Only a month ago, a Soviet-era cosmonaut-turned-politician urged parliament to lift constitutional restrictions that require him to step down as president in He was the only one who could save the country from crisis, she said, and should be allowed to run again and again.
The public was also told over the past few months that the threat of the new coronavirus was greatly exaggerated, that the Americans had invented it to harm China, and that Russia was well protected. Now, Moscow and many other cities are in lockdown, while the number of cases is rising exponentially.
Yet Mr Putin has all but vanished from public view, hunkered down in his residence. If there is blame in the air, he does not want to catch it.
To be sure, Mr Putin did perform one of his trademark publicity stunts for the television cameras, donning a bright yellow hazmat suit and a respirator and visiting a hospital treating covid patients. But such stunts have only made the absence of empathy and leadership he has exhibited all the more apparent.
Nor has he announced a state of emergency, fearing that this would hurt his approval ratings, which have been sliding for months. Conspicuously, he has said nothing about how the government plans to support the economy. But private firms have been left high and dry. Mr Putin has not spelled out a national plan for fighting the epidemic.
Some Russian commentators recall how Stalin retreated to his distant dacha in the first few days after Germany attacked the Soviet Union in Unpopular measures will no doubt have to be taken. Mr Putin has pushed the responsibility for them down to the regional governors. This might have made sense had he not spent the past 20 years dismantling Russian federalism, centralising power and depriving the regions of political autonomy and financial resources.
One notable exception is Moscow, whose mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, sits on top of one of the largest municipal budgets in the world. Mr Sobyanin has emerged as a tough, decisive leader not only fighting the crisis hands-on in Moscow but also co-ordinating the work of other regions.
Mr Putin, meanwhile, seems preoccupied with propaganda. He has sent Russian military planes loaded with medical kit to America and Italy, perhaps to remind domestic voters that Russia is a superpower.
On April 2nd, as she tried to deliver masks and gloves to a small hospital outside Moscow, the police roughly detained her. This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the headline "The invisible leader".
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In the U. With the infection expected to spread more broadly and businesses and organizations shutting down, what is the latest federal government response? For the latest on the federal response, we turn now to our Lisa Desjardins, who's been tracking the fast-moving developments on Capitol Hill, and Yamiche Alcindor, who's following all of the news coming out of the White House.
So, Yamiche, first, what details do we have at this point about the administration's proposals, this economic stimulus package they have been rolling out? President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin both said that they are backing a plan to give every single American, except for maybe wealthy Americans, checks, individual checks, to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Now, they said that millionaires might be exempt from that. But the president says people are hurting and they need to get cash now. Now, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said that he thinks that this could happen as early as in the next two weeks if Congress act quickly enough.
The president, though, has also been on the phone with executives from industries like the restaurant industry, the cruise ship industry, supply chain industries, and he wants to have billions of dollars go to those industries as well.
Now, the White House is also pressing Congress, they say, to pass the bill that was passed in the House. They want GOP senators now who have some issues with the bill on the House side, they want them to just vote for the bill, so they can get that out the way, so that they can start working on this trillion-dollar stimulus package.
But it was remarkable to hear the president say that he wants everyday Americans to get a check in the mail to deal with this virus. So, Lisa, separately, proposals by the Congress to do something about all this. What are you hearing there? The Republicans and the White House want this kind of payment to individuals.
Democrats say, wait a minute, we have a different plan. We think other things are the priority for the big stimulus deal coming. Now, could they talk about including a payment in this deal? Chuck Schumer did not close the door to that, Judy. But the truth is, these negotiations are going to be tricky. And I asked him, maybe there's yet another bill after this. He said, yes, there could now be multiple stimulus bills coming down the pike.
Note that, in the Democrats' bill and in the White House proposal, there's not specific money for industries that have been affected, like the airlines. People might get money in their pocket, but are they going to buy an airline ticket soon?
All of this is what Congress is trying to work out. And, lest we forget, it seems like a long time ago, but it was just a few days ago that the House passed a relief bill, stimulus bill. As Yamiche reported, the White House has been pressing along with House Democrats to get that through. It's a question of when, in the next two to three days, as soon as tonight. It's a procedural issue. But I want to review — it's very important. This will be the first direct help for Americans affected by the virus passed by Congress.
Let's look at what's in it.African Americans are dying from the novel coronavirus in disproportionate numbers, according to the limited data available on how the pandemic is affecting people of different races. Only three states, Michigan, Illinois, and North Carolina, are providing data highlighting infection rates by race, but the figures indicate that African Americans have an outsize risk of getting a case of COVID so severe that it leads to death.
There are calls for more states to provide this kind of data so a more reliable picture can be formed across the US. Two experts have suggested the virus is having a starker effect on African Americans because people in that demographic are more likely to live in poverty and to be in ill health, both of which can exacerbate COVID Other anecdotal evidence from around the country — where testing data varies from state-to-state — affirms this apparent racial disparity in the coronavirus infection and death statistics.
She noted that "as a group, African Americans in the US have higher rates of poverty, housing and food insecurity, unemployment or underemployment, and chronic medical conditions, and disabilities. Camara Jones, a family physician, epidemiologist, and visiting fellow at Harvard University, told ProPublica : "This is the time to name racism as the cause of all of those things. The overrepresentation of people of color in poverty and white people in wealth is not just a happenstance … It's because we're not valued.
It is also possible, however, that the Illinois and Michigan data is skewed by the fact that the largest coronavirus outbreaks in those states are in Chicago and Detroit, which both have large African American populations.
A political campaign has been launched to pressure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to start collating figures to monitor and address racial disparities in the US's response to the coronavirus disease. Five members of Congress, including Sen.
Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email covidtips businessinsider. Account icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders. It often indicates a user profile. Login Subscribe. My Account. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Julian Kossoff. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the African American community harder than the general US population, early data suggests.
Michigan, Illinois, and North Carolina are the only states that have publicly broken down the data on coronavirus infections and deaths by race. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Loading Something is loading. Illinois South Carolina.France, Italy and parts of the United States are in lockdown. Streets are silent, shops are shut, fear reigns. But not so in Japan. That may sound opaque — even inhuman.
But it has ensured national calm and continued economic activity. The government has ordered schools closed and all major events postponed. Most museums, amusement parks and event spaces were closed, but some are now reopening. It added that any situation in which you find all three factors combined must be avoided. On these poorly ventilated, over-crowded vectors on wheels, avoiding close contact in rush hours is impossible. However, asking people to avoid the trains would hammer Japan Inc, and in this country, the economy always seems to trump public health concerns.
Japan is known for its remarkable addiction to cleanliness, and wearing masks for health and sometimes cosmetic reasons has been part of the culture for at least years. Japan is not a touchy-feely nation like France or Italy.
Social distancing is part of the culture. Barbara Holthus, Deputy Director at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, noted the greeting is the bow, not the kiss on the cheek or handshake. Few would disagree, but there is little objective data to show how widespread infections have truly become.
Thousands of deaths in Italy, a country with a major outbreak, make the disease look particularly lethal. On the other hand, South Korea, which also suffered a major outbreak, suggests otherwise.
Many who get the virus will not show symptoms or get ill, and most of those who get ill recover. But it can kill — especially the aged — and Japan has the oldest population in the world. Embattled Italy is in second place. It does so by pneumonia, viral damage and sepsis. The tone is calm. Critically, it points out that since there is no specific treatment for Covid, the priority must be treating the illness via its pathogen causes.
When signs of pneumonia are found, it suggests using all possible methods of treatment, such as giving oxygen and vasopressors as necessary.Globally, the death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 18, with more thancases reported in over countries and territories, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in India, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks. Heeding to a call by Modi, people came out on their balconies, windows and courtyards to applaud the selfless work of medical professionals on the frontlines in the fight against COVID The normally bustling streets across India wore a deserted look throughout the day as people participated in the curfew.
The UN News video showed footage of empty roads and urban spaces on Sunday, just two days before Modi announced the nationwide lockdown for three weeks. The WHO and other UN partners have been working closely with the Indian government on preparedness and response measures, disease surveillance, laboratory and research protocols, risk communications, training on infection prevention and control and cluster containment plan, surveillance and tracking of travellers.
Speaking at press briefing in Geneva on Monday, WHO Emergencies Programme Director Mike Ryan had said that it was important for India to ramp up measures at public health and societal level to control and suppress the disease. India, through targeted public intervention, ended smallpox and gave a great gift to the world.CORONAVIRUS - Business, political parties unite in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic
India also eradicated polio, he noted. It is exceptionally important that countries like India lead the way to show the world what can be done. There are no easy answers. He said it took 67 days from the beginning of the outbreak in China in late December for the virus to infect the firstpeople worldwide.
In comparison, it took 11 days to reach a total ofcases and just four days for the thirdcases to bring the total number of cases worldwide to more thanhe said, estimates that Modi cited as he addressed the nation on Tuesday and announced the three-week long lockdown. Click here to join our channel indianexpress and stay updated with the latest headlines.
Streaming Guide: Movies and web series to watch on April 18 1 day ago. Best of Express Centre allows movement of stranded migrant labourers within state in buses Under pressure from small traders, Centre bans e-commerce platforms from delivering non-essentials Entertainment Streaming Guide: What to watch on April 19 Celebrity social media photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan, Hina Khan, and others Trending Viral Video: Man performs to Michael Jackson's song while 'weathering the storm' Trending Police officer feeds banana to amputated monkey, wins hearts online Sports 'Every captain has his favourite and Raina was Dhoni's': Yuvraj Singh Sports 'Only England matches taken into account': Gavaskar slams Wisden Opinion Revival of the economy requires ideas, effective implementation Ways and Means Advances: what is it, and how far will relaxation of limit help?Washington, D.
One simple answer is to ramp up humidification at home and in the workplace, if humidity levels are low. Hospitals treating cases of viral respiratory infection may be advised to do the same.
Humidity, and especially indoor humidity, seems to hold the key. Ina research team at Yale University Medical School published a groundbreaking study Kudo et al.
As Yale immunologist Akiko Iwasaki repeatedly has tweeted, winter months require indoor heating, which leads to low indoor humidity, which in turn leads to reduced mucociliary clearance and innate antiviral immunity, resulting in more respiratory virus in the lungs and increased mortality. This reduces the amount of humidity in the air.
Analysis of the mucus in the trachea showed that infection in low humidity resulted in the inability to of the cilia on the epithelial cells to move it. The low humidity made the mucus too thick. What can you do when low humidity is unavoidable? Explained Dr.
What should be the target humidity? What if a humidifier is not available? A large pot of water carefully kept at a low boil can humidify dry winter air to healthy levels. This new research suggests that warmer, more humid weather will soon bring relief to countries now affected by COVID Until then, indoor humidification and the use of facemasks may save many lives and ultimately help the world turn the corner in the fight against this epidemic.
COVID-19: U.K. Government Unveils NHS Contact-Tracing Phone App As Next Step In Fighting Disease
Subscribe via RSS. Subscribe via ATOM. Register Sign In. Email Print Friendly Share. Dan Hess Research.This is no exaggeration. Indeed, with a population of over 1. The future of the outbreak largely depends on what happens in large and densely populated countries like India, according to Dr.
The primary law it resorts to in governing healthcare emergencies is the year-old colonial-era Epidemic Diseases Act ofwhich was enacted to fight the bubonic plague. Despite a well-funded healthcare system and a nation-wide lockdown which has been in place for over two weeks, Italy has run out of ventilators, beds and even medics for new patients and has seen more than 6, healthcare staff infected by the virus.
Funeral services in Madrid were so completely overwhelmed that city officials had to convert an ice-skating rink into a temporary morgue to handle the surge in deaths. The WHO has warned that the US, which has reported over 85, cases and more than 1, deaths, could emerge as the next epicentre of the virus. So far, India seems to have been lucky with just 16 deaths reported in the past four weeks — but some experts caution that an avalanche of cases could be coming very soon.
As noted by the WHO, India led the world eradicating two silent killers: smallpox and polio. At a media briefing in Geneva, Dr.
What the U.S. federal government is doing to fight COVID-19
Can India help the world avert major catastrophe?