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A restaurant worker stands in a near empty street in the Kamata district of Tokyo, Japan, on May 22, 2020.

Patients not infectious after 11 days – study: Global virus update

A restaurant worker stands in a near empty street in the Kamata district of Tokyo, Japan, on May 22, 2020.

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases top 5.3 million; deaths over 342,000
  • In lockdown, Europeans are eating less meat
  • In Harvard’s backyard, graduations vanish as does business
  • Epic tourism decline has holiday destinations scrambling
  • Trump says open, but religious leaders say let’s go slow
  • Fate of global economy rests more than ever on a vaccine

Patients Not Infectious After 11 Days: Study

COVID-19 patients are no longer infectious after 11 days of getting sick even though some may still test positive, according to a new study by infectious disease experts in Singapore.

The paper was based on a study of 73 patents in the city-state and its findings may have implications on the country’s patient-discharge policy, which is currently based on negative test results rather than infectiousness.

Singapore confirmed another 548 additional COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Johnson Faces Calls to Fire Aide

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing growing pressure to sack his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, following reports that Cummings broke the government’s lockdown rules more than once.

Conservative lawmaker and Brexiteer Steve Baker became the first Tory to publicly call for Cummings to go, after Cummings travelled more than 250 miles (402 kilometres) from his London home at the end of March at a time when he was supposed to be self-isolating.

Belgian Cases Rising Again

Belgium reported 43 deaths in the past 24 hours compared with 25 the previous day. There were 282 new infections in the past 24 hours, based on 12,578 diagnostic tests. While that’s down from 299 the previous day, authorities say the recent downward trend in new cases has reversed. Hospital admissions rose to 48 from 34.

Indonesian Cases Climb

Indonesia reported another increase in infections, with confirmed cases rising by 526 compared with 949 the previous day. The total number of people currently infected with the disease stands at 22,271, the government’s COVID-19 Task Force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said Sunday. The death toll rose by 21 to 1,372.

Japan to End Emergency in Tokyo

Japan’s government has decided to lift the state of emergency in Tokyo, its surrounding regions and the northern island of Hokkaido as new virus cases tail off, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The government will put the issue to a meeting of a panel of advisers on Monday, NHK reported, with the move set to bring the state of emergency in the country to an end a week ahead of schedule.

Russia Reports Most Deaths in Day

Russia reported 153 deaths in the past day from COVID-19 Sunday, its highest toll in a day. Still, the reported overall total of 3,541 dead remains substantially lower than in other countries with large outbreaks. New cases of the disease were up 8,599 to 344,481.

Russian officials last week said the situation with the virus in the country is stabilizing and took steps to lift lockdowns, but warned that the death toll is likely to peak this month. Russia was recently overtaken by Brazil as the country with the second-largest number of cases after the US.

Germany’s Infection Rate Below Key Threshold

Germany’s infection rate declined to 0.83 from 0.85 the previous day, according to the Robert Koch Institute’s latest report.

The total number of cases increased by 276 to 179,986 in the 24 hours through Sunday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University data, decreasing from 689 new cases the previous day.

Wuhan Official Calls Out Leak Claims

Claims promoted by the Trump administration that the global coronavirus pandemic originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology are “pure fabrication,” the institute’s director Wang Yanyi was quoted by state media as saying Sunday.

The institute did not have “any knowledge before that nor had we ever met, researched or kept the virus … We didn’t even know about the existence of the virus, so how could it be leaked from our lab when we didn’t have it?”

Philippines Allows More Businesses to Resume

The Philippines is allowing more businesses to resume full operations, including private hospitals and agriculture. Firms involved in the manufacture of medicines and medical supplies will be also allowed to restart.

Australia’s Victoria, NSW to Ease Restrictions

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, will reopen galleries and museums and allow bigger outdoor gatherings in a week as the rate of new infections remains flat. Skateparks, outdoor gyms and playgrounds will reopen from Tuesday.

From June 22, indoor gyms and fitness facilities will reopen for 20 people at a time and ski fields will also reopen.

Meanwhile, in neighboring New South Wales state, the government said Sydney’s Taronga Zoo would reopen on June 1, with limited visitor numbers.

Brazil Cases Rise 5%, Deaths Climb

Brazil’s coronavirus curve steepened further a day after it overtook Russia to become the country with the second-highest number of cases.

The Latin American nation added 16,508 infections Saturday and said the death toll rose by 965.

Brazil has 347,398 cases, trailing only the US The death toll reached 22,013, up 4.6% from 21,048 in the previous 24 hours. Brazil now ranks sixth in the world for fatalities.

Disneyland’s County Approved to Reopen

California approved Orange County to open restaurants and shopping malls, setting the stage for wider opening of the region’s tourism economy.

The county, home to Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland and Cedar Fair’s Knott’s Berry Farm theme parks, is one of the most visited U.S. destinations. Restaurants can open for dining in, provided guests make reservations, and shopping malls can reopen with stores offering delivery and curbside pickup, according to a statement from the county.

Disney has been opening its resorts in stages and last week opened its Disney Springs mall in Orlando, Florida. The company has not announced a date to open its similar Downtown Disney shopping and dining area in Anaheim, California.

US Takes On China Over Flights

The US said China is blocking American carriers after lockdowns disrupted global travel by failing to answer requests from Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc.

The DOT stopped short of restricting or penalizing the four Chinese airlines that serve US markets, but it is a warning after repeated US objections failed to get action, the government said.

China had set March 12 as the baseline for resumption of service. Because Delta, United and American Airlines Group Inc. had halted service to China by that date, it put them at an unfair disadvantage, the DOT said.

US Cases Rose 1.3%, Below Weekly Average

US cases increased 1.3% from the same time Friday to 1.61 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The national increase was below the average daily increase of 1.5% over the past week. Three states have more than 100,000 cases each. Deaths rose 1% to 96,479.