Pope Francis is cautioning people in countries emerging from coronavirus lockdowns to keep following authorities’ rules for COVID-19 containment.
“Be careful, don’t cry victory. Don’t cry victory too soon,” he said Sunday.
Italy’s gradual easing of stay-at-home rules now allows the public to gather in St. Peter’s Square on Sundays for the pope’s noon blessing, and Francis was clearly delighted to see several hundred people gathered in the square below his window, standing safely either individually or as families.
Francis told the faithful to “follow the rules, they are rules that help us to avoid the virus getting ahead” again.
“Thank God, we’re slowly coming out” from the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
But in his prepared remarks, the Argentine-born pontiff has also expressed dismay that the virus is still claiming many lives, especially in Latin America. In his off-the-cuff comments to the people in the square, he didn’t name any country, but said that two days earlier, in one day, a death of an infected person was registered every minute.
His message came as the number of coronavirus deaths globally surpassed 400,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that health experts say is still an undercount because many who died were not tested for the virus.
Worldwide, at least 6.9 million people have been infected by the virus, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has seen nearly 110,000 confirmed virus-related deaths and Europe has recorded more than 175,000 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.
Canada had 95,699 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases as of 12:00 p.m. ET Sunday, according to a CBC News tally, including 33,638 active cases and 54,221 recoveries. At least 7,840 people in Canada have died from coronavirus.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world on Sunday.
The British government will allow places of worship to reopen on June 15 — but only for private prayer. Weddings and other services will not be permitted under the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown. People are expected to adhere to physical-distancing rules.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to discuss the next stage of the lockdown easing with his cabinet on Tuesday. As things stand, nonessential shops, including department stores, are due to reopen on June 15.
The government insists it will hold off if any of its five tests to monitor the pandemic, such as being confident there is no second wave in the outbreak, are not met.
Here’s a look at what’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
China released a lengthy report Sunday on the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, defending their government’s actions and saying that Beijing had provided information in a timely and transparent manner. China “wasted no time” in sharing information such as the genome sequence for the new virus with the World Health Organization as well as relevant countries and regional organizations, according to the report.
China reported six new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, three more than the previous day. Five of the new cases, recorded by late Saturday, involved travelers arriving from abroad, the National Health Commission said on its website.
Brazil’s government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections in an extraordinary move that critics call an attempt to hide the true toll of the disease in Latin America’s largest nation.
On Friday, the federal Health Ministry took down a website that had showed daily, weekly and monthly figures on infections and deaths in Brazilian states. On Saturday, the site returned but the cumulative numbers of infections for states and the nation were no longer there. The site now shows only the numbers for the previous 24 hours.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro went as far as to tweet on Saturday that his country’s disease totals are “not representative” of Brazil’s current situation, insinuating that the numbers were actually overestimating the spread of the virus. Critics of Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly clashed with health experts over the seriousness of the disease and has threatened to take Brazil out of the World Health Organization, said the decision was a ploy by the hardman-style leader to hide the depths of crisis.
Brazil’s last official numbers recorded over 34,000 virus-related deaths, the third-highest toll in the world behind the U.S. and Britain. It reported nearly 615,000 infections, putting it second behind the U.S. Brazil’s last official numbers showed it had recorded over 34,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, the third-highest number in the world, just ahead of Italy. It reported nearly 615,000 infections, putting it second, behind the United States. Brazil, with about 210 million people, is the globe’s seventh most populous nation.
WATCH | Visitors to be allowed back at some provincial hospitals, long-term care homes:
Malaysians will be allowed to travel interstate, get their hair cut at salons and visit street markets beginning Wednesday, when more coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Sunday that more economic sectors will reopen, schools and religious activities will gradually resume, and people can travel for domestic holidays after nearly three months of lockdown.
But he said certain prohibitions will remain as the country enters a “recovery” phase until the end of August. Nightclubs, pubs, karaoke parlors, theme parks and reflexology centres will stay shut. Contact sports or those that involve many spectators, including soccer and boxing, and activities involving mass groups will remain banned. Malaysia has confirmed just over 8,000 cases of the virus, including 117 deaths.
Russia reported 8,984 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours on Sunday, pushing the total number of infections to 467,673. Officials said 134 people had died during the same period, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,859.
India reported 9,971 new coronavirus cases on Sunday in another biggest single-day spike, a day before it prepares to reopen shopping malls, hotels and religious places after a 10-week lockdown.
India has now surpassed Spain as the fifth hardest-hit country, with more than 247,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including nearly 7,000 deaths.
The United States has evidence China is trying to slow down or sabotage the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Western countries, Republican Sen. Rick Scott said on Sunday. “We have got to get this vaccine done. Unfortunately we have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down,” he said during an interview on BBC TV without providing specifics. The U.S. had nearly two million COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and more than 109,000 deaths.
WATCH | Scientists aim to reduce waste from created from disposable pandemic supplies:
South Korea reported 57 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, its second straight day with over 50 new infections. The country has now confirmed 11,776 cases, including 273 deaths. South Korea’s caseload peaked in late February and early March when it recorded hundreds of new cases each day. But the outbreak has significantly eased amid aggressive tracing, testing and treatment, prompting authorities to loosen strict social distancing rules. The new cases in recent weeks have been linked to nightclubs, an e-commerce warehouse, church gatherings and door-to-door sellers in the Seoul metropolitan area.
In Australia, Health Minister Greg Hunt said he hopes the Black Lives Matter rallies across the country on Saturday that broke COVID-19 social distancing rules will not lead to a new wave of infections. More than 20,000 people marched in Sydney and crowds rallied in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and some regional cities and towns despite public health warnings. Australia has had over 7,250 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 102 deaths.
Published at Sun, 07 Jun 2020 14:20:32 +0000