The global pandemic has killed more than 286,000 people and infected over 4.2 million even as countries slowly lift restrictions. Here are more coronavirus-related developments for May 12:

People wear a protective masks rest next the closed Tuileries garden in Paris, Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
People wear a protective masks rest next the closed Tuileries garden in Paris, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (AP)

Tuesday, May 12

French death toll nears 27,000

France's cumulative death toll from coronavirus infection rose by 348 or 1.3 percent to 26,991, overtaking Spain's 26,920, making France the country with the world's fourth-highest death toll from the virus after the US, Britain and Italy.

The health ministry said in a statement the number of people in hospital with coronavirus infection fell again to 21,595 from 22,284 on Monday, continuing an uninterrupted downward trend that has lasted four weeks.

On the second day after the end of a 55-day lockdown, the number of people in intensive care also continued a similar downtrend and fell by 170 or 6.3 percent to 2,542.

Over 70 percent Turkish patients recover 

The total number of recoveries from coronavirus in Turkey is now nearly 99,000, or 70 percent of total confirmed cases in the country, the health minister said.

A total of 3,109 coronavirus patients have recovered over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number to 98,889, he said.
The death toll from the pandemic rose to 3,894 as the country saw 53 more fatalities over the last day, Koca added.

The country also registered 1,704 new cases, bringing the tally to 141,475, he said, citing Health Ministry data.

Italy's daily toll stable, cases climb

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 172 on Tuesday, against 179 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the daily tally of new cases doubled to 1,402 from 744 on Monday.

However, the rise in new cases was partly due to late reporting by the hard-hit Lombardy region, which said it had found 419 infections from previous weeks that it had not logged.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 30,911 the agency said, the third-highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

52 NYC children diagnosed with inflammatory syndrome

A total of 52 children in New York City have been diagnosed with an inflammatory syndrome possibly linked to Covid-19 and another 10 cases are pending, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

Of those 62 confirmed or possible cases, 25 have tested positive for the coronavirus and another 22 had antibodies for the virus, de Blasio said. One child has died.

The total of 52 confirmed cases in the city is up from 38 cases that had been announced previously.

Iceland to ease restrictions on international arrivals

Iceland expects to start easing restrictions for visitors arriving from overseas no later than June 15, the government said.

Under a plan still being developed by the authorities, travellers would be given a choice between a test for Covid-19 upon arrival in Iceland or a two-week quarantine, it said.

"Iceland's strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far," Tourism Minister Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir said in a statement.

UK coronavirus death toll rises to 32,692, an increase of 627

A total of 32,692 people who tested positive for the new coronavirus have died in the United Kingdom, a rise of 627 in a 24-hour period, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

India announces huge relief package

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government will spend the equivalent of nearly 10 percent of the country's GDP on a virus economic relief package designed to make the world's second-most populous nation more self-reliant.

“The package’s main aim is to build a self-reliant India,” Modi said in a televised speech, adding that it will help the country compete globally.

India entered its sixth week of a stringent nationwide lockdown, pushing an economy already enfeebled before the pandemic to the brink of collapse.

Canada's deaths rise

Canada's Covid-19 death toll crosses 5,000 with 143 new fatalities in the last 24 hours. Overall fatalities now stand at 5,049.

The country's public health agency said that overall  Covid-19 cases rise to 70,342.

Lebanon to go into 4-day closure

Lebanon's government agreed on a "full closure" of the country for four days, the presidency said as the cabinet met on Tuesday to try to ward off a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The closure starts on Wednesday night.

Authorities have warned of a resurgence in recent days as the number of cases jumped to its highest point in more than a month after the government eased some lockdown restrictions.

Putin's spokesman hospitalised

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says he is hospitalised with the coronavirus.

Peskov, a key aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday, "Yes, I've gotten sick. I’m being treated."

Peskov, 52, has been Putin’s spokesman since 2008, but started working him with in the early 2000s.

Turkey confirms death of 507 expats

Turkey's foreign minister has said that 507 Turkish citizens living abroad had died due to the novel coronavirus.

The bodies of over 400 Turkish expats have already been returned to Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu told a local broadcaster.

Cavusoglu also said that over 65,000 Turkish expats from 110 countries have been flown home since the outbreak of the virus.

Russia reports 10,899 new cases

Russia reported 10,899 new Covid-19 cases during the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total past that of Britain to 232,243.

The country's coronavirus response centre said the death toll from the virus rose by 107 people to 2,116.

Russia puts the continued daily rise in cases down to widespread testing. It has carried out more than 5.8 million tests.

China warns against complacency

Chinese health authorities called for vigilance to be maintained against the novel coronavirus as new clusters emerge.

In the past two weeks, new cases have been reported in seven provinces, including Hubei, the original epicentre of the outbreak late last year.

On Monday, Wuhan, capital of Hubei, reported its first cluster of infections since a lockdown on the city was lifted a month ago.

The reappearance of clusters suggested that counter-epidemic measures could not be relaxed, Mi Feng, a spokesman at the National Health Commission, told a media briefing.

China reported just one new coronavirus case on Tuesday while 5,470 people were under medical observation for signs of novel coronavirus infection.

China has not reported a new death from the virus in almost a month. In total, it has confirmed 4,633 deaths among 82,919 cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year.

Spain reports 594 new cases

The number of newly diagnosed cases of coronavirus in Spain in one day fell on Tuesday to its lowest in more than two months, the health ministry reported.

Health authorities identified 594 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 228,030. The number of fatalities related to the disease rose 176 on Tuesday to 26,920.

Turkey continues to send medical supplies 

Turkey sent medical supplies to North Macedonia and Albania upon instructions of President Erdogan amid Covid-19 pandemic.

Turkey’s state-run aid agency said in a statement it had also sent medical supplies to Peru to help the South American country deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.

In a separate statement, TIKA also announced that it sent medical and hygiene supplies to Pakistan's Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital amid the pandemic.

Indonesia's death toll tops 1,000 – ministry

Deaths from the coronavirus in Indonesia passed the 1,000 mark as the Southeast Asian nation reported 16 new fatalities and 484 new infections, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

Indonesia has now reported 1,007 deaths and 14,749 cases.

Across the country, Yurianto said there were also more than 32,000 suspected cases of the virus, while 119,728 people have been tested and 3,063 have recovered.

Malaysia reports 16 new coronavirus cases

Malaysian health authorities reported 16 new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase there since the government imposed curbs on movement and businesses to contain the spread of the pandemic in March.

The new cases bring the cumulative total to 6,742 cases. The health ministry reported no new deaths, keeping the total number of fatalities at 109.

Thailand reports two new cases, no new deaths

Thailand reported two new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing the total to 3,017 cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak started in January.

The two new cases are a 19-year-old woman from Bangkok and a 51-year-old woman from southern Narathiwat province. Both were infected by coming into contact with previous cases, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The majority of new cases in the past two weeks are from southern Thailand, including a cluster at an immigration detention centre in Songkhla province, Taweesin said.

Overloaded ventilator fire kills five patients in Russia 

A fire apparently started by an overloaded ventilator killed five novel coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit in a Russian hospital, news agencies reported.

Russia's emergency ministry confirmed the death of intensive care patients in a hospital in the city of St. Petersburg but did not say how many people had been killed.

"Ventilators are at their limit. According to preliminary data, there was an overload and the machine ignited, which caused the fire," one source told the Interfax news agency.

The emergency ministry said 150 people had been evacuated from the hospital.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 933 to 170,508 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 933 to 170,508, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 116 to 7,533, the tally showed.

The reproduction rate for the coronavirus pandemic in the country remained above the critical threshold of 1, with an estimated value of 1.07, the RKI earlier said.

South Korea reports 27 new cases

South Korea has reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus during the past 24 hours. After dozens of recent infections were linked to club goers in Seoul, health workers are scrambling to test thousands of people who visited nightspots in the capital city.

Figures released by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought national figures to 10,936 cases and 258 deaths. 

At least 1,138 infections have been linked to international arrivals, but such cases have declined after the country strengthened border controls in April, enforcing two-week quarantines on all passengers coming from abroad.

Singapore loosens restrictions

Singaporeans will be able to get a haircut at the barber or pop into their favourite bakeries as the government loosens coronavirus restrictions three weeks before a partial lockdown ends.

Despite an upsurge in cases due to an outbreak among foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories, the government says transmission in the local community has dropped and it plans a phased reopening of the economy. 

Barbers and hairdressers, food manufacturers, outlets and laundry shops are among selected businesses that can open with strict health measures in place after five weeks of shutdown.

Singapore has reported 23,822 infections, the most in Asia after China, India and Pakistan. But it has a low fatality rate of 21 deaths. About 90 percent of cases are linked to foreign workers' dorms, which have all remained locked down as testing continues.

Australian state to reopen classrooms earlier than expected

Australia's second-most populous state will resume face-to-face teaching from May 27, weeks earlier than expected, after a school shutdown to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

The state including the city of Melbourne would take a staggered approach with teenagers in classrooms first, followed by younger pupils from June 9, Andrew said.

Andrews has been criticised by his political opponents for being too slow to reopen schools, a step seen as key to restoring the national economy, which is heading for its first recession in 30 years.

China reports one new case

China reported just one new coronavirus case as the government presses ahead with re-opening measures, including allowing Beijing middle school senior students to return to class.

The single new case follows double-digit increases over the previous two days that had set off renewed warnings from officials for citizens to avoid becoming overconfident and prompted the suspension of train service to one affected county in the northeastern province of Jilin.

The National Health Commission also said 115 people remain in treatment and 763 are being isolated and monitored as either suspected cases or after testing positive for the virus without showing symptoms.

US deaths cross 80,000 as virus hits White House

US coronavirus deaths topped 80,000 on Monday, according to a Reuters and Johns Hopkins University tally, as nearly all states have taken steps to relax lockdown measures.

Deaths in the US, the epicentre of the global pandemic, have averaged 2,000 a day since mid-April despite efforts to slow the outbreak.

The death toll is higher than the number of fatalities from the seasonal flu going back to 1967 and represents more US deaths than during the first eight years of the AIDS epidemic between 1981 to 1988.

Total coronavirus cases in the US have exceeded 1.3 million, with infections rising in states such as Mississippi, Minnesota and Nebraska, highlighting the risk of a new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Mexico sees 108 new deaths

Mexico's health ministry confirmed 1,305 new cases of coronavirus infections on Monday, along with 108 additional deaths.

The new infections brought confirmed coronavirus cases to 36,327 and 3,573 deaths in total, according to the official tally.

The daily death toll has been falling since Thursday, when Mexico reported its highest one-day total since the start of the crisis, with 257 fatalities.

Brazil records 5,632 new cases, 396 deaths 

Brazil registered 5,632 new coronavirus cases on Monday and 396 deaths from the disease, according to the health ministry.

The country has now registered a total of 168,331 confirmed cases of the virus and 11,519 deaths. 

Reporting of coronavirus cases from state health authorities to the ministry tends to slow over the weekend

Trump says may limit contact with Pence over virus scare

US President Donald Trump said Monday that Mike Pence has tested negative for coronavirus but he may limit his contact with the vice president for the moment.

Trump also suggested that Pence was in quarantine after his press secretary tested positive, though he did not say it outright.

"I would say that he and I will be talking about that," Trump told reporters at the White House, when asked if he was considering limiting contacts with Pence.

Tesla CEO restarts California factory amid lockdown

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Monday that the company has restarted its California factory, a move that defied local government orders involving measures to contain the coronavirus.

In a tweet, Musk practically dared authorities to arrest him, writing that he would be on the assembly line and that if anyone is taken into custody, it should be him.

State law allows a fine of up to $1,000 a day or up to 90 days in jail for operating in violation of health orders. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies