People in face masks ride on a ferry with a Chinese flag

Passengers wearing face masks ride a ferry on Yangtze River after travel restrictions to leave Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, were lifted, April 8, 2020.

Credit:

Reuters/Stringer China Out

Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

After more than two months in strict lockdown, Wuhan residents are allowed to leave the city where the novel coronavirus was first identified. Health workers were honored with a city-wide light show. But some residents remain angry about how authorities responded to the virus. 

In the US, more than 1,800 people died on Tuesday — the most reported COVID-19 deaths in a single day, and Black Americans are impacted at disproportionally higher numbers. There are more confirmed cases in the US than the next three hardest hit contries combined: Spain, Italy and France.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, who spoke with The World last week, resigned after insulting the commanding officer of a Navy ship struggling with coronavirus. Modly was one of many "acting" officials in the administration. Politico argues the use of acting positions has hurt the US response, and that President Donald Trump has mismanaged the agencies "we tasked as a nation to prevent the next 9/11," leaving them "riddled with vacancies and temporary officials" as COVID-19 spread. 

Also: Research on COVID-19 vaccine shows unique global collaboration, says Ebola vaccine scientist

And: A sobering report on biodiversity loss spurs big plans to save species

Taiwan’s success in fighting COVID-19 is overshadowed by global politics

Taiwan leads the world as the most-prepared and best-equipped nation to fight the pandemic. But pressure from China continues to stymie Taiwan's involvement in international public health efforts.

The World Health Organization does not recognize Taiwan because it would jeopardize the body’s relationship with China. But that also means WHO cannot benefit from lessons learned in Taiwan since the COVID-19 outbreak.

And: Nurses must be protected from abuse during coronavirus pandemic

Also: Turkey's unique hand sanitizing method

Coronavirus restrictions challenge customs of ultra-Orthodox in Israel

The ultra-Orthodox — or Haredim, as they’re known in Israel — make up about 13% of Israel’s population. But they now account for a third of the country’s coronavirus cases. 

Israel has introduced tough lockdown measures. But Benjamin Brown, a professor Jewish thought at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the coronavirus regulations fly in the face of many ultra-Orthodox customs: “It is a change of an entire mentality for them to change from such a certain way of life to the very individual, self-secluded way of life that corona imposes.”

And: Lessons from the plagues, painted for Passover: Artist Zoya Cherkassky evokes Jewish life in the shtetl in her new virtual exhibition.

Coronavirus lockdown: A tale of two South Africas

When it became apparent that South Africa could have the most cases of coronavirus on the continent, the government took swift measures to stop it. Those measures, which included a nationwide lockdown and rapid increase in testing, have received mixed reviews.

As some South Africans retreated to the comforts of their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19 or recover from it, reports of violent police enforcement and panic buying at supermarkets consumed the news — foreshadowing, perhaps, how the experience of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa might be as unequal as the country itself.

And: Nigeria COVID-19 survivor: 'An experience I don't wish on anyone'

Also: Bolsonaro still downplays COVID-19. Many worry about the impact on the most vulnerable.

Grassroots groups move online to capture Latino vote

Just a few weeks ago, Katelynn Taveras was preparing for a big day: her quinceañera, a coming-of-age party in Latin American cultures that celebrates a teenage girl's 15th birthday. Her party was postponed due to the coronavirus — and so was her push to get her friends and family registered to vote. 

Taveras is part of a program called Poder Quince, or Power Fifteen, led by Jolt Action, a large Latino progressive group in Texas focused on getting young Latinos involved in politics and their communities. The group sees gatherings like quinceañeras as a chance to boost the Latino vote in Texas, where one out of every three eligible voters is Latino — that’s approximately 5.6 million eligible voters.

From The World: Every 30 seconds a young Latino in the US turns 18. Their votes count more than ever.

Morning meme

Is moist just the grossest word ever


In case you missed it

Listen: What's next for Britain with Boris Johnson in intensive care?

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is shown standing behind a podium witth the words, "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" printed on it.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks as he holds a COVID-19 press conference at 10 Downing Street in London, April 7, 2020.

Credit:

Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via Reuters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is spending his second night in intensive care in a London hospital after contracting COVID-19. And, the Trump administration is pushing forward with a new plan for a power-sharing government in Venezuela, as the South American nation struggles with a collapsed economy and the looming threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, with much of the world cooped up indoors, trying to prevent getting infected or spread the coronavirus, an old idea is starting to take root — planting a victory garden as a way to build community and relieve anxiety.

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