What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo, Japan

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:


President fact-checked

Twitter on Tuesday for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets, putting into application an extension of its new "misleading information" policy, introduced this month to combat misinformation about the novel coronavirus.

Hours after Trump said on Twitter that mail-in ballots would be "substantially fraudulent" and result in a "rigged election", Twitter posted a blue exclamation mark alert underneath those tweets, prompting readers to "get the facts about mail-in ballots" and directing them to a page with information aggregated by Twitter staff about the assertions.

Trump, who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, lashed out at the company in response, accusing it - in a tweet - of interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.


British patients to get remdesivir

Britain will provide the anti-viral drug remdesivir to certain COVID-19 patients most likely to benefit from it as part of a collaboration with manufacturer Gilead Sciences, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Early data from clinical trials around the world showed that the drug could shorten the recovery time of COVID-19 patients by four days, the department of health said.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said last week that data from its trial of remdesivir showed that the drug offered the most benefit for COVID-19 patients who need extra oxygen but do not require mechanical ventilation.


Phased back to normal

Here are some signposts of companies and country leaders planning the resumption of normal activity:

A draft blueprint on safely starting travel between New Zealand and Australia will be presented to both governments in early June, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday, in what would be the creation of a travel bubble between the neighbours.

Walt Disney Co presents its proposal for a phased reopening of its Orlando, Florida, theme parks to a task force on Wednesday.

Trump believes there would be "no greater example of reopening" than a summit of Group of Seven leaders in the United States near the end of June, the White House said. The goal was for the summit to be held at the White House and world leaders who attended would be protected, said White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.

Google said on Tuesday it would start to reopen buildings in more cities beginning July 6 and scale up to 30% in September.


Want a holiday? Rent an RV

As borders and much of the travel industry remains closed, most people are staying put at home. Travel within the United States is expected to plunge by more than half a trillion dollars this year, a nearly 54% decline from 2019.

Even so, some cooped-up Americans are starting to think about stepping out. Self-contained transportation such as private air travel for high-end travellers and road trips in luxury RVs are expected to be popular from early rental and booking trends. Low density, too, is a big draw, in the form of smaller resorts and private tours in remote destinations.

When international borders do reopen, many high-end sojourners may head to New Zealand, now for the first time the top foreign destination for Indagare, a members-only boutique travel company.




(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Robert Birsel)