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The C.D.C. According to airport health checks, they were not effective in the “current phase of the pandemic”.

The federal government will end its policy next week to screen international travelers for coronavirus symptoms at 15 designated airports across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Passengers from regions of the world that were previously considered hotspots for the virus will also no longer be transported to these airports from Monday.

The C.D.C. The federal government will instead allocate resources for other – and vague – procedures, including "health education" before, during and after flights, "disease response" at airports and "potential tests".

In a statement by the C.D.C. The health examinations, during which temperature controls and interviews were carried out about possible symptoms of the coronavirus, are no longer a good way to detect infections in the "current phase of the pandemic".

"We now have a better understanding of Covid-19 transmission, which indicates that symptom-based screening has limited effectiveness as people with Covid-19 may have no symptoms or a fever or only mild symptoms at the time of screening," wrote the agency.

Airlines for America, a trade group that represents major airlines, said Thursday that it supported the policy change. “We continue to support spending scarce screening resources where they can best be used, and given the extremely low number of passengers that the C.D.C. Agree that it no longer makes sense to continue screening at these airports as it may pose a health problem, ”said Katherine Estep, a spokeswoman for the group.

The Department of Homeland Security introduced the policy earlier this year for travelers hit by the virus in parts of the world, including China and much of Europe, which has been attributed to many of the earliest outbreaks in the United States. The department requested that passengers be screened at 15 major airports in major cities, including Chicago O'Hare, Washington Dulles and Newark Liberty International.

In the days following the President's travel ban from Europe, staff at 13 designated airports, which were later expanded to 15, sought to introduce the new health checks, creating confusion at airports across the country. Crowds formed as people returned to the country from Europe and travelers who were able to enter the US, including those who showed signs of physical illness, said the screening process was negligent or non-existent.

Many countries have put in place strict screening measures that require proof of a negative test either before entry or upon arrival. Passengers flying into China are expected to take a test five days prior to boarding at facilities designated by Chinese embassies and consulates. Hong Kong has carried out rapid tests at its airports for travelers coming from regions that are classified as high-risk.

Several European countries, including Greece, Italy and France, require proof of negative tests from certain countries upon arrival. The UK has also introduced a mandatory two-week quarantine period for arrivals from several countries, including the United States.

Senate Republicans plan to force a vote on their significantly scaled-down stimulus plan on Thursday in a maneuver that is all but guaranteed to fail amid opposition from Democrats, who describe the measure as inadequate.

After months of struggling to overcome deep internal divisions as part of yet another relief effort, Republicans hope to present a nearly unified front in support of their latest plan. They can then try to attribute the persistent impasse to the Democrats, who are expected to oppose en masse, and deny them the 60 votes they would need to move forward.

The package, which Republicans refer to as the "thin" bill, includes state aid for the unemployed, small businesses, schools and vaccine development.

"I am optimistic that we will have a good vote on our side," said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, on Wednesday. "I would hope this could appeal to some of the Democrats."

However, Democrats who refused to accept proposals under $ 2.2 trillion argue that the law is doing little to counter the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move does not include another round of US taxpayers' business reviews or aid to state and local governments, omissions that lower the overall price of the legislation. And while weekly federal unemployment benefits, which expired in late July, would resume, they would be fixed at $ 300 – half the original amount. Democrats are pushing to reinstate full payment.

"Instead of improving their offer, the Senate Republicans have made it stingier and even less appropriate for the looming crisis we have," said New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader. "I'm not sure what kind of negotiating strategy this is, but it sure isn't a serious strategy and it's sure to be unsuccessful."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has played an important role in negotiations with Democrats on a recovery package, doubted an agreement could be reached on Wednesday and said he was not sure there was still a chance.

"We shall see," said Mr. Mnuchin. “I hope there is. It's important to a lot of people out there. "

The global death toll from the virus has exceeded 900,000, and the virus had made at least 27.8 million people sick as of Thursday morning, according to a database from the New York Times.

Seven months after the pandemic, the virus was discovered in almost every country.

The true death toll can be higher; The Times has found underestimates in official deaths in the United States and more than a dozen other countries. The United States has the most cases, followed by India, which reported more than 95,000 new cases on Thursday, and Brazil. In terms of deaths, the United States also ranks first, Brazil second, and India third.

The pandemic is easing in some countries that were badly affected early on, but the number of new cases is growing faster than ever around the world. On average, more than 200,000 cases are reported every day. Cases are worryingly high in India, the United States and Israel. Cases are high in Brazil but appear to be decreasing.

Julian Assange's extradition proceedings are halted while a lawyer is tested for the virus.

The U.S. extradition hearing of Julian Assange, the contested WikiLeaks founder, which began in London this week, was abruptly halted Thursday after a member of the law enforcement team was potentially exposed to the coronavirus.

The hearing had been delayed months during the pandemic before it started on Monday and was the first time since February 49-year-old Mr Assange had been seen. However, the judge decided to postpone the hearing until at least Monday, pending the attorney's coronavirus test result.

Mr Assange has been in prison since his arrest in London last year after years of hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy there. His attorneys have argued that he should be given bail for saying he is at risk from the coronavirus and suffering from medical conditions, but the judge denied that request.

Mr Assange has been charged in the US with teaming up with Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, to hack into a Pentagon computer network and releasing the classified documents. The closely watched hearing, which is a key moment in the lengthy litigation, should last through early October but could expand further if delays persist.


Americans fear that political pressure from Trump will put the F.D.A. hurry to approve a vaccine.

A clear majority of American adults are concerned that political pressure from the Trump administration will cause the Food and Drug Administration to approve a coronavirus vaccine without making sure it's safe and effective, and nearly half will keep at least half a serious misunderstanding about coronavirus prevention and treatment, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll, which tracks public attitudes on a number of issues, found that Americans are more optimistic. More than six months after the pandemic began, 38 percent say "the worst is yet to come," almost half from 74 percent in early April. Another 38 percent say "the worst is behind us," up from 13 percent in April.

The survey, a nationally representative random sample of 1,199 adults, was conducted between August 28 and September 3 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. It found that 62 percent of adults were aware of the political pressure on the F.D.A. approving a vaccine, with Democrats far more concerned than Republicans.

At the same time, Americans have misconceptions about how to prevent and treat Covid-19. One in five believes wearing a face mask is harmful, and one in four says that hydroxychloroquine – a drug touted against malaria – is an effective treatment for coronavirus infection despite clear evidence to the contrary and the FDA's decision to make an emergency waiver of use of the To withdraw the medicinal product.

At the same time, trust in some official sources of information about the coronavirus is decreasing. About two in three adults – 68 percent – say they see Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, have at least a good amount of trust in them [up from 78 percent in April]. 68 percent say they now have confidence in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a decrease of 16 percentage points compared to April.

In other US news:

  • The Ministry of Justice Between May and September, the Criminal Investigation Department accused 57 people of attempting to steal more than $ 175 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal small business aid initiative.

As AstraZeneca's vaccine safety review begins, experts say the hiatus shows the process is working.

Scientists on Wednesday praised AstraZeneca's decision to suspend late-stage coronavirus vaccine studies and begin a safety review after learning that a participant had developed a serious neurological condition. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, testified at a Senate hearing on Wednesday that the move "should be reassuring."

The results of the safety review, to be conducted by an independent panel of experts, will help determine whether the participant's condition was a reaction to the vaccine candidate or just a fluke, and is expected to have a major impact on whether and when the studies will resume. However, many details about the suspension of the process and the event that triggered it remain unclear.

In early-stage studies, AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate, made from a harmless virus known to cause colds in chimpanzees, engineered to carry coronavirus genes, provided promising safety data in humans, albeit in several Participants experienced mild or moderate side effects such as fever and pain.

More than 10,000 adult volunteers were later given the AstraZeneca vaccine in the company's Phase 2/3 study in the UK where the participant became ill.

"The larger your study group, the more likely you are to experience an adverse event," said Mark Slifka, a vaccine expert at Oregon Health and Sciences University. "That could happen spontaneously."

Part of the review includes creating a schedule for the participant's symptoms to see if they roughly coincide with the time the vaccine was given. The committee will also investigate other possible causes of the symptoms as part of an elimination process.

After determining whether AstraZeneca's vaccine is the likely cause, experts will advise the company on whether to restart trials.

More than four months after Americans emerged from lockdowns in most states, the labor market remains treacherous, according to new data from the Department of Labor.

More than 857,000 Workers filed new claims for state unemployment insurance last week before seasonal adjustments, a slight increase from the previous week. Although the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.4 percent, the layoff rate reflects the challenges many workers face in the troubled recovery.

Seasonally adjusted, the total was 884,000, unchanged from the previous week.

In addition, around 839,000 New claims were filed under a federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides assistance to freelancers, part-time workers, and others who are normally not eligible for government benefits.

"The story among gig workers and part-time workers has gotten darker in recent weeks," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The reason for the rise in these claims, while uncertain, is consistent with private data showing a general decline in small business employment. And for many caught in the throat of the coronavirus economy, the program has been a lifeline.

A new poll again highlights the disproportionately devastating impact the pandemic has had on black and Latin American Americans.

The poll, published Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation, found that a third of respondents had suffered from stress, fear or grief since the coronavirus crisis began.

However, respondents from the Black, Latino, Women, and low-income sectors were significantly more likely to report mental health problems.

"The same systemic inequalities that affect health outcomes also affect social problems," said Yaphet Getachew, one of the authors of the survey.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that black and Latin American residents are three times more likely to be infected and twice as likely to die from the virus as white Americans.

And last month a C.D.C. The survey found that blacks and Latinos reported increased levels of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide, as well as increased substance abuse due to the stress of the virus.

Black and Latin American Americans may face more emotional stress because they are over-represented in service jobs that don't allow social distancing, the Commonwealth researchers said.

Researchers also found gender differences in mental health problems, likely due to the disproportionate burden of childcare on women as schools closed.

The survey authors found that mental health is often linked to economic stability. Their research shows that blacks and Latinos were more likely to experience financial challenges during the health crisis, such as: B. the exhaustion of personal savings or debts.

They argued that their results indicate an urgent need for more economic resources for black and Latin American communities. For example, the paycheck protection program should prioritize lending to businesses owned by women and people of color, but many have reported problems accessing this aid.

"We need to make sure that the resources that are being disseminated for Covid-19 aid actually get to the communities that need them most," said Laurie Zephyrin, another author on the report. "These surveys can help identify needs."

global summary

Jakarta will reinstate restrictions when its hospitals are full.

With hospitals nearing full capacity in the Indonesian capital, authorities will roll out a partial shutdown on Monday, which will include working from home, banning large gatherings and restrictions on places of worship.

"We will pull the emergency brake, which means that we will be forced to reintroduce major social restrictions like we did in the early days of the pandemic," Jakarta's governor Anies Baswedan told reporters on Wednesday.

Indonesia, the fourth largest nation in the world, introduced socially distant restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic, but later relaxed them in hopes of getting the stalled economy back on track. In the past few weeks, however, the number of reported cases has risen to over 200,000, and independent experts say the total is likely many times higher.

The Indonesian health system is known to be understaffed and underfunded. More than 185 doctors, dentists and nurses have died from Covid-19, according to professional associations.

Jakarta has reported more than 1,000 new cases daily since Sunday – about a third of the national daily total – and Mr Anies said the city's hospitals were filling up with virus patients quickly.

He predicted that all hospital beds would be occupied by early October and intensive care units would be full by September 25 if the city did not take immediate action to slow the spread of the virus.

In neighboring Bekasi, another virus hotspot, officials were preparing the city's stadium as an isolation center for people who tested positive for the virus but showed no symptoms, Mayor Rahmat Effendi said.

In Jakarta, which reported nearly 50,000 cases and more than 1,300 deaths on Thursday morning, the designated cemetery for virus victims was filling up quickly and should run out of space by mid-October.

Mr. Anies said the city is still working on details of restrictions on meeting, travel, and worship. Most schools have not reopened since they closed months ago – a particular challenge for rural school children who lack internet and mobile phone services.

In other developments around the world:

  • The authorities in Austria 626 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, a 24-hour rate that has not been seen since the end of March, before the country exited its lockdown. Despite the increase in cases, the number of patients in intensive care or who have died of the disease in Austria remains relatively low. According to the country's health ministry, of the 4,251 people currently infected, only 39 are in intensive care beds.

  • Spain The return to school has so far been "very positive," the country's education minister said Thursday, praising the management and staff of the schools for their efforts. Education Minister Isabel Celaá told Spanish television that as of Wednesday there had been only 53 "incidents" related to Covid-19 in the 28,600 schools that were gradually reopening. It did not provide a specific list of new cases in children. She also welcomed the fact that so far only "a minority" of parents had decided not to send their children back. "The alternative to no school is exclusion, lack of progress and social and economic development," said Ms. Celaá.

Wuhan, the first epicenter of the pandemic, will resume international flights this month.

First pool parties, now international holidays.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first discovered, is one of many in the country that has gradually returned to an almost pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. Wuhan's water parks and night markets are elbow-to-elbow full, humming like the days before the authoritarian government imposed sweeping lockdowns.

The next step is to resume international flights. The first is a T & # 39; way Airlines flight on September 16 between Wuhan and Seoul, the South Korean capital, China's state media reported on Thursday.

Several airlines are applying for permission to resume direct flights between Wuhan and cities like Bangkok. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Hanoi, Vietnam; Singapore; and Tokyo, according to a report in People & # 39; s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

Thousands of infected travelers who left Wuhan in January before the New Year celebrations helped unintentionally spread the virus across the country and beyond. The industrial center of 11 million people was locked down later that month.

Wuhan cautiously began reopening in April, and other cities have followed since then, though experts warn that China could face a Covid-19 resurgence as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors. Beijing restarted direct flights to Canada, Greece, Thailand and other countries earlier this month.

Wuhan's Tianhe International Airport was eerily empty this spring, processing up to 60,000 travelers a day over the past month. This is a record since the lockdown ended, according to state media reports. By the end of August, the airport had regained 90 percent of its pre-pandemic domestic flight volume compared to the same period in the previous year.

On Thursday, China reported no domestically transmitted cases for the 25th straight day. There were nearly 93,000 cases and 4,634 deaths in mainland China in total, according to a database from the New York Times.

Coverage was by Katie Benner, Emily Cochrane, Gillian Friedman, Christina Goldbaum, Emma Goldberg, Mike Ives, Raphael Minder, Claire Moses, Tariro Mzezewa, Richard C. Paddock, Motoko Rich, Christopher F. Schütze, Nelson D. Schwartz and Dera written by Menra Sijabat, Karan Deep Singh, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Muktita Suhartono, Megan Specia, Noah Weiland, Jin Wu, Katherine J. Wu, Ceylan Yeginsu and Elaine Yu.


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