Coronavirus latest: at a glance

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May 15, 2020

“A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak”

Global death toll passes 300,000

The global death toll from Covid-19 has passed 300,000, with nearly 4.5 million people infected. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, at least 300,074 people have now died as a result of the outbreak and there are 4,405,688 confirmed cases worldwide. It’s important to point out that the actual death toll is believed to be far higher than the tally compiled from government figures.

Sanofi will no longer prioritise the US if it develops a vaccine

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi rowed back on a promise to prioritise the US market if the company develops a coronavirus vaccine. The company’s CEO Paul Hudson sparked controversy by saying the US had “the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk”. The US Department of Health and Human Services has paid Sanofi $30m, Hudson said. But the French prime minister, Édouard Philippe, said the principle that everyone has equal access to a potential vaccine is “non-negotiable”.

Nearly 600,000 Australians have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic

Almost 600,000 Australians lost their jobs between March and April, unemployment rose to 6.2%, the underemployment rate increased by 4.9 points to 13.7% and the underutilisation rate increased by 5.9 points to 19.9%. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said the figures were “terribly shocking, although not totally unexpected”.

Doctors in Italy and France report spike in rare inflammatory syndrome linked to coronavirus

Doctors in northern Italy, one of the areas hardest hit by coronavirus, and in France have reported spikes in cases of a rare inflammatory syndrome in young children that appears similar to one reported in the US, Britain and Spain, according to a report in the Lancet. The condition shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease including fever, rashes, swollen glands and, in severe cases, heart inflammation.

Donald Trump visits a mask distribution centre without wearing a mask himself

Donald Trump toured a mask distribution centre in the political swing state of Pennsylvania on Thursday but without wearing a mask himself. Trump, who is running for re-election in November, has resisted wearing a mask in public despite his administration’s guidance to Americans to wear them and new White House rules requiring staff to wear them at work.

Concern is mounting in the Rohingya refugee camps after man tests positive for Covid-19

A Rohingya man has become the first person to test positive for Covid-19 in the vast refugee camps in Bangladesh that is home to almost one million people, officials said Thursday. Local health coordinator Abu Toha Bhuiyan initially said two refugees had been put into isolation. The World Health Organization later said one case was of a Rohingya man, and the other was of a local man who lived near the camp and was being treated at a clinic inside the area.

36 million Americans are now unemployed as another 3 million filed for benefits

The latest figures from the Department of Labor show the rate of claims is slowing but the record-breaking pace of layoffs has already pushed unemployment to levels unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Mental health problems sparked by the coronavirus pandemic need urgently addressing

Governments, health authorities and civil society groups should urgently address mental health problems sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN secretary general has said. Launching a policy briefing on mental health during the outbreak, António Guterres said that “the Covid-19 pandemic is now hitting families and communities with additional mental stress.” Meanwhile, in Australia, the national cabinet has made mental health problems its top priority and are potentially bringing in a new mental health plan and are looking to boost support services.

A quarter of Covid-19 patients who have died in England had diabetes

A quarter of Covid-19 patients who have died in hospitals in England had diabetes, according to figures released by NHS England. Data published for the first time breaks down deaths from coronavirus by pre-existing conditions. Of the 22,332 patients who have died since 31 March, when pre-existing conditions began to be reported, 5,873 (26%) had diabetes, while 4,048 (18%) had dementia. Some 3,254 (15%) were reported to have chronic pulmonary disease.

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