CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus Live Updates: More Than 300,000 People Have Died Worldwide

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effects across the world.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

More than 4.4 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 300,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

China Marks One Month Without Any Announced Deaths — 5/15/2020, 5:50 a.m.

It’s been a month since China has announced any deaths from the coronavirus, and there are fewer than 100 patients in treatment for COVID-19, the Associated Press reports. The last day the National Health Commission reported a death was April 14.

China has maintained social-distancing measures and bans on foreigners entering the country, but has been opening up both large and small businesses to get the economy going again.

The central city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, is currently attempting to test all 11 million inhabitants in 10 days after six new cases were detected last weekend.

— Liza Hearon

Coronavirus Could Reduce 260 Million Indians To Poverty — 5/15/20, 3:45 a.m. 

At least 260 million people in India could be pushed into poverty due to the economic fallout from coronavirus, putting at risk historic gains made in poverty reduction, according to new estimates.

India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, according to a United Nations study last year. This was the fastest absolute reduction in poverty among 10 countries encompassing close to 2 billion people, researchers noted, even as 369 million Indians remained poor, the highest globally.

But as coronavirus batters India’s economy and hundreds of millions of Indians struggle to make a living under a punitive national lockdown, more than 260 million Indians—who are presently classified as vulnerable to poverty—are at risk of becoming the new poor, according to researchers from the U.N. and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown on March 24—which has since been extended twice as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in India—putting an immediate freeze on economic activity and disrupting India’s huge informal sector workforce.

Coronavirus infections in India reached 78,000 on Thursday, while 2,549 have died, according to official estimates. Read more

— Rohit Inani

Restaurants, Cafes And Bars Reopen In Sydney After Lockdown — 5/15/20, 3:20 a.m 

Restaurants, cafes and bars in Australia’s most populous state reopened on Friday after a two-month shutdown under coronavirus lockdown measures, boosting the federal government’s bid to get people back in work.

The easing of quarantine measures in New South Wales (NSW) comes just a day after the national statistics office reported unprecedented record-high job losses and Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that worse was still to come.

In Sydney, locals braved a cold, wet morning to catch up with friends and family over a coffee.

“It is such a treat,” said Jess Best, who met up with a friend in a cafe in the city’s eastern suburbs. “To be able to sit down with other people around and chat to my friend. I can have a normal morning, not hiding away in my home.”

NSW officials reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest daily tally in just over a week. The national daily increase has slowed to an average of less than 20 a day.

Officials have credited lockdown measures adopted in March, including closing the country’s borders and ordering people to stay home unless on essential business, with constraining the spread of the virus. Australia has recorded about 7,000 COVID-19 cases, including 98 deaths, significantly below the levels reported in North America and Europe. Read more

— James Martin

More Than 300,000 People Have Died From COVID-19 Worldwide ― 5/14/2020, 3:21 p.m. ET

The coronavirus has claimed at least 300,000 lives around the globe, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly one-third of those fatalities have been reported in the U.S., where some 85,000 people have died after falling ill with COVID-19.

Overall, more than 4.4 million people have had confirmed cases of the virus. With 1.4 million confirmed cases, the U.S. has by far the world’s highest number of infections, and currently ranks seventh in terms of deaths per 100,000 people.

― Lydia O’Connor

Whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright Warns Coronavirus Resurgence Would ‘Devastate’ U.S. — 5/14/2020, 3:08 p.m. ET

Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower and former government scientist who was abruptly fired after pushing back against the Trump administration, warned in congressional testimony Thursday that the country desperately needs a plan to combat a potentially resurgent coronavirus during the upcoming flu season.

Bright testified that he was removed from his position as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority last month, likely in retaliation for having repeatedly warned the Trump White House it wasn’t doing enough to combat COVID-19.

“I believe we could have done better,” Bright told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. “I believe there were critical steps we did not take in time.”

In particular, Bright said that emails urging increased production of critical medical equipment like masks went unheeded.

Read more here.

― Ryan Grenoble

California Prepares For Another Potentially Disastrous Wildfire Season Amid Pandemic — 5/14/2020, 6 a.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday laid out his plan for dealing with the upcoming wildfire season amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We gotta walk and chew gum at the same time,” he said at a news conference in El Dorado County, near Sacramento. The governor will propose additional funds in the budget for hiring firefighters and grants to local counties.

Mark Ghilarducci, director of California’s office of emergency services, said his team is working on protocols for evacuating people safely from fire zones while respecting social distancing.

— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Yellowstone, Grand Canyon National Parks To Welcome Back Visitors On Limited Basis — 5/14/2020, 5:30 a.m.

Yellowstone and Grand Canyon are among the national parks planning to welcome back visitors on a limited basis following lengthy closures due to COVID-19. Portions of the two popular parks will remain closed to the public, and visitors have been encouraged to wear face coverings.

Overnight lodging and campgrounds will also remain closed in both parks and no tour buses will be permitted, Reuters reported.

— Dominique Mosbergen

Maryland To Lift Stay-At-Home Orders On Friday — 5/13/2020, 5:58 p.m. ET

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he’s lifting the state’s stay-at-home orders this Friday at 5 p.m.

“Maryland has achieved the 14-day trend of plateauing and declining numbers,” the Republican governor said at a press conference, even though public health officials warn relaxing so many rules at this time comes with a high risk of coronavirus cases resurging.

On Friday, a “safer at home public health advisory” will go into effect that allows retail, salon, manufacturing and religious services to resume with some limits in place. People will not be allowed to gather in groups of more than 10. None of the new guidance will be enforced under the rule of the law. 

― Lydia O’Connor

Cuomo Finally Provides Sign Language Interpreter At Daily Briefing After Lawsuit From Deaf New Yorkers — 5/13/20, 1:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday marked the first time New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) provided a real-time American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter onscreen during his daily, widely viewed COVID-19 update, two weeks after a lawsuit from a group of deaf New Yorkers and disability rights advocates.

Filed on April 29, the lawsuit said Cuomo was the only U.S. governor holding daily coronavirus briefings without a visible, real-time ASL interpreter onscreen — known as “televised in frame ASL interpretation.”

In the lawsuit, the group Disability Rights New York said it had received “a large number of complaints from deaf New Yorkers who are unable to understand Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings due to the lack of in frame televised ASL interpretation.” Several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit cited difficulties in receiving accurate and prompt information about the state’s response to the pandemic, including several major directives, like Cuomo’s stay-at-home order and the requirement to wear masks in public.

Read more here.

— Marina Fang

D.C. Extends Stay-At-Home Order Through June 8 — 5/13/20, 11:40 a.m. ET

The nation’s capital will extend its stay-at-home order through June 8, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday morning. The city initially planned to begin reopening on May 15, but Bowser said measures including more testing and contact tracing must happen before D.C. can safely do so.

Tuesday was the region’s worst day yet: Coronavirus deaths reached an all-time high, with 70 new confirmed deaths in Maryland, 41 in Virginia and eight in D.C.

— Sebastian Murdock

Putin Spokesman Hospitalized With COVID-19 As Cases Surge In Russia — 5/13/2020, 7 a.m. ET

Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary and one of his closest aides, confirmed to state-run media on Tuesday that he had “fallen ill” with the virus. He and his wife, Tatyana Navka, have been hospitalized.

Russia overtook Spain this week as the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases after the United States. The country has reported over 230,000 confirmed infections to date and about 2,100 deaths.

Several top Kremlin officials have been sick with the coronavirus. Despite the rising number of cases, Putin announced Monday that the country would start to lift its partial lockdown.

— Dominique Mosbergen

Bolsonaro Wants Lockdowns Lifted As Brazil Records Deadliest Day — 5/13/20, 4:15 a.m. ET

Brazil’s number of confirmed cases of coronavirus passed Germany’s on Tuesday, as President Jair Bolsonaro fought states over his calls to reopen gyms and beauty salons, even as his country becomes a new global hotspot for the pandemic.

HuffPost Brazil reports (in Portuguese) that Brazil recorded its deadliest day on Tuesday, with 881 confirmed deaths in 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 12,400. Brazil now has 177,589 confirmed cases.

Bolsonaro has continually played down the risks of coronavirus despite the outbreak accelerating in Brazil, and called on states to relax their lockdown orders. The president clashed with governors again this week after declaring gyms and hair salons as “essential” services that are exempt from lockdown.

“Bolsonaro is walking toward the precipice and wants to take all of us with him,” Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel said.

The president’s popularity has suffered since the crisis began, polls show. Disapproval of Bolsonaro rose to more than 55% in a survey released on Tuesday, up from 47% in January.

— James Martin 

LA Stay-At-Home Orders Likely To Extend Through July ― 5/12/20, 3:21 p.m. ET

Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home orders will be extended through July “with all certainty,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday.

Ferrer said at a Board of Supervisors meeting that the orders would continue for the next three months unless there was a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

However, Ferrer also said that the agency was hoping to “slowly lift restrictions” if new data allows it.

“Our hope is that by using the data, we’d be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months,” she said. 

Los Angeles County is the most populated county in California. There are 32,263 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,570 related deaths in Los Angeles alone.

— Carla H. Russo

For more on the pandemic, go here. 


 
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus