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Coronavirus summary: deaths, cases, news - 22 May

An employee of service provider PTS disinfects a tramway of the local VGF public transport authority at a depot in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on May 20, 2020, amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Yann Schreiber / AFP)

Coronavirus live global: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 22 May

Brazil jumps to world No. 2 in coronavirus cases, behind the U.S.

Brazil became the world No. 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases on Friday, second only to the United States, after it confirmed that 330,890 people had been infected by the virus, overtaking Russia, the Health Ministry said.

Brazil registered 1,001 daily coronavirus deaths on Friday, taking total deaths to 21,048, according to the Health Ministry. 

In Sao Paulo, the worst hit city, aerial video showed rows of open plots at the Formosa Cemetery as it rushed to keep up with demand.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his handling of the outbreak and is at the center too of a deepening political crisis.

France allows faith gatherings, but worshippers must wear masks

France is to allow the resumption of religious gatherings after a two-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, but worshippers will have to wear face masks, the French interior ministry announced.

The ministry said late on Friday that it would issue a decree setting out the new rules for religious gatherings.

Under the decree, a ban on gatherings imposed in March, as part of government efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, would be rescinded. But collective worship would have to observe conditions, including the wearing of masks, a distance of at least one metre between worshippers and hand-washing, the ministry said in a statement.

The French government relaxed some of its lockdown restrictions earlier this month, but did not ease the ban on collective worship. That prompted complaints from faith groups, which said they were being treated unfairly.

Brazil rises to No. 2 in coronavirus cases, suffers 1,001 new deaths

Brazil overtook Russia on Friday in terms of the number of coronavirus cases, having registered 330,890 people who have contracted the virus, second only to the United States.

Brazil registered 1,001 daily coronavirus deaths on Friday, taking total deaths to 21,048, according to the health ministry.

However the true number - both of cases and deaths - is likely higher as Latin America's top economy has been slow to ramp up testing.

Currently on the Bill Gates reading list

The Microsoft founder admitted that most of his conversations these days are about COVID-19 and how we can stem the tide, but isn also often asked about what he is reading and watching and offered a selection of his 2020 summer book recommendations.

UK PM Johnson's close aide Cummings broke lockdown rules according to media reports

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's closest adviser, Dominic Cummings, travelled more than 400 km from his London home after showing symptoms of coronavirus, breaking the government's lockdown rules, the Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported on Friday.

Cummings, a polarising figure in Britain since he masterminded the successful campaign to leave the European Union in 2016, travelled to Durham in northern England in late March, when a strict lockdown was already in place, the reports said.

A spokesman for Johnson's Downing Street office said it would make no comment.

State of emergency in Peru extended through to 30 June

More than 110,000 positive Covid-19 cases have been confirmed along with over 3,200 fatalities in the South American nation.


Ireland to review 14-day quarantine for travellers on June 18

Ireland's new regulations requiring incoming travellers to provide the address at which they will self-isolate for 14 days will initially be in effect from May 28 to June 18, Health Minister Simon Harris said on Friday.

The government announced last week that it would now require arrivals to complete a "passenger locator form", which has been  voluntary since the quarantine rule was introduced last month.

Britain will introduce similar quarantine measures from June 8 and also announced the details on Friday. Those measures will not apply to people arriving from Ireland.

Airlines have told both governments that the rules are impossible to implement.

More on UK quarantine regulation 

Interesting thread from Steven Swinford (The Times UK) on the recently announced 14 day self isolation ruling as announced by Priti Patel.

UK to impose 14-day quarantine for international arrivals from June 8

Britain will introduce a 14-day quarantine for almost all international travellers from June 8, interior minister Priti Patel said on Friday, with anyone breaking the rules facing a 1,000 pound ($1,218) fine.

The government said there would be some exemptions, including road haulage and freight workers, medical professionals travelling to help with the fight against the coronavirus and those coming from Ireland.

"Now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases triggering a resurgence of this deadly disease," Patel said at the government's daily news conference.


Not 'everything has gone perfectly', says NHS England head of coronavirus lessons

Britain should have learned more from other countries who were tackling coronavirus outbreaks earlier, the head of NHS England Simon Stevens said on Friday, acknowledging that not everything with the response had gone perfectly.

Asked by lawmakers on a parliamentary committee whether Britain should have learned lessons on things like the  provision of protective equipment, Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Service in England, said: "I'm sure the answer to that is definitely yes. "I don't think everything has gone perfectly, in a way how could it? There are clearly things that we will want to learn from and do differently in future," he told the Public Accounts Committee.

NBA set for July 'bubble' return ?

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie continues to embrace his news-making skills on social media, sharing that the NBA season will resume in July at a "bubble location."

Dinwiddie's update comes with the qualifier that he was not provided an official update from the Nets or the NBA. However, his intel appears to match multiple reports indicating the NBA is pointed toward playing games this summer, and doing so within a "campus environment," which is the preference of commissioner Adam Silver.

Dinwiddie was replying to a post from popular boutique street shoe designer John Geiger's post that the NBA would be back June 21st. Dinwiddie posted to Twitter: "That's just practice. I heard those last 5 games at bubble site start July 15th."

ESPN reported Silver is expected to release rules and guidelines for the NBA to return on June 1.

Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports and Marc Stein of the New York Times said Thursday they've heard the same timeline Dinwiddie outlined. That would put the NBA Finals in the Labor Day range, per Smith.



Spain's coronavirus death toll rises by 56 on Friday

Spain's overnight death toll from the new coronavirus rose by 56 on Friday to a total of 28,628, the health ministry said.

The number of diagnosed cases rose to 234,824 cases from 233,037 on Thursday, the ministry added.

The daily increase in the death toll and the number of cases is not directly comparable to the previous day due to various regions reporting their recent data with delays.

Hopes for experimental Covid-19 vaccine

An experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm CanSino is reported to be safe and generated an immune response in an early study in humans, Bloomberg reports.

The vaccine stimulated production of both antibodies that can stop infection along with immune T-cells, according to a report published Friday in The Lancet. Further research is needed to show its effectiveness against the virus, according to the study funded by CanSino and conducted by researchers from the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and other organisations

The results of the CanSino vaccine study “represent an important milestone,” said Wei Chen, a professor at the Beijing institute that carried out the study, in the report. “However, these results should be interpreted cautiously. The challenges in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine are unprecedented, and the ability to trigger these immune responses does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine will protect humans from Covid-19.”

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's family pardons his killers

Salah Khashoggi, the son of Jamal Khashoggi, said that the family has decided to pardon those who murdered their father inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018,

The pardon paves the way for a reprieve for five defendants sentenced to death for a crime that severely damaged the image of the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

“If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah,” Khashoggi’s son Salah tweeted, citing a verse from the Koran on forgiveness. “Therefore, we the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father”.

Fujifilm to increase production of flu drug Avigan

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. announced it is on course to supply the flu drug Avigan for 2 million Covid-19 patients by next March, meeting a target set by the government to ramp up production of the potential but yet unapproved coronavirus treatment, the Japan Times reports. Fujifilm has been boosting production of the drug since April.


Portugal ready to welcome back tourists

Portugal's doors are open to tourists, the country's Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said on Friday, one of the first European countries to welcome back visitors from elsewhere in the continent. "Tourists are welcome in Portugal," Santos Silva told newspaper Observador, explaining that some health checks will be introduced at airports but there will be no compulsory quarantine for those flying in.

Portugal is slowly easing restrictions in place since it locked down in mid-March. It has been less affected than its neighbour Spain or Italy, which both plan to reopen next month. Flights to and from outside the European Union are still temporarily suspended until 15 June, with some exceptions, including some routes to and from Portuguese-speaking nations like Brazil

Phase 1 beckons for Madrid and Barcelona

Madrid's coronavirus lockdown will be eased on Monday to allow outdoor dining and gatherings of up to 10 people, as the rate of infection there has slowed, the regional health department said on Friday.

The restrictions in the capital will now be the same as in most of the Spanish mainland, which started relaxing the lockdown early this month. Both Madrid and Barcelona, Spain's second city, had been kept in full lockdown because their outbreaks were so severe. The state-owned TV channel TVE said Barcelona's restrictions would be similarly eased. Beaches there were opened for walking this week, but public swimming and sunbathing remain banned.

Bars and restaurants in the capital will be allowed to reopen on pavements and terraces from Monday, churches will also reopen, and people will be free to travel within the province. The lockdown is due to be eased one notch further in other regions.

US urges WHO to start pandemic response review

The United States called on the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday to begin work immediately on investigating the source of the novel coronavirus, as well as its own handling of the response to the pandemic.

Admiral Brett P. Giroir, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, told the WHO's executive board in a written statement: 'As President Trump just made clear in his May 18 letter to Director-General Tedros, there is no time to waste to begin on the reforms needed to ensure such a pandemic never happens again.

Michelin-stars into charity kitchen

Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, who is used to being paid for fine dining with exclusive black credit cards, says his richest reward during the Covid-19 crisis is the grateful smiles of poor New Yorkers fed by the Michelin three-starred restaurant he has turned into a charity kitchen.

Cooks at his Manhattan eatery, which was named World's Best Restaurant in 2017 by the World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy, are preparing 3,000 meals a day for frontline workers and underprivileged New Yorkers, most of them distributed at a Harlem church.

'I had a person the other day who said, 'Oh my God, this is the best meal I've ever had,'' said Humm, who is working alongside New York City-based nonprofit Rethink Food.

Canadian concerns

National security experts are warning that Canadian businesses struggling with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic — and what comes after — could be easy prey for hostile foreign takeovers.

Full story

Mink transmission 

Dutch authorities announced this week that they suspect a mink has transmitted the coronavirus to a worker at a fur farm in the Netherlands.

If confirmed, this would be the first concrete evidence of a specific species passing the virus to a human.

Full story


Alumni of the school's robotics club attach a tablet to a robot prior to a 'cyber graduation' ceremony at a school on May 22, 2020 in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Robots represented some 179 graduating students of the Senator Rene Cayetano Science and Technology High School during a graduation ceremony that was streamed online, as mass gatherings remain prohibited in the country under the Philippine government's lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

Yemen's health system 'has in effect collapsed'

The new coronavirus is believed to be spreading throughout Yemen where the health care system 'has in effect collapsed', the United Nations said on Friday, via Reuters, appealing for urgent funding.

'Aid agencies in Yemen are operating on the basis that community transmission is taking place across the country,' Jens Laerke, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a Geneva briefing.

'We hear from many of them that Yemen is really on the brink right now. The situation is extremely alarming, they are talking about that the health system has in effect collapsed,' he said.

Aid workers report having to turn people away because they do not have enough medical oxygen or sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment, Laerke said.

Breaking: Oxford-Astra vaccine candidate moves to larger human trials

The University of Oxford has started recruiting volunteers for a much larger clinical trial in the UK of its potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed with AstraZeneca.

Crisis management popularity

While some world leaders have boasted about their viewing figures as people die around them, New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has seen her actual popularity soar.

Her handling of the coronavirus pandemic has put her approval rating at about 84%, while the main opposition leader has been replaced.

POTUS masked

It's not a sight we've seen often as Donald Trump has generally refused to wear a mask. 

EU China warning from Australia

Charles Dunst argues that no matter how you look at it, China’s treatment of Australia during the coronavirus crisis is a cautionary tale.

Virtual football reality

As the beautiful game begins to return, could ideas like this become part of the new fan experience?

Eid al-Fitr impact

Some countries, including Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, will impose round-the-clock curfews for the duration of the holiday. In Saudi Arabia — home to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina — people will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food and medicine.

Global totals and country news

Confirmed worldwide cases: 5.1 million +

Confirmed worldwide deaths: 332,000 +

(Source: Johns Hopkins University)

A look back...

Yesterday saw more movement on coronavirus trends around the globe, some in opposite directions.. 

- Brazil suffers record 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths

- Another 2.4m Americans join the jobless list, bringing the total to 38.6 million

- UK test and trace system is on course for June 1

- Spain's daily coronavirus death toll below 50

Catch-up on all of yesterday's news here.

Coronavirus live coverage: welcome

Hello and welcome to our global coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now registered over five million cases worldwide.

Join us for the latest news and numbers as they emerge throughout the course of the day.


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