This is our weekly log of significant Coronavirus headlines in the news.
We started this log in January when we thought that there was something different about Coronavirus and that at some point we would want to look back and trace the story of the pandemic through the newspaper headlines of the day. We were unfortunately right in our assumption but never thought it would get as bad as this.
We encourage others to improve on what we are attempting, and start to record the impact of the virus on them, their families and their communities.
Note: we are no longer going to be keeping a daily log. It has become harder and harder to continue a log of events as they become more repetitious. It was turning into a fatality log and that never was our aim.
We will instead be publishing specific items and events as they occur.
If you want to check out the current situation where you Iive, we suggest you use our Coronavirus tracking tool courtesy of Johns Hopkins University.
Stay safe and good luck in all of this.
March 29 – April 04 2020
31/03/2020 – US. American Airlines, one of the world’s richest carriers, says it will apply for $12bn (£9.7bn) in government aid.
31/03/2020 – Ireland’s daily growth rate in confirmed cases of coronavirus has halved. Ireland on Monday confirmed 295 new cases, the second highest daily number, bringing the total to 2,910. It recorded eight deaths, bringing the death toll to 54.
31-03/2020 – US. About three out of four Americans are now, or about to be, under some form of lockdown, as more states tighten measures to fight the coronavirus.
Maryland, Virginia, Arizona and Tennessee became the latest states to order citizens to stay at home, meaning 32 of 50 states have taken such steps.
31/03/2020 – Syria. The UN’s humanitarian chief has warned that the 10 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including one death, in war-torn Syria are just “the tip of the iceberg”.
30/03/2020 – UK to spend up to £75 million in an attempt to return stranded British nationals around the world back to the UK.
30/03/2020 – “Immunity passports” for key workers could be a way of getting people who have had coronavirus back into the workforce more quickly, scientists and politicians in the UK have suggested.
Researchers in Germany are currently preparing a mass study into how many people are already immune to the Covid-19 virus, allowing authorities to eventually issue passes to exclude workers from restrictive measures currently in place.
30/03/2020 – Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has predicted the US would see 100,000 to 200,000 deaths linked to the virus.
30/03/2020 – UK – Asos has been criticised by staff who say they are scared to come to work at its distribution centre because they are not being sufficiently protected during the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 98% of more than 460 workers who took part in a survey carried out by the GMB union said they felt unsafe at the group’s warehouse in Grimethorpe, Barnsley, even after new safety measures were introduced last week. About 4,000 people are employed at the warehouse with an average 500 working each shift.
30/03/2020 – Hospitals in the UK trying to slow the spread of coronavirus are tightening restrictions on visits – including to people at the end of their lives, with some supplying computer tablets and smartphones to help loved ones say their last goodbyes.
30/03/2020 – A detailed analysis of the Coronavirus’ structure in the US shows that the club-like “spikes” that it uses to establish infections latch on to human cells about four times more strongly than those on the related Sars coronavirus, which killed hundreds of people in a 2002 epidemic.
The finding suggests that coronavirus particles that are inhaled through the nose or mouth have a high chance of attaching to cells in the upper respiratory tract, meaning that relatively few are needed for an infection to gain a foothold.
30/03/2020 – Finally Italy’s rates of new coronavirus cases and ICU admissions appear to be on the decline, providing some much-needed good news to the country that has been most devastated by the pandemic.
30/03/2020 – US store Macy’s has announced it is furloughing most of its 130,000 staff. The retailer said it lost “the majority” of its sales after shutting its stores on March 18.
29/03/2020 – The coronavirus outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, the US government’s top infectious diseases expert warned today.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s State of the Union that millions would be infected by the virus.
29/03/2020 – UK. The British government is to send a letter to over 30 million UK households clarifying what the current rules and regulations are regarding social isolation and social distancing in the UK.
It will also advise that the lockdown rules may well get tougher than they currently are and will last as long as needed.
29/03/2020 – Following Trump’s decision not to propose a quarantine over New York and neighbouring states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a warning against non-essential travel in the region instead.
“Due to extensive community transmission of Covid-19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” said the warning issued late on Saturday, local time.
Employees of trucking, food supply, financial services and some other industries are exempt from the measure, and governors of the three states had full discretion over how to carry out the advisory.
29/03/2020 – UK Doctors have drawn up plans to infuse British coronavirus patients and their carers with blood plasma harvested from “hyperimmune” people who have recovered from the infection in an attempt to save lives.
The experimental treatment will be directed at patients who are admitted to hospital with pneumonia caused by the virus in the hope that it reduces the number who end up on ventilators in intensive care units (ICUs).
Those in close contact with Covid-19 patients, such as NHS staff and family members, are also in line to be offered the treatment in an effort to stem the spread of the illness and further reduce pressure on the health service.
The procedure relies on the fact that people who have recovered from Covid-19 have antibodies in their blood plasma that maintain a defence against the infection. The aim is to identify those who are “hyperimmune” to the virus and invite them to donate blood for the treatment.