More than 355,000 dead
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 355,736 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT yesterday. At least 5,705,890 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. The United States the worst-hit country with 100,442 deaths from 1,699,933 cases. After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Britain with 37,460 deaths, Italy with 33,072, France with 28,596 deaths and Spain with 27,118 deaths.
86m children at poverty risk
The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic could push as many as 86 million more children into poverty by the end of 2020, a joint study by Save the Children and UNICEF showed Wednesday. That would bring the total number of children affected by poverty worldwide to 672 million, an increase of 15 percent over last year, the two aid agencies said in a statement. Nearly two-thirds of those children overall live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
208 attacks on health workers
The Red Cross said Wednesday that more than 200 violent attacks on health workers connected with the COVID-19 crisis had been reported across more than a dozen countries since the pandemic began. The International Committee of the Red Cross joined 12 other global medical and humanitarian organisations, representing more than 30 million medical professionals, to issue a declaration condemning growing attacks on health workers and facilities.
EU govts ban malaria drug
European governments moved on Wednesday to halt the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients, and a second global trial was suspended, further blows to hopes for a treatment promoted by US President Donald Trump. The moves by France, Italy and Belgium followed a World Health Organization decision on Monday to pause a large trial of hydroxychloroquine due to safety concerns.
US lawmakers vote by proxy
US lawmakers cast proxy votes for the first time ever on Wednesday, in a contentious coronavirus-era procedure that has drawn sustained criticism from congressional Republicans. Some 70 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted remotely on a measure condemning China's human rights violations. The new rules, passed this month along party lines, will remain in place only for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
Cases in Gulf tops 200,000
The number of coronavirus cases in the six Gulf Arab states doubled in less than a month to surpass 200,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters' tally, at a time the region's two biggest economies move to resume activity. Coronavirus infections in the energy producing region, which crossed the 100,000 mark on May 11, had initially been linked to travel but then spread among low-income migrant workers in overcrowded quarters, prompting authorities to increase testing.