Brazil coronavirus cases surge, Bolsonaro defiant: Live updates

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Latin America’s death toll has now exceeded 50,000 with some one million cases reported across the region. 

  • Most of the deaths have been in Brazil, where supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro appeared at a rally on Sunday against the country’s top court, which is investigating the right-wing leader.

  • The UK is preparing to relax its lockdown and start reopening schools, but a third member of the government’s scientific advisory body has warned that it is too soon.

  • More than 6.15 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 372,000 people have died, including more than 104,000 in the United States. At least 2.64 million have recovered globally.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, June 1

00:50 GMT – Australia zoos, museums reopen as restrictions eased further

Zoos, museums and other public attractions have begun to reopen in parts of Australia for the first time in more than two months.

In New South Wales, the state where most Australians live, cafes, restaurants have also been allowed to welcome as many as 50 people at a time. 

23:30 GMT (Sunday) – Brazil records 480 new deaths on Sunday

Brazil reported 480 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its death toll to 29,314, the Health Ministry said. 

More than half a million people in the country have now been confirmed to have a virus that Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed as a “little flu”. 

Bolsanaro was out on horseback on Sunday, greeting supporters at a rally against the country’s top court, which is investigating the right-wing leader. 

Brazil has the second-highest number of cases in the world after the US and the fourth-highest death toll after the US, UK and Italy.

23:00 GMT (Sunday) – US sends 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil

The United States has delivered two million doses of the antimalarial medicine hydroxychloroquine to Brazil to fight COVID-19, the White House said, even though the drug has not been proven effective against the coronavirus.

“HCQ will be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals against the virus. It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected,” a statement said in reference to the drug.

It said the US would also send 1,000 ventilators to Brazil, the epicentre of South America’s outbreak.

“We are also announcing a joint United States-Brazilian research effort that will include randomized controlled clinical trials,” it added.

Hydroxycholoroquine is used to treat malaria as well as the autoimmune disorders lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The WHO recently suspended trials into the drug because of the risk of serious side effects.

Read all the updates from yesterday (May 31) here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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