Latest update: 21/05/2020 08:39
Latin America has overtaken the United States and Europe in the past week to report the largest portion of new daily coronavirus cases globally, representing a new phase in the virus’ spread.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* More than 5.01 million people have been reported to have been infected globally and 327,359 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0441 GMT on Thursday.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click here.
* Estonia has started to test one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, seeking a safer return to workplaces following the coronavirus lockdown.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a programme to test and trace those suspected of having been in contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 would be in place by June 1.
* Russia recorded its lowest total of new coronavirus cases since May 1 on Wednesday, with more patients discharged from hospital than new cases for the first time, which officials said showed that the outbreak was stabilising at last.
* Turkey does not risk a second wave of infections from the new coronavirus at the moment and is preparing to start controlled “medical tourism” with 31 countries.
* U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the $2 billion that Beijing has pledged to fight the pandemic “paltry” compared to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars of damage.
* Brazil’s outbreak worsened on Wednesday and the South American nation could soon have the second-highest number of cases in the world.
* Brazil issued new guidelines for wider use of anti-malarial drugs in mild coronavirus cases, a treatment touted by President Jair Bolsonaro in defiance of public health experts warning of possible health risks.
* U.S. immunotherapy company Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection produced protective antibodies and immune system responses in mice and guinea pigs.
* Bolivian authorities fired the health minister and opened an investigation of potential corruption over allegations that officials bought ventilators at inflated prices.
* The novel coronavirus is behaving differently in patients in northeast China who have contracted it recently compared with early cases, indicating it is changing as it spreads, a prominent doctor said.
* Thailand expects to have a vaccine ready next year, a senior official said, after finding positive trial results in mice.
* Japan will lift its state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo on Thursday as the number of new coronavirus infections drop.
* Cambodia has lifted a ban on entry of visitors from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the United States, the health ministry said.
* Australian state and territory leaders bickered over whether to reopen internal borders as part of measures to ease coronavirus restrictions.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South Africa recorded its first neonatal coronavirus death on Wednesday, as the death toll jumped by 27 to 339, the health ministry said.
* The International Monetary Fund approved a $396 million loan to Jordan to address pressing financing needs.
* Egypt will deduct 1% from people’s salaries for 12 months beginning on July 1, according to a draft law approved by the cabinet.
* Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate by 225 basis points to 9.25%, in response to economic turmoil from the pandemic.
* Japan’s exports in April fell the most since the 2009 global financial crisis, pushing the world’s third-largest economy deeper into recession.
* Australia’s economic future was “unusually uncertain” while growth was expected to remain in the slow lane without a medical breakthrough to prevent and treat COVID-19, the head of the country’s central bank said.
* South Korean exports for the first 20 days of May tumbled 20.3% from the same period a year earlier, as U.S.- and E.U.-bound shipments continued to collapse.
* U.S. carriers JetBlue Airways Corp and United Airlines Holdings Inc announced fresh safety measures aimed at restoring confidence in air travel as several executives pointed to signs domestic demand is improving.
* Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said he was less opposed to negative interest rates than before the coronavirus crisis escalated.
* Millions more Americans likely filed for unemployment benefits last week as backlogs continue to be cleared and disruptions from the novel coronavirus unleash a second wave of layoffs.
* Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc plans to cut at least 9,000 jobs, or more than a sixth of its workforce.
Pictured: Passengers stand in line to have documents checked at a Soekarno Hatta Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana