21 May 2020
Coronavirus worldwide: May 21

Coronavirus worldwide: May 21

Aaron Favila / AP

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 virus, has affected almost every country on the planet and infected over 5.04 million people. The virus has claimed the lives of over 329,000 patients. Multiple states have imposed mandatory quarantines on their citizens, although nationwide lockdowns are now being relaxed, as several countries have handled the first wave of the infection. Here's what you need to know about the global COVID-19 crisis on May 21.

Updates for May 20 are available here.

– Restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs in Israel will be allowed to reopen on May 27, Haaretz reported on Wednesday. Event halls will reopen on June 14.

– Georgia's state of emergency will end on May 23, according to PM Giorgi Gakharia. A number of coronavirus-related restrictions will remain in place.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus took hold in the US has risen to nearly 39 million, AP reported on Thursday citing the US Department of Labor.

– Austria will permit tourism only from countries that have their COVID-19 outbreaks under control this coming summer.

– Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko announced that public transport in the Ukrainian capital will restart work on May 23. Shops with an area of less than a thousand sq. m. will be allowed to reopen, in addition to sports and children's playgrounds. The Kyiv Metro will reopen on May 25.

– Turkish Airlines will restart domestic flights on June 4 and international flights on June 10. Cabin baggage – aside from handbags – will no longer be allowed in the cabin in the upcoming period.

President Donald Trump indicated Wednesday that he will finish taking hydroxychloroquine – an anti-malaria medication – "in a day or two." Trump had announced Monday that he was taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that he's repeatedly touted as a treatment for coronavirus, despite warnings about its effectiveness.

– As of 19.30 GMT on May 21, there are 5,047,377 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest data. The virus has claimed the lives of over 329,800 people. Over 1.92 million patients have recovered. The US is in first place worldwide in terms of confirmed coronavirus infections, with over 1.56 million, followed by Russia (over 317,500 cases), Brazil (over 291,500 cases), the United Kingdom (over 252,200 cases) and Spain (over 232,000 cases).

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a mass disease caused by severe acute coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in December 2019. Wuhan officials first reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin to the China National Health Commission on December 30, 2019.

The coronavirus outbreak was officially recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. The United States, Italy, the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey and Russia have become major centers of the virus.

The spread of the infection has led to a drop in oil prices, industrial indices, and led to collapses on global stock markets. Many companies have imposed mandatory work-from-home policies, while governments have restricted movement across national territories and imposed mandatory quarantines. An increasing number of institutions and corporations have pledged financial and medical aid to countries hardest affected by the crisis. JPMorgan forecasts that the pandemic could cost the world as as much as $5.5 trillion in lost output.

Schools and universities have closed either on a nationwide or local basis in over 160 countries, affecting more than 1.5 billion students. Major international sports competitions such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020, have been postponed until 2021.

The United Nations has called the pandemic "a defining moment for modern society".