House holds moment of silence for COVID-19 victims

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
A woman walks by a memorial for those who have died from the coronavirus outside Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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The House on Thursday afternoon held a moment of silence to honor those who have died during the pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called for the moment around 1:15 p.m. "in remembrance of the over 100,000 Americans who have passed away from the COVID-19 virus."

COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam combined.

While the pandemic is confusing to adults, it's especially so for children who have suddenly lost their school, their connections with friends and grandparents, and even their ability to play freely outside. To them, coronavirus is like an unseen monster under the bed. What no one knows yet is just how sharp its fangs are.

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

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading May 29 coronavirus news here.

Iraq virus cases pass 5,000 mostly in Baghdad

Cases of the deadly coronavirus are continuing to grow in Iraq, the Health Ministry said, with cases now totaling more than 5,000 and 175 people dead. 

A statement by the ministry on Wednesday said that 287 new cases were recorded nationwide during the past 24 hours — the vast majority in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

"The cases of coronavirus pandemic are all over Baghdad, and there is no specific area in the city that is far from the risk of the disease," Provincial Governor Mohammed Jaber al-Atta, said in a statement.

More than 200,000 tests have been carried out in the conflict-ridden country, the Health Ministry said, which had helped to identify new outbreaks.

 

Australian archbishop calls for equality between churches and pubs

A Catholic archbishop has accused an Australian state government of unfair pandemic rules, which allow up to 50 people into pubs while limiting church congregations to just 10.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher, in Sydney, encouraged Catholics on Thursday to sign a petition calling on the New South Wales government to treat churches equally with pubs and restaurants when it brings in new rules on June 1. 

"Contrary to what has been said throughout this pandemic, we do not consider church attendance to be non-essential — indeed, nothing is more essential than the practice of our faith," the petition said.

Siberian zoo sees lockdown baby boom

A Siberian zoo that closed its doors to visitors for over two months due to the coronavirus, says the lockdown has encouraged a baby boom among its animals.

Among the zoo's new arrivals are rare Egyptian goslings, reindeer calves, llama crias and a baby brown weeper capuchin monkey.

"Judging by the baby boom, the lockdown has clearly been good for us because there are a lot of interesting and beautiful baby animals now," said Andrei Gorban, the director of Krasnoyarsk's Royev Ruchey Zoo.

Gorban said that while the absence of onlookers had encouraged mating among some residents, it had confused others, with the zoo's herd of camels among those particularly missing visitors, he said. 

Alpacas, male Romeo (L) and female Juliette at the Roev Ruchey Zoo in Russia.Ilya Naymushin / Reuters file
Patients exercise at the balconies of a training center in Jakarta, Indonesia.WIlly Kurniawan / Reuters

WHO creates foundation to increase funding in virus fight

The World Health Organization announced the creation of a foundation for new sources of funding, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to broaden its contributor base.

Calling it a "historic step," WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus announced the creation of the WHO Foundation on Wednesday at a virtual briefing.

He said it would ease a potential financial shortage and that it had been in the works for years. The funds will go towards all the WHO projects including vaccine research and preparing for future pandemics, not just the current coronavirus. 

President Donald Trump recently threatened to permanently halt funding from the U.S. — the WHO's biggest financial contributor — after criticizing its handling of the pandemic.

 

South Korea reports worrying new spike in cases

South Korea reported its biggest spike in coronavirus cases in more than 50 days on Thursday, marking a setback after the country won praise for initially bringing its epidemic under control.

Thursday’s resurgent spike of 79 new cases is linked to workers at a massive logistics warehouse in Seoul, operated by a local e-commerce giant.

Health minister Park Neung Hoo said the government would reimpose some "enhanced quarantine measures in the Seoul metropolitan area" for the next two weeks, to quell the flare-up. 

Recently, hundreds of other infections have been linked to nightclubs in the country’s capital, which saw huge crowds pour into them in early May after officials relaxed social distancing rules.

Singaporean gets jail time for Facebook post

A taxi driver in Singapore has been sentenced to four months in jail, after posting a message to a private Facebook group claiming food outlets would close and urged people to stock up during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The public prosecutor called for a sentence that would deter others from spreading "hysteria." 

Singapore has imposed tough punishments on those who breach COVID-19 rules or spread misinformation. This is not the first example. Last month, a man who broke a curfew by 30 minutes, to buy a flatbread, was fined $1,000. While another, breached a stay-home order to go out and eat pork rib soup and was jailed for six weeks.

 

U.K.'s Boris Johnson faces schools rebellion over plans to send kids back

LONDON — In the early days of the lockdown, it almost felt like a novelty for parents like Claire Collins as she and her friends swapped home schooling tips on WhatsApp.

"There was an influx of people passing around, quite excitedly, things you could do with your kids at home: links on Pinterest, that sort of thing," said Collins, 37, who has children ages 2 and 5 and lives in the town of Abergavenny in Wales.

"Now I think that enthusiasm has died. It's fizzled out," she said, struggling to speak over her children, Amber and Romy, who were vying for her attention in the background. "It sounds fun, but it's actually been quite taxing and draining."

Read the full story here.

A thank you sign for the NHS is seen outside a closed school in Cheshunt.Mark Hartnell / Reuters

India has record daily jump in cases

India sees no respite from the coronavirus, reporting another record single day jump of over 6,500 cases, bringing the total to 158,333 on Thursday, as the two-month lockdown is due to ease on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is preparing a new set of guidelines to be issued this weekend, possibly extending the lockdown in worst-hit areas, as it promotes economic activity.

The Indian Health Ministry reported 4,531 deaths so far. Mumbai ⁠— India’s financial and entertainment capital ⁠— is the worst hit city with nearly 1,200 deaths.

An increase in cases has also been reported in some of India’s poorest eastern states, as migrant workers returning to native villages from large cities have begun arriving home on special trains.

Migrant workers queue outside an Indian railway station to return to their hometowns.Punit Paranjpe / AFP - Getty Images

Pandemic worsens periods for women, says charity

Millions of women worldwide are facing shortages of sanitary products, price hikes, and worsened stigma while managing periods during lockdowns, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a charity warned on Thursday.

About three-quarters of health professionals in 30 countries surveyed by Plan International, from Kenya to Australia, reported supply shortages of sanitary products. Around half cited reduced access to clean water to help manage periods.

"Periods don’t stop during a pandemic, but managing them safely and with dignity has become a whole lot harder," Susanne Legena of Plan International Australia, said in a statement to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Dem lawmaker goes on epic rant after GOP colleague admits hiding positive coronavirus test

A Pennsylvania Democratic lawmaker joined colleagues on his side of the aisle in lambasting a Republican lawmaker for keeping them in the dark about testing positive for the coronavirus.

Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, delivered an epic Facebook Live rant on Wednesday about the exclusion, saying state House Republicans called for in-person committee meetings to argue that business sectors were safe to reopen even as they knew they had been exposed to the virus.

 

"Every single day of this crisis this State Government Committee in Pennsylvania has met so that their members could line up one after one after one and explain that it was safe to go back to work," he said. "During that time period they were testing positive. They were notifying one another. And they didn’t notify us."

"I never ever, ever knew that the Republican leadership of this state would put so many of us at risk for partisanship to cover up a lie," he said during the nearly 12-minute tirade. "And that lie is that we're all safe from COVID."

Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Dauphin, said in a Facebook Live address Wednesday night, hours after he publicly announced he had tested positive, that he informed as few people as possible about contracting the coronavirus because he wanted to protect the privacy of those around him and because he was only in close quarters with a handful of house colleagues.

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