Senators listen as Dr Anthony Fauci speaks remotely during a virtual Senate Committee for Health hearing. AP
America's top infectious diseases official has warned that ending lockdowns too quickly could trigger uncontrollable new coronavirus outbreaks, as the global death toll closes in on 300,000.
The stark words from Anthony Fauci came as much of the United States and Europe press ahead with easing curbs that have confined billions to their homes to stem the spread of the disease.
Opening up continues despite the toll spiking in some of the world's most populated countries, with Brazil, Russia and the US all reporting bad news.
Concerns were compounded Tuesday by Fauci's warning to Congress that a run of 14 days with drop in cases was a vital first step before lifting lockdowns.
"If a community or a state or region doesn't go by those guidelines and reopens... the consequences could be really serious," he said.
"There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control."
Fauci said the true number killed by the epidemic in the US is likely higher than the official toll of over 82,000 -- the world's highest.
On Tuesday the US registered 1,894 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, a steep rise after daily tolls fell below 1,000 on Sunday and Monday.
The expert's cautionary message stands at odds with rhetoric from President Donald Trump, who has pressed for rapid steps to rekindle the devastated US economy before a November election.
Trump has sought to shift focus onto the role of China, where the virus first emerged in December.
Republican allies in the Senate on Tuesday proposed legislation that would empower the president to impose sanctions on Beijing if it does not give a "full accounting" for the outbreak.
"The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for the detrimental role they played in this pandemic," said Senator Jim Inhofe.
"Their outright deception of the origin and spread of the virus cost the world valuable time and lives as it began to spread."
In the House of Representatives meanwhile, Democrats unveiled a $3 trillion virus response package, the largest yet, to fund efforts to fight the pandemic and provide emergency payments to millions of American households.Agence France-Presse
The president congratulated Washington's mayor on $876 million in federal coronavirus relief going to the Washington-area Metro system — money that was surely welcome but not under the mayor's jurisdiction, instead going to a regional transportation authority.
Eric Garcetti, the Democratic leader of the United States' second-largest city, was sent a letter earlier Friday by federal authorities that said long-term restrictions "may be both arbitrary and unlawful."
The travel ban was a blow to right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed the example of US President Donald Trump in addressing the pandemic, fighting calls for social distancing and touting unproven drugs.
William Bryan, science and technology advisor to the Department of Homeland Security secretary, told reporters at the White House that government scientists had found ultraviolet rays had a potent impact on the pathogen, offering hope that its spread may ease over the summer.
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.
The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) issued a decision administratively shutting down “Al Madad Refreshments” on Al Salam Street in Abu Dhabi, which holds trade license number CN-1030302, for violating Law No 2 of 2008 regarding food safety in Abu Dhabi.