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.
Sunday's figure came on the same day that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the epidemic in his hardest-hit state is "past the high point." The 24-hour tally in the United States had exceeded 2,500 on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data showed.
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.
Dramatic footage shared by state-run “People's Daily” on social media showed the windows ripped out of several buildings in a street coated in dust and debris in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province in northern China.
About 75% of India’s total eligible adult population have received at least one dose, half a year after a devastating surge in cases brought the health system close to collapse.
The 2021 Nobel Laureate for Literature, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, will lead the list of international literary luminaries from 13 countries who will participate in the 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2021), which takes place from November 3 – 13 at Expo Centre Sharjah. A host of 15 literary greats from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be joining this group of global participants.
The Court of Appeal in Dubai upheld a ruling issued by the Court of First Instance sentencing a gang of three Asians to one year to be followed by deportation and fining them Dhs1,700 after being convicted of assaulting a grocer and stealing a sun of money equal to the fine.