(April 6): Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
No clear ‘Plan B’
Britain’s constitution offers no clear answer to the question now on many Britons’ minds: who takes over if Boris Johnson gets too sick to lead the country?
Unlike the role of vice president in the United States, Britain has no formal deputy or caretaker prime minister, although Downing Street has already said that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will deputise if necessary.
When asked about who would stand in for the prime minister, his spokesman said: “The prime minister has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers, but for now it is the prime minister and then the foreign secretary."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday, giving governors stronger legal authority to urge people to stay home and businesses to close.
In contrast to stringent lockdowns in some countries, mandating fines and arrests for non-compliance, enforcement in Japan will rely more on peer pressure and a deep-rooted tradition of respect for authority.
Italy reported its lowest daily death toll related to the coronavirus for more than two weeks on Sunday, as authorities began to look ahead to a second phase of the battle.
“There are difficult months ahead. Our task is to create the conditions to live with the virus,” at least until a vaccine is developed, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told the daily La Repubblica newspaper.
France reported a slowing daily death toll over the last 24 hours, and Germany its fourth straight day with a drop in new confirmed cases.
Scotland’s chief medical officer quits after flouting own advice
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she flouted her own advice to stay at home by travelling to her second home on two successive weekends.
She said the justifiable focus on her behaviour risked becoming a distraction from the hugely important job that government and the medical profession had to do in getting the country through this pandemic.
Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen singer croons washing hands song
Japanese social media celebrity Pikotaro returned as a leading Twitter trend in Japan on Monday with a coronavirus hand washing song that repurposes his signature Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen (PPAP) to Pray-for-People-and-Peace.
His hand-washing video, shorter than the 2016 two-minute hit that the Guinness World Records listed as the shortest song to make it into the Billboard Hot 100 chart, had been viewed a quarter of a million times on YouTube since it was uploaded on Saturday.
In it, the Japanese singer whose real name is Kazuhito Kosaka, sports the same drawn-on pencil moustache and gold animal print he wore in the PPAP video that went viral in 2016, as he demonstrates thorough hand-washing techniques accompanied by his famously awkward dance moves.