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UK PM says trade deal with EU this year ‘enormously likely’

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Boris Johnson

London, Jan 14 : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that a trade deal with the European Union (EU) by the end of this year was “enormously likely,” as the country is set to officially leave the world’s largest trading bloc.

Johnson made the comments in his first major TV interview since the general election. He said the two sides would start working on building a “fantastic new partnership” after Britain leaves the EU on January 31, Efe news reported.

The Prime Minister said he was “very, very, very confident” regarding the deal, although he added that in any negotiation a country had “to budget for a complete failure of common sense.”

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Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy essential workers, NZ PM tells kids

New Zealand currently has 1,106 cases and one death, while 176 people have recovered, as per latest data.

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Jacinda Ardern

Wellington, April 7 : New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday assured the nation’s children that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are indeed essential workers but it might be “difficult” for them to get to every home in the current situation.

“You’ll be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers. But as you can imagine, at this time they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.

“I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn’t make it to your household, we have to understand that it’s a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps get everywhere,” she said, in an address.

Ardern, who gave birth to a daughter in June 2018, also suggested that households help create Easter egg hunts for children by placing images of eggs in their windows.

She said New Zealand will not be coming out of lockdown – imposed late last month – early, despite promising signs the current measures were working an Monday saw just 67 new coronavirus cases reported.

New Zealand currently has 1,106 cases and one death, while 176 people have recovered, as per latest data.

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France’s coronavirus death toll jumps to nearly 9,000

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COVID-19 cases

Paris, April 7 : France reported 833 more coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 8,911, while infections, both confirmed in hospitals and “confirmed or possible” cases from nursing homes, jumped to 98,010.

The number of patients who lost their lives because of the respiratory illness in the country’s hospitals rose to 6,494, up 605. The counting by retirement homes found that there were 2,417 deaths since March 1, said Health Minister Olivier Veran at a daily briefing on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 74,390 people have been tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the epidemic. That was up from 70,478 confirmed on Sunday. The number of “confirmed or possible” cases in nursing homes was at 23,620, up by 5.6 percent.

The minister announced a vast screening operation targeting elderly people in medico-social establishments in order to curb the number of deaths among the most vulnerable.

Among the 29,752 hospitalized patients, 7,072 were in intensive care units. In the past 24 hours, 94 new cases required life support compared with 140 on Sunday.

Veran hailed medical caregivers’ mobilization which helped overcome the epidemic, noting that the coronavirus crisis “is changing the hospital situation.”

“This health crisis reflects the need to reinvent the model of hospital which needs to be better-equipped to manage crisis of this extent,” he said.

When the epidemic began last month, French government had decided on a batch of measures to halt the virus spread. It ordered a country-wide shutdown of all the public institutions and museums, suspended sporting events and closed non-essential facilities.

Under a lockdown imposed on March 17, people have been forced to stay at home, except for trips for purposes of work, health needs or shopping of necessities.

“The confinement impact is notable in the territories where the virus spreads a lot…In France, we are starting to feel (its effects). We believe that confinement saves lives,” Veran said.

However, he warned that the epidemic “is not over” and “there is still a long way ahead.”

“We are not at the end of the epidemic ascent. We must continue mobilization by staying at home,” the minister stressed.

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CoronaVirus: US COVID-19 deaths surpass 10,000

Globally, the death toll is more than 59,100, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Donald Trump

New York, April 7 : The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States topped 10,000 as of 1.20 p.m. local time (1720 GMT), according to the data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 10,335 people have died of the disease among 347,003 confirmed cases in the country, the CSSE said on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The state of New York suffered the most deaths in the country, now standing at 4,758. Among other hard-hit states, New Jersey reported 917 fatalities, Michigan recorded 617 deaths, and California reported 350 deaths. Over 18,000 patients have recovered, according to the CSSE data.

At a Sunday briefing in the White House, US President Donald Trump said that Americans are bracing for probably the toughest week during which a lot of deaths will occur due to COVID-19.

“The US will reach a horrific point in terms of death,” Trump said, while voicing his optimism that “it will be a point where things will start changing for the better.”

Globally, over 180 nations and regions reported a total of 1,309,439 cases with 72,638 deaths, according to the CSSE data.

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