Coronavirus latest: New York still on track to reopen despite unrest

Linda J. Dodson

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 6,259,887, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 375,208.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Wednesday, June 3

1:45 a.m.  A Rohingya man has become the first person to die from coronavirus in the world’s largest refugee settlement in Bangladesh, Reuters reports

1:00 a.m. The coronavirus pandemic will have “severe and long-lasting socioeconomic impacts that may weaken long-term economic growth prospects, lower investment because of elevated uncertainty, and lead to the erosion of human capital,” World Bank Group President David Malpass says on the release of analytical chapters of the bank’s 2020 Global Economic Prospects Report.

12:45 a.m. New York City remains on track to begin reopening on June 8 despite the past nights’ protests and unrest, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says.

Tuesday, June 2

10:42 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government issues its first coronavirus alert under a new warning system, as the number of new cases surged to 34 from 13 on Monday.

6:04 p.m. The Hong Kong government announces that it is extending its social distancing measures, which had been due to end on June 4, for an additional two weeks. Authorities also report an additional six cases of the coronavirus, including four from one housing estate, bringing the total number to 1,094 cases and four deaths from COVID-19.

6:00 p.m. The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, has found no new symptomatic COVID-19 cases after testing of the entire population of nearly 10 million people between May 14 and June 1, officials say. But a total of 300 asymptomatic cases — people who are infected with the virus but do not exhibit symptoms of the disease — have been discovered.

4:55 p.m. India has approved Gilead Sciences’s antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use to treat COVID-19 patients. The drug was authorized for emergency use by U.S. regulators last month and has also been approved by Japan.

4:40 p.m. Russia reports 8,863 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its nationwide tally to 423,741. The death toll rose to 5,037 with 182 deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours.

4:20 p.m.  Tokyo confirms 34 new cases of coronavirus infections as schools, shopping malls and gyms reopened after the state of emergency was lifted on May 25. It is the first time since May 14 for the daily number to reach 30 or more. Gov. Yuriko Koike said the Tokyo government will consider issuing its own alerts including measures asking some businesses to close again. 

Pedestrians in face masks cross a street in Tokyo on May 27. Japan’s capital recorded more than 30 new daily coronavirus infections on Tuesday, a little over a week after a state of emergency was lifted on May 25.

  © Reuters

 2:08 p.m. India confirms 8,171 new cases, bringing the country’s COVID-19 tally to 198,706 and marking the third straight day of more than 8,000 infections. The total includes 5,598 deaths, up 204 over the past 24 hours.

1:53 p.m. Indonesia announces it will not send any pilgrims on the hajj to Saudi Arabia this year, citing a lack of certainty from Saudi authorities over the pandemic. Indonesia traditionally sends the largest annual contingent and had planned to send 220,000 pilgrims during this year’s hajj season, which will fall in July.

1:50 p.m. Indonesia’s foreign tourist arrivals tumbled 87.4% in April from a year earlier to around 160,000, due to travel curbs imposed to contain the coronavirus. More than 90% of those who did visit came from neighboring East Timor and Malaysia.

1:15 p.m. North Korea will open schools early this month, after delays due to concern about the new coronavirus, state media reports. Schools usually begin their spring term April 1, but the start was postponed as the government took steps to ward off the virus. The isolated country has said it has had no confirmed cases of the disease.

1:00 p.m. Hong Kong reports four new cases in a single housing estate after recording no local transmissions for more than two weeks, raising fears of a “super spreader” in the neighborhood. Health officials who made an inspection say there is no need to evacuate the complex.

North Korean state media announded June 2 that schools will open early this month. The start of the school year was delayed by concerns about the coronavirus.

  © Reuters

12:15 a.m. Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, will allow some fitness facilities to open from June 13, after nearly a week with no new cases via community transmission.

10:25 a.m. South Korea confirms 38 new cases, up from 35 a day ago. Total infections reach 11,541 with 272 deaths.

10:00 a.m. Japan allows saliva-based tests to help increase PCR testing. But the country is limiting the tests to patients who have been symptomatic within a nine-day timeframe — the period during which a measurable amount of virus in saliva remains. Currently, nasal swabs are being used, but sneezing when collecting samples has threatened medical workers with infection.

8:00 a.m. Brazil reports 11,598 new cases and 623 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the country total to 526,447 cases and 29,937 deaths.

7:20 a.m. A week after Japan fully lifted its state of emergency, businesses are lifting their shutters and turning the lights back on. But customers and workers are not rushing to return.

5:00 a.m. The U.S. stock market largely ignored the turmoil sweeping the country, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 91 points, or 0.4%, to 25475. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4% and 0.7% respectively.

4:00 a.m. As Asian governments reopen their economies, many are exploring the idea of “travel bubbles” that would allow citizens to cross borders with minimal or no quarantine periods.

3:27 a.m. Marriott International has reopened all hotels in China, according to CEO Arne Sorenson, with the occupancy rate reaching 40%.

Monday, June 1

Government support for saliva-based polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests will likely increase the number of people screened for COVID-19.

  © Reuters

8:57 p.m. The Singapore government is racing to create additional housing for about 60,000 migrant workers by the end of this year as it seeks to reduce the density in dormitories that have hosted mass outbreaks of the coronavirus, Reuters reports.

8:20 p.m. India has reported over 190,000 cases of coronavirus, passing France to make it the 7th worst-hit country behind the U.S., Brazil, Russia, the U.K., Spain and Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.

7:20 p.m. New Delhi has allowed barber shops and salons to reopen, and is lifting the restriction on the number of passengers in private and public vehicles as the country starts to exit from a lockdown imposed on March 25. Delhi, India’s third worst-hit state with nearly 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, sealed off its borders for a week amid a continuous rise in infections.

7:00 p.m. The Philippine health authority is planning to validate around 6,800 positive coronavirus tests in the coming days, to try to provide an accurate picture of the pandemic’s progress in the country, the Manila Bulletin reported. A senior health officer, in a virtual press briefing, said that the department was dealing with around 6,800 unvalidated test results now.

The authority reported 552 new cases in the country on Monday, bringing the total to 18,638.

6:28 p.m. Citing public health concerns, Hong Kong will ban candlelight vigils in Victoria Park on the anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4 1989. This is the first time since 1990 that the vigil has been banned.

Activist Lee Cheuk-yan said the government was suppressing pro-democracy movements under the pretext of social distancing rules. The coronavirus outbreak has largely been brought under control in Hong Kong, with only a handful of new cases reported in the past weeks.

Hong Kong’s retail sales in April dropped 36.1% on the year, as the outbreak weighs on tourism and local consumption, marking the 15th consecutive month of decline.

6:00 p.m. Stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China soared on Monday as investors expressed relief after U.S. President Donald Trump stopped short of specifying tough sanctions over Beijing’s new national security law for Hong Kong.

5:00 p.m. Japan’s government plans to negotiate with its counterparts in Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand to lift entry bans on travelers from the four countries, which have strong economic ties with Japan and have largely brought their outbreaks under control. Japan is considering a phased approach in which business travelers would be allowed back first.

4:40 p.m. Russia reports 9,035 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the nationwide tally of infections to 414,878 with 162 deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The total death toll reached 4,855.

4:30 p.m. Singapore confirms 408 new coronavirus cases on Monday, down from 518 a day earlier, bringing the city-state’s tally to 35,292.

3:00 p.m. Japan’s stock benchmark rose to a three-month high on Monday as U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats against China over new security laws for Hong Kong were less threatening than feared. The Nikkei average gained 0.8% to 22,062.39, its highest close since Feb. 26.

2:40 p.m. Gambling revenue in Macao slid 93.2% in May from a year earlier due to coronavirus-related restrictions in the world’s biggest casino hub. The 1.76 billion patacas ($220.4 million) in revenue for the month came after a 96.8% plunge in April.

2:00 p.m. Universal Studios Japan says it will reopen on June 8 but only to Osaka residents who have an annual “passport.” All Osaka residents will be welcomed beginning June 15, and on June 19 residents of five nearby prefectures will be allowed into the park. Meanwhile, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have extended their closures again, setting no specific reopening date.

1:57 p.m. India reports another record single-day infection spike with 8,392 new cases, bringing the country’s COVID-19 tally to 190,535. The total includes 5,394 deaths, up 230 over the past 24 hours.

11:50 a.m. Public schools resume in Tokyo after a three-month closure, while the capital allows businesses such as shopping malls, gyms and movie theaters to reopen. Schools are still taking precautions, such as limiting attendance numbers, to prevent a second wave of infections.

Schools in Tokyo reopened on Monday after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. They are still taking precautions, limiting attendance numbers to prevent a second wave of infections.

11:30 a.m. South Korea’s Celltrion says its experimental COVID-19 treatment showed a 100-fold viral load reduction in animal tests. The pre-clinical study noted improved nasal drainage, cough and body aches after the first day, and clearing of lung inflammations within six days, the company said in a statement.

10:27 a.m. South Korea reports 35 new cases, up from 27 a day ago. Total infections reach 11,503 with 271 deaths. Preschools in the country’s provincial regions reopen today, while the government plans to announce its third extra budget soon.

10:20 a.m. Tokyo begins random antibody tests on about 3,000 volunteer residents. Some of the antibody tests are underway in Miyagi Prefecture north of the capital, while Osaka further south will start testing from Wednesday.

10:00 a.m. China reports 16 new cases for May 31, the highest since May 11 and up from two cases a day earlier. All the cases came from overseas travellers. There were 16 new asymptomatic cases, compared with three a day earlier.

9:50 a.m. South Korean exports tumbled in May for the third straight month, though at a slower pace, as extended global lockdowns weighed on global demand. Shipments contracted 23.7% year on year in May, slower than the 25.1% drop in April.

8:55 a.m. Capital spending in Japan rose 4.3% in the January-March quarter from a year earlier. Investment by all nonfinancial sectors for factories, equipment and similar expenditures totaled 16.35 trillion yen ($152 billion).

A COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Los Angeles, California on May 40.

  © Reuters

5:35 a.m. Global coronavirus cases set a new record of over 134,000 on May 30 according to Johns Hopkins data. Brazil had 33,000 cases, far more than 24,000 in the U.S.

5:30 a.m. Seven out of 10 Japanese companies with domestic plants will revise their supply chains, a Nikkei survey shows, highlighting corporate efforts to find a new normal in light of continuing risks from the novel coronavirus.

3:40 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the next Group of Seven summit, signaling his desire to find partners as he blames China for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Trump said that he will postpone the G-7 summit from June to September.

Sunday, May 31

9:00 p.m. Sri Lanka plans to reopen its tourism sector in mid-June by allowing only small groups of visitors to begin with, a local newspaper quoted a senior tourism ministry official as saying.

7:30 p.m. Thailand’s House of Representatives passes a 1.9 trillion baht ($59.8 billion) support package to ease the impact of the coronavirus. The legislation, comprising three bills, needs approval from the Senate, which is expected to convene in early June, before it can become law.

1:50 p.m. Thailand reports four new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, taking the Southeast Asian country’s total number of infections to 3,081, with 57 deaths.

10:52 a.m. China confirms two new infections, down from four the day before, lifting the total number of recorded cases in the mainland to 83,001. With no new fatalities reported, the death toll remains at 4,634.

9:11 a.m. Brazil’s Health Ministry says the coronavirus death toll has risen to 28,834, with 956 fatalities in the past 24 hours. The South American country surpasses France, with only the U.S., Britain and Italy reporting more deaths. The number of infections in Brazil reaches 498,440, with a daily record of 33,274 new cases reported.

4:12 a.m. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a total coronavirus case count of 1,737,950, an increase of 18,123 from its previous count. The number of deaths has risen by 1,074 to 102,785.

12:14 a.m. Austria’s health ministry gives the green light for two Formula One motor races on July 5 and 12 — the delayed season-openers — to be held without spectators, Reuters reports.

Saturday, May 30

9:46 p.m. The Philippine Health Department reports eight additional deaths from the coronavirus and 590 new infections. Total fatalities rise to 950, while confirmed cases reach 17,224.

6:16 p.m. Malaysia reports 30 new coronavirus infections, raising its total to 7,762. The Southeast Asian country’s death toll remains at 115.

5:46 p.m. Indonesia records 557 new infections, taking its tally to 25,773. The country reports 53 new deaths, raising the toll to 1,573.

4:13 p.m. Singapore’s Health Ministry confirms 506 more coronavirus cases, increasing the city-state’s total to 34,366.

3:16 p.m. Taiwan approves remdesivir, from Gilead Sciences, to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

11:15 a.m. Japan’s health ministry postpones the approval of Avigan, a candidate drug for treating coronavirus infections, until June or later. The delay dashes the hopes of many, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who previously said that he “will aim for approval by the end of May.”

11:00 a.m. China records four new cases of coronavirus as of the end of Friday, compared with zero the day before. All of the cases were imported. The country also confirms four new asymptomatic cases, versus five the day before. With no new fatalities reported, the death toll remains at 4,634.

8:00 a.m. Brazil registers 1,124 deaths from the novel coronavirus and 26,928 additional cases in the past 24 hours. The death toll in Brazil, which has the second-largest outbreak in the world, stands at 27,878.

7:00 a.m. Japan’s largest diagnostic companies will step up to help the country in its lagging coronavirus testing effort by tripling their combined capacity to roughly 10,000 daily before summer’s end.

6:15 a.m. A record 5.97 million Japanese people, or about 9% of the nation’s entire workforce, were employed but not working last month, official data shows.

5:23 a.m. U.S. stocks end the final trading day of May with mixed results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls almost 0.1%, paring its losses after President Donald Trump’s news conference on China, in which he announced less drastic measures than some had expected. The S&P 500 rises about 0.5%.

3:52 a.m. The U.S. will “terminate” its relationship with the World Health Organization and roll back preferential treatment for Hong Kong, President Donald Trump says at a news conference. Trump claims the WHO is under China’s “total control.”

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.

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