Riots in Brazil, Venezuela prisons amid coronavirus: Live updates
UN calls for probe into Venezuela prison riot that left 46 dead; seven guards held in Brazil prison riot freed.
The US government was slow to understand how fast coronavirus was spreading from Europe, which accelerated outbreaks across the country, says Dr Anne Schuchat, the number-two official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The World Health Organization reiterates the coronavirus is believed to be “natural in origin”, responding to a claim by US President Donald Trump that he had seen evidence that indicated the virus emerged from a virology institute in Wuhan, China.
In Venezuela, more than 40 people died during a riot about coronavirus-related restrictions on family visits, while prisoners at a Brazilian jail held guards hostage for several hours in protest at the suspension of all visits.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed infections stands above 3.35 million, with nearly 239,000 deaths and approximately 1.05 million recoveries.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, May 3
01:04 GMT – Pelosi, McConnell decline coronavirus tests for US Congress
The top Republican and Democrat in Congress say they are respectfully declining an offer of quick COVID-19 tests offered by the Trump administration.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, normally fierce political rivals, say Congress is “grateful” for the offer, but “wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly”.
The US’s 100 senators, many of whom are advanced in age, will return to Washington on Monday following a recess that was prolonged due to the pandemic.
00:54 GMT – Yemen’s Houthi rebels call for more test kits
Taha Al-Mutawakel, the Houthi public health minister, urged the United Nations to increase the number of testing kits for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
“We are sending this appeal given the global situation of coronavirus, the ongoing assault against our country, the embargo on our country, and because the amount of the PCR tests which the World Health Organization has sent to us is very little and is about to run out,” he told reporters in Sanaa on Saturday.
00:26 GMT – UN calls for probe into Venezuela prison riot that left 46 dead
The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is calling for an investigation into a prison riot in western Venezuela that left 46 people dead and 75 injured.
The OHCHR says on Twitter that it is “gravely concerned” about the incident on Friday at the Los Llanos penitentiary in Portuguesa state. The South American country’s prisons are infamous for extreme levels of violence and poor conditions.
“We urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, tackle overcrowding, and guarantee basic rights,” the office says.
The riot came shortly after prison officials barred inmates’ family members from bringing them food, a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within prisons.
00:12 GMT – Guards freed after prison riot at Brazil’s Manaus
Prison authorities in Brazil say 10 guards and five inmates suffered non-critical injuries following an uprising at a prison in Manaus, a state capital in the Amazon rainforest.
The inmates held seven guards hostage for more than five hours, but the situation has been brought under control, according to the state’s public security secretariat.
Relatives of inmates say the prisoners at Puraquequara prison were protesting the suspension of all family visits and poor conditions at the lockup amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with all the latest updates.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, March 2, here.
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