June 1, 2020 / 5:36 AM / Updated 8 hours ago

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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

Elementary school students walk toward their school as the school gradually reopened after shutting down for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo, Japan, June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Scientists hunt pandemic hotspots

The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may be waning. For vaccine developers, that could be a problem.

Scientists in Europe and the United States say the relative success of draconian lockdown and social distancing policies means virus transmission rates may be at such low levels in some places that there is not enough disease circulating to truly test potential vaccines.

They may need to look further afield, to pandemic hotspots in Africa and Latin America, to get convincing results.

Rich world lockdowns hit remittances

Carlos Sosa, a Salvadoran waiter in New York, used to send up to $500 a month back home to his mother to help pay for her medical bills and food. After the coronavirus hit and he lost his job in early March, Sosa has burnt through his savings and the wire transfers have stopped.

Lockdowns imposed by wealthy nations and the jolt those restrictions have delivered to their economies are severing a vital lifeline for many often vulnerable people around the world: the billions of dollars in remittances sent home by relatives working abroad.

Emirates sees four years to full resumption

Emirates’ outgoing president, Tim Clark, said it could take the Dubai-based airline up to four years to resume flying to its entire network. Emirates, which flew to 157 destinations in 83 countries before the pandemic, grounded passenger flights in March and has since operated few, limited services.

“I think probably by the year 2022/23, 2023/24 we will see things coming back to some degree of normality,” Clark said in a webcast interview with aviation consultant John Strickland.

Future of tourism

Sri Lanka plans a limited reopening of its tourism sector on Aug. 1, according to the head of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. Small groups of tourists will be allowed to enter with a certificate from their governments or a reputable agency stating they were free of COVID-19.

They would be tested on arrival in Sri Lanka, would have to stay in approved five-star hotels with strict safety measures, and would be allowed to visit sites including national parks and beaches.

Compiled by Karishma Singh and Nick Tattersall; Edited by Nick Macfie

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