Lieba Nesis’s Daily Coronavirus Global Update in the Secular and Jewish Community-Thursday March 19, 2020

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  • US cases soared by more than 40% in the past 24 hours to over 13,533 with 185 people dead.  New York City is reporting more than 4,000 cases with 554 people hospitalized,160 people in intensive care and 22 dead.  Brooklyn is the most hard-hit borough (1,030), followed by Queens (980), Manhattan (976), the Bronx (436), and Staten Island (165). Much of this increase is due to 7,584 tests being processed a day as compared to hundreds being tested a few days ago.  Westchester County, the home of Patient Zero, a 50-year old Orthodox lawyer from New Rochelle recovering from a coma, has reported 798 cases as it remains an intense hotspot.
  • -About half of those infected in New York City are under 50 with nearly 40% of US hospitalizations comprised of those ages 20-54.  Governor Cuomo continued to reject De Blasio’s request for a “shelter in place” order which would be a blanket quarantine, aside from necessities, on the entire City-an unnecessary burden on the already struggling economy since most restaurants and stores are closed with only takeouts and delivery intact.
  • -The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose on Thursday with the Dow up 188.27 points to 20,087.19 while the S&P 500 increased .5% to 2,409.39.  The Nasdaq outperformed with a 2.3% surge to 7,150.58.  The Dow is down 13.36%-the highest percentage since the 2008 financial crisis
  • -Donald Trump announced encouraging progress in testing potential treatments.  A drug known as Hydroxychloroquine, which is used to treat malaria and arthritis, has shown to be a “game changer” said the President.  The drug, which has already been cleared by the FDA for other treatment, will soon become available by prescription.
  • -Florida has issued an order Thursday morning to limit gatherings on beaches to no more than 10-effectively ending Spring Break.
  • -New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is two to three weeks away from running out of medical supplies.
  • -California Governor Gavin Newsom said that 56% of his population, 25.5 million people, will be infected within an 8-week period.  The release of unnecessarily dire information such as this just increases panic buying and hospitalizations and is highly irresponsible.
  • -Italy has just surpassed China for the most amount of deaths with a total number of cases at 41,035 and deaths reaching 3,405 with China deaths standing at 3,242.  Italy’s larger numbers can be partially explained by its older population of smokers and drinkers, with large exposure to Asian tourists who were endemic to the area, along with lackadaisical enforcement of lockdown and quarantine procedures.  Moreover, its overburdened medical system has made it incapable of dealing with critical patients.
  • -NJ has reported a total of 742 cases with nine deaths.  One unfortunate NJ family, the Fusco’s, have seen four family members die.
  • -Israel issues mandatory 7-day police-enforced lockdown. There are 529 Israelis who have been diagnosed with six patients in critical condition and no deaths-a remarkable feat.  Prime Minister Netanyahu met with senior Arab doctors on Wednesday and urged them to follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines.  Under the current required countrywide quarantine Israelis will be allowed to leave their homes for food, medicine, work, religious ceremonies, wedding, funerals and unorganized sports of up to 5 people (doesn’t sound like a stringent lockdown).
  • -At least 4 Roshei Yeshiva from different schools have tested positive as well as 10 Rabbis.
  • -More than 300 tests from Boro Park and Williamsburg have come back positive.  The Hatzolah Coordinator from Boro Park has urged the community to heed warnings as many continue to congregate in groups.
  • -China for the first time has reported no new local infections-a hopeful sign for our future.

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