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French waiter ‘shot dead over slow sandwich’ | World News



A French waiter has allegedly been shot dead by an irate customer who got frustrated waiting too long for his sandwich.

The waiter’s colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun, according to the French news agency AFP.

The incident happened in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb east of Paris on Friday night at a pizza and sandwich eatery, according to French media

The 28-year-old died at the scene.

According to a witness, the gunman lost his temper “as his sandwich wasn’t prepared quickly enough”.

He shot the man and fled the scene.

Police told AFP a murder investigation has been opened and the gunman is on the run.

Residents gathered around outside after news of the incident spread.

Some shocked residents emphasised what they said was a degraded neighbourhood with problems of drug-dealing and public drunkenness, the newspaper Le Parisien reported.

It said the restaurant had opened three or four months before the incident.

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Coronavirus: Ireland put in lockdown as COVID-19 spreads | World News



Ireland has been placed under similar lockdown measures to the ones imposed in the UK following three more coronavirus-related deaths.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said residents should stay home until at least 12 April unless they were buying groceries, getting brief exercise or making essential family visits.

Almost all shops will be told to close and all gathering outside of families will be banned.

Public transport will be available only to essential workers and nobody should travel beyond 2km (1.2 miles) from their homes for any reason, he added.

Those over the age of 70 or with chronic diseases will be told to stay in their homes without exception over the period.

Mr Varadkar said: “I’m appealing to every man, woman and child to make these sacrifices for the love of each other.

“Show that you care for your family and friends: Stay home.”

He added that there was little more the government could do in terms of restrictions.

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Coronavirus: Which countries have successfully ‘flattened the curve’? | UK News



After more than 80,000 cases and more than 3,200 deaths, China has successfully reduced the number of new coronavirus cases it is recording each day.

In other words, the country where the disease originated has “flattened the curve” of the outbreak.

China now has less than 100 new cases and 30 deaths a day and has done since early March, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

It is not the only country starting to get the outbreak under control.

In South Korea more than 9,000 people have been infected with the virus and at least 130 people have died.

But the outbreak in the country is now following the same trajectory as the one in China, with relatively low daily numbers of new cases since the middle of March.

The true number of people infected in both countries is almost certainly higher than official counts, but even so these charts show the spread of the disease is slowing in both countries.

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What is ‘flattening the curve’?

The “curve” in an epidemic outbreak is the projected number of people who will get sick over a given period of time.

China and South Korea’s curves – so far – are shown on the charts above.

A sharp increase in the curve means the disease is spreading quickly, which can lead to many people being infected at the same time and the health system becoming overloaded.

Typical model of a pandemic outbreak
A typical model of a pandemic outbreak

A flatter curve means there is a slower infection rate and while the same number of people could be infected overall, this will take place over a longer period of time.

This means the number of cases at the peak of the disease – the highest point on the chart – will be smaller, allowing the health service to cope better with the situation and provide the appropriate care.

Containing measures – such as social distancing – aim to lower the infection rate and, consequently, to “flatten the curve”.

People clap for the NHS in south London

Nation applauds coronavirus health workers

What is the curve of the outbreak like in other countries?

The outbreak started in China in December last year and quickly spread to several other countries in Asia from the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan.

Despite their proximity to China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan have managed to keep their numbers of new cases low.

However, these countries have a relatively small population compared with other countries of the region and although their case numbers are small, their curves have not yet decreased significantly.

The curve can also increase following a period in which it decreases, as is currently happening in Japan.

There, the daily number of people infected started to slow in the middle of March, but has since started to rise again.

In February, Europe became the new centre of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Italy has now had more confirmed cases of the disease than China and both Spain and Italy have reported more deaths than China.

Large parts of the continent are now under lockdown or using social distancing measures to stop the spread of the disease.

In some places the measures are starting to take effect and Germany could be the first European country to flatten the curve.

On Wednesday, the head of the German hospital federation, Gerald Gass, said that the infection rate will likely slow down in the country by the beginning of April due to social distancing.

The epidemic has also effected countries in the Middle East, with Iran being particularly badly hit.

It is now moving towards North and South America, where the number of cases is increasing in most countries.

In the United States, lockdowns are in place in cities including New York, San Francisco and LA.

How fast the cases are growing?

Almost every country in the world has reported at least one case of the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Although China has the largest number of cases recorded in absolute terms, the case rate is higher in around a third of the countries affected, with European countries at the top of the list.

But in an epidemic outbreak it is not just the number of cases that is important, but also the growth rate – that is how fast the number of cases is increasing.

A fast growth rate can lead to a large number of cases very rapidly so the goal is to slow down the rate of growth using measures such as social distancing.

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If we compare countries with the highest number of cases since they reported their 100th case, the UK appears to be following a similar trend to other European countries, like Italy or Spain, and the US.

At the moment the number of cases in the UK is doubling every two or three days.

However, comparing the number of cases in each country is difficult as different countries are testing a different number of people.

For example in the UK, only people who require medical assistance are currently being tested, whereas in Germany a much more widespread testing programme is under way.

This means Germany has a higher number of confirmed cases than countries like France and the UK, even though they have had a much smaller number of deaths.

As a result it is hard to meaningfully compare the number of cases in different countries and a truer picture of the scale of the outbreak can be achieved by looking at the number of deaths instead.

Looking at this statistic in the countries with the biggest outbreaks shows that the disease is progressing faster in Europe than in Asia.

However, in most European countries the effects of social distancing measures and lockdowns are not yet being seen on the curves, as they take a while to have an impact.

The critical moment for the UK will therefore be in two weeks’ time, when we will have a better idea of whether the measures taken by the government have had the necessary effect and succeeded in flattening the curve.

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Coronavirus: How the US is becoming the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic | US News



The United States is quickly becoming the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cases in the country rising rapidly.

There are now at least 83,000 cases in the US and around 1,300 people have died from the coronavirus in the country.

On Thursday, the country overtook China and Italy to become the place with the most reported cases of the disease.

The large number of cases is in part due to the size of the United States, as it has a population of around 330 million, around five times larger than both the UK and Italy.

However, China has a larger population than the US, so the size of the country is clearly only one factor.

The density of the population is also important, as the disease has spread quickest through cities like Milan and London where people live close together.

Crucially, it’s not just the number of cases in the US that will be worrying health authorities.

More important still is the rate at which the number of cases is increasing – and it is this measure that suggests the US is the new epicentre of the pandemic.

As recently as a week ago the US had just 25,000 cases, but that number has more than tripled in the last seven days.

On Thursday, more than 18,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in a single day.

Of late the number of cases in the US has doubled every 3.7 days, although in some places the rate is much higher.

This means the number of cases is likely to double again in the next few days and could continue to grow exponentially.

Growth like this is particularly dangerous, as it can cause a surge in demand for medical care – and the country’s health system may struggle to meet this demand.

One place where the number of cases has risen quickly is the state of New York

Around 45% of the country’s confirmed cases are from the state, with at least 37,877 people infected with the disease.

There have also been 385 deaths from the virus in New York, a third of the United States total.

The state has been in lockdown for a week to try to slow the spread of the disease, but so far this has had a limited effect.

Since the 100th case was recorded in New York the number of cases has doubled on average every 2.2 days, although it has now slowed slightly to doubling around every four days.

Cases in New Jersey and Michigan are also doubling rapidly, meaning cases in all three states are likely to escalate.

The current surge of cases of COVID-19 in the US has not yet been seen in the number of deaths in the country.

China, Italy, Spain and Iran have all had more deaths than the US, despite having fewer cases.

However, the outbreak in the US is relatively recent, with the vast majority of cases only being reported in the last week.

This means that the number of deaths in the country should be expected to rise rapidly over the next week, as there is a delay between people being diagnosed with the disease and the virus proving fatal.

This can already be seen in New York, where the number of deaths is doubling every two days.

At the moment the US is only leading the way in terms of the number of cases, but if the number of deaths does continue to rise, it could top anything seen so far in Asia or Europe.

Then the country will unquestionably be the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

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