Live Coronavirus News Updates – The New York Times


In some places, it appears the virus has only now arrived.

The coronavirus pandemic is ebbing in some of the countries that were hit hard early on, but the number of new cases is growing faster than ever worldwide, with more than 100,000 reported each day.

Twice as many countries have reported a rise in new cases over the past two weeks as have reported declines, according to a New York Times database. On May 30, more new cases were reported in a single day worldwide than ever before: 134,064. The increase has been driven by emerging hot spots in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Over all, there have been more than 6.3 million reported cases worldwide and more than 380,000 known deaths. More than a quarter of all known deaths have been in the United States. But the geography of the pandemic is changing quickly.

The increases in some countries can be attributed to improved testing programs. But in many places, it appears that the virus has only now arrived with a wide scope and fatal force.

Brazil is reporting nearly as many deaths each day as the United States. Egypt has recorded an exponential rise in known infections. And Bangladesh and Indonesia have reported steep increases in cases for the first time.

Here is a look at some of the countries where the number of new cases has been doubling every two to three weeks.

  • The death toll in Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, passed 30,000 on Tuesday, when officials reported 1,262 deaths, which was the nation’s highest one-day total. President Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly minimized the threat of the virus, said, “We are sorry for all the dead, but that’s everyone’s destiny.” Brazil now has more than half a million known cases, second only to the United States. But it has no health minister: Two were forced out in less than a month after they balked at expanding the use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug promoted by President Trump and subsequently Mr. Bolsonaro that has not been proved effective against the virus. And despite the growing number of cases and hospitals that are close to capacity, businesses have started reopening in major cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Manaus and Vitória.

  • Peru has more than 170,000 confirmed cases, despite taking the virus seriously early on. The president, Martín Vizcarra, ordered one of the first national lockdowns in South America. Though the official coronavirus death toll stands at around 5,000, Peru had 14,000 more deaths than usual in May, suggesting that a growing number of people are dying at home as hospitals struggle to handle a flood of Covid-19 cases. The pandemic provoked an exodus from Lima, the capital, as people unable to work fled by bus, and even by foot, to family farms. It is widely expected that the number of new cases and of deaths will continue to rise in coming weeks as winter nears and the economy slowly reopens.

  • For months, Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, seemed to avoid the worst of the pandemic. In early March, Egypt confirmed 45 cases on a Nile tour boat in the area, among both crew and passengers. But recently the number of cases there has been rising significantly, reaching 27,536 on Tuesday. The recent death of a young doctor, who was denied treatment for Covid-19 at an overwhelmed hospital, ignited a revolt by members of the medical staff. They said the government had failed to provide adequate protective equipment and training to front-line workers.

  • With more than 35,000 confirmed infections, the most in Africa, South Africa still has a growing number of new cases, despite enacting a strict lockdown in March that included a ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol. The prohibition was lifted this month even though the total number of cases continued to rise.

  • Bangladesh now has 55,000 known cases, and its troubles were compounded last month by Cyclone Amphan, a deadly storm that tore through communities under lockdown. This week, the country reported its first death from Covid-19 in a refugee camp: A 71-year-old Rohingya man died May 31 while receiving treatment in an isolation center. His death raised fears about the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who, after fleeing Myanmar, live in camps with tightly packed tents and shacks.

In addition, 623,000 new claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal program intended to help freelancers, gig workers, the self-employed and others not normally eligible for state jobless benefits.

The job market is “crawling out of the hole now,” said Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities. “We do have the worst behind us,” he said.

But for many jobless workers, stability remains a distant prospect. On Friday, the government will report the unemployment rate for May, which economists expect will have increased from 14.7 percent in April.

Companies are still laying off employees, most likely moving from the restaurant workers and hotel employees who lost their jobs early in the pandemic to people in management positions, economists said. And state unemployment offices are wading through a backlog of claims, processing older applications that may only now be appearing in official counts.

Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, was suspended today, and lawmakers and workers were told to stay away after a lawmaker said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Officials said they had begun an epidemiological investigation and would examine security-camera images to identify anyone who had come into close contact with the lawmaker, Sami Abou Shahadeh, a member of the predominantly Arab political alliance known as the Joint List.

Shmulik Dahan, a Knesset spokesman, said the day’s two scheduled committee hearings were canceled but that the building had not been completely shut down. Normal activity would resume depending on the results of the epidemiological investigation, he said.

Mr. Abou Shahadeh, 44, had been photographed in crowds without a mask at a protest over the fatal police shooting of Iyad Halak, an unarmed, autistic Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem who was killed Saturday, and while paying his respects at the Halak family’s mourning tent.

In an interview, Mr. Abou Shahadeh said that he had been urging Israelis for weeks to follow the government’s rules for curbing the virus, even as the public’s diligence ebbed.

“I did everything I could,” he said. “People are seizing on those two photos, but it was right after I’d done interviews. There are dozens of other photos where I am wearing a mask.”

Mr. Abou Shahadeh said he and an aide, who tested positive after feeling tired last week, were not showing symptoms. “It could be that I’m just at the beginning, but I’m feeling well right now,” he said.

He said he had mixed with large numbers of people, including at two large funerals on May 28. One of them was for Ayman Safiah, a well-known dancer whose body was found on the beach near Haifa.

“I wore the mask at both funerals, except when Ayman’s mother spoke and I started to cry,” Mr. Abou Shahadeh said.

Mr. Abou Shahadeh announced his diagnosis on Twitter on Wednesday night, appealing “to anyone who was in my immediate area to go into isolation and get tested.”

Bastille Day parade in Paris will be scaled down and will salute health workers.

The traditional Bastille Day parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris will be replaced by a smaller military ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic and will include a tribute to health workers, the French president’s office said on Thursday.

“Given the exceptional situation that our country is currently going through and the uncertainties that remain as to the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in the coming weeks, the July 14 national day celebrations will be maintained but adapted to the circumstances,” the office said in a statement.

Every July 14, thousands of people crowd on the Champs-Élysées, the famous avenue that runs from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, to watch soldiers march by, tanks roll past and jets fly overhead. Mr. Trump attended in 2017.

There have been no signs of a second wave of infections in France so far, and restrictions have gradually been lifted: Most recently, cafes and restaurants around the country were allowed to reopen. But the authorities have warned that the epidemic is not over and have kept some limits in place, most notably a ban on large public gatherings.

This year’s Bastille Day parade will be replaced by a military ceremony on Place de la Concorde, with only about 2,000 participants and 2,500 guests, who will have to follow “the current physical distancing rules,” the president’s office said. An air force flyover will still be included.

The ceremony will also pay tribute to the French Army for contributing to the national coronavirus response — the military deployed a field hospital in the badly affected Alsace region and helped move patients around the country — as well as to French health workers and “all of the actors mobilized against the virus,” the presidency said. It was not immediately clear what shape that tribute would take.

Germans will receive 300 euros, or about $336, per child, pay less tax on daily items and be charged less for electricity, under a €130 billion, or about $146 billion, stimulus plan agreed to by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Ms. Merkel called the package, which was agreed to late Wednesday, a “bold response” to the pandemic downturn.

The plan also includes €5.3 billion for the social security system, €10 billion to help municipalities cover housing and other costs and €1.9 billion for cultural institutions and nonprofits.

The plan requires new borrowing. Ms. Merkel’s government abandoned its adherence to a balanced budget in March, when it passed a €750 billion rescue package that included taking on more than €150 billion of fresh debt.

“We need to get out of this crisis with an oomph,” the finance minister, Olaf Scholz, said.

Here are some other developments from around the world.

  • The authorities in Ecuador raided the home of former President Abdalá Bucaram on Wednesday as part of an investigation into racketeering and corruption related to the acquisition of medicine and protective equipment for the country’s hospitals during the pandemic.

  • Italians, who often have to fight through throngs of tourists just to walk the street, are getting to experience something they had only dreamed of: a tourist-free visit to some of the world’s greatest — and most popular — museums.

  • Turkey reopened border gates with Iran and Iraq to international freight transportation. The gates, Gurbulak, which links to Iran, and Habur, which links to Iraq, are the main crossings between Turkey and the two neighboring countries. After a ban on travel between major Turkish cities was lifted on June 1, about two million people hit the road, most of them going to holiday resorts in the south, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

  • Spain is pushing to reopen borders with France and Portugal on June 22 in a bid to fast-track its economic recovery. The Spanish government is planning to lift the state of emergency, which has been in place since mid-March, on June 21. Spain still has a 14-day quarantine order for visitors, which does not expire until July 1, leading a Portuguese minister to question this week why the border with Spain should open earlier than anticipated.

George Floyd had the coronavirus weeks before his death, an autopsy report shows.

George Floyd had the virus in early April, nearly two months before he died in police custody, according to a full autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner on Wednesday.

Dr. Andrew M. Baker, the county’s top medical examiner, said that the Minnesota Department of Health had swabbed Mr. Floyd’s nose after his death, and that he had tested positive for the virus, but that it was likely a lasting positive result from his previous infection.

There is no indication that the virus played any role in his death, and Dr. Baker said Mr. Floyd was likely asymptomatic at the time of his death.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner who was among two doctors who conducted a private autopsy for Mr. Floyd’s family last week, said county officials did not tell him that Mr. Floyd had tested positive for Covid-19.

“The funeral director wasn’t told, and we weren’t told, and now a lot of people are running around trying to get tested,” Dr. Baden said. “If you do the autopsy and it’s positive for the coronavirus, it’s usual to tell everyone who is going to be in touch with the body. There would have been more care.”

The four police officers who were charged in Mr. Floyd’s death should also get tested, as should some of the witnesses, Dr. Baden said. “I’m not angry,” he said. “But there would have been more care.”

The British government is hosting an international gathering today that aims to raise at least $7.4 billion for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, an initiative founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 20 years ago, the alliance said in a statement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will be a keynote speaker at the meeting, is expected to say that the vaccine effort is the most “essential shared endeavor of our lifetimes.”

“I hope this summit will be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease,” Mr. Johnson will say, according to prepared remarks. The gathering will bring together heads of state and leading figures such as Mr. Gates and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chairwoman of the vaccine alliance’s board, who said in a tweet that the coronavirus “is a reminder of the importance of resilient health systems.”

At least 39,728 people have died in Britain because of the coronavirus, according to the British government, but the country has been gradually reopening. Lawmakers returned to Parliament on Tuesday. That decision was criticized after Alok Sharma, the business secretary, seemed unwell and sweated profusely during a statement he made in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Mr. Sharma was subsequently tested for the coronavirus and went home to self-isolate, a spokeswoman said today, adding that he had begun to feel unwell when he was in the chamber.

While the National Basketball Association’s team owners are preparing to vote today on a plan to resume play, Major League Baseball’s efforts to return to the field have stalled as owners and the players’ union battle over the length of a reconstituted season.

The N.B.A. plan calls for bringing back 22 of the league’s 30 teams and stationing them all at Walt Disney World in Florida, where they would each play eight games to decide a 16-team playoff field. Fans would not be present. The proposal, which needs approval from 23 of the owners, is expected to pass and then be presented to the union, whose president, Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has been working on the proposal with the N.B.A. commissioner, Adam Silver.

For M.L.B., team owners have proposed an 82-game schedule, just over half of the usual 162 regular-season games. The union, long considered the most tenacious in American professional sports, countered with a 114-game proposal, which the owners reportedly rejected on Wednesday. Now the owners are threatening to schedule only 50 games.

Like most major U.S. sports organizations, the N.B.A. and M.L.B. shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. At the time, they were in very different positions, the N.B.A. deep into its 82-game regular season and just weeks away starting the playoffs, while M.L.B. was in spring training, two weeks from its first official game of the year.

On Wednesday, Major League Soccer players ratified a new labor agreement and agreed to turn this season into a tournament at the site the N.B.A. has also chosen, the Disney World sports complex. The National Hockey League and the National Women’s Soccer League had previously announced plans for abbreviated seasons. All of the plans hinge on approval from public health officials.

Reporting was contributed by Rachel Abrams, Manuela Andreoni, Aurelien Breeden, José María León Cabrera, Brian X. Chen, Michael Cooper, David M. Halbfinger, Tiffany Hsu, Nelson D. Schwartz, Melissa Eddy, Jack Ewing, Joshua Keller, Iliana Magra, Raphael Minder, Elisabetta Povoledo, Tyler Kepner, Adam Rasgon, Kaly Soto, Marc Stein, Mitra Taj and Safak Timur.





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