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Trump says he takes hydroxychloroquine as U.S. death toll tops 90,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Rome
A woman wearing a face shield drinks coffee at a cafe as Italy eases some of its lockdown measures in Rome on May 18, 2020.Yara Nardi / Reuters

President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted. The FDA has warned the drug can cause serious heart problems.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has topped 90,800, according to NBC News' count. More than 1.5 million cases have been confirmed in the country.Globally, more than 318,000 have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The number of deaths in the U.S. is expected to hit 100,000 by June 1, according to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, China pledged an extra $2 billion to deal with the coronavirus crisis at the World Health Assembly, which was held virtually. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that the World Health Organization's "failure cost many lives and it must not happen again."

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

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This live coverage has ended. Continue to May 19 coronavirus news.

Kuwait warns that no face covering could mean a trip to jail

779d ago / 11:06 AM UTC
Image: Mask-clad residents walk in Kuwait City on May 12.
Mask-clad residents walk in Kuwait City on May 12.Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

People found not to be covering their nose and mouth in Kuwait could go to jail for up to three months, the country's health ministry has said. 

In a statement on Twitter on Sunday, the ministry said those flouting the rules could also be fined a maximum penalty of the equivalent of more than $16,000. 

There are 14,850 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kuwait, a country with a population of around four million, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. The country has also seen 112 coronavirus-related deaths. 

New coronavirus cases in Moscow decline as they grow outside the capital

779d ago / 10:39 AM UTC

Russia on Monday reported the lowest growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases since May 1, charting just 8,926 new infections and marking the third consecutive day that growth has been recorded below 10,000 per day. 

The decline in numbers has sparked hope that Russia may have passed its peak infection rate, however it is still too soon to say. Last week, with case numbers still growing, President Vladimir Putin called on Russian regions to begin easing some elements of their coronavirus restrictions.

Close examination of Russia's official data shows that the decline in daily confirmed cases is mostly centered in Moscow, which charted just 3,238 cases Monday, while the rest of the country continues to see consistent day-on-day growth in the mid to high 5,000 range. Currently the lockdown in Moscow is scheduled to be lifted on May 31. On Friday, the city launched an ambitious antibody testing program to help inform next steps.

WHO faces global call for investigation at general assembly

779d ago / 10:21 AM UTC

More than 100 health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the organization's 73rd general assembly on Monday.

The video conference is officially focused on international cooperation on vaccinestreatments and testing to fight the virus, but has already been marred by an intensifying blame game over the WHO's handling of the outbreak.

Several heads of state, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and China’s Xi Jinping, are scheduled to address the assembly, which is also expected to hear a resolution calling for an investigation into the origins of the virus and review of the WHO’s response.

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Restaurants, shops reopen in Italy after months-long lockdown eases

779d ago / 10:08 AM UTC
Image: A man in Milan, Italy drinks a coffee in a bar, as shops and restaurants are allowed to reopen on Monday.
A man in Milan, Italy drinks a coffee in a bar, as shops and restaurants are allowed to reopen on Monday as the country eases some of the restrictions put in place during the coronavirus outbreak.Alessandro Garofalo / Reuters

The former epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe saw shops and restaurants reopen Monday as Italy's authorities eased lockdown.

The restrictions were enforced on March 9 to combat the skyrocketing death toll that has seen nearly 32,000 people killed, but with the spread of the virus slowing, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said it was time to reopen the country to avoid further economic damage.

Retailers can now open their doors as long as they follow government safety measures, people can also meet friends again, and if the virus spread remains minimal, theaters and cinemas will be allowed to re-open by mid-June.

Experts: COVID-19 has shown U.S., U.K. are vulnerable to biological terrorism

779d ago / 10:02 AM UTC

LONDON — The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a structural vulnerability to biological attacks in the U.S. and Europe that requires urgent government action, multiple current and former national security and public health officials told NBC News.

Former officials in the U.S. and the U.K. warn that the devastating impact of the coronavirus on health care infrastructures and economies may act as a "neon light" for terrorist groups looking to unleash pathogens on Western nations.

The pandemic has shown that the West has trouble testing, tracking and treating a pandemic or sustaining a supply of protective equipment for health care workers. It has also raised questions about the security of pathogen research labs worldwide.

Read the full story here.

Brazil's Bolsonaro hails anti-lockdown protesters as cases grow


779d ago / 9:40 AM UTC
Image: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a protest against the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, Brazilian Supreme Court, quarantine and social distancing measures in Brasilia, Brazil on Sunday.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a protest against the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, Brazilian Supreme Court, quarantine and social distancing measures in Brasilia, Brazil on Sunday.Adriano Machado / Reuters

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro praised anti-lockdown protesters a day after the country's number of confirmed coronavirus cases passed both Spain and Italy.

Bolsonaro, who has clashed with government ministers over the need for quarantines, greeted protesters and posed for pictures with children plucked from the crowd at the presidential palace on Sunday in a clear breach of social distancing rules. "Above all [the people] want freedom, they want democracy, they want respect," he said in an online video.

Health ministry figures released Sunday showed more than 241,000 coronavirus cases — behind only the U.S., U.K. and Russia, More than 16,000 people have died.

779d ago / 8:58 AM UTC

Japan's growth drops amid pandemic, worse times likely ahead

780d ago / 3:49 AM UTC

TOKYO — Japan's economic growth plunged into recession in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic squelched production, exports and spending, and fears are growing worse times may lie ahead.

The Cabinet Office reported Monday a drop of 3.4% annual pace in seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product, or GDP, the total value of a nation's goods and services, for the January-March period, compared to the previous quarter.

The annual pace gives what the rate would be when continued for a year. For just the quarter, the drop was 0.9%. Exports dived 21.8%. Private residential investments slipped nearly 17%, and household consumption edged down 3.1%.

Analysts say things are expected to get worse, as the world's third-largest economy undergoes its biggest challenge since World War II.

Australia plans pop-up carparks to prevent rush hour virus crush

780d ago / 3:22 AM UTC

SYDNEY — Australian officials planned to open pop-up parking lots and extra bicycle lanes in Sydney and other cities as the country's most populous state began its first full week on Monday of loosened lockdown measures.

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging people to avoid peak-hour trains and buses as they return to work to ensure that social distancing between commuters is maintained.

Australia's states and territories are beginning to allow more public activity under a three-step government plan after two months of shutdowns that officials have credited with keeping the country's exposure to the pandemic relatively low.

Canadian air force officer dies after jet crashes during tribute

780d ago / 2:58 AM UTC

A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force killed after a jet crashed into a British Columbia home during a celebration for front-line workers in the coronavirus pandemic was identified Sunday by authorities.

Capt. Jennifer Casey was a public affairs officer who joined the elite Snowbirds squadron in 2018, the air force said. Another team member, Capt. Richard MacDougall, was seriously injured.

The flight was part of Operation Inspiration, a nationwide mission aimed at saluting first responders and other essential workers. The Snowbirds are a military aerobatics squadron based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

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