The US re-register a new record of daily cases of coronavirus

LUBBOCK, USA, 26 jun (Reuters) – the united States has seen at least 40.870 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the biggest increase of the pandemic in a single day, according to a count by Reuters, that brings the total number of positives in the country to at least 2,475 million.

Archive photo of a health worker at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.
Jun 22, 2020. REUTERS/Callaghan O’hare

The record of positive tests occurs when several states in the center of a new increase in the infection retreated in their efforts to relieve constraints on the business.

Governor Greg Abbott gave to the bars of Texas until Friday afternoon to close and demanded that restaurants limit the seating capacity in the inside 50%, while the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Florida told the bars to stop serving alcohol immediately.

The announcement of Abbott, a republican who is in his second term, surprised the owners of the bars. Mark Martinez is heard when a few friends sent text messages.

“I spent thousands of dollars in inventory getting ready for this weekend. Really could have used that (money) for my rental, which expires next week,” said Martinez, 44 years old.

Florida issued the new measures after registering amazing 8.942 new cases of COVID-19, skip and a jump from the previous record of 5.511 new infections as of June 24.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, said Friday that the county of Imperial, east of Los Angeles, he was so overwhelmed that the state was recommending strict orders to stay at home. He also said that, in response to increasing hospitalizations, has made a pause to allow the counties to reopen their economies.

The mayor of Anchorage, in Alaska, Ethan Berkowitz, issued an emergency order that requires residents to wear masks in closed public spaces after the state identified 836 cases up to the Friday, with 387 of them in your city.

Texas had been at the forefront of states that eliminated restrictions designed to control the pandemic. Allowed the bars reabrieran in may, when the people ignored the rules of social distancing and held during the weekend of Memorial Day.

Since then, he has seen some of the largest increases in new cases in the country, reporting 5.996 Thursday. The state has also seen a record number of hospitalizations in the past two weeks.

Almost 125,000 americans have died from COVID-19, the greatest number of deaths known by the highly infectious disease in the world.

Despite the grim news from Texas, Florida, and other localities, the president, Donald Trump said that the country was coming out of a crisis that stopped to a large part of the economy and left millions without a job.

“We have a little work to do, and what we will do. We are having very good numbers in terms of the return, the return of our nation, and I think that it goes very fast and it’s going to be very good,” said Trump, at an event at the White House.

Also reported record-breaking increases of cases this week, Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

Information Brad Brooks in Lubbock, additional Reporting by Jonathan Allen, Nathan Layne and Peter Szekely in New York, Jane Ross in Los Angeles, and Yereth Rosen in Anchorage, Written by Alistair Bell and Dan Whitcomb,; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida and Manuel Farias

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The United Nations warns of a global mental health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

LONDON (Reuters) – A mental health crisis looms on the horizon as millions and millions of people around the world are trapped in death and disease, leaving them isolated, impoverished and worried by the Covid-19 pandemic, UN health experts said on Thursday.

Two health workers cry during the memorial of a colleague who died of an infection with the Corona virus in Spain on April 13, 2020. Photo: Susanna Pera – Reuters.

“Isolation, fear, confusion, and economic instability all cause or may be the cause of a psychological crisis,” said Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization’s mental health department.

During the presentation of a report and the presentation of a United Nations guideline on Covid-19 and mental health, Kestel suggested increasing the number and severity of mental illnesses and called on governments to place this matter “at the center and center” of their pandemic control plans.

“The mental health and well-being of entire societies are severely affected by this crisis, which is a priority that needs to be addressed urgently,” she told reporters.

The report highlights several groups and sectors of society that are at risk of psychological problems, and include children and youth separated from their friends and schools, as well as health-care workers who are witnessing the infection and death of thousands of coronaviruses.

Already emerging studies and statistics show the influence of Covid-19 on mental and mental health globally. Psychologists say children suffer from anxiety, and depression and stress have increased in several countries.

Domestic violence is increasing, and health workers are talking about the increasing need for psychological support.

Reuters last week reported what was reported in interviews with doctors and nurses in the United States who said they or their colleagues had a combination of panic, anxiety, depression, numbness, irritability, restlessness and nightmares.

Outside the health sector, the WHO report says many are concerned about the immediate health consequences and consequences of isolation, while others fear infection, death and the loss of family members.

Millions face economic instability, they lost or face the risk of losing income and livelihoods, the report added. Some also feel anxious and frustrated about the future, as there is a lot of misinformation and rumors about the pandemic and severe foggy about its duration.

The report listed action points that decision-makers can use to “reduce the extreme suffering of hundreds of millions and reduce the long-term social and economic consequences for society”.

These points include addressing the problem of the lack of chronic investments in psychological services and the provision of an “emergency mental health service” via remote healers such as providing telephone consultations to frontline workers to confront the pandemic in the health sector and working proactively with those who suffer from depression and anxiety and those facing the risk of domestic violence and poverty Severe.

Marwa Salam Prepared for the Arab Bulletin – Edit Abu Amal Al Saud

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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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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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Trump challenged his initial offer to reopen the economy

WASHINGTON / NEW YORK (Reuters) – A week after millions of Americans began taking refuge at home with the coronavirus, at least one Republican governor warned Tuesday that he would ease the restrictions too early even though the crackdown is wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy.

PHOTO FILE: US President Donald Trump addresses the daily briefing on the coronavirus response while Attorney General William Barr and Ambassador Debbie Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, look at the White House in Washington, in the States United, March 23, 2020. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump said on Monday that he was considering how to restart working life when a 15-day shutdown ends next week, although the highly contagious virus spreads quickly and poorly equipped hospitals struggle with a wave of fatalities.

Republican Trump tries to win re-election in November with a promise of economic growth.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, also a Republican, warned against allowing people to travel, socialize and return to work too quickly.

“We don’t think we will be ready in any way to get out of this in five or six days or so, or whenever these 15 days have passed since they started this imaginary watch,” said Hogan Tuesday CNN, adding that most some people think the peak of the crisis is in weeks or months.

More than 42,000 people in the United States have contracted COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, and at least 559 have died. The World Health Organization warned Tuesday that the United States has the potential to become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, citing a “big acceleration” of infections.

Last week Trump issued guidelines that he claimed to aim to slow the spread of the disease for 15 days, including curbing unnecessary travel. Economic activity has stopped in important states such as New York and California.

“America will be back and soon open to business,” Trump said at a White House press conference Monday. “We won’t let it turn into a long lasting financial problem.”

The rapid reopening of the economy could backfire, with higher deaths and people continuing to fear going out, according to investors who remain concerned about the uncertain trajectory of the coronavirus and its economic balance sheet.

“Markets will react badly because they have learned that this approach does not work,” said Axel Merk, Merk Investments’ Chief Investment Officer. “From a medical point of view, you have to stop exponential growth and you do it with on-site protection policies.”

WALL ROAD JUMPS

After beating for most days in the past few weeks, Wall Street jumped out on Tuesday amid signs that Washington was about to conclude a deal on a $ 2 trillion package to save the economy from the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 1,130.26 points, or 6.08%, in the open. Oil jumped 3% to $ 28 a barrel, supported by the steps of the US Federal Reserve to strengthen the economy and hopes for an agreement on the aid package.

Negotiators predicted that the United States Senate could pass the stimulus law, which includes financial aid for ordinary Americans, small businesses and critically affected industries as soon as Tuesday.

Holly Huelster, a 33-year-old nanny from New York, said she believed Trump’s rhetoric about the economy threatened real harm to human life.

“It’s horrible for the economy, but I’d always give priority to health,” he said, pushing the 2-year-old boy he cares about on 11th Avenue.

Asked about Trump’s comments about willingness to facilitate social withdrawal soon, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus coordinator, told NBC News: “We must be willing to adjust our plans when we see the impacts.” .

For now, Birx has said that people in the United States should continue to follow the guidelines of social distancing.

“What the president is doing is looking for the future … don’t try to change what we’re doing now,” he said.

Stephen Moore, an economic commentator told by Trump’s aides to influence the president, told Reuters Monday that there was a review in the White House of the wisdom of “a large-scale shutdown … of the economy”.

He said some thought that “if we go on too long with the economy closed, the human budget for this could be greater than the risk of the virus.”

The coronavirus has blocked thousands of U.S. companies, thrown millions of jobless people, and has led state governors to order around 100 million people – nearly a third of the national population – to stay home.

There were signs that the nerves had begun to wear out after days of people working from home, taking care of children whose schools were closed and severely downsizing their daily activities.

BATTLE ON RIFLE RIGHTS Gun enthusiasts have argued that gun stores and shooting ranges are essential and should remain open. Many states have closed these businesses, but Connecticut, Ohio and Illinois are allowing the workshops to operate despite return orders at home, according to the firearms news site The Trace.

The Second Amendment Coalition of Rhode Island, an arms rights advocacy group, sought to combat Governor Gina Raimondo’s order to close arms ranges, arguing that closures deprive new arms owners of having the opportunity to learn gun safety, according to the Providence Journal.

“It’s a public safety disaster. You can’t have it,” coalition president Frank Saccoccio told the newspaper.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said arms stores are non-essential activities that will be forced to close and said he will add 1,300 deputies to the patrol, FOX 11 said.

Despite the huge changes in daily life, many Americans still say they are willing to make sacrifices.

Christine Schindler, 58, a former receptionist, was alone waiting for a bus on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Tuesday. He said he thought it was dangerous to lift the restrictions too early for the good of the economy.

“It will come back anyway, really, once things hit rock bottom,” he said. “This should be the number one economy in the world,” he said.

Additional reports from Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu in Washington, Ross Kerber in Boston and Megan Davies and Gabriella Borter in New York; Written by Alistair Bell; Curated by Frank McGurty and Howard Goller

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United States, cities in desperate search for coronaviruses, military preparations

NEW YORK / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. governors and mayors on Monday became more desperate in their requests for help from the federal government to combat coronavirus as the military prepared to set up field hospitals in New York and Seattle to relieve the stress of creaking health services.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged US lawmakers to approve an economic aid package and appealed to fans and medical equipment, even asking for help from private citizens.

“Anyone who can help us get these supplies, we only have days to fix them. This is reality,” de Blasio told CNN. New York, the most populous city in the United States, is now at the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States.

Karine Raymond, a nurse from Jack D. Weiler hospital in the Bronx in New York, said that most nurses were unable to obtain specialized N95 masks and that even simpler surgical masks were scarce. Nurses are told to wear them for as long as possible, he said.

“We are the end-to-end being and lifeline for these patients, yet we are contaminated and cross contaminated,” said Raymond.

While health authorities have struggled to cope with the growing number of sick people and the United States Senate has failed to advance an economic stimulus package, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the U.S. military is preparing to deploy. field hospitals in New York and Seattle.

The planned hospitals, essentially tent structures that can be installed quickly, can only manage a limited number of patients and are less suitable for treating highly infectious people who need to be isolated. But they can relieve pressure on hospitals by treating patients with diseases other than COVID-19.

The Army Corps of Engineers are preparing to convert hotels and dormitories into treatment facilities for sick patients as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 40,000 on Monday, more than 500 of whom have died.

The New York de Blasio urged US lawmakers to provide more help.

“I want to appeal to everyone in the House and in the Senate, you have to help cities, towns, countries, states, public hospitals, private hospitals. You have to get all of them direct relief, “he said.

A far-reaching economic package for the coronavirus crisis failed to advance to the Senate after Democrats said it contained too little money for hospitals and not enough restrictions on a fund to help big businesses. Democrats predicted that a modified version would soon win the move.

Both Democrats and Republicans say they are aware that failure to agree on the bill could have a devastating effect on states, cities and businesses and trigger further heavy losses on U.S. stock markets.

The USNS Mercy, a ship from the Navy hospital, departs from San Diego Naval Station and heads to the port of Los Angeles to help local medical facilities that deal with coronavirus patients (COVID-19), in San Diego, California, USA, March 23, 2020. REUTERS / Mike Blake

The US Federal Reserve has launched an unprecedented new series of programs aimed at reducing the “serious disturbances” of the economy caused by the coronarvirus epidemic.

The central bank will support purchases of corporate bonds and direct corporate loans. It will expand its equity participation just enough to stabilize the financial markets and launch a program to obtain credit for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The steps briefly raised US equity index futures by more than 3%, but stock prices quickly turned red, bringing the S&P 500 .SPX to its worst month since World War II.

With the addition of Maryland, Indiana, Michigan and Massachusetts on Monday, 15 out of 50 U.S. states have now imposed restrictions on people’s movements to reduce the virus, putting the country on a similar path to European countries. more devastated as Italy and Spain.

The population affected by the state blocs amounts to over 150 million people out of a total of about 330 million in the United States.

STAY HOME

In what appeared to be sending a mixed message about the federal government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus health crisis, a senior White House adviser said President Donald Trump is considering measures to reopen the U.S. economy.

A week ago Trump issued guidelines that aimed to slow the spread of the disease for 15 days. Late Sunday, she tweeted, “We can’t let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” adding that at the end of the 15-day closing period, “we’ll make a decision on how we want to go.”

Trump’s senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow followed Monday, saying to Fox News: “The president is right … We will have to make some difficult compromises.”

The lack of coordinated federal action was wreaking havoc for states and municipalities and even competing with each other for resources, said the governors of New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

The states “are all looking for the same thing,” New Jersey governor Phil Murphy told CNN on Monday.

Leaving states to look after themselves has put them into bidding wars with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, other U.S. states, and even against other countries, said Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Presentation (20 images)

“We are competing against each other over what should be a national crisis in which we should meet and the federal government should guide, helping us,” Pritzker told the “Today” program.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on Washington to implement federal defense production law to eliminate this “ad hoc” system. Trump on Sunday defended his decision to resist using this power, based on the fact that nationalizing businesses “is not a good concept”.

General Motors Co (GM.N) and medical device manufacturer Ventec are accelerating efforts under a partnership called “Project V” to build fans in a GM plant in Kokomo, Indiana to help fight the coronavirus epidemic.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly, Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu, Dan Levine and Nathan Layne; Written by Daniel Trotta and Sonya Hepinstall; Editing by Howard Goller and Alistair Bell

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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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BRIEF-Mortgage Advice Bureau delays the data, halves the dividend

March 24 (Reuters) – Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) PLC:

* MORATORIUM ON BUDGET PUBLICATION, TRADE UPDATE, CURRENT TRADE AND CORONAVIRUS

* MORTGAGE ADVICE BUREAU (HOLDINGS) PLC (OBJECTIVE: MAB1.L) ANNOUNCES TODAY THAT IT WILL COMPLY WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE FINANCIAL REPORTING BOARD (FRC), AUTHORITY OF CONDUCT (FCA) AND EXCHANGE OF LONDON (LSE) STOCK PUBLICATION OF FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS

* We now intend to propose a final dividend of 6.4 pence per share, with the intention of paying an additional 6.4 pence per share if the Board deems it prudent. Original text for Eikon: Further corporate coverage: (Sinead Cruise reports)

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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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