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World coronavirus dispatch: Barack Obama goes after Trump admin's response

From Obama going after Trump admin's handling, to Brazil continuing to be in trouble, to how college may look like in fall and beyond

Coronavirus | Donald Trump | Europe economy

Yuvraj Malik 

Healthcare workers take a swab sample of a commuter-train worker during a test amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia. Photo: Reuters
Healthcare workers take a swab sample of a commuter-train worker during a test amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia. Photo: Reuters

The number of new cases confirmed in the US has steadily declined in recent days. In New York, the figure has dropped over the past month. The numbers have also plunged in hard-hit Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and some states, including Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska, are reporting few new cases.

The north American nation has reached a perilous moment in the course of the epidemic, embracing signs of hope and beginning to reopen businesses and ease the very measures that slowed the virus, despite the risk of a resurgence. With more than two-thirds of states significantly relaxing restrictions on how Americans can move about over the last few weeks, an uptick in cases is widely predicted. Read more here

Let’s look at global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 4,634,132

Change Over Yesterday: 91,380

Total Deaths: 311,781

Total Recovered: 1,693,197

Nations hit with most cases: US (1,467,884), Russia (272,043), UK (241,461), Brazil (233,511) and Spain (230,698)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Obama criticises Trump administration's virus response: Former US President Barack Obama has criticised his successor Donald Trump's handling of the crisis.

In an online address to graduating college students, he said the pandemic had shown that many officials "aren't even pretending to be in charge". It is the second time in recent days that Mr Obama has hit out at the Trump administration's response. Read more here

Brazil overtakes Spain as the nation with fourth-highest cases: The country added 14,919 cases, on Saturday, bringing its total to 233,142. This comes as Vice President Hamilton Mourao and his wife are in self-isolation after a civil servant he came in contact with tested positive for Covid-19. Read more here

Pakistan readies for cricket tour of England in July: Pakistan is all set to tour England in July to play three Test and three T20 matches in a bio secure environment. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief said 25 players will travel to England on four chartered flights in the first week of July and that the series will be played by players after completing quarantine periods. Read more here

Musk gets permission to open Tesla plant: Tesla told employees it received approval to resume operations at its factory after Elon Musk threatened to move the company’s headquarters out of California. The company said Alameda County’s interim health officer had approved its Fremont work plan and safe measures. Read more here

China, South Korea urge Japan to open business travel: China and South Korea have asked Japan to join them in relaxing controls on business travel as virus cases tail off. Health ministers from the three countries met by video conference on Friday and agreed to share information, data and expertise. Japan remains reluctant to loosen what are currently some of the tightest border controls in the developed world. Read more here


In yesterday’s dispatch, we carried an item from BBC which had ‘last normal’ cellphone camera pictures in people phones. Today it has become a trending item. Thousands of people around the world are posting on social media snaps from parties, parks, wedding and so on—all representing a time free from Covid-19. Don’t forget the hashtag: #LastNormalPhoto. See a complication here

How face masks are becoming fashionable

With masks advised for the foreseeable future, people are finding ways to incorporate them into their outfits. One designer in Italy hit the headlines this month when she created the trikini - a matching bikini and face mask set. Designer brand Ralph Lauren said it will make masks and gowns. Even politicians like Slovakia’s president Zuzana Caputova were seen matching masks with their attire. Read more here

Why Taiwan won't have a seat at the virus talks

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, health officials will come together (virtually) next week at the World Health Assembly to decide how the world should tackle the crisis. But one of the places that's been most successful at protecting its people from the disease will not be invited to this meeting. China - which says Taiwan is part of its territory - has blocked Taiwan's attendance since 2016. However, in recent weeks, the US, EU, Japan and several other nations have backed Taiwan's bid to attend the meeting on 18 May as an observer. Read more here


What a post-pandemic future might look like, according to economists, CEOs and investors

The coronavirus pandemic has forced economists, financiers, executives, and policymakers to jettison or dramatically revise their forecasts for 2020. But what will the future look like on the other side of the crisis? Bloomberg asked a variety of leaders (a comprehensive list) from around the world for their best guess on how our lives will be fundamentally changed. Read more here


What will college look like in the fall (and beyond)

Three university presidents try to answer our listeners’ questions on this episode of the the celebrated Freakonomics Podcast. The result? Not much pomp and a whole lot of circumstance. Listen in here

First Published: Sun, May 17 2020. 14:14 IST