President Trump said Friday the US will be terminating its relationship with the WHO. Claiming China had ’total control’ over the organization, President Trump said he wants to redirect funds to other organizations. He blamed China for the COVID-19 outbreak and for the more than 100,000 US deaths.
A troop of monkeys in India attacked a medical official and snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive COVID-19. The attack occurred when a lab technician was walking in the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Officials said they were unsure if the monkeys could contract COVID-19 if they came into contact with infected blood.
Following China’s announcement of the national security law to prevail over Hong Kong, British ministers said the U.K. would give extended visa rights to nearly 3 million holders of ’British National Overseas’ passports allowing them to move to the U.K. and possibly a ’path to British citizenship.’
With China’s national security law being enforced upon Hong Kong, US decided to revoke all policy exemptions which entitled Hong Kong to special treatment. Trump added that he would ’take steps’ and penalize Chinese and Hong Kong officials involved in dissolving the latter’s autonomy. With the loss of preferential treatment it enjoyed, Hong Kong would face a threat to its international standing.
The country recorded no new known cases for the 7th day in a row and gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted while maintaining safety protocols. This accomplishment is attributed to the decisive actions taken by Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, in the early stages of the global outbreak. NZ’s total number of confirmed cases stands at 1154, with 22 deaths and a single active case.
251 schools in South Korea were forced to close just days after reopening due to an unexpected spike in Covid-19 cases. The country reported 177 new infections in the past three days, threatening to undo the leading progress of the nation in beating the virus. The new wave is linked to a major e-commerce distribution center in Bucheon that reportedly did not follow infection prevention.
Li Zuocheng, chief of the Joint Staff Department and member of the Central Military Commission, speaking in Beijing appeared to leave the door open to military force saying: ’If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to resolutely smash any separatist plots or actions.’
Greece said on Friday it will open to visitors from 29 countries from June 15, days before its peak tourism season begins. The Mediterranean nation, which emerged from a decade-long debt crisis in late 2018, relies heavily on tourism - about 20% of its output - for an economic recovery. A lockdown imposed in March helped Greece contain the spread of COVID-19 infections to just below 3,000.
After receiving criticism for the numbers of death due to coronavirus which were recently posted, the city administration of Moscow issued a revised version of the death toll. The revision has resulted in the number of deaths to double. The reason given for the same has been that an alternative counting method has been used to record the death toll in the city.
Swarms of locusts are threatening crops and food security in India. The current swarms comprise of very young locusts that can fly for longer distances, at faster speeds.Each swarm contains about 80mn adult locusts per square km and they can eat as much food per day as 35,000 people thereby posing a grave concern for rice, lentils, vegetables, sugarcane and fruits, due to be sown early next month.
South Africa was praised for its response to the pandemic for having conducted the most tests. A report on Thursday claimed 27,403 confirmed cases and 577 deaths while some of 655,000 people were tested. The ministry said it was prioritizing processing tests for the admitted patients which left a backlog of 101,007 unprocessed throat swabs and saliva samples on May 21 and 58,930 on May 14.
Kosovo’s highest court ruled that a new government can be formed without holding a snap election. Albin Kurti’s government was dismissed on March 25 after less than two months in office, following disagreements with its main partner over its handling of COVID-19 pandemic and removal of tariffs on Serbian goods. Kurti backed a snap election. His party said it will organize protests in coming days.
The fatalities peaked at 27,878 in Brazil on Friday, making it the fifth ranking nation with respect to the number of deaths. It surpassed Spain which recorded 27,121 deaths with a gradual decrease in the casualties. Experts state that due to a lack of widespread testing in Brazil, there is a possibility of the cases being 15 times higher than the confirmed figure.
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) Director, Jeong Eun-kyeong stated that the drug, Remdesivir showed positive results in the treatment of the virus. Although it does not significantly improve survival, it stops some viruses from making copies of themselves inside infected cells. A study conducted by U.S. Institutes of Health showed that it cut the stay at hospitals by 31%.
US is reportedly planning to cancel the visas of thousands of Chinese graduate students believed to have links with China’s military. The move, reported by the New York Times, could impact ~3,000 to 5,000 Chinese students and could be announced early this week. The US and China are broiled over China’s recent decision to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong.
A group of well-known journalists took to the streets and participated in single-person protests. The journalists carried out the protests over a 15-day jail term which was handed over to their colleague. The journalists were arrested for the same. Some of the journalists have been released but they have been charged with various offences.
Hawaii Gov. Ige on Thursday said that he would extend the state’s 14-day quarantine measures for travelers arriving in the state beyond June 30. The state mandated the quarantine beginning on March 26 to control the spread of covid-19. The governor updated the joint online press conference held with the state’s four county mayors that an official announcement on the extension would be made soon.
A zookeeper has been critically injured after she was attacked by two lions in Australia. The 35-year-old woman suffered severe face and neck injuries at Shoalhaven Zoo, south of Sydney. She had been cleaning the enclosure when she was attacked. ’The attack was extremely vicious’, said an official from New South Wales Ambulance.