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Fujifilm’s anti-flu drug helping in recovery: China

Posted in World

Published on March 22, 2020 with No Comments

Shares in Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp surged 15% after a Chinese official said an active ingredient of the company’s Avigan anti-flu drug appeared to help coronavirus patients recover. Avigan, also known as Favipiravir, is manufactured by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, which has a healthcare arm. The drug was approved for use in Japan in 2014. Favipiravir has been effective, with no obvious side-effects, in helping coronavirus patients recover, Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry is reported to have said. In a trial in Shenzhen involving 80 participants, patients who took Favipiravir showed greater chest improvement and took less time to test negative for the genomic trace of the virus, compared with patients not given the drug.

Big 3 automakers closing

Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, along with Honda and Toyota, said that they would shut down all of their factories in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The closing of Detroit’s Big Three alone will idle about 150,000 workers, who are likely to receive supplemental pay in addition to unemployment benefits. At GM’s pickup truck assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, workers have been fearful since the virus surfaced in the U.S., said Tommy Wolikow, who has two young daughters. “That’s the thing that I was scared the most about, being the one to bring it home to them,” he said.

Over 1,000 deaths in Iran

Iran said its novel coronavirus death toll surpassed 1,000 as President Hassan Rouhani defended the response of his administration, which has yet to impose a lockdown. Rouhani’s government says the virus has killed 1,135 persons out of 17,161 cases of infections since it first emerged a month ago.

Italy’s virus deaths rise by record 475 in a day

Italy has reported 475 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest one-day official toll of any nation since the first case was detected in China late last year. Total deaths in Italy have reached 2,978, more than half of all cases recorded outside China, while the number of infections stood at 35,713. The previous record high of 368 deaths was also recorded in Italy, on last Sunday. The nation of 60 million has now recorded 34.2% of all deaths officially attributed to Covid-19.

Iraq’s Shiite parties line up to oppose new PM-designate

 Iraq’s typically divided Shiite political parties lined up to signal their opposition to premier-designate Adnan al-Zurfi, less than 24 hours after his nomination. The 54-year-old lawmaker and former Najaf governor was nominated on Tuesday to be Iraq’s new Prime Minister, the second attempt to replace outgoing premier Adel Abdel Mahdi this year. 

Patel confirms UK’s panel to assess threat of hostile activity

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has publicly confirmed the existence of an organisation established to assess the threat of hostile state activity and inform the UK government’s response. The Joint State Threats Assessment Team (JSTAT) was created in 2017 in response to the increased threat the UK faces from hostile nations like Russia but has functioned under cover until now.

Coronavirus news

Facebook said a bug in its anti-spam system temporarily blocked the publication of links to news stories about Covid-19. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice-president of integrity, said the firm was working on a fix for the problem. Users complained that links to news stories about school closings and other information related to Covid-19 were blocked by the firm’s automated system. The posts have since been restored.

FB bug wrongly deleted authentic

Jailed twice in 2 days for impersonating cop. A Florida man is back in jail for impersonating a copafter he was arrested for the same charge, police said. LeRoy Stotelmyer, 60, was arrested on March 11 flashing a law enforcement badge to avoid paying a $2 toll, police said. Officials said he was earlier arrested on March 9 on charges of impersonating an officer and shoplifting.


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