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Health Highlights: May 4, 2020

Last Updated: May 04, 2020.

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

International Summit Raises $8 Billion to Fight New Coronavirus

About $8 billion (7.4 billion euros) in funding for research to develop a vaccine and treatments against the new coronavirus, as well as better tests, was pledged by world leaders, organizations and banks, but the United States and Russia will not contribute.

The funding promises made during a video-conference summit hosted by the European Union fell just short of the objective of 7.5 billion euros, but more money could be added in coming days, according to the Associated Press.

Monday's goal was only enough to provide a "down-payment" on the tools that will be needed to fight the virus, according to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"To reach everyone, everywhere, we likely need five times that amount," Guterres said, the AP reported.

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Carnival to Resume Some U.S.-Based Cruises

Even though some of its ships' crews are banned from disembarking in the U.S. due to coronavirus fears, Carnival Cruise Lines says it plans to resume some cruises on its North American Lines on Aug. 1.

In April the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in April extended a "no sail order" for all cruise ships. It forbids cruise ship workers from staying in a hotel, using public transportation, taking a commercial airline flight or interacting with the public for 14 days upon arrival on land, CBS News reported.

Currently, 120 cruise ships in U.S. waters with about 80,000 crew members are being monitored by the Coast Guard.

Carnival said that eight ships will operate from three U.S. cities as of Aug. 1: Galveston, Texas, Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Vista; Miami, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sensation; Port Canaveral, Florida, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Elation, CBS News reported.

The company said all of its other North American and Australian cruises are canceled through August 31.

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Kroger Limits Ground Beef, Fresh Pork Purchases

Concerns about meat supplies in the United States have prompted Kroger to begin restricting the amount of ground beef and fresh pork that customers can buy in some stores.

The decision is due to a series of meat plant closures in a number of states after COVID-19 outbreaks among workers, the nation's largest supermarket chain told CBS News.

Pork production fell by about a quarter and beef production by about 10% as more than 20 U.S. meatpacking plants closed at some point in the past two months, the United Food and Commercial Workers union says.

Data show that nearly 4,200 workers at 115 meatpacking plants have been infected with the coronavirus, and 20 of those workers have died, but the actual numbers could be higher, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, CBS News reported.

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Boris Johnson Knew Doctors Were Discussing His Possible Death From COVID-19

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he knew that doctors were discussing the possibility that he might die while he was hospitalized with COVID-19.

Johnson spent three nights in intensive care and told The Sun newspaper that he was aware that doctors were discussing his fate, the Associated Press reported.

"It was a tough old moment, I won't deny it," Johson, 55, said. "They had a strategy to deal with a 'death of Stalin'-type scenario."

His health deteriorated quickly and he was given "liters and liters of oxygen" but the "indicators kept going in the wrong direction."

"But the bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe," Johnson told the newspaper, the AP reported. "That was when it got a bit ... they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally."

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Field Hospital in NYC's Central Park to Close

Plans are underway to close a field hospital set up in New York City's Central Park to treat COVID-19 patients, Mount Sinai Hospital says.

It said the temporary facility, which treated 315 patients, would stop admitting new patients on Monday and that it would take about two weeks to close the field hospital, CBS News reported.

Mount Sinai Hospital ran the field hospital with the nonprofit Samaritan's Purse.

A temporary hospital that also opened up at Javits Center discharged its last patient on Friday, and the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, which was brought in to assist in the city's COVID-19 crisis, left New York harbor on Thursday, CBS News reported.


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