May 21 2020
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported the largest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases.
It said that 106,662 virus cases were reported on Tuesday, the most in a single day since the outbreak erupted in Wuhan, China in December last year.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “very concerned” about the situation in low- and middle-income nations.
The global Covid-19 death toll has now topped 325,000 while the number of cases neared five million.
South America has seen infections surge and some countries there have reinstated lockdown measures that had been eased.
Brazil has been hardest hit, rising to the third-highest number of cases in the world. The country reported 1,179 new Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, the first time the daily toll exceeded 1,000.
There are worrying signs in Argentina too, with authorities in Cordoba having to reinstate lockdown measures following a sharp spike in infections.
Peru saw its case count shoot past 100,000 and deaths top 3,000. Mexico and Chile have also seen steady increases in infections.
In Asia, India is quickly becoming the latest Covid-19 hotspot.
The world’s second-most populous country reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections, with 5,611 new cases in 24 hours.
Nearly 107,000 cases have been reported in India and more than 3,300 people have died.
Despite the grim figures, the Indian government will allow domestic air travel to resume on May 25 after a two-month shutdown.
Meanwhile, United States added more than 1,500 deaths in the past 24 hours.
President Donald Trump, however, said he may host the coming G7 summit in June at Camp David instead of holding it via videoconference.
“The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all — normalization!”he said on Twitter.
G7 countries — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — take turns organising the annual gathering.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said he would attend the summit if “health conditions allow” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would “wait and see what happens.”
European countries have been trying to save the summer tourism season, which is crucial for their economies.
European Union tourism ministers held a virtual meeting yesterday as Greece announced plans to restart its travel season.
Seasonal hotels in Greece could reopen from June 15 and international flights would resume from July 1.
In Italy, airports were given the green light to reopen from June 3, including for international flights.
There was also an encouraging news on the scientific front yesterday as two studies on monkeys offered hope that humans can develop protective immunity to the virus.
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston reported progress from one study which looked at a prototype vaccine, and another on whether infection with Covid-19 provides immunity against re-exposure.