UN chief Antonio Guterres has made a special appeal to religious leaders of all faiths to join forces and focus on the common battle to defeat COVID-19, underscoring that it is time to work for peace and renew “our faith in one another.” The secretary-general said his appeal comes at a special time on the spiritual calendar when Christians are celebrating Easter, Jews are marking Passover and Muslims all over the world will soon begin the holy month of Ramadan. “Today, I want to make a special appeal to religious leaders of all faiths to join forces to work for peace around the world and focus on our common battle to defeat COVID-19,” Guterres said. Extending his warmest wishes to all those observing these important moments, Guterres said these occasions are known to be moments of community, of families coming together, “of hugs and handshakes and the gathering of humanity.” However, the COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that this is a time like no other as people across nations seek to navigate a strange, surreal world. “A world of silent streets. Shuttered storefronts. Empty places of worship. And a world of worry. We are worried about our loved ones who are equally worried about us,” he said. In these current times of worry, it is difficult to celebrate, Guterres said but urged that in times like these, everyone should take inspiration from the essence of these holy occasions as moments for reflection, remembrance and renewal. “And let us renew our faith in one another, and draw strength from the good that is gathering in troubled times as communities of diverse faiths and ethical traditions unite to care for one another,” he said. Guterres voiced optimism and hope that together, the world can and will defeat this virus – with cooperation, solidarity, and faith in the common humanity. As people across the world mark important spiritual occasions, Guterres said special thought must be spared for heroic health workers on the frontlines battling this awful virus – and for all those working to keep cities and towns going. “Let us remember the most vulnerable of the vulnerable around the world. Those in war zones and refugee camps and slums and all those places least equipped to fight the virus,” he said.
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish has been discharged from hospital after testing positive for coronavirus and hailed medical staff as “absolutely brilliant.” Dalglish, 69, found he had the virus after being admitted to hospital on Wednesday for treatment for a separate infection which required intravenous antibiotics. “They (the hospital staff) were absolutely brilliant,” Dalglish told the Sunday Post on Saturday after being discharged. “As a nation, we are all very fortunate to have them and I wish them all well as they work tirelessly to help the country through this pandemic.” He added: “People may think my name got me the best of care but every patient in the National Health Service gets the best of care.” On Friday, Dalglish’s family said that he had tested positive for COVID-19 despite having previously displayed no symptoms of the illness. Earlier Saturday, Dalglish’s son thanked the world of football for the “truly humbling” messages of support. Paul Dalglish, also a former player, tweeted: “It’s not my place to comment on my old man, he can do that for himself in due course. “Truly humbling messages from supporters of all teams. “I’m sure we can all agree this is more important than football and that we are all united to support the NHS. Stay safe everyone.” Dalglish’s daughter, Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates, also shared a message of thanks to fans for their kind words and well wishes.
China has reported 99 new coronavirus cases, the highest in a single day in recent weeks, and 63 fresh asymptomatic infections, taking the total number of patients in the country to 82,052, health officials said here on Saturday, amid concerns about a second wave of the pandemic. According to China’s National Health Commission (NHC), as of Saturday, a total of 1,280 imported cases were reported in China. Of the cases, 481 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 799 were being treated with 36 in severe condition. It said 99 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on the Chinese mainland on Saturday, of which 97 were from people returning from abroad. Also on Saturday, 63 new asymptomatic cases, including 12 from abroad, were reported on the mainland. The NHC said 1,086 asymptomatic cases, including 332 from abroad, were still under medical observation. Asymptomatic cases refer to people who are tested positive for the coronavirus but develop no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. They are infectious and pose a risk of spreading to others. The increase in COVID-19 cases after the virus was curbed in its epicentre Hubei province and its capital Wuhan has become a source of concern especially when China has permitted normal activities all over the country. On Saturday Mi Feng, a spokesperson of the NHC, asked the public to strengthen protective measures and avoid gatherings after cluster infections of the coronavirus were reported in some parts of the country. Noting that cluster infections have been reported in some parts of the country, Mi urged the public to strengthen protective measures and avoid gatherings, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The coronavirus cases are on the rise as hundreds of Chinese nationals held up in different countries where the COVID-19 outbreak is prevalent have returned home with the help of Chinese government. Those returnees are being screened before shifting them to 14-day quarantine facilities.