COVID-19 In Brief

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. has 1.03 million confirmed cases and 60,057 deaths from COVID-19, the highest worldwide as of April 30 at 6:00 p.m.

Economy: While China has taken major steps to restart its economy, such as reopening factories and stores, the country has been facing a new risk: consumers are unable to buy the products being manufactured. People who lost their jobs or had their pay slashed due to the pandemic are becoming more cautious with their spending. Customers in the U.S. and Europe are less frequently purchasing products of Chinese origin, with stores in the U.S. canceling or postponing orders from Chinese manufacturers.

Culture: The International Olympic Committee and Japanese government agreed late last month to postpone the 2020 Olympics to start on July 23, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee announced that unless a working COVID-19 vaccine is developed, the Summer Olympics will be canceled rather than postponed further. Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura, the president of the Japan Medical Association, explained that it would be exceedingly difficult for Japan to put in place the control measures necessary to hold the Tokyo Olympics in time for next summer. If the Tokyo Olympics are canceled, it will be the first cancelation in the history of the modern Olympics not caused by an ongoing war.

Community: In the Philippines, a nurse was doused with bleach by an unknown group of attackers, while a group of medical workers was chased by a stone-throwing mob in India. Numerous healthcare workers have been evicted from their apartment buildings by fearful landlords and are at a higher risk than ever, lacking a safe environment to protect themselves.

Health: An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute has shown promising results in the worldwide race for a cure. The vaccine protected six monkeys of the rhesus macaque species, a close relative of humans, from heavy quantities of COVID-19. Their next test, involving more than 6,000 people, has been scheduled for the end of the next month. If the vaccine proves to be effective, Oxford scientists have shared that a few million doses could be available by September with the emergency approval of regulators.

Mass. COVID-19 Updates: Massachusetts currently has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., after New York and New Jersey. As of April 27, 2020, there are a total of 121 COVID-19 cases in the Town of Andover, 48 of which are active, confirmed cases. COVID-19 testing for residents in the Andover area is being offered at Lawrence General Hospital and the Holy Family Hospital Haverhill Campus. With a continually increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Governor Charlie Baker announced that he will be extending the stay-at-home advisory and closure of non-essential businesses to May 18.