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

WHO chief says coronavirus pandemic far from over, cites concerns over impact on children

The head of the World Health Organisation warned on Monday that the new coronavirus pandemic was far from over and said that he was “deeply concerned” about the impact of the disruption of normal health services, especially on children.

“The pandemic is far from over,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that the body was concerned about increasing trends in Africa, eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.

“We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do,” he said.

He added that shortages of vaccines against other diseases were being reported in 21 countries as a result of border restrictions linked to the pandemic, citing the GAVI global vaccine alliance.


US imposes new rules on exports to China to keep them from its military

The United States said on Monday it will impose new restrictions on exports to China to keep semiconductor production equipment and other technology away from Beijing’s military.

The new rules will require licenses for US companies to sell certain items to companies in China that support the military, even if the products are for civilian use

They also do away with a civilian exception that allows certain US technology to be exported without a license, if the use is not connected to the military.


New York stays cautious even as more US states ease coronavirus lockdowns

More US states began lifting coronavirus lockdown orders on Monday but New York – America’s economic engine and coronavirus epicentre – is in no hurry, with hospitalisation rates still high.

As Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi and Tennessee became among the latest states to loosen restrictions, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is preparing to lengthen confinement measures for badly-hit areas.

“May 15 is when the pause regulations expire statewide. I will extend them in many parts of the state,” he told reporters.


Italy says face masks less important than safe distancing in fight against coronavirus

One of Italy’s top public health officials warned Monday that wearing face masks should not give people a false sense of security against the new coronavirus.

Italy and other countries are debating whether people should wear masks outdoors at all times – even while not in a confined space.

The Mediterranean country is making the use of face masks mandatory on transport and in stores as it gradually rolls back lockdown measures starting next Monday.


World’s biggest film festivals unite for 10-day global streaming event on YouTube

More than 20 film festivals around the world have joined together to stream movies free on YouTube after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered movie theaters and forced the cancellation of annual showcases in Cannes and New York.

The 10-day “We Are One: A Global Film Festival” will feature content curated by the Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca film festivals, among others, starting on May 29, organisers Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube said in a statement on Monday.

The festival will showcase films, documentaries, music, comedy and conversations.


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