BERLIN — The German government is celebrating a successful start for its coronavirus tracing app, which is says has been…
BERLIN — The German government is celebrating a successful start for its coronavirus tracing app, which is says has been downloaded 6.5 million times in just over a day.
Health Minister Jens Spahn wrote on Twitter Wednesday that it was a “strong start” and “should motivate even more citizens to join in.”
He added that “containing corona is a team game” and everyone who uses the app makes a difference.
Use of the app is voluntary and the app in Germany, where people are particularly sensitive about data protection, is designed to store data only on people’s phones rather than centralized servers.
The app was launched with great fanfare on Tuesday.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Flights canceled as Beijing’s new outbreak raises concerns
— Months into virus, biggest one-day case spike worries Iran
— Australia accuses China and Russia of virus disinformation
— Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve survival from COVID-19. The drug is a cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone. Results released Tuesday show it reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients.
— For Fort Bragg soldiers deploying to the Middle East, the usual predeparture fanfare has been replaced with a mandatory two-week quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic. Married paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team are hunkering down at home before boarding a military transport to fly across the globe. Single soldiers, meanwhile, are quarantined in a secluded compound on base.
— U.S. officials say they expect health insurance companies will cover vaccines for COVID-19 without charging copays, once those vaccines are approved and become available. At a briefing for reporters Tuesday, a senior Trump administration official said the government has been talking with insurers about offering vaccines at no cost to patients.
Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says a state ceremony will be held on July 16 to honor more than 27,000 people who have died in the pandemic.
Speaking to lawmakers, Sánchez said Wednesday that the ceremony will be presided over by King Felipe VI, Spain’s head of state, and attended by top officials from the European Union and the World Health Organization.
It will take place four months after Spain imposed one of the strictest lockdowns. Confining the population at home and halting most of the economic activity, it took nearly two months to curb the outbreak.
Spain has had more than 244,000 confirmed cases. Although daily deaths are believed to have dropped to a single digit, the government has kept the fatality toll at 27,136 for two weeks as it revises inconsistencies on reporting from different regional authorities.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Danish government is urging participants in a large racial justice demonstration earlier this month to get tested after a person in the crowd tested positive for the coronavirus.
Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said 15,000 people attended the June 7 rally in downtown Copenhagen and “some of them stood very close to each other.”
He urged them to get tested “whether you have symptoms or not.”
He says “as long as we have the virus in Europe and in Denmark, it will flare up. We are dealing with a very, very contagious disease.”
Two other outbreaks have been reported in Denmark, including a nursing home in the north where at least 26 persons have tested positive. Six people on a June 6 flight from Pakistan also have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more may have been exposed. Authorities are currently tracking other passengers.
ISLAMABAD — A top health official says Pakistan will consider the use of Britain’s new drug that experts say reduces death risk in seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
Wednesday’s announcement by Zafar Mirza, who advises Prime Minister Imran Khan on health issues, came as Pakistan reported 136 more COVID-19 deaths, the highest single-day number of fatalities.
The government has moved to seal off hot spots across the country to contain the rising trajectory of infections.
On Wednesday, Pakistan reported 5,839 new cases for a total of 154,760, including 2,975 deaths.
Britain reported that clinical trial found that a cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone, reduced deaths by up to one third in hospitalized patients who needed oxygen.
NEW DELHI, India — India has added more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths to its tally, after Delhi and Maharashtra states included 1,672 unreported fatalities, increasing the total number to 11,903.
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