By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The U.S. has sent to Brazil more than 2 million doses of a malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump as potentially protecting against and treating the coronavirus, even though scientific evidence has not backed up those uses.
No large, rigorous scientific studies have found the drug, hydroxychloroquine, safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19, and some smaller studies have indicated worse outcomes from those taking the drug.
Brazil, now Latin America’s hardest-hit country, continues to see a surge in virus cases, and last week Trump announced that the U.S. was restricting travel from the country to prevent travelers from spreading the virus in the U.S.
In a joint statement with the Brazilian government on Sunday, the White House said the doses of hydroxychloroquine had been sent to Brazil as a prophylactic for front-line health workers and as a therapeutic for those who may come down with the virus. The White House said it was also delivering 1,000 ventilators to Brazil.
CAIRO — Egypt’s Health Ministry reported its highest-ever number of infections and deaths from the coronavirus.
The ministry said Sunday there were 46 deaths in the last 24 hours, jumping from 34 the previous day. There were also 1,536 confirmed cases.
Egypt, a country of 100 million people, has seen a surge in infections in the past week. It has the highest announced deaths from COVID-19 in the Arab World, and the third in the Middle East behind Iran and Turkey, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
Sunday’s figures have taken the tally in the Arab World’s most populous country to 24,985 confirmed cases and 959 deaths. The ministry says over 6,000 patients were discharged from quarantine after their recovery.
ANKARA, Turkey — Two hospitals for coronavirus patients were opened in Istanbul as Turkey’s daily number of new cases fell to its lowest since the peak of the outbreak.
“Thank God, we prevented the spread of the pandemic even without needing the additional capacity we created here,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday as he opened a 1,008-bed hospital, built over 45 days on the site of the former Ataturk airport.
Turkey recorded 839 cases over the previous 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted, taking the total to 163,942 since the first infection was announced on March 11. There were 25 coronavirus-related deaths over the same period, bringing the toll to 4,540.
Turkey ranks 10th worldwide for the number of virus cases, according to John Hopkins University, although experts believe the rate of infections globally could be much higher than reported.
ATHENS, Greece — For the third day in a row, no new COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Greece.
Authorities said Sunday that, since Saturday afternoon, only two new cases have been reported, raising the total to 2,917. The number of fatalities remains at 175.
Also, 13 patients are hooked to ventilators, while 106 have left intensive care.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Tens of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia have reopened for the first time in more than two months.
Worshipers have been ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Islam’s holiest site in Mecca remains closed to the public.
Also Sunday, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that had been closed since mid-March reopened for prayers. Worshipers waited outside the gates, many wearing surgical masks. As they entered, they were stopped to have their temperature taken.
The new measures come as Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world begin to loosen restrictions following weeks of curfews and lockdowns.