22 May 2020
Coronavirus worldwide: May 22

Coronavirus worldwide: May 22

Eraldo Peres / 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 5.15 million people. The virus has claimed the lives of over 335,000 patients. Close to 2 million people have recovered. 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 22.

South America has become a new 'epicentre' of the COVID-19 pandemic, while cases are rising in some African countries that have a relatively low death toll so far, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

– Crime has plummeted across South Africa since local authorities imposed a lockdown in late March, Bloomberg reported on Friday – murder statistics during the quarantine have gone down by 64% compared to last year, attempted murder has fallen by 56%, assault was down 80% and robbery with aggravating circumstances fell by 64% over the period from March 27 to May 19.

Ireland’s new regulations requiring incoming travellers to provide the address at which they will self-isolate for two weeks will initially be in effect from May 28 to June 18, Reuters reported on Friday citing Irish Health Minister Simon Harris. Arrivals will be required to fill out a “passenger locator form”, which had been voluntary until recently.

– France reported no daily deaths linked to the coronavirus on Friday for the first time since the start of the outbreak – the statistics will be updated on May 25.

Coronavirus lockdowns will be eased in Madrid and Barcelona from Monday to allow outdoor dining and gatherings of up to 10 people, Reuters reported on Friday. Churches will also be allowed to reopen and people will be free to travel outside both cities. Barcelona and Madrid had maintained full restrictions until recently due to the severity of their COVID-19 outbreaks. The entire country has now moved out of preliminary phase of plan to lift its lockdown, Health Minister Salvador Illa said in a press conference on May 22.

People arriving in the UK must self-isolate for two weeks from June 8 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the BBC reported on May 22 citing Home Secretary Priti Patel. Travellers will need to inform the UK government of where they will quarantine, with enforcement through random spot checks and £1,000 fines in England. The measure will not apply to those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Cyprus will allow direct flights from 19 countries in two stages starting June 9, and plans to reopen hotels from June 1, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

– Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, a former White House butler who served 11 US presidents, died at 91 after contracting the coronavirus, his granddaughter confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.

– As of 18.00 GMT on May 22, there are 5,159,674 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest data. The virus has claimed the lives of over 335,400 people. Over 1.98 million patients have recovered. The US is in first place worldwide in terms of confirmed coronavirus infections, with over 1.58 million, followed by Russia (over 326,400 cases), Brazil (over 310,000 cases), the United Kingdom (over 255,500 cases) and Spain (over 234,800 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".