South Korea was looking for "a new daily life with Covid-19". Four days later, Seoul found a new cluster.
Get out, socialize and have fun, the South Korean government told its people, declaring the start of "a new daily life with Covid-19" – while keeping an eye out for any signs of setback, the need for restrictions to get back to normal. Place, put.
South Korea attacked the pandemic so successfully that it has become a model cited worldwide, but has stopped a major outbreak without choking nearly as much of its economy as other nations. Now, he is trying something equally difficult: gradually and safely approaching something that resembles everyday life.
Government officials, health professionals and much of the public are well aware that, until there is a vaccine, relaxing restrictions will lead to more infections and possibly more deaths. The trick will be to do it without allowing the contagion to return.
After a 29-year-old man tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, epidemiologists quickly discovered that he had visited three nightclubs in Itaewon, a popular Seoul nightlife district, on May 2. On Saturday night, they said they were tracking 7,200 people who visited five Itaewon nightclubs where the virus may have spread.
So far, 27 cases have been found among club goers and people who have had close contact with them, said Kwon Jun-wok, a senior disease control official, during a news conference on Saturday.
The mayor, Park Won-soon, quoted a higher figure, saying that at least 40 infections were linked to nightclubs. In closing the clubs, he rebuked customers who had not practiced safeguards such as wearing masks, accusing them of endangering the health of the entire country.
The collapse of oil and the pandemic force that the Gulf states face with their vast armies of migrant workers.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the uneven way in which many societies work.
In the wealthiest societies of the Middle East, the machinery of daily life depends on migrant workers from Asia, Africa and the poorest Arab countries – millions of “tea boys”, domestic workers, doctors, construction workers, delivery men, chefs, garbagemen , guards, hairdressers, hoteliers and more, which often outnumber the native population.
The consequences are clearly straightforward for foreign workers – more than a tenth of the world's migrants – who sent more than $ 124 billion to their countries of origin in 2017. The blockages have cost tens of thousands of them jobs, leaving them to ration their ever-diminishing food stocks, while their families struggle without their remittances. The coronavirus invaded the sparse and crowded dwellings of dormitory-style workers. And xenophobia is on the rise.
Like migrants in Latin America, Eastern Europe, India and beyond, some are returning home empty-handed.
At the same time, oil-dependent countries with many middle-class or poor citizens, such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, can no longer guarantee the high standards of living and subsidies that their citizens take for granted.
The latest in science: More children died of a disease associated with coronavirus; a drug cocktail is promising for Covid-19.
There have been at least 50 cases of the rare disease reported in European countries, including Britain, France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy, and a handful of cases in other US states.
Symptoms can include fever, rash, red eyes, swollen lymph nodes, and acute abdominal pain – but these are generally not two common features of Covid-19: coughing and shortness of breath. Children, however, have positive results for both the virus and warnings of infection by antibodies.
Treatments included steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, high-dose aspirin and antibiotics and supportive oxygen and, in the most severe cases, a ventilator.
Separately, in a new study published in The Lancet, Hong Kong researchers reported that patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 appear to improve more quickly if they were treated with a cocktail of antiviral drugs, compared to a group that receives a mixture containing fewer drugs.
The most successful combination used lopinavir-ritonavir (two drugs marketed in one medicine under the brand name Kaletra); ribavirin, which is used to treat hepatitis C; and interferon beta-1b, which regulates inflammation and suppresses viral growth and helps treat multiple sclerosis.
Patients who received the broadest cocktail had a negative result in seven days, on average, compared to an average of 12 days among those treated with lopinavir-ritonavir only. The cocktail also cut the duration of Covid-19 symptoms in half, to eight days from eight days.
At the a significant advance which promises to greatly expand testing capacity in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first antigen test that can quickly detect whether a person has been infected with the coronavirus. The test, at least Quidel Corporation of San Diego, received emergency use authorization on Friday by the F.D.A., according to a warning on the agency's website.
Experts said that approving an antigen test for Covid-19 would bolster testing efforts, offering doctors and health officials an inexpensive tool for mass rapid testing. More advanced, antigen tests also have potential for use at home, such as a home pregnancy kit.
In the rich region of Geneva, a food line continues to grow.
Beginning before dawn, more than 1,500 people entered a food line that stretched 800 meters or more through Geneva on Saturday, marking the difficulties inflicted on poor workers and migrants through measures to control the coronavirus in one of the richest and most expensive cities in the world.
"They had to wait several hours to get a bag of about $ 20 worth of food, that's a sign of the state that people are in," said Djann Jutzler, a spokesman for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, which supported distribution organized by a local charity.
With the number of virus cases decreasing, Switzerland will continue to ease its blockade on Monday, allowing primary schools, shops, restaurants and bars to be opened and public transport to be restarted.
More than 30,000 Swiss have hired Covid-19 and more than 1,500 died, but officials registered only 43 new cases of infection on Friday, marking a steady slowdown.
Demonstrations against the blockade in Bern, capital and other cities, on Saturday, showed growing public frustration; and the Geneva food lines attest to the growing difficulties.
Saturday's handouts in Geneva were the second of the week, organized by Geneva Caravan, a local charity that takes care of the homeless and poor and has attracted much larger crowds than the first. A survey of several hundred people at that event found many without legal status and more than half without medical insurance.
O lines can increased awareness of growing needs. Organizers, who relied entirely on donations to distribute rice, pasta, vegetable oil and other basic products, are seeing a growing public response. "People are getting more and more generous," said Jutzler.
China let Elon Musk reopen a Tesla factory, but California refused – and his anger is evident on Twitter.
Musk initially resisted orders to close in March, which he characterized as "fascist", and said the coronavirus "is no worse than the common cold".
Chinese authorities allowed Tesla to reopen a second relatively new plant in Shanghai in February. But on Friday, Alameda County health officials told Tesla that it was not yet allowed to revive operations in Fremont because of fear that the coronavirus would spread among its workers. The Fremont plant makes most of Tesla's electric cars.
"Frankly, this is the last straw," said Musk on Twitter. “Tesla will now move its headquarters and future programs to Texas / Nevada immediately. If we maintain Fremont's manufacturing activity, it will depend on how Tesla will be treated in the future. "
He also said in a separate post that he plans to sue Alameda County, writing that "Alameda's unelected and ignorant" interim Health Officer "is acting contrary to the Governor, President, our constitutional freedoms and simply common sense".
Tesla operates the only major car assembly plant in California and plans to manufacture vehicles in Germany next year. Other automakers are planning to restart production soon elsewhere in the United States.
The coronavirus is not going away soon. Two new studies provide an image of what the future may look like.
So far we know – contrary to false predictions – that the new coronavirus will be with us for a long time.
"Exactly how much time is left to be seen," said Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard infectious disease epidemiologist at T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "It will be a matter of managing it over months to a few years. It is not a matter of overcoming the peak, as some people seem to believe."
Two recent studies provide an image of how the pandemic could occur. The first, from the University of Minnesota, describes three possibilities after the current wave of initial cases: "peaks and valleys" that gradually decrease over the course of a year or two; a larger peak in autumn or winter, with smaller waves since then, similar to what occurred during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic; or an intense spring peak followed by a “slow burn” with less pronounced ups and downs.
The second study, by Harvard T.H. The Chan School of Public Health projected an equally wavy future, characterized by peaks and valleys. Social detachment is activated when the number of Covid-19 cases reaches a certain prevalence in the population, so as not to overload the health system, and is disabled when the cases fall to a lower threshold, perhaps 5 cases per 10,000.
What is clear in general is that a single social drive away will not be enough to control the epidemic in the long run and that it will take a long time to achieve herd immunity. In the absence of a vaccine, our pandemic mental state may persist until 2021 or 2022 – which has surprised even experts.
"We predicted that a prolonged period of social detachment would be necessary, but initially we didn't realize it could take that long," said Stephen Kissler, a postdoctoral fellow who worked on the Harvard study.
No longer seen: June Almeida, the scientist who identified the first coronavirus.
Overlooked is a series of obituaries about notable people whose deaths, since 1851, have not been recorded in The Times.
With no money to pay for college in post-World War II Scotland, June Almeida, 16, got a basic job in the histology department of a Glasgow hospital, where she learned to examine tissues under a microscope for signs of illness. It was a fortuitous move, for her and for science.
In 1966, almost two decades later, she used a powerful electron microscope to capture an image of a mysterious pathogen – the first coronavirus known to cause human disease.
Almeida had just been recruited to St. Thomas Hospital in London, where he received a virus known as B814 from British scientists studying the common cold. The scientists, led by David Tyrrell, knew that there was something different about the virus. Although volunteers infected with B814 do not have the sore throats typical of most colds, they experienced unusual feelings of malaise. And the virus was neutralized by fatty solvents, which meant that, unlike the common cold virus, B814 had a lipid coating.
Still, without an image of the virus, scientists were able to learn only so much.
Upon hearing about Almeida's experience from a colleague, Tyrrell sent samples to her that had been infected with B814, as well as the well-known flu and herpes viruses that would serve as controls.
Although he was told that she was "apparently extending the scope of the electron microscope to new limits", Tyrrell was not optimistic. Almeida, however, was confident in his technique.
The results, Tyrrell later reported, “exceeded all of our hopes. She recognized all known viruses and her photos revealed the structures beautifully. But more importantly, she saw virus particles in the B814 samples! "
The only remaining problem was figuring out how to call the new virus. The flu type seemed a little weak, Tyrrell wrote. The B814 images revealed that the virus was surrounded by a kind of halo, like a solar corona. Thus, the coronavirus was born. Read the full obituary here.
Clothing industry workers in Asia fear that operators are using the virus as "an opportunity to get rid of us".
That is why it released nearly half of its 1,274 workers at the end of March, said the factory director in response to protesters who arrived at the factory doors to report the layoffs.
Three dismissed sewing operators, however, said the factory was taking the opportunity to punish workers involved in union activities. In an interview, operators – Maung Moe, Ye Yint and Ohnmar Myint – said that of the 571 who were laid off, 520 belonged to the factory union, one of the 20 that make up the Myanmar Clothing Workers' Federation. About 700 non-union workers kept their jobs, they said.
The owner of Myan Mode, in South Korea, did not respond to requests for comment and did not provide details about the layoffs.
Moe, 27, was president of the factory union and organized several strikes. Yint, 30, was the union secretary, while Myint, 34, has been a member of the union since its founding in June 2018.
"The bosses used Covid as an opportunity to get rid of us because they hated our union," said Moe. He said he and other union members had been in discussions with factory managers before the shots were fired, demanding personal protective equipment and that workers stay further away on the factory floor. "They thought we were giving them constant headaches, fighting for our rights and those of our co-workers."
The breakdown of unions – practices adopted to prevent or interrupt the formation of unions or attempts to expand the association – has been a serious problem across the fashion supply chain for decades. But with the global spread of Covid-19 putting new pressures on the sector, it is a specific issue in South Asia, where about 40 million clothing workers have long faced poor working conditions and wages.
La Scala, closed for months, opened its doors.
Its doors have been closed since February 23, when Italy's coronavirus blockade took effect in parts of the Lombardy region. But now anyone can take a virtual tour of La Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, and even snoop in the backstage areas and in the workshops normally closed to visitors.
The project, which started two years ago with Google Arts & Culture, made more than 240,000 photographs from the theater's archives available online, many of them annotated, 16,000 musical documents, as well as videos and visits to the theater.
"It's a positive message right now, communicating to the whole world," said Dominique Meyer, general director of La Scala, in a virtual presentation of the project on Thursday. “We can all agree that the opera should take place in a theater, but these are times when no one can go to the theater. So these theaters speak to the whole world, ”he added.
The coronavirus pandemic has closed theaters, opera houses, symphony halls and cinemas around the world and plunged many established institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera, in financial difficulties. But live performances have been replaced by a flood of live broadcasts and archived performances, a musical smorgasbord that most classical music fans could only dream of.
"The real danger is that you can spend whole nights browsing these places," said Meyer, who admitted to getting lost in the "secret corridors" of the La Scala theater "to learn things we didn't know before."
"La Scala's virtual doors will remain open to the world until the real doors can," said Filippo del Corno, Milan councilor responsible for culture.
Crowds watch the tank parade in Belarus, even as Russia keeps its Victory Day events low-key.
Ignoring health warnings and its powerful neighbor Russia, the former Soviet nation of Belarus organized a military parade on Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Red Army's defeat of Nazi Germany, parading soldiers and tanks through the center of its capital, Minsk, as crowds of spectators, most without masks, gathered to watch.
While Russia canceled its parade on Red Square because of the coronavirus and accepted a military flyby through Moscow's almost empty streets, Belarus continued with Victory Day celebrations after its authoritarian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko called the pandemic coronavirus of "psychosis".
Mr. Lukashenko encouraged people to participate in the celebrations of the end of the Second World War in Europe, alleged at the beginning of the pandemic that they were riding tractors, sitting in saunas and drinking vodka beat the virus and repeatedly minimize the risk of infection.
More than two million people died in Belarus during World War II, and Lukashenko said this week that the government "simply cannot cancel the parade", despite growing concerns that the virus is spreading rapidly across the country. He invited foreign leaders to participate. None came. Russia said it would send its ambassador.
With a population of 9.5 million, Belarus recorded only 21,000 infections, far less than the nearly 200,000 reported by the most populous Russia, a close but increasingly irritated ally.
In Russia, which remains locked up, President Vladimir V. Putin left his home in the country for the first time in weeks to attend a low-key ceremony in the rain outside the Kremlin, placing a bouquet of red roses at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
In a brief speech marking what he called "our most important and dearest holiday", Putin said: "We pay homage and ceaselessly honor the monumental and altruistic heroism of the Soviet people".
The US retaliates against China with new visa restrictions for journalists.
The Trump administration is imposing new restrictions on Chinese journalists working in the United States, escalating its conflict with China in the media as tensions rise over the coronavirus.
The Department of Homeland Security said on friday that Chinese journalists working for non-US news agencies would be limited to 90-day work visas – a significant reduction in open and single-entry stays the agency previously granted to most journalists with a Chinese passport and a valid entry visa. They will be able to apply for extensions, although they are also limited to 90 days.
The most recent action is part of a months-long conflict between the United States and China over the media presence abroad – fueled by the deterioration of diplomatic relations. Tensions between Washington and Beijing increased during the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China.
Chinese journalists in the United States trying to do independent journalism have expressed their particular concerns about the future of their work and have said that they do not want to be caught in the middle of such a conflict. American journalists in China have expressed similar concerns.
The new rules in the United States also apply to a handful of Chinese citizens who work in non-Chinese foreign establishments. The new American rule goes into effect on Monday.
The relationship between China and the United States had already eroded under President Trump and President Xi Jinping. In 2018, Trump started a protracted trade war. But the pandemic has unleashed a new level of vitriol and recrimination.
Trump and his aides have repeatedly emphasized China's first attempts to cover up the severity of the coronavirus outbreak that emerged in the city of Wuhan, and raised doubts about the veracity of the death toll in China.
Trump also suggested that the United States could seek compensation from China for the economic wreckage of the pandemic and the death toll. Critics say the Trump administration's campaign to blame China is primarily aimed at distracting attention from the White House itself deep flaws During the outbreak.
Beijing, in turn, took the crisis as an opportunity to launch itself as a alternative to the United States for global leadership. Chinese diplomats have repeatedly compared the official death toll in China to the rising numbers in the United States, which have been slow to respond to the threat of the virus.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back, becoming the first major American sport to return from an industry-wide standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic and being alone in a landscape that would normally include New Zealand and N.B.A. decisive games.
U.F.C. 249 started with six preliminary fights at 6 pm East on Saturday, in an almost empty arena in Jacksonville, Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis declared pro sports an essential industry when issuing a home stay request last month. Athletic regulators agreed to sanction mixed martial arts attacks when other states, such as New York and California, did not do so during the outbreak.
The event is moving forward, despite the fact that one of 24 U.F.C. fighters, Ronaldo Souza, and two of his singers tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, before the fight. U.F.C. authorities have been vigilant about their measures to keep combatants safe during three planned events – including two next week – but they insist they can minimize the risks associated with large gatherings.
Souza, who had no symptoms, told the promotion company when he arrived in Jacksonville on Wednesday that one of his relatives could have had the virus, a U.F.C. An executive told ESPN, who is broadcasting the preliminary fights and selling the pay-per-view card.
The main fight is between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, an interim title fight that places two fighters who have a history of thrilling knockouts. The pay-per-view card part starts at 10 pm and the main event will probably start until after midnight.
Of course, White would have preferred not to take a hiatus at all, as he moved forward with plans to organize the U.F.C. 249 on April 18 in Brooklyn before the New York State Athletic Commission refused to approve the event. Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, the U.F.C. lightweight champion, eventually gave up, unable to leave his native Dagestan because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. He was replaced by Gaethje.
Winning a pandemic fall should not mean sacrificing the planet, warn European leaders.
With coronavirus-induced global paralysis, levels of pollution and carbon emissions are dropping – leaving blue skies, mountains visible, splendid wildflowers. Even Venice's famous canals are disappearing.
But nature's revival comes at a huge cost, with Europe's economy projected to fall 7.4% this year. The New York Times' top diplomatic correspondent, Steven Erlanger, says many leaders, diplomats and experts are preparing for battle whether the resumption of the economy now requires an end to ambitious and potentially disturbing plans to permanently reduce carbon emissions.
The European Union started the year by promoting a plan for a rapid transformation of the economy towards a carbon neutral future – the “Green Agreement” – which Ursula von der Leyen, president of the bloc's executive arm, declared should be “the engine for recovery. "She has important support from President Emmanuel Macron, from France, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, from Germany.
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe were already concerned about the pain of a green transition. And the poorest countries in the south fear a new inequality, as larger and richer countries, like Germany and France, can subsidize their industries in a much more luxurious way.
The form of these subsidies will also be a battleground. Macron linked new financing for the airline Air France-KLM to carbon reduction. But a former European employee, Stefan Lehne, sees "a huge conflict" between "saving companies' jobs on the brink of bankruptcy and investing in new jobs".
"There will be a lot of pressure to get back to the status quo ante as much as possible," he said.
US Summary: Three members of the coronavirus task force will be quarantined after two White House officials test positive.
At the last sign of concern that the coronavirus may be spreading through the upper reaches of the Trump administration, three major public health officials initiated partial or total self-quarantine for two weeks after contacting someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Representatives for Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, confirmed the precautions on Saturday. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed a CNN report that he initiated a "modified quarantine", given what he called a "low risk" contact.
The actions come after the disclosure on Friday that Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus. Miller attended several meetings of the White House coronavirus task force, which also includes Drs. Redfield, Hahn and Fauci.
Here's what else is happening in the US:
At least 25,600 residents and workers died of coronavirus in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for the elderly in the United States, according to a New York Times database. Although only 10% of the country's cases occurred in long-term care facilities, Covid-19-related deaths in these facilities account for a third of the country's pandemic deaths.
Trump's support among elderly Americans seems to be in decline as the pandemic becomes more political. Republicans and Trump relied on older Americans, the largest voting bloc in the United States, to offset the Democrats' advantage with younger voters. However, the elderly are also the most vulnerable to the outbreak. Trump's internal campaign research shows his support for voters over 64, said people familiar with the numbers.
Many states are taking steps to reopen next week and it will serve as a laboratory for the expected economic recovery from a pandemic that has affected almost every aspect of American life. California will allow a variety of retailers to resume selling via the sidewalk pickup. Michigan cautiously enacted plans to allow construction and factory workers to return to their workplaces.
Sioux's tribal leaders rejected a request by Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota to remove the travel checkpoints they established on state and federal highways, saying they were necessary to prevent the spread of the virus on tribal lands. Noem threatened legal action if they did not remove the checkpoints within 48 hours. The episode highlights the specific challenges faced by the affected tribal nations, which seek to respond to the pandemic.
More companies will reopen in half of Spain, but not in Barcelona or Madrid.
Spain will be split in two on Monday after the government selected areas of the country with a low risk of coronavirus infection to move on to the next phase of easing the blockade. The country's two largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are in regions that will have to maintain restrictions on the movement of people until their numbers of coronaviruses increase.
Provinces that have met security requirements hold 51% of Spain's population, the government said on Friday. The new rules allow meetings of up to 10 people, as well as the reopening of bars and restaurants for al fresco dining. Small stores and companies, such as hairdressers, can also receive customers without reservation, while foreign markets can reopen.
Before the government's decision, 15 of Spain's 17 regions had signed up to be accelerated to reopen in the next phase of the government's plan, which, it hoped, would bring the country to a "new normal" by the end of June.
The daily number of coronavirus deaths in Spain fell to 179 on Saturday, from 229 the previous day, the Ministry of Health reported, bringing the total to 26,478.
At least six are killed in an Afghan protest demanding more aid.
A protest demanding more assistance to the poor as Afghanistan faces the spread of Covid-19 turned deadly on Saturday, with at least six people killed after security forces opened fire.
About 100 people, mostly daily workers who lost any economic outlook after the blockades took effect, gathered outside the provincial governor's office in western Ghor province, seeking help and food, officials said. Security forces fired when the numbers increased and protesters tried to enter the compound.
At least four civilians, including an official from a local media organization, were killed and 12 others were injured, said the provincial police chief, Mohamed Amin Ahmadzai. He added that the protest had been infiltrated by armed men who opened fire and threw stones at security forces; he said two policemen were also killed and another 10 were injured.
"It was not a protest – it was an evil conspiracy by the enemy," said Ahmadzai.
Mohammad Aref Aber, porta-voz do governador, disse: "Os manifestantes estavam em frente ao prédio do governador da província pedindo ajuda, e não temos nada para ajudá-los".
O Afeganistão registrou 4.333 casos de Covid-19 até agora e 115 mortes. Mas as autoridades alertam que a propagação real é provavelmente muito mais ampla e não detectada devido à capacidade de teste extremamente limitada.
As principais cidades sofreram um certo bloqueio, afetando uma economia em que cerca de 80% da população já estava perto da linha da pobreza, vivendo com US $ 1,25 por dia.
Alguns países estão dando os primeiros passos para o retorno da viagem.
O Covid-19 elevou a vida diária em grande parte do mundo por tanto tempo que a idéia de viajar para outro país ou estado parece ser o material dos sonhos. Mas na última semana, mais ou menos, à medida que a idéia de se abrir para os viajantes ganhou força, alguns países estão tomando medidas concretas.
Mas, em muitos lugares, os vôos internacionais que transportam turistas permanecem em espera ou são banidos completamente, e o processo de reabertura permanece especulativo. O foco, em vez disso, é o turismo interno, a ser seguido em algum momento pelo turismo estrangeiro.
Taiwan colhe os benefícios de um epidemiologista como vice-presidente.
Como muitos líderes mundiais, o vice-presidente de Taiwan, Chen Chien-jin, está lutando para manter o coronavírus sob controle. Ele está rastreando infecções, pressionando por vacinas e kits de teste e lembrando ao público que lava as mãos.
Mas, diferentemente da maioria das autoridades, Chen, que está nas últimas semanas de seu mandato, é um epidemiologista treinado pela Johns Hopkins e especialista em vírus.
Chen, 68 anos, é conhecido carinhosamente em Taiwan como "irmão mais velho", e muitos o creditam com ajudando a ilha a evitar o tipo de surto catastrófico que atingiu muitos países. Relatou cerca de 400 casos de coronavírus e seis mortes.
Como principal funcionário da saúde durante a crise da SARS em 2003, Chen pressionou para se preparar para o próximo surto, construindo alas de isolamento e laboratórios de pesquisa.
"As evidências são mais importantes do que fazer política", disse ele em uma entrevista recente.
Mas Chen também está no centro de uma batalha global pela narrativa sobre como o vírus se espalhou pelo mundo. Ele diz que Taiwan tentou alertar a Organização Mundial da Saúde – onde está pressionando pela adesão – no final de dezembro sobre o potencial do vírus se espalhar de pessoa para pessoa, mas foi ignorada. A Who. rejeitou a acusação.
Mr. Chen’s prominence has made him a frequent target of criticism by mainland Chinese commentators, who have accused the government of using the pandemic to seek independence for Taiwan, which China’s government considers part of its territory.
The main threat to Brazil’s coronavirus response? Bolsonaro, The Lancet says.
President Jair Bolsonaro is “perhaps the biggest threat to Brazil’s Covid-19 response,” the renowned scientific journal The Lancet said in an editorial on Saturday, arguing that the president’s dismissal of the dangers posed by the virus had sowed confusion among Brazilians.
“He needs to drastically change course or must be the next to go,” The Lancet said of Mr. Bolsonaro in the editorial, calling the recent ouster of two ministers “a deadly distraction in the middle of a public health emergency.”
Brazil has reported nearly 150,000 coronavirus cases and over 10,000 deaths, making it the worst-hit country in Latin America. A study published this week by Imperial College London that analyzed the transmission rate of the virus in 48 countries found Brazil had the highest rate of transmission.
But Mr. Bolsonaro has interacted with supporters without wearing masks, and has called the virus that has killed nearly 275,000 people worldwide a “little flu.” He has also regularly clashed with state governors who have imposed lockdowns to try to protect their populations.
When asked by journalists last month about the rapid spread of the virus in the country, Mr. Bolsonaro replied: “So what? What do you want me to do?”
In neighboring Paraguay, President Mario Abdo Benítez has said that the efforts to contain the spread of the virus could be hampered by Brazil’s outbreak, calling it “a great threat for our country.” Half of the Paraguay’s 563 confirmed cases have been of people coming from Brazil, Mr. Benítez said.
The U.S. blocked a U.N. call for a pandemic truce.
A vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a halt to all armed conflicts because of the pandemic was blocked on Friday by the United States, apparently because it contained language indicating support for the World Health Organization.
President Trump has accused the W.H.O., an arm of the United Nations, of a bias toward China and a failure to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, which was first seen in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Mr. Trump suspended American funding of the W.H.O. last month, a significant financial blow to the organization.
Diplomats said the Security Council resolution, which underwent several revisions aimed partly at satisfying U.S. objections, had nearly reached the stage where it could be put to a vote. But the United States delegation informed other council members in an email on Friday that it still could not support the measure.
Tensions between China and the United States over the coronavirus have paralyzed any possible action to fight the pandemic by the Security Council, the most powerful body at the United Nations. Its resolutions have the force of international law.
Even though the cease-fire resolution would probably have done little to halt armed conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and other trouble spots, it was seen as an important expression of backing for Secretary General António Guterres, who has been calling for such a cease-fire since March.
Nationwide blackouts hit Kenya and Uganda under coronavirus lockdown.
In the midst of an aggressive campaign by Kenya’s government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the country was hit by a blackout that affected neighboring Uganda on Saturday. The countries’ power grids are interconnected.
In a statement, Kenya Power and Lighting Company announced “a system disturbance which occurred on our transmission network at 5:49 a.m. this morning.” The cause of the power cut to the national grid was not immediately clear. But blackouts in the country are not uncommon, especially in rainy seasons.
By the evening, both companies issued statements saying that power had been restored.
Uganda has recorded 98 coronavirus cases but no deaths. The International Monetary Fund said this week that the country would receive an emergency loan worth $491.5 million to help cushion its economy from the impact of the outbreak as key sectors of the East African economy, including tourism, have taken a heavy blow from the crisis.
Kenya’s government has faced growing criticism for its response to the pandemic — particularly its use of quarantine centers. Hundreds of residents in the East African nation said they were put in quarantine for breaking curfew or not wearing masks. And many said they were told they had to pay to leave after testing negative for the virus.
The government has also been accused of going to extreme measures to contain the virus: In the first 10 days of a national curfew, police officers killed at least six people while trying to enforce the lockdown, according to Human Rights Watch.
The pandemic hasn’t stopped all sports. Chess tournaments are thriving, online.
It was 8 a.m. Tuesday in St. Louis when the American chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana, ranked second best in the world, moved his pawn to E4.
It was 6:30 p.m., and over 8,000 miles away in Nashik, India, when his opponent, Vidit Gujrathi, responded from his home, just seconds after Caruana’s opening: pawn to E5.
And so began the Online Nations Cup, an unprecedented international team chess tournament borne of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the outbreak has forced most sports around the world to shut down, chess has not only found a way to carry on — it is thriving in some ways. In the past several weeks there has been a surge in grass roots participation in chess to go along with a few high-profile professional events online.
This past week, the Online Nations Cup brought 36 of the world’s top players together in their homes across multiple time zones, from Brooklyn to Beijing. They have been moving pieces on their laptop chessboards in a competition that, at its core, is the same game they would contest under normal conditions.
The tournament can be seen on multiple platforms, has a record purse of $180,000 and is being broadcast in a dozen languages.
Some communities in Portugal turn down a return of professional cycling.
The organizers of an already truncated version of the Vuelta a España, one of the sport’s three grand tours along with the Tour de France, said on Saturday that they had abandoned parts of two stages to be held in neighboring Portugal. The race was unable to satisfy safety requirements of three cities: Oporto, Matosinhos and Viseu.
“We have to be flexible and understand these kinds of decisions and changes,” Javier Guillén, the race director said in a statement.
There is skepticism that the schedule announced this week by the International Cycling Union — racing starting on Aug. 1 and continuing until the end of October for men, early November for women — will come to fruition.
It is unclear how race organizers can stop large crowds from gathering along public roads. The sport also involves hundreds of cyclists riding in closer proximity than is allowed under most physical distancing rules.
The Amaury Sport Organization, which owns the Tour de France and is a major shareholder in the Vuelta, has repeatedly pushed for some kind of season to be salvaged. Cycling team owners have been more mixed in their reaction. Some have forecast ruin without racing, while others have suggested that they won’t enter their riders if the virus remains a threat.
In a Singapore park, a robot named Spot reminds people to maintain a safe distance.
With all public and private gatherings banned in Singapore and people trying to cope by exercising outside, the authorities have found a human-free way to patrol a park and gently remind visitors to observe social-distancing measures.
The four-legged machine, named Spot and developed by Boston Dynamics, can shimmy, moonwalk and climb stairs. Spot also has a bark, of sorts: A speaker that allows the robot’s remote handlers to issue commands — in this case, a recorded message in a female voice.
“Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” Spot said Friday while sauntering down a path at a local park. “For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you.”
Spot’s deployment comes as other countries wrestle with similar issues of crowds seeking some relief from isolation in city parks and other open spaces. New York City, hard-hit by the coronavirus, plans to limit entry to some parks to prevent crowds and the spread of infections.
If Spot manages to last through a two-week trial, more robots could be deployed to patrol parks in Singapore, where a relentless surge in infections linked to migrant worker dormitories has shown no sign of stopping. The city-state has had more than 22,000 infections, with 753 recorded on Saturday.
Reporting was contributed by Elizabeth Paton, Vivian Wang, Edward Wong, Morgan Campbell, Kevin Draper, Choe Sang-Hun, Vivian Yee, Steven Erlanger, Siobhan Roberts, Raphael Minder, Andrew Higgins, Javier C. Hernández, Chris Horton, Elian Peltier, Elaine Yu, Adbi Latif Dahir, Mujib Mashal, Asadullah Timory, Nick Cumming-Bruce, David Waldstein, Peter Robins, Pam Belluck, Roni Caryn Rabin, Neal E. Boudette, Ian Austen, Yonette Joseph, Rick Gladstone, Daniel Politi, Lauren Sloss, Robert D. McFadden, Peter Baker, Michael Crowley, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman, Matthew Rosenberg, Jim Rutenberg and Victor Mather.