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Live Coronavirus Updates: A Warning From the W.H.O.

2020-06-09 09:47:33

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 East Africa, truck drivers have been designated essential workers but are testing positive at an alarming rate, prompting officials to start conducting mass testing at borders.

In Pakistan, where confirmed infections have surpassed 100,000, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he expects domestic cases to peak by the end of July or August.

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, is reopening on Tuesday.

  • The president of the United Nations General Assembly said on 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.

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.

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.

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, David Waldstein, Edward Wong and Raymond Zhong.


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