Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:
Fears grow of US coronavirus surge from George Floyd protests
Governors, mayors and public health officials across the US are warning about a potential spike in coronavirus infections resulting from the escalating protests over the death of George Floyd. Leaders have grown alarmed due to images of mass gatherings, where many of the demonstrators are not wearing masks.
US sends Brazil 2m doses of hydroxychloroquine, despite medical warnings
The US has supplied Brazil with 2 million doses of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for use against the coronavirus, despite medical warnings about associated risks associated. It comes only days after the World Health Organization suspended testing the drug on Covid-19 patients due to health concerns.
West Bank poverty may double over pandemic
Poverty in the occupied West Bank may double as Palestinians are hammered by the economic fallout of the pandemic, the World Bank has warned. Despite low infection rates, the pandemic is having a devastating economic effect due to loss of income and increased spending on healthcare.
Health officials make last-minute plea to stop lockdown easing in England
Senior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to stop Monday’s easing of the lockdown in England, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection. They said the new rules, including allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors and in private gardens, were “not supported by the science”.
Chile’s coronavirus death toll passes 1,000
More that 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Chile, the health ministry has reported, with 827 of the deaths occurring in May. The country has had 99,688 confirmed cases and 1,054 deaths.
El Salvador’s president clashes with congress over reopening economy
El Salvador’s congress has passed a new emergency bill to gradually reopen the Central American nation’s economy, however, president Nayib Bukele has vowed to veto the measure. Bukele argues it is too risky to reopen the country at this point.
South Africa delays reopening of schools
South Africa has pushed back Monday’s reopening of schools by a week, the Department of Basic Education has announced, saying that many are not ready to welcome pupils. Unions have said schools do not have protective equipment to keep teachers and pupils safe, while a quarter of rural schools lack running water for hand-washing.
India reopens country except for ‘containment zones’
Prime minister Narendra Modi’s government has extended lockdown until 30 June in a number of zones identified as ‘high-risk’ by individual states, while the rest of India prepares to reopen. The number of cases confirmed in India has reached a daily record high during the past 48 hours, and critics argue Modi is leaving the responsibility of dealing with the virus to individual states.
Victorians urged to keep working from home if possible
The premier of Victoria, Australia, has urged people to continue to work from home if possible. Daniel Andrews raised the issue of the infection risks involved in sharing office spaces, as well as commuting.