While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 18

China’s revised Covid-19 figures are bid to ‘leave no case undocumented’: WHO

A sharp upward revision in China’s coronavirus death toll on Friday was “an attempt to leave no case undocumented” after medical services in Wuhan were overwhelmed at the start of the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

Nearly 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, or half the total, were not counted in death tolls because of lapses, state media said on Friday, but Beijing dismissed claims that there had been any kind of cover-up.

US President Donald Trump has suggested that China has understated its toll of coronavirus deaths, and has condemned the WHO for the support it has given to China’s approach in the crisis.

He suspended funding to the UN agency this week.


Coronavirus: US man threatens shooting over shoppers not wearing masks

Police in Florida have arrested a man who threatened to go on a shooting rampage in his local supermarket because he thought too few shoppers were wearing protective masks against the coronavirus.

Robert Kovner, 62, was arrested after he posted on Facebook that he would “empty every clip I own” in his local Publix supermarket because not enough of the customers were wearing protective face coverings, police said.

Police in Sebring, some 135km south of Orlando, said that “these are stressful times, but there is no excuse for making threats like this.”


Space station astronauts return to Earth and find a ‘different planet’

Two Nasa astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut on Friday made a safe return from the International Space Station (ISS) to find a “different planet,” transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka touched down in central Kazakhstan at 0516 GMT (1.16am on Saturday, Singapore time) in the first returning mission since the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a global pandemic in March.

Morgan had been on the ISS since July last year, while Meir and Skripochka arrived in September.


Coronavirus: Recovery may not confer immunity, warn experts

Even as virologists zero in on the virus that causes Covid-19, a very basic question remains unanswered: Do those who recover from the disease have immunity?

There is no clear answer to this question, experts say, even if many have assumed that contracting the potentially deadly disease confers immunity, at least for a while.

For RNA-based viruses such as Sars-Cov-2 – the scientific name for the bug that causes the Covid-19 disease – it takes about three weeks to build up a sufficient quantity of antibodies, and even then they may provide protection for only a few months, scientists told AFP.


San Diego Comic-Con cancelled for first time amid outbreak

San Diego Comic-Con, an annual celebrity-studded showcase of superhero films and pop culture, has been cancelled for the first time in its 50-year history due to the global coronavirus outbreak, organisers said on Friday.

Comic-Con had been scheduled to take place in July.

The event typically draws tens of thousands of costumed revellers to a San Diego convention hall and surrounding streets, restaurants and hotels.


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