While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 28

Coronavirus: Historic US$2.2 trillion Bill passes US House, becomes law

The US House of Representatives on Friday approved a US$2.2 trillion (S$3.1 trillion) aid package – the largest in history – to help cope with the economic downturn inflicted by the intensifying coronavirus pandemic, and President Donald Trump quickly signed it into law.

The massive Bill passed the Senate and House of Representatives nearly unanimously.

The rare bipartisan action underscored how seriously Republican and Democratic lawmakers are taking the global pandemic as Americans suffer, and the medical system threatens to buckle.

“Our nation faces an economic and health emergency of historic proportions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the worst pandemic in over 100 years,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at the close of a three-hour debate before the lower chamber approved the Bill.

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Coronavirus: Cases top half a million, protective gear lacking, says WHO

Coronavirus has infected more than half a million people and killed more than 20,000 globally, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday, as he appealed again for protective gear for medical staff working to save lives.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, urged countries to refrain from using medicines that have not been demonstrated to be effective against Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

“The chronic global shortage of personal protective gear is now one of most urgent threats to our collective ability to save lives,” Tedros told a Geneva news conference.

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Coronavirus: ‘Clear we have entered recession,’ says IMF chief

The coronavirus pandemic has driven the global economy into a downturn that will require massive funding to help developing nations, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.

“It is clear that we have entered a recession” that will be worse than in 2009 following the global financial crisis, she said in an online press briefing.

With the worldwide economic “sudden stop,” Georgieva said the fund’s estimate “for the overall financial needs of emerging markets is US$2.5 trillion.”

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Coronavirus: Infected cat found in Belgium

A pet cat has been infected with the novel coronavirus in Belgium after being contaminated by its owner, Belgian health authorities said on Friday.

Cases of contamination of pets are rare and authorities ruled out any risk of contamination to humans from home animals.

The reports follows similar cases in Hong Kong where two dogs tested positive for Covid-19 during a screening campaign carried out on 17 dogs and eight cats living in contact with people carrying the virus.

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Football: ‘I struggled to breathe:’ Dybala reveals coronavirus nightmare

Juventus star Paulo Dybala revealed Friday how he “struggled to breathe” after contracting coronavirus which has killed over 9,000 people in Italy.

The Argentine international announced last Saturday he was one of three Juventus players to catch the virus along with Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi, who both had no symptoms.

“I feel better now after some strong symptoms,” the 26-year-old Dybala told JTV channel. “A couple of days ago I was not well, I felt heavy and after five minutes of movement I had to stop because I was struggling to breathe.”

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