Spain army predicts two more outbreaks; World Health Organisation says it has $2 billion funding shortfall; Italy coronavirus death toll tops 30,000

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The World Health Organisation says it has US$1.3 (A$1.99) billion funding shortfall for COVID-19 efforts, while Italy’s coronavirus death count has topped 30,000.
The head of the World Health Organization says the agency needs US$1.7 (A$2.6) billion to fund its response efforts for COVID-19 for the rest of the year – and that it’s about US$1.3 billion short.
NHS staff are tested at a COVID-19 testing centre in Grangemouth, Scotland. (AP)
Last month, US President Donald Trump announced he was suspending funding to the UN health agency, saying WHO botched its response to the coronavirus pandemic and was acting as a public relations agency for China.
WHO said previously it was conducting an assessment of what the loss of US funding would mean for its operations.
In a press briefing on Friday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said WHO’s COVID-19 strategic plan is focused on several objectives, including providing technical and logistical support to all countries, particularly those with fragile health systems.
He said the estimated $1.7 billion “only covers WHO’s needs, not the entire global (community’s) needs”.

Italy

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The number of people in Italy who’ve died with COVID-19 infections has topped 30,000.
The Health Ministry registered 243 deaths on Friday (local time), bringing the total of those who died in the country to 30,201.
A serviceman of Belarus Ministry of Defence wearing protective gear disinfects a local hospital in Minsk, Belarus. (AP)
Italy was the first country in Europe with a major outbreak of the coronavirus.
Authorities say many more likely died with the infection at home or in nursing homes without being diagnosed.
With 1327 more cases registered in the 24-hour period ending Friday evening, Italy now tallies 217,185 confirmed coronavirus infections.
Some 11,000 more people have recovered from the illness than are currently positive for the infection.

Spain

Spain’s army says it expects two more outbreaks of the coronavirus, according to an internal document seen by The Associated Press.
The army report predicts “two more waves of the epidemic” and Spain will take “between a year and a year-and-a-half to return to normality”.
A man has his hand marked to indicate he has received food for the day at a distribution site during the coronavirus pandemic in Chelsea, Massachusetts. (AP)
It says the second wave would be in autumn or winter and possibly less serious than the initial outbreak due to higher immunity in the population.
It adds a possible third wave would be “greatly weakened” if there is a vaccine available next year.

USA

Parts of New England are slowly emerging from weeks of pandemic-induced restrictions.
Greenhouses, golf courses and barber shops are rolling out the welcome mat for customers eager to return to some sense of normalcy.
But the partial reopening comes amid concerns about adequate testing, contact tracing and even protective gear for health care workers.
Maine is allowing the use of golf courses and most state parks; visits to dentists, barbers and hairdressers; and stay-in-vehicle religious services.
New Hampshire is allowing the restricted reopening of restaurants, hair salons and other businesses throughout May.
Vermont is gradually allowing more commercial activity and outdoor recreation for groups of 10 or fewer, including golf courses and tennis courts.
Rhode Island is taking its first step with a soft reopening Saturday, the day after a stay-at-home order expires.
US health regulators have meanwhile approved the first saliva-based coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home.
A closed restaurant in Lausanne, Switzerland. (AP)
The new at-home option is expected to expand use of the test developed by Rutgers University, which the Food and Drug Administration first authorised last month.
People can use the plastic tube at home to provide a saliva sample and ship it to a laboratory for processing.

Russia

The World Health Organisation’s emergencies chief says Russia appears to be facing a “delayed epidemic” as it battles the coronavirus.
Dr Michael Ryan credited the Russian government for having “really shifted its response into a much more aggressive mode” over the last week.
He pointed to large-scale public health and social distancing measures and increased lab testing in Russia, which has experienced a spike in cases long after those in the West and Asia.
People prepare to make sport in a beach reopened for sport activities after the lockdown measures imposed by the government in Barcelona, Spain. (AP)
“I think Russia is just in a different phase of the of the pandemic and can learn some of the lessons that have been learned at great cost in Asia and in North America and in Western Europe,” Dr Ryan said.

Switzerland

Swiss government officials have backed off plans to require restaurants and bars to take the names and phone numbers of patrons to help fight the coronavirus.
The government now says it’s “optional”.
The reversal comes after privacy advocates, restaurant owners and legal experts expressed concerns.
After nearly two months of closure, most schools, stores and businesses in Switzerland will reopen on Monday because case counts have declined in recent weeks.
A general view of Via della Spiga on in Milan, Italy. (AP)

UK

Wales will extend its coronavirus lockdown another three weeks.
First Minister Mark Drakeford says in Cardiff it’s too soon to lift most of the restrictions in Wales, and the rest of the UK, since March 23.
He says, “very small and modest adjustments” could be made amid the preference of Wales for a UK-wide approach to easing the lockdown.

Brazil

Brazil’s fifth largest city, Fortaleza, became the nation’s third metropolis to enter lockdown for COVID-19.
The capital of northeastern Ceará state adopted more intense restrictions for pedestrians and car traffic, including police roadblocks, and allows only essential services.
This week, Maranhão and Pará states imposed a lockdown in their capitals, São Luís and Belém.
The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue is lit up as if wearing a protective mask and with a hashtag that reads in Portuguese: “Mask saves”, amid the new coronavirus pandemic, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP)
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro went to the Supreme Court on Thursday to ask that states be forced to roll back restrictive measures, despite the surge in the nation’s cases and deaths.

Kuwait

Kuwait will institute a full lockdown in the oil-rich, tiny nation on Sunday (local time) through May 30.
The government made the announcement on Friday. It comes after the country has upped its testing for the virus, particularly among its vast population of foreign workers.

Coronavirus: what you need to know

How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
Tops tips for minimizing coronavirus transmission. (9News)
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
  • Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • Apply safe food practices; and
  • Stay home if you are sick.
For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play. You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Play and the Government’s WhatsApp channel.
Reported with Associated Press.