May 4, 2020 8:52:16 am
Coronavirus Latest Updates: The number of infections due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crossed three million (3,505,761 cases) across the world and the toll stood at 2,47,431. The highest number of infections was reported by the US with 1,157,945 cases, followed by Spain (2,17,466), Italy (2,10,717), UK (1,87,842), and France (1,68,925), according to Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, the United States has the highest number of deaths, with the toll at 67,682, followed by Italy (28,884), UK (28,446), Spain (25,264), and France (24,864). On the other hand, more than a million people have already recovered from the deadly virus globally.
Health experts have warned of a potential second wave of infections unless testing is expanded dramatically once the lockdowns are relaxed.
Here are some top global developments:
Bangladesh extends nationwide lockdown till May 16
Bangladesh on Monday extended the nationwide lockdown till May 16 to contain Covid-19 as the number of cases crossed the 10,000-mark in the country.The government had initially declared a general holiday on March 26 for 10 days. Later, that was gradually extended till April 25 as the country kept seeing a rise in the number of cases and deaths. It was later extended till May 5.
The number of coronavirus cases in Bangladesh have now reached 10,143 after 688 new cases were detected in the last 24 hours. So far, 182 people have lost their lives due to the disease, news agency PTI reported.
Over 500 medics, 40 journalists infected with COVID-19 in Pakistan
Over 500 medical staff and 40 journalists in Pakistan have been infected by the novel coronavirus so far, according to a government report on Monday. According to the official data, “503 medics including 250 doctors and 110 nurses contacted the deadly virus while treating COVID-19 patients in hospitals. Most of the infected medics belong to Punjab province of Pakistan.”
It said five doctors are among 13 medics who lost their lives to the virus. Dr Furqanul Haq is the third doctor in Karachi who fell victim to the disease on Sunday. Dr Haq allegedly died because of the non-availability of ventilator. The government has announced launching investigation into the matter.
Doctors across the country have been complaining for weeks that they are not being provided with the personal protective equipment, making them vulnerable to the virus.
Japan’s Abe extends state of emergency to May 31
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he had decided to extend the country’s national state of emergency to May 31. Abe will consider lifting the state of emergency without waiting for its May 31 expiration if experts decide that is possible based on detailed analysis of regional infection trends, he said at the start of a meeting of the government’s coronavirus task force.
For the second day in a row, Spanish health officials are reporting 164 new confirmed deaths from the coronavirus, the lowest daily death toll in six weeks, to a total of 25,428.
The figures came as a respite for a country that has spent seven weeks under a strict lockdown and that on Monday entered the first stage of its 4-phase lockdown rollback, expected to span over nearly two months.
People ventured out for the first time for haircuts, buying glasses or food take-outs, activities that are allowed on the condition of a pre-existing appointment.
China still faced the risk of a rebound in COVID-19 cases as 10 provincial-level regions have reported new locally-transmitted coronavirus cases over the last two weeks, a top health official warned on Monday. The National Health Commission (NHC) said that three new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday.
All three were Chinese arriving from abroad. Also, 13 new asymptomatic cases, including two imported ones, were reported. As of Sunday, 962 asymptomatic cases, including 98 from abroad, were still under medical observation, the NHC said. Asymptomatic cases refer to people who are tested COVID-19 positive but develop no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat.
However, they pose a risk of spreading the disease to others. NHC spokesperson Mi Feng said that 10 provincial-level regions have reported new locally-transmitted cases or asymptomatic cases over the last 14 days, which highlighted that risks of a resurgence and even spread of the epidemic still exist, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Greece gradually lifts 42-day lockdown
Greece has begun gradually lifting its restrictive measures after a 42-day lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As of Monday morning, Greeks are no longer restricted as to why they can leave their homes, and don’t need to send an SMS or carry a self-written permit justifying being outdoors.
The first businesses have also opened as part of what authorities have said will be a staggered re-opening of the economy. Hair salons, barber shops and stores selling books, sporting goods, stationary, and other items can now open, albeit with strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place. Masks are now compulsory for staff and passengers on public transport, staff in shops selling fresh food and in several other places, with violators facing fines.
Authorities strongly recommend mask-wearing in all indoor public areas. School students in the final grade of high school are to return to class as of next week, followed later in the month by those in the rest of junior high and high school grades.
While millions of people took advantage of easing coronavirus lockdowns to enjoy spring weather, some of the world’s most populous countries reported worrisome new peaks in infections Sunday, including India, which saw its biggest single-day jump yet. Second in population only to China, India reported more than 2,600 new infections.
In Russia, new cases exceeded 10,000 for the first time. The confirmed death toll in Britain climbed near that of Italy, the epicentre of Europe’s outbreak, even though the UK population is younger than Italy’s and Britain had more time to prepare before the pandemic hit. The United States continues to see tens of thousands of new infections each day, with more than 1,400 new deaths reported Saturday.
New Zealand reports no new coronavirus cases for first time since mid-March
New Zealand has recorded no new cases of the coronavirus for the first time since March 16, the health ministry said at a news conference on Monday. There were no additional virus-related fatalities, and the death toll remained at 20, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. The total number of confirmed cases in the country is 1,137, he said.
China reports 3 new coronavirus cases, all imported
China reported three new coronavirus cases for May 3, up from two the day before, data from the national health authority showed on Monday. All of the new cases were imported, the National Health Commission said. The commission also reported 13 new asymptomatic cases for May 3, an increase of one from the previous day. The number of confirmed cases in China has reached 82,880. With no new deaths reported, the death toll remained at 4,633.
President Donald Trump on Sunday insisted that “you can satisfy both” – see some states gradually lift lockdowns while also protecting people from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 60,000 Americans. The president, fielding questions from Americans in a virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, acknowledged valid fears on both sides of the issue.
Some people are worried about getting sick; others are reeling from lost jobs and livelihoods. But while Trump increased his projection for the total U.S. death total to 80,000 or 90,000 — up by more than 20,000 fatalities from what he had suggested just a few weeks ago — he struck a note of urgency to restart the nation’s economy, declaring “we have to reopen our country.”
“We have to get it back open safely but as quickly as possible,” Trump said. After more than a month of being cooped up at the White House, Trump returned from a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland for the virtual town hall hosted by Fox News Channel.
The president said of his backdrop: “We never had a more beautiful set than this.” As concerns mount about his reelection bid, Trump stuck to his relentlessly optimistic view of the nation’s ability to rebound soon. “It is all working out,” Trump said. “It is horrible to go through, but it is working out”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made.”There is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,”
Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the virus that emerged late last year in China and has killed about 240,000 people around the world, including more than 67,000 in the United States. Pompeo then briefly contradicted a statement issued last Thursday by the top U.S. spy agency that said the virus did not appear to be man-made or genetically modified.
That statement undercut conspiracy theories promoted by anti-China activists and some supporters of President Donald Trump who suggest it was developed in a Chinese government biological weapons laboratory.”The best experts so far seem to think it was man-made. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point,” Pompeo said.
French coronavirus quarantine to spare travellers from Schengen area and UK
Travellers to France who arrive from a country in Europe’s Schengen open-border area or Britain will be exempt from a planned compulsory two-week quarantine, the French consulate in Britain said on Sunday. The new quarantine rules will apply to travellers, whether French or foreigners, as part of the fight against the new coronavirus.
Details will be provided in a decree specifying measures laid out in a bill extending a state of emergency until July 24. The move allows the government to restrict freedom of movement to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “People entering the French territory from countries in the European area (EU/Schengen and United Kingdom) will NOT be affected by the quarantine measure announced in France, the details of which will be specified shortly,” the French consulate in Britain said on Twitter on a verified account.
France, which has been the fifth-hardest hit country with 24,895 deaths from COVID-19, is preparing to gradually lift lockdown measures from May 11.
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