Record coronavirus toll in Brazil; US flags to fly at half-staff | News

  • With 20,000 deaths and more than 310,000 infections, Brazil is rapidly approaching Russia to become the second coronavirus hotspot in the world, behind the United States.

  • U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the nation's flags with half a team to honor the victims of coronavirus.
  • Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei hit Washington for continuing to deport migrants infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus.

  • More than five million people worldwide are now confirmed to be carriers of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 328,000 people died globally, while around 1.9 million people recovered.

Here are all the latest updates:

Friday, May 22

01:02 GMT – Australia requests UK quarantine exemption

Australia is seeking an exemption from the requirement that travelers arriving in the UK quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Commerce Minister Simon Birmingham said in a statement: "Australia has led the world in the successful containment of COVID-19, which clearly means that travelers from Australia would pose a low risk to the rest of the world."

Birmingham said Australia has no plans to open its borders to noncitizens, while all returning locals will still have to be quarantined for two weeks after arrival.


00:46 GMT – IMF and Ukraine agree in principle on new $ 5 billion aid package

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukraine have agreed in principle on a new $ 5 billion aid package to help Kiev fight the coronavirus crisis.

The agreement on the 18-month aid program is subject to approval by the IMF's board of directors and executive, which will review the agreement "in the coming weeks," said the Washington lender.

Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the official who led the IMF negotiating team, said the deal would offer Kiev "budget support" while "consolidating achievements so far and moving forward on major structural reforms to reduce key vulnerabilities".

00:08 GMT – Trump orders U.S. flags reduced to half staff for virus victims

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, says he will order the U.S. flag to be flown with half a team over the next three days, when the death toll from COVID-19 approaches 100,000.


"I will lower the flags of all federal buildings and national monuments to half a team over the next three days in memory of the Americans we lost to CoronaVirus," he said in a post on Twitter.


The move follows a request by Democratic leaders to recognize a "sad day of reckoning when we reach 100,000 deaths".

Small US companies innovate to survive virus slowdown (2:12)

00:03 GMT – Brazil passes 20,000 virus deaths after record 24 hours

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Brazil exceeded 20,000 after a record number of deaths in a 24-hour period, reported the Ministry of Health.

The country is the epicenter of the outbreak in Latin America, and its highest one-day figure in 1,188 has raised the total number of deaths to 20,047.

Brazil has recorded more than 310,000 cases, with experts saying that the lack of tests means that the real numbers are probably much higher.

With its infection and death curve rising sharply, the 210 millionth country ranks third in the world in terms of total cases, behind the United States and Russia.

Hi, I'm Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with Al Jazeera continuing to cover the coronavirus pandemic. You can find all the updates from yesterday, May 21st on here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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