UN health agency calls for more funds to accelerate vaccine development as eased lockdowns trigger spike in cases.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is appealing for more funding to accelerate vaccine development for about seven to eight “top” candidates, according to the UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
More than 80,000 people are now known to have died in the United States from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, nearly 285,500 have died.
Russia is due to start easing coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, despite reporting a record number of cases the previous day.
France and Spain, two of the hardest pandemic-hit countries in Europe, are gradually easing the restrictions they imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Here are the latest updates.
Tuesday, May 12
03:10 GMT – Governments urged to ensure health and safety of frontline nurses
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the International Council of Nurses are calling on governments to commit to ensuring the protection and safety of nurses and other health workers, especially in resource-poor, disaster and conflict settings.
The organisations say healthcare workers’ health and safety is vital for a “competent” medical response during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic has seen frontline nurses rightly recognised as heroes, but they are also ordinary mothers and fathers with their own families to protect,” International Council of Nurses President Annette Kennedy said in a joint statement issued by the organisations. “They deserve to be able to work free from fear, whether because of a lack of PPE or because of harassment and attack.”
We’ve reported previously on the stigma faced by medical workers in the Philippines. Read that story here. May 12 is International Nurses Day.
02:55 GMT – Trump stomps out of media briefing after ‘racist’ exchange
US President Donald Trump abruptly ended Monday’s coronavirus briefing after a testy exchange with an Asian-American reporter that was denounced by several observers, including other journalists, as “racist”.
TV network CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he continued to insist that the US was doing better than other countries when it came to testing for the virus.
His response was to tell her it was a question she should ask China.
Read more on the exchange and the reactions to it here.
23:55 GMT (Monday) – Gyms, hair salons in Brazil declared ‘essential’ services
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has declared gyms and hair and beauty salons “essential” services allowing them to remain open despite the coronavirus lockdown.
Right-wing Bolsonaro has been a vocal opponent of the lockdowns imposed by state and municipal governments across Brazil despite the mounting number of cases and deaths.
“The question of life has to be taken in parallel with jobs,” Bolsonaro said on Monday outside his official residence. “Without the economy, there is no life, there are no doctors, there are no hospital supplies.”
Read all the updates from yesterday (May 11) here.
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