Coronavirus News from Across the Globe: June 4 – New Hotspots Emerge, Sweden Relaxes Restrictions

By Anna Breuer on 4 June 2020
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Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and most populous area of Scandinavia

Health officials said that new Covid-19 hot spots are emerging across the globe. The number of cases reported on May 30, 2020, was 134,064, more than on any prior day.  The new hotspots are in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

In the United States, top college and university officials and healthcare experts told the U.S. Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. that they won’t bring students back to campus this fall without expanded and extensive Covid-19 testing and tracing in place. Without adequate testing, universities “can’t function at all,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

The authors of a study published in the Lancet in May retracted a study that found that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective for Covid-19 patients, after the data upon which the study was based was called into question. The retraction does not mean that hydroxychloroquine has been found to be effective, however; the first large controlled clinical trial of the medication found that it did not prevent Covid-19 in a randomized test of 821 people who had been exposed to individuals who had the virus.

New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, noting that Thursday is Day 96 of the coronavirus crisis, said that the state is “seeing a continued decline in numbers.” There were 52 deaths on Wednesday, slightly up from 49 on Tuesday, but still down from 58 on Monday.

Meanwhile, New York City, which will begin to reopen its economy on June 8, may be able to move to Phase 2 of the reopening in early July. Restaurants would be able to offer outdoor dining, and offices, shops, and businesses such as salons, barber shops, and tattoo parlors could reopen, albeit with face masks and social distancing restrictions.

The United Kingdom will begin to ramp up its mass transit systems. Starting June 15, face coverings will be mandatory for all riders except for children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory issues that use of the masks could worsen, according to the country’s transport minister, Grant Shapps.

The Gap store near you hasn’t paid its rent, most likely.  Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the country, filed suit against the Gap, which also owns Banana Republic and Old Navy, for $66 million of unpaid rent from April, May, and June of this year.

Meanwhile, the National Basketball Association said its board of governor approved a plan that would allow the 2019-2020 seasons to restart with the participation of 22 out of the league’s 30 teams. The plan calls for the league to use the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida as an isolated campus at which to hold all practices and games, while providing players and coaches with lodging.

Sweden will allow seasonal workers in agriculture and forestry to enter the country and will loosen internal travel restrictions starting June 13.  Individuals without any symptoms of the novel coronavirus will be permitted to travel anywhere in the country, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said at a news conference, adding that “This decision does not mean that the danger is over.”

Calling protests a “seeding event,” the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said that anyone participating in recent protests needs to be evaluated and tested for the coronavirus.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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