While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 13


'Serious’ consequences if US reopens too fast, top expert tells Congress

The US government’s top infectious disease expert warned Congress on Tuesday that ending lockdowns too quickly could bring severe consequences including new outbreaks of coronavirus just as the country tries to overcome the pandemic.

Anthony Fauci told a Senate panel the federal government had developed guidelines for local jurisdictions on how to safely re-open activities, and a sustained decrease in cases for 14 days was a vital first step.

“If a community or a state or region doesn’t go by those guidelines and reopens... the consequences could be really serious,” said Fauci.

Fauci acknowledged that US deaths caused by the virus are likely higher than the roughly 80,000 fatalities in the current official government toll.


Mike Pence keeping his distance from Trump for a few days: White House

US Vice-President Mike Pence, whose press secretary tested positive for coronavirus, has decided to "keep his distance" from President Donald Trump for a few days, the White House said on Tuesday.

Katie Miller, Pence's press secretary, tested positive for the virus last week along with a personal valet to Trump.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, "has made the choice to keep his distance for a few days" from the president.


113-year-old woman in Spain survives coronavirus

A 113-year-old woman, believed to be the oldest person living in Spain, has beat the coronavirus at retirement home where several other residents died from the pandemic, the residence said Tuesday.

Maria Branyas, who was born in the US, was infected with the virus in April at the Santa Maria del Tura care home in the eastern city of Olot where she has lived for the past 20 years and fought the infection in isolation in her room.

"She survived the disease and is doing fine," a spokeswoman for the residence told AFP, adding Branyas had only displayed mild symptoms of the disease.


Football: La Liga chief predicts lower salaries for players and fewer transfers

Spanish soccer clubs have no option but to face up to reducing players' salaries next season due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, La Liga president Javier Tebas has said.

The Spanish season has been on hold since March and although matches are due to re-start in June without spectators, the league still estimates clubs will lose a combined €300 million (S$460 million) in lost revenue due to the disruption.

To cope with steep income losses, many clubs including Barcelona and Atletico Madrid introduced temporary pay cuts to players and staff during the national state of emergency, although Tebas believes further cuts will have to be made.


Canadian rocker Bryan Adams apologises over ‘racist’ Covid-19 post

Canadian rocker Bryan Adams apologised on Tuesday after a backlash and accusations of anti-Chinese racism over his online rant about the pandemic forcing the cancellation of his London shows this week.

The Cuts Like A Knife singer issued a statement offering “apologies to any and all that took offence to my posting yesterday,” adding: “I have love for all people.”

Adams had said in earlier expletive-laced Twitter and Instagram posts that his gigs at the Royal Albert Hall were nixed thanks to “bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy b******s.”