Coronavirus Live Updates: Restaurants, Cafes And Bars Reopen In Sydney, Australia
More than 4.4 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 302,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
Brazil’s Health Minister Resigns After Just Weeks In The Job — 5/15/20, 12 p.m. ET
Brazil’s health minister has quit after less than a month in the role, the latest setback in the country’s chaotic response to coronavirus.
HuffPost Brazil reports (in Portuguese) that Nelson Teich, a doctor who was an adviser to President Jair Bolsonaro’s 2018 election campaign, took office on April 17. Teich and his predecessor, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, also a doctor, had rejected pressure from Bolsonaro to expand the use of chloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment.
Last week, Teich said he was not consulted before Bolsonaro issued a decree allowing gyms, beauty parlors and hairdressers to open for business. Bolsonaro’s handling of coronavirus has been criticized globally, as he has minimized the severity of COVID-19 and told Brazilians to ignore lockdown guidance.
Brazil has now surpassed Germany and France in the number of coronavirus cases. More than 200,000 people were infected with the virus as of Thursday, when the health ministry reported 844 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 13,933.
— James Martin
China Marks One Month Without Any Announced Deaths — 5/15/2020, 5:50 a.m. ET
It’s been a month since China has announced any deaths from the coronavirus, and there are fewer than 100 patients in treatment for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported. The last day the National Health Commission reported a death was April 14.
China has maintained social distancing measures and bans on foreigners entering the country, but has been opening up both large and small businesses to get the economy going again.
The central city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, is currently attempting to test all 11 million inhabitants in 10 days after six new cases were detected last weekend.
— Liza Hearon
Coronavirus Could Reduce 260 Million Indians To Poverty — 5/15/20, 3:45 a.m. ET
At least 260 million people in India could be pushed into poverty due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus, putting at risk historic gains made in poverty reduction, according to new estimates.
India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, according to a United Nations study last year. This was the fastest absolute reduction in poverty among 10 countries encompassing close to 2 billion people, researchers noted, even as 369 million Indians remained poor, the highest globally.
But as the coronavirus batters India’s economy and hundreds of millions of Indians struggle to make a living under a punitive national lockdown, more than 260 million Indians — who are presently classified as vulnerable to poverty — are at risk of becoming the new poor, according to researchers from the U.N. and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown on March 24 —which has since been extended twice as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in India — putting an immediate freeze on economic activity and disrupting India’s huge informal sector workforce.
Coronavirus infections in India reached 78,000 on Thursday, while 2,549 have died, according to official estimates.
Read more here.
— Rohit Inani
Restaurants, Cafes And Bars Reopen In Sydney After Lockdown — 5/15/20, 3:20 a.m ET
Restaurants, cafes and bars in Australia’s most populous state reopened on Friday after a two-month shutdown under coronavirus lockdown measures, boosting the federal government’s bid to get people back in work.
The easing of quarantine measures in New South Wales (NSW) comes just a day after the national statistics office reported unprecedented record-high job losses and Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that worse was still to come.
In Sydney, locals braved a cold, wet morning to catch up with friends and family over a coffee.
“It is such a treat,” said Jess Best, who met up with a friend in a cafe in the city’s eastern suburbs. “To be able to sit down with other people around and chat to my friend. I can have a normal morning, not hiding away in my home.”
NSW officials reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest daily tally in just over a week. The national daily increase has slowed to an average of less than 20 a day.
Officials have credited lockdown measures adopted in March, including closing the country’s borders and ordering people to stay home unless on essential business, with constraining the spread of the virus. Australia has recorded about 7,000 COVID-19 cases, including 98 deaths, significantly below the levels reported in North America and Europe.
Read more here.
— James Martin
For more on the pandemic, go here.
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