Vietnam’s VietJet Air and state carrier Vietnam Airlines will resume some domestic flights from Thursday after the government eased a 15-day lockdown for some parts of the Southeast Asian country.
Late on Wednesday, Vietnam’s government extended a two-week period of social distancing for 12 provinces in the country, including capital Hanoi and the southern business hub of Ho Chi Minh City, but lifted those measures for most rural areas.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) had previously said that domestic flights would remain suspended to fully comply with social distancing measures.
But following Wednesday’s announcement, the CAAV granted permission for four domestic airlines to resume flights between key routes, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the central city of Danang.
LA mayor says concerts and sporting events unlikely to resume until 2021
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday it is unlikely concerts and sporting events will resume until at least 2021, as the city continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon, so I think we should be prepared for that this year,” he told Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. “Until there’s either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention, or herd immunity, the science is the science. And public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments.”
Garcetti’s comments echo those of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and California governor Gavin Newsom, both of whom said it will be a long time before gatherings of 100 or more people are commonplace again.
President Donald Trump has expressed the desire to reopen the country by 1 May, but governors and city officials have increasingly put forward longer timelines.
Man who lost mother to coronavirus files case against Belarus leader
A man living France who lost his mother to the coronavirus has filed a police case against the leader of his native Belarus, accusing President Alexander Lukashenko of failing to take adequate measures to fight the spread of the pandemic, Reuters reports.
Aleksander Matveyev said he had reported Lukashenko to Belarus police for investigation over the death of his mother, Lydia Matveyeva, 68, who died on 2 April in a hospital in Vitebsk, a city in northeast Belarus.
“Lukashenko did not take the necessary measures in time,” her son told Reuters in a video call. “And if this person who exercises power does not take those measures, he does nothing, he should be held accountable like any other citizen.”
Lukashenko, in power since 1994, has been one of the world leaders most publicly sceptical about the need for strong action to curb the coronavirus. The Belarus health ministry, which encourages people to reduce contact to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, says 36 people in Belarus have died of it. But Lukashenko has said all victims had other health problems. On Monday he said he believed nobody in Belarus would be killed by the virus.
Matveyeva’s death certificate, an image of which was sent to Reuters by her family, records her “main cause of death” as “coronavirus”.
Lukashenko’s office and the interior ministry did not respond to a request for comment. A person who answered the phone in the hospital director’s office declined to comment on Matveyeva’s death.
Nearly 700 sailors from French aircraft carrier test positive
Nearly 700 sailors assigned to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle’s naval group have tested positive for the coronavirus, the armed forces ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry said 1,767 mariners, nearly all from the Charles de Gaulle itself, had been tested and results showed at least 668 to be infected with the new coronavirus. Results are still not in from a third of the tests, Reuters reports.
“Thirty one personnel are today in hospital,” it said in a statement. “More tests are being carried out.”
The carrier arrived home in Toulon two weeks earlier than expected after about 40 crew members showed signs of Covid-19 symptoms.
Sick crew members had been placed under strict medical observation on board the nuclear-powered carrier and a team equipped to carry out the first tests airlifted to the vessel.
Crew from the Charles de Gaulle and the frigate Chevalier Paul were now in confinement within their naval base, while the pilots of the carrier’s warplanes and helicopters were also in quarantine.
The navy chief had ordered an investigation, the ministry said.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus pandemic coverage. The world has passed another sombre milestone, with more than 2 million coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide.
Trump, meanwhile, held a press in which he expressed doubt over China’s coronavirus death toll in response to reporter asking why US fatalities account for a fifth of the global total.
Trump doubled down on his decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization and announced that US governors will be given new guidelines on Thursday and some states may reopen before 1 May.
I’ll be bringing you the latest developments from around the world as they happen.
A reminder that I welcome news tips, questions and comments on Twitter @helenrusllivan.
- Confirmed cases worldwide top 2m. The latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the spread of the virus, put the confirmed global total of cases at 2,047,731. The researchers say at least 133,354 people have died since the start of the outbreak.
- The US reports more than 25,000 new cases. Washington’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 605,390 cases of coronavirus – an increase of 26,385 cases from its previous count – and said the number of deaths has risen by 2,330 to 24,582.
- US president Donald Trump says some states may reopen before 1 May. There were governors “champing at the bit” to reopen, he said. Trump also reiterated the decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization.
- The head of the WHO said on Wednesday he regrets US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull funding for the agency, but that now is the time for the world unite in its fight against the new coronavirus.
- New York residents will be required to wear face coverings when they are out in public and coming in close contact with other people, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. The order takes effect on Friday.
- G20 finance ministers agree to suspend poorer countries’ debt payments. The measure will be in effect from 1 May until the end of the year as they prepare for increased spending on healthcare systems.
- The UK hospital death toll rises by 761. The Department of Health and Social Care says a total of 12,868 people have now died in hospitals around the UK. The 761 new deaths announced on Wednesday represent a fall on the equivalent figure reported yesterday; 778. The figure is likely to rise once deaths in other settings are taken into account.
- New York City revises its death toll sharply upwards to more than 10,000 people. It added 3,778 people who were not tested but who are nevertheless presumed to have died from Covid-19.
- Italy reports 578 new deaths. The number of fatalities in Italy rises by 578 on Wednesday, 24 fewer than the increase seen on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 21,645.
- The European Union’s medicine regulator estimates it could take a year for a vaccine to be available for widespread use. The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has previously claimed a vaccine could be on the market “before autumn”.
- The 107th edition of the Tour de France is postponed until August.the world governing body, the UCI, says the opening stage will now start on 29 August and the finale will take place on 20 September. It was due to begin in Nice on 27 June and conclude in Paris on 19 July.
- Oil slumps despite production cuts. US oil prices tumble to 18-year lows of $19.20 (£15.33) a barrel and the benchmark price for Brent crude drop by 5% to $28 a barrel amid gloomy forecasts for demand during the pandemic.
- Canadian economy slides 9% in a month. Its statistics agency says the country’s economy suffered a decline of nearly 9% in March – the worst figure ever recorded.
- Three rounds of EU-UK Brexit talks are scheduled. Both sides say they remain committed to reviewing progress in June.