COVID-19 UPDATES : Latin America’s cases top 1.1 million, 3 new cases in China, Brazil’s Bolsonaro threatens to pull out of WHO, WHO updates guidance on face masks


6th June 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 6,844,838 with 398,147 deaths as of 11am today.

The World Health Organization remains “intimately” involved in global efforts to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus virus, according to a top federal government vaccine official.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is now calling for nations to encourage the general public to wear fabric masks in areas where there continues to be intense spread of the novel coronavirus. All health workers and caregivers are also encouraged to wear masks during their shifts.

The Group of 20 (G20), a bloc whose member nations have the world’s largest economies – has pledged more than US$21bn to fight the coronavirus, a statement by the group said early on Saturday.


The R number which represents the number of people an infected individual passes the virus to has risen to above one in the northwest of England, according to joint research by University of Cambridge Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit and Public Health England. U.K. authorities said virus transmission rates are close to critical levels in some regions, as the death toll passed 40,000, raising fresh questions over the government’s policy of easing the lockdown.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 407 to 183,678, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

 The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to take its toll on the global automotive industry – from U.S. automakers to famed luxury carmakers such as Bentley and Aston Martin.

U.S. and Canada

U.S. deaths climbed less than 1% and President Donald Trump said he’ll ask Congress to pass more economic stimulus. An AstraZeneca Plc drug might help COVID-19 patients suffering extreme reactions, a small study showed. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased to 1.96 million.

President Donald Trump said he’ll ask Congress for more economic stimulus to boost chances of a recovery from the pandemic, even after the surprise improvement in U.S. unemployment in May.

As the United States continues to reopen, inaccurate diagnostic tests may undermine the country’s ability to keep the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading, experts on health policy argued Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Minority communities in the United States have been the most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but questions remain about whether they will have the greatest access to a potential vaccine, two vaccine experts said Friday.

The Mall of America which is located in Bloomington, Minnesota will open on 20th June for the first time since March. The mall’s website says the facility initially will have a limited number of stores open, and some will offer curbside pickup.

COVID-19 is shining a “bright light” on the US disparities in the health and health care among people of colour, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday.

Washington, DC, officials outlined in a news conference today the metrics needed for the nation’s capital to enter into phase two of reopening and noted that the earliest date to enter this phase would be 19th June.

Live sports and film production can restart in California as soon as 12th June, according to state officials. The most populous U.S. state still isn’t allowing sports to have live audiences, though teams can resume training and competition.

The city of Miami Beach announced in a news release Friday that certain businesses may reopen starting Monday 8th June.

Infectious disease experts from the National Institutes of Health and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said the chances of developing a successful COVID-19 vaccine by January is an extremely ambitious challenge, but it’s possible.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced the reopening of indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues beginning Wednesday as part of the state’s phase three of reopening.

Until a vaccine is widely distributed, film production is going to need to establish a new normal. Making movies and television has always been a very collaborative endeavor. However, many of the on-set jobs are done in close proximity, and adding a 6 foot social distancing rule could make that work much more difficult.

Actress Cate Blanchett suffered an accident with a chainsaw during the coronavirus lockdown with her family, she revealed during a podcast.

Canada will make another C$14 billion ($10.4 billion) available to the provinces to help the economy restart as restrictions ease.

China and Hong Kong

China warned its citizens not to travel to Australia due to a significant increase in racist attacks on Chinese and Asian people, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.   The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the travel alert on Friday, saying the alleged attacks came in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

China recorded three new confirmed cases of the new coronavirus as of the end of Friday, down from five the day before, the National Health Commission said. All of the cases were imported, involving travellers arriving from abroad, the NHC said. The total number of infections in China, where the virus first emerged late last year, stands at 83,030. With no new deaths reported, the death toll remained 4,634.

Elsewhere in the World

Latin America’s cases topped 1.1 million, with Brazil and Mexico posting among the fastest growth and death rates. Brazil could follow the U.S. and quit the World Health Organization. 

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said the government is considering withdrawing from the World Health Organization, following the move of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has criticized the agency’s handling of the outbreak.

Mosques in Jordan have opened for communal prayers for the first time in over two months, with thousands of police deployed to enforce strict social distancing rules at the usually packed places of worship.

Thailand on Saturday reported two new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, taking its total confirmed cases to 3,104 infections and 58 deaths since the outbreak began in January. The two cases are men who returned from Russia and Kuwait and are in quarantine, where most of Thailand’s recent cases have been detected, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, an assistant spokeswoman for the government’s COVID-19 Administration Centre.