Modi says India facing ‘long’ coronavirus battle: Live updates

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India is facing a “long battle” ahead in its efforts to defeat the pandemic as the country set a new record for daily coronavirus infections.

  • United States President Donald Trump has said the US is “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), saying the agency has not made coronavirus reforms.

  • The WHO and 37 countries launched the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, an alliance aimed at making coronavirus vaccines, tests, treatments and other technologies available to all countries. 

  • Brazil’s coronavirus deaths reached a total 27,878, surpassing the toll of hard-hit Spain and making it the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities.
  • More than 5.9 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Some 365,000 people have died, while more than 2.4 million have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, May 30

10:20 GMT – Rwanda uses robots to minimise coronavirus risk

Rwanda has deployed robots to carry out medical tasks such as measuring temperature and monitoring patients to reduce contact between patients with COVID-19 and healthcare workers.

The three robots, which were donated by the United Nations Development Programme, are operating in Kanyinya COVID-19 treatment facility, near Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.

“It doesn’t remove the tasks the doctors are supposed to do, it’s just complementing their efforts,” Francine Umutesi, a health technology operations specialist at the ministry of health, told Reuters news agency.

Rwanda already uses drones to deliver blood and enforce restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

09:35 GMT – ‘Long battle’ awaits India as it reports record jump in cases

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India is facing a “long battle” ahead against the pandemic as the country reported a new daily record of additional coronavirus infections.

“Our country (is) besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources,” Modi said in an open letter marking his first year into his second mandate.

The prime minister also acknowledged labourers and migrant workers had “undergone tremendous suffering” due to coronavirus restrictions.

The comments came as India reported 7,964 new coronavirus cases, a 24-hour high, bringing the total number of infections to 174,020. Nearly 5,000 people have died due to coronavirus.

A home ministry official reportedly said the government could extend the lockdown beyond May 31, without elaborating further details.

08:51 GMT – Latest figures:

Malaysia: 7,762 cases (+30), 115 deaths 

Indonesia: 25,773 cases (+557), 1,573 deaths (+53)

Russia: 396,575 cases (+8,952), 4,555 deaths (+181)

Singapore: 34,366 cases (+506), 23 deaths 

Thailand: 3,077 cases (+1), 57 deaths

South Korea: 11,441 cases (+39), 269 deaths

08:27 GMT – Germany warns over Trump’s decision to split from WHO 

The German health minister has criticised President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the US’s relationship with the WHO, calling the move a “disappointing backlash for international health”.

In a Twitter post, Jens Spahn said the global health agency “needs reform” if it is “to make any difference in the future” and called on the European Union to “take a leading role and engage more financially”.

07:52 GMT – Abu Dhabi GDP to contract by 7.5 percent: SP

SP Global Ratings said Abu Dhabi’s economic growth is expected to contract by 7.5 percent this year because of lower oil production due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fiscal deficit of the oil-rich state will rise to about 12 percent of GDP this year from 0.3 percent in 2019, the ratings agency estimated.

07:31 GMT – Scientific advisers warn too soon to lift England lockdown

The coronavirus is still spreading too fast in England to lift restricting measures, three scientific advisers to the British government said, with one describing the move as a political decision.

The comments come as England is slightly easing the lockdown on Monday, with groups of up to six people allowed to meet outside and primary schools re-opening to certain year groups.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and member of Britain’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said “COVID-19 is spreading too fast to lift lockdown in England.”

“TTI (test, trace, isolate) has to be in place, fully working, capable dealing any surge immediately, locally responsive, rapid results infection rates have to be lower. And trusted,” he said on Twitter.

His SAGE colleague, John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene Tropical Medicine, said that “we are taking some risk here” with an “untested” test and trace system, describing it as a political decision.

A third member of SAGE and chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, Professor Peter Horby, said Britain could not afford to lose control of the virus.

06:52 GMT – Taiwan approves Gilead’s remdesivir to treat COVID-19

Taiwan’s government has approved remdesivir, Gilead Sciences’ potential COVID-19 treatment drug. 

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration took into account “the fact that the efficacy and safety of remdesivir has been supported by preliminary evidence” and its use is being approved by other countries.

The US regulators approved the medicine this month for emergency use. Japan and the UK as well have cleared the drug for use and moved to begin supplying it to patients.

California-based Gilead has said it will donate 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, enough to treat at least 140,000 patients, to combat the global pandemic.

06:25 GMT – Uzbekistan extends curbs, but eases some restrictions

While Uzbekistan has extended measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus until June 15, it has also eased some restrictions, such as resuming domestic tourism and football games.

Authorities have divided the country into “green”, “yellow” and “red” zones on the basis of the rates of newly-detected infections. Activities will gradually resume depending on the zones they fall in.

In the green zone, businesses including children’s summer camps, recreational and sports centres will start working and people will be allowed to hold weddings and other traditional ceremonies with up to 30 guests starting from June 1.

Central Asia’s most populous nation of 34 million, which resumed domestic air flights and train services this month, said the domestic football league would resume, without spectators, from June 5.

05:47 GMT – US supreme court rejects churches’ challenge against California lockdown laws 

The US Supreme Court has rejected a challenge by a group of churches to block lockdown’s rules in the state of California.

New restrictive measures issued this week limited attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or 100 people.

The nine justices split 5-4 in rejecting a bid by South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista to block the rules issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

04:21 GMT – Singapore to resume flights to 6 cities in China    

A “fast lane” for business and “essential” travel between Singapore and China will open next week, allowing some flights to resume between the two countries after a four-month hiatus.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said travel will initially resume between Singapore and six Chinese cities and regions, including Shanghai and Guangdong.      

The ministry said Singapore believes “the prevention and control of COVID-19 and the economic and social recovery” in both to have “entered a new phase”.

03:26 GMT – Hundreds of German workers return to China

Some 400 German managers, workers and family members have begun returning to China aboard charter flights.

A pair of flights from Frankfurt to the Chinese business hubs of Tianjin and Shanghai were organised by the German Chamber of Commerce in China in cooperation with Germany’s diplomatic missions and airline Lufthansa and are the first repatriation flights from Europe to China for foreign nationals.

China has largely banned all foreigners from entering the country because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The first flight with 200 passengers was due to arrive shortly before noon on Saturday in Tianjin, a port city just east of the capital, Beijing. The second flight was expected to arrive in Shanghai around midday on Thursday, June 4.

03:08 GMT – Two UN peacekeepers die of coronavirus

Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, announced the deaths of two UN peacekeepers from COVID-19.

Both peacekeepers were serving in Mali, he said, praising “the service, sacrifice and selflessness” of the more than 95,000 men and women serving in the UN’s 13 peacekeeping missions around the world.

According to the UN peacekeeping department, there have been 137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in UN peacekeeping operations, with the greatest number by far – 90 cases – in Mali. The deaths are the first from the virus among peacekeepers.

02:55 GMT – China reports four new cases

China reported four new confirmed cases of coronavirus, all brought from outside the country, and no new deaths.

Just 63 people remained in treatment and another 401 were under isolation and monitoring for showing signs of having the virus or of testing positive for it without showing any symptoms.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths among 82,999 cases since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing

01:36 GMT – Twelve migrants test positive at Mexico shelter

Twelve migrants have tested positive for coronavirus at a government-run shelter in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican labour ministry said.

The patients have been isolated to prevent further spread of the virus in the Leona Vicario centre, which houses 337 people, the ministry said.

Ciudad Juarez, which neighbours the US city of El Paso, Texas, has received thousands of migrants under a Trump administration policy that sends US asylum seekers to Mexico to await the outcomes of their cases.

01:05 GMT – Brazil death toll hits 27,878, surpassing hard-hit Spain

Brazil’s coronavirus deaths have reached a total 27,878, surpassing the toll of hard-hit Spain and making it the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities.

The Ministry of Health said Brazil saw 1,124 deaths in 24 hours. It also had a record number of new cases – 26,928 in one day – bringing the total number of infections to 465,166.

As of the end of Friday, Spain had recorded 27,121 deaths, with virus fatalities there rapidly slowing. Brazil could soon surpass France, which has seen 28,714 deaths.

“There is no way to foresee” when the outbreak will peak, the Ministry of Health said, and experts say the number of cases in Brazil could be 15 times higher than the confirmed figure because there has been no widespread testing.

00:55 GMT – Merkel rejects Trump invite to attend G7 summit: Report

German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned down US President Donald Trump’s invitation to attend an envisaged summit of the Group of Seven (G7) nations in the United States, according to Politico.

“The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington,” the report quoted German government spokesman Steffen Seibert as saying.

“She will of course continue to monitor the development of the pandemic.”

Trump believes there would be “no greater example of reopening” than holding a G7 summit in the US near the end of June, the White House said on Tuesday.

00:21 GMT – Chile, Peru secure credit lines from IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a two-year $24bn credit line for Chile as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes a day after the IMF approved a $11bn credit line for Peru.

The Flexible Credit Line (FCL) is a renewable funding mechanism granted to countries with strong economic policy track records, and Chile is only the fifth country to receive one. Along with Peru, Mexico and Colombia currently have FCLs in place.    

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, said the backstop should help to boost market confidence, and Chile intends to treat the credit line as “precautionary and temporary”, and exit the backstop after 24 months.      

Peru likewise sees the programme as precautionary, and will consider exiting once the crisis has passed and “the insurance provided by an FCL arrangement would no longer be necessary”.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

You can find all the updates from yesterday, May 29, here

Taiwan approves Gilead’s remdesivir to treat COVID-19


Taiwan’s government has approved remdesivir, Gilead Sciences’ potential COVID-19 treatment drug. 


Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration took into account “the fact that the efficacy and safety of remdesivir has been supported by preliminary evidence” and its use is being approved by other countries.


The US regulators approved the medicine this month for emergency use. Japan and the UK as well have cleared the drug for use and moved to begin supplying it to patients.


California-based Gilead has said it will donate 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, enough to treat at least 140,000 patients, to combat the global pandemic.

Article source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/brazil-coronavirus-death-toll-overtakes-spain-live-updates-200530002532797.html