Taking a stand against the relentless negativity and political point-scoring, each week Ape sets out to unearth the most uplifting news stories in relation to the current global pandemic.
There’s no doubt COVID-19 has had a devastating economic and health impact, but there’s also light at the end of the tunnel. Below you’ll find the facts – no opinion, subjectivity or speculation – and crucially, positive news only.
Wuhan reports no new asymptomatic cases
The Chinese city where the COVID-19 pandemic began has reported no new asymptomatic cases for the first time. Wuhan’s municipal health commission announced that 60,000 nucleic tests were carried out on Sunday and there were no new confirmed or suspected cases. On the same day, the whole of mainland China reported just 16 new cases overall.
Spain records no deaths in 24-hour period
Spain has recorded no deaths from the coronavirus in a 24-hour period for the first time since March. Although the country has been one of the worst affected in Europe, with more than 27,000 deaths, cases have been dropping. The Ministry of Health also announced there had been only been 71 new infections in the same 24-hour period.
Italian doctor says coronavirus is losing its potency
COVID-19 is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, according to a senior doctor in Italy. “The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” said Alberto Zangrillo. “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy.”
Window cleaner works for free to support small businesses
A window cleaner has washed the panes of more than 700 properties for free to try and help small businesses “bounce back” after lockdown. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been visiting companies in Great Yarmouth to clean their windows, posting a note through letterboxes to say he has been. He says he has received no government support since businesses were forced to close and he pays his small team out of his own pocket.
Chilean woman, 111, survives the coronavirus
A woman of 111 has become the oldest patient in Chile to recover from COVID-19. Juana Zúñiga tested positive after an outbreak at her care home but managed to pull through without too much strain. “She did not have any symptoms and very few bouts of fever, which was good,” the care home’s director said.
Mushroom farmer helps migrants fly home
A mushroom farmer in Delhi booked flight tickets for migrants from Bihar who were struggling to get home during the lockdown. After being stranded in the national capital for months, they were able to fly home after their boss, Pappan Gehlot, paid for their flight tickets. “I had never thought I would get to sit in an aeroplane,” said one of the workers just before boarding a jet.
Fresh evidence remdesivir works
A short course of the antiviral drug remdesivir has accelerated recovery in moderately ill COVID-19 patients. In the latest evidence that the drug can help patients with coronavirus, hospitalised patients were more likely to recover after a five-day course of remdesivir than those given the current standard of care alone. “We now have three randomised, controlled clinical trials demonstrating that remdesivir improved clinical outcomes by several different measures,” said a researcher.
Hairdressers could open sooner than expected
Hairdressers and barbers could reopen within days. In news that will be welcomed by those whose manes have grown out of control or suffered dodgy DIY buzz cuts, the government is considering re-opening salons as early as June 15, rather than waiting until July as previously planned. A survey by the National Hair and Beauty Federation found that 77% of members were ready to resume business.
Tennis chiefs feed the poor with Wimbledon stocks
Tennis companies are turning the cancellation of Wimbledon into a positive by feeding thousands of vulnerable people. The All England Lawn Tennis Club is offering hundreds free meals per day, including spiced aubergine, rice noodle, sweet chilli, lime and coriander salad. Other delicacies include smoked mac and cheese and teriyaki salmon. “It’s all based on what we would have served at the end of June,” says chef Adam Fargin.
Frontline workers become Vogue cover stars
Frontline workers will grace the cover of British Vogue next month. A London train driver, an east London midwife and a King’s Cross supermarket worker will all feature on July’s front page. “They represent the millions of people in the UK who, at the height of the pandemic, put on their uniforms and went to help,” said Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful.
UK firm promises two billion vaccine doses
A British pharmaceutical giant says it now has capacity to deliver two billion doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine over the next two years. Thanks to AstraZeneca’s new agreements with the Serum Institute of India, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and GAVI Vaccines Alliance, low and middle-income countries would be among the first to get the jab. “We will start getting substantial doses by September/October,” says CEO Pascal Soriot.