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:

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

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

Iowa pushes to reopen despite 'substantial spread' of COVID19

DES MOINES, Iowa — Despite acknowledging there is still “substantial spread” of COVID-19 in the state, Gov. Kim Reynolds continues to push forward on reopening the economy.

Bars and distilleries were given the go-ahead to reopen this week and casinos, amusement parks and sporting events can all resume Monday.

While the CDC recommends that states wait to reopen their economies after seeing a two-week decline in cases, the longest streak of declining COVID-19 cases that Iowa has seen is just three days. And on Thursday, another meatpacking plant reported an outbreak: The Tyson plant in Storm Lake is shutting down temporarily after 555 workers tested positive.

Reynolds also said businesses are not required to report positive cases if they don’t want to, and her administration won’t be disclosing outbreaks at meatpacking plants or other places were people congregate unless members of the media ask directly.

Mayor de Blasio discusses plan to give tablets to seniors to promote telemedicine

Philippines begins easing lockdown despite virus case spike

The Philippines saw its highest daily spike in coronavirus cases on Thursday, but that didn't stop President Rodrigo Duterte from easing one of the world's toughest and longest lockdowns.

Under the relaxed rules in place for the next two weeks, workplaces and shops will reopen and movement in and out of the capital Manila will be permitted, provided that people wear masks and observe social distancing.

Though taxis, buses and ride-hailing services are allowed to reopen, the country's iconic jeepneys - the crowded and colorful budget passenger trucks - will remain off the road.

"I'm still nervous because the virus is still out there but glad that the taxi drivers and I can go back to work," said taxi dispatcher Meliza Venal, after being stuck at home for 11 weeks.

The easing could help restore much-needed economic activity in a country facing its deepest contraction in 34 years.

As Trump rages, state officials quietly press forward with vote by mail

Judging solely by President Donald Trump's recent diatribes, mail-in voting would seem to have become one of the nation's most partisan flashpoints.

But at the state level — where elections are actually administered — there's little disagreement.

Instead, most state officials are ignoring partisanship and amid the coronavirus pandemic quietly laying the groundwork for an effective, mail-heavy election, including in those states led by Republicans.

Read the full story here. 

Election workers count ballots while collecting them from a drop box in Windsor Mill.Julio Cortez / AP file

Nepali Sherpas grounded by virus on anniversary of Mount Everest's first ascent

Had it not been for the coronavirus, Nepali climbing guide Tashi Lakpa Sherpa would have been on Mount Everest by now, guiding clients and trying to add another feather to his cap - a ninth ascent.

But the 34 year old is sitting in a Kathmandu apartment, worried about his future as a guide if climbing expeditions, a key source of employment for the Sherpa guides, remain closed.

Friday is the anniversary of the day Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa, and New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary became the first people to climb the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) Mount Everest in 1953.

Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains including Everest, suspended climbing and trekking activities in March because of the pandemic. Its 30 million citizens have been under lockdown for two months.

Monkey business? Animals steal coronavirus blood samples in India

A troop of monkeys in India have attacked a medical official and snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, authorities said on Friday.

The bizarre attack occurred when a laboratory technician was walking on the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, 460 km (285 miles) north of Lucknow.

"Monkeys grabbed and fled with the blood samples of four COVID-19 patients who are undergoing treatment ... we had to take their blood samples again," said Dr S. K. Garg, a top official at the college.

Authorities said they were not clear if the monkeys had spilled the blood samples or if they could themselves contract the virus.

Environmentalists say the destruction of natural habitats is the main reason animals stray into urban areas.

Pakistan to resume international flights

Pakistan will allow international flights to resume Saturday, after largely closing its airspace to commercial flights in March to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

“Both national and foreign airlines shall be allowed to operate from all international airports of Pakistan with exception of Gwadar and Turbat,” the Civil Aviation Authority said in a news release Friday. All planes  will be disinfected and crowding will not be allowed in airports.

Pakistan has largely rolled back its lockdown measures and resumed domestic flights this month despite a rise in the rate of infections.

The announcement Friday comes just a week after a domestic flight crashed into a residential area of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, killing nearly 100 people on board. 

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