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Daily global emissions of CO2 fell by 17% at the peak of the shutdown because of measures taken by governments in response to Covid-19, scientists say.
Industry has temporarily closed down and demand for energy all over the world has crashed. China has been responsible for the biggest drop, followed by the US, Europe and India.
The most comprehensive account yet published says that almost half the record decrease was due to fewer car journeys.
But the authors are worried that, as people return to work, car use will soar again. They fear CO2 emissions could soon be higher than before the crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of high school seniors are returning to school in South Korea today – but things aren’t exactly going to be the same.
For one, they’ll have to get their temperatures checked, hands sanitised and don a mask before they’re able to step into school premises.
If a case is confirmed within a school, the school will switch back to online classes immediately.
The country is implementing a phased return to the classroom – all of the country’s students will eventually get back to school by 8 June.
Watch the scenes outside one school this morning.
World Health Organization (WHO) member states have agreed to set up an independent inquiry into the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The resolution, approved without objection by the WHO’s 194-member annual assembly meeting virtually in Geneva, also allows for the inquiry to look into the health body’s own role.
The United States in particular has been highly critical of its response.
The EU presented the resolution on behalf of 100 nations.
Read the full story here.
Qantas, Australia’s national carrier, says when it resumes normal operation next month it will run flights with no physical distancing. It will offer masks and hand sanitiser to passengers but masks won’t be mandatory.
This model- understandably – has made many nervous and some are questioning whether the airline is prioritising costs over health risks. Qantas says were it to enact personal space guidelines, planes would only have 22 passengers and airfares would be up to 10 times higher.
In defending the plan, chief executive Alan Joyce also said Qantas had run several full repatriation flights for the government with no issues. There were also few confirmed cases globally of the virus being contracted on a plane, he said.
He claimed pressurised plane cabins were safer environments than other transport. This is because passengers sit the same way, high seats act as barriers and the filtered “air flow is top to bottom”.
However, several health experts in Australia have said they’re still cautious of air travel, and would not sit close to a stranger in a contained space.
US President Donald Trump has argued it is “a badge of honour” that the US has the world’s highest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections.
“I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better,” he said.
While the US has conducted more tests by volume than any other country, it is not first in the world on a per capita basis, according to Our World in Data, a scientific publication based at Oxford University.
Its chart ranks the US as 16th globally in terms of tests per 1,000 people, ahead of South Korea, but less than the likes of Iceland, New Zealand, Russia and Canada.
The US has 1.5 million coronavirus cases and nearly 92,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Brazil has recorded its highest daily death toll yet with
1,179 over that past 24 hours. Overall, the virus has now been linked to almost
18,000 fatalities in the country.
In terms of infections, Brazils now has the world’s third-highest
number with 271,885 confirmed cases. Over the past 24 hours alone, there were 17,408
new positive tests and observers say the country’s peak is not expected until June.
Brazil is deeply divided over how to respond to the pandemic.
President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the virus
and argues that the lockdowns implemented by regional governors will do more
harm to the economy and hence the people – than the virus itself.
Hello and welcome back to the BBC’s live coverage of the global coronavirus outbreak. We’re writing to you from Singapore this morning, and will be joined by our colleagues across Asia, Australia and London later on today.
Here’s a quick look at what’s happening this morning:
- Brazil has recorded 1,179 virus deaths over the past 24 hours – its biggest daily toll yet – bringing the overall death toll to 17,971. The pandemic appears to be rapidly gaining pace in Brazil
- The World Bank has warned that 60 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the outbreak
- Over in Asia, Singapore has announced it will end its partial state of lockdown on 1 June, though most curbs and guidelines will still remain in place as the country looks to transition into a “new normal” phase
- The number of cases worldwide is now inching slowly towards 4.9m, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The death toll now stands at 322,861