While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 7

British PM Boris Johnson’s health worsens, taken to intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit on Monday after his coronavirus symptoms worsened, and his Downing Street office said he was still conscious.

Britain has no formal succession plan should the prime minister become incapacitated, but Johnson, 55, asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him.

Johnson was admitted to hospital on Sunday night and had been undergoing tests after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms, including a high temperature, for more than 10 days.

Downing Street had said he was in good spirits and still in charge, though at about 6pm local time he was moved to an intensive care unit – where the most serious cases are treated – at St Thomas’ hospital, across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament in central London.

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New York Governor Cuomo extends shutdown to April 29

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday cited tentative signs the coronavirus outbreak was “flattening” in his state but warned against complacency as the US death toll topped 10,000 and the number of cases reached 350,000.

New York reported 4,758 coronavirus-related deaths as of Monday, an increase of 599 from Sunday, compared with an increase of 594 during the previous 24 hours.

On Friday, the state’s death toll increased by 630. Cases in the state increased by 7 per cent in 24 hours to 130,680, Cuomo said.

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Italy injects record €400 billion into coronavirus-hit economy

Italy’s government approved on Monday a new emergency decree that will offer more than €400 billion (S$619 billion) worth of liquidity and bank loans to companies hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The legislation, combined with a previous stimulus package unveiled in March, would allow banks to offer credit totalling more than €750 billion to try to stave off the collapse of the euro zone’s third largest economy.

“This is real firepower. I cannot remember such powerful measures being introduced in the history of our republic to help with the financing of our businesses,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at the end of a cabinet meeting.

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Masks should be prioritised for health workers to avoid shortage: WHO

The World Health Organisation voiced concern on Monday that the wearing of medical masks by the general public could exacerbate the shortage for health workers on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gheybresus, noting that several countries were considering new recommendations on masks, said: “First and foremost medical masks must be prioritised for health workers on the front lines of the response.

“We are concerned that the mass use of medical masks by the general population could exacerbate the shortage of these specialised masks for the people who need them most,” he told a virtual news conference.

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British Open cancelled for first time since World War II due to coronavirus

The British Open has been cancelled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus.

The 149th Open was scheduled to take place at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent in July.

But with the pandemic ripping the 2020 sporting schedule to shreds, the event has became the first of the sport’s four majors to be cancelled this year.

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