Tag Archives: Coronavirus

CVS Health Adds 120 New Covid-19 Test Sites

CVS Health Adds 120 New Covid-19 Test Sites

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 9/11/2020 8:46 AM ET

CVS Health Corp. has added more that 120 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites today at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across the United States. It also added that children age 12 years and older are eligible for testing at the more than 2,000 of its drive-thru test sites as schools are set to open across the country.

These actions are part of the healthcare company’s comprehensive effort to increase access to COVID-19 testing in order to help slow the spread of the virus.

As schools are set to open, CVS has implemented a system of allowing parents or guardians to register and accompany their children for a self-swab test close to their homes. This will help in making testing for minors aged 12 to 15 years more readily available.

CVS added that parents or guardians seeking testing for children under the age of 12 should consult with a paediatrician to identify appropriate testing options.

Further, CVS has made efforts in recent weeks to expand its network of independent third-party lab partners to enable improve turnaround time for the delivery of test results. This will result in a turnaround time of within 2 to 3 days.

These Self-swab tests are available at no cost to patients or individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register online in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment.

The individuals need to stay in their cars while approaching pharmacy drive-thru window to receive the test kit and instructions will be given by a CVS Pharmacy team member, who will also observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.

CVS said the COVID-19 testing will take place in parking lots or at drive-thru windows and will not take place inside any of their retail locations. CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic locations will continue to serve customers and patients.

The company has been successfully operating large-scale COVID-19 drive-thru rapid test sites. It has administered more than three million COVID-19 tests since launching its first test site in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy location in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts in March.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.

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New COVID Cases Deaths Falling In US

New COVID Cases, Deaths Falling In US

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 9/7/2020 8:57 AM ET

On a day India overtook Brazil as the country second worst-hit by coronavirus, the United States recorded one of the lowest tolls in recent months in both new cases and deaths due to the pandemic.

With 33174 new cases reporting in the last 24 hours, the total number of infections in the country rose to 6277902 as of Johns Hopkins University's latest update Monday.

406 COVID-infected deaths were reported in the same period, taking the national total to 185747.

These are the second lowest figures in 76 days.

The fall in new infections in the most populous states of California, Florida and Texas are reflected in the national total.

But COVID-19 cases are rising in 22 U.S. states, mostly the less-populated Midwest and Southern states, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams reminded state governments to get ready to distribute a COVID vaccine by November 1 "just in case" it is developed by that time.

India has become the country with the second-highest number of COVID cases after it recorded more than 90,000 new cases in the past 24 hours.

This is a national record in daily spike in India.

For the last seven days, an average of 75,000 new infections have been emerging in India per day.

On Monday, it increased to 90,802.

With a total of 4204613 cases, India surpassed Brazil, and is second only to the worst-affected country of the United States.

However, in the number of COVID-related deaths, India is still third (71642), behind Brazil (126650).

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John Piper Says the Coronavirus is a Sign of the End Times

John Piper Says the Coronavirus is a Sign of the End Times

By Gary DeMar | Published: May 14, 2020

While the writer of the letter to the Hebrews says we should “have our senses trained” (5:14), the Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to assess whether what Paul was saying was true or not (Acts 17:11), and John says to “test the spirits, to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1), it seems that today’s Christians are easily led astray by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14), especially when it comes to Bible prophecy.

It appears that no one is immune. Consider John Piper whose book Coronavirus and Christ includes this chapter: “Awakening Us for the Second Coming.” The chapter begins with this true statement: “the history of the Christian church is littered with failed predictions of the end of the world.” He then writes the following, claiming the Coronavirus is a sign that Jesus’ return may be near

Jesus said there would be pointers to his coming—like wars, famines, and earthquakes (Matt. 24:7). He called these signs “birth pains” (Matt. 24:8). The image is of the earth as a woman in labor, trying to give birth to the new world, which Jesus would bring into being at his coming.

*****

Paul picked up this imagery in Romans 8:22 and referred the birth pains to all the groanings of this age—all the miseries of disaster and disease (like the coronavirus). He pictured us in our diseases as part of the labor pains of the world.

Piper’s not alone. A majority of Christians and pastors believe we are living in the last days. Consider the following results of a recent survey:

LifeWay found that nearly nine out of 10 surveyed pastors viewed the end times prophecies of the Bible as being showcased in current events.

This included around 83 percent of respondents believing that Jesus was referring to current events when discussing the rise of false prophets and false teachings, traditional morals becoming less accepted (79 percent), wars and national conflicts (78 percent), earthquakes and other natural disasters (76 percent), and people leaving Christianity (75 percent).

The survey also found that 56 percent of surveyed pastors believed Jesus would return within their lifetime, versus 20 percent who did not believe it would happen in their lifetime.

Referencing Matthew 24:7–8 and contending that Jesus was referring to some distant end-time series of events is not an interpretive possibility because Jesus was answering questions asked by His disciples about the destruction of the temple and the end of the age (Matt. 24:1–3), that is, the end of the Adamic and Mosaic ages (αἰώνων/aiōnōn) (1 Cor. 10:11), not the end of the world (kosmos).

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Wars and Rumors of Wars will help you search the Scriptures to see what Jesus said about famines, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, and other supposed end-time signs refer to our generation or a past generation.

There were wars and rumors of wars in the lead up to the temple’s destruction in AD 70 as well as earthquakes, famines (Acts 11:27–28), and even plagues (Luke 21:11). The clincher is that Jesus said that the generation then alive would not end until all the events mentioned in the Olivet Discourse took place (Matt. 24:34). The birth pangs were related to that generation not 50 generations later.

The timing is the key to understanding the passage, otherwise a perpetual state of fear, disappointment, and inaction set in. Why bother with this world since Jesus is about to rescue us from all our troubles? All we must do is hold on a little while longer and all the bad stuff will go away, and we won’t have to do anything to fix what’s wrong. Our inaction becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Jesus was warning His first readers that these common signs were not end-of-the-world signs because they are common to every generation. Consider the following from science and science fiction writer Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park fame:

Is this really the end of the world? Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods?

No, we simply live on an active planet. Earthquakes are continuous, a million and a half of them every year, or three every minute. A Richter 5 quake every six hours, a major quake every 3 weeks. A quake as destructive as the one in Pakistan every 8 months. It’s nothing new, it’s right on schedule.

At any moment there are 1,500 electrical storms on the planet. A tornado touches down every six hours. We have ninety hurricanes a year, or one every four days. Again, right on schedule. Violent, disruptive, chaotic activity is a constant feature of our globe.

Is this the end of the world? No: this is the world. It’s time we knew it. [1]

“Let’s Stop Scaring Ourselves” by Michael Crichton
Parade magazine, December 5, 2004.

John Piper’s end-time views are part of a long line prophetic prognostications gone wrong.

Charles Wesley Ewing, writing in 1983, paints a clear historical picture of how prophetic interpretation based on current events turns to confusion, uncertainty, and in some people unbelief when it comes to predicting an end that disappoints:

In 1934, Benito Mussolini sent his black-shirted Fascists down into defenseless Ethiopia and preachers all over the country got up in their pulpits and preached spellbinding sermons that had their congregations bulging at the eyes in astonishment about “Mussolini, the Anti-Christ,” and to prove their point they quoted from Daniel 11:43, which says, ‘And the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.’ Later, Benito, whimpering, was [shot and later] hung by his own countrymen, and preachers all over America had to toss their sermons into the scrap basket as unscriptural. [2]

Ewing goes on to mention how Hitler’s storm troopers took Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, North Africa, and set up concentration camps where millions of Jews were killed in what has become the modern-day definition of “holocaust." Once again, preachers ascended their pulpits and linked these events to Bible prophecy and assured the church-going public that Hitler was the antichrist and the rapture was just around the next bend. When the allies routed the Nazis and drove them out, sermons were once again tossed out or filed away to be revised at some future date hoping people’s memories would fade.

The next end-time-antichrist candidate was Joseph Stalin, the leader of godless Communism, a movement hell-bent on conquering the world. “But on March 5, 1953, Stalin had a brain hemorrhage and preachers all over America had to make another trip to the waste basket.” [3]

The Coronavirus is real and deadly for many people like other viruses throughout history. But it is not the plague (that killed tens of millions) or the Spanish Flu or even the Hong Kong Flu that killed more than a million people in 1968 and 1969 or any natural disaster or cosmic signs like “Blood Moons.”

The Coronavirus is one among numerous diseases that affect us. I agree with John Piper that the Coronavirus is a wake-up call for people who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior because the next eschatological event in our life will be our death, if not from a virus, it will be from something else.

We will not get out of this world alive, "inasmuch it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (Heb. 9:27).

References:

  1. Michael Crichton, “Earthquakes: Fear and Complexity” (San Francisco, CA: The Independent Institute, November 15, 2005.
  2. Charles Wesley Ewing, “The Comedy of Errors,” The Kingdom Digest (July 1983), 45.
  3. Ewing, “The Comedy of Errors,” 45–46.

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Article written by Gary DeMar, and posted on the AmericanVision.org website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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COVID-19: 195 Million Workers Could Lose Job In 3 Months

COVID-19: 195 Million Workers Could Lose Job In 3 Months

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 4/9/2020 11:11 AM ET

The COVID-19 crisis is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

This is equivalent to 195 million full-time workers losing their job.

The rapidly intensifying economic effects of COVID-19 on the labor workforce are proving to be far worse than the 2008-9 financial crisis, the UN labour agency said in its latest report.

Large reductions are foreseen in Arab countries (8.1 per cent, equivalent to 5 million workers), Europe (7.8 per cent, or 12 million workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2 per cent, or 125 million workers).

Huge losses are expected across different income groups in the next three months, especially in upper-middle income countries.

Workers in four sectors that have experienced the most "drastic" effects of the disease and falling production are food and accommodation, retail and wholesale, business services and administration, and manufacturing.

Together, they add up to 37.5 per cent of global employment and this is where the "sharp end" of the impact of the pandemic is being felt now, said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

"Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies," the ILO chief added.

Ryder warned that the world's 136 million health and social professionals, who are working in the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus, are at high risk of contracting the disease.

The full or partial lockdown measures are affecting almost 2.7 billion workers – four in five of the world's workforce, as per ILO's assessment.

The report, titled "ILO Monitor 2nd edition: COVID-19 and the world of work", describes COVID-19 as "the worst global crisis since World War II".

Ryder said that without appropriate policy measures, workers face a high risk of falling into poverty and will experience greater challenges in regaining their livelihoods during the recovery period.

Meanwhile, another UN study into the financial and human cost of the pandemic gives a bleak warning that it could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion.

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US Coronavirus Death Toll Crosses 10000

US Coronavirus Death Toll Crosses 10,000

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 4/7/2020 7:51 AM ET

In a week that was feared as the toughest yet, the coronavirus death toll in the United States crossed 10,000.

As per latest reports, 10,943 people have died of COVID-19, and 367,650 others have been confirmed positive in the country.
This is more than a quarter of the global confirmed cases.

With 10,943 deaths, the U.S. is currently placed third in coronavirus death toll world wide.

New York is the worst-hit state with 4,758 deaths and 131,916 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

New Jersey is the second badly hit state with 1003 deaths and 41090 infections.

Michigan (727 deaths, 17221 infections), Louisiana (512 deaths, 14867 infections), California (387 deaths, 16363 infections) Washington (381 deaths, 8384 infections), Illinois (307 death, 12262 infections) and Georgia (294 deaths, 7558 infections) are the other worst-affected states.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump spoke to his potential presidential rival Joe Biden on Monday over telephone. He discussed the federal response to the pandemic with the former Vice President, who is confined to his home in Delaware unable to engage in traditional campaigning.

The White House issued the details of the Trump administration's all-out effort to fight one of the biggest challenges the country faced in its history.

The Federal Government deployed over 3,000 military and public health professionals in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and other parts of the country most affected by Coronavirus.

Since last Sunday, cargo planes have delivered crucial supplies and protective equipment including nearly 300 million gloves, almost 8 million masks, and 3 million gowns.

The government is delivering an additional 600,000 N95 masks to New York City to support its public hospital system, as requested by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In all, 1.67 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in the United States so far.

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Decoding COVID-19 – Some Known Questions Some Unknown Answers

Decoding COVID-19 – Some Known Questions, Some Unknown Answers

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 4/4/2020 1:37 AM ET

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe, researchers, drug companies and world leaders are ramping up the fight against the novel coronavirus. An outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia which was first identified and confined only to the Chinese city of Wuhan, last December, is now a global pandemic, with a death toll nearing 60,000 and an unprecedented economic damage.

1. What is the infectious agent behind the ongoing pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). This pathogen belongs to the genera "Coronaviruses", which are single-stranded RNA viruses.

2. Are there other coronaviruses that have infected humans?

Yes. Including the novel SARS-CoV-2, seven coronaviruses have infected humans.

Four coronaviruses, namely HCoV 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1 are common in humans and they are associated with mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold.

Two other coronaviruses – MERS-CoV that causes MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS-CoV that causes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) – are more virulent and have proven fatal in many cases.

The SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent behind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is proving to be deadlier of the lot.

3. What does corona in the name "coronavirus" mean?

First identified in the mid-1960, the viruses were named coronaviruses because of the crown-like spikes on their surfaces when viewed under an electron microscope.

4. What is so novel about this coronavirus SARS-COV-2?

Although all coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they originated from animals, mostly bats, the pathogenicity (ability to cause disease) seems to be increasing with each evolving strain.

While the four common human coronaviruses (229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1) are considered mild pathogens as they cause only common cold, SARS-CoV, the virus implicated in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic and MERS-CoV, the virus that caused an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2012, are considered highly pathogenic.

Even deadlier than SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV, is SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

5. From where did SARS-CoV-2 originate?

As mentioned above, all coronaviruses are zoonotic.

While SARS-CoV originated in bats and was transmitted to people through infected civets, MERS-CoV originated in bats and spread through infected dromedary camels (Arabian camels) to people.

The source of origin of the SARS-CoV-2 has been widely debated, some claiming that it originated in bats, and some suggesting that it is from the scaly, anteater-like animals called pangolins. What is also still not confirmed is through which intermediate host SARS-CoV-2 spread to people.

A recent study in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 could have been transmitted from bats to humans through pangolins.

The Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) of the SARS-CoV-2 has been found to be 80% similar to SARS-CoV and 96% identical to a bat coronavirus. The RNA contains genetic information about the virus.

6. How does the SARS-CoV-2 spread?

The SARS-CoV-2 spreads through sneeze/cough-induced droplets of infected persons. Say, when infected people cough or sneeze without covering their mouth or nose, the virus-laden droplets may fall on persons standing near them and the virus may get into their body through mouth or eyes or nose. Sometimes, people can also contract the virus by touching infected surfaces and unknowingly touch their mouth or eyes or nose with the hand contaminated with the virus.

That's the reason why washing of hands with soaps/sanitizers is recommended.

7. Is the COVID-19 virus airborne?

The World Health Organization says that according to current evidence, the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. In an analysis of 75,465 COVID-19 cases in China, the airborne transmission was not reported. But under certain conditions in hospital settings where procedures that generate aerosols are performed, the airborne transmission may be possible.

Tuberculosis, measles, and chickenpox are examples of airborne transmission of the virus.

Recently, the National Academy of Sciences, quoting certain studies, suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by asymptomatic patients' exhalation, say through normal breathing or speech.

In the light of such findings, it is better to use a face mask when stepping out.

While updating guidelines for slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recently recommended the use of simple cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, i.e. in grocery stores and pharmacies. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators as they are critical supplies, reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

8. How long can SARS-CoV-2 survive outside the body?

SARS-COV-2 needs a living host to survive and multiply. Until it finds a susceptible host, the virus can linger in the air or remain on surfaces for a certain period of time without losing its viability. A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the SARS-COV-2 can survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours, on cardboard for 24 hours and on copper for four hours.

9. What is the death rate for COVID-19?

On March 3, 2020, the WHO announced that globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. The seasonal flu generally kills far less than 1% of those infected.

According to experts, it is very difficult to calculate the case fatality rate during a rapidly expanding pandemic.

10. How does the death toll due to COVID-19 compare against SARS and MERS, which are also caused by a coronavirus?

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 1,098,762 and the death toll is 59,172 as of this writing. During the SARS pandemic, there were 8,098 reported cases and 774 deaths. The MERS outbreak, which is still ongoing with sporadic flare-ups, has had 2,519 cases and 866 fatalities.

11. How is coronavirus detected?

Diagnostic tests, done on samples collected as swabs from a person's nose and throat or as sputum, and sometimes on blood collected from them, help to identify if a person is infected with the virus or not. The collected samples are sent to a testing lab where it is processed. Most of the diagnostic tests take 4 hours to come out with the results.

Abbott's ID NOWCOVID-19 rapid test, which was recently rolled out under emergency use, delivers results in as little as 5 minutes.

12. Why is coronavirus infection comparatively lower in Japan?

Despite being densely populated and having a higher percentage of senior citizens, Japan has recorded comparatively fewer COVID-19 cases. Critics say that it is only due to limited testing of people that the exact proportion of infection is not revealed. However, some experts say that the Japanese culture and etiquette like wearing masks or greeting others with a bow instead of shaking hands could be the reason for the slow spread of the pandemic.

The number of confirmed cases in Japan is 2,617, with 63 fatalities, as of this writing. (Source: Worldometer).

13. Can a person who has recovered from COVID-19 be re-infected with SARS-CoV-2?

It is only natural to assume that patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may not contract that virus again, at least not immediately. But there have been instances in some countries, say China and Korea, where patients who seem to have recovered from COVID-19, re-testing positive for the virus after discharge.

Is a re-infection really possible immediately after recovery or does it have anything to do with the quality of the tests? More research is required.

14. Are there any treatments or vaccines for COVID-19?

Currently, there are no treatments or vaccines for COVID-19. A number of companies are racing to find a treatment or vaccine for the same.

Recently, the FDA gave emergency use authorization for Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to be prescribed to adolescent and adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as appropriate. Besides malaria, the two drugs are used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

However, the European Medicines Agency has allowed the two drugs only to be used in clinical trials or emergency use programs in the indication of COVIS-19.

In India, the Indian Council of Medical Research's National Task Force has recommended Hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine against SARS-CoV-2 infection for high-risk population such as asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.

15. What is the latest by which a vaccine for COVID-19 will be available?

Although a number of companies are engaged in the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, leading the pack are Moderna Inc. (MRNA), which began a phase I trial of its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 in mid-March, and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which is planning to advance its experimental vaccine into phase I study by September of this year.

Moderna hopes to have its coronavirus vaccine for emergency use this fall while Johnson & Johnson is aiming to achieve emergency use authorization for its vaccine by early 2021.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.

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Beware Scammers Are Out for Crypto Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Beware! Scammers Are Out for Crypto Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic


Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

            APRIL 02, 2020

Analysis

As the world continues to battle with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, immoral cybercriminals are once again on the prowl. This time, they are using the chaos and fear through phishing techniques and sophisticated malware hacks to access people's crypto holdings.

On March 27, residents in the United Kingdom received warnings from their local councils “to be on their guard against a series of scams attempting to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.” Scammers have been using other tricks to lure victims, including the use of false Bitcoin (BTC) donation channels, fake maps of the coronavirus's spread that steal private data from computers and that install ransomware programs that can only be unlocked with Bitcoin.

Fortunately, regulators such as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and various American states, in addition to local councils in the U.K., as well as the European Central Bank, have all issued warnings of investment scams.

False claims for Bitcoin

Some of the common schemes include scammers claiming to possess lists of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in a given area that they will sell to local residents in exchange for Bitcoin. According to research, this is done via phishing emails and texts that falsely claim to be from organizations such as the World Health Organization.

With email subjects such as “HIGH-RISK: NEW confirmed cases in your city,” the scammers trick unsuspecting users into opening the emails. The hackers then use malicious links in the email that, when clicked, steal users' private data.

Scammers claiming to sell protective gear

As shoppers have been stocking up on essentials to prepare for a long quarantine, scammers have been busy for months on e-commerce sites like Amazon, selling counterfeit hand sanitizer and face masks. They charge high prices for items in demand, accept crypto payments and then never deliver the items to the customers.

The scammers have achieved this by luring customers away from trusted sites in order to take payments addressed to phony shipping labels. Finally, the scammers then liquidate the crypto funds using several different exchanges.

Hospitals have not been spared amid these widespread cyberattacks. Reports show that ransomware attacks have been prevalent in hospitals, as they are seen as soft targets. Due to the vital nature of hospital work, victims of cyberattacks who have critical IT systems encrypted by hackers are more willing to pay up whenever such criminals demand Bitcoin to regain access to needed equipment.

Cybersecurity experts have started forming groups such as the COVID-19 CTI League in order to combat ransomware attacks on hospital IT systems during the current coronavirus crisis.

Ransomware

A team of cybersecurity experts called Malware Hunters working together with Kaspersky security analysts have uncovered a new ransomware threat called CoronaVirus. The malware was discovered on a malicious website that claimed to provide downloads of WiseCleaner, a system-optimizing application.

Upon downloading the application, a malicious file activates the CoronaVirus ransomware, thereby encrypting the user's computer. The hackers would then demand payment in Bitcoin to give back the user's access to the computer.

Other scams

Other fraudulent tricks used by scammers include the use of coronavirus maps that infect users' computers with malware. They inject code onto computers that gleans passwords and credit card numbers, as well as other important information stored in web browsers.

Other fraudsters have used articles that prompt users to subscribe to daily newsletters covering the pandemic only to expose their data to cybercriminals. To further take advantage of the global economic downturn, some have created investment and trading schemes that claim to give people an advantage in the market.

Why are scammers using crypto?

While commenting on why hackers and cybercriminals are increasingly facilitating their attacks using crypto, Alex Wilson, a co-founder of The Giving Block — an organization that equips nonprofit organizations to accept crypto donations — told Cointelegraph that Bitcoin is not the only way to extort money, adding:

“The more adoption Bitcoin gets, the more often bad people will also use it as more normal people begin to use it (proportionally). Criminals come to where honest people have their money, not vice versa. In general, illicit activity is much more prevalent in the traditional markets than in the crypto industry by a 10:1 ratio.”

Andrew Adcock, the CEO of crowdfunding platform Crowd for Angels, told Cointelegraph that the reason for the increased use of crypto in cyberattacks is because “the mechanics of Bitcoin ensure that no third party can trigger a 'refund' of a transaction.” This means that if a customer sends crypto to a hacker, they most likely won't get it back.

Tips to avoid scams

In order to avoid falling victim to these scams, Wilson suggests users follow due diligence before submitting funds for any donation. He also warns that most professional nonprofit organizations looking for donations will never ask for a donation directly. Therefore, users should look out for wallet addresses posted on social media as a red flag. He also added:

“Only donate to registered charities to make sure your money is really being used the way you think it is. You can use sites like Guidestar.org or CharityNavigator.org to look up ratings of charities.”

Adcock also recommends users take several precautionary steps to avoid scams. Users should ask themselves a couple of questions before proceeding: Is the origin of the message unknown, and has the email come from a generic address and not from a company? If unsure where the link will lead, do not click on it. Hovering over the link should show the destination. Adcock concluded: “Remember that age-old saying: 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.' ”

Few scams have worked out

The good news is that despite the rise in the number of coronavirus- and crypto-related scams, a number of governing bodies around the world have moved quickly to issue warnings against them. For businesses, however, Adcock advises that:

“There is a fine balance that needs to be found so that genuine companies are not penalized whilst spammers are combated.”

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Original article posted on the CoinTelegraph.com site, by Jinia Shawdagor.

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US COVID-19 Death Toll Crosses 5000 Record 884 Deaths In 24 Hours

US COVID-19 Death Toll Crosses 5000; Record 884 Deaths In 24 Hours

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 4/2/2020 10:43 AM ET

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States crossed 5,000 on Wednesday, with 884 more deaths reporting in 24 hours.

This is the biggest daily surge in coronavirus deaths in U.S. since the first case in the country was reported on January 23.

Also, the number of confirmed infections across the country rose by more than 25,000 in one day.

In all, 215,344 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, which is almost double the number reported in Italy (110,574), the second worst-affected in the world.

However, in terms of death, Italy's case – 13,155 – is far worse than that of the United States – 5,112.

The latest victims include a six-week-old baby.

The alarming pace of spread prompted Vice-President Mike Pence to warn that the country appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy.

Of the latest deaths occurred in the U.S., most of them were in New York. It continues to be the worst-hit state with 2219 deaths and 83901 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

New York City's second-most populous borough Queens, where social-distancing guidelines are hard to enforce, reportedly has the highest concentration of coronavirus infection.

New Jersey has fast overtaken many other states to become the second worst-affected state with 355 deaths and 22255 infections.

Michigan (337 deaths, 9,334 infections), Louisiana (273 deaths, 6,424 infections), Washington (254 deaths, 5984 infections), California (215 deaths, 9936 infections) and Georgia 154 death, 4748 infections) are the other worst-affected states.

Wyoming still remains to be the only U.S. state not to have reported a death from the coronavirus, but there are 137 infected cases.

Meanwhile, the states of Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have ordered its people to stay at home, leaving more than 75 percent of the country's population under lockdown.

Amid reports that two prisoners at a Louisiana prison died of coronavirus, all inmates in federal prisons have been confined to their cells and wards to prevent the spread of the disease.

Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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World Health Organization Launches Blockchain Platform to Fight COVID-19

World Health Organization Launches Blockchain Platform to Fight COVID-19


Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

            MARCH 28, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has partnered on March 28 with major blockchain and tech companies to launch a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based platform for sharing data concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

The platform, MiPasa, is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric and seeks to enable "early detection of COVID-19 carriers and infection hotspots."

MiPasa has been launched in partnership with technology company IBM, computer firm Oracle, enterprise blockchain platform Hacera and IT corporation Microsoft.

WHO launches blockchain-based platform to fight COVID-19

The platform purports to facilitate "fully private information sharing between individuals, state authorities and health institutions."

The project cross-references siloed location and health data is "siloed" on the platform to glean global insights while ensuring patient privacy, with MiPasa describing the platform as a "verifiable information highway." MiPasa is slated to soon host an array of publicly accessible analytics tools too.

According to the project's website:

"MiPasa can help monitor and foresee local and global epidemiological trends and detect likely asymptomatic carriers by feeding big data on infection routes and occurrences to powerful AI processors around the world."

A number of national health institutions are also contributing to the project — including the U.S., European, and Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hong Kong Department of Health, the Government of Canada and China's National Health Commission.

The fight against coronavirus highlights applications for DLT

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted many of the applications for blockchain technology.

On March 25, it was reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE)s Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) is adopting DLT-based solutions for identity verification and the distribution of official documents — allowing customers to securely engage with the MOCD from home.

Blockchain technology has also been suggested as the most efficient means through which the United States' stimulus package could be distributed — with some proponents even proposing that the U.S. launch a DLT-based "digital dollar."

China has deployed blockchain in numerous applications to assist its efforts to fight COVID-19, using DLT to track the virus' spread, medical records, and the distribution of medical supplies and charity donations.

A Chinese journalist has also used Ethereum (ETH) to bypass censorship and publish an interview with a Wuhan-based doctor on the pandemic.

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Original article posted on the CoinTelegraph.com site, by Samuel Haig.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Max Keiser Predicts That Bitcoin Will Hit USD 100000 This Year Due to Coronavirus-Induced Economic Collapse

Max Keiser Predicts That Bitcoin Will Hit USD 100,000 This Year Due to Coronavirus-Induced Economic Collapse

Written by Zachary   Posted on 03/08/2020   3 Min read

  • An economic crash caused by the Coronavirus could lead to Bitcoin hitting USD 100,000 according to Max Keiser

Max Keiser, a well-known financial pundit and Bitcoin influencer, is predicting that Bitcoin will hit USD 100,000 in 2020, specifically saying:: “This is the global financial crisis that will catapult the price to USD 100,000 and beyond.”

Essentially, retail sales, manufacturing, trade, travel, tourism, and work production have been sharply declining worldwide in response to the Coronavirus, due to quarantines and other measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus. This has already caused the stock market to become highly volatile and weak, and it seems Keiser is predicting that this stock and economic crisis will drastically deepen, causing investors to flock to Bitcoin as an alternative safe-haven investment.

Further, Keiser says “Now Bitcoin will experience part two of the global financial crisis, it's already close to USD 10,000 a coin.” Basically, Bitcoin was launched during the 2008 Great Recession, and it can be argued that the current financial crisis is a continuation of the 2008 Great Recession, since the debt and equity bubbles have carried on from that crisis into the present day.

It remains to be seen if Keiser's prediction will pan out, but another highly positive factor for the Bitcoin market is that the block halving is coming in only two months, which further increases the chances of a major Bitcoin rally.

BitcoinNews.com is committed to unbiased news and upholding journalistic codes of ethics. For more information please read our Editorial Policy here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

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The original article written by Zachary and posted on BitcoinNews.com.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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