Emergency Medical Technicians wheel a man out of the Cobble Hill Health Centre nursing home. Reuters
Gyms, hair salons and tattoo parlors had a green light to reopen on Friday in the state of Georgia as the United States surpassed the grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.
As the southern state lifted restrictions on a list of businesses that also included nail salons and bowling alleys, President Donald Trump warned that Governor Brian Kemp may be moving too fast.
"Spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, & barber shops should take a little slower path," Trump tweeted.
At the same time, Trump said he had told Kemp, a Republican ally, "to do what is right for the great people of Georgia (& USA)!"
The mixed messaging was the latest from a president whose remarks from the White House podium have frequently raised eyebrows, including most recently a suggestion that disinfectant could be injected to treat patients with COVID-19.
Trump sought to walk back his disinfectant comments on Friday, claiming somewhat unconvincingly that he had been speaking "sarcastically."
With much of the country on lockdown for a month, customers showed up early at several Georgia shops.
Chris Edwards, owner of the Peachtree Battle Barber Shop, saw his first customers in line at 7:00 am.
He said he was "happy" about being allowed to reopen his store in an Atlanta strip mall, where most establishments remained closed.
"I'm a small businessman," Edwards told AFP as he gave a trim to a middle-aged man.
"If I don't cut hair I don't make money," Edwards said. "We're being safe, we're being clean, it's all you can do."
Edwards was wearing a mask, but the customer was not.
Other shops followed more rigid rules. One Atlanta hair salon tested everyone's temperature as they entered, while a nail boutique northwest of the city required clients to sign waivers before receiving manicures.
The dire forecast from the United States came as much of the Western world emerged from weeks of lockdown, with hopes that the disease may have peaked in Europe, where deaths in the worst affected countries have dropped after nearly two months of confinement.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The United States is the worst hit with 88,719 deaths and 1.49 million cases as of 15.17GMT (UAE time 19.17) on Monday.
Europe has been the hardest hit with 1,954,519 cases and 169,880 deaths while the United States has 1,551,853 cases and 93,439 deaths. The statistics represent only a fraction of the exact total of cases with many countries testing only the most serious infections.
The crisis has left tens of millions unemployed in the US, which has by far the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities. Forecasts warn of the worst global recession in a century, with demand for goods gutted, and travel and tourism hammered.
Backed by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, the event played host to 500 specialised companies, unveiling the latest and most sought-after designs in watches, jewellery, and gold ornaments from around the world.
The tragedy struck the town of Qaraqosh, in a wedding hall with a capacity of “no more than 400 people,” Interior Minister Amir Al Shammari told a press conference. That night, it held in excess of 900 people, he said.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid wished the newly appointed judges success in their new roles and highlighted the importance of constantly enhancing the DIFC’s judicial framework.
The light aircraft, which reportedly belonged to RioZim, crashed in the Zvamahande area of Mashava, killing all six onboard — four foreigners and two Zimbabweans, police said. The mid-air crash is suspected to have been caused by a mechanical fault.