HomeWhat you need to know about coronavirus on Saturday, May 2TechWhat you need to know about coronavirus on Saturday, May 2

What you need to know about coronavirus on Saturday, May 2

The US Food and Drug Administration yesterday granted the experimental drug emergency-use authorization to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19. The decision comes just days after a government-funded study found that patients who took remdesivir recovered faster than patients who did not.

Gilead Pharmaceuticals originally designed the antiviral drug to treat Ebola, but results were disappointing. Instead, remdesivir has become the world’s first authorized therapy treatment for Covid-19.

Wall Street embraced the news mid-week, with stocks surging amid optimism for the drug’s potential.

Recent weeks have witnessed a relentless quest for a viable Covid-19 treatment, with at least 72 active trials underway in the US alone. These include experiments with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, drugs that treat arthritis and a heartburn treatment.

Still, remdesivir is not the holy grail. While it may speed up recovery from Covid-19, it does not stop people from catching the novel coronavirus. Experts have repeatedly underlined that the pandemic will not subside until an effective vaccine is widely available.

Human trials for a vaccine are under way in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. But questions are mounting. A CNN investigation shows that the US is making a big bet on a company with unproven technology and a storied history.


Q: The flu kills more people than coronavirus. Why shut down the economy for this?

A: This is no longer true. The US death toll from coronavirus this year has exceeded 65,000, surpassing the high-end estimate for flu deaths since October.

The novel coronavirus is more dangerous than the flu for several reasons. It is much more contagious and has been killing victims at a much faster rate. The coronavirus incubation period seems much longer than that of the flu. With the flu, people typically start feeling sick one to four days after infection. For coronavirus, however, it can take up to 14 days for people to feel symptoms. The fact that it kept spreading in the southern hemisphere during its summer months suggests that, unlike the flu, warm weather won’t slow its spread. Experts say many deaths could be prevented with access to existing flu vaccines. But there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.


India reports its biggest single-day jump in cases

India’s confirmed coronavirus cases jumped by 2,293 to 37,336 on Friday. The spike represents the country’s biggest daily increase in cases, but it remains a remarkably low figure given India’s population of 1.3 billion.
Some experts say the numbers suggest the country’s nationwide lockdown to halt the spread could be working, for now.

And while testing rates per capita are very low in India, experts say the country seems to be catching most of the moderate and serious cases. If a huge surge in Covid-19 cases were not being caught by testing, experts add, hospitals would be crowded with cases and there would be a spike in flu-like symptoms. That has not been the case.

India’s strict lockdown measures were originally scheduled to lift Sunday, but they were recently extended for another two weeks.

White House blocks Fauci from testifying

The White House will keep Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the administration’s coronavirus task force, from testifying before the Democratic-led House next week, even though he is scheduled to testify in the Republican-led Senate.
The move will prevent a potential meeting between the blunt, high-ranking expert and lawmakers gearing up for an oversight battle, Jim Acosta and Caroline Kelly write. Fauci has repeatedly distanced himself from Trump’s framing of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic to strike a more somber tone.

He came home from hospital to die. His son kept him alive

When Suri Nathwani returned from hospital, he pleaded with his son Raj to be allowed to die at home. Death was not an outcome Raj was willing to accept, but he knew his father’s chances of surviving coronavirus were not good.

Raj used a Google spreadsheet, store-bought health aids and a baby monitor to help save his dad from dying. Raj knew his father was on the road to recovery when he became strong enough to nag him. “He began whingeing and said his tea was badly made. He then asked for some pizza and chips,” Raj said. Tara John tells their story.

‘If your child is hungry, you will eat your rulers to feed your children’

Income disparity in Tripoli, Lebanon’s poorest city, has historically been stark. These days, however, locals say it is unbearable.

The city roils with violent demonstrations, known as “hunger protests” that restarted this week, just as Lebanon was loosening its coronavirus lockdown and beginning to address poor living conditions exacerbated by the economy’s near shutdown.

Tamara Qiblawi and Ghazi Balkiz report from Tripoli, where the lockdown has stoked resentment, fueled rumors of a government conspiracy to further impoverish the poor and ignited violent protests.

Eye-opening study may provide blueprint for reopening

A new study from South Korea details how the country dealt with a coronavirus outbreak in a high-rise building in the busiest part of Seoul. The early intervention included closing the entire block, extensive testing and the quarantine of infected people along with their contacts.

The authors’ approach to identification and control of the novel coronavirus may serve as a blueprint for local and national policymakers wrestling with how to safely reopen the economy, according to a medical analyst.


  • All roads into Gallup, a city in northwestern New Mexico, have been closed to control the spread of coronavirus.
  • The FDA has approved a high-pressure ventilator prototype developed by NASA engineers to help coronavirus patients.
  • Arkansas abortion providers and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing state officials for restricting abortion. They want to keep the state from requiring those seeking an abortion to first get a negative Covid-19 test. They say the rule is unwarranted, given that people are allowed to frequent restaurants and gyms without negative tests.
  • A Connecticut pastor is memorializing every Covid-19 victim in the state with a white flag. He is running out of flags and room.
  • Disinfectant wipes are hard to come by these days. But one company found a clever solution to put them back on shelves.
  • A British brewer is giving away beer in exchange for donations for the National Health Service.
  • A Japanese aquarium wants you to FaceTime its shy eels. Absent frequent gawkers, they are beginning to hide when aquarium staff members pass by their tank. That is a problem because staff are unable to check up on the fish and ensure they are healthy.
  • Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is celebrating her fifth birthday today. The little princess has been busy delivering food to pensioners who are isolating because of the virus.


Face masks have become a part of life.

Wearing them has just become compulsory in Germany, while some US states have started requiring them when social distancing is impossible. Several airlines, meanwhile, say they’ll require passengers to cover their mouths, while Apple is working to ensure its Face ID technology works with a mask.
But face masks can be unexpectedly complicated. So here’s a quick guide to help you understand how they work, how they can be reused safely and which ones to buy. It will even help you to get your kids to wear them. (And you don’t even need to get creative.)

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