Coronavirus latest: More than 2.9m infections worldwide

World updates: ‘No remaining cases’ in Wuhan hospitals; Spain’s daily death toll falls

Commuters wear protective masks as they cross an intersection during rush hour on April 23rd, 2020 in Beijing, China.    Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Commuters wear protective masks as they cross an intersection during rush hour on April 23rd, 2020 in Beijing, China. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

 

Coronavirus has infected more than 2.9 million people globally, with the death toll passing 200,000. Here are the latest updates on the pandemic from around the world:

China

China on Sunday confirmed 11 more cases of coronavirus and no new deaths for the 11th day in a row. It brings its official count to 82,827 infected people.

Five of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, a northeastern border area with Russia that has seen a surge in infections. Another was in Guangdong province, a manufacturing and tech region bordering Hong Kong in the south.

The other five were imported from overseas. China has identified 1,634 imported cases in all.

China said it also has 1,000 people who have tested positive for the virus, also known as Covid-19, but do not have any symptoms. They are under medical observation but not included in the confirmed case count.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic began, now has no remaining cases in its hospitals, a health official told reporters on Sunday.

UK

The death toll from the new coronavirus in hospitals across the United Kingdom has risen to 20,319, an increase of 813 in 24 hours, the latest data from the health ministry showed on Saturday. The deaths figures are as of 5pm on Friday.

British foreign minister Dominic Raab, who is deputising for prime minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from coronavirus, was pressed on Sunday to reveal the government’s thinking on how and when Britain might begin to see an easing of social distancing measures.

Cyclists crossing the Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park, London, on Saturday, April 25th, 2020. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Cyclists crossing the Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park, London, on Saturday, April 25th, 2020. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

“We are at a delicate and dangerous stage and we need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed,” Mr Raab told Sky news, adding that the government was “doing the homework” behind closed doors on what would happen in the next phase.

France

The death toll in France from the coronavirus has risen by 242 to 22,856, the health ministry said on Sunday, as the government prepares to see how it might ease a national lockdown that has been in place since mid-March.

While the number of deaths from the virus has risen, the rate at which the casualties have mounted has steadily fallen over the last two weeks, emboldening those who want France to start to lift the lockdown measures.

The numbers of people leaving intensive care units (ICUs) has also outpaced the numbers of those entering those units.

The lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron to slow the spread of the virus has been in place since March 17th and is due to be lifted on May 11th.

Macron is aiming to ease some of the lockdown measures on May 11th by initially re-opening schools, although the government has yet to finalise how this might work in practice.

France has also offered retailers some relief by saying it wants them to reopen on May 11th, although some curbs could remain in certain areas to delay any new wave of the virus.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is due to present the government’s plan to unwind the lockdown to parliament on April 28th, and parliament will then vote on the measures.

Philippe wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday that the government plan would centre on six key areas - public health, schools, businesses, public transport and public gatherings.

The scientific council advising the government on the pandemic wrote over the weekend that school children aged 11-18 should wear masks to help thwart the virus.

Politicians are also debating whether or not to proceed with a software and mobile phone application aimed at being able to trace the coronavirus, with some expressing concerns over the potential for data abuse and privacy violations.

Pakistan

Frontline health workers in Pakistan’s Punjab province are holding rotating sit-ins in protest at the poor quality of their personal protection equipment.

Dr Salman Haseeb Chaudhry, president of the provincial chapter of the Young Doctor’s Association, said Sunday the substandard equipment is leading to an increasing number of health professionals contracting the virus and that a grand health alliance including nurses and paramedics has formed to demand greater protection.

Mr Chaudhry said 100 health professionals tested positive for coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.

Pakistan has confirmed 12,723 cases of the virus with 269 deaths attributed to Covid-19. The true number of infections is thought to be far higher.

United States

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 895,766 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 30,181 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,623 to 50,439.

US president Donald Trump has said his press briefings are “not worth the time and effort” as his administration prepares to adjust his public presence.

Tweeting on Saturday, one of the few days in which he has not held a daily briefing since the start of the outbreak, Mr Trump said: “What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately”.

The president’s tweet came two days after he used a briefing to muse about the injection of chemical disinfectants, drawing warnings from manufacturers and the nation’s top medical professionals.

The White House claimed Friday that Mr Trump was misinterpreted, though the president later asserted he was speaking “sarcastically.”

South Korea

South Korea has confirmed 10 more cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a continuation of the country’s slowing caseload.

The additional cases reported Sunday marks the ninth day in a row that South Korea’s daily increase came below 20.

The state-run Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says the additionally reported cases took the country’s total to 10,728 with 242 deaths. It says 8,717 patients have recovered and been released from quarantine.

South Korea has recently relaxed some of its social distancing rules, but officials have still raised worries about possible transmissions by “quiet spreaders”.

Italy

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 260 on Sunday, the smallest daily tally since March 14, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The number of new infections was the lowest since April 20th at 2,324 from 2,357 on Saturday.

Sunday’s death toll was sharply down from 415 on Saturday, to mark the third daily fall in succession.

The total of fatalities since the outbreak came to light on February 21st now stands at 26,644, the agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of confirmed cases was 197,675, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

People registered as currently carrying the illness rose to 106,103 from 105,847 on Saturday.

There were 2,009 people in intensive care on Sunday against 2,102 on Saturday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 64,928 were declared recovered against 63,120 a day earlier.

The agency said 1.187 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.148 million the day before, out of a population of around 60 million.

Meanwhile nearly 200,000 Italian companies have asked authorities for permission to be able to operate during Italy’s lockdown, either because they help essential businesses or because they deem themselves strategic for the national economy.

The interior ministry said a streamlined procedure is being implemented that “trusts the sense of responsibility of individual business persons” in allowing companies to resume operations.

The ministry’s local authorities can verify that a company respects Covid-19 safety rules, including social distancing.

Most of the requests have come from three northern regions that are among Italy’s most productive, but also among those most heavily hit by coronavirus cases.

India

India’s prime minister has cautioned his people against complacency in the fight against coronavirus, saying it can return again and people must change their habits.

During a 30-minute radio programme on Sunday, prime minister Narendra Modi said that people need to stick to social distancing, wearing face masks and not spitting in public places.

A doctor displays collected samples before conducting Covid-19 routine testing at a hospital in Bangalore, India, April 25th. Photograph: Jagadeesh Nv/EPA
A doctor displays collected samples before conducting Covid-19 routine testing at a hospital in Bangalore, India, April 25th. Photograph: Jagadeesh Nv/EPA

He also said that a traditional system of Indian medicine, known as ayurveda, which includes yoga exercises and drinking hot water, can be extremely helpful in building immunity to such diseases.

Mr Modi put India’s 1.3 billion people under a strict lockdown on March 25th until May 3rd. India has so far recorded 25,671 positive cases of the virus with 824 deaths attributed to Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia eased curfews on Sunday across the country, while keeping 24-hour curfews in the city of Mecca and in neighbourhoods previously put in isolation, state news agency SPA said.

Outside those exceptional areas, curfews will be eased between 9am and 5pm effective Sunday until May 13th. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on Friday.

The royal order also allowed some economic and commercial activities to re-start, including wholesale and retail shops and shopping malls, from Wednesday until May 13th.

Activities which do not allow for physical distancing, including salons and cinemas, will remain closed. Social gatherings of more than five people are forbidden.

Authorities in the capital Riyadh issued additional advice saying banknotes were not to be used.

Shops that do open should ensure no more than one customer per 10 square metres. Malls must be sterilised every 24 hours and children under 15 are not allowed to enter.

Saudi Arabia has recorded 16,299 cases of infection and 136 deaths. These are the highest numbers in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which together have recorded almost 43,000 cases and 250 deaths.

Spain

Spain said on Sunday the number of daily coronavirus-related fatalities fell to its lowest level in more than a month, with 288 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

That took total fatalities to 23,190 from 22,902 the day before, the health ministry said.

A child and mother take a stroll along the promenade in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday. Photograph: Alejandro Garcia/EPA
A child and mother take a stroll along the promenade in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday. Photograph: Alejandro Garcia/EPA

The overall number of coronavirus cases rose to 207,634 from 205,905 the day before.

Greece

Greek authorities say there have been four new deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, raising the total to 134.

Latest figures indicate there have been 11 new confirmed cases of the disease, bringing the total to 2,517. The total number of tests conducted so far is 64,608.

Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is likely to postpone his broadcast to the Greek people announcing a gradual relaxation of quarantine measures.

The broadcast had been scheduled for Monday, but will most likely be postponed by a day at least.

Australia

On Sunday, Australia’s states of Queensland and Western Australia said they would slightly ease social distancing rules this week to allow for larger outdoor public gatherings, among others, but officials in Victoria, second most populous state, said they were not ready to relax the state’s hardline restrictions.

Australia reported 16 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, which took its total to 6,703, according to health ministry data. There have been 83 deaths.

Russia

Russia reported 6,361 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, pushing its national tally to 80,949.

Sixty-six patients died in the past day, bringing the death toll to 747, Russia’s official crisis response centre said.

Indonesia

On Sunday, Indonesia reported 275 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 8,882, data provided by health ministry official Achmad Yurianto showed.

The data showed 23 people who tested positive for the virus died, raising the total deaths to 743.

Japan

Tokyo registered 72 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, Kyodo news agency reported, the lowest daily tally since April 1st.

The latest figures bring total coronavirus infections in Japan’s capital city to more than 3,900 cases, according to statistics of Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

On Sunday, the total number of cases in Japan had reached 13,231, with 360 deaths, public broadcaster NHK said. The government has encouraged residents to stay indoors as much as possible during the Golden Week holiday period.-AP/Reuters