COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE WORLDWIDE, AS OF 26 MAY 2020

COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE WORLDWIDE, AS OF 26 MAY 2020
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TWO CHILEAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

From Florencia Trucco and Tatiana Arias

Chile’s Minister of Energy Juan Carlos Jobet and Public Works Minister Alfredo Moreno tested positive for novel coronavirus, according to official statements published Monday.Both ministers went into a preventive quarantine at the end of last week after showing mild symptoms of the virus, according to the statements. “Minister Jobet has not had any direct contact with President Sebastian Piñera or with other members of the cabinet in the last days,” the statement from the Ministry of Energy said.

The Ministry of Public Works said, “It’s important to highlight that Minister Alfredo Moreno has not had any close contact in the last days with president Sebastian Piñera or any other member of the cabinet.” Chile reported 3,964 new cases of novel coronavirus and 45 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 77,961 and 806 deaths, the Ministry of Health reported during a daily briefing.

As of Tuesday, Chile had one of the highest infection rates in Latin America after Brazil and Peru.

SPAIN’S VIRUS-TRACKING SYSTEM WAS ADJUSTED. HERE ARE THE LATEST NUMBERS.

From CNN’s Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Spain and Mia Alberti in Lisbon Spain reported Tuesday a one-day increase of 194 new diagnosed coronavirus infections from the previous day. 

Spain’s Health Ministry instituted a new country-wide system for reporting and tracking coronavirus cases two weeks ago, resulting in a sharp recalculation of infections and deaths. The total figure for cumulative infections confirmed by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests since the start of the pandemic now stands at more than 236,000, according to the ministry’s data. 

Under the new system, health authorities in Spain say infections are now calculated on the day they are diagnosed — not the day they are reported, which has resulted in this week’s fluctuating numbers. Some Spanish media have been wryly calling this “the data dance”.

In one example of the new reporting, an additional 35 new deaths have been added to the figures published Tuesday, however, these deaths occurred over the past week, according to the country’s health ministry. 

Spain’s latest death toll figure of at least 27,117 is lower than what was previously reported by the by the Health Ministry. This is because the ministry recalculated the overall figure Monday and nearly 2,000 deaths were suddenly removed from the tally.

A top Spanish health official, Dr. Fernando Simón said on Monday that the withdrawn cases from the total were not confirmed Covid-19 deaths and therefore did not meet the Health Ministry’s updated criteria to be included in the total count.

Simón added that the purpose of the revised tally “is to evaluate the pace of the epidemic in the past seven days,” so that medical personnel across the country can have more current data in real time.

The Health Ministry website says the discrepancy between previously reported numbers and those being reported now could persist for several days, as a consequence of a “new strategy of diagnosis, monitoring and control of the transition phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.

US TRAVEL BAN WILL AFFECT RELATIONS WITH BRAZIL, SAO PAULO GOVERNOR SAYS

From CNN’s Anna Gorzkowska, Flora Charner and Hira Humayun

The new US travel ban on Brazil may affect the diplomatic and economic relationship between the two countries, Sao Paulo Gov. Joao Doria told CNN’s Isa Soares on Tuesday.

“In my opinion, my personal opinion, even the diplomatic and economic relationship with the US will be affected by Mr. Trump’s decision,” Doria said.

White House announces new travel restrictions on Brazil

Doria said President Jair Bolsonaro was undermining his message and that of governors who represent some of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“With the example of the president of Brazil, everything is more difficult to us,” he said, because when local authorities ask people to stay home and use masks, the president sends the “opposite message.”

“He goes to the streets without masks. A wrong behavior and wrong indication. This is very sad for Brazil and makes everything more difficult [for] the governors in the states of Brazil,” Doria said. “In fact, we have today two viruses to combat in Brazil: the coronavirus and Bolsonaro virus.”

Bolsonaro has frequently dismissed the threat of the coronavirus and has said the financial impact of preventive measures, such as social distancing and quarantines, will be worse than the virus itself.

“The behavior of President Bolsonaro is the wrong behavior. He is against social isolation. He’s against orientation of the science,” Doria said, adding the priority should be saving lives before saving the economy.

Doria denied Sao Paulo’s health care system was near collapse at the moment, saying hospitals have received ventilators and the necessary support, and that the situation “is under control.”

The state of Sao Paulo has the highest cases in Brazil, with more than 83,000 infections and 6,220 deaths, according to the latest data from the Brazilian health ministry.

ITALY’S ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES DROP TO ALMOST HALF OF THOSE RECORDED DURING PEAK

From CNN's Hada Messia, Nicola Ruotolo and Mia Alberti 

The number of active Covid-19 cases in Italy has dropped to 52,942, the Civil Protection Agency said Tuesday. 

The number marks an encouraging decrease – close to half of the highest number of cases recorded during the peak of the pandemic, which stood at 108,257.

There have been 78 deaths in the past day, a small increase of 0.24%, raising the total number of fatalities to 32,955. 

Since Monday, 2,677 people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 144,658. There are also 521 patients still in ICU.

The total number of cases in Italy currently stands at 230,555, with 397 new registered cases in the last day, according to the latest Civil Protection Agency numbers.

 


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