Coronavirus Live Updates: Fauci Guides Americans On Memorial Day Weekend Activities

Yemen’s Health System ‘Has In Effect’ Collapsed, UN Says — 5/22/20, 6:35 a.m. ET

Yemen’s health-care system is collapsing under the strain of the spread of COVID-19, the U.N. warned Friday in an appeal for funding.

Aid workers report turning people away because they don’t have the PPE or oxygen needed to treat them, said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Reuters reported.

“We hear from many of them that Yemen is really on the brink right now. The situation is extremely alarming, they are talking about that the health system has in effect collapsed,” he said.

Yemen has reported 197 cases of coronavirus and 33 deaths from the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard. But Laerke said the actual numbers are much higher. The country has been ravaged by war and the malnourished population has among the world’s lowest immunity levels to disease.

— Liza Hearon

Locking Down UK A Week Earlier Could Have Avoided Thousands Of Deaths  — 5/22/20, 6:20 a.m. ET

Putting the U.K. into lockdown just one week earlier would have had a “dramatic” impact on the number of deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a leading mathematical modeler has declared.

Writing for HuffPost U.K., Kit Yates, co-director of Bath University’s center for mathematical biology, said that speedier intervention could have saved thousands of lives, while making it easier to reopen the economy and protect the National Health Service (NHS) at the same time.

Yates underlined a new analysis by climatologist James Annan that estimated that three-quarters of Britain’s fatalities — at least 27,000 deaths — would have been avoided with a lockdown imposed seven days earlier than March 23, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally opted to do so.

“In the early stages of the U.K.’s epidemic, when the case numbers were growing exponentially, it would not have been difficult to predict that earlier suppression would have had dramatic and beneficial consequences for the number of cases and deaths a short time down the line,” he said.

Latest government figures show 36,042 people with the virus have died in the U.K. One model devised by the Financial Times suggests at least 63,000 excess deaths are linked directly or indirectly to COVID-19. 

Read more.

— Paul Waugh 

Fauci: Go Out (But Maintain Physical Distance) Over Memorial Day Weekend — 5/22/2020, 6:00 a.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the Trump White House’s coronavirus task force, said people should go out and enjoy the outdoors over Memorial Day weekend, but to practice physical distancing.

At a CNN global coronavirus town hall Thursday night, Fauci said he would be enjoying hikes over the long weekend, but he would be wearing a mask and avoiding crowds.

His comments were welcomed by epidemiologist Julia Marcus, who said a sustainable, long-term approach is now needed in giving guidance to Americans, instead of the “all-or-nothing” approach in telling Americans to stay at home, HuffPost’s Lee Moran reported.

“I think that’s the approach we need moving forward, is to encourage people to be outdoors where we know the risk of transmission is much lower,” said Marcus.

— Liza Hearon

Brazil Death Toll Surpasses 20,000 After Another Deadly Day  — 5/22/20, 5 a.m. ET

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