UN health agency has urged people not to try untested remedies for COVID-19 after Madagascan president promotes ‘cure’.
251,718 people around the world have now died from COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed cases exceeds 3.5 million, while nearly 1.2 million people have recovered.
Coronavirus deaths in the United Kingdom have surpassed the 30,000 mark, the highest in Europe, according to official data.
Here are the latest updates:
Brazil’s health ministry said on There have been 6,935 new cases of coronavirus in Brazil since Monday evening and 600 new deaths, bringing the total to 114,715 confirmed cases of the virus and 7,921 deaths, the ministry said.
New cases increased roughly 6.4 percent from Monday evening, while deaths increased roughly 8.2 percent.
US President Donald Trump said the White House coronavirus taskforce would wind down as the country moves into a second phase of dealing with the aftermath of the outbreak.
“Mike Pence and the task fore have done a great job,” Trump said during a visit to a mask factory in Arizona. “But we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form and that form is safety and opening and we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.”
Asked if he was proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” in the fight against coronavirus, Trump said: “No, not at all. The mission accomplished is when it’s over.”
Attempts by China’s leaders to divert attention from early cover-ups of the coronavirus outbreak seem to be backfiring.
Can China overcome suspicion of its motives and regain trust?
Watch: Inside Story – Is China facing a global backlash against coronavirus?
As COVID-19 spread across Africa and leaders put their countries in lockdown, Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina last month launched an herbal remedy that he claimed could prevent and cure the disease. The announcement caught medical experts by surprise.
Soldiers have since been going door-to-door in the Indian Ocean island country, which has reported 149 cases and no fatalities, dispensing the concoction.
Read more here
A government scientist was ousted after the Trump administration ignored his dire warnings about COVID-19 and a malaria drug President Donald Trump was pushing for the coronavirus, according to a whistleblower complaint.
Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said the Trump administration rejected his coronavirus warnings after he “acted with urgency” to address the growing spread when the World Health Organization issued a warning in January.
But he said he “encountered resistance from HHS leadership, including Health and Human Services Secretary [Alex] Azar, who appeared intent on downplaying this catastrophic event”.
Top US scientist Dr Anthony Fauci again dismissed claims the coronavirus was created in a Chinese laboratory.
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told National Geographic magazine in an interview published on Monday.
Read more here
Tajikistan’s health minister Nasim Olimzoda was sacked after the authorities spent weeks playing down the threat the country faced from COVID-19.
Tajikistan reported its first coronavirus cases in late April, one of the last countries in the world to confirm it had been affected by the pandemic.
Read more here
The death toll in the United States continues to surge, with 70,115 deaths and 1,192,119 cases. The US continues to lead worldwide cases and deaths from the virus.
More than 187,000 patients have recovered in the US, according to the data.
New York is the worst-hit state with 25,073 deaths and more than 321.000 cases, followed by New Jersey with 8,244 deaths and an excess of 130,600 cases.
Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra said that 51,189 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus had been detected, in a press conference in the capital Lima, and confirmed 1,444 deaths.
Peru was one of the first Latin American countries to shut down to prevent the virus spread yet nonetheless within ten days saw a doubling of its confirmed cases to become the region’s second worst-hit nation after Brazil.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels announced the first coronavirus death in the capital Sanaa, which they control.
The Houthis’ health minister, Taha al-Mutawakel, told a news conference the case involved a man from Somalia who was found dead in a hotel on Sunday and posthumously tested positive for the virus.
It is the first known infection in rebel-controlled territory.
Read more here
The number of people who have died from a coronavirus infection in France increased by 330 to 25,531 in 24 hours, the sharpest rate of increase in six days, government data showed.
In a statement, the Health Ministry said the number of people in intensive care units fell to 3,430 from 3,696 on Monday, down for a 27th consecutive day.
The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 25,775 from 25,548 also continuing a now uninterrupted three-week fall.
Scrambling to tackle COVID-19 in camps across the Middle East, the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees said it only has enough cash to operate until the end of May because of American funding cuts.
Elizabeth Campbell, UNRWA’s director in Washington, told reporters the loss of US aid had a “corrosive impact” on the agency’s ability to help vulnerable people.
“We are basically operating on a month-to-month basis. Right now, we have funding to pay our 30,000 healthcare workers until the end of this month,” Campbell said.
Read more here
The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Turkey has risen by 59 in the last 24 hours to 3,520, Health Ministry data showed, as a slowdown in deaths and ICU patients continued.
The overall number of cases rose by 1,832 to 129,491, the data showed, the highest total outside Western Europe, the United States and Russia.
A total of 73,285 people have so far recovered.
Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 236, against 195 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections came in at 1,075 against 1,221 on Monday.
It was the lowest number of new cases for two months.
The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 29,315 the agency said, one of the highest in the world. The number of confirmed cases amounts to 213,013.
Jordan is to continue to impose a daily night curfew even after containing the spread of the coronavirus and allowing businesses to reopen and more movement, government spokesman said.
Amjad Adailah said the cabinet, which imposed a curfew on March 21 after enacting emergency laws that gave the government sweeping powers, would also continue to impose a weekend lockdown.
“We have contained the outbreak but the danger is real and the possibility of its return is real and serious,” Adailah said.
President Donald Trump said the United States would release its report detailing the origins of the coronavirus over time, but gave not other details or timeline.
“We will be reporting very definitively over a period of time,” the Republican president told reporters at the White House.
Trump, who initially praised China over its response to the outbreak but has since blamed Beijing harshly over the virus, also said that he has not spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping
Virgin Atlantic will cut over 3,000 jobs – around a third of staff – as the coronavirus pandemic grounds planes worldwide, the British carrier part-owned by tycoon Richard Branson announced.
With the virus having decimated international air travel over the past two months, Virgin said it was obliged to make the cuts to preserve its financial future, adding it was in talks with the UK government about potential support.
“In order for the airline to emerge from the crisis, regrettably it must reduce the number of people employed and today the company is announcing a planned reduction of 3,150 jobs across all functions,” a Virgin Atlantic statement said.
Government-backed hackers are attacking healthcare and research institutions in an effort to steal valuable information about efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Britain and the United States said in a joint warning.
In a statement, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said the hackers had targeted pharmaceutical companies, research organisations and local governments.
The NCSC and CISA did not say which countries were responsible for the attacks. But one US official and one UK official said the warning was in response to intrusion attempts by suspected Chinese and Iranian hackers, as well as some Russian-linked activity.
The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss non-public details of the alert.
Tehran, Beijing and Moscow have all repeatedly denied conducting offensive cyber operations and say they are the victims of such attacks themselves.
Sudan’s Health Ministry confirmed four more deaths due to the novel coronavirus, taking the nationwide death toll to 45.
A ministry statement said 100 new virus infections were detected in the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 778.
So far 70 people have recovered from the virus.
Tens of thousands of Indians stranded abroad because of the coronavirus crisis will be repatriated starting on Thursday.
A total of 190,000 Indians will be repatriated in the coming weeks from several countries, including those in the Middle East, where huge numbers of Indian blue-collar workers live, civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri said.
In the first week, 14,800 Indians will be brought back from 12 countries such as the United States, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.
Three ships of the Indian Navy will bring back 1,000 Indian nationals from West Asia and the Maldives, broadcaster NDTV reported.
Read more here
All main Turkish automotive factories will resume operations as of May 11, Industry Minister Mustafa Varank said, a day after President Tayyip Erdogan announced a normalisation period to restart the economy following the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey has about 130,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, but the country will start easing containment measures in May, June and July amid a slowdown in the outbreak, Erdogan said on Monday.
Iran announced that confirmed coronavirus infections had reached almost 100,000 in the country as fresh cases picked up again after a brief drop in recent days.
“The number of confirmed infections with this disease is now close to 100,000,” health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in televised remarks.
“We lost 63 of our countrymen in the past 24 hours, reaching a total of 6,340 deaths from COVID-19 to date,” he added.
Jahanpour said that another 1,323 people tested positive for the virus during the same period, bringing the overall number to 99,970.
Iran has reopened mosques in parts of the country deemed at low risk from the virus after allowing a phased reopening of businesses since April 11.
Middle East ride-hailing firm Careem set about slashing nearly a third of its workforce due to the severe economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, its CEO said.
“Starting tomorrow… 536 of our colleagues who make up 31 percent of Careem will leave us,” Mudassir Sheikha said in a statement released late on Monday.
“Our business is down by more than 80 percent and the recovery timeline is alarmingly unknown.”
Dubai-based Careem, acquired by Uber last year for $3.1bn in the Middle East’s biggest technology transaction, operates taxi-hailing apps in 14 countries across the Middle East and North Africa.
Germany is accelerating its return to normality from a crippling lockdown, with regional leaders pushing back against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pleas for prudence in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
On the eve of a key meeting between Merkel and premiers of Germany’s 16 states to debate a new round of easing of stay-at-home measures, the country’s biggest state pre-empted talks by saying it would reopen its restaurants and hotels this month.
“The time has come for a cautious reopening,” said Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder, pointing to the “success” in containing the spread of the virus.
Pressure has been growing on Merkel to ease curbs on public life that have sunk the economy into a deep recession.
An antibody that can stop the new coronavirus infecting cells in laboratory tests has been identified by researchers in the Netherlands, in what scientists say could help the development of therapies.
The antibody neutralised the new coronavirus, according to the research published in Nature Communications, and the authors said it “offers the potential to prevent and/or treat COVID-19”.
Observers commenting on the study cautioned that there was a long way to go before knowing if the newly discovered antibody would work as a treatment.
“Simply because we have found an antibody which neutralises a virus in a group of cells in a lab Petri dish doesn’t mean that we can expect the same response in patients,” said James Gill, honorary clinical lecturer Warwick Medical School.
But he described the discovery as “very promising”.
Yemen’s Houthi-controlled government has recorded a first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in the capital Sanaa, the group’s al-Masirah TV reported, citing the health minister.
Masirah added the infection was recorded in a Somali national.
The mayor of The Hague issued a statement ordering police to break up a demonstration by around 200 people who had gathered to protest against measures ordered by the government to slow the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
Police said in a statement that they were “detaining demonstrators that ignore the mayor’s order”. Local press agency ANP said dozens had been detained.
The Dutch government has banned public gatherings since mid-March, with people required to stand at least 1.5 metres apart in public spaces.
French President Emmanuel Macron said it was unlikely that French people would be able to undertake major foreign trips this summer and that even trips within Europe may have to be limited in order to reduce the risk of a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic.
“It is too soon to say whether we can take holidays. What I can say is that we will limit major international travel, even during the summer holidays. We will stay among Europeans and, depending on how the epidemic evolves, we might have to reduce that a little more. We will know early June,” Macron told reporters during a visit to a school outside Paris.
France is set to end its lockdown on May 11, when people will be allowed to move up to 100 kilometres around their residence.
Yemen’s internationally-recognised government announced nine new coronavirus cases and one death, raising total infections to 21 and three deaths, the country’s supreme national emergency committee said on Twitter.
Eight cases were detected in the southern port city of Aden and another infection was recorded in Hadhramout region, it said.
The health ministry of the Houthi-controlled government in the north has not announced any infections so far. Authorities have said all suspected cases there had tested negative.
Afghanistan’s government began distributing free bread to hundreds of thousands of people across the country this week as supplies have been disrupted during the coronavirus shutdown and prices have soared.
More than 250,000 families in the capital Kabul started receiving ten flat ‘Naan’ breads per day in the first phase of the project.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the bread distribution programme was also taking place in other cities as rising prices were hitting what is already one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than half of the population living below the poverty line.
The Palestinian Authority has announced a one-month extension of a state of emergency imposed in the occupied West Bank to try and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In place since March, the emergency measure has introduced a full lockdown that confined Palestinians to their homes, except for essential travel. Restrictions have since been eased, with some businesses allowed to open in a bid to revive the weakened economy.
Read more here.
The daily number of coronavirus deaths registered in Spain remained below 200 for a third consecutive day, the country’s health ministry said, as it reported 185 deaths in 24 hours.
The overall coronavirus death toll in the country rose to 25,613 up from 25,428, the ministry said, while the overall number of diagnosed cases rose to 219,329 up from 218,011 the day before.
South Korea has resumed professional sports with the start of its baseball league in a hushed atmosphere without spectators, one of the first signs of the country returning to normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) kicked off play in empty stadiums under strict safety measures, with five matches on the schedule, after the season’s opening day was pushed back by more than a month due to the pandemic.
Read more here.
A parliamentary panel authorised Israel’s Shin Bet security service to continue using mobile phone data to track people infected by the coronavirus until May 26, prolonging an initiative described by critics as a threat to privacy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sought a longer extension, of six weeks, as his government advances legislation to regulate the practice in line with the demands of the Supreme Court, which is worried about dangers to individual liberty.
Circumventing parliament in March, as the infection spread, Netanyahu’s cabinet approved emergency regulations that enabled the use of the technology, customarily deployed for anti-terrorism.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was not “not surprising” that a report of COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, earlier than it was thought to have spread there, saying more reports of early cases were possible.
“It’s also possible there are more early cases to be found,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a briefing in Geneva. He encouraged other countries to check records for cases in late 2019, saying this would give the world a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.
A French hospital which has retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered it treated a man who had COVID-19 as early as December 27, nearly a month before officials confirmed the country’s first cases.
More than 30,000 people in the UK have died with suspected COVID-19, the highest official toll yet reported in Europe, according to data published.
The Office for National Statistics said 29,648 deaths had taken place as of April 24 in England and Wales with COVID-19 mentioned in death certificates.
Including deaths for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the toll on this measure now exceeds 30,000. That is more than Italy, though the recording of deaths there has differed.
The number of new coronavirus cases in Russia has risen by 10,102 over the past 24 hours, compared with 10,581 the previous day.
This brought Russia’s nationwide tally to 155,370, the country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said.
It also reported 95 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total death toll in Russia to 1,451.
The Philippines’ health ministry reported 14 new coronavirus deaths and 199 additional infections.
In a bulletin, the health ministry said total deaths from the outbreak have reached 637, while confirmed cases have increased to 9,684. But 93 more patients have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 1,408.
Sweden’s economy shrank slightly in the first quarter, flash estimates from the Statistics Office showed, with worse to come in the April-June period when full effects of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus are set to be felt.
The economy had already started slowing at the end of 2019 after years of rapid expansion.
While Sweden has not followed other European countries with a complete lockdown, the virus outbreak and measures to contain it still have hit international supply chains, cut demand and forced companies to lay off tens of thousands of workers.
The government expects the economy to contract around 7 percent – the worst recession since 1940 – this year before rebounding sharply in 2021.
The most likely source of the novel coronavirus was a wildlife market in China, Australian Prime Minister said.
Scott Morrison said Australia has seen no evidence to change its view that it originated from a wildlife market, though he would not rule out Trump’s theory.
“We can’t rule out any of these arrangements that’s what I said the other day, but the most likely has been in a wildlife wet market,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the best evidence shows the novel coronavirus was not made in a laboratory in China.
Fauci shot down the discussion that has been raging among politicians and pundits, calling it “a circular argument” in a conversation with National Geographic.
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated … Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” Fauci said.
The European Union has not been naive in its dealings with China, said EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton, as rifts emerge between the United States and China over the origins of the coronavirus.
“We are absolutely not naive,” Breton told France Info radio, when asked if the EU might have shown any gullibility in its dealings with China.
Britain said that China has questions to answer over the information it shared about the coronavirus outbreak, while the United States has scaled up its rhetoric over Chinese culpability for the virus in recent days.
France is hoping to deploy its state-supported “StopCOVID” contact-tracing app by June 2, the Minister for Digital Affairs, Cedric O.
“We hope to have something by June 2,” Cedric O told BFM Business TV. “We are pursuing our roadmap,” he added.
France’s state-supported “StopCOVID” contact-tracing app should enter its testing phase in the week of May 11 when the country starts to unwind its lockdown, the minister said earlier this month.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is ongoing with many countries around the globe in lockdown due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
This includes Nigeria, which is the most populated country in Africa and home to West Africa’s largest Muslim population.
Here is a look at how the coronavirus restrictions in Nigeria are affecting Ramadan.
“It's not possible for me to fast without food.”
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 4, 2020
Hungarian low cost airline Wizz Air said its passenger numbers plunged 98 percent in April compared to the same month last year as the novel coronavirus halted most flying across Europe.
Wizz Air said that it carried 78,389 passengers in April, but its figures will improve this month as it became one of the first European airlines to restart commercial routes from London Luton and Vienna on May 1.
The company also said a new airline it is planning to launch with flights between Abu Dhabi in the Middle East and eastern Europe is progressing in line with its initial timeline to start flying this year.
Thailand reported one new coronavirus case and no new deaths, the lowest number of new infections since March 9.
The new case is a 45-year-old Thai man from the southern province of Narathiwat, authorities said.
The number of new cases have been declining in the last two weeks with the exception of a cluster at an immigration detention centre in southern Thailand that has seen 60 new cases in that period, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
Since Thailand’s outbreak began in January, the country has seen a total of 2,988 coronavirus cases and 54 deaths. Taweesin said 2,747 patients have recovered, while 187 are still being treated in hospitals
A piano teacher who imparted to his son a lifelong passion for music, an Indonesian tax consultant who sewed her daughter’s wedding dress, a chef who was a fierce defender of workers’ rights in Italy – these are just some of the people the world has lost to the coronavirus pandemic.
You can find out more about them and others who have died in the outbreak here.
Indigenous leaders in Brazil have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to set up an emergency fund to help protect their communities from the coronavirus.
In a letter to WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, they asked for help to provide personal protective equipment that is unavailable to health workers in tribal reservations and villages.
“It is a real emergency,” Joenia Wapichana, the leader of the appeal to the WHO and the first Indigenous woman elected to Brazil’s Congress, told Reuters.
“Indigenous people are vulnerable and have no protection.”
Many of Brazil’s 850,000 Indigenous people live in remote Amazon areas with little access to healthcare, and Indigenous groups say the government of President Jair Bolsonaro has not included the communities in national plans to fight the virus.
A substantial majority of people around the world want their governments to prioritise saving lives over the economy, according to the findings of the latest Edelman Trust Barometer, produced by US communications company Edelman.
Overall, 67 percent of the 13,200-plus people interviewed between April 15 and April 23 agreed with the statement: “The government’s highest priority should be saving as many lives as possible even if it means the economy will recover more slowly.”
Just one-third backed the assertion: “It is becoming more important for the government to save jobs and restart the economy than to take every precaution to keep people safe.”
The study was based on fieldwork carried out in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the US.
A newly-revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as physical-distancing measures are relaxed;
The projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predict the cumulative number of US deaths from COVID-19 will run from as few as 95,092 to as many as 242,890 by August 4 – with 134,475 lives lost representing the most likely, middle ground.
In a previous, April 29, revision, the middle-case figure was 72,400 deaths, within a range between 59,300 and 114,200 fatalities.
Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 685, bringing the total to 163,860. A further 139 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 6,831.
Health monitoring through phone apps is at the centre of China’s return to normal life after the coronavirus outbreak.
The app is colour-coded according to each person’s health status, and allows them to move around, get work and even buy food.
But it seems it has also ensnared a man who had been on the run for more than two decades after a murder. The Global Times says he turned himself in because he couldn’t get the code.
A man from NW #China's #Gansu Province who had been at large for 24 years for killing someone finally turned himself in #Zhejiang as he has no green health code amid #COVID19 to allow him to find a job, rent a house and buy food. pic.twitter.com/Q8Fgx0VvEI
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 5, 2020
New Zealand has recorded no new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined a coronavirus cabinet meeting with Australia.
The two countries discussed opening borders and Ardern said while it was unlikely New Zealand would open its borders to the rest of the world for a “long time”, it was looking to work something out with Australia.
China’s National Health Commission says the country found just one case of coronavirus on Monday, in someone who had returned from overseas. It also reported 15 asymptomatic cases of the disease.
There were no new deaths.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (May 4) here.