Coronavirus global summary: 28 May

Coronavirus live global: latest Covid-19 news - Thursday 28 May

Iceland have tested a lot of their population and their chief epidemiologist if surprised as to how quickly cases are improving.

The car industry is on its knees

Nissan have pulled out of Spain too as nobody is thinking of buying a car at this time. Nobody is predicting when it will bounce back.

Coronavirus investment

The European Commission announced a plan to borrow 750 billion euros on the market and redistribute it in grants and loans to help member states recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.

Spain and Italy, the worst affected by the virus, will get 313 billion euros in grants and loans between them, the newswire added.

Travel bans leave hundreds stranded at Brazil's largest airport

Stefany Carvallido, her 2-year-old daughter and about 200 other Colombians have been camping out inside Brazil's busiest international airport for days in a desperate attempt to get back to their home country, report Reuters.

More than two months after the coronavirus pandemic triggered worldwide lockdowns, much of the world is gradually reopening.

But Latin America remains highly isolated by travel restrictions across the region. Colombia has suspended all international flights until at least 31 August, preventing its own citizens from returning by air. It has also suspended river and land border crossings with neighbors including Brazil.

Hydroxychloroquine combination risky for cancer patients

Cancer patients with Covid-19 who were treated with a drug combination promoted by US President Donald Trump to counter the coronavirus were three times more likely to die within 30 days than those who got either drug alone, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The preliminary results suggest doctors may want to refrain from prescribing the decades-old malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine with the antibiotic azithromycin for these patients until more study is done, researchers said.

Boston marathon changes

Tourism tricks

The travel and tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but as restrictions are eased for international movement, some countries are looking to tempt the apprehensive visitor in.

UK track & trace

If you're in the United Kingdom, or are interested in what their new initiative is, give this podcast a listen...

French reporting revision

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in France jumped by 3,325 to 149,071, though the increase was not due to a rise in daily infections but was a result of the inclusion of data from a new tracking system, the health ministry said in a statement.

'The increase compared to yesterday is due to more efficient tracking, not to the epidemiological situation in France,' the ministry said in a statement.

Russia horse

A jockey warms up at the Central Moscow hippodrome as the country adopts measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19, the novel coronavirus.

Since mid-May, the Moscow Hippodrome has reopened, the horse racing was the first sports competition to resume in the Russian capital, behind closed doors but broadcasted live. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

Spain revision aids UK image

Orchestral manoeuvres in the pandemic

Members of a Bolivian orchestra featuring traditional flutes and pipes hope to return home next week after being stranded in the grounds of a German castle for about 80 days due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The 20 young musicians of the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos had arrived in Germany on 10 March to perform at a music festival. But the event was cancelled and days later Germany entered a coronavirus lockdown. They tried to head home but the bus taking them to the airport broke down on the motorway. Then Bolivia closed its borders.

Boris blocks

As journalists pushed the UK prime minister for more views on Dominic Cummings, they were generally ignored or silenced.

Journalist jailed in Moscow for one-person protest

A Moscow court on Thursday jailed a prominent anti-Kremlin journalist for a one-person protest during the city's coronavirus lockdown, sentencing him to 15 days in prison, Reuters reported.

Ilya Azar, a journalist at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which is critical of the Kremlin, was detained by police on Tuesday as he stood alone outside the Russian capital's police headquarters to protest against the criminal prosecution of a popular blogger.

Such one-person protests are usually legal in Russia, but Sergei Sobyanin, the city's mayor, has banned public events during the coronavirus pandemic.

French high school return targeted

France will accelerate a plan to re-open high schools and junior high schools across the country, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday.

All schools were shut in March to contain the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. Primary schools have re-opened in most places, but high schools have lagged behind.

Olympics update

Interesting comment coming out from Italy regarding next year's planned games.

Paris to reopen parks and public gardens on 2 June

Paris will reopen parks and public gardens from 2 June, the city's mayor said on Thursday on its websites. France is due to enter a second phase in its relaxation of lockdown rules imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus at the start of next month.

European golf primed for return

European golf outlines its plans for a return to activity with new revamped calendar for the season ahead.

Full story via BBC

WHO official: European deaths spike since March linked to Covid-19

About 159,000 more people in 24 European countries have died since early March than would have ordinarily been expected, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Thursday, with a "significant proportion" of the spike linked to COVID-19.

So far, more than 2 million people in Europe have been sickened by the new coronavirus, up 15% over the past two weeks, with Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Britain leading the way in new infections, WHO European officials said on a call. More than 175,000 people have died.

Cummings

UK police say PM adviser Cummings might have made 'minor' breach of lockdown

British police said Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior adviser Dominic Cummings may have breached coronavirus lockdown rules by driving 26 miles to a castle with his wife and son though they said they would take no further action.

Cummings, the campaigner who helped deliver the 2016 Brexit referendum win and Johnson's 2019 election landslide, has been fighting for his job after revelations about a long road trip at the height of lockdown provoked outrage across Britain.

Cummings has refused to apologise for the trip, involving a 400 km (250 mile) trip to his parents' property in northern England and another trip to a local castle that he said he took to test his eyes and driving ability after falling ill.

Durham Police said Cummings did not commit an offence by locating himself at his father's property in Durham but that the 26-mile trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son might have been a minor breach of regulations.

New European view on Cummings scandal

The weekly New European newspaper made their position clear as the fallout of the Dominic Cummings scandal shows no sign of abating.

Britain's easyJet to axe up to 30% of its workforce

British low cost airline easyJet said it planned to cut up to 30% of its staff, or 4,500 jobs, and shrink its fleet, to fit the smaller market it expects to emerge from the collapse in air travel due to COVID-19.

EasyJet, which employs over 15,000 people in eight countries across Europe, said it would launch a consultation process with its staff in the coming days, acting later than many of its airline peers to announce job cuts as a result of the pandemic.

The novel coronavirus has brought airlines across the world to their knees, grounding planes and forcing them to make tens of thousands of job cuts as they prepare for a travel market which will take three years to recover.

Ryanair, EasyJet's bigger low cost rival, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have over the last month announced 18,000 job cuts between them.

 

Varadkar

Ireland may decide next week to speed up reopening plan

Ireland may next week speed up the reopening of its economy if coronavirus infections remain low, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar stated, though its chief medical officer said he was likely to advise against any such move.

Ireland partially eased stay-at-home restrictions last week, in the first of five stages that constitute one of Europe's most conservative plans for rolling back a lockdown imposed in late March.

Restaurants are set to open in late June, with hairdressers and hotels to follow in July and pubs in August. But Varadkar's caretaker government is coming under pressure from business and some politicians to accelerate the timetable.

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 353 to 179,717

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 353 to 179,717, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

The reported death toll rose by 62 to 8,411, the tally showed.

Australia's A-league to resume in July

Australia's A-League, which was suspended in March because of the coronavirus outbreak, will resume in mid-July providing an agreement can be reached with broadcasters, Football Federation Australia said on Thursday.

The plan for the completion of the last six rounds of the regular season and the championship playoffs follows the easing of social restrictions in Australia with the country having been largely successful in containing COVID-19.

"We are committed to delivering the completion of the A-League 2019-20 season and have agreed a comprehensive plan with the clubs and the (players' union)," FFA chief executive James Johnson said in a statement.

"Ideally mid-June will see players return to training, allowing them to reach the required elite level of fitness for competitive matches to commence by mid-July, and for the A-League Finals Series to be completed by mid-August."

European shares extend gains on stimulus boost

European shares rose for the fourth straight session on Thursday, as optimism over businesses returning to work and a massive stimulus plan for the European Union outweighed concerns over rising U.S.-China tensions.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.6% by 0718 GMT, with travel & leisure, telecoms and automakers leading the gains.

Helsinki

'No evidence' reopening of Finland schools has spread virus faster

Finland has seen no evidence of the coronavirus spreading faster since schools started to reopen in the middle of May, the top health official said on Thursday.

"The time has been short, but so far we have seen no evidence," Mika Salminen, director of health security at the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, told a news conference.

Finland started to reopen schools and daycare centres from May 14 following an almost two-month shutdown.

GSK to produce 1 bln doses of coronavirus vaccine booster in 2021

GlaxoSmithKline Plc will expand production of vaccine efficacy boosters, or adjuvants, to produce 1 billion doses in 2021 for use in shots for COVID-19, the British drugmaker said on Thursday.

The London-listed company said it was in talks with governments on backing for the programme, which would effectively allow for a scaling up of production of future successful vaccines for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

GSK is one of several companies in the race to develop a vaccine for the respiratory illness that currently has no treatment and has already killed about 350,000 people.

The British drugmaker is working on its own COVID vaccine with Sanofi.

Adjuvants have been shown to create a stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections. GSK's adjuvant can reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, which would allow for more vaccines to be made, the British drugmaker said.

Cummings controversy rumbles on in UK as beer 'inspired by Cummings' launched

Independent Scottish brewer Brewdog is poised to release a limited edition Dominic Cummings inspired new beer.

Cummings came under fire over the weekend when it was revealed he broke the UK Government’s own rules on coronavirus travel.

The controversy rumbles on causing divisions internally at the Tory party with PM Boris Johnson's standing by his chief adviser.

Never one to miss an opportunity, Brewdog posted on Facebook asking beer fans to choose from the likes of 'Cummings and Goings', '260 miles' and 'Barnard Castle Eye Test'.

 

Maitlis replaced on Newsnight after: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules" observation

Emily Maitlis was replaced as host of Wednesday night’s episode of Newsnight by another member of the programme’s team after BBC bosses reprimanded her over a monologue in which she attacked the government’s handling of Dominic Cummings’ lockdown trip to Durham.

Australia's rugby league football to kick off as COVID-19 cases slow

Australia's National Rugby League football competition, a bruising body contact sport, will on Thursday resume after a two-month hiatus as the number of coronavirus cases in the country slows and social restrictions are eased.

S.Korea coronavirus cases jump to highest since early April as warehouse outbreak widens

South Korea reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most since April 5 and the third straight day of rising infections, raising the spectre of a second wave of disease in a country widely praised for containing the initial outbreak.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said at least 69 cases so far this week have been linked to a cluster of infections at a logistics facility operated by Coupang Corp, one of the country's largest online shopping firms, in Bucheon, west of Seoul.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the new cases brought the country's total as of midnight on Wednesday to 11,344 with 269 deaths. South Korea's robust programme of testing earlier this year was credited with helping the number of deaths comparatively low in a global pandemic that has now killed more than 350,00.

"Their names and their stories" 

As the US death toll passes the 100,000 mark, the New York Times highlights 1,000 of the people who have been killed by Covid-19 in the country:

Coronavirus live coverage: welcome

Hello and welcome to our global coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now registered well over five and a half million cases worldwide and has caused over 355,000 deaths.

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

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