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Coronavirus Ravages Europe, Spreads Across U.S.: Weekend Reads

Karl Maier

(Bloomberg) --

The U.S. leapfrogged Italy and China for the most coronavirus cases worldwide, fueled by a large jump in New York, while governors of some of the hardest-hit states said the biggest federal stimulus program in history didn’t go far enough for areas facing unprecedented financial pressure brought on by the pandemic.

The virus rampaged across Europe, killing hundreds of people in Italy and Spain each day, while U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the infection and remains in self-isolation in Downing Street. It claimed the life of an African musical legend, Manu Dibango, at the age of 86. 

Dig deeper into these topics — and check out some others you may have missed — with the latest edition of Weekend Reads.

Spanish Doctors Are Forced to Choose Who to Let Die From VirusWith Spain now a pandemic hot spot, people are dying in hospital waiting rooms before they can even be admitted. As Ben Sills and Laura Millan Lombrana explain, with some funeral services halted in the capital and no space left in the morgues, corpses are being stored at the main ice rink in the capital, Madrid. Trump Set Easter Target After Kushner Meeting, Seeing Empty PewsU.S. President Donald Trump’s impatience to ease restrictions on Americans by the Easter holiday was touched off as he watched a sermon delivered by a prominent evangelical preacher to an empty megachurch, Justin Sink, Saleha Mohsin and Mario Parker report.

As Governments Tout Virus Aid, Companies Struggle to Tap ItGovernments and central banks globally have pledged a dizzying $3 trillion — and counting — to offset the economic hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. But in the rush to reassure, administrations have stumbled in the rollout of measures, leaving companies increasingly anxious about accessing the aid. 

All Eyes on China’s Wuhan for Way Back After LockdownsThe resumption of movement in and out of the original epicenter of the coronavirus, the Chinese city of Wuhan, scheduled for April 8, may serve as a template for markets the world over that have been affected by restraints on business operations. Rare Spat Between Chinese Diplomats Signals Split Over Trump An unusual public spat between two top Chinese diplomats signals an internal split in Beijing over how to handle rising tensions with a combative U.S. president. Virus Hands World Leaders Sweeping Powers They May Never Give UpLeaders on all levels are taking extraordinary measures to contain the coronavirus. But as Iain Marlow reports, while some are one-off moves, others can be much more invasive and potentially last long after the threat subsides.The Agony of Caring for a Dying Parent During the PandemicMarc Champion writes about how caring for a dying parent has become much more complicated and fearful in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Social Distancing a Luxury That Workers on $2 a Day Can’t AffordThe quandary facing India’s informal workforce of 450 million people is one of the starkest examples of how social inequality threatens to undermine virus containment efforts around the world. Bibhudatta Pradhan and Archana Chaudhary explain.

Argentina Sacrifices Economy to Ward Off Virus, Winning PraiseArgentine President Alberto Fernandez faced a stark choice: protect the economy or his citizens’ lives. As Patrick Gillespie and Jorgelina do Rosario report, he chose saving lives.Refugee Camps Housing Millions Brace for Virus Running WildSocial distancing and even clean water needed to keep the coronavirus at bay are luxuries few of the world’s 30 million refugees can afford. As Saud Abu Ramadan and David Wainer write, with health-care systems and employment opportunities already under severe strain, camps for those fleeing conflict and poverty are potential breeding grounds for the pandemic.

And finally … Manu Dibango, the Afro-Jazz star best known for his hit single “Soul Makossa,” died in Paris after contracting the coronavirus at the age of 86. The Cameroon-born Dibango was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group African Jazz and well known for his collaborations with the late Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Kuti and South African gospel group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pius Lukong and Hilton Shone report. Fellow musician Ateh Francis described him as a “a fatherly figure who was always ready to advise, hold the hand of younger musicians and lead them to success.”

 

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