Coro­n­avirus lat­est: Africa cases sur­pass 100,000

The WHO says nearly 80 mil­lion chil­dren un­der the age of 1 are at risk from po­lio and cholera due to the dis­rup­tion of COVID-19. Fol­low DW for the lat­est.

Deutsche Welle (English edition) - - Front Page -

Over 5 mil­lion con­firmed in­fec­tions recorded world­wide

South Amer­ica is "a new epi­cen­ter of COVID-19," WHO says af­ter Brazil's death toll passed 20,000

Nine African coun­tries had 50% rises in cases in the past week, but the mor­tal­ity rate re­mains low

Bil­lion­aire Ge­orge Soros warns the EU could col­lapse if it doesn't sup­port worst-hit mem­ber states

Up­dates in Uni­ver­sal Co­or­di­nated Time (UTC/GMT)

21:16 Do­minic Cum­mings, UK Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son’s chief aide, broke lock­down to travel more than 400 kilo­me­ters (250 miles) from Lon­don af­ter show­ing symp­toms of COVID-19, two UK news­pa­pers re­ported.

Cum­mings trav­elled to Durham in north­ern Eng­land in late-March, when a strict lock­down was in place, the re­ports said. He re­turned to the of­fice on April 14.

The op­po­si­tion Labour Party has de­manded a re­sponse from the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice. "The Bri­tish peo­ple do not ex­pect there to be one rule for them and an­other rule for Do­minic Cum­mings," a spokesper­son for the party said.

20:50 The anti-malarial drug hy­drox­y­chloro­quine, which US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump says he has been tak­ing to pro­tect against COVID-19, has been con­nected to an in­creased risk of death in hos­pi­tal­ized coro­n­avirus pa­tients, a large study pub­lished showed.

The study, pub­lished in the sci­en­tific jour­nal The Lancet, looked at more than 96,000 pa­tients with COVID-19. Those treated with hy­drox­y­chloro­quine or the re­lated chloro­quine had a higher risk of dy­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing heart rhythm is­sues than pa­tients who were not given the drugs.

The anal­y­sis showed no ben­e­fit for pa­tients tak­ing the drugs, which were de­signed to com­bat malaria.

20:20 Canada has an­nounced plans to ramp up COVID-19 test­ing and con­tact trac­ing as it grad­u­ally lifts re­stric­tions on pub­lic life. A new mo­bile phone app, be­ing de­vel­oped with Ap­ple and Google, will help in con­tact trac­ing ef­forts.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau said the fed­eral govern­ment was al­ready help­ing the prov­ince of On­tario, the most pop­u­lous prov­ince, with con­tact trac­ing and was aim­ing to roll out con­tact trac­ing so­lu­tions across all of Canada.

Busi­nesses and cit­i­zens "need to know that we have a co­or­di­nated ap­proach to grad­u­ally re­open that is rooted in sci­ence, ev­i­dence and the abil­ity to rapidly de­tect and con­trol any fu­ture out­breaks," Trudeau said.

Canada has over 82,000 con­firmed cases and more than 6,000 peo­ple have died.

20:07 With restau­rants grad­u­ally re­open­ing across Ger­many, au­thor­i­ties in the north­ern state of Lower Sax­ony re­ported seven peo­ple were in­fected af­ter ap­par­ently vis­it­ing a venue in the town of Leer.

"For over a week, we had no new con­firmed cases at all — but now there is a new corona-out­break" lo­cal of­fi­cials said, adding that at least 50 peo­ple have been or­dered to iso­late at their homes as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure.

"Health of­fi­cials em­pha­size that this is not an iso­lated case with few con­tacts," they added.

"This out­break is mak­ing it ob­vi­ous that the corona(virus) is not over, it can spread again at any time," said coun­try of­fi­cial Matthias Groote.

20:00 Here's a wrap of the lat­est from across Europe:

France has recorded a to­tal of zero deaths from the coro­n­avirus for the first time since the out­break. French health au­thor­i­ties said the land­mark fig­ure would be rep­re­sented in the of­fi­cial fig­ures to be pub­lished on Mon­day. Mean­while, the to­tal num­ber of cases in the Euro­pean coun­try rose to 182,000, the fifth high­est in Europe.

In Ger­many, the leader of the Chris­tian So­cial Union (CSU), and a po­ten­tial suc­ces­sor to Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, said a spend­ing limit of €100 bil­lion ($109 bil­lion) should be set in place for debts in­curred due to the cri­sis brought about by the pan­demic. "Our liveli­hood is threat­ened," said Söder, ar­gu­ing that an end­less ex­pan­sion of the Ger­man econ­omy is not cer­tain. "That's why it's im­por­tant to ne­go­ti­ate things clev­erly now."

The UK an­nounced it will im­pose for the first time a 14day quar­an­tine upon those ar­riv­ing in the coun­try from June 8. Peo­ple com­ing from Ire­land will be ex­empt though. The move has been met with wide­spread crit­i­cism for com­ing too late, and France has ex­pressed its dis­ap­point­ment hav­ing pre­vi­ously been as­sured it would, like Ire­land, also not have the same re­stric­tions im­posed upon it. Health­care pro­fes­sion­als trav­el­ing to work be­cause of the cri­sis, sea­sonal agri­cul­tural work­ers and those work­ing in freight and road haulage, will also be ex­empt from the quar­an­tine pe­riod.

Rus­sia should ex­pect to see a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in death rate for this month’s fig­ures, of­fi­cials said, as its death toll con­tin­ues to rise. "There will be a sig­nif­i­cant mor­tal­ity in­crease in May," Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Ta­tiana Go­likova said at a govern­ment meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. "The ill­ness and chronic con­di­tions don't al­ways have a pos­i­tive end­ing," Go­likova said. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin also said the cap­i­tal’s death toll for May would be "con­sid­er­ably higher than in April". His deputy Anas­ta­sia Rakova later ex­plained that "the peak of mor­tal­ity is usu­ally de­layed by two to three weeks af­ter the peak of hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions" for COVID-19.

Cyprus wants Euro­pean travel into the coun­try next month. Trans­port Min­is­ter Yian­nis

Karousos said flights will be­gin in two stages, from June 9 and June 20. The two groups of coun­tries has been se­lected by med­i­cal ex­perts. The first group is com­prised of Greece, Malta, Bul­garia, Nor­way, Aus­tria, Fin­land, Slove­nia, Hun­gary, Is­rael, Denmark, Ger­many, Slo­vakia and Lithua­nia. The sec­ond group is made up of Switzer­land, Poland, Ro­ma­nia, Croa­tia, Es­to­nia and the Czech Re­pub­lic. The list ex­cludes the Cyprus' two main tourism mar­kets, Bri­tain and Rus­sia. Karousos said when pas­sen­gers are al­lowed into the coun­try they must have a health cer­tifi­cate con­firm­ing that they don’t have COVID-19, ob­tained three days prior to de­par­ture.

19:22 The se­quel to James Came ro n 2009 b l o ck b uste r "Avatar" is set to go back into pro­duc­tion next week af­ter New Zealand of­fi­cials ap­proved guide­lines for the coun­try's film in­dus­try.

"Our Avatar sets are ready — and we couldn't be more ex­cited to be headed back to New Zealand next week," pro­ducer Jon Lan­dau said on Twit­ter.

The pro­duc­tion was halted in mid-March over coro­n­avirus fears, but the is­land na­tion has seen a rel­a­tively mi­nor out­break with some 1,500 cases and 21 deaths.

Hol­ly­wood vet­eran Cameron shot the orig­i­nal movie in New Zealand and Los An­ge­les in the late 2000s. "Avatar" went to make $2.79 bil­lion (€2.56 bil­lion) at the box of­fice and be­come the most fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful movie ever made with­out ac­count­ing for in­fla­tion. It lost the ti­tle last year to Dis­ney's "Avengers: Endgame."

Cameron has been work­ing on four more se­quels for Avatar, al­though their re­lease has been de­layed mul­ti­ple times. The first one set to de­but in De­cem­ber next year.

19:01France's lo­cal elec­tions will take place on June 28, in a post­poned sec­ond round, un­der the pro­viso that there isn't a spike in in­fec­tions in the mean­time, the govern­ment has an­nounced.

The vote was sup­posed to take place on March 22 but was called off due to the coro­n­avirus out­break in the coun­try that has so far re­ported 182,000 cases.

"Af­ter weigh­ing the pros and cons, we be­lieve that our demo­cratic life must re­sume," Prime Min­is­ter Edouard Philippe said at a press con­fer­ence. Masks will be com­pul­sory, and cit­i­zens vis­it­ing the polls will also be urged to come with their own pens for sign­ing reg­istries.

18:54 Mex­ico has can­celed its top-tier foot­ball sea­son with no win­ner. Liga MX of­fi­cials said they were end­ing Clausura, one of the coun­try's two an­nual cham­pi­onships, to en­sure that "no­body in the foot­ball fam­ily, play­ers, coaches, di­rec­tors, ref­er­ees, fans of me­dia, get hurt."

The com­pe­ti­tion was first sus­pended in mid-March af­ter 10 of the sea­son's 17 rounds. Some teams had been ey­ing a re­turn to pitch, but hopes were dashed af­ter 12 play­ers from the north­ern team of San­tos tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus.

The league rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not de­clare when the games would re­sume.

"Guide­lines from the Health Min­istry will es­tab­lish the date," they said in a state­ment.

18:45 English Premier League chief ex­ec­u­tive Richard Mas­ters said he is "con­fi­dent" the topflight sea­son will re­sume next month.

Clubs re­turned to so­cially dis­tanced train­ing in small groups on Tues­day and the league hope to play the re­main­ing 92 matches from June 12 or 19. The Premier League’s 'Project Restart' is now on the way to emu­lat­ing the Bun­desliga, which be­gan in earnest last week­end.

Some 748 play­ers and staff from Premier League clubs have been tested, with six peo­ple pos­i­tive re­sults com­ing back, in­clud­ing Wat­ford de­fender Adrian Mari­appa, who ex­pressed shock at the out­come hav­ing shown no symp­toms.

18:25 US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump called for churches and other places of wor­ship to open this week­end.

"To­day I'm iden­ti­fy­ing houses of wor­ship — churches, syn­a­gogues and mosques — as es­sen­tial places that pro­vide es­sen­tial ser­vices," Trump said.

The pres­i­dent urged on state gov­er­nors to com­ply with his re­quest "right now."

"If they don't do it, I will over­ride the gov­er­nors," Trump said, al­though the ex­tent of his author­ity on the is­sue was not im­me­di­ately clear.

Many coun­tries around the world sus­pended re­li­gious ser­vices to re­duce in­fec­tion risk. With the pan­demic re­ced­ing in Europe, Ger­many has re­opened its places of wor­ship un­der strict so­cial dis­tanc­ing rules.

18:12 The leader of the Chris­tian So­cial Union (CSU) in Ger­many has called for an "up­per limit" of €100 bil­lion ($109 bil­lion) for fur­ther debts in­curred due to the cri­sis brought about by the pan­demic. The new lev­els of debt should be "rather less" than this fig­ure for the year 2020, said Markus Söder, a po­ten­tial suc­ces­sor as Chan­cel­lor to An­gela Merkel.

18: 07 A pos­si­ble vac­cine against SARS-COV-2, the strain of coro­n­avirus that causes COVID-19, has been shown to be at least par­tially ef­fec­tive, ac­cord­ing to a new Chi­nese study.

The study showed that a par­tic­u­lar active sub­stance trig­gered an im­mune re­sponse to the SARS-COV-2 virus in the hu­man body. Fur­ther ex­per­i­ments are nec­es­sary to find out if the re­ac­tion would also prevent in­fec­tion with the virus in the first place.

"These re­sults rep­re­sent an im­por­tant mile­stone," said Pro­fes­sor Wei Chen who was re­spon­si­ble for the study at the Bei­jing In­sti­tute of Biotech­nol­ogy.

How­ever, he also warned "cau­tious" in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the re­sults, say­ing "we are still a long way from a vac­cine that is ac­ces­si­ble to all."

17:59 The US video game in­dus­try has seen its best April ever as schools and busi­nesses halted op­er­a­tions across the coun­try due to the pan­demic.

Amer­i­cans spent about $1.5 bil­lion (€1.38 bil­lion) on video games and re­lated hard­ware, ac­ces­sories and vouch­ers. The fig­ure in­cludes $662 mil­lion spent on games alone. Be­fore last month, the most suc­cess­ful April for the in­dus­try was the one in 2008, when the to­tal climbed to $1.2 bil­lion.

The best-sell­ing April re­lease was the Ja­panese role-play­ing game "Fi­nal Fan­tasy VII: Re­make," fol­lowed by mil­i­tary shooter "Call of Duty: Mod­ern War­fare" and Nin­tendo's slow­paced "An­i­mal Cross­ing," ac­cord­ing to the data re­leased by the Amer­i­can mar­ket re­search firm The NPD group.

The three most pop­u­lar gam­ing con­soles - PlayS­ta­tion 4, XBox One, and Nin­tendo Switch all saw a mas­sive rise in sales, de­spite both Sony and Mi­crosoft plan­ing to re­lease next gen­er­a­tion sys­tems later this year.

Last month was "by far, the wildest month I think I've ever seen" NPD an­a­lyst Matt Pis­catella said on Twit­ter.

17:36 In the Ger­man cap­i­tal Ber­lin, peo­ple have been ven­tur­ing out­side as the govern­ment con­tin­ues to roll back lock­down re­stric­tions to curb the coro­n­avirus. How­ever, there's still an abun­dance of cau­tion as the coun­try inches back to nor­mal­ity.

17:24 El Sal­vador's Pres­i­dent Nayib Bukela called on the cit­i­zens to col­lec­tively pray for the end of the pan­demic.

On Sun­day af­ter­noon, the na­tion should ask God to "heal our land and al­low us to de­feat the pan­demic which bat­ter­ing the whole world," the pres­i­dent said.

He added that the Na­tional Prayer Day was im­posed by pres­i­den­tial de­cree, but the prayer was "vol­un­tary."

Bukela had re­sponded harshly to the coro­n­avirus out­break, clos­ing the coun­try's bor­ders in March, declar­ing strict quar­an­tine rules, and de­ploy­ing se­cu­rity forces to en­sure obe­di­ence. How­ever, on Fri­day Bukela said the coun­try was "still far from con­tain­ing the virus."

"The curve is not flat­ten­ing as we had hoped for," he wrote on Twit­ter.

The Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­try of 6.4 mil­lion peo­ple has so far seen 1,725 con­firmed cases and 33 deaths.

16:59 Bul­garia has lifted the en­try ban for EU cit­i­zens and res­i­dents of non-EU coun­tries in the Schen­gen area, such as Switzer­land, Monaco, Vat­i­can City, San Marino, and An­dorra. While the manda­tory 14-day quar­an­tine or­der re­mains in ef­fect, it would not ap­ply to bus and truck driv­ers, peo­ple trav­el­ling for hu­man­i­tar­ian rea­sons, peo­ple in­volved in trade and in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, as well as sev­eral other groups.

Med­i­cal work­ers, for­eign of­fi­cials, and peo­ple who play a role in sup­ply­ing med­i­cal equip­ment would also be able to en­ter the coun­try with­out go­ing into quar­an­tine. This ap­plies "re­gard­less of their cit­i­zen­ship," the au­thor­i­ties said.

16:41 Africa has regis­tered more than 100,000 in­fec­tions, the Africa Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion ( CDC) said.

More than 3,100 peo­ple have died from the novel coro­n­avirus, as the con­ti­nent of some 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple strug­gles to curb the out­break, de­spite lock­down mea­sures such as bor­der clo­sures be­ing im­ple­mented.

Nev­er­the­less, CDC di­rec­tor John Nken­ga­song re­ported that the num­ber of cases this week was sim­i­lar to the fig­ure from last week and "we hope that trend con­tin­ues," as op­posed to a rapid in­crease.

While early lock­downs in a num­ber of coun­tries has helped, Nken­ga­song said "that doesn't mean Africa has been spared." But the di­rec­tor said health of­fi­cials are not re­port­ing a lot of com­mu­nity deaths or "mas­sive flood­ing of our hos­pi­tals" from the novel virus.

16:31 The global pan­demic is caus­ing se­vere dis­rup­tion to the process of im­mu­niza­tion against diseases such as measles, po­lio and cholera. As a re­sult, some 80 mil­lion lives of chil­dren un­der the age of 1 are at risk, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) and part­ners.

The re­port, which was com­piled by UNICEF, the Sabin Vac­cine In­sti­tute and GAVI, showed that more than half of the 129 coun­tries where vac­ci­na­tion data was avail­able, re­ported mod­er­ate, se­vere or to­tal sus­pen­sions of ser­vices dur­ing the months of March and April.

"Dis­rup­tion to im­mu­niza­tion pro­grams from the COVID-19 pan­demic threat­ens to un­wind decades of progress against vac­cine-pre­ventable diseases like measles," WHO di­rec­tor-gen­eral Te­dros Ad­hanom Ghe­breye­sus said in a state­ment.

UNICEF stated there had been ma­jor de­lays in vac­cine de­liv­er­ies due to the global lock­down and the sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in flights that came with it.

In ex­cess of 40 of Africa's 54 na­tions have closed their bor­ders, though some al­low cargo and emer­gency trans­port. Of­fi­cials added that 46 cam­paigns to im­mu­nize chil­dren against po­lio had been put on hold in 38 coun­tries, most of which were in Africa. Measles cam­paigns, mean­while, had been brought to a tem­po­rary halt in 27 coun­tries.

16:19 Peo­ple ar­riv­ing in the UK from June 8 would need to self-iso­late for two weeks, said the coun­try's Home Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel. She added that the new ar­rivals would be asked to pro­vide ad­dresses and phone num­bers, and that the au­thor­i­ties would con­duct spot checks to make sure they were self-iso­lat­ing.

Those found vi­o­lat­ing the quar­an­tine could face a 1,000 pound ($1,218, €1,118) fine, Pa­tel added.

How­ever, the quar­an­tine or­der would not ap­ply across the board, with groups such as med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and freight work­ers be­ing ex­empt, bor­der au­thor­i­ties said. Pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing from Ire­land would also not be sub­jected to quar­an­tine.

15:58 South Amer­ica is a new epi­cen­ter of COVID-19, with Brazil so far be­ing the most af­fected, said WHO's Emer­gen­cies Pro­gram chief Michael Ryan.

Brazil has so far re­ported over 20,000 deaths and is cur­rently third most af­fected coun­try in the world with over 310,000 cases.

15:51 A Long Is­land man stabbed his fa­ther to death while the fa­ther was video-con­fer­enc­ing with mul­ti­ple peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to US po­lice.

Around 20 peo­ple were on the call with the 72-year-old vic­tim, which was con­ducted on the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar on­line plat­form Zoom. The 32-year-old at­tacker ap­par­ently stabbed his fa­ther off screen, but the other par­tic­i­pants in the call de­cided he was in dan­ger based on the au­dio, po­lice spokesman Kevin Beyrer told the lo­cal "Newsday." Sev­eral of the peo­ple in the call alerted the po­lice.

The sus­pect at­tempted to flee the scene by jump­ing through the win­dow, but was quickly cap­tured, the po­lice said.

Com­pa­nies around the world are us­ing video-chat plat­forms as a way to con­tinue work while em­ploy­ees are iso­lated due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

15:26 Over 80 in­mates in a high-se­cu­rity Is­tan­bul prison have tested pos­i­tive for coro­n­avirus, with 10 of them hos­pi­tal­ized, Turk­ish pros­e­cu­tors said. They added that one per­son, who also suf­fered from tu­ber­cu­lo­sis in ad­di­tion to test­ing pos­i­tive for the virus, died on Thurs­day.

The rest of the in­fected in­mates were "in a good state of health" and are re­ceiv­ing treat­ment. Most of them are iso­lated in­side the Silivri prison.

Last month, Turkey re­ported out­breaks at four of its cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties, but did not name the pris­ons. The au­thor­i­ties have also launched a mas­sive amnesty pro­gram that would see a to­tal of 90,000 peo­ple re­leased early in or­der to re­duce over­crowd­ing.

15:06 The world's top-ranked ten­nis player, No­vak Djokovic, is pre­par­ing a char­ity tour­na­ment amid anti-pan­demic re­stric­tions, It was not im­me­di­ately clear if spec­ta­tors will be al­lowed to at­tend.

The "Adria Tour" will in­clude events in Ser­bia, Mon­tene­gro,

Bos­nia & Herze­gov­ina, and Croa­tia, with the Ser­bian ten­nis star set to per­form in all four coun­tries. Aus­tralian Do­minic Thiem, cur­rently ranked third be­tween Rafael Nadal and Roger Fed­erer, is also set to par­tic­i­pate, along­side other sev­eral ten­nis play­ers from the Balkan re­gion.

Or­ga­niz­ers said they were aim­ing to raise money for hu­man­i­tar­ian projects across the Balkans, and help the ath­letes re­turn to full fit­ness af­ter ma­jor tour­na­ments, such as the French Open and Wim­ble­don, were put on hold or can­celed.

The "Adria Tour" is set to start in Bel­grade in mid-June.

14: 41 Ger­man Pres­i­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier wel­comed dis­cus­sion on the govern­ment's anti-pan­demic pol­icy but warned against "poi­soned ideas" used to at­tack democ­racy.

"Crit­i­cism is not re­served for corona-free times," he wrote in a guest ar­ti­cle pub­lished by the Süd­deutsche Zeitung. At the same time, he warned against us­ing "the in­se­cu­rity and dis­plea­sure to turn the mood against 'those above'," and dis­credit elected lead­ers, se­ri­ous re­port­ing, demo­cratic process and sci­en­tific knowl­edge.

"No mat­ter how in­sane some con­spir­acy the­o­ries may ap­pear, let us not for­get there are hard po­lit­i­cal goals be­hind it that should not be ig­nored," he said,

For sev­eral weeks, pro­test­ers ral­lies in Ger­many and other Euro­pean coun­tries de­mand­ing the out­break-re­lated mea­sures to be lifted, with many of them us­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries to dis­miss the risks. Ear­lier this month, the Ger­man pres­i­dent was slammed by anti-lock­down pro­test­ers af­ter rec­om­mend­ing face masks over "tin foil hats."

16:24 Ger­many saw a slight in­crease in the av­er­age num­ber of deaths in April, the Fed­eral Statis­tics Of­fice has re­ported. April’s death rate was around 5% more than the av­er­age num­ber of deaths in April be­tween 2016 and 2019.

As flu sea­son is over, the statis­ti­cians place the blame on the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, which has left more than 8,200 peo­ple in Ger­many dead since Fe­bru­ary.

The statis­tics of­fice com­piles deaths per week. In Week 17, the fi­nal full week in April, 17,974 peo­ple died in Ger­many, an in­crease of 567 or 3% com­pared to the av­er­age of the three pre­vi­ous years.

14:12 Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties said that mor­tal­ity fig­ures would likely show a spike this month but that they were op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture.

"Our anal­y­sis... tells us that a se­ri­ous in­crease will be recorded in May," said Rus­sia's deputy prime min­is­ter, Tatyana Go­likova. "This is borne out by op­er­a­tional data of the [last] three weeks."

Rus­sia has the sec­ond-largest caseload in the world with over 326,000 re­ported cases. How­ever, of­fi­cial data shows an usu­ally low mor­tal­ity rate, prompt­ing ac­cu­sa­tions that the govern­ment is at­tempt­ing to ma­nip­u­late the fig­ures.

Go­likova said the mor­tal­ity was ex­pected to sink even lower. "We have, in gen­eral, never hid the mor­tal­ity sit­u­a­tion in Rus­sia, but even what we see now al­lows us... to view in­di­ca­tors in Rus­sia in an op­ti­mistic light," she said.

13: 45 Ger­man Pres­i­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier thanked Mus­lims for their con­duct dur­ing the holy month of Ra­madan in help­ing to con­tain the coro­n­avirus. In a mes­sage at the end of the month of fast­ing and re­flec­tion, Stein­meier said in a video mes­sage that many Mus­lims would ex­pe­ri­ence the re­stric­tions in re­li­gious life as a de­press­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. "I would like to thank all of you who ad­hered to these strict rules and con­trib­uted to our first suc­cess in the fight against the virus."

13:30 The com­ple­tion of Brazil's third nu­clear re­ac­tor will be de­layed due to the pan­demic, au­thor­i­ties said, af­ter the cri­sis drove down elec­tric­ity de­mand in the coun­try and caused the cur­rency to drop in value.

"It is a small de­lay we are talk­ing about, from Novem­ber 2026 to [the year af­ter]," the head of the coun­try's nu­clear power com­pany Eletronu­clear, Leonam Guimaraes, told the Reuters news agency.

How­ever, he re­ported a "bru­tal" drop in power con­sump­tion of some 15 to 20% due to the pan­demic. Also, a key meet­ing of Brazil's Pri­vate Pub­lic In­vest­ment coun­cil, orig­i­nally set for March 25, was sus­pended amid the out­break, mean­ing that the project's busi­ness model has yet to be ap­proved.

Con­struc­tion of the re­ac­tor orig­i­nally started in 2010, but was de­layed due to fi­nan­cial is­sues and cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

13:26 A one-time "fam­ily bonus" pay­ment will be in­cluded in the Ger­man fed­eral eco­nomic stim­u­lus pack­age, news magazine Der Spiegel has re­ported. The bonus will give each fam­ily €300 ($326) per child, ac­cord­ing to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Olaf Scholz.

In Ger­many’s most-pop­u­lous state of North Rhine-West­phalia the pay­ment will be dou­ble. State premier Ar­min Laschet an­nounced a pro­vi­sional plan to give each fam­ily in the state €600 per child on Fri­day.

Fam­i­lies have been es­pe­cially hard-hit by school and kin­der­garten clo­sures, with some par­ents forced to limit their work by child­care re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

A fam­ily bonus like the one in­tro­duced by Scholz is es­ti­mated to cost over €6 mil­lion. The eco­nomic stim­u­lus pack­age will cost the fed­eral govern­ment around €150 bil­lion in to­tal.

13:11 Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Muhyid­din Yassin has tested neg­a­tive for coro­n­avirus but would still go into self-iso­la­tion for two weeks, his aides said in a state­ment.

On Wed­nes­day, the 73-yearold leader at­tended a meet­ing with an of­fi­cial who later tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19. His of­fice said Muhyid­din was "re­quired to un­dergo a quar­an­tine at home."

In March, the prime min­is­ter's pre­de­ces­sor Ma­hathir Mo­hamad also went into self-iso­la­tion af­ter pos­ing for pho­tos with a law­mak­ers who later tested pos­i­tive. The 94-year-old Ma­hathir tested neg­a­tive and has since re­sumed his cam­paign to re­take the seat from Muhyid­din.

Read more: The coro­n­avirus cri­sis has hit tourism in Malaysia hard

13: 01 The In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) says it has reached an agree­ment with Ukraine to de­liver $5 bil­lion (€4.56 bil­lion) in aid to help the coun­try deal with the eco­nomic fall­out from the coro­n­avirus.

"This will en­sure that Ukraine is well-poised to re­turn to growth and re­sume broader re­form ef­forts when the cri­sis ends. The ar­range­ment is also ex­pected to cat­alyze ad­di­tional bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral fi­nan­cial sup­port,'' IMF of­fi­cial Ivanna Vlad­kova Hol­lar said. The deal, which is valid for 18 months, is still sub­ject to ap­proval from the IMF board.

Ear­lier this year, Ukraine im­ple­mented re­forms that had been listed by the IMF as con­di­tions for pro­vid­ing aid — among them lift­ing a ban on the sale of farm­land and bar­ring for­mer own­ers of na­tion­al­ized or liq­ui­dated banks from re­gain­ing own­er­ship or re­ceiv­ing state com­pen­sa­tion.

Ukraine has re­ported more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases and 573 deaths. A na­tion­wide lock­down, in place since early March, has taken a toll on the econ­omy. The govern­ment be­gan eas­ing re­stric­tions in late April.

12:57 Ger­many should treat Rus­sia's coro­n­avirus pa­tients, said Michael Kretschmer, the premier of the Ger­man state of Sax­ony. Pre­vi­ously, Ger­many has taken in cases from other EU coun­tries, such as Italy and France, in or­der to re­duce the bur­den on their health sys­tems.

"It would be a strong sig­nal from the Euro­pean Union, if we would also have pa­tients from Rus­sia treated over here," Kretschmer told the news magazine

Der Spiegel.

"We are try­ing to help all over Europe," he added. "And I be­lieve we should also show sol­i­dar­ity with Rus­sia."

Rus­sia has re­ported over 326,000 cases, with its caseload sec­ond only to some 1,58 mil­lion in the US: The of­fi­cial mor­tal­ity rate in Rus­sia has re­mained low with 3,249 deaths, but govern­ment crit­ics ac­cuse the Krem­lin of un­der­re­port­ing fa­tal­i­ties.

12:36 Buck­ing­ham Palace will cut 380 short-term jobs this year due to the pan­demic, a spokeswoma­n for the Royal Col­lec­tion Trust told the DPA news agency. All of the laid off work­ers will be of­fered jobs next year, she added.

The Lon­don res­i­dence of Bri­tish mon­archs is usu­ally open to vis­i­tors for three months dur­ing sum­mer. The Trust em­ploys hun­dreds of work­ers to run the venue while Queen El­iz­a­beth stays in the sum­mer res­i­dence Bal­moral in Scot­land.

While hun­dreds of thou­sands of tourists visit the palace ev­ery sea­son, the on­go­ing coro­n­avirus pan­demic has prompted au­thor­i­ties to keep it closed.

11:55 Re­searchers at Bri­tain's Ox­ford Univer­sity say they are re­cruit­ing 10,000 more vol­un­teers for an ad­vanced clin­i­cal trial of their ex­per­i­men­tal coro­n­avirus vac­cine.

More than 1,000 peo­ple aged 18-55 were in­jected with the po­ten­tial vac­cine dur­ing the first phase of test­ing last month. The sci­en­tists said Fri­day that things were "pro­gress­ing very well," and that they now planned to give the shot to 10,260 more peo­ple across Bri­tain, in­clud­ing those aged 56 and older, and chil­dren be­tween the ages of 5 and 12.

"If the vac­cine is shown to work in the months ahead and it's pos­si­ble that if there's enough trans­mis­sion, that could hap­pen in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time,'' An­drew Pol­lard, head of the Ox­ford Vac­cine Group, said. "It's pos­si­ble as early as the au­tumn or to­wards the end of the year, you could have re­sults that al­lowed use of the vac­cine on a wider scale.''

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, the univer­sity's po­ten­tial vac­cine is one of only eight glob­ally to have started hu­man tri­als. Ear­lier this week, pharma giant As­traZeneca said it had fi­nal­ized agree­ments for at least 400 mil­lion doses of the Ox­ford-de­vel­oped vac­cine, and se­cured man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity for 1 bil­lion doses, with the first de­liv­er­ies set to be­gin in Septem­ber.

11:18 Thai­land is plan­ning to keep its state of emer­gency in place un­til the end of June in or­der to stop the coro­n­avirus from spread­ing, its COVID-19 task­force said.

The de­cree, which gives the prime min­is­ter sweep­ing pow­ers to en­force reg­u­la­tions, was first en­acted on March 26. The ex­ten­sion is ex­pected to be ap­proved by Cab­i­net on Tues­day. Crit­ics have ques­tioned whether the mil­i­tary-aligned govern­ment is us­ing the mea­sure to prevent op­po­si­tion protests.

Thai­land has grad­u­ally started eas­ing lock­down mea­sures, with restau­rants, mar­kets and parks al­lowed to open at the be­gin­ning of May. Shop­ping malls and mu­se­ums re­opened on Sun­day, but bars, night­clubs, play­grounds and cin­e­mas are still closed.

The south­east Asian coun­try has 3,037 con­firmed coro­n­avirus cases, in­clud­ing 56 deaths. The num­ber of re­ported daily in­fec­tions has re­mained be­low 10 for much of the past month. No new cases were re­ported on Fri­day.

10:51 The United Na­tions warned that the spread of the coro­n­avirus through­out Ye­men could be cat­a­strophic in the wartorn coun­try where the health care sys­tem "has in ef­fect col­lapsed."

Jens Laerke, the spokesman for the UN Of­fice for the Co­or­di­na­tion of Hu­man­i­tar­ian Af­fairs (OCHA), told a Geneva brief­ing that aid groups based in Ye­men have called the health sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try as "ex­tremely alarm­ing."

"We hear from many of them (aid groups) that Ye­men is re­ally on the brink right now … " Laerke said. "They are talk­ing about hav­ing to turn peo­ple away be­cause they do not have enough (med­i­cal) oxy­gen, they do not have enough per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment," he added.

The OCHA spokesper­son ap­pealed for ur­gent fund­ing to help keep aid pro­grams in the coun­try afloat. The UN es­ti­mates that it will seek $2 bil­lion (€1.84 bil­lion) for Ye­men to main­tain aid pro­grams till the end of the year.

While Ye­meni au­thor­i­ties have re­ported a to­tal of 184 cases of the virus with 30 deaths to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Laerke said: "The ac­tual in­ci­dence is al­most cer­tainly much higher."

09:31 Bil­lion­aire phi­lan­thropist and busi­ness­man Ge­orge Soros has warned that the EU could col­lapse if it does not more strongly sup­port its mem­bers that have been sig­nif­i­cantly weak­ened by the strain of the pan­demic. Soros en­cour­aged the EU to give coun­tries such as Italy per­pet­ual bonds in­stead of loans with many strings at­tached.

"If the EU is un­able to con­sider it now, it may not be able to sur­vive the chal­lenges it cur­rently confronts," Soros told re­porters via email. "This is not a the­o­ret­i­cal pos­si­bil­ity; it may be the tragic re­al­ity."

Soros also voiced con­cern that feel­ing ig­nored by fel­low mem­ber states could lead to a Brexit-style ref­er­en­dum in Italy, where ev­i­dence sug­gests anti-EU sen­ti­ment has been grow­ing at a rapid rate, as has poverty, since the coun­try’s out­break be­gan in Fe­bru­ary.

Some north­ern Euro­pean coun­tries have framed the de­bate about a fi­nan­cial res­cue pack­age as one of na­tions with good fi­nan­cial house­keep­ing bail­ing out those with­out. How­ever, Soros pointed out, there are a num­ber of reg­u­la­tions in place that priv­i­lege north­ern Euro­pean economies over south­ern ones.

"The re­lax­ation of state aid rules, which fa­vor Ger­many, has been par­tic­u­larly un­fair to Italy, which was al­ready the sick man of Europe and then the hard­est hit by COVID-19," Soros said.

08:15 UK re­tail sales slumped by record lev­els in April due to the pan­demic, with rev­enues fall­ing 18.1% month on month. This is the largest drop since sur­veys be­gan in 1988 and was more pro­nounced than an­a­lysts feared. The Of­fice of Na­tional Statis­tics (ONS) data showed the fall

was more pro­nounced than the 5.2% drop be­tween Fe­bru­ary and March.

Com­pared to the cor­re­spond­ing month of the pre­vi­ous year, sales in April fell by 22.6%.

De­spite a slight eas­ing of re­stric­tions, many stores in Bri­tain re­main closed and James Smith, an econ­o­mist with ING, said there might not be a quick bounce-back for re­tail­ers when the lock­down is lifted.

"Re­cent sur­vey­ing from YouGov showed that just un­der half of peo­ple would be un­com­fort­able with re­turn­ing to a cloth­ing shop, al­though the jury is out on whether the pub­lic will be­come more re­laxed by the time re­tail­ers do re­open next month," he said.

08:00 China says it will strengthen its dis­ease con­trol sys­tem and im­prove the de­ploy­ment of re­sources to re­solve short­com­ings ex­posed by the novel coro­n­avirus out­break.

The state plan­ning agency said on Fri­day that great progress had been made in the "peo­ple's war" against the coro­n­avirus, but it had "also ex­posed a large num­ber of short­com­ings and sys­temic prob­lems in the preven­tion and con­trol of ma­jor epi­demics."

Na­tional- and pro­vin­cial-level Cen­tres for Dis­ease Con­trol (CDCs) would fo­cus on build­ing up their ca­pac­ity to de­tect epi­demics, and would also be en­trusted to draw up rapid re­sponse plans to tackle out­breaks, the com­mis­sion said.

The novel coro­n­avirus emerged in the cen­tral Chi­nese city of Wuhan late last year. It has in­fected more than 5 mil­lion peo­ple glob­ally and killed more than 332,000.

Much blame for the pan­demic has been put on the slow re­sponse of au­thor­i­ties in Wuhan. One study es­ti­mated in­fec­tions could have been cut by 95% if au­thor­i­ties had locked down the city three weeks ear­lier.

07:16 More than 660,000 peo­ple have been dis­placedin con­flict zones since March, de­spite a United Na­tions call for a global cease­fire dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. The Nor­we­gian Refugee Coun­cil (NRC) said Fri­day its fig­ures showed that war had con­tin­ued dur­ing the health emer­gency, even as much of the globe went into lock­down.

The NRC said peo­ple were forced to flee their homes in 19 coun­tries, with the high­est num­ber by far in the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo, where clashes be­tween armed groups and the coun­try's mil­i­tary dis­placed 482,000 res­i­dents.

Fight­ing has con­tin­ued in Ye­men de­spite pledges to im­ple­ment a cease­fire by Saudi au­thor­i­ties, re­sult­ing in the dis­place­ment of 24,000 peo­ple since March 23. Chad, Niger, Afghanista­n, the Cen­tral African Re­pub­lic, Syria, So­ma­lia and Myan­mar all saw thou­sands of peo­ple dis­placed in the same pe­riod, the group added.

Read more: Do coro­n­avirus lock­downs in Africa make sense?

06:37 In­dia has regis­tered 6,000 new coro­n­avirus cases in the last 24 hours — the coun­try's big­gest daily jump since the pan­demic be­gan. The record comes as New Delhi seeks to ease a na­tion­wide lock­down, with plans to restart do­mes­tic air travel on Mon­day.

The coun­try of 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple now has more than 118,000 con­firmed cases of COVID-19, in­clud­ing 3,583 deaths. The govern­ment has ex­tended its lock­down to May 31, but rules in some ar­eas with lower num­bers of in­fec­tions have been re­laxed.

"This surge in cases has hap­pened af­ter the move­ment of peo­ple has been par­tially al­lowed. But if you see over­all, this is a much lower ex­po­nen­tial tra­jec­tory as com­pared to the rest of the world," Girid­har Babu, a pro­fes­sor of epi­demi­ol­ogy with the Pub­lic Health Foun­da­tion of In­dia told Reuters.

Read more: Coro­n­avirus vac­cine: In­dia could play de­ci­sive role in dis­tri­bu­tion

06:28 A se­nior in­ter­na­tional Olympic of­fi­cial says soar­ing coro­n­avirus in­fec­tions mean there are "real prob­lems" for Tokyo Games or­ga­niz­ers plan­ning to stage the Olympics next year, even if a vac­cine is de­vel­oped.

"We can't post­pone it again and we have to as­sume that there won't be a vac­cine or, if there is a vac­cine, it won't be suf­fi­cient to share around the world," John Coates, the head of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee's in­spec­torate for Tokyo, told a round­table or­ga­nized by Aus­tralian me­dia giant News Corp.

He said or­ga­niz­ers would start plan­ning in Oc­to­ber for what could be a "very dif­fer­ent Olympics" if there were no signs of the pan­demic end­ing.

"We've got real prob­lems be­cause we've got ath­letes hav­ing to come from 206 dif­fer­ent na­tions," he said. "Do we quar­an­tine the Olympic Vil­lage? Do all ath­letes when they get there go into quar­an­tine? Do we re­strict hav­ing spec­ta­tors at the venues? Do we sep­a­rate the ath­letes from the mixed zone where the me­dia are?"

The Tokyo Games, ini­tially sched­uled to take place in July 2020, was post­poned by a year due to the coro­n­avirus out­break.

05:59 For the first time in its his­tory, Ger­many's con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian So­cial Union (CSU) — the Bavar­ian sis­ter party of Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel's Chris­tian Demo­cratic Union (CDU) — will hold its party con­fer­ence on­line as a re­sult of coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions. At the vir­tual meet­ing on Fri­day af­ter­noon, around 250 del­e­gates are ex­pected to dis­cuss the party's pro­pos­als for deal­ing with and re­cov­er­ing from the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Ac­cord­ing to Ger­man press agency DPA, the seven-page plan in­cludes tax cuts for cit­i­zens and busi­nesses to boost the econ­omy, the cre­ation of new jobs, la­bor law re­forms to al­low for more flex­i­ble work prac­tices, dig­i­tal­iza­tion in schools and higher pay for nurses, among a num­ber of other mea­sures.

COVID-19 will long put the health sys­tem, the wel­fare state, the eco­nomic or­der and "our way of life" to new tests, DPA quotes the doc­u­ment as say­ing. "We must be pre­pared to live with the virus, but we will not let it dic­tate our lives."

CSU leader and Bavaria state premier Markus Söder is to give the key­note speech from his of­fice. Aus­trian Chan­cel­lor Se­bas­tian Kurz is also ex­pected to join the de­bate.

05:34 Tax rev­enues of the Ger­man govern­ment and the 16 fed­eral states de­clined by 23.5% in April from a year ear­lier to around €39 bil­lion ($43 bil­lion) due to the pan­demic. The fi­nance min­istry's monthly re­port showed the rev­enue de­cline, which be­gan in March, was most se­vere for in­come, cor­po­rate and air traf­fic taxes.

Early in­di­ca­tors show that the sit­u­a­tion will likely re­main dif­fi­cult over the next months, the min­istry said.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Olaf Scholz said ear­lier this month that the plunge in tax rev­enues will not stop the govern­ment from pre­sent­ing a stim­u­lus pack­age next month to help com­pa­nies re­cover from the coro­n­avirus cri­sis. This is in ad­di­tion to a €750 bil­lion aid pack­age for busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als af­fected by the health emer­gency.

Europe's largest econ­omy is fac­ing its most se­vere re­ces­sion since World War Two due to a strict na­tion­wide lock­down which is now be­ing eased.

Read more: Ger­man restau­rants re­open with pan­demic mea­sures in place

05:23 Bul­garia has scrapped an en­try ban on vis­i­tors from the Euro­pean Union and Schen­gen visa zone coun­tries. The health min­istry said in a state­ment that the move also cov­ers San Marino, An­dorra, Monaco and Vat­i­can City.

How­ever, the min­istry said that those ar­riv­ing in the coun­try must still spend 14 days in quar­an­tine un­less they are trav­el­ing for hu­man­i­tar­ian rea­sons or are "rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the trade, eco­nomic and in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties."

On Tues­day, Bul­garia said it had agreed with neigh­bor­ing Greece and Ser­bia to ease some travel re­stric­tions im­posed to curb the spread of the coro­n­avirus from June 1.

The tourism-de­pen­dent Black Sea state be­gan to ease its lock­down as the num­ber of new in­fec­tions has de­creased. As of Thurs­day, Bul­garia had 2,331 con­firmed coro­n­avirus cases and 120 deaths, a rel­a­tively low num­ber in Europe.

04:46 Gu­atemala's pres­i­dent has hit out at the United States for send­ing back mi­grants in­fected with the novel coro­n­avirus to his Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­try and strain­ing its weak health sys­tem. Of the de­por­tees, 119 have tested pos­i­tive for the virus, 5% of the coun­try's 2,512 cases.

"We un­der­stand that the United States wants to de­port peo­ple, but what we do not un­der­stand is why they send us flights full of in­fec­tion," Ale­jan­dro Gi­ammat­tei said dur­ing an on­line talk.

The re­tired doc­tor who walks with crutches be­cause of mul­ti­ple sclero­sis, also said the US had sent not "even a mask" dur­ing the pan­demic.

The US Em­bassy is­sued a state­ment giv­ing de­tails of the eco­nomic aid it has des­ig­nated re­cently for Gu­atemala, in­clud­ing sup­plies, train­ing and as­sis­tance pro­vided by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion, and $2.4 mil­lion in aid com­mit­ted last month through USAID.

Read more: Na­tive Amer­i­can tribes re­ject coro­n­avirus check­point threat

03:15 The num­ber of con­firmed coro­n­avirus cases in Ger­many in­creased by 460 on Thurs­day, bring­ing the na­tional to­tal to 177,212 in­fec­tions, the Robert Koch In­sti­tute said. The death toll rose by 27 to 8,174.

This is a sig­nif­i­cant drop from Wed­nes­day, when 797 new cases were re­ported and 83 peo­ple died.

Here are the Ger­man fig­ures for re­cent days:

Thurs­day, May 21: 460 new cases; 27 new deaths Wed­nes­day, May 20: 797 new cases; 83 new deaths

Tues­day, May 19: 513 new cases; 72 new deaths

Mon­day, May 18: 342 new cases; 21 new deaths

Sun­day, May 17: 583 new cases, 33 new deaths

Satur­day, May 16: 620 new cases; 57 new deaths

Fri­day, May 15: 913 new cases; 101 new deaths

Thurs­day, May 14: 933 new cases; 89 new deaths Wed­nes­day, May 13: 798 new cases; 101 new deaths

Tues­day, May 12: 933 new cases; 116 new deaths

02:49 China’s top eco­nomic of­fi­cial an­nounced that Bei­jing will spend more to re­vive a na­tional econ­omy bat­tered by the coro­n­avirus, and that the coun­try will set no growth tar­get this year in or­der to fo­cus on fight­ing the out­break.

In his an­nual re­port to China’s cer­e­mo­nial leg­is­la­ture, Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang said the bat­tle against the coro­n­avirus "has not yet come to an end" and called on his coun­try to "re­dou­ble our ef­forts" to re­vive slow­ing eco­nomic growth.

The govern­ment will add 1 tril­lion yuan ($140 bil­lion, €128 bil­lion) to its deficit in or­der to meet goals in­clud­ing cre­at­ing 9 mil­lion new ur­ban jobs. Fore­cast­ers pre­dict that over 20 mil­lion jobs could be lost in China this year.

The promised spend­ing is in line with ex­pec­ta­tions but pales in com­par­i­son to the $1-tril­lion­plus stim­u­lus pack­ages promised or dis­cussed in the US, Ja­pan, and Europe.

Li said China’s govern­ment was not an­nounc­ing a growth tar­get this year, nor­mally a highly an­tic­i­pated fea­ture of the an­nual re­port, be­cause of the "great un­cer­tainty" sur­round­ing the epi­demic.

The coro­n­avirus out­break be­gan in China in De­cem­ber of last year. The coun­try was one of the first economies to re­open fol­low­ing the out­break, but has since strug­gled to re­vive eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

02:11 US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said the na­tion would not shut down again should a sec­ond wave of the new coro­n­avirus strike.

"We are go­ing to put out the fires, we're not go­ing to close the coun­try, we're go­ing to put out the fire," Trump said, speak­ing about a po­ten­tial sec­ond wave."Whether it's an em­ber or it's a flame we're go­ing to put it out," he added.

The pres­i­dent made the re­marks while on a tour of an auto man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in the mid­west­ern state of Michi­gan. All 50 US states have now eased lock­down re­stric­tions to some de­gree. In gen­eral, Repub­li­can­led states are push­ing for a quicker re­turn to nor­malcy than Demo­cratic-led ones.

De­spite the pres­i­dent’s state­ment, most of the coun­try’s eco­nomic shut­downs were de­cided on by state and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. De­ci­sions about a sec­ond shut­down would be theirs as well.

01:48 Aus­tralia is seek­ing an ex­emp­tion from quar­an­tine re­quire­ments set up by the UK govern­ment, cit­ing its suc­cess in con­trol­ling the coro­n­avirus out­break.

"Aus­tralia has led the world in the suc­cess­ful con­tain­ment of COVID-19, which clearly means that trav­el­ers com­ing from Aus­tralia would pose a low risk to the rest of the world," Trade Min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham said in a state­ment.

The UK is plan­ning to en­force a 14-day quar­an­tine for in­com­ing trav­el­ers to prevent an­other coro­n­avirus peak. De­tails are yet to be fi­nal­ized. In Aus­tralia, the bor­ders are still closed to all nonci­t­i­zens. All lo­cals are re­quired to quar­an­tine for two weeks when they re­turn. With just over 7,000 con­firmed cases, Aus­tralia has recorded less than 20 new cases each day.

00:30 US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said that the US flag will be flown at half-staff over the next three days as the coun­try’s virus-re­lated death toll crosses 95,000.

"On Mon­day, the flags will be at half-staff in honor of the men and women in our Mil­i­tary who have made the Ul­ti­mate Sac­ri­fice for our Na­tion," he fur­ther tweeted, re­fer­ring to Memo­rial Day.

The pres­i­dent’s an­nounce­ment comes soon af­ter Demo­cratic lead­ers, in­clud­ing House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer, re­quested that the US flag be flown at half-staff to rec­og­nize a "sad day of reck­on­ing when we reach 100,000 deaths."

It would ''serve as a na­tional ex­pres­sion of grief so needed by ev­ery­one in our coun­try," they added.

00:06 Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son is look­ing for plans to end the UK's re­liance on Chi­nese im­ports as the world strug­gles to deal with the virus, The Times­news­pa­per has re­ported.

Co­de­named “Project De­fend”, the plans will iden­tify the UK’s eco­nomic vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties to for­eign gov­ern­ments as a part of the coun­try’s new ap­proach to na­tional se­cu­rity, which is be­ing led by For­eign Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab.

Read more: UK seeks to end re­liance on Chi­nese im­ports

00:02Brazil's death toll from the virus crossed the 20,000mark with 1,188 deaths regis­tered on Thurs­day. The coun­try has the third-largest num­ber of coro­n­avirus cases in the world, af­ter the United States and Rus­sia.

With 310,087 con­firmed cases, Brazil has recorded 20,047 deaths re­lated to the coro­n­avirus.

Read more: Brazil headed for catas­tro­phe

00: 01 Italy's virus- re­lated death toll in the months of March and April could be al­most 19,000 deaths over the cur­rent of­fi­cial fig­ure of 32,486, the coun­try's so­cial se­cu­rity agency has found.

Ac­cord­ing to the Isti­tuto Nazionale della Prev­i­denza So­ciale (INPS), a new study has found that the orig­i­nal death fig­ures may not be re­li­able as a to­tal of 156,429 deaths were recorded in March and April. This fig­ure is 46,909 higher than the av­er­age num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties recorded be­tween 2015 and 2019 for the same months.

How­ever, only 27,938 coro­n­avirus-re­lated deaths were re­ported dur­ing that pe­riod by Italy's Civil Pro­tec­tion Agency. Na­tional statis­tics are based on this toll, INPS said. The lat­ter is the largest so­cial se­cu­rity and wel­fare in­sti­tute in the coun­try.

This is 18,971 more than what is con­sid­ered nor­mal dur­ing this pe­riod.

"Given the fact that the num­ber of deaths is quite sta­ble in these times, we can — with nec­es­sary cau­tion — at­tribute a large por­tion of these deaths dur­ing these past two months to the epi­demic," the INPS said.

The in­sti­tute also men­tioned that it was pos­si­ble that the spike in deaths was not just be­cause of the virus, but also be­cause many peo­ple suf­fer­ing from other ill­nesses could not get the right health­care as the sys­tems were over­whelmed.

00:00 Catch up on yes­ter­day's coro­n­avirus news here: Ger­many's Maas warns against 'rad­i­cal ex­trem­ists' at week­end demos

In re­port­ing on the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, un­less oth­er­wise speci ed, DW uses gures pro­vided by the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity ( JHU) Coro­n­avirus Re­source Cen­ter in the United States. JHU up­dates gures in real-time, col­lat­ing data from world health or­ga­ni­za­tions, state and na­tional gov­ern­ments and other pub­lic o cial sources, all of whom have their own sys­tems for com­pil­ing in­for­ma­tion.

Ger­many's na­tional statis­tics are com­piled by its pub­lic health agency, the Robert Koch In­sti­tute (RKI). These gures de­pend on data trans­mis­sion from state and lo­cal lev­els and are up­dated around once a day, which can lead to de­vi­a­tion from JHU.

see/aw (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

>> Ev­ery evening at 1830 UTC, DW's ed­i­tors send out a se­lec­tion of the day's hard news and qual­ity fea­ture jour­nal­ism. You can sign up to re­ceive it di­rectly here.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Germany

© PressReader. All rights reserved.