Spain and Italy trend, a hope for the Unites States

Dr Deborah Birx at White House media conference 5th April 2020. Image: Screen grab from C-SPAN

Italy and Spain show signs that they are levelling off the pandemic curve.

Leaders cautioned, however, that any improvements could easily be reversed if people did not continue to follow social distancing measures and national lockdowns.

Deborah Birx, one of President Trump’s coronavirus advisers, says the situation in Italy and Spain, where infections and deaths have fallen in recent days, is ‘giving hope’ on what the United States’ ‘future could be.’

The daily death toll in Spain has dropped for a fourth consecutive day.

The number of new deaths announced by the government on Monday was 637, compared to 674 on Sunday.

It’s the lowest number since 24 March.

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez told TV station Antena 3: ‘We are preparing ourselves for de-escalation for which it is important to know who is contaminated to be able to gradually lift Spanish citizens’ lockdown.’

While so far only those infected or suspected of having the COVID-19 disease have been tested, now checks will focus on the wider population to try and find carriers who may not be displaying symptoms.

Spain, the nation with the second-highest death toll from the global pandemic, has been in lockdown since March 14 and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that would remain in place until April 26.

Poland Government could fall before the election during the pandemic

Poland’s government is divided on the opportunity to hold a mail-in presidential election in May during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The parliament on Monday is expected to vote on a proposal put forward by ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski to hold the May 10 election by postal vote.

But one faction in the governing coalition is opposed to a mail-in vote and wants the election postponed until after the epidemic.

Accord is a junior party in Poland’s ruling coalition.

Its head, Jaroslaw Gowin, said on Monday that it will stay in government, but he said he was quitting as he opposes the country holding a presidential election in May when its coronavirus outbreak is expected to peak.

Gowin told a news conference: ‘I am resigning… since I think the election cannot be held on May 10… Accord will remain a member of the coalition.’

The parliament had been expected to vote Friday on the postal option but that got delayed by the disagreement.

It was not yet clear if the sides would find a compromise on Monday.

Gaza stuck in coronavirus emergency

In Gaza, people are struggling with a coronavirus outbreak.

According to Al Jazeera, 12 infections have been reported here, most of which were among a group of people who recently returned to Gaza and had been placed in quarantine.

Experts have warned that an outbreak could be disastrous in Gaza, where there is a persistent shortage of medical supplies and insufficient hospital capacity.

Gaza has a 30 per cent shortage of disposable medical supplies and protective gear as a result of the Israeli blockade.

Munir al-Bursh, director of the pharmacy at the Ministry of Health, said ‘the coronavirus crisis will worsen the situation.’

He added: ‘In Gaza, we have a problem with funding, so we cannot make agreements with importers to provide us with these needs.’

Lebanon asks the world for help amid new coronavirus

Lebanon is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in last years and it made worse recently by the spread of coronavirus.

Lebanon has reported 541 cases of coronavirus and 19 deaths.

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has appealed for the international community to help the country.

Aoun said in a speech Monday in front of ambassadors of the International Support Group for Lebanon that Beirut was getting ready to launch work to revive the economy when coronavirus hit the world.

He added: ‘We are facing all these challenges and welcome any international assistance.’

He said the presence of a million Syrian refugees is adding to the crisis.

Also in Lebanon, which has been imposing a lockdown for weeks, security forces began implementing strict measures that allow vehicles with even or odd plate numbers to drive for three days a week each.

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