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Republicans pick Jacksonville, Florida, as convention site

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A protester wears a face shield made of recycled plastic bottles by artist Leeroy New during a anti-terror bill rally at the University of the Philippines as they observe Independence Day
A protester wears a face shield made of recycled plastic bottles by artist Leeroy New during a anti-terror bill rally at the University of the Philippines as they observe Independence Day on Friday, June 12, 2020, in Metro Manila, Philippines.Aaron Favila / AP

The Republican National Committee announced that it had selected Jacksonville, Florida, as the site where President Donald Trump will accept the party's nomination. That comes after the party bailed on Charlotte, North Carolina, over coronavirus restrictions.

As the world waits for a coronavirus vaccine, some scientists are proposing that existing vaccines could give the body’s immune system a much-needed temporary boost to stave off infection.

A number of vaccine efforts are planning to start final-stage trials this summer, while the Walter Reed Army Lab is beginning human trials.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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Moscow mayor urges residents to stay home during official holiday celebrations

Despite lifting Moscow's strict lockdown on Tuesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin urged residents not to attend events scheduled for two upcoming national holidays. 

"I would not recommend going anywhere during these holidays, we still have banned public events," he said on state television on Thursday. "Yes, official events will be held... but its better to watch on TV."

Moscow suddenly lifted its lockdown Tuesday after more than two months. Officials signaled that residents can return to normal life, though public events and mass gatherings remain off limits. Despite this ban on public events, the government has organized a concert on Red Square on Friday for the June 12th Russia Day holiday, and it plans to hold a massive military parade on June 24th.

Few N95 masks, reused gowns: Dire PPE shortages reveal COVID-19's racial divide

Amy Arlund, an intensive care unit nurse in California, starts every overnight shift hoping her supervisors will give her a fresh N95 respirator.

“You are asked to reuse them for weeks on end,” Arlund, 45, told NBC News. “You have to justify to your manager repeatedly why you need a new one.”

Nearly 100 days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, health care workers across the country are still facing major shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE, including crucial equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves and N95 respirators. Amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, the situation is especially dire at hospitals serving communities of color or patients on Medicaid, NBC News has found.

Read the full story here.

South Korea to extend coronavirus guidelines on prevention, sanitation

South Korea will extend prevention and sanitation guidelines against the coronavirus until daily new infections drop to single digits, the health minister said on Friday, failing which he warned of a return to tough social distancing measures.

The announcement came as such cases persist in the mid-double digits following a series of new clusters in the area around Seoul, the capital, with 56 new cases on Thursday taking the national tally to 12,003, and 277 deaths.

Authorities will review whether to return to intensive social distancing if 50 daily infections persist for more than two weeks, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told a briefing. More than 96% of new infections were in the Seoul metropolitan area in the last two weeks, he added. Of Thursday's new cases, 42 were from the Seoul area.

U.K. economy shrinks 20% in a month to fall back to 2002 level

The British economy has seen nearly two decades worth of growth wiped out in a single month as a result of the lockdown measures put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics said Friday that the economy shrank by a colossal 20.4% in April, the first full month that the country was under lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. All areas of the economy were hit during the month, in particular pubs, education, health and car sales.

The monthly decline was unprecedented in scale and, adding the more modest 5.8% decline in March, means the U.K. economy is around 25% smaller than it was in February.

With much of the economy still mothballed in May and June, the U.K. is heading for one of its deepest recessions ever — the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned that the country is set to be the hardest-hit developed economy this year.

Lockdown restrictions are slowly being eased, which should see the economy to start to pick up. On Monday, for example, nonessential shops, such as department stores and electronic retailers, can reopen if they can abide by social distancing requirements.

Georgia to remove most restrictions on restaurants and movie theaters

Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed an executive order that will remove many restrictions in Georgia next week on June 16, including allowing restaurants and movie theaters to no longer enforce maximums on the number of people who can sit together.

Also beginning on June 16:

  • Bars can allow up to 50 people
  • Residents 65 and older no longer have to shelter in place
  • Gatherings may now include up to 50 people
  • Professional, amateur, collegiate and high school sports can resume, but must follow health rules set by their respective leagues and organizations
  • Walk-ins for barber shops, salons, tattoo parlors, massage parlor and tanning salons may resume

The order comes on the same day Georgia reported 993 new cases of coronavirus and 46 deaths.

Dow plunges nearly 7 percent on concerns of coronavirus resurgence

U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Thursday as investors weighed sobering economic forecasts and new data, along with indications that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from subsiding.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1,861 points, or 6.9 percent, and the S&P 500 was down 5.9 percent, the biggest fall since March 16. Just a day before, the Nasdaq Composite hit an intraday high.

On Thursday, several sectors including hospitality and leisure suffered steep declines. As more than 20 states report a climb in coronavirus cases, there are new worries that consumers will be reluctant to return to restaurants and take trips.

Read the full story here.