COVID-19 UPDATES : Total worldwide COVID-19 cases reach 5,304,033, Peru reports 2,929 cases, car rental company Hertz files for bankruptcy


23rd May 2020 – (Hong Kong)  Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 5,304,033 with 340,004 deaths as of 11.30am today.


The number of active COVID-19 cases in Italy dropped by 1,638 on Friday, taking the total to 59,322. Total cases accumulated today reached 228,658.

The French interior ministry says it will allow religious gatherings to resume after a two-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 outbreak but worshippers will have to wear face masks.

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, dropped the coronavirus-hit state’s absolute ban on gatherings of any size, issuing an executive order saying up to 10 people are now allowed to be together as long as they abide by social-distancing guidelines adopted during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. and Canada

US markets headed into the holiday weekend with a mixed finish on Friday following a strong week of gains. The Dow fell 9 points, or less than 0.1%.

Moderna’s stock price skyrocketed as much as 30% on Monday after the biotech company announced promising early results for its coronavirus vaccine. As ordinary investors piled in, two insiders were quietly heading for the exits. Moderna’s chief financial officer and chief medical officer executed options and sold nearly US$30 million of shares combined on Monday and Tuesday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the state is receiving the third allocation of the drug Remdesivir from the Food and Drug Administration. 

New York City has 16,333 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 4,753 probable coronavirus deaths as of 22nd May.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced today that his state will allow churches to reopen at 25% capacity.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced today he has extended the state’s safer-at-home order one more week in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Fred Payne, the commissioner for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, said that Indiana’s unemployment rate for April was 16.9%, while the unemployment rate in the United States stands at 14.7%.e

The US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters on Thursday to two companies namely  Apollo Holding LLC and North Coast Biologics and for selling fraudulent products related to COVID-19.

First lady Melania Trump announced today that she will be hosting the class of 2020 at the White House.

Vice President Mike Pence told reporters at a cafe in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday that negotiations for a phase four stimulus package are “actively underway.”

Universal Orlando Resort said the park will be opening to the public on June 5 with the support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Pastor Daren Jaime of The People’s AME Zion Church in Syracuse, New York, challenged President Trump’s decision declaring places of worship essential and thus requiring them to open during the pandemic.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a White House coronavirus task force official, identified parts of the US still experiencing high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases.

Washington, DC’s primary election will be held on schedule on 2nd June, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a news conference Friday. 

U.S. car rental giant Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection late Friday, after days of seeking to negotiate its massive debt with creditors. 

Basketball legend Patrick Ewing has been hospitalized after being diagnosed with COVID-19, a statement from Georgetown Athletics said.

Georgia has become a hub for Hollywood, raking in about US$3 billion in direct spending from film and TV production. The industry provided an additional US$6.5 billion in economic impact to the local economy. 

A man in the US state of Georgia is charged with defrauding his employer by falsely claiming he was infected with Covid-19, federal prosecutors say.

China and Hong Kong

On the first day of China’s biggest political event of the year, President Xi Jinping sent a clear message to Donald Trump: We’re going to do what we want in Hong Kong, and we’re not scared of the consequences. China confirmed on Friday that it would effectively bypass the city’s legislature to implement national security laws, which have long been resisted by residents who fear they will erode freedoms of speech, assembly and the press. The announcement, which came on the same day China refrained from setting an economic growth target for the first time in decades, triggered immediate calls for fresh protests and sent the MSCI Hong Kong index to its worst loss since 2008.

China recorded no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland for May 22, the first time it had seen no daily rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

A coronavirus vaccine candidate developed in China appeared to produce neutralizing antibodies in dozens of patients participating in an early-stage clinical trial, according to results published in The Lancet. 

Elsewhere in the world

India’s health ministry reported the country recorded its highest single-day spike of new infections since the pandemic began. The country of approximately 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 118,000 cases on Friday, a roughly 5% increase from Thursday’s figures.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have announced strict antivirus measures targeted specifically at Eid al-Fitr, the festival that concludes the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Residents of a poor neighbourhood in the Chilean capital, Santiago, protested on Friday, demanding food aid to cope with the lockdown in place in the city since late March.

Mexico’s top league has decided to cancel its football season without crowning a champion for the first time in its history.

Brazil’s case count has surged past Russia, making it the country with the second-highest number of cases globally. Peru is extending its state of emergency until the end of June. Peru reported 2,929 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to the country’s Health Ministry, taking the country’s total to 111,698. Brazil registered a record 20,803 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said on Friday. That raises the national total to 330,890 cases, the second-highest worldwide after the United States.

Mexico reported 479 new coronavirus deaths on Friday, the biggest single-day spike in the country since the pandemic began. It also reported 2,960 new COVID-19 cases. This raises the national total to 62,527 cases and 6,989 related deaths.

There are now more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus across Africa, with the virus spreading to every country in the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.