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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Tweets For Today

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 10:00 PM PDT

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 09:46 PM PDT

Picture dated 1948 showing children wearing masks to protect themselves from irradiation in the devastated city of Hiroshima after the US nuclear bombing on the city 06 August 1945 during World War II. © AFP 2020 / STF

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Face Mask: The Evolution of Protective Gear (Sputnik).

The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Is Going To Produce Massive Public Debt Levels Not Seen Since The Second World War

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 09:41 PM PDT

Ben Holland and Enda Curran, Bloomberg: How Coronavirus Has Upended Economics in Just a Few Weeks

(Bloomberg) -- In the heat of a global crisis more sudden and severe than anything in living memory, economic orthodoxies are getting tossed aside at a furious pace. Some of them may be gone for good.

Public debt, for example, has often been seen as a drag on economies -- but right now it's more like a lifeline. The coronavirus has shut down swaths of private business. Whatever their prior views on budget deficits, leaders have been forced to fill that gap by channeling cash to households, businesses and markets.

With government spending helping to steer countries through the pandemic, it may not be easy to turn off the taps afterward. Politicians will have little incentive for belt-tightening measures that could endanger a rebound. Economists, especially from the rising Modern Monetary Theory school, will argue that in a low-inflation world there's no need to try.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I shudder when I think about the subject of public debt, and what governments are now doing to alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Debt levels before this pandemic were already putting a strain on government budgets. The prospect of now generating debt levels that are 20% of GDP or more is a recipe for a disaster, I should know because I have seen it before in Russia. When the Soviet Union was collapsing, the new Russian government decided that the best way to save the imploding economy was to institute a policy of massive government debts and cash giveaways. It helped in the beginning, but it then led to currency devaluation, high inflation, high interest rates, and eventually high unemployment.

Pentagon Raises It's Health Protection Level To Its Second-Highest Setting For All Defense Department Installations Globally

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:31 PM PDT

The Hill: Pentagon raises base security globally over coronavirus

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday raised the military's health protection level to its second-highest setting for all Defense Department installations globally as the number of service members with coronavirus continues to increase.

The Pentagon elevated the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to Charlie, a designation which will increase the number of employees teleworking, cancel large-scale meetings and require temperatures to be taken at entrances to some buildings on military installations, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah told reporters.

She added that the measures will vary across facilities.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is the current number of Covid-19 cases for US soldiers, contractors, and civilians ....

.... As of Wednesday morning, 227 service members had tested positive for the coronavirus — up 53 from the day prior — with 12 in the hospital. Another 81 civilian employees, 67 dependents and 40 contractors have the illness.

Pentagon Orders A 60-Day Freeze On Overseas Troop Movements Due To The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:18 PM PDT

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 435th Security Forces Squadron carry their supplies to a rally point during exercise Frozen Defender in Grostenquin, France, Jan. 14, 2020. Frozen Defender tests the squadron's capabilities in a contested environment under harsh conditions. The Defenders quietly entered the training site in formation while providing security from all directions. (Devin Boyer/Air Force)

Reuters: EXCLUSIVE-Pentagon orders halt overseas movement for U.S. military over coronavirus

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper has issued a stop movement order to the U.S. military halting travel and movement abroad for up to 60 days in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus through the ranks, the Pentagon chief told Reuters on Wednesday.

The measure is by far the Defense Department's most sweeping to date and will affect forces around the world.

Esper said in an interview that the order applied to all U.S. troops, civilian personnel and families, but noted that there would be some exceptions.

"The purpose is to make sure that we're not bringing the virus back home, infecting others, that we're not spreading it around the military," Esper said.

Esper said one exception to the order would be the drawdown under way in Afghanistan, which will continue.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan are the exception.

More News On The Pentagon Ordering A 60-Day Freeze On Overseas Troop Movements Due To The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

US orders a 60-day freeze on overseas troop movements due to coronavirus pandemic -- CNN
Pentagon orders 60-day troop freeze -- The Hill
Thousands of US Troops Will Be Stuck Overseas Under Sweeping New Travel Ban --
US Imposes 60-Day Halt on Troop Movement to Counter Spread of COVID-19 - Pentagon -- Sputnik

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper: 'NO Plans For Martial Law Or Mass Quarantines'

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:05 PM PDT

WNU Editor: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said today, "Let me reassure you. There has been no talk whatsoever of martial law. There has been no talk whatsoever of mass quarantines of the United States or any of that other nonsense that is out there. So one of the things we're going to do is, we're going to set up, in the next day or so, a page on our DoD website that we'll call 'Mythbusters,' right now, that will kind of look at what's out there in terms of the rumor mill and we'll be able to answer those and knock them down and keep them posted up there so people can refer to that page as to what's happening. And if you have ideas, we'll try and find a way, on that page, for folks to write in and say, hey, I've heard this, is there any truth to that. So that we can knock these myths down."

Update: The Pentagon expects social upheavals in other countries .... Milley warns of 'social breakdowns' in other countries facing coronavirus; US crisis could last months (Stars and Stripes).

Covid-19 Coronavirus Tests Are 'Scarce' For U.S. Soldiers Despite Assurances From The Pentagon

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:12 PM PDT

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speak to reporters at the Pentagon on March 2, 2020. (Lisa Ferdinando/DoD)

Washington Times: EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon virus tests are 'scarce' despite assurances; sick troops told to self-isolate

Top defense leaders are assuring troops that coronavirus testing is available, but for Pentagon warriors the coveted test is "scarce," according to an internal memo.

The Pentagon Governance Council held an anti-virus battle meeting on Monday where it heard the assessment.

"COVID-19 testing is scarce, many people are simply being told to go home and self-isolate," said the memo obtained by The Washington Times.

"Expect this to continue," added the memo, written by a participant and circulated to "senior leaders."

It said that the the Pentagon's DiLorenzo medical clinic is, "Only conducting tests for first responders and medical personnel."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is disturbing, especially since the Pentagon is stating publicly that they believe that the Covid-19 pandemic will be with us for a long time .... COVID-19 threat isn't going to end anytime soon, say Pentagon leaders (Military Times).

WNU Editor: Covid-19 cases are rising for the U.S. military .... Number of coronavirus cases within Defense Department doubles over the weekend (CNBC). More here .... COVID-19 among troops jumped almost 60 percent this week, as their rate surpasses the U.S. at large (Military Times).

Germany Makes Progress In Stemming The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 07:37 PM PDT

Germany has recorded far more cases than the UK, possibly because of Berlin's policy of trying to find and test every case

But the UK has recorded more deaths, with Germany's total death toll still only at 149 today

Daily Mail: Angela Merkel tests negative for coronavirus for a second time but remains in quarantine, as Germany sees a drop in infection rate from 21% to 15% and death rate stays below 0.5%

* Merkel has been working from home since being treated by an infected doctor
* Germany's total number of coronavirus cases rose by 4,118, reaching 31,554
* The death toll climbed by 35, reaching 149 - an overall rate of only 0.5 per cent
* Low rate may be linked to more thorough testing and more intensive care beds

German chancellor Angela Merkel has tested negative for coronavirus for a second time but remains in quarantine, her office said today.

Merkel, 65, has been working from home in Berlin since discovering that a doctor who recently gave her a vaccination had tested positive for the disease.

An initial test came back negative on Monday, and a government spokesman told German media today that a second test had shown the same result.

'The chancellor continues to work from quarantine at home and will be tested again at the start of next week,' the spokesman said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Below are some possible explanations on why is Germany's death rate low:

Why Germany's Coronavirus Death Rate Is Far Lower Than In Other Countries (NPR)
Germany and the Netherlands seem to fight off the virus better than most. Here's why (Market Watch)
Why are so few Germans dying from the coronavirus? Experts wonder (NBC)
Why is Covid-19 death rate so low in Germany? (Kent Sepkowitz, CNN)

The World Races To Mask Up

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 07:16 PM PDT

Various N95 respiration masks at a laboratory of 3M, that has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra marks in response to the country's novel coronavirus outbreak, in Maplewood, Minnesota, U.S. March 4, 2020. Picture taken March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Reuters: As virus explodes, world races to mask up

ZURICH (Reuters) - Spiez Lab, a government-run institute in the Swiss mountains, was set up to protect the nation from nuclear, biological and chemical threats. "For a world without weapons of mass destruction," runs its slogan.

It is now fighting another global menace - the coronavirus - by providing face masks, the demand for which is growing faster than the disease they're meant to fend off. Hospitals treating COVID-19, the pandemic caused by the virus, can need up to nine times the protective equipment they do when dealing with normal flu, according to the American Hospital Association.

The Swiss lab acquires masks that are past their expiry dates, then tests them to see if they still work. "If yes, they're being distributed to the health care system via military pharmacies," said spokesman Andreas Bucher.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Before isolating myself to my chalet,  I always wore a mask when entering a store/bank/etc.. My relatives in Russia sent me my stockpile in February (I could not get anything in Canada), and it includes about 100 one shot disposable masks, 25 surgical masks, ten N95 masks, and a dozen masks that contractors use (which in my opinion are excellent). I treat these masks as gold.

Three Billion People Are Now Under Lockdown

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 01:52 PM PDT

Countries and territories with confirmed new coronavirus cases and deaths (AFP Photo)

AFP: Three billion under lockdown as UN warns virus threatens humanity

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - More than three billion people are living under lockdown measures to stem the spread of the killer coronavirus that the United Nations warned Wednesday is threatening all of humanity.

As the global death toll soared past 20,000 Spain joined Italy in seeing its number of fatalities overtake China, where the virus first emerged just three months ago.

"COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity -– and the whole of humanity must fight back," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world's poor.

"Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I predicted last week that we would be reaching this number by the end of the month. I was wrong. The spread of the pandemic into the Indian subcontinent has pushed the government to lockdown the country this week. The pandemic is also spreading into the Americas and Africa. Expect even more countries ordering a lockdown in the coming weeks.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.S. -- News Updates March 25, 2020

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 01:39 PM PDT

Daily Mail: US coronavirus death toll hits more than 780 after a rise of 190 in just one day - the biggest jump to date - with 54,905 total cases and an infection rate worse than Italy

* Total cases number of cases in US now stands at 54,905 as of Tuesday evening
* Experts say the spike is yet to come and the crisis will last for months, at least
* On Tuesday alone, more than 8,000 new positive cases were confirmed
* Across the US 175 million people living in 17 states have been urged to stay home
* New York is by far the worst affected state in the country, with 25,665 cases
* On Tuesday afternoon NYC mayor de Blasio said 131 people in the city had died

Coronavirus deaths in the United States rose to 783 Tuesday evening after a sharp rise of 197 in just one day, the nation's biggest jump to date.

The total cases number of cases in America now stands at 54,905 with the infection rate climbing above Italy.

Experts say the spike is yet to come and that the current state of crisis will last for another several months, at least.

Over the past week, there have been a surge of new cases as testing across the country increases. On Tuesday alone, more than 8,000 new positive cases were confirmed.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: New York City is expecting the worse .... NYC prepares for the worst: Military sets up makeshift morgue using tents and refrigeration trucks outside Manhattan's Bellevue hospital in preparation for surge in coronavirus victims as NYC's death toll rises to 192 and city morgues near capacity (Daily Mail). But there is also hope .... WHO: Still time to stop US from becoming epicenter of coronavirus crisis (The Hill).

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.S. -- News Updates March 25, 2020

U.S. Coronavirus Update, Map, as Death Toll Passes 800, Nearly Half of Country's 55,000 Cases Are in New York -- Newsweek
New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard -- Reuters
California scrambles to avoid Covid-19's worst-case scenario: 'It will take a heroic effort' -- The Guardian
US on track to become next coronavirus epicenter, but there's time to reverse course, health official says -- CNN

Spain Now Has The World's Second Highest Tally Of Coronavirus Deaths

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 01:20 PM PDT

This graph shows the total number of deaths from coronavirus in Spain, Italy, Britain and China. The death toll in Spain has risen rapidly and today became the second-highest in the world, overtaking China where the outbreak began

Daily Mail: Spain has world's second highest tally of coronavirus deaths after seeing its biggest daily rise yet – 738 – to reach 3,434, overtaking China

* Spain reported 738 new deaths today, bringing the total from 2,696 to 3,434
* The figure is now higher than the 3,285 people who have died in mainland China
* Spain's total number of cases also rose by 20 per cent from 39,673 to 47,610

Spain has today overtaken China to record the world's second-highest death toll from coronavirus.

Spanish officials reported 738 new deaths today, the country's biggest daily jump so far, taking the total from 2,696 to 3,434.

The figure is now higher than the 3,285 people who have died in mainland China, where the outbreak began in late 2019.

Italy has the world's highest death toll, with 6,820.

Spain's total number of infections also rose by 20 per cent today, with 7,937 new cases bringing the total from 39,673 to 47,610.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have friends who live in Marbella near Gibraltar. They are safe in a closed community, but they are scared of the future.

More News On The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Spain

Spain registers more than 700 deaths from coronavirus overnight -- Reuters
Coronavirus: Spain's death toll surpasses China's -- BBC
Spain's coronavirus death toll surges past China -- FOX News
Spain overtakes China in coronavirus deaths -- CNN
Spain's Coronavirus Death Toll Soars Past China's, Trailing Only Italy -- NPR
Spanish medics demand protection as death toll overtakes China's -- Al Jazeera

Boko Haram Launches Attacks That Kill 92 Chadian And 70 Nigerian Soldiers

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 01:05 PM PDT

Daily Sabah: Boko Haram kills 92 Chadian, 70 Nigerian soldiers in terror attacks

Boko Haram killed 92 Chadian and 70 Nigerian soldiers in two separate terror attacks, officials said Tuesday.

Ninety-two soldiers were killed and 47 others injured when the insurgents attacked an army unit in Boma, a peninsula of Lake Chad, which borders Nigeria, local newspaper TchadInfo reported. President Idriss Deby Tuesday visited the site of the ambush to confirm the death toll, according to the report.

Across the border, in north-eastern Nigeria, dozens of soldiers were meanwhile feared dead after a similar ambush by Boko Haram, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Nigeria is claiming that they killed 200 Boko Haram militants .... 200 Boko Haram militants killed in Nigeria: Official (Anadolu Agency ). A day earlier Niger foiled a Boko Haram attack .... 48 killed as troops foil Boko Haram attack in Niger (The Nation).

More News On Boko Haram's Attacks In Chad And Nigeria

Boko Haram militants kill nearly 100 Chadian soldiers in attack -- Reuters
92 Chad soldiers killed in 'deadliest' Boko Haram attack -- Al Jazeera
Islamists kill 92 soldiers in Chad in deadliest attack on country's military --
Boko Haram attack kills nearly 100 Chadian troops -- AFP
Jihadist ambush kills at least 70 Nigerian soldiers -- France 24

Countries Are Starting To Hoard Food As The Pandemic Continues To Spread

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 01:28 PM PDT

Bloomberg: Countries are starting to hoard food, threatening global trade

It's not just grocery shoppers who are hoarding pantry staples. Some governments are moving to secure domestic food supplies during the conoravirus pandemic.

Kazakhstan, one of the world's biggest shippers of wheat flour, banned exports of that product along with others, including carrots, sugar and potatoes. Serbia has stopped the flow of its sunflower oil and other goods. Russia is leaving the door open to shipment bans and said it's assessing the situation weekly.

To be perfectly clear, there have been just a handful of moves and no sure signs that much more is on the horizon. Still, what's been happening has raised a question: Is this the start of a wave of food nationalism that will further disrupt supply chains and trade flows?

"We're starting to see this happening already -- and all we can see is that the lockdown is going to get worse," said Tim Benton, research director in emerging risks at think tank Chatham House in London.

Read more ....

Update: Countries begin to stop exporting FOOD as coronavirus sparks supply fears in some nations (Daily Mail/Reuters).

WNU Editor: The supply chain that the world runs on has been disrupted, and the expectation is that it is going to worse. Bottom line. Everyone is circling their wagons.

Washington Agrees On Massive $2 Trillion Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Deal

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 10:54 AM PDT

Daily Mail: White House and Senate leaders reach a deal on $2 TRILLION coronavirus package to send $1.2K checks to Americans after Lindsey Graham said Democrats were 'nickel-and-diming while people are dying' following days of negotiations

* A deal on the stimulus bill was announced just after 1am on Wednesday
* Bill would send $1,200 checks to many Americans in a one-time payment
* Includes a $367B loan program for small businesses and $500B for industries
* Senate vote is expected on Wednesday with a vote in the House to follow
* Follows contentious debate and partisan deadlock on the crucial bill
* Graham, a Republican, slammed Democrats for 'nickling and diming'

The White House has reached a deal with leaders in the Senate on a $2 trillion stimulus deal to aid economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal was announced just after 1am on Wednesday, after hours of contentious floor speeches in the Senate that appeared to show negotiations teetering on the brink.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a vote was planned for Wednesday afternoon, with a House vote to follow.

The legislation aims to flood the reeling economy with capital by sending $1,200 checks to many Americans, creating a $367 billion loan program for small businesses, and setting up a $500 billion fund for industries, cities and states.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: State and local governments want more of the money .... Cuomo: 'Numbers don't work' in 'terrible' Senate stimulus package (The Hill). This is what is in the bill .... $1,200 checks, extended unemployment benefits: What's in the U.S. Senate's $2 trillion coronavirus deal ( Here is an easy prediction. This money will all be gone in a few weeks, and there will be demands for another relief bill.

More News On Washington Agreeing On A Massive $2 Trillion Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Deal

Washington agrees on unrivaled $2 trillion virus rescue bill -- AP
Senate convenes for vote on unprecedented $2 trillion coronavirus aid package -- Reuters
White House, Senate reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus package -- The Hill
Senate readies vote on massive coronavirus rescue package -- Politico
White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion stimulus deal amid growing coronavirus fears -- CNN
McConnell says $2T bill is 'emergency relief' and not a 'stimulus' -- The Hill

Three Sailors Aboard The Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Have Contracted COVID-19

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:32 AM PDT

USA Today: Three sailors from USS Theodore Roosevelt have coronavirus, raising concerns about pandemic's strain on military

WASHINGTON – Three sailors aboard the 5,000-member USS Theodore Roosevelt have contracted COVID-19 and were airlifted from the aircraft carrier in the Pacific, Navy officials announced Tuesday.

They are the first sailors to become ill from the coronavirus while aboard a ship at sea, raising questions about further spread of the highly contagious disease and the overall strain of the pandemic on military readiness.

The Pentagon already has canceled or curtailed major war-training exercises, quarantined thousands of troops, closed recruiting centers and slapped limits on foreign and domestic travel.

Read more

Update #1: Three sailors on board US aircraft carrier have coronavirus -Navy (Reuters)
Update #2: 3 US Navy sailors aboard Theodore Roosevelt test positive for coronavirus, defense officials say (FOX News)

WNU Editor:This is going to be a growing problem for every navy and military in the world.

The U.S. Navy's Costs To Maintain Its Surface Ships And Submarines Soars Beyond Original Estimates

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:22 AM PDT

Image: Flickr / Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Roll Call: Costs rise more than $100B to maintain Navy ships with clogging toilets and other issues

The Navy's estimated cost of lifetime maintenance for six classes of surface ships and submarines soars beyond original estimates

The Navy recently decided to use a different sewage system on its two newest aircraft carriers, one that is modeled on the toilets in commercial aircraft.

But flushing for more than 4,000 people living aboard a carrier turned out to be a harder job than it is on a jetliner. Now the massive ships require regular acid flushes — at $400,000 each — just to keep things flowing.

The current and future price for that particular failure of foresight is not yet known. But the wider cost of addressing unexpected operating and support issues for Navy warships is now coming into clearer view, thanks to a Government Accountability Office audit made public Tuesday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is bad enough that these maintenance costs are out of control, what is even worse is that they have no idea on what to do to solve it ....

.... "Pretty much across the board, they didn't give us any details on what they plan to do," Oakley said.

It Costs $400,000 For Each 'Flush' To Clear The Plumbing Systems On America's Newest Aircraft Carriers

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:15 AM PDT

The Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) has experienced a series of shortfalls with its plumbing system. (Ridge Leoni/Released)

Navy Times: It costs the Navy $400K per flush to unclog its prized carrier's oft-congested plumbing

The Navy's prized new super carrier was meant to be a symbol of American military might over the world's oceans, but it is the ship's toilets and plumbing system that are proving to be obstacles the service has yet to master.

According to a Government Accountability Office watchdog report published Tuesday, the sewage system pipes onboard the super carrier Gerald R. Ford are too narrow to accommodate the amount of daily waste being flushed by crew of more than 4,000.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Plumbing is always a low priority when it should not. My girlfriend's pet peeve when we go the Montreal Canadiens play hockey is that someone forgot to put enough toilets for the fans when they built the building.

More News On The US Navy's Plumbing Problems For Its Newest Aircraft Carriers

Toilets on the Navy's newest aircraft carriers clog frequently, and fixing them costs $400,000 a flush -- Business Insider
Unclogging Toilets at $400,000 a Flush Hits Navy's Costs Overruns -- Bloomberg
The U.S. Navy's Big Beautiful New Carrier Has Hilariously Messed Up Toilets -- FoxTrot Alpha
Flushing the cash: Carrier toilet problems cost $400,000 to clear -- Naval Technology
The Navy's New Carrier Has an Expensive Toilet Problem -- Motley Fool

Czech Republic: China's Coronavirus Test Kits Are Faulty 80% Of The Time

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 07:44 AM PDT

Test na koronavirus (archivní foto) Foto: Dado Ruvic/Zdroj, Reuters

Taiwan News: 80% of coronavirus test kits 'gifted' to Czechs by China faulty

China charged Czech government millions of crowns for defective coronavirus test kits.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Czech news site on Monday (March 23) revealed that 80 percent of the much-touted traunch of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid test kits "donated" from China are faulty, forcing healthcare workers to rely on conventional laboratory tests.

On March 18, as is the case with many of its other quasi charitable acts, Chinese state-run mouthpieces used the verbs "supplied" and "delivered" to give the impression that the communist regime was donating 150,000 portable, rapid COVID-19 test kits to the Czech Republic. In fact, the central European nation's Health Ministry paid some 14 million crowns (US$546,000) for 100,000 test kits, while the country's Interior Ministry footed the bill for another 50,000, reported

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Czech story is here (need to use Google translate) .... Rychlotesty na koronavirus z Číny mají podle krajské hygieničky chybovost až 80 procent (iRozhlas). For the past few days regular readers of this blog have been giving me the heads-up that contrary to main-street media reports China is not giving away their coronavirus test-kits, and yes, there are problems with the kits. Cannot say that I am surprised.

Update: So much for Europe's open borders .... Czech Republic Says it May Keep Borders Closed For 2 Years (Summit News).

UN Braces For Covid-19 Carnage In Refugee Camps

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 06:36 AM PDT

Thermal detectors have just arrived in Idlib, in the Syrian border area with Turkey, teeming with internally displaced people. Humanitarian and medical workers fear populations will be decimated when coronavirus arrives in the camps. (Submitted by Osama al-Hussein)

Zero Hedge: "Tinderbox For Spread": UN Braces For Covid-19 Carnage In Refugee Camps

"Around 70 million people are suffering displacement in crowded camps, awaiting the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic," an alarming report in Foreign Policy begins.

It's been low on governments' radar considering many are bogged down battling the pandemic in their midst, but the UN High Commissioner has warned there's a looming coronavirus disaster soon to hit the over-crowded camps especially across the Middle East and Africa.

"We don't know, and that's largely because we haven't done any testing," Muhammad Zaman, a professor of bioengineering at Boston University, commented recently on the potential case numbers in the camps. "We need to know how acute the problem is before we come up with an intervention."

Read more ....

Update: Aid workers brace for impact of coronavirus in refugee camps (CBC)

WNU Editor: A WNU reader who works for Doctor's Without Borders in the Horn of Africa and is based in Kenya sent me the following yesterday .... Mogadishu's refugees 'waiting for death' as Covid-19 reaches Somalia (The Guardian). But his biggest worry is that this disease is going to become endemic within the refugee population, and they will fuel future waves of this disease as they try their best to make their way to Europe or North America.

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