Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:
‘Europe should brace itself for a second wave’
The prospect of a second wave of infection across Europe is no longer merely theoretical, according to the director of the EU agency responsible for advising governments on disease control.
“The question is when and how big. That is the question in my view,” said Dr Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
World trade at four-year low
International imports and exports have fallen to their lowest level for at least four years, according to World Trade Organization figures. Warning that there was little prospect of the downturn ending soon, the global authority on trade said it believed import and export activity would fall precipitously in the first half of 2020.
France to reorganise health system
France is to launch a complete shake-up of its health system, widely considered to be one of the best in the world, yet exposed by the pandemic.
President Macron had already promised to overhaul the “salaries, careers, speciality training and professional situation” of staff in hospitals and state-run nursing homes and to invest and reform financing of the health system.
Cyclone complicates prevention efforts in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, 16 more people died as the arrival of possibly the most powerful cyclone in more than a decade complicated efforts to maintain measures to curb the spread of the disease.
Authorities were attempting to move 2.2 million people to safety as Cyclone Amphan made landfall on Wednesday morning, after days brewing in the Bay of Bengal. The highest level of alert was raised at 6am, said Enamur Rahman, the junior minister for disaster management and relief.
Amnesty calls for urgent search for Rohingya at sea
Amnesty International has urged governments to conduct urgent search operations to find as many as 1,000 Rohingya refugees who are stranded at sea and at risk of being hit by super-cyclone Amphan.
Rights groups said governments were using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to turn away boats carrying stranded refugees, and warned that those on board might have been at sea for months.
US tells UN to cut sexual health from Covid-19 plan
The Trump administration called on the UN to remove references to sexual and reproductive health from its Covid-19 humanitarian response plan. In a letter to the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, the acting administrator for the US agency for international development, John Barsa, urged the UN to “stay focused on life-saving interventions” and not include abortion as an essential service.
Trump accuses China of ‘mass worldwide killing’
The US president lashed out at Beijing, blaming it for “mass worldwide killing”. Donald Trump refers to an unidentified “wacko in China”, the latest in a series of attacks aimed at the country that he appears to be trying to frame as the centrepiece of his reelection bid.
Trump, who initially played down the seriousness of the threat, later changed course and blamed China for allowing the international spread of coronavirus.
Greece to unveil tourism plan
As Greece prepares to unveil its long-awaited tourism plan, some beaches are being opened. The country has virtually eradicated the virus after enforcing draconian measures to curb its spread early on.