Chaos, inconsistency Marks the launch of the Drive-thru Virus – NBC Los Angeles test

Drive-thru sites have been opened in the United States to make testing the new coronavirus faster and safer. But just like the rest of the United States’ response to the pandemic, the system has been characterized by inconsistencies, delays and shortcomings. Many people who have symptoms and a doctor’s order have waited hours or days for a test.

More than a week after President Donald Trump promised that states and retail stores such as Walmart and CVS would open drive-through test centers, few sites are active and are not yet open to the public. Some states are leaving the test sector open to the private sector; others are coordinating efforts through state health departments.

Patients complained that they had to jump through bulky red tape and wait for days to get tested, then wait even longer for a result. The test centers were opened in some places to be closed shortly afterwards due to the shortage of supplies and staff. And while the drive-through test centers that have been opened are generally sorted, in some there have been long lines.

The slow increase in COVID-19 tests and the unpredictable nature of the system make it difficult for public health officials to track the spread of the disease and bring it under control.

“We need to do more extensive testing to fully understand the scale of the public health situation we are facing,” said Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Dr Brett Giroir, the federal health officer in charge of overseeing the tests, said on Saturday at a White House briefing that approximately 195,000 people have so far been tested in the United States. This figure does not include some people who have been tested in private laboratories.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness can take anywhere from three weeks to six weeks to recover.

Drive-through test sites have sprung up in places in over 30 states: in state parks and parking lots, near medical centers and universities, the Mississippi state fairgrounds, and near where the Jacksonville Jaguars play. The governor of Maryland last week ordered the stopping of vehicle emission inspection programs across the state, so that the offices could be used as drive-thru centers to test the virus.

But as of Friday, there were no open drive-through tests available in Maryland inspection centers.

The Utah health department said it is not responsible for the sites and is not monitoring them. The North Carolina health director said the state is leaving the tests to the private sector and declined to say how many sites there are. In contrast, in Rhode Island, health organizations manage the sites in collaboration with the state health department.

On Thursday, cars lined up for more than a mile outside a hospital in Houston when the first drive-through test site was opened. U.S. representative Sheila Jackson Lee said she administered fewer than 200 tests in the first six hours.

Elsewhere, at various sites visited by Associated Press reporters, the scenes were well controlled and sometimes quite silent.

Dozens of people waiting by car in a downtown Homestead, Florida on Wednesday waited for their turn to speak with a screener who was wearing a suit and mask and carrying notes. Some were apparently removed. Others were stirred, checked their temperatures, and swabbed for the samples.

But the shortage of supply has stopped the thrusters in several states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina and Utah. A Las Vegas site was shut down because it didn’t have enough workers.

New York state opened several centers with great fanfare on Tuesday. By Friday, however, the New York City health department issued a warning saying that only people requesting hospitalization should be tested, due to a shortage of protective equipment such as face masks. Drive-thru sites in New York State remain open, but only to people who meet certain criteria.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said he had asked the federal government for additional test kits and supplies, but the state received a warning Thursday that all of its requests for drive-through test pods and test kits “are undefined arrears, without any estimate of a timeline for delivery. “

“This is our unfortunate Nevada reality. It depends on us, “he said.

The sites themselves are dotted with tents and traffic cones. The most important features are medical personnel who wear masks, gloves and protective vests or other clothing. They take nose and throat swabs from people sitting in their cars or help people get in for the test.

Some states have only one drive-thru site. Montana’s only site is in Billings, the largest city in the state. Others have a dozen.

Security guards have been reported on many sites, but an AP survey of states did not reveal any security concerns. In Rhode Island, the National Guard was on hand to set up the state’s three drive-thru sites and even to buffer patients.

The vast network of drive-thru sites in retail chains that Trump claimed was coming over a week ago has not materialized yet. CVS has opened a site in Massachusetts that defines a “test model”. Walmart launched two sites on Sunday and Walgreens said it will launch one, all three in Illinois. Only healthcare professionals and first responders are allowed, and Walmart said that a maximum of 150 tests per day could be performed on its federal sites.

The patchwork of approaches has caused confusion for patients. Caroline Mauldin was sentenced to get tested by her doctor in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday after suffering from pain and chills for several days.

To make an appointment at a center in a medical center, she had to fill out a long online questionnaire and spent two days calling a number that went to voicemail and did not answer messages. He resorted to tweets in the hospital several times just to get things going.

Finally, on Thursday, he had an appointment for Monday. And she was told that the results would not return until after 4-5 days. The visit will cost you $ 25, he said. Complicating things, he doesn’t have a car and has to borrow it from a friend.

“Here we have a lot of older, low-income people who don’t have Internet access and who don’t have access to transportation. And since they’re the highest risk population, how are we testing for them?” She asked.

In urban areas such as New York and Philadelphia, some sites offer “walk-up” dating for people without cars.

At the Penn Medicine test site in West Philadelphia, two security agents were late on Thursday to make sure that people arriving by car or on foot had an appointment. For about 40 minutes that evening, the line of cars never grew to more than six or seven. But Patricia Sullivan, Penn Medicine’s quality manager, said every morning last week, 25-35 cars were lined up and six or seven standing patients were 6 feet apart on a porch waiting to be seen.

The 20 sites in Greater Philadelphia are testing around 1,000 people a day, but that hasn’t eliminated pent-up demand.

Rosanne Tanner’s 79-year-old mother has been suffering from fever and chest pain since returning from a visit to Tanner’s brother and wife, who had recently been on a cruise ship.

His doctor ordered a test on Tuesday, but when he tried to make an appointment at a drive-through site in a hospital outside of Philadelphia, he was told that “they are overloaded, they are bogged down,” Tanner said.

Medical staff told her that they are scheduling 15 minutes apart, so there are no bottlenecks on the test site.

Finally on Thursday his mother made sure of an appointment for the following Tuesday. Then, he will have to wait another five days for a result.

“The delay in these tests is putting people at risk,” said Tanner.

In Rhode Island, state officials said they are testing 100 to 200 people per day at all test sites, including three drive thrusters.

Governor Gina Raimondo said they want to perform 500 to 600 a day, but they don’t have the supplies they need.

“It is our top priority to reach a place where everyone who needs it can be tested and you will get results very quickly,” said Raimondo during a press conference held on Facebook Live on Friday on Friday. “So if you’re positive, we can quarantine you.”


Associate press writers Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas, Lynne Sladky in Homestead, Florida, Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia, Chris Ehrmann in Hartford, Connecticut, Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City and Jonathan Drew in Raleigh, North Carolina and Anne D ‘Innocenzio and Mike Sisak in New York contributed to this report.


The Associated Press receives support for health and scientific coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


DOH claims to speed up COVID-19 tests with multiple labs, 120,000 test kits

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) assured the public on Saturday that it was “accelerating its COVID-19 test capability” as the number of cases in the Philippines continued to increase.

In a press release, the agency said it expects 120,500 test kits to arrive from various countries such as China, South Korea and Brunei. This adds to the remaining 1,300 kits from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the 2,050 test kits that came first from China and South Korea.

Previously, he announced that there are now 5 subnational laboratories that process COVID-19 tests: RITM, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

The Western Visayas Medical Center and the Bicol Public Health Laboratory are also in preparation for the tests.

In addition to the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), the DOH and the World Health Organization are also evaluating five private hospitals as possible extension labs.

These are the molecular biology laboratories of the St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City and Chinese General Hospital.

“Multiple labs will be evaluated in all regions after the completion of this first round,” said DOH.

“We must stress the importance of laboratory certification because of the risks associated with managing a live virus. The Department is paying close attention to certify multiple subnational laboratories and to ensure biosecurity measures are in place, “said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who is currently in quarantine after a DOH official has tested positive for COVID-19.

The agency is also looking to leverage lower-level labs to help process the samples.

The DOH also said that the six test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration can be purchased and used by hospitals with laboratory capabilities.

He reiterated that he does not recommend mass testing for non-symptomatic people.

“Once testing capacity is increased, testing on mild cases and patients under investigation (PUI) can be resumed,” DOH said.

Duque said he was optimistic that the country could overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am very grateful for the heroism of our healthcare professionals and frontliners for their dedication to overcome our current situation,” he said.

On Friday there are 230 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. Of that number, 18 died and 8 healed.

Luzon remains stuck with airports and public transportation closed as the government tries to slow the spread of the virus.

COVID-19, coronavirus, Department of Health, test kit, coronavirus DOH, coronavirus tests in the Philippines, DOH laboratories


For the Sick, an agonizing wait for tests in Massachusetts – NBC Boston

Danni Aubain has cancer, so when she started feeling lousy late last month, she was particularly worried.

Aubain said the disease hit her like a ton of bricks. He had a 103-degree fever and a horrible, dry cough.

“I really couldn’t breathe,” he said, “and that’s scary for anyone undergoing chemotherapy.”

When seeking medical attention, Aubain said that both her oncologist and a Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room doctor pushed for her to be tested for COVID19, the new coronavirus disease that spreads worldwide.

But despite their recommendations, the response they got from state epidemiologists was that Aubain did not meet the test criteria.

“They called the Public Health Department and I was told that if I couldn’t name a person I knew had a positive test and that I hadn’t traveled outside the country, I couldn’t have been tested,” he said.

In response to NBC10 Boston’s questions, Mass. General said he cannot discuss the treatment of any patient.

But Aubain’s story is like so many others streamed to NBC10 Boston investigators in the past week by spectators across the state who have not been able to take a test. Many said they experienced symptoms of the disease, such as fever and shortness of breath. Like Aubain, some have also been seen by doctors who were convinced they need to be screened.

But with a shortage of test kits available in the state until the end of last week and with restrictive guidelines in place by the federal government, many said they were frustrated, scared and confused as to what to do next.

Federal officials are rapidly increasing the nation’s infrastructure to test COVID-19 this week after a series of missteps hampered the country’s ability to control the virus as it migrated from its epicenter in China to destinations around the world. As of Monday, there have been over 4,000 disease cases reported in the United States, which have so far seen over 70 deaths.

On Monday, health officials in Massachusetts announced that around 1,300 people were tested for the disease and 197 tested positive.

The state’s ability to test patients has increased significantly in the past few days when federal officials have granted Massachusetts clearance to begin testing the samples at the state’s public health laboratory, rather than sending them to a centralized, managed location. by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Federal officials also expanded their testing guidelines, offering doctors more discretion to order a test for the virus, and last week they shipped around 5,000 additional test kits to Massachusetts, easing local supply.

The CDC has also published new guidelines that allow doctors and nurses to subject a single nasal swab to tests, rather than a nasal swab and another sample from the patient’s throat. The change is expected to allow Massachusetts to double its testing capacity, bringing the number of tests conducted every day from 200 to 400, public health commissioner Monica Bharel said at a press conference on Sunday.

The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve the test sites, also granted permission at the end of last week to a couple of private companies – Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp – to begin testing samples collected from patients in Massachusetts. Massachusetts hospital labs are expected to launch their testing programs shortly.

“With more and more clinical labs in Massachusetts working to gain FDA approval, more online capabilities will also be available soon,” said Bharel on Sunday.

Federal officials say the United States is now on track to test thousands of patients a day for the virus after falling far behind other countries in its efforts to detect the virus.

Independent research cited by the CDC indicates that the United States had completed approximately 20,000 tests as of March 13. That number pales in comparison to the aggressive testing effort in South Korea, which has a much smaller population, but has tested around 15,000 people per day.

While the United States is ready to learn more about the extent of the pandemic soon, many in the Bay State who fear having contracted the disease say they believe the government has missed an important opportunity to help curb its spread.

“I have a couple of friends in my social circle who are experiencing flu-like symptoms and are just writing it as flu,” said Rita Czernewski, a Cantonese resident who had an unexplained illness a few weeks ago and was frustrated by her inability to get tested for the new coronavirus.

“We are just a little stuck,” he said. “The only thing we can do is just be careful.”


Coronavirus: Australia is running out of test kits

Less than two months after coronavirus became a public health emergency in Australia, we are dangerously short of the reagent needed to run tests for the killer virus.

News Corp understands that this reagent’s stocks are under pressure in Western Australia and Queensland.

While other states such as South Australia have an offer of about a month.

Passengers arriving and departing from Sydney International Airport take precautions by wearing a variety of masks. Image: Matrix
media_cameraPassengers arriving and departing from Sydney International Airport take precautions by wearing a variety of masks. Image: Matrix

The chemical is held by public pathology laboratories, private pathology laboratories and key scientific organizations such as CSIRO.

However, News Corp understands that most of the supply is made by a single pharmaceutical company – ROCHE.

The chemical is being imported into Australia and supplies worldwide are dwindling as coronavirus spreads and is needed for multiple labs.

The countries that manufacture the reagent maintain the supplies they have for their coronavirus tests.

This result has once again highlighted Australia’s dangerous dependence from abroad on pharmaceutical supplies.

Australian Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said today that the government “is working very hard to make sure we have enough test equipment for that eventuality.”

Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer in Australia. Image: AAP
media_cameraBrendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer in Australia. Image: AAP

“We are doing a lot of work to procure and expand our test capability,” he said.

“We are focusing our tests on returning travelers or on the contacts of people who are


“We don’t want people with a normal mild cold in Australia to go and get tested. We need to keep the tests for those who need it,” said Professor Murphy.

Health officials have appealed to people that coronavirus is unlikely not to show up for tests to preserve the tests available for those most likely to have the virus.

The government wants people who have recently traveled abroad or have recently been in contact with a coronavirus-infected person to be able to test if they have symptoms of coronavirus that include sore throat or dry cough.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA), president of South Australia and president of the AMA’s national ethics committee, dr. Chris Moy said that there have been varying levels of pandemic planning in all Australian states.

Chris Moy, president of the Australian Medical Association (SA). Image: provided
media_cameraChris Moy, president of the Australian Medical Association (SA). Image: provided

“We have to test appropriate people, so we don’t use it faster,” he said.

Part of the problem was that the test criteria were constantly changing, leaving doctors confused, he said.

A test run occurred after Health Minister Greg Hunt said last weekend that anyone concerned about having coronavirus should be tested.

He said it was better to go overboard with the tests, but later Prof. Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer, changed the board and said that only those who had recently traveled or had been in contact with a coronavirus case needed test.

Press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Chief Medical Officer of the Australian government Brendan Murphy. Image: Gary Ramage
media_cameraPress conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Chief Medical Officer of the Australian government Brendan Murphy. Image: Gary Ramage

Dr Moy said the situation with the test kits once again underscored why Australia needed a single national disease control center to manage the outbreak of infectious diseases such as coronavirus.

The need for test kits could decrease once coronavirus infection has spread more widely across the community, he said.

Once this happened, we would no longer try to identify infected people and trace their contacts and focus on treating those who were sick.

When that happened, we would identify the sickest people by radiography of their lungs to see if they had pneumonia and needed hospitalization, he said.


In a statement on its website, Roche stated that it does not manufacture medicines in Australia and that “none of the medicines we provide to Australian patients are produced in China”.

“Globally, we are evaluating our supply chains and our suppliers’ supply chains for components and raw materials from affected countries, including China, as we determine the coverage and potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. As of now, we have not identified any critical components that would affect our ability to deliver medicines in the near future, based on current demand forecasts. “

The company said its global manufacturing sites adhere to specific pandemic plans and guidelines, including preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection and social withdrawal measures to minimize social contacts.

“These sites also adhere to global global hygiene and clothing standards and procedures to protect themselves from potential cross-contamination or contamination.”

“As a leader in diagnostics, Roche is committed to providing test solutions for the world’s toughest health emergencies. We are providing as many tests as possible, within the limits of supply.”


The Chamber easily approved a bipartisan coronavirus aid package on Saturday morning, local time, after intense negotiations between the Democrats and the Trump administration.

The bill passed 363-40, with 40 Republicans voting against it.

The “Family First coronavirus Response Act” would guarantee free tests for all Americans – even for the uninsured – and two mandatory weeks of sick leave for those affected by the health crisis.

The package also includes three months of paid family and medical leave and an increase in unemployment insurance to cover workers who could be laid off during the pandemic.

“[The legislation] it focuses directly on providing American families, which must be our first priority, “said Nancy Pelosi before the vote.” The three most important parts of this bill are tests, test tests. “

U.S. President Donald Trump had opposed the legislation until Friday evening, previously claiming that he wanted more sacrifices from Democrats, that is, a cut in wage taxes was included in the bill.

But Mr Trump arrived later in the evening, saying he had “completely” supported the package in a series of tweets urging both sides to vote in favor.

“This bill will follow my direction for free coronavirus tests and pay sick leave for our affected American workers, Trump tweeted.

“I have ordered the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that offer flexibility so as not to harm small businesses in any way.”

The Senate is expected to adopt the legislation next week.


New analysis suggests that governments need to act faster and take even stronger measures to reduce social interaction to control coronavirus, far beyond the closure of large-scale events imposed by Monday.

Countries that act quickly to close social contacts can reduce the number of deaths by COVID19 by a factor of 10, calculated Stanford University graduate Tomas Pueyo. And the days and hours can make a huge difference.

Pueyo studied the epidemiology of coronavirus by examining case numbers in Italy, China and Europe.

People wear masks across an airport. Image: Matrix
media_cameraPeople wear masks across an airport. Image: Matrix

The true number of cases of the virus is probably five times higher than official data suggest, he warns.

“Delaying the action will mean in two or four weeks, when the whole world is blocked, when the few precious days of social distance that you have allowed will have saved your life, people will no longer criticize you: they will thank you for making the decision right, “warns world leaders.

Part of the problem is that the official number of cases is far less than the real number of cases in the community it claims.

When the Chinese government closed Wuhan there were only 400 official cases, but in reality there were 2500 new cases that day which it discovered.

Medical personnel speak to a patient infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in the Chinese province of Hubei. Image: AFP
media_cameraMedical personnel speak to a patient infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in the Chinese province of Hubei. Image: AFP

Two days later, when China locked up another 15 cities, cases began to drop in just two days, according to her analysis.

The official number of cases in China has continued to increase, but these people had been infected in the week preceding the arrest.

He warns that Europeans have been too slow to act.

“With the number of cases we see today in countries like the United States, Spain, France, Iran, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden or Switzerland, Wuhan was already on the block,” he said.

The difference between acting quickly and acting slowly can be seen in the contrasting mortality rates between the Chinese province of Hubei and the rest of China, says Pueyo.

“Hubei’s mortality rate is likely to be around 4.8%. In the meantime, for the rest of China, it will likely be 0.9%.”

“The total deaths / cases of Iran and Italy are both converging towards 3-4%. My hypothesis is that their numbers will also end up for that figure,” he said.

Tourists wear facial masks while walking near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Image: EPA
media_cameraTourists wear facial masks while walking near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Image: EPA


Italy recorded 250 coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period – most in the country in a single day – since the number of COVID-19 deaths reached 1266, according to official data.

The country also registered over 2500 new virus cases during that time, bringing the total to over 17,000.

A nurse from northern Italy said fighting the virus was like being in the middle of “a world war”.

Countries that are overwhelmed will have a mortality rate of between 3 and 5%, he said.

The reason why faster and harder action is needed to contain the virus is that the world health system will not be able to cope, he said.

The United States did not have enough hospital beds or masks to cope with a large-scale outbreak of viruses. Australia is already rationing access to the coronavirus test, trying to preserve it for those most likely to have the virus because we don’t have enough tests to meet the demand. And states are scrambling to get extra fans to keep people with severe viruses alive.

Audience members also expressed concern that Australia has not taken tough enough action on our borders.

Travelers who returned to Australia this week said they had not been contacted by any border control officer to provide them with information about the coronavirus or that their temperatures had been tested.


A second Cabinet minister was tested for deadly coronavirus before Peter Dutton was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Sunday Telegraph confirmed that treasurer Josh Frydenberg fell ill at the end of last week after attending the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Saudi Arabia in late February.

Frydenberg said he was tested for the virus on Thursday, but received a negative result on Friday morning, before fellow minister Peter Dutton returned a positive test. Both ministers attended a government meeting in Sydney on Tuesday, where senior ministers agreed on an incentive package to avoid a recession.

Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 9 March 2020. (AAP Image / Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVE
media_cameraAustralian treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 9 March 2020. (AAP Image / Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVE

Saturday night, Frydenberg said The Sunday Telegraph he was taking antibiotics and resting, but he didn’t need to isolate himself.

The work questioned why the public was told to isolate if they “came into” close contact “with a coronavirus case while ministers continued to work. On Saturday, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said that “close contact” was defined as “direct contact for at least 15 minutes” or that he is in the same enclosed space as someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 test for at least two hours when that person was contagious.

Despite his ill health, Frydenberg will present a new coronavirus commercial liaison unit to support employment and business on Sunday.

Peter Dutton with members of the Trump administration. Image: AP
media_cameraPeter Dutton with members of the Trump administration. Image: AP

The new unit will be managed by officials from across the public service who will provide updated information to business groups on the government’s response to the coronavirus.

Frydenberg said it would allow for the rapid and effective dissemination of critical information within the business community. “


He arrived while Ivanka Trump self-isolated after his exposure to Mr Dutton.

The White House has tried to minimize the threat to its older members.

Ms Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr worked from home yesterday and had no plans to isolate themselves for 14 days.

While Trump initially suggested that he would be considered for coronavirus, the White House has since said he won’t.

It came when a third person who visited Mar-a-Lago with Trump last weekend confirmed that the coronavirus with Brazil’s interim ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive on Friday.

The president also contacted Brazilian press secretary Fabio Wajngarten on Saturday, who turned out to be positive and attended a dinner on Sunday after which one of the attendees was also diagnosed. It is not clear who that participant is.

Trump ended a tumultuous week with a White House address that reinforced the biggest one-day jump on Wall Street since 2008.

He declared the coronavirus to be a national emergency and dedicated potential $ 50 billion ($ A78 billion) to the fight.


Baz Luhrmann revealed that he went to solitary confinement after Tom Hanks and his wife were diagnosed with coronavirus on his Queensland movie set.

The Australian director, whose Elvis film was blocked while he was in pre-production on the Gold Coast, said he was in solitary confinement for 10 days.

This week Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus.

Luhrmann switched to social media to thank Queensland Health for his “exceptional support”.

He said that he and his family were “healthy and healthy”.


It comes when Apple stores around the world are ready to close their doors for two weeks due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The tech giant has announced that all stores outside of Greater China will close until March 27 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said he wanted to first recognize the Apple family in Greater China.

“Although the rate of infections has drastically decreased, we know that the effects of COVID-19 are still strongly felt,” he said.

“To date, all of our stores in Greater China have been reopened.”

Cook went on to say that the best way to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus was to “reduce density and maximize social distance.”

Apple will allow flexible work arrangements for employees around the world with thorough cleaning, health checks and temperature checks at office sites.

Retail workers will continue to receive payments in line with commercial and routine activities by expanding leave policies and accommodating families affected by COVID-19.

In addition, Apple will donate $ 15 million (USD) to help treat people affected by the pandemic at a community and economic level.

Apple stores are closing as the coronavirus spreads.
media_cameraApple stores are closing as the coronavirus spreads.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is taking the strictest border security measures in the world to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, after declaring that all international arrivals – including the return of kiwis – must self-isolate for two weeks while the country blocks to ward off the spread of coronavirus.

Ms. Ardern announced the measure on Saturday after an emergency cabinet meeting.

“We don’t take these decisions lightly,” he said.

“New Zealand will have wider and more difficult border restrictions than anyone in the world.” Ms. Ardern said that the measure applies to people and not to goods, although it has given an exemption to people arriving from the Pacific, a region largely free of the virus.

The decisions will take effect from Sunday midnight NZDT. New Zealand has so far only six cases of illness and none have been transmitted through the community.

Ms. Ardern also announced that cruise ships would not be able to dock in New Zealand until June.

The decision will be reviewed in 16 days.

To illustrate his point, he used a worldwide viral chart that explains how we can reduce the spread of the virus.

The graph, titled “Flatten the Curve”, explains the need for social removal measures as confusion about the severity of the virus grows.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shows a chart during a press conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
media_cameraNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shows a chart during a press conference in Auckland, New Zealand.

On Saturday, the government announced the cancellation of a national memory service in honor of the attacks on the Christchurch mosque on March 15 last year.

The immediate state of the NRL season faces new fears following the New Zealand government’s decision to force all international arrivals to self-quarantine for a fortnight from Sunday midnight (NZT).

The development prompted the Warriors, who are currently in New South Wales to face Newcastle at the start of the season, to hold emergency talks with NRL officials at 5:00 PM on Saturday afternoon (AEDT).

“Cameron George (CEO) says the club is awaiting more details on the travel restrictions just announced by the government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” the Warriors said in a statement on Saturday.

Australia’s one-day international streak against New Zealand was also abandoned after New Zealanders had to run home because of the coronavirus precautions.

The New Zealand government announced on Saturday that all arriving passengers would be subject to a 14-day quarantine, from Sunday to midnight.

“A consequence of this is that we must bring our team back to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, which means that it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee games,” said a New Zealand Cricket spokesman.

Australia won their first game on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground with 71 tracks, with no spectators in the stadium. The second game was scheduled for Sunday, always at the SCG, and the third Friday following Hobart.

The teams had to play three Twenty20s against each other in New Zealand, starting March 24, but those were also canceled. “NZC believes that both of these series can be reproduced in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date,” said the spokesman. “NZC understands and supports the government’s position. This is an unprecedented moment of risk and danger and the personal health and well-being of our players is paramount.”


A well-known Queensland lawyer, Deb Kilroy, revealed that she and her friend were on par with Peter Dutton and tested for coronavirus. She led on Twitter asking why she too was to be quarantined, unlike others, including the Prime Minister, who have not been tested at all.


The nation’s largest cruise ship company has announced that it will suspend operations on Australia-based ships for at least a month in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carnival Cruise Line on Saturday announced that it will suspend operations on ships based in Australia until at least April 13.

Two ships currently at sea will continue their voyages before returning to Sydney as scheduled.


Another newborn tested positive for coronavirus, marking what appears to be the second case in which the pandemic worsens.

The mother of the London boy was rushed to a local hospital a few days before giving birth to the fears that he had contracted pneumonia, The sun reported Friday local time.

The coronavirus test returned positive only after delivery; her baby was tested a few minutes later.

They were treated in separate hospitals while health workers investigated whether the baby contracted the disease while in the womb or after birth, the outlet said.

In early February, another infected mother in China gave birth to a baby boy who was also confirmed to be infected, the BBC reported at the time.

And a very young child, an 18-month-old boy in Hong Kong, also gave positive results to the virus after both parents tested positive, according to a report released Thursday.


A team of Canadian scientists has successfully isolated and cultivated copies of the coronavirus, bringing the world closer in search of a vaccine to fight deadly disease.

Researchers from the Sunnybrook Research Institute, the University of Toronto and McMaster University were able to isolate and replicate the virus in a laboratory using samples taken from two Canadian patients.

Lab-developed copies will now be able to help scientists study the pathogen to develop diagnostic tests, treatments, vaccines and a better understanding of its biology, the team said in a statement.

“Now that we’ve isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus [the agent responsible for COVID-19], we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork, “said Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, NSERC postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University.

“The more viruses are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”

“We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic,” added Dr. Samira Mubareka, microbiologist and infectious disease doctor at Sunnybrook.

“While immediate response is critical, long-term solutions come from essential research on this new virus.”

Meanwhile, eight institutes in China are working on five approaches to inoculations in an attempt to combat COVID-19. Chinese officials say it could lead to a vaccine ready for emergency and clinical trials next month.


21 new cases confirmed by the Grand Princess cruise

Twenty-one people aboard a giant cruise ship off the coast of California have tested positive for the new coronavirus, Vice President Mike Pence, including 19 crew members, announced on Friday.

Pence said the federal government is working with California officials on a plan to bring the ship to a non-commercial port this weekend and 3,500 passengers and crew members will be tested for the virus.

“We will all test on the ship and quarantine if necessary,” said Pence. “But as for the crew of 1,100 members, we expect they will be quarantined on the ship.”

The ship carried 3,533 people, including at least four Australians.

At this stage it is not clear whether the four Australians on board are among the confirmed cases.

RELATED: The number of coronavirus cases exceeds 100,000 globally

RELATED: New cases of coronavirus emerge in Australia overnight

READ MORE: Follow the latest coronavirus update

Friday’s test results come amid evidence that the ship was the breeding ground for a deadly mass of at least 10 cases during its previous voyage.

“All passengers and crew will be tested for the virus. Those to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who need medical attention will receive it,” Pence told the media.

Coronavirus test kits were delivered to the ship on Thursday and samples were collected from 45 people, Princess Cruises said in a statement.

A video posted on social media by the California National Guard shows a military helicopter flying over the ship and lowering the test kits with the rope.

The Grand Princess was arrested near San Francisco on Thursday after a traveler from a previous trip died of COVID-19 disease and several passengers and staff members began reporting flu-like symptoms.

Two people who had been on the ship on her previous voyage contracted the virus. One later died.

The dead person – a 71-year-old man – had been aboard the Grand Princess on her previous trip between San Francisco and Mexico.

Pence said he believed the number of infected people was high among the crew since they had probably been exposed during two previous outings.

The ship had traveled to Hawaii and was returning to the port, but has now been told that it cannot dock until tests confirm whether it is infected.

“The ship will not go ashore until we have adequately assessed the passengers,” said California Govenor Gavin Newsom as he declared a state emergency on Thursday.

The astonished passengers watched the elaborate operation, with their phones ready.

“The CDC (US Centers for Disease Control) team along with test samples just taken from the air from the ship,” passenger Jim Lange wrote on Instagram.

The samples were sent to a nearby laboratory for processing.

In the meantime, all passengers were asked to stay in their cabins while the results were pending.

“Guests are receiving meal deliveries in their cabins via room service and additional television and film options have been added to in-room programming,” said Princess Cruises.

“Guests have also been offered free Internet service to keep in touch with family and loved ones and the ship’s Internet bandwidth has been increased.”

Another Princess cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan last month due to the virus, and in the end about 700 of the 3,700 people on board were infected with what experts have declared a public health failure, with the ship essentially becoming a floating germ factory.

Three dozen passengers on the Grand Princess have had flu-like symptoms in the past two weeks or so, said Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the San Francisco emergency management department.

An epidemiologist studying the spread of viral particles said that recirculating air from a cruise ship’s ventilation system, in addition to close quarters and common spaces, makes passengers vulnerable to infectious diseases.

“They’re not designed as quarantine structures, to put it plainly,” said Don Milton of the University of Maryland. “You will amplify the infection by keeping people on the boat.” He said the fallout from the quarantined ship in Japan demonstrates the urgent need to move people off the ship.

“My advice is to bring people to a safer quarantine environment than a cruise ship,” said Milton.


Coronavirus test kits delivered by military helicopter

An extraordinary video of a military helicopter delivering coronavirus test kits to a quarantined cruise ship off the coast of California emerged.

The Grand Princess he was stopped near San Francisco on Thursday after a traveler from a previous trip died of COVID-19 and several passengers and staff members began reporting flu-like symptoms.

The ship had traveled to Hawaii and was returning to the port, but has now been told that it cannot dock until tests confirm whether it is infected.

“The ship will not go ashore until we have adequately assessed the passengers,” said California Govenor Gavin Newsom as he declared a state emergency on Thursday.

The ship carries 3,533 people, including at least four Australians.

READ MORE: Follow the latest coronavirus update


Coronavirus test kits were delivered to the ship on Thursday and samples were collected from 45 people, Princess Cruises said in a statement.

A video posted on social media by the California National Guard shows a military helicopter flying over the ship and lowering the test kits with the rope.

The astonished passengers watched the elaborate operation, with their phones ready.

“The CDC (US Centers for Disease Control) team along with test samples just taken from the air from the ship,” passenger Jim Lange wrote on Instagram.

The samples have now been sent to a nearby laboratory for processing, with the results expected in the next few hours.

In the meantime, all passengers have been asked to stay in their cabins while the results are pending.

“Guests are receiving meal deliveries in their cabins via room service and additional television and film options have been added to in-room programming,” said Princess Cruises.

“Guests have also been provided with free Internet service to keep in touch with their family and loved ones and the ship’s Internet bandwidth has been increased.”


Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the San Francisco Emergency Management Department, said the ship’s next steps will be determined once the test results are confirmed.

Two passengers from Grand PrincessThe previous trip to Mexico was hospitalized with the virus in northern California, and two Canadians who recently sailed aboard the ship also tested positive after returning home, officials said.

RELATED: Steps to Take to Avoid the Killer Virus

Another video posted on social media showed the ship’s staff wearing gloves and masks, spraying and cleaning surfaces.

“Spirits are as tall as they can be in these circumstances. We are fortunate to be healthy, comfortable and well fed, “wrote passenger Michele Smith on Facebook.

The ship belongs to Princess Cruises, the same company that operated the ship affected by the coronavirus Diamond Princess held Japan last month.

More than 3700 people were on that ship when a passenger emerged who had disembarked in Hong Kong later tested positive for the coronavirus.

The ship was immediately put on hold, with all the passengers having to remain mostly confined to their rooms for 14 days, but the virus continued to spread.

More than 620 cases of the disease have been confirmed on board – including several Australians – leading to speculation that the quarantine may have contributed to its spread.


How is South Florida preparing for Coronavirus? – NBC 6 South Florida

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have raised concerns about a possible pandemic epidemic in the United States for coronavirus, which has infected over 800,000 people and killed at least 2,700 worldwide.

According to the agency, only 14 cases of illness have been confirmed in the United States, none of which were in Florida.

However, they are asking the public to prepare.

“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this will be negative,” a senior CDC official told reporters in a conference call.

So if the disease reaches South Florida, what do local officials expect to do?


The Florida Department of Health says health care providers are following the strict guidelines of the CDC.

Patients who have a fever, signs of “lower respiratory disease” and have traveled to China in the past two weeks should be tested for the disease. The CDC has specific test kits for coronavirus, but health officials were unable to confirm whether Florida was one of the few states that received them.

Patients diagnosed will be asked to wear a surgical mask and be evaluated in a private room.


Nearly 10 million international passengers arrive at Miami International Airport each year – 2.3 million via Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

MIA claims not to provide projections for coronavirus to anyone who does not come from China.

They say that Americans flying to the United States from China will be diverted to the following airports:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • San Francisco International Airport (OFS), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • Dallas / Ft. Of value
  • Detroit
  • Washington Dulles
  • Newark

MIA is also among the 20 U.S. airports that are working with the CDC to strengthen travelers’ projections. The jurisdiction of MIA includes the Bahamas and Aruba, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.


Miami-Dade public school superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced the district plan if coronaviruses were detected in the area.

In order to reduce direct contact between students, the superintendent says that schools will benefit from digital or “tele-education” lessons.

However, electronic lessons are a last resort if a school is to be closed.

Education of the disease will increase for school reasons and electronic services will be installed that will connect school clinics with doctors for instant information.

Carvalho also said that if necessary, alternative layoff times will be implemented, increasing school cleaning cycles.

Florida International University has announced that it would restrict access to students and faculty while canceling study abroad programs to nations dealing with the medical crisis. All trips to Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are limited.

At the same time, the school is asking anyone who has visited countries – as well as China, where thousands have died in the past few weeks from the virus – or have had contact with anyone who has visited to remain in quarantine for 14 days even if they they do not have any symptoms.

Miami-Dade public schools were forced to cancel two trips abroad, including one trip to Italy.

The University of Miami has also canceled overseas study programs in China amid concerns.

Check for updates