The number of global coronavirus deaths has surpassed 237,000 with more than 3.3 million infections. Here are updates for May 1, 2020.

A Turkish military plane carrying medical supplies lands at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C., the United States on May 1, 2020.
A Turkish military plane carrying medical supplies lands at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C., the United States on May 1, 2020. (AA)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Turkish plane with 2nd batch of medical aid lands in US

A Turkish military cargo plane carrying the second batch of medical supplies landed in the US on Friday to deliver aid to its NATO ally battling the coronavirus outbreak.

The cargo plane touched down at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, DC.

The first shipment on Wednesday brought 500,000 surgical masks, 40,000 overalls, 2,000 liters of disinfectant, 1,500 goggles, 400 N-95 masks, and 500 face shields.

Turkey has helped at least 57 countries, including Italy, Spain, and the UK, and remains the world's third-largest provider of humanitarian aid during the pandemic.

France's death toll rises by 218 to 24,594

The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France rose by 218 to 24,594, while hospitalisations for the disease and people in ICU units continued to decline, France's public health chief said.

Jerome Salomon said the death toll had increased 0.9 percent compared with Thursday, a lower rate of increase than over the previous 24 hours.

The number of people in hospital with the Covid-19 infection fell further to 25,887 from 26,283 on Thursday, and the number of people in intensive care fell to 3,878 from 4,019.

Both numbers have been on a downward trend for more than two weeks.

Russian construction minister hospitalised

Russian construction minister has been hospitalised due to Covid-19, a day after the country's premier tested positive for the virus.

In a statement, the Ministry of Construction and Housing said Vladimir Yakushev, 51, and his deputy Dmitry Volkov, 50, were diagnosed with the disease and passed through a severe medical check at a Moscow hospital.

Nikita Stasishin, one of Yakushev's deputies, was appointed as acting minister, the statement added.

Ireland takes small first step in virus escape plan

Ireland announced the first small steps to easing restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus and laid out a roadmap for a gradual re-opening of the economy from May 18 if the virus can be kept under control.

Ireland introduced stay-home measures almost six weeks ago, shutting down all but essential operations.
Making two minor initial changes, "cocooning" over 70s can leave their homes to go for a walk or a drive from Tuesday when travel limit to exercise will be extended to 5 kilometres from 2 kilometres.

A return to something approaching economic normality will commence on May 18 with a plan to reopen the economy in five three-week stages with the final stage set for August 18. If the virus worsens, the economy may go back a phase, Varadkar said.

Turkey's death toll rises to 3,258, new cases 2,188

The number of people who have died from Covid-19 in Turkey has risen by 84 in the last 24 hours to 3,258, with 2,188 new cases of the virus, Health Ministry data showed.

The total number of cases rose to 122,392, the data showed, the highest total outside Western Europe or the United States.

A total of 53,808 people have so far recovered from the new coronavirus, which causes respiratory disease Covid-19. 

The number of tests conducted in the past 24 hours stood at 41,431, raising the total number of tests during the outbreak to 1.075 million. 

Britain hits testing target as death toll leaps again

Britain has hit its target of carrying out 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day, Health Minister Matt Hancock said, stressing that the programme was crucial to helping ease a national lockdown.

Hancock also announced that the British death toll had risen by 739 to 27,510 deaths, just below that of Italy which was one of the first and worst-hit European states.

Hancock set the target of 100,000 tests by the end of April after being criticised for moving too slowly on mass testing compared to other countries like Germany.

At Friday's news conference, Hancock said 122,347 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 0800 GMT.

New York to keep schools closed for rest of academic year

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said all state schools including colleges would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic and directed schools to come up with a plan to reopen safely.

The Democratic governor said 289 people died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on Thursday, down from 306 a day earlier. It was the lowest death toll since March 29. 

Hospitalisations also fell to their lowest level in more than one month.

Zimbabwe extends lockdown, announces $720M stimulus

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended a coronavirus lockdown by two more weeks and announced a $720 million stimulus for distressed companies, most which will be allowed to open from Monday.

The southern African nation has been on lockdown for five weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, shutting an economy struggling with shortages of foreign currency, food, electricity and medicines.

India extends lockdown but loosens measures in lower-risk areas

India said it would extend its nationwide lockdown for another two weeks after May 4 but would allow "considerable relaxations" in lower-risk districts marked as green and orange zones under the government's plan to fight the novel coronavirus.

The country currently has 35,043 confirmed infections and recorded 1,154 virus-related deaths.

Italy's tally of daily deaths dips, cases steady

Deaths in Italy climbed by 269, down from 285 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections stood at 1,965 against 1,872 on Thursday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 28,236, the agency said, the second-highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of officially confirmed cases, which includes those who have died or recovered, was 207,428, the third-highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

Azerbaijan extends lockdown measures until May 31

Azerbaijan has extended partial lockdown measures to tackle an outbreak of the coronavirus until May 31, the government said.

The country of around 10 million has recorded a total of 1,804 coronavirus cases and 24 deaths from the virus.

Dutch cases rise to 39,791 with 98 new deaths

The Netherlands' number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen by 475 to 39,791 health authorities said, with 98 new deaths.

The country's death toll stands at 4,893, 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.

Coronavirus trial drug Remdesivir's maker hopes for swift FDA approval 

The chief executive of Gilead Sciences Inc, maker of the experimental coronavirus drug Remdesivir, said he expected the Food and Drug Administration to act quickly over the company's application for approval.

It would try to get the drug to as many people as possible if it was approved, he said.

"We're moving very quickly with the FDA," Daniel O'Day said in an interview with NBC's "Today" show. "And I expect that they're going to act very quickly."

More BAME population dying in the UK than white Brits

More people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are dying from coronavirus disease than the country's white population, a new study cited by The Guardian newspaper said.

The report by Institute of Fiscal Studies said the death rate among UK's BAME especially black Africans and Pakistanis from Covid-19 pandemic in Britain's hospitals is more than 2.5 times that of the white population.

It found that deaths of people from black Caribbean background were 1.7 times higher than for white Britons.

Iran death toll to 6,091

Iran's death toll from the outbreak increased by 63 in the past 24 hours to 6,091, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV.

The total number of diagnosed cases in the country, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the outbreak, has reached 95,646, including 2,899 in critical condition, he added.

Singapore moves recovered migrants to cruise ships

Singapore is moving migrant workers who have recovered from the virus on to two cruise ships as part of efforts to reduce the spread of the disease within the workers' dormitories, which have seen a surge in infections.  

The city-state managed to keep the Covid-19 outbreak in check in the early stages, but is facing a fast-moving second wave of cases, with the vast majority of new infections in sprawling dormitory complexes housing migrant workers, many of them construction labourers from South Asia. 

In a bid to reduce the risk of infection in crowded dorms, authorities have moved workers to other sites including military barracks and vacant apartment blocks. 

Spain's death toll climbs to 24,824

Spain's virus death toll rose to 24,824 as 281 more people died from causes related to the disease overnight, the health ministry said. 

The number of new cases diagnosed in the country rose to a total 215,216 on Friday from 213,435 the day before, the ministry said on its website. 

The previous day's death toll was 268.

WHO wants invite to China's probe into virus origins

The World Health Organization said on Friday that it was hoping China would invite it to take part in its investigations into the animal origins of the virus.

"WHO would be keen to work with international partners and at the invitation of the Chinese government to participate in investigation around the animal origins," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP in an email.

Indonesia reports 433 new cases

Indonesia confirmed 433 new infections, taking the total number of cases to 10,551, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

Yurianto reported eight new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 800, while 1,591 people have recovered.

Indonesia has tested more than 76,500 people for the virus

Malaysia reports 69 new cases

Malaysia reported 69 new cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 6,071.

The number of fatalities rose by one to 103.

Russia records highest daily toll

Russia reported a record daily rise in the number of confirmed cases, a day after Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced he had been diagnosed with the new virus and was temporarily stepping down to recover.

The nationwide case tally rose by 7,933 cases and now stood at 114,431, Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said.

It said 96 people diagnosed with Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had died in the last 24 hours. 

That raised the official overall death toll up to 1,169.

Germany records 193 new deaths

The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany increased by 1,639 to 160,758, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The death toll rose by 193 to 6,481.

Irish airline Ryanair plans 3,000 job cuts

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said that it plans to axe up to 3,000 pilot and cabin crew jobs, with air transport paralysed by the pandemic.

Dublin-based Ryanair added in a statement that most of its flights will remain grounded until at least July and predicted it would take until summer 2022 before passenger demand recovers.

Philippines sees 11 more deaths

The Philippines reported 284 new infections and 11 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 8,772 and fatalities to 579.

It also said 41 more individuals had recovered, bringing total recoveries to 1,084.

China lifts curbs leading to travel rush

More than a 100 million Chinese residents are travelling across the country for the five-day Labour Day holiday. 

China lifted its quarantine measures on Wednesday as its numbers of virus cases dwindle. 

The relaxation means travellers won't need to quarantine themselves for two weeks when they return. 

The restrictions were eased across Beijing, Hubei, and Tianjin regions.

Beijing’s parks and museums including the ancient Forbidden City were also reopened to the public.

The Forbidden City, past home to China’s emperors, is allowing just 5,000 visitors daily, down from 80,000. And parks are allowing people to visit at 30 percent of the usual capacity.

Large-scale group activities remain on hold and visitors must book tickets in advance online, according to Gao Dawei, deputy director of the Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau.

Over a million South Africans return to work

More than a million South Africans have returned to work, as the country begins to ease lockdown measures that have been in place since March 27.

While many restrictions, especially on movement, will remain in place, shops will reopen and restaurants will be able to provide take away services. 

Residents will also be able to exercise outdoors, but only between 6am and 9am. 

Public transport services will also be expanded. 

South Africa has the highest number of cases in Africa and has reported 103 deaths.

Australia to consider next Friday to ease measures

Australia will consider next Friday whether to relax coronavirus-related mobility restrictions, as the growth rate of new infections slows, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said following a national cabinet meeting.

Morrison urged Australians to download an app aimed at attracting contacts of patients, saying it was a pre-condition to relaxing the containment measures.

Australia has reported about 6,700 cases and 93 deaths, significantly below the levels reported in the United States, Britain, and Europe. 

Malaysia to allow majority of businesses to reopen next week 

Malaysia will allow the majority of businesses to resume operations from May 4, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said, easing restrictions imposed to contain the spread.

Economic sectors that involve large gatherings of people will not be allowed to reopen, Muhyiddin said in a televised address.

Malaysia has shut all non-essential businesses and schools, banned public gatherings and restricted travel since March 18 as the number of cases rose. 

Thailand reports six new cases

Thailand reported six new virus cases and no new death on Friday, taking its tally to 2,960 infections while fatalities remained at 54 since the outbreak began in January.

New daily infections have stayed in the single digits for five consecutive days. 

The six cases also marked the lowest new daily infections since early March.

US records over 2,000 deaths in 24 hours

The United States recorded more than 2,000 virus deaths in a 24-hour period for the third day running, according to the latest real-time tally reported by Johns Hopkins University.

The country – hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities – recorded 2,053 deaths on Thursday, after 2,502 deaths on Wednesday and 2,207 on Tuesday.

At least 62,906 people have now died in the United States, according to the Baltimore-based university.

Mexico reports 1,425 new cases, 127 deaths

Mexican health officials reported 1,425 new cases and 127 new deaths in the country, bringing the total to 19,224 cases and 1,859 deaths.

NYC subway halting overnight service for cleaning

New York City's subway system, long celebrated for its all-night service, will shut down each day from 1am to 5am so trains and stations can be disinfected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, two days after saying the system had gotten ‚"disgusting" during the crisis.

Meanwhile, a Navy hospital ship sent a month ago to relieve stress on hospitals has left the city, as fatalities inched downward and unemployment claims in the state soared again.

IMF approves emergency loans for Mali, Ethiopia

The IMF approved loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Mali and Ethiopia to fight the pandemic.

The Washington-based crisis lender has stepped up its global financing efforts in recent weeks to help countries weather the crisis.

The IMF board granted $411 million to Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa to help relieve the pandemic's effects on its fast-growing economy.

On the opposite side of the continent, Mali will receive $200 million to help plug the deficit created by government spending to blunt the virus impact.

California to shut down certain beaches

Beaches in some parts of southern California will be shut down from Friday, the state's governor announced, to avoid a repeat of the huge crowds that flocked there last weekend.

"We're going to do a hard close ... just in the Orange County area," Gavin Newsom said.

"Specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells," he added, referring to the thousands of people who packed beaches in the county – notably Newport Beach and Huntington Beach – last weekend amid a heatwave.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies