EU strikes rescue deal as hopes rise of virus easing - GulfToday

EU strikes rescue deal as hopes rise of virus easing


Medical staff members attend a patient of COVID-19 in the new intensive care unit built in Milan, Italy. AP

Tentative signs of hope emerged Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic was peaking, as the European Union sealed a rescue package to help the hard-hit continent.


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Boris Johnsons showing improvement remains in intensive care 

With the death toll passing 94,000, there remained plenty of grim news, with the IMF warning that the world was dipping into a new Great Depression and new data showing the United States has shed a massive 17 million jobs in a matter of weeks.

But hospitalizations dropped in several countries and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the highest profile of the 1.5 million people infected by the virus, exited three days of intensive care.

Britain's Prince Charles (left) attends a meeting in London. File photo/AP

"The fire started by the pandemic is starting to come under control," said Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain, where fatalities inched down to 683 from 757 a day before, pushing the total above 15,000.

"Our priority now is not to turn back, especially not to return to our starting point, not to lower our guard," Sanchez told parliament.

France reported that 82 fewer people were in intensive care for COVID-19 -- the first fall since the pandemic broke out.

Anthony Fauci, the US government's top pandemic expert, said the United States was "going in the right direction" -- but urged people to continue to stay home.

The US recorded 1,783 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University as of 0030 GMT Friday, lower than the previous day's record toll of 1,973.

The US has seen 16,513 deaths, the second-highest tally in the world after Italy, and more than 460,000 confirmed cases.

In New York, the epicenter of the virus in the United States, only 200 more people entered hospitals, the lowest number since the pandemic struck, even though 799 people died over the last day, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

"We are flattening the curve by what we are doing," Cuomo said, adding, "We have to keep the curve flat."

But he declined to predict how New York would fare in the coming weeks, telling reporters bluntly: "I have no idea."

Agence France-Presse

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