Official says US missed chances to slow coronavirus: Live updates | News

  • The United States government was slow to understand how much coronavirus was spreading from Europe, which helped drive the acceleration of outbreaks across the nation, said Dr Anne Schuchat, the number-two official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The World Health Organization has reiterated that the coronavirus is believed to be “natural in origin”, responding to a claim by US President Donald Trump that he had seen evidence that indicated the virus emerged from a virology institute in Wuhan, China. 

  • Worldwide, the number of confirmed infections stood at almost 3.4 million, with some 239,000 deaths and around 1.08 million recoveries.

  • Imported by the Brazilian elite vacationing in Europe, the new coronavirus is now ravaging Brazil’s poor, ripping through tightly-packed neighbourhoods where the disease is harder to control. There were 92,000 cases in Brazil with 6,400 deaths reported as of Friday.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, May 2

01:12 GMT – US coronavirus stimulus went to some healthcare providers facing criminal inquiries

An investigation conducted by the Reuters news agency has revealed that taxpayers’ money have gone to some companies and people facing civil or criminal fraud investigations in the US.

The disclosures about such payments have prompted outrage among some congressional Democrats, who say they highlight the problems with how stimulus funds have been distributed.

The funds came from the $2.3tr CARES Act passed by Congress to blunt the economic toll of the pandemic, which has killed more than 64,000 Americans and thrown at least 30 million people out of work.

00:05 GMT – US emergency approval broadens use of COVID-19 drug remdesivir

Gilead Science Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir was granted emergency use authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19, clearing the way for broader use of the drug in more hospitals around the US.

During a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with US President Donald Trump, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day called the move an important first step and said the company was donating 1.5 million vials of the drug to help patients.

The donation is expected to be enough for at least 140,000 patients, depending on the number of days they need to be treated.

Gilead said on Wednesday that the drug, which is given by intravenous infusion, had helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and provided data suggesting it worked better when given earlier in the course of infection.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can find all the key developments from yesterday, May 1, here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source link