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Putin, Macron discuss joint efforts to combat COVID-19

Putin and Macron also discussed actual aspects of the settlement in Syria and Libya, the statement said, without providing further details.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Moscow, March 27 : Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the COVID-19 outbreak in a video conference on Thursday, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The statement said the video conference was held at the initiative of the French side before the emergency virtual G20 meeting, Xinhua reported.

Putin and Macron informed each other about measures taken by Russia and France to counter the spread of the infection and minimize the negative socio-economic consequences, the statement said.

The parties confirmed their will to coordinate efforts on the issues of returning citizens of both countries to their homeland, as well as providing conditions for transporting medical supplies and equipment.

They discussed possible interaction within the framework of the UN Security Council in the joint fight against the coronavirus, according to the Kremlin.

Putin and Macron also discussed actual aspects of the settlement in Syria and Libya, the statement said, without providing further details.

India

Covid-19: Global death toll surges past 80,000

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New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The novel coronavirus death toll across the world crossed 80,000 on Wednesday, according to the data released Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.

A total of 82,145 people have died so far, with 1,431,375 infections recorded globally. Besides, 301,385 people diagnosed with the virus around the world have recovered so far.

Italy, Spain, UK and France continue to be the countries facing the most fatalities, while the US has the largest number of positive cases with more than 383,000. Spain, Italy and France follow the US in the number of cases, with over 140,000, 135,000 and 110,00, respectively.

Death toll in Italy is 17,127, in Spain 13,897, in the US 12,021, and 10,343 in France. Many countries have restricted travel from the most affected areas and implemented lockdowns as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global pandemic with Europe being its new epicentre.

With India in the third week of its 21-day lockdown, the total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus surged to 5,194, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday.

Of these, 4,643 are active cases of COVID-19, 401 individuals have recovered and discharged from the hospital, one person migrated to another country and 149 people succumbed to the disease.

Amongst the total affected people, 70 are foreign nationals.

Maharashtra remained the worst hit state with a total number of positive cases rising to 1,018, followed by Tamil Nadu which has 690 cases, according to the Health Ministry data.


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World

Trump lambasts WHO, says will ‘give funding a good look

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Donald Trump MSNBC

New York, April 8 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has lashed out at the World Health Organisation for not giving sound advice and favouring China over the US as he hinted at taking a relook at the WHO funding from his country.

“The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?” Trump wrote on Tuesday amid the spiralling death figures in the US.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 12,700 Americans and sickened nearly 400,000 across 50 states.

Trump ordered travel restrictions on people arriving from China in January to ward off spread of the virus here but the WHO opposed the move at the time, as did some Democrats and others, the New York Post said.

Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, on New Year’s Eve, 430,000 people have arrived in the US from China, including about 40,000 since the ban was enacted. The WHO also downplayed the severity of the outbreak.

“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission,” the group tweeted in mid-January.

The agency took a full week to reverse that misinformation, according to the Wall Street Journal.


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Boris Johnson spends second night in intensive care

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Boris Johnson

London, April 8 : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spends a second night in intensive care as he continues to receive treatment for coronavirus.

The PM is being kept at St Thomas’ Hospital in London “for close monitoring”, Downing Street said, the BBC reported.

Johnson’s condition is “stable” and he remains in “good spirits”, his spokesman added on Tuesday evening.

Speaking at Tuesday’s Downing Street coronavirus briefing, he said Johnson was receiving standard oxygen treatment and was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.

It is understood there will not be a further update on Mr Johnson’s condition until later on Wednesday.

Downing Street also confirmed that the planned review into whether the UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures could be eased would not go ahead this Monday.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the PM, has said he was “confident” the PM would recover from this illness, describing him as a “fighter”.

Prime Minister was originally admitted to St Thomas’ on Sunday, on the advice of his doctor, after continuing to display symptoms of cough and high temperature 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

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