India, Pakistan post record daily cases, deaths; limited social life resumes in England


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In top stories today:

  • India and Pakistan posted record numbers of infections and deaths from coronavirus, while in South Korea schools had to close again just days after they reopened because of a spike in cases. Limited social gatherings will be allowed in England starting from next week.  
  • Just one person in New Zealand, population five million, is known still to be infected with coronavirus, but India recorded a record increase in cases while Pakistan posted a record number of deaths, The Associated Press reported. China recorded no new cases on the mainland as of the end of May 28, Reuters reported.  
  • Authorities in Moscow more than doubled the official death toll from coronavirus in the city for April to 1,561 from the previous tally of 639, the BBC said. The revised total includes the most “controversial, debatable” cases, the BBC cited the Russian capital’s health department as saying.  
  • The United Nations postponed a key climate conference, COP26, until late 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported. The event, billed as the most important since the 2015 talks that led to the Paris Agreement, was due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November after a warm-up conference in Italy, the newswire added.  
  • Just days after they reopened, more than two hundred schools had to close again in South Korea because of a new spike in virus cases, the BBC reported. The country recorded seventy-nine new cases on May 28, the highest daily figure in two months, the BBC added.  
  • Groups of up to six people from different households can meet outside in England from June 1, as long as social distancing is observed, Sky News reported. Overnight stays are prohibited, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during the May 28 coronavirus briefing, Sky added.  “Life Returns to London’s Finance Hub—Doused in Disinfectant” reads a Bloomberg headline.  
  • Twitter flagged a tweet written by a Chinese government spokesman in March that suggested the US military brought coronavirus into China, as the social-media giant steps up fact-checking of posts, Reuters reported.  


  • The White House and Congress are mulling a “return-to-work” bonus aimed at the more than 40 million people who have filed for unemployment benefits during the pandemic, The Washington Post reported. Giving a government incentive bonus to workers is largely unprecedented in the United States, the Post added. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has suggested a $450 weekly incentive for several weeks, it said.
  • Carmaker Renault plans to cut about 15,000 jobs and restructure some of its French plants to reduce costs by two billion euros amid declining demand, the Financial Times reported. Renault has agreed to a five-billion-euro credit line with its lenders to help it get through the coronavirus crisis, the Financial Times added.
  • Few countries are accurate in capturing the full extent of fatalities from coronavirus, in some cases by a wide margin, The Wall Street Journal reported. In countries including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, the death rate from all causes has jumped since March and is far higher than the number of deaths attributed to the disease, whereas Belgium also counts deaths suspected to be due to coronavirus, the newspaper added.  


  • Researchers are investigating why coronavirus seems to be more deadly in the United States and Europe than in Asia, The Washington Post said. Aside from quicker measures to impose social distancing in Asia, researchers are considering factors from genetics to immune response, as well as different strains of the virus, obesity, and general health, the newspaper added.  
  • Herd immunity against coronavirus—the level at which the virus can no longer spread widely—is still a long way off, The New York Times reported, citing new studies that are trying to quantify the level of infection. No more than between 7 and 17 percent of people have been infected in countries that have imposed limited lockdowns to build up their populations’ immunity, including Sweden and briefly the United Kingdom, the Times said. Most people even in the hardest-hit cities worldwide are still vulnerable to the virus, it reported. 
  • Sweden’s economy grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter as it decided against a full lockdown, CNBC reported. The country has recorded more infections and deaths from coronavirus than all its Nordic neighbors—Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland—combined, CNBC added. The economy of Italy, which had among the worst outbreaks in Europe, contracted by 5.4 percent, CNBC reported separately.  


  • “China Loosens Business Travel From Korea and Germany, Pressuring Other Countries” reads a Wall Street Journal headline. As companies try to rebuild supply chains, also boost sales and productivity, US trade groups and Japanese executives are keen to resume business, the Journal said. Beijing has let about five hundred German managers and their families travel back to China on two Lufthansa flights this week, the newspaper added.  
  • Air passenger numbers are likely to stay below pre-pandemic levels until 2023 and to fall by as much as 55 percent this year, S&P Global Ratings said in a May 28 report, Bloomberg said. Industry recovery will depend on factors including people’s willingness to fly again, the report said, Bloomberg added.   
  • QUOTE: “Air travel will eventually return when current health and safety concerns have been meaningfully addressed by the industry and consumer confidence rebounds, supported by steady historical growth rates in air traffic of 4%-5% per year,” wrote analysts including Tania Tsoneva and Julyana Yokota, Bloomberg reported.  
  • Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, is offering to sell two extra weeks of vacation this summer to top executives and managers in Switzerland as part of cost-saving measures, Bloomberg said. The bank took provisions of one billion dollars in the first quarter to cover the impact of coronavirus on loans and asset prices, the newswire added.
  • The annual Boston marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history because of coronavirus, CBS News reported. It will be held virtually instead in September, CBS added.
  • QUOTE: “There’s no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity,” Mayor Marty Walsh said, CBS Boston reported. “And while our goal and our hope was to make progress and contain the virus in recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14, or any time this year.” 
  • Premier League soccer matches will restart on June 17 in the United Kingdom with all twenty clubs to resume training, talkSPORT reported. All sport has been on hold since March because of coronavirus, the radio station added. Soccer’s 2019-20 FA Cup final will now be held on August 1, The Telegraph reported.