While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 8

Passengers wear hazmat suits as they arrive at Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, to leave the city early on April 8, 2020.
Passengers wear hazmat suits as they arrive at Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, to leave the city early on April 8, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

Coronavirus: Exodus begins as virus-hit Wuhan lifts ban on outbound travel

Thousands of Chinese travellers rushed to leave coronavirus-ravaged Wuhan early on Wednesday as authorities lifted a more than two-month prohibition on outbound travel from the city where the global pandemic first emerged.

As the ban expired on schedule at midnight, passengers - many in hazmat suits - expressed joy and relief as they filed into Wuhan's Wuchang station to catch the first overnight trains out of town.

"Wuhan has lost a lot in this epidemic, and Wuhan people have paid a big price," said a 21-year-old man surnamed Yao, who was heading back to his restaurant job in Shanghai. "Now that the lockdown has been lifted, I think we're all pretty happy."

Government estimates say as many as 55,000 people are expected to flow out Wednesday by train from the city, which was placed under an unprecedented quarantine lockdown on Jan 23.

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Coronavirus: Refunds row escalates as airlines warn 25 million jobs at risk

Global airlines warned that 25 million jobs across the world could be at risk from the coronavirus air travel downturn, and held out against offering refunds to passengers as cash runs out.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued the warning as part of a series of messages about the state of airline industry, while urging governments to help.

As it did so, Germanwings became the latest corporate casualty of the crisis as German parent Lufthansa announced its closure as part of a broader overhaul. Germanwings operates under the wider low-cost brand Eurowings.

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British PM, battling coronavirus, set for second night in intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to spend a second night in intensive care on Tuesday to help him fight off a coronavirus infection, with his designated deputy saying he would pull through because “he’s a fighter”.

Johnson is receiving oxygen support but is stable, in good spirits and breathing without assistance, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for the prime minister, adding that he had not needed mechanical ventilation.

“I’m confident he’ll pull through because if there’s one thing I know about this prime minister, he’s a fighter and he’ll be back at the helm leading us through this crisis in short order,” Raab told a daily news conference.

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Largest supermoon of 2020 rises on a world battling coronavirus

The largest, brightest supermoon of 2020 rose in the night sky on Tuesday over hushed cities, stilled factories and countries in lockdown due to the novel coronavirus that has killed tens of thousands worldwide.

If the moon is within 10 per cent of its closest distance to the earth at the moment of full moon, it is considered to be a supermoon, according the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London.

April's full moon will be the closest supermoon of 2020, and it is also known as the "Pink Moon" after the pink flowers that start to appear in the fields this month in some places.

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Coronavirus pandemic forces postponement of Canadian F1 Grand Prix

The June 14 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal joined a growing list of Formula One races postponed due to the new coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, with the 2020 season yet to get on the starting grid.

The race is the ninth to be affected by the virus, with the March 15 season-opening Australian Grand Prix cancelled along with May's showcase Monaco Grand Prix.

Commercial rights holder Liberty Media hopes to get the championship started in the European summer with a reduced and greatly rearranged schedule of between 15 and 18 races that could run into the New Year.

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