Kuwait decides to implement a total lockdown starting Sunday to curb the spread of coronavirus as the number of cases climbs in the Gulf country.
The US unemployment rate for April skyrocketed to 14.7 per cent as the coronavirus and lockdowns sharply battered the economy.
As Europe and the US loosen their lockdowns against the coronavirus, health experts express growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections.
- WHO warns coronavirus could kill 83,000-190,000 people in Africa in the first year and infect between 29 million and 44 million during that period if it is not contained.
- More than 270,000 reported killed worldwide from the disease with cases up to 3.8 million and nearly 1.3 recovered. Cases in the US have reached 1.25 million with 75,500 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
Friday, May 8
16:15 GMT – Biggest threat to Brazil pandemic response? President Bolsonaro, says The Lancet
The biggest threat to Brazil’s ability to successfully combat the spread of the coronavirus and tackle the unfolding public health crisis is the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, according to British medical journal The Lancet.
In an editorial, the Lancet said his disregard for and flouting of lockdown measures is sowing confusion across Brazil, which is now recording record numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and is fast emerging as one of the world’s coronavirus hot spots.
16:10 GMT – Italy tops 30,000 deaths, new cases edge down
Italy became the third country in the world to record 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus, reporting 243 new fatalities compared with a daily tally of 274 the day before.
The country’s total death toll from COVID-19 since its outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 30,201, the Civil Protection Agency said. Only the United States and Britain have seen more deaths from the virus.
The daily number of new infections fell slightly to 1,327 from 1,401 on Thursday, taking the total of confirmed cases since the epidemic began to 217,185, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.
15:50 GMT – US Vice President’s staff member tests positive for coronavirus
A member US Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which caused Pence’s flight to Iowa to be delayed and some fellow passengers on Air Force Two to disembark, according to a White House official.
Pence’s flight was delayed more than an hour, and according to press pool reports passengers who were Pence staff members, appeared to disembark prior to departure.
15:25 GMT – Yemen reports nine new cases, two more deaths
Yemen reported nine new coronavirus cases in Aden, the interim headquarters of the government, including one death, and said a second person infected in the southern province of Lahaj had died.
This takes the total count in areas under control of the internationally recognised government to 34 infections with seven deaths.
15:05 GMT – German chapter of Fridays for Future holds first post-corona protest
A small group of the Fridays for Future movement calling for action on climate change held a protest in front of the Hamburg City Hall on Friday, while observing strict social distancing rules.
Around 25 youthful demonstrators unfurled a banner with the words “Our future in your hands” in the first such protest in Germany since a partial lockdown was imposed in mid-March.
The protest had been agreed with the relevant authorities and was held under strict hygienic precautions.
14:44 GMT – Markets closed to control Mexico’s exuberant Mother’s Day
Few countries celebrate Mother’s Day with as much gusto as Mexico, and that has created fears the celebrations could threaten lock-down measures and spread the new coronavirus.
Wary of Mexicans’ deep desire to bring mom flowers and cakes this Sunday, some officials have ordered the closing of public markets, and pastry and flower shops, while others are proposing a virtual Mother’s Day or even postponing celebrations for a month.
“There should be no celebration of Mother’s Day because we would probably bring mom the gift of the coronavirus, which could kill her,” said Dr. Manuel De la O Cavazos, the health secretary of northern Nuevo Leon state.
14:20 GMT – Kuwait to impose 20-day ‘total curfew’ from May 10
Kuwait will enact a “total curfew” from 4pm (1300 GMT) on Sunday through to May 30 to help to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the Information Ministry said on Twitter on Friday.
Further details of the curfew will be announced soon, it said.
Kuwait on April 20 expanded a nationwide curfew to 16 hours a day, from 4pm to 8am, and extended a suspension of work in the public sector, including government ministries, until May 31.