French hospital says first suspected COVID-19 cases weeks earlier than official record in country

2020-05-08 10:44:11 GMT2020-05-08 18:44:11(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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PARIS -- The first suspected cases of COVID-19 infection in France could date back to Nov. 16 last year, some nine weeks earlier than the official record of the country's first confirmed cases, a hospital in eastern France said Thursday.

"Doctor Michel Schmitt, head of the medical imaging department at the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Colmar, has reviewed 2,456 chest scans performed between Nov. 1 and April 30, for all reasons (cardiac, pulmonary, traumatic, tumor pathologies)," said the hospital in a press release.

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BEIJING -- China's consumer market has shown signs of accelerated recovery during the five-day May Day holiday that ended Tuesday amid further containment of COVID-19, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Friday.

Online sales of physical commodities surged 36.3 percent year on year during the period as the COVID-19 epidemic spurred fast growth of online consumption, according to Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan.

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YANGON -- Myanmar authorities have repatriated a total of 608 citizens from abroad by relief flights so far and further repatriation works are being carried out, a senior official of the Foreign Affairs Ministry told Xinhua on Friday.

As of Thursday, the authorities have brought back Myanmar nationals from South Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Singapore since April 30.

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ULAN BATOR -- Mongolia confirmed one more COVID-19 case, with its total number rising to 42, said the country's National Center for Communicable Disease on Friday.

The center did 44 tests for COVID-19 at three laboratories across Mongolia and found one positive test result, the center's head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu said at a daily press conference Friday.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Melinda Gates on Thursday gave a mark of "D-minus" for the lack of national coordination when asked to grade the U.S. administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We need leadership at the national level. We lost two months almost now in terms of our national response," Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in an interview with U.S. news outlet Politico.

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CANBERRA -- Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has declared that the nation's meat is "totally safe" after a COVID-19 outbreak at a Melbourne abattoir.

Littleproud told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television on Friday morning that the Department of Agriculture was asking "serious questions" about the outbreak at Cedar Meats in Melbourne's western suburbs.

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UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday launched a global appeal to address and counter "the virus of hate" -- hate speech related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"COVID-19 does not care who we are, where we live, what we believe or about any other distinction. We need every ounce of solidarity to tackle it together. Yet the pandemic continues to unleash a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering," said Guterres in a video message. Enditem