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Trump rules out change in poll date, New Zealand to lift lockdown & other global Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus continues its surge across the world with more than 30 lakh cases and over 2,11,000 deaths.

But in some good news, New Zealand claims that it has won the battle against coronavirus and is all set to withdraw its strict lockdown in phases. Even in China, a semblance of normalcy seems to be setting in as construction firms open for work.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

After 3 days, Trump returns to press briefing & says elections will be held on time

After skipping his much-talked about daily press briefings for three days, US President Donald Trump finally returned for a briefing Monday and talked about holding the November presidential election as per schedule, reports the Washington Post.

“I never even thought of changing the date of the election. Why would I do that? November 3: It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election,” Trump said when asked about the possibility to postpone the election.

On the coronavirus crisis he talked about his administration’s efforts to increase testing, resumed his attacks on China for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and expressed detailed condolences to the victims of the virus. Over the past few weeks, Trump has been severely criticised by the press for not spending enough time talking about the victims of the virus.

A Washington Post analysis had found that over the past three weeks of briefings, Trump spent two hours on attacks, 45 minutes praising himself and his administration and just 4.5 minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims.

Also read: Sunday edition of Boston Globe falls short of pages for death notices

Trump distances himself from the disinfectant gaffe 

President Trump also distanced himself from his previous comment during a press briefing Thursday that injecting disinfectant can cure coronavirus, reports BBC. Trump said that he was being sarcastic during his previous comment.

He faced relentless criticism for his comments with many condemning his dangerous and life-threatening suggestion. Since his briefing, the US hotline numbers have been flooded with calls inquiring whether injecting the disinfectant really works. The governors of Maryland and Michigan blamed Trump for the spike in these calls.

Chinese construction sector resumes office, signals return to economic normalcy 

In what is being considered as one of the most significant markers of economic reopening in the pandemic-struck world, Chinese construction firms have resumed operations, according to the Financial Times.

“Chinese manufacturers of construction machinery have raised prices as sales take off, in an early sign of how economic activity is resuming after weeks of shutdown during the coronavirus epidemic,” notes the report.

Also read: Extremists taking advantage of global Covid lockdowns to recruit youths online: UN chief

New Zealand announces phased lockdown withdrawal after Covid-19 battle ‘win’ 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared Monday that her country had “won the battle” against coronavirus, and announced a phased withdrawal of the country’s lockdown, reports Al Jazeera.

“About 400,000 people returned to work on Tuesday morning, as the move to Level Three, allowed some businesses to reopen, schools to resume classes for some children and delivery and takeaway food outlets to open their doors,” notes the report.

New Zealand had imposed one of the most stringent lockdown and after nearly five weeks at the ‘maximum security level’ — the country is finally moving towards normalcy.

“There is no widespread, undetected community transmission in New Zealand,” said Arden. The country has registered a total of 1,122 cases and 19 deaths and no new cases were recorded 24 hours prior to the relaxation of the lockdown.

2021 Tokyo Olympics unlikely without a vaccine 

Japan’s Head of Medical Association Yoshitake Yokokura said that it would be nearly impossible to organise the 2021 Tokyo Olympics without an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus, reports Al Jazeera.

“I am not saying that Japan should or shouldn’t host the Olympics, but that it would be difficult to do so,” Yokokura said at a media briefing.

The Japanese government has already spent over $13 billion on the organisation of the Olympics, which were scheduled to take place this year but have now been postponed until at least 2021.

Also read: How China is building political influence in Africa through Covid aid

Boris Johnson returns to work after serious bout of Covid-19 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work after recovering from the novel coronavirus and said that UK could potentially be looking at many more weeks of lockdown, reports Globe and Mail.

The UK government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during Johnson’s absence has come under a lot of criticism.

“When the Prime Minister went into the hospital, the country had 47,800 confirmed cases of the virus and 4,900 people had died. As of Monday, those numbers had swelled to 157,149 and 21,092, respectively,” notes the report. The image of his government was further hit by a divided cabinet.

On his first day, Johnson talked about how UK’s citizens should be bracing themselves for many more weeks of lockdown. He said that the country could not afford another wave of coronavirus and therefore restrictions would be eased only when that fear is over.

Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto— major film festivals join for a YouTube event 

A online film festival titled “We Are One: A Global Film Festival”, will be hosted on YouTube on 29 May, reports BBC.

The funds raised by the event will be given to WHO’s “Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund”.

“The free event will include films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations and a full schedule will be available nearer to next month’s event,” notes the report.

Twenty global film festivals including BFI London, Mumbai Film Festival, Sundance, and Tribeca are involved in the online event. The film industry is one of the worst-hit sectors by the pandemic and production of films and TV shows across the world has come to a standstill.

What else we are reading:

According to Reuters, Argentina has imposed one of the harshest travel bans in all of the Americas. The country has suspended all flight ticket sales until September.

Usually at the brunt of disease outbreaks, it is possible that Africa may have skipped the worst of the coronavirus outbreak, argues Africa editor of the Financial Times, David Pilling.

Also read: Top theories on what’s going on with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un


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