Brazil deaths may surpass 125,000 by August: Coronavirus updates

Tuesday, May 26

20:47 GMT - Canada army reports horrific conditions in nursing homes hit by Covid-19 

Conditions at Ontario nursing homes hard-hit by COVID-19 outbreaks, as described by Canadian soldiers helping out there, are "deeply disturbing," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

The Canadian military deployed troops at the height of the pandemic in April to five elderly care homes in the nation's most populous province to fill severe staffing shortages.

In a report they said they found blatant disregard for infection control measures and "horrible" care of seniors that verged on abusive.

The soldiers said that among other forms of mistreatment, residents had been "left in beds soiled in diapers," crying for help and forcefully fed, causing choking.

"It is deeply disturbing," Trudeau told a daily briefing.

After reading the report, he said: "I had obviously a range of emotions of anger, of sadness, of frustration, of grief."

20:23 GMT - Brazil surpasses US in daily coronavirus death toll

Brazil daily coronavirus deaths were higher than fatalities in the US for the first time over the last 24 hours, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Brazil registered 807 deaths over the last 24 hours, whereas 620 died in the US.

Brazil has the second worst outbreak in the world, with 374,898 cases, behind the US with 1.6 million cases. 

WATCH: Brazil's Bolsonaro: Turning COVID-19 denial into media spectacle

20:17 GMT - Canada's Quebec provides $200m aid to Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil, its spotlight dimmed by the coronavirus pandemic, will receive $200 million in aid from Canada's Quebec province, an official said, as part of broader efforts to revive and keep the hard-hit international entertainment group based in Montreal.

Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said the province has an agreement in principle that would give it the option to buy a majority stake in Cirque if shareholders TPG and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd decide to pull out.

19:55 GMT - Chile's hospital ICUs near full capacity 

Intensive care units in Chile's hospitals are nearly at capacity amid a flood of coronavirus patients, authorities, and doctors are having to make wrenching choices over which patients should get available beds.

Health officials said 95 percent of the country's 2,400 ICU beds are occupied even after a doubling of capacity from the levels in March. They announced plans to add 400 more critical care beds in the coming days.

"This is an extraordinarily difficult time," Health Minister Jaime Manalich said.

WATCH - Chile COVID-19 lockdown: Poor Santiago residents demand food, aid

19:46 GMT - Mexican coronavirus probe finds dozens of unlicensed retirement homes

Officials have discovered dozens of unlicensed retirement homes in northern Mexico, raising fears that so far undetected coronavirus clusters may emerge in the thinly regulated sector.

After outbreaks in three registered private facilities in the state of Nuevo Leon sent the health department scrambling to investigate the industry, it shuttered 40 unregistered homes in and around the city of Monterrey.

As of May 25, there had been 88 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the three homes in Nuevo Leon, the department said on Monday. One person tested positive in a fourth home.


19:36 GMT - Pence's press secretary back to work after recovering from COVID-19

US Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary Katie Miller said she was back at work after recovering from COVID-19, a case that helped encourage White House officials to start wearing masks and take stricter safety precautions around President Trump.

Miller, who is married to Trump's immigration adviser and speech writer Stephen Miller, said she had returned after receiving three negative tests for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

19:27 GMT - Conference raises $650m for Venezuela migrants

A global conference to support millions of migrants fleeing Venezuela raised more than $650m in donations, a result hailed as "exceptional" by the UN refugee chief. 

Ministers and officials from nearly 40 countries, as well as UN agencies and international finance institutions, pledged help at the event, held by video because of coronavirus. 

Including loans, a total of $2.79bn was raised at the conference, organised jointly by the EU and the Spanish government.

19:18 GMT - NY governor floats infrastructure projects to reboot economy

Vehicles move through a nearly empty Times Square during the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Coronavirus ravaged the state of New York and left it with a gloomy financial outlook [File:AP]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo floated a number of major infrastructure projects to reboot the US economy post-pandemic, saying he would raise the issue at a meeting tomorrow with Trump.

"Let's do something creative, let's do it fast. Let's put Americans back to work," Cuomo said at his daily briefing, held specially at the New York Stock Exchange which opened for the first time since March 23.

Among his examples were building projects considered for many years pre-pandemic, including subway extensions, improving public transportation between the city and its airports, and developing renewable energy.

Coronavirus ravaged the state of New York and left it with a gloomy financial outlook, leaving a $13bn budget deficit.

19:00 GMT - Germany extends virus distance rules to June 29

Germany has extended social distancing rules aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus epidemic to June 29, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government said.

Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather in public places but Germans should be in contact with as few people as possible, according to the rules agreed between the federal government and 16 states.

18:45 GMT - India backs hydroxychloroquine for virus prevention

India's top biomedical research body backed the use of the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine as a preventive against coronavirus, after the WHO suspended clinical trials of the drug over safety concerns.

Observational and case control studies in India showed there were "no major side effects" of taking the drug as a prophylactic, ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava said. Cases of nausea, vomiting and heart palpitations were noted, he added.

The body said all healthcare workers in hospitals and some frontline personnel could now take the drug for up to several weeks under strict medical supervision.

"We recommended that for prophylaxis, it should be continued, because there is no harm. Benefit may be there," Bhargava told reporters.


18:30 GMT - Saudi public sector employees will return to work starting May 31

Saudi public sector employees will start returning to work gradually as of Sunday May 31, after more than two months of suspension amid strict measures to help curb the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Public sector workers will eventually resume work as normal as of June 14, Minister of Human Resources Ahmed al-Rajhi said in a televised speech.

On March 16, Saudi Arabia suspended work in all government sectors except health and security as part of the efforts to contain the pandemic.

18:00 GMT - South Africa to allow places of worship to operate from June

South Africa's President has announced that churches and other recognised places of worship will operate from June when the country eases lockdown restrictions further, but will be limited to 50 people or less.

"The faith community is an integral part of the South African life and has made a great contribution in the fight against the coronavirus," Ramaphosa said in a televised address.


17:45 GMT - Rome Colosseum to open after three-month shutdown

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome
Tickets to the Colosseum also allow entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. [File:Alberto Lingria/Reuters]

The Colosseum will start receiving visitors again after three months of shutdown during COVID-19 containment measures.

To lower the risk of possible contagion at one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions, tourists must wear protective masks and have their temperatures taken before entering the ancient arena, which re-opens to tourism on June 1.

Entrance times will be staggered to discourage crowding and tickets must be bought online.

A reduced-price ticket will be available for afternoon visitors in an effort to encourage Romans to visit the monument at the end of their working day, especially while Italy awaits for tourism from overseas to resume.

17:42 GMT - Growing resistance against Latin America lockdowns

There is growing anger as countries in the new hotspot of the coronavirus pandemic struggle to cope with the outbreak.

Poor people across Latin America say they are the ones suffering the most from lockdowns and expenditure cuts.

And it is leading to protests throughout the region. Al Jazeera's Alexi O'Brien reports:

WATCH: Growing resistance against Latin America lockdowns

17:30 GMT - Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli says he had coronavirus

Renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli said he had caught the novel coronavirus but was now recovered, describing the experience as "a nightmare".

Bocelli, who has been blind since age 12, raised spirits in Italy during the pandemic, which has killed nearly 33,000 people, by singing alone in Milan's Duomo on April 12.

That was just over a month after the 61-year-old had tested positive for the virus.

"It was a tragedy, my whole family was contaminated," he told journalists at a hospital in Pisa where he had gone with his wife to donate their plasma for COVID-19 research.

Brazil deaths may surpass 125,000 by August: Coronavirus updates Brazil deaths may surpass 125,000 by August: Coronavirus updates Reviewed by Anson Moore on May 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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