South Korea reports recovered patients are testing positive for coronavirus again

Several people in a shopping center enjoy the view towards a park and at the same time try to maintain social distance to protect themselves from the coronavirus. South Korea, April 8, 2020. FILE. REUTERS / Heo Ran

SEOUL, Apr 10 (Reuters) – South Korean authorities reported on Friday that 91 patients who had allegedly recovered from the coronavirus tested positive for the disease again.

Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), told a news conference that the virus could have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being reinfected.

South Korean health authorities say the causes of the trend remain unclear, and are being investigated by epidemiologists.

The possibility that a person may be reinfected with the virus is a factor of international concern, as many countries hope that their already infected populations can develop sufficient immunity to contain the pandemic.

The figure reported by South Korea shows a rise from 51 reported cases of second infection on Monday.

Nearly 7,000 South Koreans have recovered from COVID-19, the disease that causes the coronavirus.

“The number will simply go up, 91 is the beginning for now,” said Kim Woo-joo, professor of infectious diseases at Guro Hospital, University of Korea.

KCDC’s Jeong explained that there was a possibility that patients had undergone a “reactivation” of the virus rather than being reinfected.

Reports by Josh Smith and Sangmi Cha. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo

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Walt Disney to launch streaming service in India on Friday

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at his phone as he passes by a screen advertising Walt Disney’s streaming service Disney+ in New York City, U.S., November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) will launch its Disney+ service in India on April 3, the company said on Tuesday, intensifying rivalry with Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) Prime Video in a country where demand for online streaming is surging.

Disney+ will be launched with local partner Hotstar, one of India’s key streaming players that played host to HBO super hit show ‘Game of Thrones’.

Disney, which acquired Hotstar after its purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, previously delayed the launch of the service due to uncertainty around the timing of India’s Twenty20 cricket league, which has now been postponed until April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hostar’s parent Star India has the exclusive digital and TV broadcast rights to the cricket league.

The Disney+ Hotstar service will be available in three plans – a basic, ad-supported free plan, a second-rung plan priced at 399 Indian rupees ($5.29) a year and the most expensive at an annual 1,499 rupees ($19.88), which will gives subscribers access to Disney+ original shows as well as American shows from studios such as HBO, Fox and Showtime.

The most expensive plan is a 500-rupee mark-up from Hotstar’s premium plan.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal, editing by Louise Heavens and Susan Fenton

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China could see near-zero growth in 2020

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At a time when the epidemic seems to be stabilizing, China is trying to get its economy back on track, stopped for more than three months now. The aim is to minimize the consequences of the coronavirus on the world’s second economic power.

With our special correspondent in Zhengzhou, Zhifan Liu

China was expecting growth of around 6% for 2020. But with the economy paralyzed in the first half, it risks lowering its ambitions.

The World Bank talks of almost zero growth of 0.1% of Chinese GDP in the worst case scenario, while Beijing has not made the update of its objectives, which traditionally occurs in March. It would be a result never observed since the Maoist era.

However, over the past month, manufacturing activity has picked up, after catastrophic results for January and February, a sign of restart of factories in the country.

SMEs still in difficulty

But while the big companies have resumed in most of their activities, small and medium-sized businesses are still suffering the consequences of the epidemic. At the same time, consumption has not yet started in a country that is slowly reviving.

Difficulties that are likely to continue as the coronavirus hits Europe and the United States, China’s two essential economic partners.

Listen: What role for China in the economic response to the coronavirus?

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doubts are growing on the victim count

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In question, the difficulties in establishing the number of victims without testing the entire population, as is the case in Europe or the United States. A problem also encountered in China. The images in recent days of long queues of residents picking up the ashes of their relatives missing in front of the crematoriums in Wuhan, have raised questions on social networks.

with our correspondent in Beijing, Stéphane Lagarde

Wait for your number to be called, said one of the employees at the Wuchang crematorium on images published by the official The Paper website. We are at number 40, and if you have booked, the wait will be only 20 minutes. Residents of the capital of Hubei have to wait to recover the ashes of their missing relatives.

Crowds have rushed to Wuhan’s 8 funeral homes since their reopening a week ago on March 23. When a reporter from magazine Caixin visited one of these centers, there were 7 stacks of 500 urns in one of the halls, more than the number of official deaths linked to viral pneumonia all over China. Caixin also filmed the arrival of a truck bringing 2,500 ballot boxes to another center.

Asymptomatic not taken into account

These images have raised questions on social networks. Local authorities replied that residents of Hubei hadn’t just died of Covid-19 in the past two months. The ashes of people who have died of other sick people have also been recovered in recent days in order to pay a final tribute to the deceased during the Qingming Festival on April 4.

Not sure that this is enough to eliminate doubts about the number of victims of the coronavirus in China. As in most countries, Beijing did not take into account the number of infected people showing no symptoms in the contamination report.

Read also: Coronavirus: China closes its borders, foreigners say they are stigmatized

Our selection on SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

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The United States could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus, says WHO

GENEVA / TOKYO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, which eventually forced reluctant organizers to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Britain joined the ranks of bloc countries to try to detain the virus, and data showed that commercial activity collapsed from Australia, Japan and Western Europe at a record pace in March, with the United States expecting it to be equally terrible.

“The coronavirus epidemic represents a serious external shock to the macro outlook, similar to a large-scale natural disaster,” said analysts at the BlackRock Investment Institute.

But amid the sadness of the harvest, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus was first identified in December, said it would lift travel restrictions for people leaving the region as the epidemic subsides.

Confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide exceeded 377,000 in 194 countries and territories earlier Tuesday, according to a Reuters count, over 16,500 of them fatal.

In Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters that there has been a “big acceleration” in infections in the United States.

In the previous 24 hours, 85% of new cases were in Europe and the United States, and of these, 40% were in the United States.

As of Monday, the virus had infected over 42,000 people there, killing at least 559.

Asked if the United States could become the new epicenter, Harris said, “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the United States, so it has that potential.”

US state and local officials have denounced the lack of coordinated federal action, claiming that taking action on their own has put them in competition for supplies.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty.

“The world market for masks and fans is crazy. We’re helping states get equipment, but it’s not easy, “he tweeted.

OLYMPIC ORGANIZERS ENTER

The organizers of the Olympic Games and the Japanese government had clung to the hope that the biggest sporting event in the world could go on, but in the end they bowed to the inevitable to make Tokyo 2020 the last and greatest victim of a calendar. devastated sportsman.

FILE PHOTO: A lonely person walks in the rain in a mostly deserted Times Square after the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, USA, March 23, 2020. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

After a phone call with the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on July 24th. Event 9 will be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest, as proof of victory over the coronavirus.

“President Bach has said he agrees, 100%.”

It was the first time in the 124-year history of the Olympics that they had been postponed, although they had been canceled three times during the two world wars of the 20th century.

Of the top 10 countries by number of cases, Italy reported the highest mortality rate, around 10%, which at least partially reflects its elderly population. The global mortality rate – the ratio of confirmed deaths to infections – is around 4.3%, although national data may vary widely based on how many tests are performed.

Britain, believed by experts about two weeks behind Italy in the epidemic cycle, began to curb unprecedented peacetime movements on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the country to stay home.

The streets of the capital were strangely silent since all but the essential shops closed and people only went to work if it was inevitable.

Johnson had resisted the pressure to impose a complete blockade even if other European countries had done so, but he was forced to change course as projections showed that the health system could be overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the Chinese province of Hubei, the original center of the epidemic, will raise the sidewalks on people leaving the area, but other regions will strengthen controls as new cases will double due to imported infections.

Presentation (7 images)

The capital of Wuhan province, which has been completely blocked since January 23, lifted travel restrictions on April 8.

However, the risk of infections abroad appears to be on the rise, prompting more stringent screening and quarantine measures in major cities such as the capital Beijing.

Global interactive spread of graphical tracing of coronavirus: open in an external browser – here

Additional reports by Emma Farge, Stephanie Nebehay, Karolos Grohmann, Leika Kihara, Sakura Murakami, Lusha Zhang and Huizhong Wu; Written by Nick Macfie; Editing by Jon Boyle and Angus MacSwan

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The Tokyo 2020 postponement decision “within a few days”, sources said

ATHENS / TOKYO (Reuters) – The final decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic will be made in the next few days, sources inside the Olympic movement reported to Reuters on Tuesday, while the United States joined together for a delay.

With increasing pressure every day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach scheduled a conference call on Tuesday 1100 GMT, the Japanese government said.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei reported Tuesday that the government was negotiating with the IOC to postpone the Games for up to a year in what would be the first in modern 124-year Olympics history.

The IOC and the Japanese government had announced that they would undertake a month-long consultation before making a final decision, but there seems to have been an afterthought as more and more voices joined the chorus of referral requests.

Former IOC board member Dick Pound said on Monday that the Swiss-based entity appears to have decided to delay the event, probably for a year, due to the virus.

The outbreak has now infected over 377,000 of 194 according to a Reuters count on Tuesday morning, with over 16,500 virus-related deaths.

Efforts to contain it have led to major travel, commercial and social restrictions, which have also hampered the ability of many athletes to prepare for the Games.

Canada and Australia have already stated that they will not send teams to Tokyo if the Games go ahead as planned this year, while Britain has said it will likely follow suit after meeting with representatives of sports organizations on Tuesday.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it had listened to the feedback from athletes and was encouraged by a clearer path to referral.

“While current major health concerns could be alleviated by the end of the summer, the huge disruptions in the training environment, doping controls and the qualification process cannot be satisfactorily overcome,” said the USOPC Monday.

The United States is by far the most successful nation in the history of the modern Summer Games, while the rights agreement with the American broadcaster NBC to broadcast the Olympics represents 50% to 70% of the IOC’s total annual revenue.

“THEME PARK OF EMOTIONS”

Tony Estanguet, head of the organizing committee of the 2024 Paris Olympics and member of the IOC, said that a delay in the 2020 Olympics is likely.

“Today the Games are not the priority, the priority is health, and this is how the world of sport contributes to that international solidarity,” Estanguet told France Info radio.

Japan and the IOC have said that canceling the Games entirely is not an option, but a delay would present serious logistical difficulties, given the busy global sports calendar and other commercial considerations.

World Athletics on Monday said it would be willing to move their 2021 world championships, scheduled for August 6-15 in Eugene, Oregon, to pave the way for the 2021 Olympics.

A source of concern for athletes – who are already struggling to train while gyms, stadiums and swimming pools are closing all over the world – seems to be shifting the balance towards that result.

“I have ridden not only the roller coaster, but the whole emotion theme park,” Keesja Gofers, part of the Australian women’s water polo team, said on Instagram.

“I am relieved. Athletes from all over the world will now have the opportunity for adequate preparation and the Olympics will, at any date, continue to meet at the best in the world.”

A postponement of the Olympics would be a major blow to the host country, Japan, which has invested over $ 12 billion in investments and huge sums are up for sponsors and broadcasters.

The banner for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is displayed in front of Fukushima station in Fukushima, Japan, on March 24, 2020, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo / via REUTERS

A poll showed that around 70% of Japanese people think it is appropriate to delay the Olympics, Sankei said.

The Olympics were never delayed, although they were canceled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during the two world wars. Important boycotts of the Cold War also stopped the Moscow and Los Angeles Games in 1980 and 1984.

Additional reports from Reuters offices around the world; Written by Lincoln Feast and Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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New Zealand: Coronavirus cases increase by almost 50% in one day as the blockade approaches World news

Just over 24 hours before New Zealand entered full blockade, 40 new coronavirus cases were confirmed, bringing the country’s total to 155.

Four of the cases were confirmed as contracts through community transmission and six people were in hospital, but none in intensive care, said the director-general of health, dr. Ashley Bloomfield.

The increase in cases came when New Zealand prepared to enter a one-month blockade and panic purchases occurred across the country. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, New Zealanders have purchased enough food to feed 10 million people, Countdown said, despite being a nation of less than 5 million.

The police have been called to end the fighting in supermarkets, despite the fact that the prime minister has repeatedly called for “kindness” and calm. Long lines have formed outside the gun and hunting stores, with some New Zealanders – even in urban areas – appearing to accumulate weapons and ammunition.


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(@NewshubNZ)

Queues outside gun stores like kiwis panic, buy firearms before blockade https://t.co/e06QsQxm1J pic.twitter.com/5D0EAUq3c2


March 23, 2020

The national airline Air New Zealand has made more domestic flights and larger planes to bring people home, especially college students who do not want to go into solitary confinement for months in dormitories.

The foreign affairs department said it may now be too late for tens of thousands of overseas kiwis to return home, as flights have stopped all over the world and should now prepare to “take refuge on the spot”.

Mercy flights to kiwis stuck overseas are under discussion, but have not been confirmed, said the prime minister, and that option was a logistical nightmare with hubs like Singapore now closed to those in transit too.

Jacinda Ardern said she knew that what she was asking the population was “huge”, but it was essential to save lives and prevent the health system from being overwhelmed, as in Italy and Spain.

He said national self-isolation measures mean exactly that; stay home and go out only for essential supplies. Physical contact with anyone who is not in their family should end, Ardern said, although couples who share childcare in different homes may see each other, and people who live alone may form friendships with another individual in the close to avoid loneliness, as long as it was an exclusive “bubble” and “stay true to them and they remain true to you”.

“If the community broadcast takes off in New Zealand, the number of cases will double every five days. If this happens uncontrolled, our healthcare system will be flooded and tens of thousands of New Zealanders will die, “said Ardern.

“There is no easy way to say it – but it is the reality we have seen overseas – and the possibility that we must now face here. Together we must prevent this from happening, and we can.”

As New Zealanders prepared for self-isolation, there was widespread confusion as to what qualified as an “essential service” that could have remained open. The warehouse, a discount store, announced it would remain open, although the prime minister later said it would not be allowed.

Doubts were raised that butchers and bakers could have remained open in addition to supermarket chains and whether liquor stores would have been classified as essential.

During a turbulent press conference, Covid-19’s tastkforce was unable to answer many questions related to what mattered as an essential service, but said it would have more information by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced a six-month vacation period for paying interest to mortgage holders, which has been welcomed.

But no similar arrangements have been made for renters, worrying many who have lost their jobs or their hours have been reduced.

“A six-month mortgage vacation for people whose incomes have been affected by COVID-19 will mean that people will not lose their homes because of the economic disruption caused by this virus,” said Robertson.

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Rebound in Asian equities, the Fed places infinite QE against economic reality

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian equities rebounded sharply on Tuesday as the US Federal Reserve’s promise of bottomless dollar funding eased painful tensions in the financial markets, although it could not mitigate the immediate economic blow of the coronavirus.

PHOTO FILE: a currency trader works in front of electronic cards showing the composite stock price index of Korea (KOSPI) and the exchange rate between the US dollar and South Korea won, in Seoul, South Korea , March 23, 2020. REUTERS / Heo Ran

While Wall Street didn’t look impressed, investors in Asia were encouraged enough to raise the E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 by 3% and the Japanese Nikkei by 6.2%. If sustained, it would be the biggest daily growth for Nikkei since late 2016.

MSCI’s broader index of Asia-Pacific equities outside Japan jumped 4.2%, more than halving Monday’s drop. Shanghai blue chips gained 2.7%.

Europe also showed a brighter shadow as EUROSTOXXX 50 futures rose 3.3% and FTSE futures 3.1%.

In its latest drastic step, the Fed offered to buy unlimited quantities of assets on stable markets and expanded its mandate to corporate and muni bonds.

The numbers were certainly large, with analysts estimating that the package could earn $ 4 trillion or more in loans to non-financial corporations.

“This open and heavily enhanced QE program is a very clear signal that the Fed will do whatever it takes to maintain the integrity and liquidity of the Treasury market, asset-backed key markets and other key markets,” said David de Garis. , an economics director at NAB.

The Fed package helped calm nerves in bond markets where two-year Treasury yields hit a low since 2013, while 10-year yields dropped to 0.79%.

Analysts have warned that it would do little to compensate for the short-term economic damage caused by mass blockades and layoffs.

Speculation is mounting Thursday’s data will show that unemployment claims in the United States rose by 1 million last week, with forecasts reaching 4 million.

Goldman Sachs warned that US economic growth could shrink by 24% in the second quarter, two and a half times larger than the previous post-war record.

A series of flash polls on European and American production in March is scheduled for Tuesday and are expected to show deep falls in the recessionary territory.

Surveys from Japan have shown that its service sector has shrunk at the fastest pace recorded in March and the factory’s activity at the fastest pace in about a decade.

HIGH DOLLAR OFF

While governments around the world are launching bigger and bigger fiscal stimulus packages, the latest U.S. effort remains stuck in the Senate as Democrats said it contained too little money for hospitals and not enough limits for funding. big business.

The logjam combined with the Fed’s stimulus spray to take away some shine from the US dollar, although it remains in demand as a global liquidity buffer.

“The special role of the USD in the global financial system – it is used globally in a series of transactions such as commodity prices, issuing bonds and international bank loans – means that USD liquidity has a reward,” he said. CBA economist Joseph Capurso.

“While liquidity is an issue, the USD will remain strong.”

For now, the prospect of massive Fed dollar funding has seen the currency decline to 110.38 yen from Monday’s 111.56 monthly high.

The euro rebounded 0.8% to $ 1.0805, compared to a three-year low of $ 1.0635. The dollar index slipped 0.4% to 101.720 and out of a three-year peak of 102.99.

Currencies linked to commodities and emerging markets that suffered most during the recent divestment of the assets, also benefited from the stable hand of the Fed. The Australian dollar rose 1.5% to $ 0.5915 and away from a minimum of 17 years = $ 0.5510.

Gold rose in the wake of the Fed’s promise of even cheaper money, and rose 1.7% to $ 1,578.45 an ounce after rising from a low of $ 1,484.65 on Monday.

Oil prices also rebounded after recent wild losses, with U.S. crude oil rising by $ 1.09 to $ 24.45 barrels. Brent crude reached 97 cents to $ 28.00.

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Exclusive: Elite hackers target WHO as spikes in coronavirus cyber attacks

WASHINGTON / LONDON (Reuters) – Elite hackers attempted to join the World Health Organization earlier this month, according to Reuters sources, part of what a senior agency official said was an increase. more than double the cyber attacks.

Traffic passes through the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas during the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) in Washington, DC, USA, March 22, 2020. REUTERS / Raphael Satter

Flavio Aggio, Chief Information Security Officer, said that the identity of the hackers is unclear and that the effort was unsuccessful. But he warned that hacking attempts against the agency and its partners have skyrocketed as they fight to contain the coronavirus, which has killed over 15,000 worldwide.

The attempt to raid the WHO was first reported to Reuters by Alexander Urbelis, a cybersecurity expert and lawyer from the Blackstone Law Group in New York, who tracks suspicious Internet domain registration activities.

Urbelis said he resumed activity around March 13, when a group of hackers he was following activated a malicious site that mimics the internal email system of the WHO.

“I quickly realized that this was a live attack on the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic,” he said.

Urbelis said he did not know who was responsible, but two other informed sources on the matter said they suspected an advanced group of hackers known as DarkHotel, which has been conducting cyber espionage operations since at least 2007.

Messages sent to hacker-managed email addresses have not been returned.

When asked by Reuters about the incident, WHO’s Aggio confirmed that the site Urbelis had identified had been used in an attempt to steal passwords from multiple agency agents.

“There has been a big increase in WHO targeting and other cyber security incidents,” said Aggio in a telephone interview. “There are no concrete numbers, but these compromise attempts against us and the use of WHO imitations to hit others have more than doubled.”

WHO released a notice last month – available here – warning that hackers are acting like an agency to steal money and sensitive information from the public.

And government officials in the United States, Britain and elsewhere have issued cybersecurity warnings about the dangers of a barely remote workforce as people disperse into their homes to work and study because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The reasons for the case identified by Reuters are unclear. United Nations agencies, including WHO, are regularly targeted by digital espionage campaigns and Aggio said he did not know exactly who in the organization the hackers had in sight.

Cyber ​​security companies including Bitdefender in Romania and Moscow-based Kaspersky said they tracked down many of DarkHotel’s operations in East Asia, an area that has been particularly affected by the coronavirus. Specific targets have included government employees and corporate executives in places like China, North Korea, Japan and the United States.

Costin Raiu, head of global research and analysis at Kaspersky, could not confirm that DarkHotel was responsible for the WHO attack, but said that the same harmful Web infrastructure had also been used to target other health and humanitarian organizations in the past weeks.

“At times like this, any information on coronavirus-related treatments or tests or vaccines would be invaluable and the priority of any intelligence organization in an affected country,” he said.

Traffic passes through the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas during the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) in Washington, DC, USA, March 22, 2020. REUTERS / Raphael Satter

Cyber ​​security officials and experts have warned that hackers of all kinds are trying to capitalize on international concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

Urbelis said he tracked down thousands of coronavirus-themed websites that are created daily, many of which are obviously malicious.

“It’s still around 2,000 a day,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Additional reports of Hyonhee Shin in Seoul; Editing by Chris Sanders and Edward Tobin

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