Coronavirus battleground shifts to Latin America: Live updates | News

  • BrazilThe coronavirus outbreak worsened on Wednesday and the South American country may soon have the second highest number of cases in the world, as the Ministry of Health recorded 888 new deaths and almost 20,000 new infections in a single day, raising the total cases to 291,579 and almost 19,000 deaths.

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Peru has exceeded 100,000, making it the country with the second highest number of cases in South America after Brazil. It has more than 3,000 deaths. Mexico recorded more than 54,000 cases and 5,666 deaths, while Chile has 53,617 cases and 544 deaths.

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  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recorded 106,000 cases worldwide, the highest in a single day, raising concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in poor countries.

  • Globally, there were more than 4.96 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 326,000 people died, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.7 million people have recovered.

  • The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic is believed to have originated, has completely banned hunting, breeding and human consumption of wild animals.

Here are all the latest updates:

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Thursday, May 21

03:45 GMT – Japan closes emergency order in Osaka, two other areas

Japan's Economy Minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus emergency state in Osaka and two neighboring prefectures in the west, where the infection is considered slow, maintaining the measure in effect in the Tokyo and Hokkaido region.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters that experts at the meeting approved the plan to suspend the measure in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo.

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The measure will be maintained in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, in addition to Hokkaido, where infections have decreased but need further improvement, according to the AP news agency report.

03:13 GMT – Trump threatens funds for U.S. states by facilitating vote during pandemic

President Donald Trump has threatened to raise federal funds for two electoral states of Michigan and Nevada, which are trying to make it easier and safer to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.

He later turned away from this threat, but maintained his unconfirmed claim that the widespread postal vote promotes "a lot of illegality". The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends voting by mail as a safe option during the pandemic.

Trump has repeatedly said, without evidence, that the ballots sent allow for widespread fraud and publicly feared that widespread availability could get so many people to vote that Republicans would lose in November.

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02:50 GMT – Cambodia suspends six countries' entry ban as coronavirus decreases

Cambodia has announced the lifting of the travel ban for tourists from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the USA.

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In an announcement released on Wednesday, the country's Ministry of Health said that visitors from these countries need to present a certificate no longer than 72 hours long, confirming that they are free of the virus, in addition to proof of health insurance coverage. of $ 50,000.

Visitors are also required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

02:09 GMT – Exports hit by recession in Japan, imports fall due to pandemic

Japanese exports hit by the recession fell by almost 22% in April, the country's worst drop in more than a decade, when the coronavirus pandemic hit global demand, the AP news agency reported.

The Finance Ministry also said Thursday that imports were down 7%.

The drop in exports is the worst since the 2008 financial crisis, as Japan, dependent on exports, struggles to deal with the health risks of COVID-19 with the dire need to keep the economy running.

Japan is in a technical recession after a contraction started in the last quarter of last year deepened in the quarter from January to March. Analysts say the worst may be ahead, given that the economic pain of the pandemic can be prolonged.

Shoppers in the Japanese city of Yokohama take a tour of one of the city's business centers on Tuesday [Koji Sasahara/AP]

01:38 GMT – Merkel says Germany will not cut foreign aid

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country will not cut foreign aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, and additional relief is needed for poor countries.

Speaking on Wednesday, after a video meeting with the heads of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and three other global economic bodies, Merkel noted last month's agreement to freeze poor countries' debt obligations and said that " with regard to debt sustainability additional steps need to be taken ".

But she did not explain whether Germany would go so far as to agree to debt relief.

01:17 GMT – New Zealand's Ardern proposes four-day workweek

The Prime Minister of New Zealand wants employers to consider moving to a four-day workweek as a way to promote tourism, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jacinda Ardern said in a video on Facebook Live that people learned a lot about flexibility and working from home during the blockade of the country, which was facilitated last week.

New Zealand's tourism sector represented 10% of the economy, but stopped during the outbreak, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The borders of the South Pacific nation remain closed, but Ardern said that up to 60% of tourism is domestic and that more flexible working arrangements could allow New Zealanders to travel more within their own country.

00:56 GMT – South Korea's coronavirus test kit exports increase

South Korea's coronavirus test kit exports are expected to gain momentum in the future thanks to high demand abroad, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, citing industry sources.

Yonhap quoted the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety as saying that 72 test kits manufactured by 46 companies were approved for export. The figure includes six products that have obtained local approval for emergency use.

Several test kit manufacturers have already won more orders this year than last year, with Sugentech Inc. securing $ 49 million in deals to export coronavirus test kits since April 1. The company produces two million kits a week this month.

Test kits

Sample test devices used in the diagnosis of coronavirus are checked on a production line near Seoul [File: Ed Jones/AFP]

00: 28 GMT – China reports 2 new cases of coronavirus, 31 new asymptomatic cases

The Chinese health commission reported on Thursday two new cases of coronavirus by the end of Wednesday, including one imported case.

The health agency also reported 31 new asymptomatic cases on the continent, slightly above the previous 16.

00:19 GMT – Russia installs quarantine facility in Siberia

The Russian armed forces installed a quarantine facility at a gold mine in Siberia, where hundreds were infected with the new coronavirus.

The Olimpiada mine in the city of Yeruda has emerged as a high contagion point, with more than 800 workers testing positive for COVID-19. The new facility can accommodate up to 2,000 patients.

Russia ranked second behind the United States in the number of infections, with more than 300,000 cases of coronavirus.

00:01 GMT – Large contingent of Cuban doctors helps Mexico with coronavirus

At least 500 Cuban health professionals are helping to fight the new coronavirus in Mexico City, Mexican officials told Reuters news agency, making it probably the largest contingent that the communist-led island has deployed globally as part of its response to the pandemic. .

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has publicly acknowledged the presence of "several" Cuban doctors working in the city's hospitals to help make up for the shortage of staff, but she has not confirmed the scale of the deployment.

A federal health ministry told Reuters there were now 600 Cuban health professionals at the scene. Both sources asked not to be identified. For decades, Cuba has sent medical professionals to countries in Latin America and even Africa to help during health crises.

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Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Read all of yesterday's updates (May 20) on here.

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