May 26 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT) May 27, 2020
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2:49 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Catch up: The latest coronavirus headlines

It's nearing 3 p.m. in Singapore and 4 a.m. in Rio de Janeiro.  If you're just joining us, here's what you missed:

  • Crisis in Brazil: Brazil recorded 11,687 new coronavirus cases within 24 hours, the country's health ministry said on Monday, taking the nationwide total to 374,898. Only the United States has recorded more.
  • An unusual holiday in the US: Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US -- usually considered the unofficial start of summer -- showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of social distancing or masks. More than 19,000 new coronavirus cases were identified in the country on Monday.
  • Economic woes in Singapore: The city-state's recession may be much deeper than expected this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the economy. GDP growth is now forecast to drop between 4% and 7% -- down from an expected decline of 1% to 4%, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
2:21 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

The largest air carrier in Latin America just filed for bankruptcy

From CNN's Maija Ehlinger

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

LATAM Airlines Group, the largest air carrier in Latin America, has filed for bankruptcy in large part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said in a statement on its website.

The company is planning to reorganize operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. CEO Roberto Alvo said the company will focus "on transforming our group to adapt to a new and evolving way of flying, with the health and safety of our passengers and employees being paramount."

In the meantime, reservations, employee pay, flight vouchers, and passenger and cargo operations will not be impacted, according to the statement. 

"Our group has shared our journey with the people of Latin America, thriving in times of growth and pulling together to overcome times of adversity," the statement said. "LATAM will emerge from this process a more efficient, resilient, and ultimately strengthened airline group that is better placed to serve Latin America."

This is the second major airline in the region to file for bankruptcy this month. Colombia-based Avianca filed for bankruptcy May 11, citing coronavirus-related financial problems. 

2:03 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Monday was the unofficial start of summer in the US. So what happened this time?

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US -- which is usually considered the unofficial start of summer -- showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of social distancing or masks.

From Florida to Indiana and across the country to California, Americans were out enjoying the weekend as states loosened coronavirus restrictions.

Read more about what happened across the country here. Images from the holiday weekend can be found here.

1:39 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Singapore cuts its economic forecast for the third time this year

From CNN's Michelle Toh in Hong Kong

A pedestrian rests in a park in Singapore earlier this month.
A pedestrian rests in a park in Singapore earlier this month. Roslan Rahman/AFP/ Getty Images

Singapore's recession may be much deeper than expected this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the wealthy city-state.

Officials there Tuesday slashed the country's economic forecast for the third time this year. GDP growth is now set to drop between 4% and 7% -- down from an expected decline of 1% to 4%, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The darkening outlook marks a major departure from just a few months ago. Earlier this year, Singapore was seen as one of the few countries that had its coronavirus response under control.

But it has recently experienced an alarming second wave of infections, leading to heightened restrictions. The island nation now has 31,960 confirmed cases, up from just a few hundred in March, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Singapore was already headed for recession last year as its exports slumped due to the US-China trade war.

Now, "we think the economy is already in recession," Sung Eun Jung, of Oxford Economics, wrote in a research note Tuesday.

To shore up the flagging economy, the government has deployed billions of dollars in stimulus measures.

A new package is also expected later on Tuesday, when Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat presents a relief plan for businesses in an address to parliament.

1:10 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

South Korea has identified almost 250 coronavirus cases linked to a cluster from a nightclub district

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

A medical worker guides visitors to take a Covid-19 test in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 12.
A medical worker guides visitors to take a Covid-19 test in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 12. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

There are now 247 cases of coronavirus in South Korea tied to an outbreak in Itaweon, a popular nightlife district in the capital of Seoul, health officials said.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said Tuesday that 83,000 tests have been conducted in connection with the outbreak. About 30% of the nearly 250 who were confirmed positive are asymptomatic, the KCDC added.

Many clubs in the district are popular with Seoul's gay community, and the outbreak sparked an outpouring of hate speech toward the country's already-embattled LGBTQ population.

12:45 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Peru seemed to do everything right. So how did it become a Covid-19 hotspot?

From CNN's Mariano Castillo

A priest at the funeral of Covid-19 victims at El Angel cemetery, in Lima on May 21.
A priest at the funeral of Covid-19 victims at El Angel cemetery, in Lima on May 21. Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Peru was one of the first nations in the Americas to introduce strict preventative coronavirus measures, including stay-at-home orders, curfews and border closings.

How, then, did it become one of the hardest hit?

As of Monday, Peru had more than 123,900 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3,600 deaths -- putting it second only to Brazil both in the number of cases and deaths in Latin America.

The two countries had handled the epidemic very differently: While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the dangers posed by the coronavirus, Peru's President Martin Vizcarra declared a nationwide state of emergency on March 15 that included mandatory self-quarantine, and shuttered the country's borders.

But the virus surged all the same.

About 85% of Peru's ICU beds with ventilators are now occupied, according to government figures, and overcrowding at hospitals is feared.

"This situation is not just a health emergency, but a health catastrophe, defined as a situation where the pandemic has overtaken the response capacity of the health sector," Dr. Alfredo Celis, of the Medical College of Peru, told CNN en Español.

Deep wealth inequality and poor aid distribution design are two reasons why. Read here to learn more.

12:22 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

The US reported more than 19,000 coronavirus cases on Monday

A Marine Color Guard presents colors during a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on May 25, in San Diego, California.
A Marine Color Guard presents colors during a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on May 25, in San Diego, California. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The US now has at least  1,662,302 cases of coronavirus and 98,220 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 19,056 new cases and 500 fatalities. 

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

New York remains the hardest hit state, with 362,764 cases and 29,229 deaths. New Jersey, Illinois and California follow.

11:53 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

This Chinese city has Covid-19 under control. Now authorities want to rank residents on their health

From CNN's Nectar Gan in Hong Kong

Imagine a smartphone app that has access to your medical records and assigns you a daily score based on your preconditions, recent checkups and lifestyle habits -- how much you've drunk, smoked, exercised and slept on any given day can all affect your points total, boosting or lowering your ranking.

That "health score" is then embedded in a digital QR code accessible on your cell phone, ready to be scanned whenever needed.

This is what the city government of Hangzhou in eastern China has envisioned for its 10 million residents, inspired by a "health code" system it adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic to profile people based on their risk of infection.

Across the globe, governments have stepped up the collection of personal data in their fight against the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 346,000 people and infected close to 5.5 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

But there are also fears that some of these extraordinary measures could be here to stay even after the public health crisis is over, posing a long-term threat to privacy.

Read more:

11:37 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

South Korea reported 19 new coronavirus cases today. Mainland China found 11

From CNN's Vanesse Chan and Yoonjung Seo

People sit before the city skyline and Han River in Seoul, South Korea, on May 24.
People sit before the city skyline and Han River in Seoul, South Korea, on May 24. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Health authorities in South Korea identified 19 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. Three are believed to be imported, while the other 16 are thought to be locally transmitted.

Authorities in mainland China said 11 cases were identified in the country Tuesday.

Here are each country's totals, as per the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and China's National Health Commission:

South Korea

  • 11,225 total cases
  • 10,275 patients recovered
  • 681 patients being treated
  • 269 deaths

Mainland China

  • 82,985 total cases
  • 78,268 patients recovered and discharged from hospital
  • 4,634 deaths
  • 396 asymptomatic patients still under medical observation