Brazil has registered 10,222 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and a further 751 deaths, the health ministry has said. That brings the total number of cases to 145,328 and the death toll to 9,897.
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The number of coronavirus cases in Ghana has increased by almost 30% in a single day. More than 500 workers at an industrial facility in the country tested positive, out of 1,300 tested.
The overall number of cases in Ghana rose to 4,012, including 18 deaths, from 3,091 on Thursday. This figure is the highest in West Africa, but it’s important to note that Ghana has conducted many more tests than other countries in the region.
Boris Johnson will announce on Sunday that all travellers coming to the UK will be quarantined for a fortnight, according to the Times newspaper.
“Passengers arriving at airports and ports including Britons returning from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days,” the paper said, citing a government source.
Travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt, as will lorry drivers bringing crucial supplies. The measures are believed to be coming into force in early June.
Authorities will carry out spot checks and hand out to fines of up to £1,000, or possibly deportation, for those found to be breaking the rules, the report said. It added that travellers will have to provide the UK address at which they intend to self-isolate.
Registered voters in California will receive mail-in ballots for the November election, state governor Gavin Newsom has said. He added that the state was also working to set up safe places for in-person voting.
California’s secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who joined Newsom by phone during the state’s daily coronavirus briefing, said California was the first state to send every voter a ballot in advance of the election. Return postage will be prepaid.
Concerns have been growing about the effect of coronavirus on in-person voting.
Airline company Delta is to suspend services to 10 US airports until at least September, due to the massive drop in air travel caused by the pandemic.
Delta Air Lines Inc is halting flights to Chicago Midway; Oakland International Airport; Hollywood Burbank; Long Beach; Providence, RI, Westchester County Airport; Stewart International; Akron-Canton, Ohio; Manchester, NH; and Newport News/Williamsburg. It has chosen these airports as it services other airports nearby.
Delta is cutting flights by 85% in the second quarter and seeking permission from American regulators to suspend flights to nine cities that could be served by other airports, including three in Michigan.
According to the company, between April 1 and April 22, between just one and 14 passengers flew daily on the airline’s planes each way from those nine airports.
In the last two weeks, demand for air travel has begun to rise again, but is still down approximately 94% compared to last year.
The US has accused China and Russia of increasing cooperation to spread false narratives about the coronavirus pandemic, AFP are reporting.
Lea Gabrielle, coordinator of the State Department’s global engagement centre, which tracks foreign propaganda, said Beijing was increasingly adopting techniques honed by Moscow.
“Even before the Covid-19 crisis, we assessed a certain level of coordination between Russia and the PRC in the realm of propaganda,” Gabrielle told reporters. “But with this pandemic the cooperation has accelerated rapidly.
“We see this convergence as a result of what we consider to be pragmatism between the two actors who want to shape public understanding of the Covid pandemic for their own purposes.”
The global engagement centre said earlier that thousands of Russian-linked social media accounts were spreading conspiracies about the pandemic, including notions that the virus, detected in Wuhan, China, was created by the United States.
Tensions have increased recently, as the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, persisted with allegations that coronavirus originated in a Wuhan laboratory – despite the WHO and the US government’s own top epidemiologist saying there was no evidence the virus came from a lab.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed cooperation over the pandemic in a phonecall with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on Friday.
Putin told him that Russia “opposes the attempts by some forces to use the epidemic as a pretext to blame China and will stand firmly by China’s side”, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
Thousands of cyclists have taken to the streets of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, to protest against the government and its coronavirus restrictions.
The demonstration came after allegations of government corruption in purchasing face masks and ventilators surfaced last month. The government has denied wrongdoing. Protesters also accuse the government of using coronavirus to restrict personal freedoms.
Slovenia has confirmed 1,450 coronavirus cases and 100 deaths, and introduced lockdown measures in mid March.
Here are some photographs:
Second world war soldiers, sailors and airmen would “recognise and admire” the efforts NHS, care and key workers, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has said in her VE (Victory in Europe) day speech.
She praised the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying that empty streets have been filled with “love and care”, as she commemorated 75 years to the day Britain and its Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender at the end of the Second World War.
The Queen also highlighted the relevance of the VE day message to the coronavirus pandemic – “never give up, never despair”.
Peru is extending its lockdown for another two weeks after 54 days of quarantine, Peru’s president Martín Vizcarra announced in a press briefing.
“We are in an extreme situation. We all have to work together,” he said on Friday, stressing that the country had been unable to sufficiently cut the rising rate of infections amid several outbreaks in different parts of the country.
Covid-19 hotspots have flared up on the country’s northern coast, where social distancing rules have been routinely flouted, and in the isolated Amazon city of Iquitos which suffered from a critical lack of medical supplies, particularly oxygen.
Despite one of the most stringent lockdowns in Latin America, Peru recorded more than 58,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,627 deaths on Friday.
Even in the capital Lima, medical attention was on the verge of collapse despite the best efforts of hospital workers who lacked PPE. However, Vizcarra announced an increase in the number of intensive care beds to 937.
The popular leader pointed out that banks, bus stops, and, most of all, food markets had been the principal points of contagion. He ordered the closure of 36 “critical” markets where spot tests revealed an infection rate of up to 40% among stallholders, and clampdowns in a total of 380 across the country.
With Mother’s Day looming on Sunday, Vizcarra issued a stark warning to his family-minded compatriots, as he paid tribute to all the Peruvian mothers working through the pandemic.
“The greatest desire is to go to your mother and give her a big hug (…) but we cannot do that, because we are responsible,” he said.
“The best way of protecting your mother is to keep her far away. It’s hard but we will beat this [virus].”
Amid the growing toll on mental health after close to two months of quarantine, Vizcarra said that children under the age of 14 would be allowed to venture out with an adult up to 500m from their homes from Monday 18 May.
Mike Pence’s press secretary tests positive for Covid-19
The press secretary of US vice-president Mike Pence, who is married to one of President Donald Trump’s senior advisors, has tested positive for coronavirus.
The test result of Katie Miller, who is married to White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller, was revealed by Trump in a meeting with Republican members of congress on Friday.
“Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive,” Trump said. He noted that he had not personally been in contact with her but that she had spent time with the Vice President. “I understand Mike has been tested…and he tested negative.”
The news comes a day after it was revealed that Trump’s personal valet had tested positive for the virus.
The news of the infections has raised concern about the spread of coronavirus in the White House’s inner circle.
However, a senior administration official stressed that Trump and Pence have not been in recent contact with Miller, according to a media pool report referenced by Reuters.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has sought to defend administration efforts to protect Trump and Pence, including contact tracing and adherence to national guidelines.
“We’ve taken every single precaution to protect the president,” McEnany insisted to reporters at a White House news briefing on Friday.
Car company Honda says it will gradually resume production at its US and Canadian auto plants from May 11, Reuters are reporting.
However, Tesla has not been approved to resume production, a health official for Alameda County, California, has said. It’s currently unclear exactly where these restrictions for Tesla apply – I’ll update you as I find out more.
Apple will reopen a handful of stores across four US states from next week.
The company said it will open “some” stores in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho and South Carolina. Its Boise, Idaho location will open Monday, with others to follow later in the week.
However, the company says it will require customers to wear masks and undergo temperature checks before entering its stores.
Social-distancing rules will limit the number of customers in the store at a time, which could create delays for walk-in customers, the company warned.
Apple executives have said they are examining local health data at the county and city level in each community where the company has physical stores to determine when to reopen.