Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.”
But behind the scenes, it was a much different story, one of significant delays by China and considerable frustration among WHO officials over not getting the information they needed to fight the spread of the deadly virus, The Associated Press has found.
Despite the plaudits, China in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information. Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents. Read the full story here:
Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.
- The funny papers this Sunday will have more than laughs. More than 70 comic strips and panels — ranging from Garry Trudeau's “Doonesbury” to Jim Toomey's “Sherman’s Lagoon” and Jeff Keane's “Family Circus” — will each have six symbols hidden in the artwork to honor workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Parisians returned to the City of Light’s beloved sidewalk cafes as lockdown restrictions eased Tuesday, but health experts expressed deep concerns as several Latin American countries opted to reopen their economies despite a rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
- Even as companies recruit tens of thousands of people for larger vaccine studies this summer, behind the scenes scientists still are testing ferrets, monkeys and other animals in hopes of clues to those basic questions — steps that in a pre-pandemic era would have been finished first.
- In Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered a personal note of caution to his country's gradual roll-back of virus restrictions by opting to drive 1,000 miles instead of flying to promote a key infrastructure project.
- In Russia, a flood of complaints has met the app designed to track Moscow’s quarantined coronavirus patients. The app’s nearly 70,000 registered users were subject to fines if they left their home or if they failed to take a selfie when directed to do so to prove their location. Some people said the app asked for selfies in the middle of the night.
- Worldwide, 6.5 million people have been infected with the virus, which has killed over 375,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that experts believe is too low because many people died without being tested. The United States has seen over 105,000 deaths and Europe has had nearly 175,000.
- More than 225 current and former global VIPs urged the leaders of the Group of 20 major economic powers to back a $2.5 trillion plan to tackle COVID-19 and launch an economic recovery. They said poor and middle-income countries, which represent nearly 70% of the world’s population, need immediate action.
For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for some helpful tips to deal with the virus' impact, interactive maps tracking the spread and a look at how the virus impacts different races.
Some helpful tips
Have you grown more worried and fearful about life? A doctor offers tips on dealing in the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more of the latest h…
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