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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Sunday May 24.

The heartbreaking front page shows America’s grim reality.

 

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The front page of The New York Times for May 24, 2020.

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As the American death toll of COVID-19 nears the grim milestone of 100,000, The New York Times has published a heartbreaking front page, paying tribute to those who have died, on May 24, 2020.

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The paper published the names and ages of just 1,000 victims, representing a mere one per cent of the death toll in America.

“They were not simply names on a list, they were us,” the front page reads.

“Numbers alone cannot possibly measure the impact of coronavirus on America, whether it is the number of patients treated, jobs interrupted or lives cut short.”

The front page has attracted worldwide attention and praise.

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Victoria records 19th coronavirus death.

A man in his 60s from Victoria is the latest Australian to die of coronavirus. His death brought the state death toll to 19 on Saturday, and the national toll to 102.

It is not yet known how the man contracted the illness.

Victoria’s confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by 10 on Saturday, four of which were detected in returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine. Three cases were picked up through community testing, three others are being investigated and another was reclassified.

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Victoria to loosen restrictions even further.

Victoria will loosen its grip on social distancing restrictions from June 1, allowing gatherings of up to 20 people at homes and outdoors, overnight stays in hotels as well as the opening of campgrounds.

Twenty people will be allowed at weddings, while up to 50 people will be able to attend funerals, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday.

The same number of people, 20, will be able to visit libraries and other community facilities, entertainment and cultural venues, as well as beauty and personal care services.

Victorian Prep, Year 1, Year 2, Year 11 and Year 12 students are preparing to return to classrooms on Tuesday.

The state remains on track for pubs, restaurants and cafes to open to limited numbers from June 1.

COVIDSafe app reaches six million downloads.

how will coronavirus end australia
The government wants to reach 10 million COVIDSafe downloads. Image: Getty.

Six million Australians have downloaded the COVIDSafe app less than a month after being launched to help health authorities across the nation trace coronavirus infections.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the app is playing a significant role in Australia's response to the pandemic and several countries have expressed interest in learning from its positive impacts.

"Australia continues to be a world leader in testing, tracing, and containing the coronavirus and I would encourage all Australians to contribute to that effort and download the COVIDSafe app today," Mr Hunt said in a statement on Sunday.

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Only state and territory health officials have access to contact information from the app which is triggered when people come in close contact with someone who has the virus - that is 1.5 metres or less for a duration of 15 minutes or more.

NSW government says opening of gyms and beauty salons is "imminent".

nsw coronavirus update
Gladys Berejiklian. Image: Getty.

The NSW government has flagged the "imminent" re-opening of gyms and beauty salons as the state over the next two weeks prepares for a landmark easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The government remains cautious yet bullish after three cases of coronavirus were recorded over the preceding 24 hours.

All three were overseas acquired - two from Pakistan and one from the USA - and were already in hotel quarantine meaning they didn't represent a risk of onward infection.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that from June 1, up to 50 people will be allowed in restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Regional travel restrictions will also ease while museums, galleries and libraries will also be allowed to open.

That has been met with a chorus of industries clamouring for the government to allow them to resume trading.

Lobby group Fitness Australia on Saturday called for the Berejiklian government to allow gyms to re-open sooner than pubs, saying they already had a COVID industry framework in place.

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The government is also under pressure to open beauty parlours, although Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Saturday said it would need to work with the industry given the close-contact nature of it.

On Sunday, the Daily Telegraph reported that the NSW government is set to give beauticians and nail salons the ability to resume services from June 1.

According to the publication, it's likely that there will be no more than 10 clients allowed at one time.

There will also be requirements regarding stepped-up sterilisation.

COVID-19 around the world today.

New coronavirus cases in China have fallen to zero for the first time but surged in India and overwhelmed hospitals across Latin America - both in countries lax about lockdowns and those lauded for firm, early confinement.

Elsewhere, many governments are easing restrictions as they face a political backlash and recessions brought on by the battle against the virus.

In just a few months, the pandemic has killed at least 338,000 people worldwide and infected more than 5.2 million, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Religious events helped spread the virus early in the pandemic, and resuming gatherings of the faithful is an especially thorny issue.

US President Donald Trump on Friday called on governors to let houses of worship reopen this weekend.

"I'm identifying houses of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques - as essential places that provide essential services," he said.

Meantime, concerns are rising in India, where new cases showed another record jump on Saturday, topping 6000 for a second consecutive day as a two-month lockdown has eased. States with relatively few cases have registered spikes in recent days as residents, including migrant workers travelling on special trains, have returned home.

- With AAP. 

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

Read more on COVID-19:

Feature image: Getty.


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