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Coronavirus death rate much lower than previously reported, study says

medical worker
The coronavirus may not be as deadly as previously suggested, according to a new study that accounts for cases that were not diagnosed.

The study published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases estimated that the death rate will be 0.66%, which is much lower than figures between 2% and 3.4% that have come out of Wuhan, China, according to CNN.

Researchers said the lower coronavirus mortality rate was determined by accounting for cases that went undiagnosed — possibly because they were mild or had no symptoms.


More than a quarter of a million people have now recovered from Covid-19

recovery coronavirus covid-19 patient
© Reuters/David Ryder
90-year-old Geneva Wood leaving a Seattle hospital after recovering from Covid-19.
Perhaps the most under-reported statistic in the entire coronavirus pandemic passed an important milestone on Sunday as 250,000 were marked as having recovered from the illness.

The onward march of the death toll and number of confirmed cases has prompted countless hours of media coverage, as the virus spread around the globe. However, the number of people who are officially recorded as having recovered from the disease receives far less attention.

The important stat climbed past the quarter of a million barrier (to 252,478) on Sunday, as more than 20 percent of confirmed carriers of the virus have officially overcome the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Comment: Italy, whose elderly population was particularly hard hit, is reporting a drop both in fatalities and in the number of patients in intensive care.
The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care has fallen in Italy for the first time since the outbreak began, while the number of new deaths also declined slightly, but remains high at 681 cases in 24 hours.

The number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care in Italy fell by 74 between Friday and Saturday, marking the first time that number has declined since the pandemic reached the country in mid-February. Just under 4,000 patients in Italy are now in a serious or critical condition.

The country remains one of the hardest-hit in Europe, though authorities are beginning to see some faint rays of hope. A total of 681 deaths were reported since Friday, compared to 762 the previous day. Deaths peaked the previous Friday, with 919 people succumbing to the virus in one day.

Heart - Black

Somali outrage at rape of girls aged three and four

Somali woman
Reports of rape have increased in Somalia in recent years
The government in Somalia has condemned the abduction and rape of two girls aged just three and four.

The doctor in charge of the hospital where they are being treated says they need major surgery.

An official said several arrests had been made following the attack which happened on Wednesday.

The parents say that the two cousins were walking home from school in Afgoye, close to the capital, Mogadishu.

Bad Guys

Taliban warn peace deal with US near breaking point

Taliban US officials
© AP Photo/Hussein Sayed
In this Feb. 29, 2020 file photo, U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader sign a peace agreement between Taliban and U.S. officials in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban in a statement Sunday, April 5, 2020, said that a peace deal they signed with the United States is near breaking point accusing Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while chastising the Afghan government for dithering on the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, promised in the agreement.
The Taliban in a statement Sunday said their peace deal with the United States was nearing a breaking point, accusing Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while also chastising the Afghan government for delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners promised in the agreement.

The Taliban said they had restricted attacks against Afghan security forces to rural outposts, had not attacked international forces and had not attacked Afghan forces in cities or military installations. The Taliban said these limits on their attacks had not been specifically laid out in the agreement with the U.S. signed in February.

The Taliban warned of more violence if the U.S. and the Afghan government continue alleged violations of the deal.

Comment: The long and short of this is that the US is likely making deals with the Taliban with little Afghan partnership. The US does not see Afghanistan as an independent entity and they are pawns just as the Taliban are. By negotiating bad-faith deals, the US ensures ongoing conflict, which provides it for an excuse for continued control of the country.


COVID-19 lockdown: Man kills 5 people for 'talking loudly' in central Russia's Ryazan region

Russia's Ryazan
The crime scene in Russia's Ryazan
A man in central Russia shot and killed five people for talking noisily at night under his windows, investigators said Sunday.

The shootings took place in the Ryazan region during stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

A 32-year-old man from the small town of Yelatma opened fire on a group of four young men and a woman who "were talking loudly in the street under his windows" at around 10 p.m. on Saturday, investigators said.

Bad Guys

Hezbollah commander, allegedly close to slain Quds head Soleimani, assassinated in Lebanon

hezbollah troops lebanon
© Associated Press/ Mohammed Zaatari
Hezbollah fighters hold flags as they attend the memorial of their slain leader Sheik Abbas al-Mousawi, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 1992
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force head Qasem Soleimani was killed on 3 January, when the US military conducted a drone airstrike on Baghdad International Airport that had been authorised by President Donald Trump "aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans".

Iranian outlet Tasnim on Sunday reported that Hezbollah leader Ali Mohammed Younis was assassinated in southern Lebanon overnight.

According to reports, his body was found by the side of a road with stab and gunshot wounds between the towns of Qaqiyat al-Jisr and Zutar al-Gharbiya to the south of Nabatiyeh.


Arrow Up

Sanity returning? Georgia reopens beaches despite 'shelter-in-place' order, social-distancing to be enforced

Tybee Island Georgia USA
Gov. Brian Kemp reopened all of Georgia's beaches this week, even as he issued a "shelter-in-place" order to combat the coronavirus.

The order was signed on Thursday and went into effect on Friday. One of the main provisions was to suspend "any local ordinance or order adopted or issued since March 1, 2020," particularly with regard to any such orders that were related to coronavirus.

Many of those local ordinances were put in place by towns to close the beaches in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement to local news station WJCL, Josh Hildebrandt, director of public and governmental affairs, said that, yes, the beaches are now open.

Comment: You can disregard the published number of Georgia's so-called 'confirmed' cases and deaths - the metrics are completely unreliable:

Eye 1

Ankle monitors ordered for Kentucky residents refusing coronavirus quarantine

© iStock
Despite Governor Andy Beshear ordering all Kentucky residents to stay at home to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, some in Louisville are reportedly refusing to self-quarantine.

As a response, Jefferson Circuit Court judge Angela Bisig is ordering ankle monitors for those who were exposed to the coronavirus but who won't stay at home.

CNN reports that Bisig ordered an individual identified as D.L. to wear a global positioning device for the next two weeks. D.L is reportedly living with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as someone who is a presumptive case.

Bizarro Earth

In what sense do you think we are free?

Armoured police
© AFP via Getty Images
Armoured police personnel carriers
Here's a sensible question. If the mayor of the most notable metropolis in the country can openly suggest that the government has the right to permanently shutter the doors of a church if it refuses to comply with "social distancing" guidelines, or any other edict the government finds necessary in a given moment, then what can't the government do?

Just a few weeks ago, the threat of COVID-19 was considered by nearly everyone to be potentially far deadlier than it has yet proven to be. The fatality rates, hospitalization rates, and the predictions of American death tolls (once routinely touted as "over 2 million") associated with infection were all much higher three weeks ago than they are today. And yet, as the dire projections about the impact of infection has become considerably smaller with new data and improved medical readiness, the social restrictions placed upon the populace have become progressively more obstructive and draconian.

Eye 2

2 top French doctors say that coronavirus vaccines should be tested on poor Africans

africa coronavirus

Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht carried out the discussion on live French TV, leaving viewers including top African soccer players furious.
A discussion between two top French doctors on live TV left viewers horrified when they proposed that Africa should become a giant laboratory for coronavirus vaccine testing because the continent lacked the resources to defend against COVID-19.

In the segment broadcast on the French TV channel LCI, Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht raised the idea of testing new vaccines on impoverished African populations.

Mira is head of the intensive-care department at the Cochin Hospital in Paris, while Locht is the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, known as Inserm.

Comment: Africans are understandably unimpressed:
Resist: Senator Wetangu'la calls on African leaders to reject COVID-19 vaccine test on continent

Africa coronavirus
© Moses Wetangula.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangu'la has called on African leaders to reject COVID-19 vaccine test on the continent.
Wetangula's objection came barely a day after French doctors suggested that Africa was the best continent for the samples to be used because it is "incapable of fighting COVID-19".

In a strongly worded statement, the FORD Kenya party leader called on African leaders to reject any attempt to use African people as "Guinea pigs".

"The epicenter of COVID-19(Coronavirus ) is China, Italy, Spain, France, US. Clinical trials on its possible cure must start there and not in any African country. African leaders must resist any attempt to use our people as Guinea pigs. Resist," he tweeted.

Why must any nation be subject to trials when it's a) less deadly than the seasonal flu and b) there are already numerous well tested drugs that have been shown to cure Covid-19?

The proposal has irked many people on the continent with majority of Kenyans trooping to social media sites to slam European nations and scientists for attempting to use Africans as "lab rats".

Globally, there are over 1 million COVID-19 infections and a total of 59, 172 deaths recorded so far.

Out of these numbers, the United States (US) has the highest number of infections currently standing at 277,467 and the third-highest number of deaths at 7, 402.

Italy has the highest number of deaths standing at 14, 681 and second-highest number of infections currently at 119,827.

Spain has 119, 199 infections and a total of 11, 198 fatalities, being the second-highest number of deaths after Italy. Germany has 91, 159 COVID-19 infections and 1,275 deaths while China, where the disease began, has 81, 639 infections and 3, 326 fatalities.

Africa as a whole has so far confirmed 212 deaths with most countries recording less than 1000 infection cases apart from South Africa whose case has hit 1, 505.

Kenya has 122 COVID-19 infections which have so far resulted in four deaths.
Using the world's poor instead of lab rats is nothing new: New oral polio vaccine to BYPASS key clinical trials as vaccine caused outbreaks overtake wild polio