April 15th, 2020.
Two Brazilian state governors, Wilson Witzel, from Rio, and Hélder Barbalho, from Pará, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Both of them have issued statements asking their state’s population to remain at home and respect social distancing measures. A 99-year-old veteran of the Brazilian Expeditionary Forces who took part in World War II has been released from hospital, after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and spending eight days hospitalized. 15 years after the murder of US missionary Dorothy Stang, one of her suspected murderers has been arrested by the São Paulo military police in the city of Itapetininga. Black people in China are facing increasing discrimination, after African immigrants were diagnosed with COVID-19; a McDonald’s restaurant which had displayed a sign banning black customers has been shut down temporarily by the company, which issued a public apology. Finally, South Korea voters, wearing masks and gloves, took to the ballots today to elect their parliamentary representatives.
Take a look at our highlights.
Rio de Janeiro and Pará governors test positive for coronavirus
Two Brazilian state governors have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In a video posted on Twitter, Rio de Janeiro governor Wilson Witzel said he had not been feeling well since last Friday, with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and loss of smell, and, after receiving a positive result on Tuesday, he visited a local hospital to undergo tests and see if he needed to be hospitalized. Pará governor Hélder Barbalho also used his social media accounts to explain he decided to be tested after several members of his cabinet came down with the virus, but only after taking it for the third time, did he receive a positive diagnosis. Both governors called for people in their states to remain at home and follow all social distancing guidelines to avoid spreading the virus.
99-year-old World War II veteran defeats coronavirus
A 99-year-old Brazilian who was deployed in the African theater of World War II, in 1945, has just been released from the Armed Forces Hospital, after spending eight days hospitalized due to complications caused by the novel coronavirus. One of the oldest patients in the world to defeat COVID-19, Ermando Piveta, an artillery veteran of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, was discharged from hospital on April 13th, the same date on which the Italian city of Montese was liberated, a battle which represented a decisive blow imposed by Allied troops on Nazi Germany. To celebrate his most recent victory, the Brazilian Army presented military honors to the war veteran, greeting him with a bugle call as he left hospital donning full military regalia.
After 15 years, Dorothy Stang’s killer is arrested in São Paulo
One of the men accused of murdering American missionary Dorothy Stang has been arrested by São Paulo state military police in the city of Itapetininga. Stang was gunned down in 2005 in Anapu, in the state of Pará. The name of the man has not been disclosed by state authorities. His whereabouts were informed to the police by an anonymous tip, and he tried to flee his hideout as soon as he realized he was about to be arrested. The missionary was killed because she defended the settlement of rural workers in public lands claimed by local farmers and loggers.
McDonald’s in China bans black people, company apologizes
A video posted on several social media accounts caused outrage, showing a sign on display at a McDonald’s restaurant in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, which read that black people were not authorized to enter the premises due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Several reports of discrimination against black people in general have been emerging from this region of China, after some African immigrants had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Some people have been evicted from their homes and are unable to obtain a hotel room in which to sleep. The situation has left China in a delicate diplomatic position with several African countries. McDonald’s has issued an official apology, and has shut down the aforementioned store for an indefinite period of time.
South Koreans take to the ballots amid coronavirus pandemic
Today, millions of South Koreans took to the ballots to choose all 300 members of its National Assembly. In times of COVID-19, masks and disposable gloves were handed out to individuals who, in the busiest polling stations, had to stand up in large lines to cast their votes. According to Yonhap News agency, this is the biggest number of voters to take part in an election in the country in at least 16 years, since this is being considered a referendum of sorts on the government of president Moon Jae-in – whose party is likely to obtain a parliamentary majority. The novel coronavirus pandemic has been relatively stabilized in South Korea, with only 30 new cases during the last five days.