3rd June 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 6,486,929 with 383,178 deaths as of 10.50pm today.
More than 600 nurses worldwide have died from COVID-19, and more than 230,000 health care workers have contracted the virus, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said Wednesday in a statement.
G7 Finance ministers said the group is suspending official bilateral debt payments for the poorest countries to year-end 2020 and possibly longer, according to a statement distributed by the U.S. Treasury.
The European Commission has decided to classify the new coronavirus as a mid-level threat to workers, a move that allows employers in the EU to apply less stringent safety measures in the workplace than if the virus was deemed high risk.
A new London-based coronavirus treatment trial launched this week will test if a formulation of ibuprofen can treat one of the complications of coronavirus: severe acute respiratory distress syndrome.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended their decision to require all travellers entering the United Kingdom from overseas to undergo 14 days of quarantine, a move that the travel and tourism industries believe could deter visitors from coming. Quarantine measures the UK plans to introduce for almost all international travellers from 8th June are vital to ensure the country’s rate of COVID-19 infection does not increase again, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Portugal hopes to welcome British holidaymakers this summer according to Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, Santos Silva said the UK and Portugal were considering a potential “air bridge” between the two countries.
Portugal reported 366 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, above 300 for the first time since May 29 and taking the total to 33,261, the government said.
Spain is preparing to resume some tourism, allowing in visitors from countries where the coronavirus situation is considered under control beginning 22nd June, a tourism ministry spokesman said, according to Reuters.
Italy has reopened to travellers from Europe, three months after the country went into coronavirus lockdown, with all hopes pinned on reviving the key tourism industry as the summer season begins.
European rail operator Thalys is to gradually resume its international train services between the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany starting next week.
France wrote to scientific journal The Lancet to request a review of raw data used in a now-controversial study into the effects of an old malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine.
Austria and Germany are preparing to ease travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Austria will reopen its borders with seven neighbouring countries from Thursday but not with Italy.
Germany will lift a travel ban for European Union member states along with the UK, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from 15th June as long as there are no entry bans or large-scale lockdowns in those countries, the foreign minister has said.
Lufthansa blamed the global pandemic for most of the damage after it reported 2.1 billion euros (US$2.35 billion) worth of losses in the first quarter. The airline recently secured a German government bailout of nearly US$10 billion.
The Netherlands reported 86 new confirmed cases, the first time the daily number dropped under triple digits in almost three months.
Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, who advocated a no-lockdown strategy to combat the coronavirus crisis, conceded that more should have been done to tackle the epidemic.
Austria is lifting all coronavirus-related border restrictions including quarantines for new arrivals from all of its neighbouring countries except Italy as of Thursday, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has said.
U.S. and Canada
Stocks opened higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 230 points, on pace for a third straight day of gains, despite uncertainty surrounding days of demonstrations to protest the killing of George Floyd and the persistent coronavirus crisis.
Any coronavirus vaccine that proves to be safe and effective will still probably only provide immunity for a limited amount of time, maybe “up to a year,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.
Another 2.8 million jobs in the private sector disappeared in May, according to the ADP national employment report.
President Donald Trump said the Republican Party has been “forced to seek” a new city for its national convention, planned for Charlotte, North Carolina, in August, because of coronavirus restrictions put in place by the state’s governor.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its non-manufacturing activity index rose to a reading of 45.4 last month from 41.8 in April.
China and Hong Kong
According to CGTN, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday urged extra help from local governments to be carried out to stabilize employment in virus-hit hard regions in a meeting looking to solve college graduates’ future line-up across the country.
No new cases reported in Hong Kong today.
Elsewhere in the World
India reported nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 infections today, a highest single-day spike that pushes its total over 209,611 cases.
A Rohingya refugee has died in Bangladesh in the first COVID-19-related fatality at the world’s largest refugee camp, the UN agency charged with protecting refugees said.
Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, the Sindh provincial minister for human settlement in Pakistan, has died after contracting the novel coronavirus.
Mosques have reopened for daily prayers in the Gaza Strip. The besieged enclave has recorded 61 confirmed infection cases, and one death during the health crisis.
Russian President Vladimir Putin does not plan to take part in an online summit on a possible coronavirus vaccine being organised by the British government this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. Russia has reported 8,536 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its nationwide tally to 432,277, the third-highest in the world.
Deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in Saudi Arabia has climbed by 30, the Ministry of Health has reported, while it registered 2,171 new infections. The total death toll stands at 579, with 91,182 confirmed cases.
Kyrgyzstan will resume domestic flights and bus service between its provinces and allow charter flights from China this month to bring in staff for numerous Chinese investment projects, the government in Bishkek said.
Iran reported its highest number of daily infections in two months, a surge that nears March’s peak levels and suggests the Middle Eastern country struck hardest by the disease is in the throes of a second wave. Authorities reported 3,134 new cases on Wednesday, a 50% increase from a week earlier, according to official government figures. The total number so far is 160,696, with more than 8,000 deaths.
Australia’s economy shrank 0.3% in the first quarter, as it entered recession for the first time in nearly three decades. COVID-19 was largely to blame, said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, adding he expected second quarter figures to be worse.
A South African court ruled that revised lockdown regulations implemented by the government as part of a phased reopening of the economy are unconstitutional and invalid, giving the state two weeks to amend them.
Two Japanese baseball players and a striker in the J League have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, their clubs have announced, in a major blow for professional sport attempting to restart in the country.
People in New Zealand could return to “normal life” as early as next week with the end of social distancing measures.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore crossed the 36,000 mark on Wednesday (Jun 3) with 569 new infections confirmed as of noon.
The new cases bring the total number of cases in the country to 36,405.
Thailand on Wednesday reported one new coronavirus infection and no new deaths, bringing the country’s total to 3,084 confirmed cases and 58 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.
Malaysia reported 93 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including two Malaysians. The other 91 cases are foreigners.
Indonesia’s economy may grow less than already reduced estimates, and the fiscal deficit will widen, as the government ramps up its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the finance minister said.