Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:
Known deaths pass 380,000
Johns Hopkins University figures show the toll currently standing at 380,250. Confirmed infections are nearing 3.4 million, with 6,378,239 so far. The real numbers are expected to be much higher.
Brazil deaths pass 30,000
A record 1,262 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Brazil - taking the country’s total death toll to 31,199 - but the president continues to downplay the pandemic. The figures were announced on Tuesday evening by Brazil’s health ministry, which also said the number of coronavirus cases had risen to 555,383, second only to the United States. The South American country is now on the verge of overtaking Italy, where 33,530 deaths have been recorded, as the country with the third highest number of deaths.
Australia’s economy is in recession
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has confirmed Australia is now in a recession as the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic. His confirmation came after the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the economy shrank by 0.3% in the March quarter, on the back of the bushfires, drought and coronavirus pandemic. Asked whether the country was now in recession, he said: “Well, the answer to that is ‘yes’. And that is on the basis of the advice that I have from the Treasury department about where the June quarter is expected to be.”
New Zealand records 12th day with no new cases
The government is considering abandoning as early as next week all remaining restrictions on the country except stringent border controls. Just one person is still recovering from the illness, health officials said on Wednesday. They are not in hospital. There have been fewer than 1,500 confirmed cases of the virus in the country, with 22 deaths.
French anti-racism protesters defy coronavirus gathering ban
Clashes broke out between police and protesters in Paris on Tuesday after around 20,000 people defied a ban to rally over the 2016 death of a black man in police custody, galvanised by US demonstrations against racism and deadly police violence.
China’s service sector is bouncing back
Although employment and overseas demand remains weak in the economy, the Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.0 in May from 44.4 in April, hitting the highest level since late 2010. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Anger over death of Wuhan doctor
A Wuhan doctor who worked with the whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus last week, Chinese state media reported. Hu Weifeng, a urologist at Wuhan central hospital, reportedly became China’s first Covid-19 fatality in weeks when he died on Friday after being treated for more than four months. There was anger in China over his death.
Zoom profits up
The teleconferencing company Zoom has seen a massive increase in profits and has doubled its annual sales forecast, driven by a surge in users as more people work from home and connect with friends online during the coronavirus crisis. Zoom’s revenue for its fiscal first-quarter between February and April more than doubled from the same time last year to $328m, turning a profit of $27m compared with $198,000 a year ago.