1. The Most Remote Places the Disease Has Reached
Brazil’s health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta confirmed earlier this week that a 15-year-old boy from the indigenous tribe Yanomami tested positive for Covid-19. It is quite unnerving, considering Yanomami’s relative isolation from the world. The tribe is considered to be the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. Its total population as of today is about 38,000, and the Yanomami people reside along the Venezuelan border over a 9.2 million hectare territory.
The boy reported experiencing symptoms including shortness of breath, fever, chest pain and a sore throat. He was admitted to the ICU in a hospital located in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima, and for the moment, he is still there.
Another corner of the world the virus managed to reach this week is Yemen. The country reported its first confirmed case earlier this week. This is devastating news, as Yemen has already been torn by war for the past five years, with many people displaced and living in camps where sanitation is hard to maintain. A ceasefire is currently taking place in order to try and prevent the spread of the disease and reach a settlement to stop the fighting.
2. Who Is Currently Battling Covid-19?
Everyone is affected by the virus in one way or another, and that includes leaders and celebrities. A notable public figure who is currently battling Covid-19 is the UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson. He was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital one week ago after experiencing persistent symptoms of the virus for 10 days after the initial positive test result. And it has been a whirlwind of a week. Johnson was rushed to the hospital, taken into intensive care and given oxygen before being released to recover in the ward.
News outlets like the Guardian have quoted Johnson’s most recent statement, in which he pays tribute to the NHS staff who took care of him. “I can’t thank them enough, I owe them my life,” said the Prime Minister.
3. And Those Who Recovered
But it is not all bad news. In fact, there is quite a steady stream of encouraging updates from celebrities who are feeling better or have fully recovered from the disease. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have safely returned to the US after quarantining and recovering in Australia, and report they feel well and continue to shelter in place and follow the social distancing guidelines.
71-year-old Prince Charles has also addressed his recovery in a video announcement. After his recovery, the Prince of Wales opened the NHS Nightingale Hospital, London's new coronavirus hospital by video call, of course. Other celebrities that reported being on the other side of illness include actor Daniel Dea Kim, author JK Rowling, and actor Idris Elba.
4. The Good News
To continue the string of hopeful news, these are some of the most recent positive coronavirus updates. The Washington Post reported that just two weeks after imposing a nationwide lockdown, ‘New Zealand isn't just flattening the curve - it’s squashing it’. The country is carrying out an extensive testing plan, and the number of new cases is showing a steady drop for several consecutive days. Currently, the number of people recorded as recovered - 49 - was higher than the number of new cases recorded - 29.
Another breakthrough is the positive results of a new experimental drug called Remdesivir. The biotech company Gilead Sciences published its findings and analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine. 53 patients with severe Covid-19 cases were treated with this experimental medicine, 36 of them experienced an improvement in their condition. Doctors also reported that they were able to take 17 out of 30 patients off life-support machines.
As this was not an official clinical trial with enough participants and a randomized group of patients receiving placebo, the conclusions that can be drawn from this are not definite. Still, it is a reason to feel hopeful according to the authors of the study.
5. The Surprising News
This last piece of news is both wholesome and somewhat strange. A pair of twins, born in India on March 26th received the names Covid and Corona. “We wished to ease the anxiety and fear associated with these words and also make the occasion memorable” the newborns’ mother explained the unusual choice of names to the press.
As difficult as this situation may be, it is also an incredibly interesting time. The stream of news is constant, and it is important to consume only the amount of news you feel comfortable with, so remember to keep a balance between difficult and optimistic news.