Live Coronavirus Updates: Disease’s Peak Is Still Far Off in Some Places
Live Coronavirus Updates: Disease’s Peak Is Still Far Off in Some Places
As the W.H.O. warns of new cases, developing nations brace for surges.
Officials in Europe, the United States and other wealthy areas are reopening their economies amid slowing infection rates. Yet the pandemic is worsening in many parts of the developing world, and the global infection peak may still be months away.
The coronavirus has already sickened more than seven million people worldwide and killed at least 405,400, according to a New York Times database. The World Health Organization has said that Sunday’s 136,000 new cases were a new single-day high, and that three-quarters of them came from just 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.
Yet as some developing countries return to daily life in an effort to ease the virus’s brutal impact on the poor, they are creating infection risks.
South Africa, for example, whose caseload of nearly 51,000 is Africa’s highest, has started to reopen this week. But it has recorded more than half of its current cases in the past two weeks alone.
In India, public health experts are warning of a looming shortage of hospital beds and doctors to treat patients as the country grapples with a sharp surge of infections. India reported 10,000 new infections in the past 24 hours, for a total of at least 266,500, and has surpassed Spain to become one of the five countries with the highest caseloads.
Manish Sisodia, a government official in New Delhi, said the capital is likely to have 500,000 coronavirus cases by the end of July, based on the current doubling rate of the infection. Other major cities in India also face a shortage of hospital beds.
Rajnish Sinha, the owner of an event management company in Delhi, was able to secure space for his 75-year-old father-in-law on a stretcher in a missionary hospital only after an eight-hour search. He tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.
“This is just the beginning of the coming disaster,” Mr. Sinha said. “Only God can save us,” he said.
A further complication is that some nations are obscuring or withholding crucial health data from the public. President John Magufuli of Tanzania, whose government has not published data on coronavirus cases for weeks, declared his country “coronavirus free” over the weekend. And in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro’s government decided to stop reporting the cumulative toll of the virus altogether.
Here’s what else is happening around the world:
In Italy, the Pantheon, among Rome’s most famous sites, reopened on Tuesday.
The president of the United Nations General Assembly said Monday that world leaders would not come to New York for their annual gathering in September, a first in the U.N.’s 75-year history.
A W.H.O. scientist stirred confusion on Monday by saying that asymptomatic transmission was not a significant factor in the spread of the virus — as many public health experts had assumed — and that governments should focus more attention on controlling the spread among people with symptoms.
The Hong Kong government is bailing out Cathay Pacific Airways by injecting nearly $4 billion and taking a direct stake in its operations.
The Salzburg Festival announced Tuesday that it would go forward in August, but in modified form. The original plan — more than 200 performances over 44 days — will become 90 performances over 30 days. Audiences of up to 1,000, about half the capacity of its main theater, will sit in staggered formation.
Moscow’s tough lockdown ended abruptly on Tuesday as a key nationwide vote for the Kremlin loomed, and even as the Russian capital continued to report more than 1,000 daily new coronavirus cases.
Barbershops, beauty parlors, veterinary clinics and photography studios were allowed to reopen on Tuesday, and the city’s intricate system of digital permits for leaving one’s house stopped operating. A day earlier, Mayor Sergei S. Sobyanin said the spread of the coronavirus in the capital had slowed to the point that the city’s shelter-in-place measures, some of the world’s most stringent outside of China, could be lifted.
Libraries and agencies including real estate, advertising and consulting will be allowed to reopen next Tuesday, Mr. Sobyanin said, along with museums and zoos as long as they sell tickets online. Sporting events will reopen to spectators at 10 percent capacity and restaurants and cafes will be able to serve customers seated outdoors. Gyms, pools and kindergartens will fully open on June 23.
“The battle is not yet over,” Mr. Sobyanin told Muscovites on his website. “Nevertheless, I would like to congratulate you with our latest joint victory and with a major step toward returning to full-fledged life.”
But critics said Mr. Sobyanin was declaring victory far too soon, and pointed to possible pressure from the Kremlin. President Vladimir V. Putin last month postponed the military parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II; it will be held June 24. And Mr. Putin rescheduled to July 1 a constitutional referendum that would allow him to stay in office until 2036.
A grand parade coupled with a renewed sense of optimism thanks to relaxed lockdown measures could help Mr. Putin drum up much-needed enthusiasm for the July 1 vote, analysts said. It wasn’t clear what metrics Mr. Sobyanin was using to suddenly end the lockdown in Moscow, which has reported a total of 198,590 cases and 3,029 deaths. The number of daily new reported cases had hovered around 2,000 for two weeks before falling to 1,572 on Tuesday.
Central bankers may experiment more as efforts to rescue the economy continue.
Faced with a crisis unlike any other in memory, central bankers have gone beyond what the monetary authorities did even in the darkest days of the 2008 global financial crisis.
Central bankers entered the current crisis with low interest rates, leaving them less room to goose growth using their tried-and-true tools. With limited options, experimentation may prove even more crucial in the months and years ahead as the world embarks on what could be a long slog back to prosperity.
France, Germany, the United States and many other countries have poured trillions of dollars into their economies through tax cuts, cheap credit and cash handouts. Monetary policy and fiscal policy can act as complements during a crisis to get economies back on track.
But appetite for further fiscal action is eroding in some places, including the United States. And the next stage — the recovery — could pose a fresh test for the world’s central banks, forcing them to get more creative as they try to keep pandemic aftershocks causing permanent damage.
Nursing homes in the United States have been devastated by the coronavirus, and regular testing of their workers is seen as one of the most important ways to contain outbreaks. But who should pay for testing the employees?
The question has become a hot-button labor issue. Nursing home employees are some of the lowest paid workers in the health care industry and often work by the hour, and for multiple facilities. Many do not have health insurance, and about 42 percent of workers who care for older people receive some kind of public assistance.
Nursing homes, which have received nearly $5 billion in federal stimulus funding to cover coronavirus expenses — including testing — have pushed back against paying for the tests, and asked for more government help. Insurers have also said they should not be required to pay.
Like so many aspects of the U.S. response to the pandemic, the effort has been stymied by a lack of federal coordination and a patchwork of state policies. Even at the federal level, different agencies are offering conflicting advice.
Nowhere is this playing out more dramatically than in New York, where workers like Shikilia Davis are required to be tested twice a week. Last month, Ms. Davis said her employer, Apex Rehabilitation & Healthcare on Long Island, sent her home after she refused to provide her insurance card before getting tested. She said the nursing home wanted to bill her health insurer rather than paying for the test itself, even though Ms. Davis’s insurer has declined to cover the tests.
As the Trump administration lashes out at China over a range of grievances, Beijing’s top diplomats and representatives are using President Trump’s favorite online megaphone, Twitter, to slap back.
Behind China’s combative new messengers, a murky chorus of sympathetic accounts has emerged to repost them and cheer them on. Many are new to the platform, and some do little else but amplify the Beijing line.
No doubt some of these accounts are run by patriotic, tech-savvy Chinese people who get around their government’s ban on Twitter and other Western platforms. But an analysis by The Times found that many of the accounts behaved with a single-mindedness that could suggest a coordinated campaign of the type that countries have carried out on Twitter in the past.
China’s Twitter campaign comes as it battles the United States for control of the global narrative on the pandemic. China was criticized for its early mishandling of the outbreak. But with the United States upended first by the epidemic and now by protests, Beijing sees a chance to define itself as a global leader and press its interests in Hong Kong and beyond.
In April, as thousands of people began filing for unemployment, some food pantries and soup kitchens in New York City ran out of food. Hundreds of others, dependent on older volunteers, closed altogether because of the spread of the virus.
A report by the Food Bank for New York City, expected to be released on Tuesday, shows an even starker picture of how many people were flooding pantries and soup kitchens and how nonprofit operations were struggling to meet demand.
“By mid-April, closures peaked at more than one-third (39 percent) citywide,” the report will say. The sample size of the report was 276 respondents, and the margin of error is 5 percent.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in New York City, Food Bank has distributed about 21 million meals, a 20 percent increase compared with the same period last year.
With so many pantries and kitchens closed, people are crossing neighborhoods and boroughs to get food. About 70 percent of the pantries and kitchens surveyed by Food Bank recently said they had served people from other boroughs. About 91 percent of the nonprofits surveyed said they were seeing first-time visitors, and nearly half of the kitchens and pantries surveyed said they had to turn people away because of the shortages.
Food providers in the Bronx have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Out of 174 served by Food Bank, 87 were closed in mid-April. Currently, 190 out of 806 kitchens and pantries are closed citywide, a spokeswoman said on Monday.
Antarctica is the only continent that has not reported any cases of the virus. In an effort to keep it that way, Antarctica New Zealand, the government agency responsible for carrying out New Zealand’s activities on the continent, will cut back on research trips.
The institute will support only “long-term science monitoring, essential operational activity and planned maintenance this season in Antarctica,” it said in a statement on Tuesday. The reduction will minimize the number of visitors to the continent.
Antarctica is not a country and is governed by the Antarctic Treaty system, which came into force in 1961. New Zealand is among the countries that operates a base there.
Antarctica New Zealand and other government agencies, the statement said, are preparing a “managed isolation plan” for the continent, which is largely isolated anyway, to make sure it remains free of the virus.
“We acknowledge the impact this Covid-19 response will have on research this season, but these are unprecedented times,” Simon Trotter, the general manager of Antarctic operations for the institute, said on Tuesday.
The N.F.L. outlines a plan for training camp, but the timeline is unclear.
The N.F.L. has detailed the steps that teams must take before players can return to training facilities, the latest effort by the league to return to business as usual in an off-season that has largely been conducted virtually.
Yet while the league said the protocols were created in cooperation with the N.F.L. Players Association, the union’s president, J.C. Tretter, told players on Twitter on Monday to “be wary of any updates or information about returning to work from the league or your team.”
The lengthy N.F.L. memo was sent to team executives, general mangers, head coaches and trainers on Sunday. Executives and doctors from the league and the union have worked together during the pandemic, but Mr. Tretter’s tweet suggested that the league may be pushing faster than the union to bring the players back.
A spokesman for the N.F.L. said the league and the union were in agreement on the protocols. The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The memo included no date for when players could return. Training camps are, for now, scheduled to start in late July.
Unlike Major League Baseball or the N.B.A., the N.H.L. and other leagues that were in season, the N.F.L. has not had to cancel any games because of the pandemic. It entered its off-season in early February, a month before cities and states in the United States began implementing stay-at-home orders.
Those We’ve Lost: Bradley Fields, a magician who favored warmth over flash.
When Bradley Feldstein was 13 or 14 and practicing simple magic tricks at school in Queens, his mother ran an answering service. One of her customers was Jack Adams, a magician. “You must meet my son,” Rosalind Feldstein told her client, and soon Bradley became the magician’s assistant, working for five dollars a show. His future was set.
Bradley Fields, as he called himself, spent the next 55 years honing a career as an illusionist, actor and educator, often using magic to teach math to children.
In April, at home in Washington, he developed a sore throat. “I hope it’s just a cold,” he texted his longtime girlfriend, Stephanie Chaikin, in New York. He died of Covid-19 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center on May 5, Ms. Chaikin said. He was 68.
Reporting was contributed by Ken Belson, Ronen Bergman, Abdi Latif Dahir, Jack Ewing, Mike Ives, Aaron Krolik, John Leland, Iliana Magra, Paul Mozur, Jeanna Smialek, Kaly Soto, Nikita Stewart, Katie Thomas, David Waldstein, Edward Wong, Sameer Yasir and Raymond Zhong.