What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
From masks becoming 'a political hazard' in California to dubious Covid-19 'cures' in Brazil, here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now
No reclosing the United States
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States would not close businesses again as several states reported rising numbers of new coronavirus infections.
"We won't be closing the country again. We won't have to do that," Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel. Trump's comments come after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both said the United States could not shut down the economy again.
Improving market hygiene
Low standards of hygiene in China's wholesale food markets and vulnerabilities in its food supply chain need to be urgently addressed after a new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), a leading body of the ruling Communist Party, said in a report published on its website on Wednesday.
The resurgence of Covid-19 in the country's capital over the past week, infecting more than 100 people and raising fears of wider contagion, has been linked to the city's massive Xinfadi food centre.
China's sprawling food markets have emerged as an ideal breeding ground for the coronavirus. The first major cluster of infections was traced to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, where bats and other wild animals were believed to be on sale.
Requiring masks 'a political hazard'
When Michael Tubbs, mayor of the San Joaquin County seat of Stockton in California, submitted an ordinance requiring residents to wear masks when they are in public, he did not get a single vote from the six other members of the city council.
It is "a political hazard to act in the interest of public health," complained Tubbs, a liberal whose city has several conservatives on the council.
Public health restrictions run against the grain of individualism in American culture, and often generate resistance, said U.C. Berkeley epidemiologist Arthur Reingold. Throughout the country, resistance to public health measures has also taken on a partisan tinge.
Dubious Covid-19 'cures'
In Brazil, home to the world's second worst coronavirus outbreak, suspect, and sometimes strange, strategies to treat the virus are being touted over social media or through word of mouth.
Unusual 'cures' received by Reuters reporters on WhatsApp in recent weeks include the consumption of fruits like avocados and pineapples.
Another message suggested the novel coronavirus naturally vibrates at a frequency of 5.5 megahertz. Among the things that can kill it are "unconditional love," which, the message said, naturally vibrates at 205 megahertz.
Reuters did not find any accounts of patients falling dangerously ill from fantastical cures, but doctors said some Brazilians are ignoring medical advice on social distancing and instead relying on unproven remedies.Reuters