More than 6.6 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 391,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curveÂ of transmission.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
New York City, the leading state in coronavirus infections and deaths, saw its biggest drop yet in deaths this week.
Newly released records put out by the city show there were zero confirmed coronavirus deaths Wednesday, the New York Daily News reports. However, three deaths were listed as having a â€œprobableâ€ connection to COVID-19, which may later be reclassified to count as coronavirus-related deaths.
The first confirmed death from the virus in the city occurred March 11. The death toll hit its peak on April 7, with 570 deaths in one day.
â€” Sebastian Murdock
As protests continue across the country demanding police accountability and justice for the death of George Floyd, the nationâ€™s top infectious diseases expert is warning of the potential health risks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told WTOP about the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading during nationwide protests attended by thousands of people at a time.
â€œItâ€™s a perfect set-up for further spread of the virus in terms of creating some blips that could turn into some surges,â€ he told WTOP. â€œThere certainly is a risk.â€
â€” Sebastian Murdock
Brazilâ€™s coronavirus death toll surpassed Italy on Thursday, as the Health Ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours.
HuffPost Brazil reportsÂ (in Portuguese) that the country has now reported 34,021 deaths from COVID-19, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom.Â With 30,925 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, the total number of infections reached 614,941, according to Thursdayâ€™s bulletin. However, experts consider the tally a significant undercount due to insufficient testing.
The latest data was released three hours later than usual and after evening news bulletins had gone to air.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the threat of the disease, criticizing social distancing measures and urging regional governments to lift restrictions for the sake of the economy.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro told Brazilians that death is â€œeveryoneâ€™s destiny.â€
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday issued a stern warning to those planning to attend Black Lives Matter protests around the country this weekend amid fears the events could spread coronavirus.
â€œThe health advice is very clear, that itâ€™s not a good idea to go,â€ he told reporters.Â â€œLetâ€™s find a better way and another way to express these sentiments, rather than putting your own health at risk, the health of others at risk, and the great gains we have been able to make as a country in recent months.â€
People in the Australian cities of Perth and Sydney have protested this week against police violence and mourned not just George Floyd but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives lost at the hands of police.
â€œStop Black Deaths In Custodyâ€ protests are planned in most major Australian cities for this weekend but Morrison has made it clear people should still be very wary of contracting coronavirus.Â Australia has not reported a death from coronavirus for more than a week. It has recorded 102 COVID-19 deaths and almost 7,200 infections.Â
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it will require coronavirus testing sites to collect demographic data from patients amid growing concerns that COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield cited healthy food as one of the many resources that communities of color often cannot access.
â€œThereâ€™s no question that the social determinants of health as pertained to access to quality food have enormous public health â€” health outcomes,â€ he said at a House Appropriations Committee hearing.
Gathering better data about the way COVID-19 affects those communities opens new doors, he said, calling it â€œthe key first step that we need to do to address the health disparities.â€
The development comes as protesters nationwide call out the systemic racism that the Black community faces, both in law enforcement and other facets of government, including public health. In April, data from the CDC found that nearly one-third of those who have died from the coronavirus are Black.
Three of the authors behind an influential article that found that hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patientsÂ retracted the studyÂ on Thursday, citing concerns about the quality of the data behind it.
The studyâ€™s authors said Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the full data set for an independent review.
â€œAs such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer review process,â€ the authors wrote inÂ a statement, adding, â€œBased on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.â€
President Donald Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, despite a dearth of scientific evidence to back up his claim. He has said that heâ€™s taken hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against the coronavirus. However, results ofÂ a rigorous studyÂ published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that using the anti-malarial drug to prevent COVID-19 proved ineffective.
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