Death toll from coronavirus pandemic crosses 269,000, with confirmed cases exceeding 3.8 million infections. Here are the developments on the pandemic for May 7, 2020.

A homeless man gestures to the camera after waking up from sleeping overnight outside the Cathedral, amid the spread of the new coronavirus in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 7, 2020
A homeless man gestures to the camera after waking up from sleeping overnight outside the Cathedral, amid the spread of the new coronavirus in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 7, 2020 (AP)

Thursday, May 7, 2020

South Sudan eases measures although cases rise

South Sudan announced the easing of restrictions to combat the coronavirus, including re-opening bars and restaurants and shortening a curfew, even as cases continue to rise.

South Sudan confirmed 16 new cases, bringing the total to 90 in the country – up from a total of six cases at the beginning of last week.

President Salva Kiir took the decision which will be effective "in 72 hours", according to Richard Laku, a member of the country's task force on the virus.

Denmark to unlock restaurants, shopping malls

Danish shopping malls, schools for the oldest students and restaurants will be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks said the government.

Denmark was among the first countries to restrict public gatherings and close schools, restaurants and bars in a lockdown that quickly helped curb the spread of the virus, meaning it was also one of the first European countries to open again.

France's coronavirus death toll just below 26,000

The number of people who have died from a coronavirus infection in France was up 178 or 0.7 percent to 25,987, the lowest rate of increase in four days.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said earlier in the day that France would start lifting its almost two-months-old national lockdown from Monday.

The Health Ministry said in a statement the number of people in intensive care units fell by 186 or 5.9 percent to 2,961, a total below the 3,000 threshold for the first time since March 25.

Turkey records decline in virus death toll, ICU patients

Turkey has continued to report declines in the death toll and number of patients at intensive care units, while the country's registered recoveries reached 82,984.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said soon the number of tests in the country will reach 1.5 million, adding that the number of coronavirus cases, compared to Wednesday, has dropped as well.

The death toll from the pandemic rose to 3,641 as Turkey saw 57 more deaths, while 4,782 recovered in the past 24 hours, Koca said on Twitter.

The country recorded 1,977 new cases, bringing the tally to 133,721, he noted, citing Health Ministry data.

Deaths in Italy climb by 274

Deaths from the epidemic in Italy climbed by 274, against 369 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections declined marginally to 1,401 from 1,444 on Wednesday.

The total death toll now stands at 29,958, the agency said, the third highest in the world after the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 215,858, the third-highest global tally behind the United States and Spain.

Dutch coronavirus cases rise by 455 to 41,774

The number of cases in the Netherlands have risen by 455 to 41,774, with 84 new deaths, health authorities said.

The country's death toll stands at 5,288, the National Institute for Health (RIVM) said in its daily update. The RIVM cautioned that it only reports confirmed cases, and actual numbers are higher. 

Virus deaths in Sweden pass 3,000

Deaths in Sweden from Covid-19 passed 3,000, the Public Health Agency said, far more than in neighbouring Nordic countries.

The official death toll has now reached 3,040, up from 2,941 on Wednesday.

Sweden has taken a softer approach to fighting the coronavirus, leaving most schools, shops and restaurants open and relying on voluntary measures focused on social distancing and good hygiene.

Black and some other ethnic groups more at risk 

Black people and men of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin are nearly twice as likely to die from the virus than whites, even when adjusting data for deprivation, a new British report said.

The statistics chimed with reports in other Western nations, from Finland to the US, that non-white ethnic groups have been worse hit by virus.

Lockdown measures in Moscow extended till May 31

Restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus in Moscow have been extended until May 31, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a blog post on his personal website.

Some measures in place since late March will be eased from May 12, he said, including the return to work for industrial and construction companies. But Sobyanin added it was still too early to reopen sports facilities, restaurants and theatres.

Moscow is the epicentre of Russia's coronavirus crisis, with 92,676 of the country's 177,160 cases, though Sobyanin said earlier the real number of cases in the capital was around 300,000.

Paris region to end lockdown more slowly than rest of France

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said France would gradually end its lockdown from Monday, May 11, but some restrictions would remain in place in the Paris region, where the virus is still circulating.

In other parts of France, secondary schools, cafes and restaurants may open from early June if the infection rate remains low.

London's Notting Hill Carnival cancelled

London's Notting Hill Carnival, held annually over a long weekend in late August, has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, organisers announced.

Trump tests negative for coronavirus - White House 

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have tested negative for coronavirus after finding out a member of the US military who worked on the White House campus had become infected, a White House spokesman said.

The military official was identified by CNN as a personal valet to Trump.

US records first coronavirus death of immigrant detainee

The first immigrant in US detention has died of the novel coronavirus, local health authorities in the state of California said, as infections steadily climbed among the country's around 30,000 immigrant detainees.

A 57-year-old man, who was held at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego before being hospitalised in late April, died on Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said.

ICE did not respond to a request for comment.

Spain steps gingerly towards normality

Spain weighed up further steps to bring life back to normal as the coronavirus epidemic ebbed, but the capital Madrid and the city of Barcelona could remain under tight restrictions for the time being.

Both cities and their surroundings have registered the highest number of coronavirus deaths and infections in Spain, one of the countries worst hit by the global pandemic.

Bundesliga soccer to resume on May 16 in empty stadium

The Bundesliga soccer season will resume on May 16 in empty stadiums, picking up right where it left off two months ago amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday’s announcement comes one day after clubs were told the season could restart following a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors.

No fans in Dutch stadiums until vaccine developed -health minister

Sporting events in the Netherlands will have to take place without fans in attendance until there is a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said organised sport could resume from September 1, but de Jonge said mass gatherings would not be allowed until a vaccine had been developed.

Pakistan to lift lockdown from Saturday

Pakistan's lockdown will be lifted on Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said despite the fact that the number of cases in the country is still accelerating.

The decision is being taken because the country's large number of poor people and labourers cannot afford to live under lockdown anymore, he said.

"We're deciding that we are ending this lockdown now," Khan said in a televised address. "We know that we're doing it at a time when our curve is going up but it is not edging up as we were expecting."

Pakistan, which has undergone a five-week lockdown, has reported 24,073 cases with 564 deaths and recorded its highest single-day increase of 1,523 cases on Thursday.

Vietnam reports 17 new cases, all imported

Vietnam reported 17 new cases, all of whom were imported infections involving Vietnamese citizens repatriated from virus-hit areas, the health ministry said.

The Southeast Asian country has registered a cumulative total of 288 infections and has recorded no deaths, the ministry said. Nearly 21,000 people have been quarantined.

Turkey sets a price limit for face masks

Turkey has set a price limit of maximum $0.14 (1 Turkish lira), including VAT, for face masks, the country's Trade Ministry announced.

Starting Friday, medical masks will be sold in markets, pharmacies, companies selling medical devices and through e-trade platforms.

"Our goal is to provide our citizens medical masks in an easiest and fastest way with this wide sales network," the ministry said in a statement.

The country, which earlier banned the sale of face masks, allowed its retail on Monday as part of the normalisation process.

Cyprus screening some migrants for Covid-19

Cypriot Interior Ministry senior official Loizos Michael said that healthcare workers this week began carrying out tests on just over 100 migrants.

Michael said that so far there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 among migrants who were confined at the centres in line with a strict, countrywide lockdown.

The official said the migrants’ confinement will end in sync with a May 21 lifting on all restrictions on movement if the Covid-19 infection rate remains at the current, minimal level.

Cyprus has received some 3,000 migrants since the start of the year, with most arriving before the lockdown came into effect in late March.

Mayor says Moscow case tally 'more than triple' official figures

Moscow's Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that the real number of coronavirus cases in the Russian capital was actually around 300,000, a figure that is more than three times higher than the official total, TASS news agency reported.

Authorities have reported 92,676 cases of the novel coronavirus in Moscow. 

The nationwide case tally as of Thursday was 177,160.

Spain's daily death toll falls again 

Spain's daily death toll fell to 213 down from 244 the day before, the health ministry reported.

The overall number of coronavirus deaths rose to 26,070, up from 25,857 on Wednesday. 

The total number of diagnosed cases is 254,804.

Russia reports new record daily rise in cases

Russia reported 11,231 new cases, a record daily rise that pushed the national total to 177,160.

Russia's Covid-19 task force said 88 people had died overnight, bringing the death toll to 1,625. 

Moscow, the worst-hit area, also reported a record overnight case increase of 6,703 new cases.

Indonesia reports 338 new cases, 35 deaths

Indonesia reported 338 new virus cases, bringing the total number to 12,776, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto told reporters.

Thirty-five more people who tested positive for the virus have died, taking the total number of deaths to 930, the highest death toll in East Asia outside China.

As of Thursday, 96,717 people had been tested and 2,381 had recovered.

Second virus wave possible in Germany before autumn

A senior German health official warned there could be a second wave before autumn depending on people's behaviour, just as the country is opening up its economy again.

Case numbers are falling but this is not an all-clear signal, Lars Schaade, vice president of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases, said at a news conference.

Malaysia reports 39 new cases; no new deaths

Malaysia reported 39 new confirmed cases, bringing the cumulative total to 6,467 infections.

The health ministry reported no new deaths. 

The total number of fatalities from the outbreak stands at 107.

The country is under lockdown since March 18 and is expected to ease by May 12.

Japan's emergency could be lifted early in some areas

Japan's state of emergency could be lifted early in some areas of the country that have seen declines in new infections, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.

Nishimura told a news conference it was possible the emergency would be removed for some areas around May 14. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended the nationwide state of emergency until May 31.

Thailand reports three new cases, no new deaths

Thailand reported three new virus cases, bringing its total to 2,992, a senior official said.

The country continues with a weeks-long low trend in the number of daily figures as it cautiously allows businesses to reopen this week after weeks of near-lockdown.

Of the new cases, two were Thai men who had returned from Kazakhstan and have been in state quarantine, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The third case was a 59-year-old Thai woman in the southern province of Yala, he said.

Thailand has recorded 55 fatalities since the outbreak began in January. 

India has 52,952 cases, death toll 1783

The number of virus infections rose to 52,952 in India, up by 3,561 over the previous day, the health ministry said, with no signs of abating despite a strict weeks-long lockdown in the world's second-most populous country.

The death toll was up by 89 to 1,783, still low compared with the US, United Kingdom and Italy, which officials said was because the government imposed the stay-at-home order on 1.3 billion people much earlier in the cycle.

The spurt in cases has come from the densely packed metropolises of Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, which are also the growth engines of the economy.

Coronavirus worse for US than Pearl Harbor, 9/11 – Trump

US President Donald Trump said the fallout from the pandemic has hit the US harder than the December 7, 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor or the September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.

"This is really the worst attack we've ever had," Trump told reporters at the White House.

"This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center."

The surprise Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii drew the US into World War II. 

The 9/11 attacks killed about 3,000 people, triggering two decades of US wars and anti-terrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries.

US sees first detained immigrant death from Covid-19

A 57-year-old man in immigration custody died from complications related to Covid-19, authorities said, marking the first reported death from the virus among about 30,000 people in immigration custody.

The detainee had been held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego and hospitalised since late April, said Craig Sturak, a spokesman for the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency.

At least 50 infected at Mexican retirement home

At least 47 residents and three workers have been infected with at a retirement home in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, in one of the biggest outbreaks yet reported in the country.

Authorities said that the average age of residents at the home is 84, that 40 percent of them had diabetes and 45 percent suffered from hypertension, calling them a "high-risk group".

All 50 who tested positive for were "stable" and that three of the residents had been taken to a hospital for treatment.

Australia fears suicide spike due to virus shutdown

Thousands of Australians are expected to take their own lives because of the financial and psychological stress of the pandemic, far outstripping the death toll from the disease itself, experts are warning.

Modelling by the Brain and Mind Centre at Sydney University predicted an additional 750 to 1,500 suicides per year for up to five years as a result of the impacts of the pandemic and economic shutdowns imposed to curb its spread.

That would mark a spike of 25 to 50 percent over the 3,000 suicides usually recorded each year in the country.

Brazil presidential spokesman tests positive

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's spokesman has tested positive with the virus, the government said, the latest case to hit close to the far-right leader, who rejects social distancing measures.

Army General Otavio Rego Barros, 59, one of the administration's top public figures, "is home following all recommended protocols" after his positive test result was confirmed Tuesday, the president's office said in a statement.

More than 20 top Bolsonaro officials have tested positive, including communications chief Fabio Wajngarten and National Security Minister Augusto Heleno.

Bolsonaro himself says he has tested negative.

New Zealand could restart professional sport within days 

New Zealand could approve the restart of professional sport as early as next week when authorities decide whether to ease restrictions further, the sports ministry said.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said professional sports would be able to resume domestically when the country lowers its Covid-19 alert level down a notch.

The announcement will give New Zealand hope of becoming the world's first major rugby nation to resume playing the sport at an elite level.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 1,284

The number of infected people in Germany increased by 1,284 to 169,446, data from Worldometer tracker showed.

The reported death toll rose by 123 to 7,398, the tally showed. 

The global dashboard Worldometer collects data from both public and private health facilities.

Australia's biggest states retain lockdown measures on Mother's Day

Australia's two most populous states fused to allow a one-day reprieve from strict limits on personal movement for Mother's Day this weekend, even as the country's rate of new cases remains low.

The premiers of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria said the states' roughly 10 million residents, 40 percent of the country's population, would have to stick to existing restrictions on movement on Mother's Day, which is celebrated nationally on Sunday.

NSW, which is home to around half the country's around 6,900 Covid-19 cases, recently eased a stay-at-home order to allow social visits in groups of up to two.

China reports two new cases, both imported

China reported two new cases for May 6, unchanged from the same number of increases the day before, data from the national health authority showed.

Both were so-called imported cases involving travellers from overseas, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The two cases from the day before were also imported.

The commission also reported 6 new asymptomatic cases for May 6 versus 20 from the previous day.

Mexico infections rise to 27,634 cases and 2,704 deaths

Mexico's health ministry on Wednesday reported 1,609 new infections and 197 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 27,634 cases and 2,704 deaths.

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

US reports 2,073 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours

The US recorded 2,073 coronavirus deaths during the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 74,807, 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 – has now confirmed a total of 1,263,183 cases.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies