Coronavirus update 18 March 2020. 250,000 could die in the UK and a million in the U.S.A according to a report
| By Angela Fritz|
with Avi Selk
|Source Washington Post U.S.A 18.03.2020 Coronavirus update 18 March 2020. 250,000 could die in the UK and a million in the USA according to a report see below.|
The latest Layoffs are mounting by tens of thousands, and economists warn millions of jobs could disappear this year. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers that the unemployment rate could spike to almost 20 percent (from its current level of 3.5 percent), people familiar with his comments told The Washington Post. The scale of a $1 trillion economic plan is coming into sharper focus. The White House is working with Republicans in Congress on a package that could send $2,000 to many Americans and devote $300 billion to small businesses. U.S. markets tanked as stimulus talks failed to ease worried investors. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was forced to halt trading at one point Wednesday because the sell-off was so sharp. Nearly all of the advances the market has made under the Trump presidency have been erased.A chilling new study forced the United Kingdom to sit up and take coronavirus seriously, and the White House task force is also reportedly using it to guide strategy. The study predicts that if we only try to slow the spread, the number of hospital beds could be overwhelmed, leading to about 250,000 deaths in the U.K. and more than a million in the United States. The study, by London’s Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, recommended stronger measures would need to be taken to reduce the death toll further. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is using that study to implement more extreme measures to suppress the spread of the virus. On Wednesday, Johnson announced all schools across the U.K. will close starting Friday, until further notice.In a rare pre-recorded televised message, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany is facing its gravest challenge since World War II. “Take it seriously,” she said. “Since German reunification, not since World War II, there’s not been a challenge to our country that depends as much on our united actions done in solidarity.”The United States and Canada have mutually agreed to close their border to nonessential traffic. Trump said trade would not be affected. The administration also plans to immediately send back to Mexico migrants who cross the southern border illegally, including those who are seeking asylum. New York confirmed 1,008 new casesTuesday, raising the state’s total to 2,382, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) told reporters Wednesday. He attributed the rise to more testing. New York has the most cases of any U.S. state. Of people who are ill, 549 are hospitalized.Italy reported 475 new deaths from the virus Wednesday — the largest one-day spike recorded in one country. The nation’s surging fatality rate has been blamed in part on overloaded hospitals, raising fears of a similar spike in the United States, where cash-strapped hospitals have been reluctant to order ventilators they could soon need in the tens of thousands.Faced with such shortages, authorities are turning to quarantines, business closures and bans on large gatherings in an attempt to “flatten the curve.” You can use our new interactive graphic to get a rough idea of how much your town or city may have to restrict public life to save people’s lives.Lately, President Trump has been trying to rebrand the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” despite concerns that the term is unscientific, misleading and could incite racial attacks. “It’s not racist at all,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “It comes from China, that’s why.” Researchers believe the disease originated in bats or pangolins.Slightly more than half of Americans think Trump has downplayed the virus too much, a new Pew Research Center survey found. The president, who last month suggested U.S. coronavirus cases would peak at 15, defended himself by noting his decision to restrict travel from China early in the outbreak. “I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning,” he tweeted this morning.
|Tracking the U.S. cases As of yesterday, covid-19 cases are confirmed in all 50 states. Click through for a closer look at how the virus is spreading across the nation, death tolls and hot spots in the United States and around the world. (Washington Post Staff)|
|Your questions, answered Why aren’t we gearing up to produce more ventilators? —Gail Beggs, West Chester, Pa.Today’s answer comes from reporting by Christopher Rowland, a Post business writer focused on the health-care economy.Mechanical ventilators, which help patients breathe (or breathe for them), are considered critical to the nation’s effort to contain the worst effects of the pandemic and avoid a crisis like the one Italy is facing. Depending on how bad the coronavirus pandemic gets in the United States, individual cities could come up thousands of ventilators short as patients flood hospitals, researchers say.But the problem in the United States isn’t about not having enough — it’s that they are too expensive. Ventilator manufacturers could achieve, within a few months, a significant boost in production from about 50,000 units a year currently, said Julie Letwat, a health-care lawyer in Chicago who is monitoring the industry. Orders have not flooded in, she said, because most hospitals can’t afford to increase inventory of expensive equipment for what could turn out to be a short-term event.“The risk is that they’ll never be used, and hospitals can’t eat the cost,” she said. “Most hospitals in this country are not profitable.”Ventilators range from $25,000 for a basic model to $50,000 for a machine used in the most advanced intensive-care units. Buying them also requires additional large investments in staff and training. Letwat said federal government investment would be the surest way to boost supply.Read more about what’s behind the U.S. shortage in ventilators|