- The United States recorded over a thousand deaths in a single day. The country leads the world in coronavirus deaths alongside Italy, Britain and France.
- US President Donald Trump cut ties with the World Health Organisation in the middle of the pandemic.
- Brazil surpassed Spain’s death toll on Friday. It also has the second highest number of confirmed cases but experts fear that number could be 15 times higher.
US records 1,225 coronavirus deaths
The United States recorded 1,225 coronavirus deaths on Friday, bringing its total to 102,798 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The country has officially logged 1,745,606 overall cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker kept by the Baltimore-based university showed.
The United States, Britain, Italy and France lead the world in coronavirus deaths.
US President Donald Trump said he was severing ties with the World Health Organization, accusing it of not doing enough to curb the initial spread of the novel coronavirus and being too lenient with China, where the outbreak began last year.
Trump suspended funding to the WHO last month. Until now, the United State was by far the biggest contributor to the UN agency, having given $400 million last year.
Brazil surpasses Spain
Brazil on Friday reached 27,878 coronavirus deaths, official figures showed, surpassing the toll of hard-hit Spain and making it the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities.
The epicenter of the South American coronavirus outbreak, Brazil saw 1,124 deaths in 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said.
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 Friday Spain had recorded 27,121 deaths, with virus fatalities there rapidly slowing. Brazil could soon surpass France, which has seen 28,714 deaths.
Brazil is second in the number of confirmed cases, though trailing far behind the United States which has 1.7 million infections.
Brazil has seen 131.2 coronavirus deaths per one million people — compared to more than 300 in the United States and 580 in Spain — but the pandemic has yet to peak in the South American country.
“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.
Virus-battered Italy faces worst recession since WW2
Facing its deepest recession since World War II and with business confidence collapsing, the coronavirus pandemic is hitting Italy’s economy hard.
Business confidence in the eurozone’s third largest economy in May plummeted to its lowest level since official statistics institute ISTAT started the index in March 2005.
Italy was the first European country to be hit by the pandemic and imposed a strict two-month lockdown which paralysed much of the country’s economic activity.
As a result, the country is set for a drop in GDP of between nine and 13 percent, the Bank of Italy said on Friday.
Data also showed that the economy shrank 5.3 percent in the first quarter — worse than the 4.7 percent initially estimated.