(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
People wait to cross the street in front of a boarded-up Sephora retail store as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Charged with homicide over COVID-19 infections
India has charged the chief of a Muslim seminary with culpable homicide for holding a gathering last month that authorities say led to a big jump in coronavirus infections.
The seminary is the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat group, one of the world’s biggest Sunni Muslim proselytising organisations. It promotes a pure form of Islam and has followers in more than 80 countries.
Trump promises investigation of China lab
U.S. President Donald Trump said his government was trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from a laboratory in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the outbreak first occurred. Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in, saying Beijing “needs to come clean” on what it knows.
The state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology has dismissed suggestions the virus originated from its labs and China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday the WHO had declared there was no evidence to back up the claim.
G7 meets via video conference
Trump holds a G7 video conference later on Thursday to coordinate national responses to the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier this week, the group supported debt relief for the world’s poorest countries facing the pandemic, which was underlined by the bigger G20 group agreeing to suspend debt service payments from poor countries for a year.
Trump will talk with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain on the call, just a day after he was widely condemned for halting U.S. funding of the WHO.
Testing through sewage
Australian researchers said on Thursday they expect to roll out within weeks a programme of testing raw sewage to detect the presence of the coronavirus and pinpoint communities at risk. A successful pilot project was carried out in Queensland state.
On a wide scale, sewage sampling can gauge the approximate number of people infected in an area without the need to test every individual, the CSIRO national science agency said.
The project makes use of an existing system in Australia under which crime agencies monitor the wastewater of about 57% of the population to detect the presence of illicit drugs.
Restarting the world’s biggest economy
Trump announces “guidelines” for reopening the U.S. economy on Thursday, saying on Wednesday that data suggested the country had passed its peak on infections.
The U.S. economy has been hurting badly. It reported this week the biggest decline in factory output since 1946.
Weekly jobless claims, the most timely data on the economy’s health, have also been staggering with a cumulative estimate of more than 20 million since the week ending March 21.
$15 million for walking around the garden
Feeling pressure to be productive while stuck at home due to the pandemic?
Well, you can’t beat Tom Moore. The 99-year-old British war veteran has raised more than 12 million pounds ($15 million) for the country’s health service by walking the 25 metres around his garden 100 times, days before his 100th birthday on April 30.
The retired army captain has used a rollator walking frame since breaking a hip and wanted to raise the money to thank the health service for the care he had received.
Compiled by Karishma Singh