The latest on the global pandemic
The Philippines is considering allowing more nurses and other medical professionals to leave for jobs abroad after banning them from travel so they can fight coronavirus at home, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman said on Thursday. Health care workers from the Philippines are on the front lines of the pandemic at hospitals in the United States, Europe and the Middle East as well as back home. The labour minister has proposed to expand exemptions to those who had contracts abroad as of Aug. 31.
Manufacturing and government sources tell Reuters that more than half a dozen so-called antigen tests will likely be authorized by the end of October. U.S. regulators in recent months have authorized antigen tests from Abbott Laboratories, Becton Dickinson & Co, Quidel Corp and LumiraDX. When planned production of the newly authorized tests are combined with previously approved diagnostics, overall monthly U.S. testing capacity will exceed 200 million per month by year end, these sources said.
Singapore has the lowest coronavirus case fatality count globally, with just 27 deaths among the more than 57,000 people who have been infected with COVID-19 in the Southeast Asian island. At 0.05%, Singapore's death rate is well below the global average of around 3%, according to data compiled by Reuters from countries that have recorded more than 1,000 cases. A comparison with countries with a similar sized population shows a stark difference - Denmark's death rate is around 3%, while Finland's is around 4%.
From across the Philippines, they gathered to pray by Zoom. With infections also surging in the Philippines, the government in April banned healthcare workers from leaving the country. Nurses have been leaving the Philippines for decades, encouraged by the government to join other workers who send back billions of dollars each year.
- Associated Press
Gen. Eduardo Pazuello on Wednesday became Brazil’s third health minister during the coronavirus pandemic, after nearly four months holding the position on an interim basis and almost 120,000 COVID-19 deaths during that time. Pazuello, a logistics expert with no prior health experience before taking the deputy health minister position in April, follows two predecessors who departed after disagreements with President Jair Bolsonaro regarding proper means to combat the new coronavirus. “I am neither arriving nor leaving,” Pazuello joked at a ceremony at Brazil’s presidential palace in Brasilia.
The reopening of beaches and bars as Rio de Janeiro heads into the heady summer season risks a second spike of coronavirus infections, experts warned, even as Brazil's second-largest city dismantles much of its emergency healthcare capacity. Pictures of dense parasols rolling carpet-like over Rio's famed beaches and rowdy street-side drinking have gone viral in recent weeks, alarming epidemiologists who fear the reopening may have come too soon. Part of the problem they say, is that Rio's decision to ease restrictions was based partly on incorrect data showing a fall in deaths, which later turned out to only be a bureaucratic delay in their notification.