Covid-19 wrap | White House readies to scrap task force, Johnson faces MPs in parliament and Australia to begin plasma therapy research

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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White House readies to scrap Trump’s coronavirus task force

In the latest sign that the Trump administration no longer
considers the coronavirus pandemic its top daily priority, the White House is
set to disband the emergency task force handling the outbreak.

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the emergency task
force he heads will not be needed much longer than the end of this month.

“I think we’re starting to look at the Memorial Day (25 May) window, early June window” for shutting it down, he told reporters.


Johnson faces MPs after UK virus toll reaches grim milestone                   

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Wednesday make his first
appearance in parliament since being hospitalised for coronavirus, the day
after Britain became the European country worst hit by the global pandemic.

is expected to be quizzed on why things have gone so wrong during his first
weekly prime minister’s questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons since 25 March.

MPs are also likely to ask
about how Britain will end a nationwide stay-at-home order introduced six weeks
ago, which has successfully slowed the spread of the virus.


sees over 10 000 new virus cases for fourth day in row

recorded more than 10 000 new coronavirus cases for the fourth day in a row on
Wednesday, surpassing Germany to become the country with the sixth-highest
number of confirmed infections.

Russia has emerged as a new
hotspot for the virus and in recent days has been recording the highest number
of new infections in Europe.

Health officials on Wednesday
reported 10 559 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of
infections to 165 929, with 1 537 deaths.


to begin plasma therapy research

Research into using
blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a therapy for those who
become infected is set to begin in Australia, the latest country to investigate
the possible treatment.

Scientists in
France, the United States and China are among nations already looking at using
plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19.

bio-pharmaceutical firm CSL Behring said the first phase of research in Australia
would focus on developing a test to detect the presence of antibodies that
fight the virus in plasma.


enjoy further gains as virus restrictions are eased 

equities rose again on Wednesday as investors grew increasingly, but
cautiously, hopeful that the worst of the coronavirus had passed and as
countries begin to slowly open up from lockdown.

While a string of data
highlighted the calamity visited upon the global economy by Covid-19, a
slowdown in both infections and deaths in some nations is allowing them to ease
restrictions that have kept half the planet stuck at home.


domestic waste rises due to coronavirus restrictions 

places in the US are reporting a 40 percent increase in household rubbish
collection and recycling because of the coronavirus movement curbs.

All this is putting a strain
on the sanitation workers, who are missing a third of their teams because of
the fallout from the virus.

– Al