Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:
US ‘terminating’ WHO relationship, says Trump
The US president says he is terminating the nation’s relationship with the World Health Organization. Donald Trump, who has previously threatened to withhold funding from the organisation, says the US will redirect the money to other bodies.
Brazil’s death toll surpasses that of Spain
The death toll in Brazil exceeds that of Spain as the country becomes the fifth-worst affected.
Reuters reports that Brazil’s health ministry has said another 1,124 people have died, taking the total number of fatalities to 27,878. That surpasses the 27,121 deaths that researchers at Johns Hopkins University believe Spain has suffered.
Another UK government adviser questions plan to ease lockdown
The UK government is lifting lockdown restrictions too early, another member of its own advisory committee warns.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), voices approval of comments made by his Sage colleague Prof John Edmunds, who said the government is “taking risks” by relaxing measures from Monday.
Cummings breached spirit of lockdown, says former PM
Dominic Cummings, a senior Downing Street aide, did not follow the spirit of the UK’s lockdown rules with his actions , the former prime minister Theresa May says.
Her successor, Boris Johnson, has refused to sack Cummings, despite anecdotal evidence lending weight to experts’ concerns his transgressions are harming the country’s public health efforts during an epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of people in the country.
Turkish Muslims return to communal Friday prayers
Worshippers in Turkey hold their first communal Friday prayers in 74 days as the government reopens some mosques.
Prayers are held in the courtyards of selected mosques to minimise the risk of infection. Authorities distribute masks at the entrance to the mosques, spray hand sanitisers, and check temperatures.
Egypt suffers worst day since outbreak began
Egypt’s health ministry registers 1,289 new cases and 34 deaths, marking another record of daily increases on both counts despite stricter curfew rules. The figures bring the total number of fatalities to 879 and confirmed cases to 22,082, of which 5,511 people have recovered.
Known global death toll passes 363,000
The number of people around the world known to have been infected exceeds 5.8 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 363,210 people are known to have died.
The US accounts for about 30% of cases, way ahead of Brazil (7.2%), Russia (6.6%), the UK (4.7%), Spain (4.1%) and Italy (4%).
Russia records biggest rise in deaths
Russia suffers its highest daily increase in deaths, with 232 more in 24 hours. That pushes the nationwide total to 4,374. Officials say 8,572 new infections have been confirmed, bringing the national tally to 387,623. Russia has the third highest reported total of cases in the world after the US and Brazil.
Iran sees highest tally of new infections since early April
Iran identifies more new cases in a day than at any time since early April, with 2,819 more people testing positive on Friday.
Kianoush Jahanpour, the Iranian health ministry spokesman, adds that 50 more people have died in the same period, pushing the total death toll from the outbreak to 7,677. Out of 146,668 cases detected so far, 114,931 people have recovered.
South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 tests
Health authorities in South Africa say the country has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests as it and other countries on the continent face difficulties in obtaining essential supplies.
“This challenge is caused by the limited availability of test kits globally,” the health ministry says. Priority is given to processing tests from hospital patients and health workers.