Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 from around the world - Monday, May 25

As of Monday morning, the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic had claimed at least 345,000 lives around the world.

Here are the latest developments from overnight.

Europe

United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who drove 400km to northern England while coronavirus lockdown measures were in place, will not resign, Transport Minister Grant Shapps says.

"Is he going to resign?" BBC presenter Andrew Marr asked during an interview. "No," said Shapps on Sunday.

"I think that what they did was totally understandable," Johnson said at a news conference on Sunday.

"I think any father, any parent would frankly understand what he did and I certainly do."

Several lawmakers from Johnson's Conservative Party called on Sunday morning for Cummings to quit.

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings.
Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. Photo credit: Getty

The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 118 to 36,793.

Germany

Around 100 supporters of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party demonstrated against coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Stuttgart on Sunday.

Party co-leader Alice Weidel gave a speech criticising the restrictions as a crowd of around 200 counter-protesters were heard booing in the distance.

Although restrictions have been eased in the country, Weidel argued that the restrictions violated the constitution and it was not clear when they would be lifted.

Germany has withstood the pandemic much better than Britain and Italy, partly thanks to widespread virus testing, an excellent healthcare system and the strict lockdown measures introduced in mid-March.

German authorities are trying to trace everyone who attended a church service in Frankfurt this month after more than 107 people tested positive for the coronavirus.

Russia

Russia has reported 153 coronavirus deaths over the previous 24 hours, the epidemic's highest daily toll, raising total fatalities to 3541, the country's coronavirus crisis response centre says.

It also said 8599 new cases had been documented, fewer than on the previous day, pushing the nationwide tally of infections to 344,481.

Moscow has canceled Eid celebration this year, and its Cathedral Mosque - which has usually been the site of a gathering of Muslim prayers - was closed on Sunday amid coronavirus restrictions.

France

Catholics gathered inside Paris' Saint-Francois-Xavier church amid organ music and choir song on Sunday (May 24) as the church held its first Mass in months after the end of France's nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

Churchgoers donned masks and sat at least one metre apart during the Catholic celebration, held on the Sunday after the holy feast of Ascension Day.

"We're really feeling the joy of reunion, as if it was after a long period of deprivation," priest Bruno Lefevre Pontalis, who led the Mass, said.

France late on Friday reversed its ban on religious gathering in place since March as part of government efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Americas

Brazil

Brazil registered 965 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 22,013, the Ministry of Health reported Saturday.

The largest country in Latin America also registered 16,508 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 347,398 by 19:00 local time on Saturday.

The country set a new record for the number of deaths in a day on Thursday, with 1,188 fatalities.

Sao Paulo, the epicenter of the virus in Brazil and the country's most populous state, has registered 6,045 deaths and 80,558 cases.

Graves being dug in Brazil to hold coronavirus victims.
Graves being dug in Brazil to hold coronavirus victims. Photo credit: Getty

United States

Donald Trump has been slammed for playing golf for a second straight day as the coronavirus death toll continues to rise in the US to almost 100,000.

Americans excited about what for many was their first big break from coronavirus shutdowns flocked to beaches and outdoor areas on Saturday, snarling roadways and forcing some closures on the Memorial Day weekend that signals the start of the US summer.

In Daytona Beach, Florida, thousands of beachgoers crowded the beach with their cars parked and tents pitched in the sand seemingly disregarding social distancing recommendations that have been issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, 11 states have reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to Reuters figures. Iowa had a record increase in deaths on Saturday, as did Minnesota and Rhode Island earlier this week, according to a Reuters tally.

Asia

China

The United States should stop wasting time in its fight against the coronavirus and work with China to combat it, rather than spreading lies and attacking the country, the Chinese government's top diplomat Wang Yi says.

"Regretfully, in addition to the raging coronavirus, a political virus is also spreading in the United States. This political virus is using every opportunity to attack and smear China," said Wang, who is also China's Foreign Minister.

"Some politicians have ignored the most basic facts and concocted too many lies about China and plotted too many conspiracies," he added.

"I want to say here: Don't waste precious time any longer, and don't ignore lives," Wang said. "What China and the United States need to do the most is to first learn from each other and share their experience in fighting against the epidemic, and help each country fight it."

Yi said the country is "open" to international research on the origin of the new coronavirus with the World Health Organization taking the lead, but will not accept any lawsuit demanding the country pays compensation to the victims.

India

Preparations were underway at airports across India on Sunday (May 24) as airlines were readying themselves to resume flight operations, even as positive cases of coronavirus continue to rise.

After a two-month coronavirus shutdown, India's airlines will now be allowed to resume flights with about a third of operations from Monday (May 25), but on domestic routes only and with rules that are among the strictest in the world.

The regulations, in effect until August 24, include full-body protective gear for airline crew, temperature checks, face masks and shields for all passengers and a minimum and maximum fare band for airlines.

India registered 6767 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the country's biggest 24-hour jump yet, taking the total to over 131,000.

Middle East and Africa

Muslims across the Middle East are experiencing an unprecedented Eid al-Fitr, where some of the region's major cities, usually overflowing with people, are now deserted under government-imposed lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

In Egypt, the country's annual tradition of assembling in mosques and streets for Eid prayers has been banned to avoid infection. Eid prayers were instead performed in one mosque with a limited number of worshipers and aired on national television.

In Jordan's Amman, a father of eight and grandfather of 22, Issa Kanaan and his family gathered on Sunday to perform Eid prayers together after the government closed down mosques and restricted movement.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian authorities imposed a lockdown confining citizens to their homes from Friday night to Monday night, experiencing what one Bethlehem resident called "the strangest Eid atmosphere" ever witnessed.

Other cities, including Riyadh, Dubai, and Damascus are witnessing similar atmospheres, where streets are deserted, mosques are closed, and families asked to stay home during the annual occasion.

Iran

A 107-year-old Iranian woman who was infected with the new coronavirus has recovered, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reports.

The woman, Saltanat Akbari, was admitted to the Khansari hospital in the central city of Arak. She was released from the hospital after spending "some time" in isolation.

"She defeated the virus with the help of doctors and nurses at the hospital," Fars said.

Iran is one of the most affected countries in the Middle East with a total of 133,521 infected cases and 7359 deaths.

Reuters / APTN / Newshub.

 

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