While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 14

Nine US states planning reopening of economies after coronavirus shutdown

A total of nine states on the US East and West coasts said on Monday they had begun planning for the slow reopening of their economies and lifting of strict stay-at-home orders amid signs the worst had passed in the US coronavirus pandemic.

The Northeast states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will work with Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in coordinating to gradually reopen their economies together, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The governors of California, Oregon and Washington said they also had reached an agreement on a shared approach to restarting businesses, although they gave no firm timeline and said they would be guided by the health of residents first.

The joint planning reflected growing concern among health officials and political leaders that easing stay-at-home orders too soon could allow the pandemic to re-accelerate, undoing hard-won progress the country has made in recent weeks.

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Covid-19 coronavirus is 10 times more deadly than swine flu: WHO

The novel coronavirus is 10 times more deadly than swine flu, which caused a global pandemic in 2009, the World Health Organization said Monday, stressing a vaccine would be necessary to fully halt transmission.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from Geneva that the organisation was constantly learning about the new virus sweeping the globe, which has now killed nearly 115,000 people and infected over 1.8 million.

WHO says 18,500 people died of “swine flu”, or H1N1, which was first uncovered in Mexico and the United States in March 2009, but the Lancet medical estimated the toll to be between 151,700 and 575,400.

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Britain to remain in lockdown as coronavirus deaths rise above 11,000

The death toll from Covid-19 in British hospitals rose to 11,329 on Monday and the government, which is having to operate without its convalescing leader Boris Johnson, signalled that there would be no easing of lockdown measures this week.

The British death toll is the fifth highest globally and a senior scientific adviser to the government has said the country risks becoming the worst-hit in Europe.

The government’s panel of scientific advisers is due to review the evidence on the effectiveness of social distancing measures this week, but Raab signalled that was unlikely to result in any easing of restrictions.

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Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for Democratic presidential nomination

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, was formally endorsed on Monday by longtime rival Bernie Sanders, a move that may help unify the Democratic Party ahead of a general-election matchup against Republican President Donald Trump.

Sanders, the progressive firebrand who last week suspended his presidential campaign, joined Biden in an online campaign event, citing the coronavirus outbreak as a reason for the party to come together.

That made for a stark contrast to 2016, when Sanders waited until the eve of the Democratic National Convention in the summer to support the then-nominee, Hillary Clinton.

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Live-streamed wedding: South Koreans get creative in time of social distancing

A parent had a drive-through meeting with his children’s new teachers, while a couple live-streamed their wedding and interacted with their guests online.

A company installed transparent protective screens in its staff canteen, while another firm had its job applicants take a test in a football field.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak that has infected 10,537 people in South Korea to date, many are coming up with various creative ways to keep themselves safe from the virus.

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