The global death toll from the Covid-19 has exceeded 200,000 with confirmed cases approaching three million. Here are the developments for April 26:

A child looks as a police officer patrols the promenade of the beach, where access is prohibited, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 26, 2020
A child looks as a police officer patrols the promenade of the beach, where access is prohibited, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 26, 2020 (AP)

Sunday, April 26

UK's Johnson eyes easing lockdown before May 7 deadline

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce plans for easing a month-old coronavirus lockdown as early as this week after he returned to Downing Street on Sunday night, the Telegraph reported.

Johnson is due to be back at work on Monday after spending a week in hospital with Covid-19 and two weeks recovering at his country residence.

Johnson has discussed with ministers the idea of "modifying" the lockdown rather than lifting it, to get across the message that restrictions will remain in place even if workplaces and schools start to reopen, the Telegraph said

Dubai lifts lockdown on two densely populated commercial districts

The emirate of Dubai said it has lifted its full lockdown on two commercial districts which have a large population of low-income migrant workers, after the United Arab Emirates eased nationwide coronavirus curfews over the weekend.

Dubai on Friday cut its emirate-wide 24-hour lockdown back to a 10:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew. It has now taken the same step in the Al Ras and Naif districts, which had been sealed off as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management took the decision since no new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the two areas in the last two days, the government media office said in a statement.

Honduras to extend curfew by a week

Honduras will extend a blanket curfew imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus by one week until 1500 (2100 GMT) on Sunday, May 3, Security Ministry spokesman Jair Meza said. 

Italy reports 260 deaths, lowest since March 14

Italy reported its lowest coronavirus death toll in over a month as the government prepared to announce a gradual easing of the country's lockdown.

The 260 daily fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the lowest since March 14. 

Italy's Covid-19 death toll now stands at 26,644 – second only to the United States.

French death toll rises by 242 to 22,856

France reported a big fall in its coronavirus death toll, with 242 deaths in 24 hours, a drop of more than a third on the previous day.

The epidemic has now claimed 22,856 lives in the country since the beginning of March, health officials said. 

The deaths in hospitals – 152 – was the lowest daily toll in five weeks, they said, while 90 people died in nursing and care homes.

New York deaths under 400 for first time in April

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the 367 deaths from the coronavirus that he reported Sunday were “horrific,” but the number was less than half the nearly 800 deaths that occurred in a single day during the pandemic’s peak in New York.

It is the first time this month that the statewide daily death toll has been below 400.

Cuomo also reports that the number of hospitalisations, which still topped 1,000, and the number of individuals put on a ventilator had dropped as well.

The deaths include 349 patients who died in hospitals and 18 individuals who died in nursing homes, the Democratic governor said.

On Saturday, Cuomo said there were 437 deaths on Friday.

Turkey records lowest number of cases in 20 days

Turkey recorded the lowest number of new cases in the past 20 days, the country's Health Minister said. 

The daily cases stood at 2,357, with a sharp decrease in patients in intensive care, said Fahrettin Koca on Twitter. 

In the last 24 hours, 99 more fatalities were confirmed from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 2,805.

The total number of registered coronavirus cases surged to 110,130, the Health Ministry said on Twitter. 

So far, a total of 29,140 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the virus, with 3,558 discharged on Sunday alone, the ministry added. 

A total of 30,177 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, with the total reaching 889,742.  

UK's death toll up by 413 to 20,732

Britain's Health Ministry said 413 more people had died after testing positive for Covid-19 in hospital, taking the death toll to 20,732.

The figure is the lowest daily rise of fatalities reported by the UK since March 31.

Canada's death toll rises to 2,489

The total number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by under six percent in a day to 2,489, official data posted by the public health agency showed.

The figure for those diagnosed with the coronavirus had climbed to 45,791, according to a statement. 

On Saturday there were 2,350 deaths and 44,364 positive diagnoses.

Dutch cases rise by 655 to 37,845, with 66 new deaths

The Netherlands' number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen by 655 to 37,845, health authorities said, with 66 new deaths.

The country's death toll stands at 4,475, the Netherlands' Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said in its daily update.

The RIVM cautioned it only reports confirmed cases, and actual numbers are higher.

Total confirms 14 cases at its Congo oil operations

French energy major Total said that 14 workers including two of its staff have tested positive for the new coronavirus at its sites in Congo Republic, but output at the 190,000 barrels per day operations have not been affected.

Congo Republic reported 200 positive coronavirus cases and eight deaths since the first case on March 15.

Total said it activated its pandemic plan after the first case to ensure the continuity of its activity and was postponing non-routine operations, so as to limit the number of workers strictly limited to maintaining its production.

Congo officials were not immediately available to comment. 

Iran says coronavirus death toll rises by 60 to 5,710

The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak in Iran rose by 60 in the past 24 hours to 5,710, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on Sunday.

The total number of diagnosed cases of the new coronavirus in Iran has reached 90,481, he said in a statement on state TV.

Spain records lowest number of deaths in over a month

Spain said the number of daily virus-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.

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

The country eased its lockdown to allow children outside for the first time in six weeks, along with outdoor exercise.

Russia case tally passes 80,000

Russia reported 6,361 new cases, pushing its national tally to 80,949.

Sixty-six people succumbed to the virus in the past day, bringing the death toll to 747, Russia's official crisis response centre said.

Indonesia reports 275 cases

Indonesia reported 275 news 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. 

UK stand-in leader declines to explain lockdown exit strategy

The British government must not rush to ease the lockdown and should act cautiously to avoid a second spike in infections and a second lockdown that would damage public confidence, its stand-in leader said. 

Foreign minister Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson who'll be back a work this week after recovering from Covid-19, was pressed to reveal the government's thinking on how and when Britain might begin to see an easing of social distancing measures.

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

"It's not responsible to start speculating about the individual measures," he said, urging the public to stick to the current guidance, which is to stay at home except for essential travel.

Tokyo confirms 72 new cases

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

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

The total number of cases in Japan had reached 13,303 with 360 deaths, Worldometre tracker showed.

The government has encouraged residents to stay indoors as much as possible during the Golden Week holiday period. 

Malaysia continues downward trend

Malaysia reported 38 new coronavirus cases with no new deaths, Noor Hisham Abdullah, the secretary general of Malaysia's Ministry of Health, told reporters at a news conference.

It has so far recorded a total of 5,780 infections, with 98 fatalities. 

Philippines death toll tops 500

The Philippines Health Ministry reported seven more fatalities, taking the death toll in the Southeast Asian country to 501.

It recorded 285 new cases, bringing the country's total number of confirmed infections to 7,579.

A total of 862 patients have recovered. 

China says all Covid-19 patients in Wuhan discharged

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

"The latest news is that by April 26, the number of new coronavirus patients in Wuhan was at zero, thanks to the joint efforts of Wuhan and medical staff from around the country," National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said at a briefing.

The city had reported 46,452 cases, 56% of the national total. It saw 3,869 fatalities, or 84% of China's total.

Germany's Covid-19 cases surpass 158,000

Germany's confirmed cases increased to 158,250, worldometer tracker showed, making it the fourth-highest in Europe in terms of cases. 

On Saturday, confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 2,055, according to Robert Koch Institute.

Germany's death toll rose to 6,017. 

Singapore total cases surpass 13,000

Singapore registered 931 new infections, its health ministry said, taking the city-state's total to13,624.

The vast majority of the new cases are migrant workers living in dormitories, the health ministry said in the statement. 

Fifteen of the new cases are permanent residents.

The number of new cases rose from 618 reported on Saturday.

The tiny country of 5.7 million people now has one of the highest infection rates in Asia, according to official figures, due to outbreaks in cramped dormitories housing over 300,000 mainly South Asian workers. 

Cuba sends doctors to South Africa to combat virus

Cuba sent 216 healthcare workers to South Africa, the latest of more than 20 medical brigades it has sent worldwide to combat the pandemic, in what some call socialist solidarity and others medical diplomacy.

The island nation has sent around 1,200 healthcare workers largely to vulnerable African and Caribbean nations but also to rich European countries such as Italy that have been particularly hard hit by the virus.

Cuba, which has confirmed 1,337 cases of the virus at home and 51 deaths, has one of the world's highest number of doctors per capita and is renowned for its focus on prevention, community-oriented primary health care and preparedness to fight epidemics.

British PM Johnson to be back at work this week

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday, a Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday, after having recovered from the virus that sent him to intensive care for three nights in early April.

Johnson, 55, will take back control of a government under pressure from the economic fallout of shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the highly infectious virus, as well as a rising death toll.

Thailand reports 15 new cases, no new deaths

Thailand reported 15 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing the total number of cases since its outbreak in January to 2,922 cases and 51 deaths.

Of the new cases, four were linked to previous cases, another four had no known links, while five new patients are arrivals from overseas who have been under state quarantine.

Two other new cases were reported from the southern province of Yala, where the authorities are aggressively testing the population because of high infection rates there, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Since the outbreak in Thailand, 2,594 patients have recovered and gone home. 

US records 2,494 more deaths in 24 hours

The United States recorded 2,494 more deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures reported by Johns Hopkins University.

The country now has an overall death toll of 53,511, with 936,293 confirmed infections, according to a tally by the Baltimore-based university at 0030 GMT on Sunday (8:30 pm).

Saudi Arabia partially lifts curfew

Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued an order to partially lift the curfew in all regions of the kingdom, to become from 9am to 5pm, starting Sunday through Wednesday, May 13, while keeping a 24-hour curfew in Mecca and in previously isolated neighbourhoods, state news agency (SPA) said.

The order also allowed the opening of some economic and commercial activities, which includes wholesale and retail shops in addition to malls, in the period from 6 to 20 Ramadan, which is from Wednesday, April 29 to Wednesday, May 13.

Mexico infections rise to 13,842 cases

Mexico's health ministry reported 970 new cases and 84 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 13,842 cases and 1,305 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely considerably higher than the confirmed cases.

Britain sends out mobile units to boost virus testing

Eight mobile testing units staffed by the army are starting to travel around Britain, with dozens more to follow, to help the government approach its target of 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised that number of daily tests by April 30, but by Friday only 28,760 had been achieved.

Refitted vehicles will collect throat swabs, which will be sent to laboratories for processing, the Department of Health said in a statement.

A further 96 of the units will start operating during May.

Naval destroyer USS Kidd reports rise in virus cases to 33

The Navy reports that the number of sailors aboard the USS Kidd confirmed to be infected with the virus has nearly doubled, rising from 18 on Friday to 33.

The destroyer with its crew of 350 is off the Pacific coast of South America. Its current mission is related to US counter-drug activities. 

Algeria allows businesses to reopen

Algeria has taken further steps to ease restrictions by allowing several businesses to reopen "to reduce the economic and social impact of the health crisis" caused by the pandemic, the prime minister's office said.

It said shops to be reopened including those for materials for building and public works, appliances, fabrics, jewellery, clothing and shoes, cosmetics and perfumes, home and office furniture, pastries and hairdressers in addition to urban transport by taxi.

The government has reported a total of 3,256 confirmed infections with the virus, with 419 deaths and 1,479 recoveries.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies