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April 28 coronavirus news
By Helen Regan, Emma Reynolds and Adam Renton, CNN
President Trump has signed an executive order that mandates meat processing plants must stay open, an official said.
Aides said the order would fall under the Defense Production Act.
Trump had highlighted the order during an Oval Office meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that was opened up to reporters.
"We're going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that'll solve any liability problems," Trump said on Tuesday.
The President signed the order after some companies, such as Tyson Foods, were considering only keeping 20% of their facilities open. The vast majority of processing plants could have shut down — which would have reduced processing capacity in the country by as much as 80%, an official familiar with the order told CNN.
By signing the order, Trump has declared these plants as a part of critical infrastructure in the US.
The administration is also working with the Department of Labor on issuing guidance about which employees who work at these meat processing facilities should remain home, including workers who are part of populations most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Canada released a new epidemic snapshot Tuesday and updated modeling that shows its epidemic growth rate is slower than in most countries, including the United States, but also shows a death rate higher than earlier predicted.
Canadian public health officials say the epidemic growth is slowing. About a month ago it was doubling every three days but is now doubling every 16 days.
However, Canada is now reporting nearly 3,000 deaths from Covid-19, much higher than originally predicted.
“We are seeing the tragic paradox of the epidemic playing out,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer during a presentation of the new modeling Tuesday.
“As the epidemic comes under control, and the growth of cases slows, the severe outcomes and deaths continue to accrue, as Covid-19 takes a heavy toll among highly susceptible populations,” Tam said.
Canada is currently dealing with hundreds of outbreaks in long-term care homes throughout the country. Government statistics released Tuesday show that 79% of deaths across the country are related to outbreaks in care centers.
“Outbreaks in long-term care and seniors’ homes are driving epidemic growth in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia and are responsible for the majority of all deaths in Canada,” Tam said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that while Canada was flattening the curve, distancing measures and some closures would remain in place for some time.
“We’re in the middle of the most serious public health emergency Canada has ever seen and if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday.
Monaco will begin to relax some coronavirus confinement measures starting on Monday. However, its famous gambling halls and beaches will remain closed until June, the government confirmed today.
In a statement, the government praised the collective efforts of its citizens, but cautioned that the relaxation of confinement measures will come with “10 essential conditions” to be met.
As part of the first phase of Monaco’s re-opening — which is beginning Monday, May 4 — shops (except for cafes and restaurants) and beauty salons will be permitted to open. However, gatherings of more than five people will be prohibited, and working from home will continue to be recommended.
As part of the second phase of Monaco’s re-opening will begin on May 11. There will be a gradual reopening of schools, with emphasis on core curriculums.
In June, if health conditions permit, the opening of cafés, restaurants, gambling halls, beaches, museums, and other leisure places may be considered by the government.
There are at least 1,002,498 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.
The number of confirmed US coronavirus cases topped 500,000 on April 10, according to Johns Hopkins’ tally.
British Airways has announced a restructuring and redundancy plan that could lead to thousands of permanent layoffs.
The airline says it is formally notifying its trade unions about the plan, which “will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.”
British Airways had already placed 22,626 employees on temporary furlough in April as part of the UK government’s retention scheme.
The announcement came as BA’s parent company IAG announced first quarter results. IAG, which also owns Iberia, saw total revenue fall 13% in the first quarter.
The airline warned that losses in the second quarter would be “significantly worse” because of coronavirus. It also said that it expects that “the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years.”
Greece will start to gradually ease lockdown restrictions starting Monday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced in a televised speech Tuesday.
Starting Monday, the restrictions on the movement of citizens will be lifted, Mitsotakis said. However, citizens will still not be allowed to commute outside their county of residence for at least two weeks.
Some businesses — such as bookstores, electronic and sporting goods stores, as well as hair salons — will be allowed to reopen on Monday. Other retail stores can resume business on May 11, except for shopping malls which will open on June 1, according to the prime minister.
There will be certain restrictions that will limit the amount of customers, Mitsotakis added, including that other strict measures will be taken to protect workers. Bars and restaurants are set to reopen on June 1 but under new rules.
Mitsotakis also announced that schools will gradually reopen on May 11, but only for students on the last year of high school. The rest of high school and junior high classes will follow a week after.
Primary schools and kindergartens will remain closed. “They might reopen on June 1 and only if we are absolutely sure that the course of the epidemic is going downhill,” the Greek Prime Minister said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged shortfalls in personal protective equipment for Russian medical personnel amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a teleconference with regional governors Tuesday, Putin said Russia has managed to ramp up production of protective gear but added, “compared to what [production] was before, it’s a lot. But compared to what we need now, it’s still not enough.”
The president has faced criticism in Russia for sending ventilators and protective equipment to the US and Italy while the virus spread.
In his remarks Tuesday, Putin said Russian authorities had “put the brakes on” the spread of coronavirus. However, Russia has surpassed both Iran and China in the number of confirmed cases.
Italy has confirmed 200,000 cases of Covid-19, including deaths and recoveries, according to the Italian Civil Protection Agency.
On Tuesday, the agency said there has been a total of 201,505 cases in the country.
However, Italy saw a drop in cases from Monday, the agency said.