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May 6, 2020

International Update: Lockdown risks surge in TB – Covid-19 cases pass 3.65 million – US fatalities exceed 70,000

By Paul Dennis

Global: Global confirmed cases exceed 3.65 million. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say at least 3,656,644 people have been infected since the outbreak began, while at least 256,736 are known to have died.

The global lockdown caused by Covid-19 risks a “devastating” surge in tuberculosis cases, with nearly 1.4 million additional deaths from the world’s biggest infectious killer by 2025, new research showed Wednesday.

Face masks should be worn on flights in future. The International Air Transport Association, which represents global airlines, says it is recommending the wearing of masks on flights, though normal seat allocation can be maintained.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said an experimental antibody treatment for Covid-19 could be available later this year, an expedited timeline for a drug that’s scheduled to be studied in humans for the first time in June.

Gilead Sciences Inc. is in talks to expand manufacturing of remdesivir, its Covid-19 treatment that’s been cleared by US health regulators for emergency use.

US: US death toll surpasses 70,000. At least 70,847 people are now known to have died in the USA, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has cost Walt Disney US$1.4bn in the last three months as it shut down its theme parks around the world and halted film and TV productions, the company has announced.

The White House is discussing disbanding the president’s coronavirus task force, possibly as soon as Memorial Day (25 May), Vice President Mike Pence told reporters.

France: French drugmaker Sanofi says it plans to enrol thousands of people across the world in trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

UK: Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus has passed Italy’s to become the second-highest worldwide after the United States, and most impacted in Europe.

China: Suifenhe, the Chinese town on the country’s northeastern border, is loosening coronavirus restrictions that were introduced after a surge on cases among travellers returning from Russia, according to the Global Times.

China’s Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said British politicians who have called for a reset of ties between the two nations risk poisoning the relationship. Anti-China rhetoric is in danger of undermining international solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said in a webinar on Tuesday.

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