Cuomo backs businesses over face masks, children grapple with the virus

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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Alexandre Schleier speaks with his 81-year-old grandmother Olivia Schleier, as his mother Eunice Schleier watches, through a window at the Premier Hospital, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 28, 2020.Nelson Almeida / AFP - Getty Images

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has emerged as a national leader in the fight against the coronavirus, has thrown his weight behind businesses by issuing an executive order authorizing them to deny entry to any customers who don't wear masks.

Also on Thursday, the U.S. House held a moment of silence in honor of the more than 100,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus so far.

And while the pandemic is confusing to adults, it's especially so for children who have suddenly lost their school, family connections and ability to play freely outside. To them, the coronavirus is like an unseen monster under the bed.

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

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This live coverage has now finished. Click here for the latest updates on May 30.

Global coronavirus cases edge closer to 6 million

The number of global coronavirus cases edged closer to 6 million on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and will likely surpass that figure over the weekend.

Globally 5.84 million people now have the potentially deadly respiratory disease known as COVID-19. The United States has the highest number of reported cases in the world followed by Brazil and Russia, according to the data. 

The grim global death toll stands at 361,066 people as of Friday — over 100,000 of those in the United States. 

See the NBC coronavirus global map here.

Prince William fears mental impact of virus on health workers

Britain’s Prince William spoke out on the importance of safeguarding mental health during the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, as he warned of the negative consequences on health care workers.

Speaking on a British talk show, Prince William said that while health care workers were "superstars," he feared many could experience alienation as "once they have this hero tag, they can no longer shake that, and therefore they can't ask for support," he said.

His comments came on the evening of the U.K.’s 10th weekly "Clap For Carers" initiative, which sees people across the country show their support for health care professionals by clapping on their doorsteps with neighbors each week. 

Prince William and his wife, Kate, have long been advocates for mental health and their foundation supports "Our Frontline," a program that provides mental health and bereavement support for health workers.

 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception in London.Yui Mok / WPA Pool via Getty Images

Nigeria's nightlife dwindles amid coronavirus restrictions

Sensei Uche has earned a living for the last three years as a "hype man" in Nigeria's entertainment capital Lagos, standing alongside the DJ in clubs and whipping up dancers' enthusiasm.

But the coronavirus pandemic cut off his livelihood when the government shut bars, nightclubs and restaurants late March, to curb the spread of the virus.

He is now plying his skills online. Wielding a microphone, he works alongside a DJ playing music for "isolation parties" at weekends. But while the online parties keep his brand alive, he is unable to monetize them. 

"I just hope we can find a vaccine in time, so we don't make this the new normal," he said.

Sensei Uche anchors an online virtual night party alongside DJ Jimmy Jatt in Lagos, Nigeria.Seun Sanni / Reuters

France to cautiously lift most lockdown measures

France will allow most restaurants, parks and schools to progressively reopen from June 2, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Thursday, as it works to restart its economy after nearly two months in lockdown. 

Paris, and its surrounding region, is no longer considered a "red zone" as the hard-hit capital's risk level was lowered, due to a significant drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, the health ministry said. 

But unlike other parts of the country, Parisian restaurants will only be authorized to serve customers on outdoor terraces, while elsewhere in France, a maximum of ten people can be served inside.

"Restaurants are ... capital to our art of living," Philippe said in his announcement.

Beaches and museums will also be allowed to re-open starting next week, while the voluntary contact-tracing app "Stop Covid" will also be rolled-out.

Pope Francis to lead world in rosary prayer for the pandemic

Pope Francis will lead the world in a rosary prayer for the pandemic this weekend, the Vatican said Friday. The prayer will implore the Virgin Mary's intercession and protection amid the coronavirus crisis.

The prayer will take place in the Vatican Gardens at 5:30 p.m. Rome time on Saturday and be broadcast live to the world online. While Catholic shrines from the United States to Guadalupe will also connect to the event and take part in the communal prayer.

"At the feet of Mary, the Holy Father will place the many troubles and sorrows of humanity, further worsened by the spread of COVID-19," a statement released by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization said.

Dozens of rosary beads have also been sent to families and medical staff affected by the virus, the Vatican said, as a sign of hope and solidarity.

 

Pope Francis celebrating a private morning mass at the Santa Marta chapel in The Vatican.Vatican Media / AFP - Getty Images

In Moab, Utah, businesses welcome tourists back with caution

Tracy Bentley had already stocked up her bike shop in Moab, Utah, and hired seasonal staff when businesses shut down in mid-March to prevent the coronavirus from spreading there.

The town of just over 5,000 has a small hospital but no intensive care unit, and local officials were worried that their healthcare system would be overrun as adventure sports enthusiasts flocked to the town.

Moab closed businesses, hotels, and banned camping on nearby public lands. The measures worked: As of Monday, Grand County, where Moab is located, had just four confirmed cases.

Read the full story here.

Hikers in the Arches National Park near Moab, Utah.Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images file

German retailers suffer worst losses since 2007 due to virus

In April, German retailers suffered their worst month-on-month losses since 2007 due to coronavirus lockdown measures, Germany’s statistics office Destatis reported on Friday.

Provisional data showed that the turnover in retail trade in April was 6.5 percent lower than in April 2019, Destatis said in a statement. Although there were some winners in the crisis, notably online and mail order services.

Although Germany has fared relatively well compared to its European neighbors and is beginning to ease measures, the managing director of the German Retailers Association, Stefan Genth, warned those in the industry: "the crisis is by no means over." 

New Zealand celebrates a week without a new coronavirus case

New Zealand, on Friday, celebrated one week without a new coronavirus case in the country.

The Ministry of Health for New Zealand confirmed seven days in a row without a new case, as well as no one currently receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19. Although there remains one active case in the country.

New Zealand's success is thought to be due to early lockdown measures and an extensive testing campaign, so far over 275,000 people have been tested, the ministry said.

Among the relatively small population, the country has reported 1,154 cases since the pandemic began and 22 deaths, according to health officials. 

Tokyo to further relax virus restrictions

Japan’s capital will continue to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions on June 1, Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters on Friday. 

Movie theaters, sport clubs, public baths, and department stores are among the facilities that will be allowed to re-open in a phased relaxation process, she said.

Koike warned, however, that people should continue to wash their hands, wear a face mask and "avoid the 'three C's' — closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings — as our new normal in our everyday life."

Japan has recorded more than 16,000 infections and nearly 900 deaths from the virus as of Friday, the Ministry of Health said.