Coronavirus Live Updates: Online Concert Raises Millions for Virus Fight

100,000 people defy nationwide lockdown in Bangladesh to attend the funeral of an Islamist politician.

Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis ignored a nationwide lockdown on Saturday to attend the funeral of a Muslim political leader, prompting fears of a new outbreak in a country straining to contain the disease.

The Bangladeshi police said about 100,000 people had gathered in the town of Sarail without masks or other protective gear for the funeral of Maulana Jubayer Ahmed Ansari, a senior member of an Islamist party.

The event came together when the United Nations and the W.H.O. asked Global Citizen to support their Covid-19 response by bringing together the world through music and inspiring people to take action.

Contributions from corporate partners will go to the W.H.O.’s Solidarity Response Fund to support and equip health care workers across the globe. The W.H.O. had shipped two million pieces of personal protection equipment and supplies to 68 countries.

So far, the initiative had raised more than $35 million.

With mortality rates relatively low but the unemployment rate at more than 26 percent, Israel is set to begin easing restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Saturday night.

“From tomorrow, we start opening up both the personal sphere and the economic sphere,” he said in a televised appearance.

Outdoor prayer will be permitted in spread-out groups of up to 10 people, he said, and exercise will be allowed for people in pairs up to 500 meters from their homes, up from 100 meters.

An eclectic list of retail establishments will be allowed to reopen, including electrical and office supply stores, laundries, bookstores, housewares dealers and opticians. But malls will remain locked, meaning only permitted businesses with their own storefronts will reopen. And shops will be limited to serving two customers at a time and required to install physical barriers between customers and cashiers.

Restaurants, hairdressers, clothing, shoe and toy stores all remain closed.

Other businesses will be allowed to bring up to 30 percent of their workforces back to their positions, up from 15 percent.

A new “purple seal” certification will allow employers to resume operations contingent on meeting conditions like requiring workers to wear face masks, have regular temperature checks and regularly disinfect surfaces; barring meetings of more than eight people; documenting who works where and when; and forcing the entire workplace to shut down if anyone there gets sick.

Mr. Netanyahu urged Israelis age 67 and older to stay home for the time being, and pleaded with Muslim citizens to avoid feasts and other gatherings during the monthlong celebration of Ramadan, which begins Thursday night.

U.S. doubles down in its condemnation of Hong Kong’s crackdown on democracy activists amid the pandemic.

The Trump administration on Saturday doubled down in its condemnation of a crackdown on pro-democracy activists and lawmakers in Hong Kong. The crackdown is widely seen as opportunistic given the city’s preoccupation with handling the coronavirus outbreak.

Attorney General William P. Barr conflated the arrests of the 14 Hong Kong democracy advocates — the biggest roundup since antigovernment protests began last year — with what he called “industrial espionage” by China’s ruling Communist Party against the United States.

“I condemn the latest assault on the rule of law and the liberty of the people of Hong Kong,” Mr. Barr said in a statement. “These events show how antithetical the values of the Chinese Communist Party are to those we share in Western liberal democracies. These actions — along with its malign influence activity and industrial espionage here in the United States —demonstrate once again that the Chinese Communist Party cannot be trusted.”

Mr. Barr’s remarks echoed an earlier statement by Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, who said Beijing had violated the agreements instituted in 1997 when the former British colony was returned to Chinese control with the promise that city would continue to “enjoy a high degree of autonomy.”

The high-profile arrests were made as Hong Kong battled to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has helped quiet down the huge street protests but fueled further distrust of the authorities. The virus has halted protests around the world, forcing people to stay home and giving the authorities new laws for limiting public gatherings and detaining people with less fear of public blowback while many residents remained under lockdowns or with limits on their movement.

Human rights advocates are calling on Malaysia, which turned away at least two boats filled with Rohingya refugees, to reverse itself and start accepting the migrants.

The pandemic has “intensified” the misery of the Rohingya, who are confined in Myanmar and in camps in Bangladesh, Mr. Robertson said, adding that the Malaysian government “can both protect against the spread of the virus and ensure that those risking their lives at sea are rescued and given a chance to seek asylum.”

As Mr. Cuomo and other governors consider easing social distancing restrictions, new estimates by researchers at Harvard University suggest that the United States cannot safely reopen unless it conducts more than three times the number of coronavirus tests it is currently administering over the next month.

An average of 146,000 people per day have been tested for the coronavirus nationally so far this month, according to the Covid Tracking Project. To reopen the United States by mid-May, the number of daily tests performed between now and then should be 500,000 to 700,000, according to the Harvard estimates.

Also on Saturday, federal officials acknowledged that sloppy laboratory practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused contamination that rendered the nation’s first coronavirus tests ineffective.

Two of the three C.D.C. laboratories in Atlanta that created the coronavirus test kits violated their own manufacturing standards, resulting in the agency sending tests that did not work properly to nearly all of the 100 state and local public health labs, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The top Covid-19 risk factors don’t include asthma.

Since the onset of the pandemic, those with asthma have been on high alert. Many health organizations have cautioned that asthmatics are at higher risk for severe illness it they are infected with coronavirus.

However, when New York state released data on the top 10 chronic health problems suffered by people who died from coronavirus, asthma was not listed. State officials said only about five percent of Covid-19 deaths in New York were of people who were known to also have asthma.

While research is still in the early stages, a recent commentary published in Lancet by a group of European researchers called it “striking” that asthma wasn’t represented in the “comorbidities reported for patients with Covid-19.” A Washington State study of 24 critically ill patients noted that three had asthma.

Dr. Bushra Mina, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said he was not seeing a lot of patients with asthma. The more common risk factors, he added, are “morbid obesity, diabetes and chronic heart disease.”

The top Covid-19 comorbidities listed by New York, in order, are hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, dementia and atrial fibrillation, a heart condition. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranked seventh while renal disease, cancer and congestive heart failure round out the list.

Mr. Woods said the races provide the same emotional experience as sports with human players. “There are still underdogs and upsets — something to cheer about,” he said.

The videos draw about 10 million views per month, Mr. Bakker said, nearly half from the United States.

The world of marble racing recently got a boost from a tweet featuring a video of marbles rebounding along an outdoor sand track. Celebrities such as Pete Wentz, bassist for the band Fall Out Boy, drew attention to the video, which has been viewed more than 35 million times.

While the high level of attention to competitive marble racing may be new, the videos of it are not. The Bakker brothers started their YouTube channel in 2006. Other YouTube channels, such as M&H Racing and Fubeca’s Marble Runs, also post racing content, each with hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

The marbles’ teams have home tracks. There are referees and a stadium of fans — all marbles. When the races begin, gravity pulls each glass ball, 16 millimeters wide, down a winding track to the soundtrack of a cheering crowd.

The main event, Marble League, formerly called MarbleLympics, was supposed to coincide with the summer Olympics in Tokyo. While the Olympics have been postponed, the Marble League will go ahead as planned.

Reporting was contributed by Kai Schultz, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Mariel Padilla, Rebecca Chao, Russell Goldman and Austin Ramzy.


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