is that area will be required to revert back to the lockdown restrictions first imposed on 20 April. In short, all but essential shops would be required to close as would schools, hairdressers, museums and zoos. Germany has recorded 166,199 cases of coronavirus and 6,993 people have died. Testing has been prominent in Germany with over 2.5million tests carried out which equates to 30,400 per 1M populous.
Hong Kong has reported no community transmission cases in 2 weeks. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced another relaxation of strict measures that came into force in recent weeks after Hong Kong saw a spike in imported cases having lifted some measure initially. Restrictions on group gatherings have been extended for another 14 days from Thursday but relaxed to allow restaurants to have 8 people at a table (up from 4). Several types of businesses allowed to reopen include games parlours and fitness centres but must observe requirements such as temperature checks and availability of hand sanitisers. Some licensed premises are open but with limited numbers and not live music or dancing allowed. Hong Kong has reported 1.041 confirmed cases of the virus and 4 deaths.
Turkey has announced that all main factories in the country will resume operations May 11. The country will continue to ease the containment measure during May, June and July following a slowdown in the outbreak. There have been 127,659 confirmed infections in Turkey and 3,461 people have died.
In India, officials in the capital Delhi have imposed a special tax of 70% on retail alcohol purchases in an effort to deter large gatherings at relevant shops as a 6-week lockdown eased, On Monday, police baton-charged hundreds of people who raced to the liquor stores that opened on Monday for the first time.
Austria has announced that there has not been a new spike in in reckons following the first easing of measures thee nearly 3 weeks ago. Having acted early by closing bars, restaurants, schools, theatres and non-essential shops 7 weeks ago, Austria believes the measure helped to cut the daily infection rate to less than 1% and kept the loss of life relatives low. There have been 606 deaths and 15,650 confirmed cases of the virus.
Bulgaria has announced that all schools will remain shut until September with all teaching online until then. A flu epidemic in Bulgaria prompted the closure of schools on 6 March before COVID-19 arrived in the country. Lessons have been broadcast on public television as well as online, social workers have delivered printed school materials to those children who do not have access to computers. The country of just under 7 million people has registered 1,689 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 78 deaths.
Lebanon has extended the lockdown for another 2 weeks but has eased some restrictions, allowing restaurants to open but with only 30% capacity. Official figures show 741 confirmed infections with 25 people having lost their lives in Lebanon. The recorded population in the country is 6,830,198.
In Ukraine, the mayor of Cherkasy, a town in the centre of the country, has made the decision to ease lockdown restrictions by opening shops, hairdressers and restaurants on 30 April. This has caused conflict with the government who are against such easing at the present time whilst trying to prevent a second wave of infections. The Ukraine government has announced a partial lifting of restrictions from May 11 but Mayor Anatoliy Bondarenko has decided to go it alone! Ukraine has reported 12,697 cases of coronavirus and 316 deaths.
The number of lives lost in the United Kingdom has now exceeded that of Italy following the collation of figures from the Official for National Statistics (ONS). According to official sources, the number of people who have lost their lives from confirmed or suspected COVID-19 is now 29,427 This is where the information on the death certificate includes mention of the disease, other countries have different reporting protocols and therefore caution is advised against comparisons with other nations. Nevertheless, the loss of life is tragic and heartbreaking and reinforces the sheer ruthlessness of this virus. The United Kingdom has yet to announce any easing of measures with experts saying the infection rate is still too high.
USA politics continues to make headlines but the real focus surely should be on the increasing rate of infections and the rising number of lives lost. With the focus of President Trump apparently being on the reopening of the economy, a large number of Americans are against the opening businesses at this time according to a recent poll. the poll conducted by Washington-Post-University of Maryland revealed that 74% of Americans are opposed to the reopening of dine in restaurants and nail salons and 63% are still worried about becoming serious ill from coronavirus, almost the same percentage as 2 weeks ago. Official figures from the USA show a total of 1,218,472 cases of coronavirus and 70,713 people have lost their lives. New York remains the worst hit state with 327,374 cases and 25,174 lives lost.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,687,676
Total number of deaths worldwide – 255,138
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,220,630
Currently Infected – 2,211,908 active cases, 2,162,413 in mild condition, 49,495. described as serious or critical.
Positive stories!
Cyprus has reported ZERO local virus infections since the first case was confirmed on March 9. This good news coincides with the first day of gradual relaxation of lockdown measures.
Italy has recorded its lowest number of new cases for 2 months.
Irish people have found a way to repay the kindness shown by Navajo and Hopi communities during the Great Hunger Famine in Ireland by donating to a fund set up to help those communities hit by coronavirus. In 1847 the Choctaw Nation, a native American tribe donated $170 to victims of the Irish famine and now, 173 years later, the favour has been returned through generous donations from the Irish people.
Louise Birch.

Tuesday 5 May 2020
“Without fear there cannot be courage” (Christopher Paolini)
Courage, the ability to do something frightening, to show strength in the face of pain and grief.
Fear, the unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.
All over the world, courage and fear are holding hands with each other and with all of us as we face the certainty that our world has changed. As many countries take those hesitant steps towards easing restrictions in the hope that they have come through the worse of the pandemic, we must not forget that for some countries, the battle has only just started and they are, in some cases, ill-equipped to deal with what lies ahead.
Across Africa, where it is believed the virus has not really begun to show itself, several countries have already started easing restrictions. In Nigeria, a phased easing of a 5-week lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun despite the fact that infections have almost doubled in the last week. Movement is now allowed with the wearing of facemasks mandatory. However, several areas of business including restaurants and places of worship remain closed. Gatherings of more than 20 people are banned. Nigeria, along with many other African countries, swiftly adopted restrictive measures, travel bans and other curbs in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Namibia all eased lockdown restrictions on Monday. In South Africa, believed to have implemented one of the worlds stricter lockdowns, measures were eased last Friday and Ghana lifted a three week lockdown in its 2 main cities at the end of April.
Across the geographic region of Africa, 43,978 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported and 1,764 people have died.
In Italy, 4.4 million people have returned to work as restrictions on movement were eased. In Rome, construction sites and manufacturing operations resumed, parks re-opened and flower sellers were back in the Campo dei Fiori market for the first time since 11 March.
Romania will not extend the state of emergency past 15 May but will implement a state of alert that will allow some modest easing of restrictions. President Klaus Iohannis said “this epidemic has not passed, we need to be responsible and be very cautious further ahead”. Some travel restrictions would be lifted but people are still not allowed to travel in groups of more than 3. Indoor and outdoor gatherings remain prohibited. Romania has reported 13,163 cases of coronavirus and 790 people have died. A total of 195,508 tests have been carried out which equates to 10,163 per 1M population.
Switzerland allowed hairdressers, garden centres, hardware stores and doctors surgeries to reopen last week. Schools, shops, markets, restaurants, museums and libraries are reopening next week. In a country of 8, 644,376 people, there have been 29,905 confirmed cases (3,455 per 1M) and 1,762 people have lost their lives to COVID-19. Switzerland has conducted 280,220 tests which equates to 32,378 per 1M population.
Iceland started reopening schools and universities on Monday as measures put in place 7 weeks ago began easing. The number of new cases in this vast North Atlantic island has been between 0 and 3 since 23 April. There have been 1,799 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 10 people have died. Iceland implemented an aggressive testing policy having tested a greater percentage of people than any other country, starting a month before the first case was confirmed.
Ukraine has extended the nationwide lockdown until 22 May but has agreed some easing of restrictions from 11 May. Parks, recreation areas and some shops specialising in household items or textiles will be allowed to reopen. Cafes will be open for takeaway services. Ukraine has reported 11,913 confirmed infections and 288 people have lost their lives to COVID-19.
Belarus has one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Europe with one of the highest per capita infection rates. Despite this, the country will go ahead with a military parade later this week. President Alexander Lukashenko has publicly said the danger from the virus was exaggerated and did not impose any social distancing guidelines. There have been 16,705 confirmed infections in Belarus, which equates to 1,768 per 1M populous. 99 people have died as a result of COVID-19.
After falling to single figures last week, the number of new cases in Thailand was recorded as 18 on Monday. The new cases were all migrants who were entering the country through a checkpoint in the southern province of Songkla which shares a border with Malaysia. There have been 2,969 confirmed infections in Thailand and 54 people have died.
In the United Kingdom, early trials of a contact tracing app has been successful and the next stage is to roll out the app to residents on the Isle of Wight. Some 8 out of 10 people with smartphones will need to download the app in order for the trial to be effective. If the larger trial is successful, it is anticipated that the app will be introduced across the whole country in a matter of weeks. The rapidly constructed NHS Nightingale Hospital in London is likely to be placed on standby after the last few remaining COVID-19 patients are transferred to other London Hospitals. The recorded figures from the UK show a total of 186,599 confirmed infections and 28,446 people have lost their lives to COVID-19, the second highest death toll in Europe.

  • Total number of cases worldwide – 3,595,600
  • Total number of deaths worldwide – 249,225
  • Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,166,556
  • Currently Infected – 2,179,786 active cases, 2,129,835 in mild condition, 49,951described as serious or critical.

Positive news!

Photo Mediamatic

Dinner with a difference in The Netherlands where small greenhouses in rows outside of a restaurant have been used to aid social distancing when dining out!
France Italy and Spain have registered their lowest daily loss of life figures for week.
Zero new cases in New Zealand.
We all need to eat more steak, chips and cheese because of a food surplus caused by restaurant closures across Europe. In Belgium, people are being asked to eat frozen fries twice a week to reduce the surplus.
Information and statistics from

Louise Birch.


Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website

SCP – FAQs Translation to English – We have translated 70 FAQs about the COVID-19 virus, pandemic and State of Emergency provisions from official Government sources into English on our website:
Monday 4 May 2020
“No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again” (Buddha)
As a new week commences, many parts of our World are starting to move forwards with ever so small steps towards a new normal.
Coronavirus has been ruthless and merciless, ravaging the globe and particularly Europe. Across that geographic region, there have been 1,438,691 confirmed cases of this virus and 139,713 people have lost their battle with COVID-19.
As many mainland European countries begin to relax the strict measures imposed for weeks, the United Kingdom is yet to announce any relaxing of the lockdown restrictions currently in force. I am sure the authorities there will be keeping a very close eye on developments across other major European places as measures are eased.
Germany has already whispered “Was it too much too soon? Do we need to go backwards?” as the number of new cases appeared to surge after the country eased some restrictions recently.
Sport has been widely affected across the world however in Austria, tennis players can now compete again but only in singles format. No hand-shaking and no touching of each other´s tennis balls are the restrictions. Golf, horse-riding, archery, shooting and mini-golf are also among social distancing compatible sports that have been given the go-ahead in the second wave of lockdown easing in Austria.
Footballers in Serie A, the top division in Italy are allowed individual training sessions from today but still have to maintain the social distancing measures. A number of clubs in the premier league of England have already allowed players to work on an individual basis at training grounds on a strict rota. Players in the Bundesliga in Germany are permitted to train in small socially distanced groups. However, in France and The Netherlands, the football leagues have been ended with no further play.
In the Middle East, Iran is one of the hardest hit countries having reported 97,424 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 6,203 people have died in the country. President Hassan Rouhani has announced that 132 counties in the country will reopen their mosques from today. Social distancing is more important than collective prayer, Islam considers safety obligatory but praying in mosques in only recommended.
Afghanistan has reported its biggest one day rise in new infections in the 24 hours preceding this report. Most of the new infections have been in Kabul, one of the countries worst affected areas. Authorities have implemented a lockdown in an effort to contain the virus but despite this, most city streets are still crowded and people are walking freely around. Official figures show a total of 2,704 confirmed cases in the country and 85 lives lost. Experts believe the figure is probably much higher as one third of random tests from Kabul have shown positive for coronavirus.
Vietnam has confirmed one new case, the first in 9 days. The country went into lockdown for more than a month but started to relax measures in late April. To date, there are no deaths reported as a result of COVID-19.
Russia has recorded 10,633 new cases as of Sunday, the highest daily rise in the country thus far. The overall total of confirmed cases is 134,686 and 1,280 people have died.
Armenia has started a significant relaxation of restrictions today that sees manufacturing resume and restraints on movement lifted. Smaller shops, beauty salons and dry cleaners are open from today. Public transport remains suspended and all schools/colleges also remain closed. There have been 2,386 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Armenia and 35 people have died.
Japan looks set to start easing some restrictions with parks and museums possibly being allowed to reopen soon despite the likelihood that the current state of emergency will be extended beyond Wednesday. Even in the 13 prefectures where the virus has spread rapidly, as long as premises are disinfected and measures are in place to ensure social distancing, art galleries and libraries could also be allowed to reopen.
Spain has reported the lowest increase in deaths since 18 March. There have now been a total of 247,122 confirmed cases of the virus and 25,264 people have died as a result of COVID-19.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,513,174
Total number of deaths worldwide – 245,492
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,132,667
Currently Infected – 2,135,015 active cases, 2,084,434 in mild condition, 50,581
described as serious or critical.
Information and statistics from
Louise Birch.
Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website
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Sunday 3 May 2020
“Sunday, a day to refuel your soul and be grateful for your blessings. Take a deep breath and relax, enjoy your family, enjoy friends (remotely), enjoy coffee and cake, always enjoy cake”
Here is an overseas report designed to refuel, recharge and enjoy.
Lorelle Keller is a grandmother from a small rural town in Queensland, Australia and she has 10 grandchildren spread out across the country. Two of them, Adam (5) and Joel (3) had an idea about how to send Grandma a hug whist they were apart due to social distancing. Two white sheets, an outline of their bodies all coloured in, photographs of their faces at the top and hey presto, Grandma gets to wrap herself in two of her beloved grandchildren.
Ava McAlonn, 6 years old from Massachusetts (USA) was devastated when the Disney themed father-daughter dance at her school was cancelled due to COVID-19. Parents Janelle and Josh were determined not to see the smile fade from their daughters face for too long. Ava and her 2 year-old sister Lilly received an invitation to their very own ball. Whilst Dad kept the girls busy outside, Mum transformed part of the house into Ava’s magical dream. Josh and Ava danced the night away and made memories that will be cherished forever.

Vicens Forns Photography

Emily and Parris Khachi had to change their wedding plans but were determined not to change the date. They got married in San Franciso at St.Ignatius Church as planned, surrounded by only immediate family and photographs of 200 guests, others joined in via a livestream.
Record breaking amounts of solar electricity have been generated in Germany after a string of wonderfully sunny days. The country’s solar energy production climbed above 32,000 megawatts in one day smashing the previous record.
A drive-in cinema with a difference screened the Oscar winning South Korean film Parasite this week in

The Jakarta Post

Lithuania. The difference was it was shown at the airport in the capital city of Vilnius. With virtually all flights grounded, the airport teamed up with the Vilnius International Film Festival to show films from different continents every week. Around 150 cars arrived, social distancing meant the vehicles had to be 2-metres apart with only 2 people inside.
Staying in Vilnius, the city has been turned into a giant open-air café as authorities allow bars and restaurants to set up tables outside free of charge in order to respect the social distancing regulations. Lithuania has started to ease some of the lockdown restrictions by opening shops, hairdressers, beauty parkours, libraries and museums.
Last year, Portugal was one of the European countries that stepped in to help out when asylum seekers arrived in Italy. Portugal provided support by supplying lodgings and access to healthcare. During this pandemic, some of those refugees have been showing their gratitude by helping out in a solidarity kitchen located at The Braga International School. More than 9000 meals have been distributed to those in need, many of whom have lost their income as a result of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. In Lisbon, a Syrian couple own a restaurant have been offering meals to health professionals on the frontline.
Open Kitchen Manchester (UK) has been working with food businesses for 6 years repurposing food destined for landfill sites. In Manchester (UK), a million frozen airline meals were sitting in a warehouse and were likely to be wasted. Corin Bell, founder of Open Kitchen said the decision to repurpose the airline meals was a ‘no-brainer” and the 1.1 million rescued meals will be sent to those in need including homeless people, families in poverty and vulnerable others.
In Italy, work has been completed on the new Genoa bridge more than 2 years after partial collapse killed dozens of people. A siren sounded as the final piece was positioned, accompanied by horns from boats in the city’s nearby ports, the noise being heralded as one of success in a country ravaged by coronavirus. Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte said the moment was not a time of celebration but one where new lights shines on Italy.
The songs from the birds in Madrid, Spain are slowly being mixed with the sounds of footsteps along the pavements, the noise of bicycles and the coughing of lungs that have been confined for a long time as adults ventured out for their allotted exercise times. Spain has closed the makeshift mortuary set up in an ice rink and a 5,500-bed field hospital in the last 10 days. Slowly slowly Spain, baby steps one at a time. As one resident said “being able to get out again is a big deal but people need to be responsible”.
In China, cities have seen an increase in travellers, tourists and day-trippers over this long May-Day holiday weekend. The increase in the numbers was led by residents of Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak. Travellers form Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin and Jinan also added to the increase in tourism.
Mick Jagger and Will Smith will be among dozens of international celebrities performing from their homes in a 4-hour concert to raise funds for the battle against coronavirus in India. The performances will be streamed live on Facebook and will also pay tribute to the frontline workers fighting the pandemic.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,424,210
Total number of deaths worldwide – 240,380
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,093,704
Currently Infected – 2,090,126 active cases, 2,038,943 in mild condition, 51,183 described as serious or critical.
Information and statistics from
Louise Birch.
Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website
SCP – FAQs Translation to English – We have translated 70 FAQs about the COVID-19 virus, pandemic and State of Emergency provisions from official Government sources into English on our website:
Saturday 2nd of May
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains” (Anne Frank)
Anne Frank spent two years in isolation! Let’s tough it out and kick this thing to the kerb.
France will contribute €50 per person towards bicycle repairs once lockdown measures start to be relaxed on May 11. It is an innovative step to reduce overcrowding on public transport where social distancing is difficult. Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne says “We want the bicycle to be the queen of deconfinement”. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “get on your bike”. President Macron has warned that the steps taken on May 11 will only be the smallest ones and that the recovery needs to reorganised. France has confirmed 166,420 infections and 24,087 people have died as a result of COVID-19.
Italy will begin to emerge from the world´s longest lockdown on Monday, time will tell if a 2-month containment has been enough to prevent a second wave of infections. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has apologised to Italians for the economic hardships and has promised a brighter future once the lockdown lifts. He has also admitted that his government was late in paying out more than 55 billion euros that had been assigned to struggling families and businesses. Italy has recorded 205,463 confirmed cases and 27,967 people have died.
Israel has announced that the country will partially reopen schools on Sunday with an anticipated full return for all students by 1 June. However, childcare and kindergartens (ages 0 -6) will remain closed for another week. The issue of reopening schools in the country is contentious despite a drop in the day number of infections over the past few days. Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv has said he will not allow schools to reopen there as he does not think the plan ensures the health and well-being of the children. Israel has reported 16,004 confirmed infections and 223 people have lost their lives.
Japan looks set to extend the state of emergency for another month. It was initially imposed across 7 regions on April 7 but was later expanded across the whole country. The current measures were due to expire next week but the extension is widely expected even though the outbreak in Japan is comparatively small. Official figures show 14,088 confirmed infections and 430 deaths in Japan, total population recorded as 126,540,126.
Spain allows people of all ages to go out for exercise from today. Separate time slots have been allotted for the elderly, those with children and then everyone else in an attempt to avoid over-crowding. Barcelona has opened half of the parks and closed 44 streets to traffic to enable social distancing. In Madrid, 2 million mobile phones will be monitored to observe how the relaxed lockdown is progressing.
Russia has reported the biggest daily increase in confirmed cases on Friday since the outbreak there with 7,933 new infections. The country has now had 114,431 infectious and 1,169 lives lost. Russia has conducted 3,700,000 tests which equates to 25,354 per 1M population. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has announced he has tested positive for the virus and has gone into self-isolation.
Rwanda is set to partially lift lockdown restrictions next week to allow people to move more freely during the day after more than 6 weeks in confinement. Starting May 4, people will be able to move freely between 5am and 8pm but will require permission to be out and about later. Businesses, manufacturing and construction operations will resume with essential workers and markets will reap with no more than 50% of traders allowed to operate. Hotels and restaurants will open again but must close at 7pm. There have been 243 confirmed cases in Rwanda and ZERO deaths. According to official figures, the country has a population of 12,894,437.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,333,193
Total number of deaths worldwide – 235,121
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,053,516
Currently Infected – 2,044,556 active cases, 1,993,900 in mild condition, 50,656 described as serious or critical.
Stories to bring a smile – A Japanese Aquarium has set up 5 tablets facing the tank housing eels as the delicate creatures are missing human interaction. Eel enthusiasts are being asked to connect through Facetime and show their faces, wave and talk to the eels. Given the tender nature of eels, please do not shout.
A kangaroo has been spotted bouncing around the streets of Adelaide, the coastal city in Australia with a population of more than 1.2 million. The roo narrowly avoided a road accident before hopping off to park land.
From pumas prowling in Santiago, boars in Barcelona to goats visiting Llandudno (Wales), all over the globe, wildlife are taking full advantage of the opportunities to visit the abandoned spaces.
Louise Birch.
Information and statistics from

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Friday 1st May 2020
“May Day is not an ordinary day because it is a day that cherishes the extraordinary people, the workers” (Mehmet Murat ildan)
As the world grapples with this pandemic, let’s cherish all our key workers everywhere, no matter what part they’re playing in this chapter of global co-operation.
Egypt was the first country in Africa to confirm a coronavirus case and more than 2 months after, the outbreak appears to have reached almost every nation on the continent that is home to 1.2 billion people.
Out of 54 African countries, Comoros just reported its first case and Lesotho has not yet reported any cases. At the time of writing, there have been 38,351 confirmed cases of the virus across Africa and 1,602 people have lost their lives. Most countries in the continent have restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the virus but experts are concerned that the fragile healthcare systems in many African nations could be overwhelmed if a severe outbreak takes hold.
In Ghana, a rigorous testing and tracing programme has helped the country avoid an explosion of cases that could have severely tested the heath service according to President Nana Akufo-Addo. He is reported as saying “the emphasis has been to go out and look for those infected and dealt with it”. Ghana has reported 2,074 cases of the virus and 17 people have died as a result of COVID-19. The country has carried out 113,497 tests which equates to 3,653 per 1M population. Ghana has a recorded population of 30,957,684. As I write, Ghana has confirmed a spike in cases, ten days after an easing of lockdown in the capital of Accra and in the city of Kumasi.
Nigeria will ease restrictions in 3 key states over a 6-week period from May 4. The easing of lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun will be split into 2-week phases. There have been 1,728 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria and 51 people have died. Nigeria has a recorded population of 206,139,589 and has carried out just 13,689 tests, 66 people out of 1m.
Tunisia will also start easing lockdown restrictions next week with the food industry, construction and half the public service being the first to have measures relaxed. Other sectors will follow from May 11 including clothing shops and malls, some public transport will also resume. Tunisia has confirmed 980 cases of the virus and 40 people have lost their lives.
The landlocked country of Uganda has stepped up restrictions on lorries passing thorough the territory, limiting them to one driver and banning them from stopping in hotels, lodges or homes. These measures are a further effort to limit the spread of the virus. Uganda is on some of the busiest cargo routes in East Africa and drivers are already complaining about long delays on the Uganda-Kenya border as heath checks are carried out on both sides of the border. There have been 81 cases of coronavirus in Uganda and ZERO deaths.
Denmark was the first country outside of Asia to ease lockdown measures having relaxed restrictions 2 weeks ago. Day care centres and schools were the first to open followed by hairdressers and other small businesses on April 20. Denmark was also one of the first nations in Europe to shut down. A scientist at the department of infectious diseases at Aarhus University has said that there are no signs that the partial reopening has caused a bigger spread of infection. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said the spread of the virus is under control and a plan for the next steps of reopening would be presented before May 10. There have been 9,158 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Denmark and 452 people have lost their lives. Denmark has reported 193,165 tests equating to 33,349 per 1M population.
Of the 44 countries in Europe that implemented restrictions, 21 have started to relax some measures and a further 11 are planning to do so in the coming days according to Hans Kluge regional director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Europe. However, Kluge has said countries must remain cautious and vigilant, being prepared to ramp up the measures if and when needed.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK is past the peak the virus but has stressed that there must not be any complacency or easing of lockdown restrictions too soon. The rate of infection is slowing and the total number of cases is on the way down. There have been a total of 165,221 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 26,097 people have died across the UK as a result of COVID-19. There have been 818,539 tests conducted which equates to 12,058 per 1M population.
In the United States of America, federal guidelines on social distancing expired at midnight Thursday and at least 12 states are set to begin reopening with greater social movement and business activity imminent. Although President Donald Trump is keen for this to happen, health experts are urging extreme caution about states relaxing their own stay at home orders. California has now announced that beaches and state parks will be closed again just days after reopening after people crowded in an unsafe way. There have been 1,073,463 confirmed cases of coronavirus in USA and 62,257 have lost the battle with COVID-19. President Trump has claimed to have done a “spectacular job” in the handing of the coronavirus outbreak
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,261,476
Total number of deaths worldwide – 230,381
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 1,029,301
Currently Infected – 2,001,794 active cases, 1,947,043 in mild condition, 54,751 described as serious or critical.
Information and statistics from
Positive news stories – The daily loss of life in Spain has fallen to the lowest level in 6 weeks.
Captain Tom Moore hit £30m for charity on his 100th birthday and was promoted to Colonel.
In Cairo, a mime artist has broken his silence by standing on street corners talking to children about the importance of washing their hands. Wearing white face paint, a striped top and bright red glasses to attract people, 22 year-old Ahmed Nasar has been entertaining youngsters for many years and decided to use his talent in a positive way during the pandemic.
In Cheshire (UK), a family is using the one-hour exercise time to clean gravestones in local cemeteries. Ryan van Emmenis has received positive feedback from people who, for whatever reason, have not been able to tend family graves for years. Ryan says he has been told he’s bringing memories back to people.
Louise Birch.

Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website
SCP – FAQs Translation to English – We have translated 70 FAQs about the COVID-19 virus, pandemic and State of Emergency provisions from official Government sources into English on our website:
Thursday 30 April 2020
“Hope smiles for the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’”
(Alfred Lord Tennyson)
The end of April and it certainly feels like it has been a long month. May is inbound and I hope that the new month will bring hope and positivity, so let’s think of this as New Months Eve and take heed of the words “it will be happier”.
Vietnam has now gone 5 days without any new cases and reports that there has not been any domestic transmission for nearly 2 weeks. Vietnam recently began easing lockdown measures and the Prime Minister recently said that the country had basically put the pandemic under control. The country has reported 270 cases of coronavirus and 0 deaths.
Brazil has now confirmed more deaths than China as cases seem to be accelerating in the largest Latin American country. Brazilians have been voicing outrage at the apparent failure by President Jair Bolsonaro’s failure to accept the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic, he has been notoriously dismissive. The country has reported 73,235 cases of the virus and 5,083 people have lost their lives. The total number of tests carried out in Brazil stands at 339,552 which equates to 1,597 tests per 1M population, one of the lowest ratios in the region.
Across the geographic region of South America, there have been 155,592 confirmed infections and 7,590 people have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19. The following countries have thus far recorded less than 700 confirmed cases and less than 20 deaths. Uruguay (625 and 15), Venezuela (329 and10), French Guiana (125 and 1), Guyana (74 and 8).
Venezuela has carried out the greatest number of tests, both in physical tests and the number per 1M population recording 440,966 which equates to 15,507 per 1M. The population of Venezuela is 28,449,637.
Ecuador is reportedly finding the scale of the outbreak difficult to cope with, hospitals are overwhelmed and Doctors are in short supply. The virus has also reached vulnerable indigenous communities in a country so huge it can days of travel by boat to reach outlying towns and villages. There are currently 24,258 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ecuador and 21,830of those are classified as active. 871 people are reported to have lost their lives to COVID-19 although health officials fear the actual total could be much higher.
Reports from South America are that the virus is spreading rapidly and there are fears that the relatively weak health infrastructure could become overwhelmed easily.
More global solidarity is evident as Cuba, despite being in economic dire straits, has shown generosity and co-operation by sending world renowned health care workers to both Italy and South Africa. Doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and technical experts, 217 people in total, travelled to South Africa where they will operate across the country with the majority being deployed in Johannesburg and Capetown. Across the world, there are over 1200 Cuban medical personnel working in 23 different nations.
Cuba is an interesting case by its response to the current pandemic. A plan described as preventive and controlling was prepared in January 2020. It included training medical staff and the preparation of medical and quarantine facilities. When the first 3 cases were confirmed on March 11, arrangements were in place to trace and isolate contacts, a survey was conducted to identify vulnerable people and a testing programme was introduced.
On March 20 when confirmed cases reached 21, there was a ban on tourist arrivals, lockdown for those considered vulnerable, homeworking and the reassignment of workers to priority tasks. As the issues arose, Cuba adjusted its response by suspending public transport, hiring drivers to transport patients and key workers. With effect from April 2, all flights to Cuba, except humanitarian, were suspended. Cuba has reported 1,437 coronavirus cases and 58 people have died. The population of Cuba is recorded at 11,327,800.
Cyprus has extended a ban on commercial air traffic until May 17. Those who are not citizens or residents of Cyprus are not allowed to enter the country. Nationals and residents wishing to leave the country must acquire a health certificate stating they are free from infection no more than 4 days before departure, upon arrival back to Cyprus they have to self-quarantine for 14 days. The government in Cyprus is expected to gradually “re-start” the country next Monday. Starting with the reopening of the construction industry and small businesses, it is almost certain that the wearing of protective masks will become mandatory for visits to premises such as supermarkets and banks. The entire process is expected to take until mid-July. Cyprus has reported 837 cases of coronavirus and 15 lives have been lost. The country has conducted 53,219 tests, equating to 44,079 per 1M population. Cyprus has a population of 1,205,840.
Sweden, which did not enforce the kind of strict lockdowns seen elsewhere, has now confirmed more than 20,000 infections. The number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 is 2,462. There have been 119,500 tests carried out, 11,833 per 1M populous. Sweden now says the strategy is to allow for a controlled spread to eventually achieve herd immunity.
In the Netherlands, a further 145 people have lost their lives to COVID-19, the highest daily total in more than a week. There have been 38,802 cases of infection in the country and 4,711 lives lost. It is reported that the Netherlands will adopt the same strategy as Sweden and allow a controlled spread.
Ireland is likely to extend the lockdown after it is reported that the new cases of COVID-19, deaths and intensive care admissions are still too high to start relaxing there rules that are due to expire May 5. At the time of writing, a total of 19,877 infections have been confirmed and 1,159 people have lost their battle against COVID-19.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,163,323
Total number of deaths worldwide – 219,332
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 975,925
Currently Infected – 1,968,066 active cases, 1,907,436in mild condition, 60,630 described as serious or critical.
Positive news. Happy 100th Birthday Captain Tom Moore, the one man fundraiser from UK has received over 130,000 birthday cards after capturing the hearts of the UK and the whole world as he walked his garden and raised over £29M for charity.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds have welcomed their son into the world. Congratulations Boris, Carrie and Dilyn the dog.
A group of authors from Portugal are keeping themselves amused by writing a serial novel. Each writer is given 24 hours to respond to the previous chapter. Author Ana Margrida de Carvalho challenged her fellow writers to join her as Portugal went into lockdown. More than 40 responded, the story opened with a group of scientists trying to find a cure for a virus that has caused a global pandemic.
Information and statistics from
Louise Birch
Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website
SCP – FAQs Translation to English – We have translated 70 FAQs about the COVID-19 virus, pandemic and State of Emergency provisions from official Government sources into English on our website:
Wednesday 29 April 2020
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward” ( Martin Luther King Jr.)
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of The World Health Organisation recently remarked “the most important resource in the fight against COVID-19 is solidarity. Solidarity, solidarity, solidarity.”
(Solidarity – The unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.)
He went on to say that we can only defeat this virus through unity at national level and solidarity at global level. National unity is the foundation for global solidarity.
There have been many examples of solidarity, last week I wrote about Serbia helping Italy and now Turkey has dispatched a plane full of personal protective equipment, including surgical masks, overalls, disinfectants (not for human consumption), face shields and N-95 masks, to support the USA. In an apparent attempt to improve its global standing by being recognised as a provider of humanitarian aid in this crisis, Turkey has also sent similar equipment to a total of 55 countries including United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. Whatever the reason behind the gestures, we are in this together.
In New Zealand, 400,000 people have retuned to work, takeaways have opened, fishing, surfing and swimming are now allowed. Long queues have been reported outside McDonalds drive through and fast food chains have warned customers to expect delays as the demand surges, hundreds of extra employees have been hired to cope with the rush. 75% of New Zealand’s economy has reopened.
The most populated state in Australia, (New South Wales) has announced an easing of restrictions with effect from this coming Friday. Two adults from one household will be able to go and visit anyone else in their home on the basis of care, aimed at reducing social isolation and caring for mental health. Bondi Beach in Sydney has also reopened but people are still being urged to maintain social distancing.
Throughout the geographic region of Oceania, there have been a total of 8,305 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 103 people have lost their lives. No deaths have been reported from Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia or Papua New Guinea. The current population of this entire region is 42,576,992.
Throughout Europe, governments are being challenged about the best way in which to ease the strict almost draconian lockdown measures that many of the countries have enforced for weeks. However, official figures from Germany has shown that the infection rate there has started to rise after the easing of some restrictions there. Germans are still being urged to remain at home as much as possible but when out and about, to keep observing the social distancing measures. Berlin Zoo reopened on Tuesday and with good weather coming, is Germany at risk of falling through the thin ice described by Chancellor Angela Merkel last week?
France, Spain and Italy are all expected to announce further easing of restrictions in the coming week. Hard hit restaurants, cafes and bars throughout France are unlikely to reopen for some time, a decision on reopening is unlikely to be announced before the end of May. Spain could introduce staggered easing of restrictions with certain groups of people being allowed at different times of the day.
The longest lockdown in Europe has been in Italy where the world’s second highest numbers of lives lost to COVID-19 have been reported. Italy is taking very cautious, almost baby-like, steps to ease restrictions. Factories and building sites will reopen next week (May 4) and limited family visits will be permitted.
In total, Europe has reported 1,314,445 confirmed cases of coronavirus at the time of writing. Spain, Italy, France, Germany and United Kingdom have in all recorded in excess of 150,000 cases of the virus. Throughout Europe, 124,763 people have lost their lives, the highest number being 26,977 in Italy. In contrast, Gibraltar, Monaco, Liechtenstein and Vatican City have all recorded less than 200 cases of the virus.
In Asia, there have now been 489,538 confirmed cases of the virus with Turkey recording the highest total with 112, 261 cases. Turkey has carried out 918,885 tests, which equates to 10,895 per 1M population.
The geographic region of North America has now reported 1,092,150 cases of coronavirus with 1,010,507 of those being in the USA. A total of 61,643 people have died across North America with 56,803 of those being from the US. Testing in the USA far exceeds anywhere else with 5,696,928 tests carried out, equating to 17,211 per 1M population. Canada has the second highest number of confirmed cases with 48,500 infections and 733,705 tests have been carried out, 19,440 per 1M population. Whilst the actual number of tests in USA is higher, the proportion per 1M people is higher in Canada. In contrast, in Saint Lucia, Greenland, St Barth, and Anguilla all cases have recovered from the infection and there are no active cases in these countries.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,084,740
Total number of deaths worldwide – 212,516
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 934,403
Currently Infected – 1,937,821 active cases, 1,881,450 in mild condition, 56,371described as serious or critical.

Positive news today…. A landlord in Michigan USA told his tenants not to worry about their rent for April, that’s a good news story on its own. However, one landlord named as Alan, went one step beyond and spent his own money on groceries and essentials for his tenants.
Dartmoor Zoo (UK) has been saved from imminent closure after a flood of donations helped meet the monthly budget in just one night. Local residents can sleep easier knowing that the lions will have full tummies and won’t be prowling around looking for food.
Information and statistics from
Tuesday 28 April 2020
“When people are determined, they can overcome anything” (Nelson Mandela)
And that’s exactly what is being reported from New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the nation had “won the battle: against widespread community transmission of coronavirus. Only 1 new case of COVID-19 was reported in the 24 hours preceding this report and the NZ government believes it has eliminated the virus. The level 4 lockdown that has been in place for more than a month has been eased. A total of 1,469 confirmed cases have been recorded in the country and 19 people have died.
Italy has recorded the lowest number of daily deaths since mid-March and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the nation “if you love Italy, maintain distance” as plans were announced to start slowly easing lockdown measures from 4 May. 197,675 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy and 26,644 people have lost their lives.
Belgium enforced similar restrictions to the United Kingdom with just food shops, pharmacies and other essential retail outlets allowed to stay open. However, over the weekend, a step by step plan to lift the lockdown restrictions in Belgium was announced and is expected to take effect from May 4.
More businesses will be allowed to open and people will be able to meet up with a maximum of 2 others who do not live with them, the meetings must be outside and social distancing must be maintained. Masks will be mandatory for adults and children over 12 when using public transport, this seems to be a measure being adopted in some European countries who are starting to announce the easing of measures. Belgium has reported 46,687 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,202 people have lost their lives.
In Ireland, there are growing concerns that an extension of the lockdown will happen as doubts are raised over the country’s coronavirus testing capabilities. It is believed that a strong testing and contact tracing regime will be needed before there is any significant easing of restrictive measures. The government is due to review the current measures on May 5. The Mater Hospital in Dublin is now the hardest hit in Ireland after a surge in cases. The number of confirmed cases in the country has been recorded as 19,262 and 1,087 people have died.
Russia has now recorded more confirmed cases of coronavirus than China according to news agency Tass. The total number in Russia now stands at 87,147 having reported 6,198 new cases in the 24 hours preceding this report. 794 people have died in Russia as a result of COVID-19. China has reported 84,325 confirmed virus infections since January 11 and 4,642 people have died as a result of the outbreak.
Kenya has claimed tremendous progress in recoveries from COVID-19 after 8 patients were discharged from hospital, the same number of new infections recorded in the 24 hors preceding this report. The total number of recoveries in Kenya is now 114, there are 235 active cases in the country, 2 of which are considered in serious condition. Kenya has conducted 17,992 coronavirus tests, representing 335 tests per 1m population.
Qatar has reported rising numbers of coronavirus infections over the last week. Most of the cases are among expatriate workers who have had contact with other confirmed cases according to a report circulated by Reuters. Last week, Qatar announced it would gradually start to lift the lockdown restrictions in place since early March.
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) believes the spread of the virus has begun to enter the peak stage and numbers are expected to increase further before they begin to gradually decline. Qatar has reported 11,244 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10 people have lost their lives. There are currently 10,168 active cases in the country, 72 people are described as critical. Qatar has carried out 85,709 tests, representing 29,749 tests per 1m population. Currently, the country has population of 2,872,452.
According to figures from official sources, the following countries among those in Western Asia where less than150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported – Myanmar (146), Brunei (138), Cambodia (122), Nepal (52) and Macao (45).
In the Czech Republic, shops outside shopping malls are reopening after the government brought forward its 5 stage lockdown exit plan. Prague was one of the first governments to declare a state of emergency before the country had recorded its first coronavirus death. Measures implemented 11 March include the closure of schools, all public events were banned, borders were closed and public gatherings were limited. It also became mandatory for facemasks to be worn in public. In early April, the country was the first one in Europe to relax the restrictions by allowing people to cycle, walk and jog in the countryside without wearing masks as long as they stayed 2 metres apart.
The United Kingdom government is coming under increasing pressure to lift parts of the lockdown. According to news reports in The Guardian, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be studying the Czech Republic’s approach to lifting the tight restrictions it had imposed. UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson has returned to work after his recovery from COVID-19. In a speech made outside 10 Downing Street, the PM said the UK is turning the tide on tackling coronavirus but the country is still facing a moment of maximum risk. He added that the government will not be forced to end the lockdown prematurely.
The UK will fall quiet at 11am TUESDAY by observing a minutes silence to honour the key workers including NHS staff who have died in the pandemic.
USA President Donald Trump was notably absent from White House press briefings over the weekend, there have been reports that such briefings by him would be scaled back in an attempt to limit the done by what has been described as freewheeling performances by the US President.
News from the USA reports that the White House is finalising expanded guidelines to allow the phased reopening of schools and camps, childcare programs, certain workplaces, houses of worship and restaurants. There have now been 987,916 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the USA and 55,425 people have died. US states with fewer than 1000 cases include North Dakota, Vermont, Hawaii, Wyoming and Montana. The states of New York and New Jersey have recorded the greatest number of cases and lives lost.
Total number of cases worldwide – 3,015,298
Total number of deaths worldwide – 207,933
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 888,543
Currently Infected – 1,918,283active cases, 1,861,283 in mild condition, 57,539 described as serious or critical.
Positive news stories – UK food chain Greggs is set to reopen for takeaway service, lovers of the infamous vegan sausage rolls will be thrilled.
Vaness and Jessica Morgan from Meidrim, Carmarthenshire (Wales) are 3 days and 13 miles away from walking 100 miles to raise funds for Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo which has had to close due to the coronavirus.
Tax day in the USA has been moved to July 15.

Picture from Svensk Damtidning

Princess Sofia of Sweden has swapped royal duties for volunteer duties by enlisting as a medical assistant in a Stockholm hospital. The Swedish royalty spend a great deal of their time and their assets on various forms of charity, not only during Covid-19 crises.
Information and statistics from
Monday 27th April 2020
“Everyone here has the sense that, right now, is one of those moments when we are influencing the future” (Steve Jobs)
Isn’t that the truth? Every single decision that every single person makes during this current crisis will undoubtedly influence the future for someone somewhere and in some way.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to work today (Monday) and a Downing Street spokeswoman has said he is ‘raring to go´. One of the dilemmas he faces is whether or not the coronavirus restrictions currently in place should be eased. Leading scientists have warned that the number of new cases remains too high. Figures released on Sunday showed the lowest daily rise in deaths since the end of March. In the 24 hours preceding the writing of this report, a further 413 people died in UK hospitals as a result of COVID-19
In Beijing, the city’s government is cracking down on ´uncivilised behaviour´. Actions such as not covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing will see individuals slapped with fines. New laws require public places to set up one metre distance markers, citizens must be dressed “neatly” in public and not go shirtless. A range of ´uncivilised behaviours’ are already discouraged including public spitting, littering, walking dogs without a lead, public defecation and smoking in places where it is prohibited.
Singapore is rapidly building bed space for COVID-19 patients in exhibition halls and other temporary facilities as a surge in cases in seen, many within the large community of low paid migrant workers.
In Bangladesh, hundreds of textile workers have to the streets in the capital Dhaka to demand wages lost during the coronavirus crisis. A worker at a garment factory in the capital says that people have not received wages for 2 months adding that workers have no food and no money. Bangladesh has recorded 5,416 confirmed cases of the virus and 145 people have lost their lives.
Germany has seen a demonstration in Berlin where dozens of protesters have been arrested for flouting lockdown rules, around 200 people were involved in the protest claiming that the lockdown measures are an infringement of their constitutional rights. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany have reached 156,727 and 5,880 people have died. There are 41,047 active cases in Germany with 2,570 of those considered serious or critical.
Russia reported 6,361 news cases of coronavirus on Sunday, there have now been a total of 80,949 infections in the country. 747 people have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19.
Spain reported less than 300 deaths for the first time in weeks, this news coming in on the day when children under 14 have been allowed outside to exercise having been confined since mid-March. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that adults could be allowed outside to exercise if efforts to contain the virus continue to pay off. Recent figures are showing a clear descending trend and the decision to allow some non-essential workers to return to work 2 weeks ago has not had any negative impact so far.
Norway will rule on April 30 whether to start permitting events with fewer than 500 attendees but the ban on larger events has been extended to September 1. There have been 7,408 confirmed cases in Norway and 191 people have died.
Albania is allowing shops and courts to reopen this coming week and people will be allowed outside for more than the 90 minutes currently allowed. A decision on the reopening of schools is due to be made next week. Since March 9, there have been 678 confirmed infections in the country and 28 people have died.
Switzerland has opened some businesses such as hairdressers but the next stage begins May 11 when primary school children return to school and all retail stores will reopen. There have been 28,595 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,308 people have died.
Austria will allow larger shops, shopping centres and hairdressers to reopen May 1. If health conditions allow, restaurants and hotels could reopen from mid May. There have been 15,068 cases in Austria and 513 people have died.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,945,059
Total number of deaths worldwide – 203,959
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 842,492
Currently Infected – 1,898,608 active cases, 1,840,971 in mild condition, 57,637 described as serious or critical.
Positive news today ….. Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus is believed to have originated, now has no remaining cases in hospitals according to a health official o Sunday.
No new cases reported in Hong Kong reported for the 3rd time in a week.
In Massachusetts (USA), when a patient has been successfully treated for coronavirus and is declared ready to leave the Baystate Medical Centre, health workers call for a #CodeRocky over the speaker system. All available staff gather in the hospital hallways to offer a round of applause and the theme tune from Rocky is played. Click on the picture.
Information and statistics from
Sunday 26 April 2020
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow” (Helen Keller)
Saturday saw Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, the annual day of remembrance for Armed Forces. With both countries under lockdown or strict social distancing measures, parades and public dawn services were absent. Instead, people were encouraged to stand at the end of their driveways for moments of silence. The whole world seems to be a much quieter place right now, moments of quiet reflection and solitude are in abundance.
In Australia, remote Indigenous communities have been closed to outsiders for weeks. Because of the much lower life expectancy, poorer health outcomes and higher rates of pre-existing conditions, these communities are at a significantly higher risk from COVID-19. This has meant that important cultural gatherings and a number of events planned for the dry season have had to be cancelled, including the annual Garma Festival, a celebration of the cultural, artistic and ceremonial traditions of the Yolngu people. However, some are finding a way around the situation, artists in north east Arnhem Land are giving free performances online with live music and bunggul (dance) to keep people connected.
Greece continues to prepare for the reversal of lockdown procedures with a return to normality expected to begin Monday May 4. Small shops, hairdressers, barbers and beauticians will be allowed to return to work. The opening of barbers etc is regarded as the opportunity to provide a much-needed psychological boost after almost 2 months of lockdown.
Serbia has sent 4 planes carrying medical equipment, including gloves, masks and protective suits to Italy as donation. President Aleksandar Vučić has said another 4 planes will be sent laden with equipment, also donated by the Serbian government. It has been reported that Vučić wrote “We will win together, be brave Italy, Serbis is with you” on one of the boxes. He also said: “On its path to Europe, Serbia always had help from Italy”. During devastating floods in 2014, Italy was one of the first countries to send aid to Serbia. Serbia has reported 7,483 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 144 people have lost their lives.
India reopened neighbourhood stores on Saturday – many of the country’s 1.3 billion people rely on these stores. The extremely strict lockdown was imposed on March 24 with only a few hours warning and caused extreme anger in the population. Last week, India allowed manufacturing and farming activities to resume in rural areas in an effort to ease the economic plight of millions of daily wage earners left without work. However, hundreds of quarantined towns and infection hotspots are exempt from the eased measures. India has a reported population of 1,377, 552, 270. Thus far, there have been 24,942 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country and 780 people have died.
France is allowing haberdashery shops to reopen before the official end of lockdown to allow people to buy materials to make facemasks. Only the shops whose primary business is selling fabrics, material, threads and other sewing articles are allowed to trade according to a new decree which came into effect on Friday.
When the full details of the easing measures are announced, it is likely to be mandatory for anyone using public transport to wear a facemask. The government in France is working with the textil industry in order to release a guide on how to use the materials and the correct shapes to create homemade masks that are effective. France has the 4th highest total of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world with 159,828 infections reported. There have been22, 245 lives lost in France.
Malta has reported a total of 448 cases of the virus and 4 people have died, the latest being a 96 year-old woman. The spread of the virus in the country has been slow with singe figures of new cases reported most days throughout April. The population of Malta is 441,332.
The Netherlands is reported to be reopening primary schools from May 11. The infectious disease control institute has state that the risk of infection from opening schools is “manageable”. Health authorities announced on Saturday that there were a further 655 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country bringing the total to 37,190 thus far. 4,409 people have lost their lives.
In the United Kingdom, a further 813 people have died (in hospital) as a result of,COVID-19. This takes the UK total to 20,319 lives lost. The increase in confirmed cases in 4,913 bringing the total number of infections to 148,377 since January 31.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,862,874
Total number of deaths worldwide – 199,478
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 816,003
Currently Infected – 1,847,393 active cases, 1,789,068 in mild condition, 58,325 described as serious or critical.
Good news stories …. A 6 month-old miracle baby born with a heart condition has recovered from coronavirus. Baby Erin has been moved out of isolation at Alder Hay Hospital (UK) as nurses clapped and cheered.
LEGO Group is offering assistance in the COVID-19 pandemic by using their facilities to produce thousands of protective facial visors. The factory in Denmark has reworked some machinery to enable production of 13,000 plastic masks daily. LEGO also announced the donation of 500,000 brick sets to needy children although the company has not specified how the sets would be distributed.
In Orange County (USA), a group of girl scouts assembled 120 self-care kits to provide health care professionals with tokens of gratitude and appreciation for all their hard work. Items such as essential oils, stress balls, candles, bath bombs, energy drinks, protein bars and chocolate were included in the goodie bags.
Information and statistics from
Saturday 25 April 2020
“Tough times never last but tough people do”
The people of South Korea must surely believe that quote as no new deaths have been reported there in the 24 hours preceding the writing of this latest report. This is the first time in 39 days that a ZERO report has been recorded and with just 6 new cases confirmed, South Koreans may be smiling cautiously. It is interesting that the country did not impose a lockdown but pursued a policy of ‘test, trace and contain’.
In the United Arab Emirates, police are deploying smart helmets that can scan the temperature of people every minute in an effort to combat the virus. Sounds like something straight out of a film synopsis! The helmets need less time and contact than conventional thermometers and can measure temperatures form 5 metres (16 feet) away, scans on 200 people a minute can be performed and an alert is triggered if a fever is detected. The chinese manufacturers says it has sold more than 1,000 fo the helmets and has received more orders from Europe, Middle East and Asia. The UAE has the 2nd highest infection rate among the 6 Gulf states with more than 8,000 cases and over 50 deaths.
Sweden has been criticised for taking a different approach to the COVID-19 outbreak than that of it neighbours and the rest of Europe. The country asked its citizens to avoid non-essential travel, work from home and a stay indoors policy for the over 70’s and those feeling unwell. The country has seen more people lose their lives than other Scandinavian countries having recorded 2,021 deaths and 16,755 confirmed cases of the virus. Sweden estimates that it passed the peak of the virus last week, the health service has been able to cope with 20% of intensive care beds being empty and able to take COVID-19 patients at all times.
Philippines has extended a strict lockdown in the capital Manila until May 15 to try and contain the coronavirus infection but will start to ease restrictions is lower risk areas. At the time of writing, the country recorded 211 new confirmed cases and 15 more deaths. Total cases in the Philippines are now 7,192 and 477 people have died.
In Afghanistan, Taliban leaders have rejected appeals for a ceasefire, this comes as the country records its biggest day rise in COVID-19 cases. Speaking on the eve of Ramadan, President Ashraf Ghani said that coronavirus was spreading all over the country and urged for the violence to stop, calling for a ceasefire as the nations struggle with the virus continues.
Egypt has eased the coronavirus restrictions for Ramadan by allowing more businesses to reopen and shortening the night-time curfew. Shopping malls and businesses will be allowed to open during the weekend but must close at 5pm. The curfew start time has moved to 9pm (previously 8pm) and runs until 6am. However, mosques remain closed and public religious gatherings remain banned. The total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Egypt has been recorded as 3,891 to date and 287 people have lost their lives.
The population of Egypt is 101,961,966 as of Friday April 24.
In USA, medical experts have widely condemned US President Donald Trump’s comments about whether disinfectant and/or UV rays could be used on people to fight the virus. Several doctors have warned the public about injecting or drinking disinfectant or subjecting themselves to UV light in an effort to treat to prevent infection from COVID-19. Not surprisingly, a spokesman for US homeland security science and technology unit has said that health officials are not considering any such treatment options. The number of confirmed cases in the USA is recorded as 886,709 and 50,243 people have lost their lives, with New York State recording 20,861 of those deaths.
Iceland has tested a higher proportion of the population than most other countries. The objective of the measures take in the country has had a clear purpose : to ensure that the necessary infrastructure, particularly the health care system, is able to withstand the pressure caused by the outbreak. The main measures taken include large scale screening for COVID-19, quarantine requirements for all residents returning from abroad, ban on larger gatherings (20 person limit), closure of universities and secondary schools and limited opening of elementary schools and pre-schools. Iceland has a population of 340,838 and has reported 1,789 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. 10 people have lost their lives.
Italy is reported to be passed further over the next 4 weeks according to local media reports. The lockdown in Italy is the longest in force anywhere in the world having introduced stay at home orders on March 9. All shops except pharmacies and grocery stores were ordered to close on March 12. There have been 189,973 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, 106,848 of those remain active. Italy has lost 25,549 people as a result of the virus.
The United Kingdom has reported that all 5,000 home testing kits for key workers ran out within 2 minutes after the government opened COVID-19 testing to key workers and their families. All 5,000 were ordered online. An additional 18,000 are hoped to available by the end of next week. The website set up to allow key workers to book COVID-19 tests ran into difficulty and stopped accepting applications due to the incredibly high demand. The number of NHS care workers and relative tested has reached 119,333. The absence rates of doctors has fallen, since April 4, from 6.6% to 4.1% and is down to 8.2% from 9.5% for nurses in the same timeframe. Figures released show that a further 684 have died in the UK bringing the total to 19,506 since the outbreak began there.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,754,506
Total number of deaths worldwide – 192,377
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 762,128
Currently Infected – 1,800,001 active cases, 1,741,258 in mild condition, 58,743 described as serious or critical.
Good news stories ……… Giant Pandas Le Le and Ying Ying have broken social distancing rules after 13 years! They have been roommates in Ocean Park Zoo Hong Kong since 2007 but have resisted the urge to answer the call of the wild. COVID-19 gave the couple the privacy and solitude they wanted and have delighted zoo keepers by getting intimate recently.
Air pollution in 10 major global cities has dropped by as much as 60% during the government mandated lockdowns.
Since thousands of couples have been forced to cancel or adapt wedding plans during the current crisis, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New Yorkers will be able to obtain marriage licences remotely. He has also announced that state clerks are allowed to perform marriage ceremonies over video conferences.
Information and statistics from
Friday 24 April 2020
The sun itself is weak when it first rises, it gathers strength and courage as the day gets on”. (Charles Dickens)
It takes a strong person to say sorry and admit that a decision or comment was wrong, statements not often heard from politicians, but the Deputy Prime Minister of Spain has issued an apology to the children of the country after confusion about when or how children would be allowed out following the easing of restrictions.
Pablo Iglesias has clarified that children will be able to take balls and scooters out with them, they will be allowed to run and jump but social distancing must be observed. Those who live in rural areas will be allowed to walk through the countryside. From Sunday, these rules apply to children aged 14 and under, when they will need to stay within 1 kilometre of their homes and be accompanied by an adult at all times. A maximum of 3 children can be with one adult at a time.
The World Health Organisation has announced that more than 24,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed on the African continent, over 6,250 people have recovered but there have been one 1,100 deaths. It is believed that Africa is still at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
Russia has reported that the number of new cases has fallen for a second day raising hopes that the virus may have reached a plateau. However, concerns remain that the spread beyond Moscow may cause an explosion of new cases in the coming weeks. The majority of the confirmed cases are in Moscow where the 12 million residents have been under “shelter at home” orders since March 30. In a country with a population of 145,934,462, there have been 57,999 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 513 deaths reported at the time of writing.
Vietnam has eased social distancing measures as of Thursday this week after reporting no new infections for the 6th consecutive day. Vietnam was one of the first countries to ban flights to and from mainland China and in early February, when there were marginally more than a dozen cases, villages with more than 10,000 people close to the capital of Hanoi were put under quarantine.
Some shops and services have been allowed to reopen and a few cafes in the capital have reopened. Vietnam has a population of 97,338,579. Since January 24, Vietnam has reported 268 cases of COVID-19 and ZERO deaths. The decisive and early response to the pandemic which included mass quarantines and aggressive contact tracing has been lauded.
Iran has reported its lowest daily number of new cases since 21 March. The latest figures suggest that the epidemic in the country, considered the worst in the Middle East, is on a downward curve. Iran did not implement a full lockdown but public employees are constantly disinfecting and sanitising public areas, schools and universities remain closed. The population of Iran is 83,992,949, there have been 87,026 confirmed infections and 5,481 people have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19.
Ramadan – Today marks the first day of Ramadan. The month of fasting and reflection for the world’s Muslims will undoubtedly take a very different form this year. Mosques will remain closed to evening prayers and feasting will become a more intimate affair within the confines of family homes. Large public banquets have been forbidden in much of the Islamic world where curfews and lockdowns remain strictly enforced.
France could unveil the lockdown exit plan on Tuesday next week according to Reuters. The government wants retailers to reopen when the existing lockdown ends on May 11, but bars, cafes and restaurants will not be among those allowed to reopen. Avoiding a second wave of infections remains prominent in the thinking surrounding any relaxation of the lockdown. A parliamentary hearing was told that lifting it would depend on a substantial fall in the number of people sick and in intensive care. France has reported 157,135 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 21,340 people have lost their battle against the virus.
Germany has reported the 5th highest number of confirmed cases in the world but has managed to keep the number of lives lost to just over 5,000. It is claimed that this is due to early and extensive testing. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the pandemic is still at the beginning and warned that the country risked rushing its exit from lockdown. She has said that the 16 states of Germany are moving too fast and that the country remains on ´thin ice´ despite its earlier achievements.
Italy has the 3rd highest number of coronavirus cases in the world behind USA and Spain although the death toll is higher than Spain. Earlier this week, authorities announced that the number of people officially identified as being infected with the virus had fallen for the first time since the outbreak began there. The small fall in infections, described as “symbolic” is seen as a positive development. Intensive care figures also show a downward trend with the numbers at the lowest level for a month. Italy is not ´out of the woods´ yet but the signs are encouraging. Although the lockdown is due to continue until May 3, some businesses including bookshops, stationers and shops selling clothes for children have reopened. The number of confirmed cases in Italy since January 29 is 187,327 with 107,699 active cases. Over 25,000 people have lost their lives in Italy.
Belgium has reported that the number of patients in intensive care has fallen below 1,000 for the first time since the end of March. Overall, 4,527 people are hospitalised in Belgium, 238 fewer than on Wednesday. The country has reported 41,889 cases since February 4 and 6,262 people have died.
Scotland must adjust to a “new normal” way of living with COVID-19 according to a document released by the Scottish government. The document sets out the framework for progressing beyond the existing lockdown restrictions and includes measures such as suppression, care, support, recovery, protection and renewal of the country. The number of people in Scotland who has lost their lives to COVID-19 is 1,120.
Wales will continue with the existing social distancing and lockdown measures currently in place despite emerging evidence suggesting a levelling-off in the number of new cases of COVID-19. Dr Robin Howe from Public Health Wales said it is still too early to tell for sure and it is too soon to end the current restrictions. Wales has a total of 8,358 confirmed cases and 641 people have died.
Public Health England has announced that a further 514 people have died in hospital in England. The figures when added to the remainder of the United Kingdom now show that a total of 18,738 people have died in hospitals as a result of COVID-19. This is the lowest weekday increase in the last 3 weeks. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the UK is “in the peak” of the outbreak and thanked the British public for their steadfast commitment in following lockdown rules.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,667,740
Total number of deaths worldwide – 186,223
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 730,920
Currently Infected – 1,750,231 active cases, 1,692,287 in mild condition, 57,944 described as serious or critical.
Information and statistics from
Stories to make you smile …… Captain Tom Moore, the one-man fundraising hero in the United Kingdom, has been awarded a Pride of Britain award and says he wants Susannah Reid and Carol Vorderman as his bodyguards when he attends the awards ceremony.
Florida Mum Casey Drake has been spreading laughter and cheer amongst her community by brightening up the sheets with humorous chalk illustrations of Disney characters coping with social distancing. One of the drawings is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz reminding people “there’s no place like home”
IKEA has published a recipe for homemade meat balls especially for lovers of their Swedish meatballs to try at home. Although not the same iconic recipe, it does have a cream sauce which IKEA management say is a worthy alternative to the original.

Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website
SCP – FAQs Translation to English – We have translated 70 FAQs about the COVID-19 virus, pandemic and State of Emergency provisions from official Government sources into English on our website:
Thursday 23 April 2020
“Yesterday is not ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to win or lose”
(Lyndon B Johnson)
Spain has been in lockdown since 14 March and it has been announced that the measures are to continue until at least 9 May. However, some have found an upside to being cooped up with their families and believe that the lockdown has served to strengthen the sense of community. Maite Domingo, a resident of Barcelona along with her 2 daughters, says “We have all got to know our neighbours in the building and the surrounding buildings better, we are having fun, sharing conversations, drinks and music through our balconies”. Others have said the emergency measures have reinforced the importance of family. Spain has now confirmed over 200,000 cases of coronavirus and a total of 21,717 people have lost their lives.
Bangladesh has now reported 390 new cases of coronavirus bringing a total of 3,772 thus far, there have been 120 deaths. Bangladesh has a population of 160 million, including nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees. However, with only about 1,100 intensive care beds, the country is ill-equipped to deal with a significant COVID-19 outbreak.
Three new cases have been confirmed in Rwanda bringing the total to 150 since March 15 according to the figures obtained from the World Health Organisation. Rwanda reports that the number of active cases in the country is 66 and all of those are in isolation, in stable conditions. There have been no deaths reported from Rwanda. Rwandan citizens have been urged to stay at home as much as possible and to wear face masks in public places. The recorded population of Rwanda is 12, 890,375.
Zambia has reported 4 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 70 since March 18. Three people have lost their lives from the virus. Zambia has a population of 18,383,955.
Morocco has extended the lockdown measures that were implemented on March 20 until May 20. The restrictions imposed meant people were only allowed to go out to buy food or medicines and to staff some key jobs. The wearing of masks has been made mandatory and those who fail to do so face being fined or imprisoned. There have been 3,377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morocco and 149 people have died as a result of the virus. Morocco has a population of 36,910,560.
Senegal first announced a state of emergency on 23 March and this was accompanied by a curfew from 8pm – 6am. However, this has been further extended into May. The state of emergency allows the authorities to regulate or prohibit the movement of goods and people, to prohibit gatherings and to temporarily close public places. There is also the provision to allow a ban on the movement of planes and boats together with being able to place people under house arrest. Many of these measures were implemented but so far, Senegal has refrained from complete containment stating that would pose significant challenges in a poor country where a large part of the population lives from day to day. Senegal has reported a total of 442 coronavirus cases and 6 deaths since March 2. The population of Senegal is recorded as 16,743,927.
Somalia has recorded a rise in coronavirus cases in the last week, the majority of those affected believed to be young people. There have been 286 cases confirmed and 8 people have died. The government’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Mohammd M Ali Fuje says that the increase is due to the fact that they are testing patients with symptoms and not just contact tracing. Some 90% of the cases are in the capital Mogadishu. Despite measures introduced to contain the virus, widespread behavioural changes are proving difficult with people still congregating in mosques, teashops and restaurants. One resident has been quoted as saying “Life is normal here, it is like the global pandemic has not reached us yet. People talk of loss of smell, fever and cough but believe it is just a common cold, there is no isolation or social distancing”. Somalia has a population of 15,893,222.
Romania will ease lockdown measures from 15 May and the wearing of masks will be mandatory on public transport and in other enclosed public spaces. Since February 26, the country has recorded 8,936 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 451 people have died. The population of Romania is 19,237,691.
Poland might allow hotels to reopen in May as part of the second stage of relating the restrictive measure enforced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. According to government spokesman Piotr Müller, the opening of hotels should be decided in May including those at the seaside. Poland currently has 8,117 active cases of the virus and has recorded a total of 10,036 confirmed cases since March 5. 404 people have lost their battle with the virus.
Countries throughout the world with less than 1,000 recorded confirmed cases of coronavirus include Bolivia (609), Guyana (66), Uruguay (597), Lebanon (682), Maldives (86), Jordan (428), Togo (86), Tanzania (284), Tunisia (901), Bahamas (65), Costa Rica (669), Jamaica (233), Monaco (94), Malta (444) and Montenegro (314).
The first coronavirus case has been recorded at a refugee camp in Lebanon, this has the potential to be catastrophic at the often overcrowded and unhygienic refugee camps. An adult woman has been taken from the camp to hospital in Beirut and a team from state run Rafiq Hariri Hospital is travelling to the camp to screen relatives and anyone else the woman had been in contact with. Lebanon hosts around 475,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps and 26 unofficial sites. It is also thought that there are up to 1 million Syrian refugees also living in informal settlements in Lebanon.
The USA has handled COVID-19 like a 3rd world country according to Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who is also known as a long-term critic of US President Donald Trump. Millions of people are reportedly turning to food banks, turning up to work due a lack of sick pay and dying because of health inequalities. Stiglitz has said the public social safety net is not working. Confirmed cases in the US now total 819,321 with 45,355 lives lost. From the 128,328 closed cases with a known outcome, 65% are classified as recovered or discharged meaning 35% sadly lost their lives.
The United Kingdom has now received an urgently-needed shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Turkey. Controversy and confusion has surrounded the logistics of getting sufficient PPE for frontline NHS staff and social care workers but the UK government insist that all possible measures are being taken ensure the supply chain is functional ad efficient. That is a debate that will wrangle on and on in the weeks if not months to come. Figures from the UK show the number of people who have died in hospitals has increased by 759 to 18,100, this does not include figures from the community or care homes so the exact total is undoubtedly higher.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,585,392
Total number of deaths worldwide – 179,856
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 705,750
Currently Infected – 1,699,786 active cases, 1,642,579 in mild condition, 57,207 described as serious or critical.
Positive news stories today………… 17 year old grocery cashier Elizabeth Taylor picked up the shopping bill for senior shopper Layne McKeel when he found himself $33 dollars short at the till. As he was about to return essential items to the shelves, Elizabeth insisted on paying for all the groceries.
A team of Canadian high schoolers have launched a hotline that plays pre-recorded jokes. The free hotline has been created so that those who are in isolation and lonely can call up and enjoy a regularly updated selection of jokes, stories, guided meditation and educational messages.
The Taylor family from Wellington Somerset spent six hours colouring the front wall of the red brick house they live in. Using jumbo chalk sticks, they have created a rainbow house.
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Keeping up to Date with SCP on the WWW and Facebook! – Keep up to date with major developments as they occur by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website
SCP – FAQs Translation to English – We have translated 70 FAQs about the COVID-19 virus, pandemic and State of Emergency provisions from official Government sources into English on our website:
Wednesday 22 April 2020
“A smile is the only curve we must never flatten”
Yaku, the sea otter, celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday. He is the largest and oldest sea otter at the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago. Yaku enjoyed a birthday cake of fish including oysters and clam paste!
There is so much talk about the lilting of lockdown restrictions, it is constant to the point of almost being relentless. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have warned that the lifting of restrictions must be gradual in order to further contain the spread of coronavirus. Takeshi Kasia, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific has said “Lockdown measures have proved effective and people must be ready for a new way of living to allow society to function while coronavirus is being kept in check”.
Governments considering lifting lockdown measures need to do carefully and in stages, the epidemic situation must be continually monitored, as long as the virus is circulated, no country is safe form a potentially overwhelming outbreak.
WHO Director-General Adhanom Ghebreyesus Tedros has warned that the worst is still ahead of us. His comments have revived international concern just at the time when many countries are easing restrictive measures.
Singapore has seen a second wave rise in the number of cases, initially commended for its initial response, the country has reported a surge in cases recently, mainly among foreign workers. Singapore has a population of 5,841,525. At the time of writing, the country has confirmed 9,125 cases of the virus, with an increase of 1,111 in the preceding 24 hours. 11 people have lost their lives. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced an extension of the lockdown until June 1 after the sharp rise. The measures were initially set to end May 4th.
Hong Kong has announced an extension of social distancing measures for a further 14 days. However, on Monday, Hong Kong reported its first day since early March with no new cases. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said “now is not the time to let our guard down”. Hong Kong has a population of 7,485, 322 and has reported 1,030 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4 deaths.
Indonesia has reported 375 new infections taking the total confirmed cases to 7,135. The country’s health department has said there have been a further 26 lives lost. The country has banned an annual homecoming where tens of millions of people travel to see families for Eid-al-Fitr. Indonesia has a population of 272,967,648 and it is feared that mass movement would allow the virus to spread rapidly to areas of the country where the health systems are weaker.
Italy, the hardest hit country in Europe, has reported that the number of confirmed cases has fallen by 20 for the first time. The country currently has 108,237 people infected with the virus. In total, 181,228 people have been infected and Italy has lost 24,114 people to COVID-19. Italy will announce further plans for the gradual reopening of the country by the end of this week.
Denmark has announced that the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will stay in place until at least May 10. Denmark moved fast to try and stem the outbreak in the country, imposing restrictions on March 12 before any deaths had been reported. In a country with a population of 5,788,314, there have been 7,695 coronavirus cases, 364 people have died. There are currently 3.019 active cases in Denmark, 84 (3%) described as being in serious or critical condition.
In Germany, Bavaria’s leaders have cancelled Oktoberfest, the biggest beer festival in the world. The festival is 210 years old, attracts 6 million visitors and brings in around €1bn. It is a major event in the German calendar. The total number of confirmed cases stands at 147,065 with 47,003 active infections. Germany has reported that 4,862 people have lost their battle with COVID-19.
Turkey now has 90,981 cases of coronavirus and has become the 7th most affected country in the world. Ankara took early steps to limit international travel, closing schools and restaurants shortly after the first case was reported on March 11 however President Recep Tayyip Erdogan resisted calls for a total lockdown. The number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Turkey is 2,140. Turkey has a population of 84,164,640. The country has implemented a 48-hour weekend curfew until further notice amid fears that people may take advantage of the sunny spring weather. The start of Ramadan on Thursday will be marked by a new 4-day lockdown during which families will not be able to travel and eat together without risking fines or arrest.
Greek officials are believed to be planning for the country’s lockdown to be reversed. As of April 27, the justice system will gradually return to normality with some courts opening for specific procedures. This is the first relaxation of measures in the country since schools were closed in the western Peloponnese – which saw the country’s first outbreak of coronavirus – on 4 March. The priority of the government will continue to be the protection of the most vulnerable. Greece has recorded a total of 2,245 cases of COVID-19 and 116 people have lost their lives.
In the United Kingdom, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 20% of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales are now taking place outside hospital. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is slowly getting back into the swing of thing as he continue to recover from COVID -19. Although not officially back at work, he is communicating with ministers, no doubt the main topic of conversation will be the growing criticism the UK government is receiving concerning the lack of personal protective equipment for front-line NHS staff and carers. The number of people who have lost their lives (in hospital) in UK is now in excess of 17,000. At the time of writing, official figures reported that 17,408 people have lost their lives, an increase of 873 but Northern Ireland has not yet reported their figures.
The USA remains prominent in the news for both its internal politics and COVID-19. There has been a total of 792, 938 confirmed cases in the USA and 42,518 people have lost their lives. The state of New York has the greatest number of confirmed cases with 252,094 cases followed by New Jersey with 88,806. In stark contrast, Alaska has reported 321 cases.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,505,367
Total number of deaths worldwide – 171,843
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 659,614
Currently Infected – 1,673,910 active cases, 1,616,378 in mild condition, 57,532 described as serious or critical.
Positive news!!!……… Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II turned 94 on Tuesday, ´Happy Birthday Ma’am´.
After 3 months in rehabilitation at the Pacific Marine Mammal Centre, seals DW Hunter and Gigi have been released back to the wild. Rescued just 1 day apart, these 2 have been inseparable ever since. Best friends forever.
15 year-old Erin Sloan from Winsford, Cheshire UK, has turned one of her bedroom walls into a proper 8 foot climbing wall in just one week and 16 year-old TJ Kim from Maryland USA has been flying planes all over Virginia to deliver medical supplies to rural hospitals.
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Tuesday 21 April 2020
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Several countries have begun to ease their lockdowns, Australians returned to the beaches in Sydney but only for exercise. India has allowed some industrial and agricultural firms to reopen whilst Iran has opened some shopping centres and intercity highways.
Germany has allowed shops smaller than 800 square metres to reopen, florists to fashion stores are welcoming customers again, although Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued a stark warning against complacency. She has urged the public to maintain social distancing and to avoid gatherings of more than 2 people, voicing concern about the population’s discipline. At the time of writing, there have been 139,897 confirmed infections in Germany and 4,294 people have died.
Although the numbers from Spain continue to fall, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez is expected to ask parliament to extend the lockdown until May 11. It is expected that parents will be allowed to take children under 12 out for exercise from April 27, this leaves 12-16 year olds in limbo and having to remain inside. Spain has reported a further 399 deaths, lower than the figure recorded on Sunday. The total number of confirmed cases since January 31 is 191,726 and 20,043 people have lost their lives.
In Switzerland, it has been announced that the government will start to relax the lockdown restrictions from April 27 although there are no details yet of how this easing will take place. The number of positive test results in the country has risen from 27,740 on Sunday to 27,944. The public health ministry has also reported that the total number of people who have died is now 1,142, as of Monday, rising from 1,135 reported on Sunday.
South Korea has recorded fewer than 20 new cases of COVID-19 for the 3rd day in a row, just 13 new infections reported on Monday. Since January 19, the total number of cases confirmed in the country stands at 10,674. 236 people have died. The population of South Korea is 51,260,686 according to worldometers information.
Thailand has reported that the leatherback sea turtles have returned to nesting on beaches normally busy with tourists. Since November 2019, environmentalists have found 11 nests, the highest number in 20 years. Thailand has imposed a range of restrictions on residents including a ban on international flights and an appeal for people to stay at home. There are currently 2,765 confirmed cases in the country and 47 COVID-19 related deaths have been registered.
New Zealand has announced that the country will move out of level 4 lockdown in one week. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden says the country has broken the chain of transmission and has thanked all New Zealanders for their work in stopping the outbreak. Schools and day care centres will be allowed to reopen as well as some businesses. The country will remain at alert level 3 for two weeks before further review. New Zealand has registered 1,105 cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths since February 28.
The USA continues to record significant numbers of confirmed cases and deaths.
Figures released from John Hopkins University show a total of 759,600 confirmed cases and 40,601 people have died. In New York, there have been a total of 248,417 cars and 18,298 deaths. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Connecticut and Louisiana have been hit hard, each state recording more than 1,000 deaths. The US has recorded nearly a quarter of the global total of deaths and just under a third of the global total of infections.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he hopes this will be the last week of stay at home measures implemented to try and slow the spread of the virus. Since February 26, Brazil has registered 36,599 confirmed cases and 2,347 deaths. According to worldometers, the population of Brazil is 212,266,283.
Russia has quarantined thousands of soldiers who took part in rehearsals for a Victoria Day parade that appeared to flout physical distancing guidelines. An estimated 15,000 soldiers have sent back to their bases and subjected to a 2 week isolation. At the time of writing, Russia has confirmed 42,853 cases of coronavirus and 361 deaths.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed concerns that relaxing lockdown measures too soon could lead to a second outbreak of coronavirus. He is reported to have said that stopping a second peak was a top priority. Latest figures from the UK show a total of 120,071 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,509 people have now lost their lives.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,428,354
Total number of deaths worldwide – 166,130
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 636,909
Currently Infected – 1,625,315 active cases; 1,569,703 in mild condition, 55,612 described as serious or critical.
The positive news for today…….. Mr Kipling (cake maker) is doing exceedingly well and has revealed a surge in sales during the COVID-19 lockdown. Possibly good news for the gym industry after lockdown.
2 Italian teenagers have become social media sensations after they posted a video of their rooftop tennis games. Vittoria aged 13 and 11yr old Carola played between 2 rooftop terraces in Liguria, north-west Italy.

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Pensioner Margaret Payne from Scotland has raised more than £200,000 for the National Health Service by setting out to claim the height of a 2,398ft mountain on her stairs. Margaret began her quest on Easter Sunday and it is expected to take 2 months for her walk the stairs 282 times.
The total raised by Captain Tom Moore has now exceeded £24m, Captain Tom is number one in the UK music charts having collaborated with Michael Ball and others with the song “You’ll never walk alone” He has also received a letter from Dame Vera Lynn and when asked by Piers Morgan what had been written, he politely said “I’m not telling you”
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Monday 20 April 2020
Positivity for the start of a new week.
“Feeling down? Step outside, look at the trees, look at flowers, listen to the birds, breath the clean air, soak it in. You are healthy and here, take heart, you are doing your duty by staying home, you’ve got this”

Staying with the positive theme, Italy has expressed cautious optimism as the infection curve appears to be in decline. The reported number of people who lost their lives on Sunday rose by 433, 49 fewer than Saturday. The number of confirmed cases rose by 486, a drop of 323 on Saturdays figures. The number of intensive care beds in use continues to fall.
The rate of fatalities in Spain slows to the lowest in one month. On Sunday, Spain reported that a further 410 people had lost their lives, 565 people tragically died on Saturday. Spain is still one of the hardest hit countries in the world, the overall death total is 20,639, globally the 3rd highest behind USA and Italy.
Prime Minister of France has said the coronavirus situation in the country is improving slowly but surely but the health crisis is not over. The number of people hospitalised in France is down to 30,610 marking the 5th consecutive day of decline, with the number of people in intensive care also falling.
The Netherlands has also reported its smallest daily death toll in over 3 weeks, the total rose by 83, the lowest increase since March 26.
In New York, the governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the total number ofhospitalisations is down to 16,213, the 6th consecutive day that the number has dropped. Mr Cuomo said “ If the data holds, we are past the high point and all indications, at this point, are that we are on a descent. Whether or not that descent continues on what we do” It is also reported that the number of lives lost has hit its lowest point in more than 2 weeks but officials are not ready to ease the restrictions just yet. No ditching of that infamous parachute for New York City or the remainder of the state.
South Korea has reported only 8 new cases of the virus for the first time in 2 month and is preparing to loosen some of the lockdown restrictions. Prime Minister Ching Sye-Kyun has said that consideration will be given to opening public outdoor facilities.
Total number of cases worldwide – 2,389,670
Total number of deaths worldwide – 164,244
Total number of recovered cases worldwide – 613,645
Currently Infected – 1,611,781 active cases, 1,557,597 in mild condition, 54,184
described as serious or critical (down from Saturdays figures)
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