Death toll from coronavirus pandemic crosses 250,000 as confirmed cases exceed 3.7 million. Here are the developments on the pandemic for May 6, 2020.

A woman stands in front of a mural by artist Lionel Stanhope depicting the painting ''The Supper at Emmaus' by Italian painter Caravaggio with the addition of blue nitrile gloves in south London, the UK on May 6, 2020.
A woman stands in front of a mural by artist Lionel Stanhope depicting the painting ''The Supper at Emmaus' by Italian painter Caravaggio with the addition of blue nitrile gloves in south London, the UK on May 6, 2020. (AFP)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Death toll in the UK surpasses 30,000

The UK has become the second country to record more than 30,000 deaths as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, said at the government’s daily briefing that another 649 people in the UK have died in all settings, including hospitals and care homes, after testing positive for the coronavirus.

That takes the UK's official death toll to 30,076, only behind the United States, which has more than 71,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Italy's daily coronavirus death toll rises

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 369 against just 236 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections also rose, increasing by 1,444 against 1,075.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 29,684 the agency said, the third highest in the world after the United States and Britain. The number of confirmed cases amounts to 214,457.

The Civil Protection Agency said the number of those currently infected fell sharply to 91,528 from a previous 98,467, while there were just 1,333 people in intensive care on Wednesday against 1,427 the day before.

Turkey registers 4,917 more recoveries

A total of 78,202 people have recovered so far from the novel coronavirus in Turkey, the country's health minister said.

The death toll from the pandemic rose to 3,584 as Turkey saw 64 more fatalities in the past 24 hours, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

The country recorded 2,253 new cases, bringing the tally to 131,744, the minister added.

French coronavirus death toll close to 26,000

The number of people who have died from a coronavirus infection in France increased by 278 to 25,809.

The Health Ministry said in a statement the number of people in intensive care units fell by 283 to 3,147 in the biggest daily fall in four continuous weeks of declines. 

The number of people in ICU - a key measure of a health system's ability to deal with the epidemic - is now well below half the peak of 7,148 seen on April 8.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 23,983 from 25,775, also continuing an uninterrupted three-week fall.

Canada's coronavirus deaths rise 

The total number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by about 5 percent to 4,111 from a day earlier, official data posted by the public health agency showed.

The figure for those diagnosed with the coronavirus rose to 62,458, according to Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam. On Tuesday, there were 3,915 deaths and 61,159 positive diagnoses.

Nigeria to extend ban on all flights by four weeks

Nigeria will extend a ban on all flights by four weeks as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a government official told reporters.

Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, said Thursday would mark the last day for the enforcement of the current ban.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has 2,950 confirmed cases and 98 deaths. Lockdown restrictions were eased on Monday in Lagos, the country's commercial hub, and the capital, Abuja.

Dutch to begin easing lockdown measures next week

The Netherlands has joined several European countries in announcing the easing of its coronavirus lockdown, outlining a four-month plan to phase out social restrictions if the virus remains under control.

The lifting of measures will begin next week and will be expanded in stages through September 1, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. He said the measures could be ramped back up, however, if there is a resurgence of infections.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose by 232 to 41,319, with 36 new deaths for a total of 5,204, the National Institute for Health (RIVM) said in its daily update.

Belgium to reopen shops 

Belgian shops will be allowed to open from Monday and people will be able to host others at their homes from Sunday, opening the door for Mother's Day celebrations, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said.

The country of 11.5 million people, among the European nations worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, began easing lockdown restrictions at the start of this week, allowing businesses that do not have contact with consumers to restart.

Belgium, whose capital Brussels hosts the headquarters of the European Union and the NATO military alliance, has 50,781 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8,339 deaths.

Putin to review government plan to gradually ease curbs 

Russian President Vladimir Putin will later on Wednesday hear details of a government plan to gradually ease restrictions imposed over the coronavirus crisis, the Kremlin said.

The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said earlier on Wednesday that the number of cases had risen by more than 10,000 for a fourth consecutive day and now stood at 165,929. 

China says no intl virus source probe before pandemic over

China will not prioritise inviting international experts in to investigate the source of Covid-19 until after the pandemic is beaten, Beijing's ambassador to the UN in Geneva said.

"The top priority, for the time being, is to focus on the fight against the pandemic until we win the final victory," Chen Xu told reporters in an online briefing.

"For whether or how the invitation will take place, we need to have the right priority setting at this moment, and on the other hand, we need the right atmosphere."

Iran death toll rises by 78 to 6,418

The death toll in Iran rose by 78 in the past 24 hours to 6,418, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV. 

The total number of diagnosed cases of new coronavirus in Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak in the Middle East, has reached 101,650, he said.

Indonesia reports 367 new cases, 23 deaths

Indonesia reported 367 new cases, taking the total to 12,438, said Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

Twenty three more people who tested positive for the virus have died in the Southeast Asian nation, taking the total number of deaths to 895, the highest death toll in East Asia outside China.

More than 92,000 people had been tested and 2,317 had recovered.

Spain's daily death toll picks up after three days below 200

The number of daily fatalities in Spain picked up as health authorities registered 244 deaths, up from below 200 on each of the three previous days.

The Health Ministry said the overall death toll rose to 25,817 on Wednesday from 25,613 the day before. 

The number of diagnosed coronavirus cases rose to 220,325 from 219,329 on Tuesday, the ministry said.

Malaysia reports 45 new coronavirus cases, one death

Malaysia reported 45 new confirmed cases, taking the cumulative total to 6,428 infections.

The Health Ministry also reported one new death, raising the total number of fatalities from the outbreak to 107.

Russia's cases rise by more than 10,000 for fourth straight day

The number of cases in Russia rose by 10,559 over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 165,929, the coronavirus crisis response centre said.

It was the fourth consecutive day that cases had risen by more than 10,000.

It also reported 86 new fatalities from Covid-19, bringing the total death toll in Russia to 1,537.

Philippines' infections top 10,000

The Philippines' infections have broken past the 10,000-mark, the health ministry said.

In a bulletin, the ministry reported 320 additional infections, bringing the total to 10,004. 

It also reported 21 new deaths, bringing the toll to 658. 

But 98 patients have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 1,506.

Tokyo reports 38 new cases in fifth straight day of decline

Japan's capital of Tokyo reported 38 cases of coronavirus on, Jiji news agency said, marking a fifth straight day of declining numbers of new infections.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday extended a nationwide state of emergency to May 31, saying the infection rate had yet to drop enough to justify ending measures.

Singapore confirms 788 new cases

Singapore's Health Ministry  confirmed 788 new coronavirus cases, taking the city-state's tally to 20,198. 

Palestinians fear outbreak in Jerusalem's 'no man's land'

As the coronavirus pandemic gathered strength last month, community leaders in a Palestinian neighbourhood on the outskirts of occupied Jerusalem tried to impose lockdown and quarantine measures to protect residents.

The problem: there were no police to enforce the measures.

Kufr Aqab is within the Israeli-drawn municipal boundary of Jerusalem, which Israel views as its unified capital. It is therefore off-limits to the Palestinian Authority, which is headquartered in the nearby city of Ramallah and governs parts of the occupied West Bank.

But the neighbourhood is on the opposite side of the separation barrier Israel built in the mid-2000s, so the Israeli police don't go there either.

When the neighbourhood council set up checkpoints to restrict movement in or out, it had to rely on local volunteers. When it ordered businesses to close and people to stay home, they refused.

Now the town has at least 21 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Sameh Abu Rumaila, the head of a local health committee that, like everything else, is run by volunteers. 

The committee estimates that another 500 people in the densely populated area have been in contact with those who were infected, but is powerless to isolate them.

Germany to reopen all shops and schools in May

Germany will take new steps towards normalisation in May, including reopening shops and schools after weeks of shutdown imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus, according to a draft agreement seen by AFP news agency on Wednesday.

"Even after initial steps to open up were introduced from April 20, the number of new infections remained low," the document read, with "no new wave of infection" so far detected, justifying the series of bolder reopening steps.

So far, only certain children like those soon facing exams had been allowed to return to class.

But now kindergartens and primary schools will also reopen from next week.

Australia to begin plasma therapy research

Research into using blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a therapy for those who become infected is set to begin in Australia, the latest country to investigate the possible treatment.

Scientists in France, the US and China are among nations already looking at using plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19.

Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical firm CSL Behring said the first phase of research in Australia would focus on developing a test to detect the presence of antibodies that fight the virus in plasma.

South Korea returns largely to normal 

South Korea returned largely to normal as workers went back to offices, and museums and libraries reopened under eased social distancing rules after new coronavirus cases dropped to a trickle.

The country endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China and while it never imposed a compulsory lockdown, strict social distancing had been widely observed since March.

Indonesia's Widodo wants infection curve to dip quickly

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered ministers in his cabinet to use "whatever means" necessary to ensure the country's infection curve of the coronavirus outbreak goes down in May, to reach a low in cases by July.

"I ask that you exert all of your energy and concentrate on efforts to control Covid-19 and its impact," Widodo said during a cabinet meeting broadcast by media.

Widodo also ordered ministers to ensure economic stimulus went to sectors that had suffered the greatest contraction based on first-quarter data on the gross domestic product.

Thailand reports one new case, one new death

Thailand reported one new case and one new death, a senior health official said.

The death was of a 69-year-old Australian male who was a hotel manager in the southern province of Phang-nga, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The new case of infection by the coronavirus was of a 27-year-old female patient who had returned from Russia, he said.

Thailand has reported a total of 2,989 cases and 55 fatalities since the outbreak began in January.

There are 173 patients being treated at hospital and a total of 2,761 patients have recovered.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 947 to 164,807 – RKI

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 947 to 164,807, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 165 to 6,996, the tally showed.

Trump tours Arizona face mask plant, without mask

US President Donald Trump travelled to Phoenix, Arizona, where he took a brief tour of a Honeywell plant that’s making N95 respirator masks.

Trump’s trip was designed to give the appearance of a return to normalcy as states begin to reopen after shutting down in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

Trump had said he would be willing to don a face mask if the factory was “a mask environment” but in the end, he wore only safety goggles during a tour of the facility.

US coronavirus deaths rose by 2,333 during the past 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University.

China reports two new cases, 20 new asymptomatic cases

China reported two new coronavirus cases for May 5 and 20 new asymptomatic cases, data from the national health authority showed.

This compared with one new coronavirus case and 15 new asymptomatic cases reported a day earlier. The two new cases were so-called imported cases involving travellers from overseas, compared with one such case a day earlier.

China's total number of coronavirus cases now stands at 82,883, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,633, the National Health Commission said in a statement.

Mexico registers 1,120 new cases, 236 deaths

Mexico registered 1,120 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 236 new deaths, a health official said, bringing the total in the country to 26,025 known cases and 2,507 deaths. However, Mexico has conducted a very low number of tests. 

The government said on Sunday that the real number of cases was above 104,000, according to a statistical model.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies