COVID-19 UPDATES : Russia reports 9,434 new cases, over 20,000 cases reported in Brazil in the past 24 hours, Spain to reopen to international tourism from July


23rd May 2020 – (Hong Kong)  Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 5,347,739 with 340,875 deaths as of 11.15pm today.


Spain will dedicate its longest official mourning period to COVID-19 victims starting Tuesday.  Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced during a news conference Saturday that “starting in July, we will reactivate the entry of foreign tourism under safe conditions. As of now, foreign tourists can begin to plan their vacation in our country.”

Spain will reopen to international tourism from July, says Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. He also announced that the country’s football league could return to action from June 8. The country is emerging from one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns, implemented on 14th March. Religious ceremonies and gathering are allowed to immediately resume in France, according to a legislative decree published on Saturday morning.

The streets of Spain’s capital Madrid resounded with the honk of cars horns as thousands rallied in the city as part of a protest called by the far-right Vox party.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior advisor Dominic Cummings says he “behaved reasonably and legally” when he travelled from London to Durham during the quarantine lockdown in March. Senior ministers in Boris Johnson’s government have rallied behind a top aide after it was reported he breached the country’s coronavirus lockdown. The British Prime Minister’s office has denied that top adviser Dominic Cummings breached coronavirus guidelines.

More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany’s financial centre, earlier this month, the head of the city’s health department told a news agency.

The Vatican Museums will reopen their doors to tourists starting on 1st June. Visitors will have access to some of the world’s greatest Renaissance masterpieces as well as ancient Roman and Egyptian artefacts, but only through reservations.

U.S. and Canada

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to allow 10 people or less to gather as long as they are practising social distancing protocols, according to an order on the governor’s website.

A hairstylist with coronavirus worked for eight days this month while symptomatic, exposing as many as 91 customers and coworkers in the US state of Missouri, health officials said.

After weeks spent holed up indoors to stop the spread of coronavirus, Americans will emerge from lockdowns to venture outdoors for Memorial Day this coming Monday.

There were 95 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Navajo Nation as of Friday, the nation reported in a news release.

Complete results from the research, which was carried out by US government agency the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), were published by leading medical periodical the New England Journal of Medicine. The United States authorized the emergency use of remdesivir in hospitals on 1st May, followed by Japan, while Europe is considering following suit. The study found that remdesivir, injected intravenously daily for 10 days, accelerated the recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to a placebo in clinical tests on just over a thousand patients across 10 countries.

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, has dismissed a Trump administration warning that the city’s continued coronavirus lockdown could be both arbitrary and unlawful.

China and Hong Kong

China’s top disease control official said on Saturday that public criticism over the initial coronavirus outbreak was understandable, but defended Beijing’s response to the crisis. “With such a large epidemic in China and the world, it is very normal to receive criticism from the public,” Gao Fu, director of China’s disease control and prevention centre, told reporters on the sidelines of the country’s annual meeting of parliament.

Hong Kong reported no new cases of COVID-19 today.

Elsewhere in the world

Russia reported 9,434 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, as questions continue to be raised about the safety of frontline workers and the country’s official COVID-19 figures. Russia now officially has 335,882 cases of COVID-19, making it the country with the second-highest number of confirmed cases. It has recorded 3,388 deaths attributed to the virus.

India recorded 5,712 new cases in a rapid surge recently. This raises the nationwide total to 130,506 cases and 3,850 deaths.

Starting on 28th May, high-speed train services will resume in some parts of Turkey after being suspended for two months.

Iran is moving ahead with plans to reopen religious and cultural sites, as well as businesses, further easing restrictions rolled out to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not the priority of any country and this is how it is when it comes to being a Jerusalemite,” said Diya Hasheem, a 23-year-old Palestinian studying in Cyprus. 

A woman died in Gaza Strip after contracting coronavirus, the Palestinian enclave’s first fatality from the global pandemic, the health ministry said.

Brazil reported more than 20,000 cases yesterday in the previous 24 hours, as hospitals struggle to cope. President Bolsonaro continues to dismiss the threat, saying quarantines and lockdowns could have a worse impact on his country’s battered economy.

In Peru, the government announced it was extending its state of emergency until the end of June. 

 In Mexico, health officials announced the highest single-day surge in deaths.

On 9th May, reports started emerging of cases spiking in the South Korean capital of Seoul. It immediately raised alarm; South Korea had just started loosening restrictions and opening up some businesses after largely regaining control of the outbreak that had peaked in February and March.

Singapore reported 642 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Saturday, taking the national total to 31,068. Thailand on Saturday reported three new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing the country’s total to 3,040 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

A new cluster of coronavirus infections has broken out in Malaysia at a detention centre for undocumented migrants. Malaysia has this month arrested more than 2,000 foreigners for not having permits that allow them to be in the country following raids in areas under lockdown. The centres they are detained in are often crowded with dozens of migrants packed in a single cell. Malaysia reported 48 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in Malaysia to 7,185.

The state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia urged its younger citizens to get tested as it gets ready to further ease restrictions on pubs and restaurants.