Developments are happening fast as the coronavirus expands across the United States! Here are the latest updates you need to know for today.
Japanese flu drug “clearly effective” against coronavirus, China says
According to medical authorities in China, a Japanese flu drug known as favipiravir appears to be effective in treating coronavirus patients, a statement published in Japanese media said on Wednesday.
According to claims, patients who had received the favipiravir in Shenzhen became negative for coronavirus within a median range of four days after they had become positive, as compared to a median of 11 days for those who had not received the drug.
“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, told reporters.
Favipiravir, also known as the drug Avigan, was actually developed in 2014 by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, and shares of Fujifilm Toyama Chemical surged after being praised by a Chinese official following clinical trials.
The company has declined to comment on the claims of the effectiveness of the medication that has been made by Chinese officials.
Trump trying to push through trillion dollar emergency bill to help Americans out of work due to coronavirus
President Donald Trump is vowing to bring financial relief to Americans losing income due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In an early-morning tweet, President Trump wrote: “For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!”
IRS delays tax payment deadline by 90 days due to coronavirus
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will give individual Americans and businesses an extra 90 days to pay the IRS if they owe additional income tax for 2019, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Tuesday.
The deadline for paying any money owed to the IRS has now been extended to June 15, 2020.
However, Americans need to keep in mind that the extension only applies to money owed to the IRS – not the filing deadline.
Taxpayers are still required to file their federal tax returns by April 15, Mnuchin said.
“We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes, to continue to file their taxes on April 15 because for many Americans you will get tax refunds. We don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds,” Mnuchin added.
Worldwide coronavirus cases over 200,000, death toll over 8,000
Global cases of the novel coronavirus surged to 201,436 with 8,006 deaths as of yesterday, in the latest tally according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
China, Italy, Iran, Spain, and Germany lead with the most cases of the virus. The most deaths have occurred in China, Italy, Iran, Spain, and France.
The United States now ranks eighth in the total number of cases and sixth in the number of deaths.
So far today, there are a reported 205,643 cases of COVID-19 and 8272 deaths, according to worldomerters.info, who is tracking information around the globe.
A number of grocery stores creating “elderly hours” to help at risk individuals get supplies
As panic buying is ensuing across the US, the most vulnerable people in the outbreak are also having the most difficulty getting needed supplies, while also being at the greatest risk from the novel coronavirus.
A number of supermarkets across the nation are implementing shopping restrictions to help facilitate and protect seniors by creating “elderly hours” that will allow older customers to shop during the first hours of operation lessening the risk that they may come in contact with the virus through cross-contamination.
Some stores are also expanding this to include the disabled, pregnant, and other vulnerable persons.
Among the retailers participating in the growing list of stores are Safeway, Albertson’s, Target, Whole Foods, and Dollar General.
Most stores will reserve the first hour of operation each day for seniors. However, Target will only reserve the first hour for the elderly on each Wednesday.
Many are now calling out for all retailers to follow suit.
In addition, most large US grocery chains are offering online ordering, pickup and delivery service to help limit shoppers’ contact with other people.
US and Canada suspends nonessential travel between the two countries
President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that nonessential travel between the US and Canada is being shut down, as both countries temporarily close their shared border to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
President Donald Trump tweeted: “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!”
An in-progress agreement is being worked out between the United States and Canada that will provide more details. A joint statement is expected to be released within the next 24-48 hours. According to a Trump administration official, the definition of “nonessential travel” is still being worked out.
However, Business and trade between the two nations will continue, the official added.