MIAMI – United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged on Thursday that there is a significant probability that another fiscal stimulus package will be necessary to alleviate the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but he rejected the proposal by the Democrats for immediate aid, saying that the measure could wait for several weeks.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that, at the beginning of next week, local authorities will launch a “massive” operation to distribute 1.5 million “healthy” meals per day, including deliveries to 500 schools, for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the aid being made available to about one-quarter of the local population.
In Orlando, Florida, Universal theme park is planning to reopen to the public on June 5, albeit with lower maximum capacity and certain required restrictions – such as required wearing of facemasks – after receiving the approval of Orange County authorities.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico will remain under a quarantine until June 15, but activities will resume at shopping centers, retail stores, restaurants and churches, albeit with important restrictions and required facemask use.
On Thursday, Brazil reported 1,188 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, a new daily high, bringing the death toll to 20,047, and the Health Ministry said that 18,508 new cases were detected, bringing the total caseload to 310,087.
In Colombia, the three mechanical ventilator prototypes developed by research teams in Medellin, Colombia, to treat COVID-19 patients entered on Thursday the “initial phase” of production – of 100 units – while awaiting authorization to complete clinical trials.
In Argentina, health authorities reported on Thursday 648 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the highest-ever daily total, bringing the total number of cases to 9,931. Meanwhile, 13 more people died from the disease for a total death count so far of 416.
Argentina is looking to export a test that local scientists have developed to detect the coronavirus, which stands out for its simplicity, the speed of obtaining results and its low cost.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll in Peru, the second-hardest-hit country in Latin America after Brazil, with more than 3,100 deaths reported and 108,000 confirmed cases.
The Mexico City government is pushing the local production of N95 facemasks in a joint project between the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Atfil company as a way to supply health personnel. The government is providing 17.5 million pesos (about $760,000) for the project.
On Thursday, Chilean health authorities reported that the COVID-19 death toll stands at 589, with a new record daily total of 45 in the last 24 hours, while 57,581 confirmed cases have been reported.
Ecuador said on Thursday that the COVID-19 death toll stands at 2,939, along with 1,880 “probable” coronavirus deaths, while 35,306 people have tested positive for the virus.