Coronavirus live news: Brazil cases surge past 600,000 as country’s death toll passes Italy

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Coronavirus: IMF agrees assistance package for Egypt – as it happened” was written by Nadeem Badshah (now); Damien Gayle, Jessica Murray and Alison Rourke (earlier), for theguardian.com on Friday 5th June 2020 23.40 UTC

12.40am BST

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12.40am BST

Again on the China travel warning regarding Australia, Australian opposition spokesman for housing Jason Clare, told the ABC there had been a “spike in racist abuse” but said Australia is one of the safest countries in the world.

“The borders are shut. They’ll probably be shut for some time until we’ve got a treatment or a vaccine. But I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of the tourist operators up and down and right across Australia when I say that we want to get tourists back when it’s safe to do so. So I hope that the government is working with the Chinese government to ensure that when we can open the border again, we can get Chinese tourists back.9:36 AM

Government MP Jason Falinski said the relationship with China was “strained” and there had been unfortunate incidents in Australia, and it was something Australia and China needed to resolve.

12.23am BST

One Australian senator, Rex Patrick from one of the minor parties – Centre Alliance, has responded to the China news, calling for a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s relationship with China.

12.00am BST

California governor Gavin Newsom has said film and TV productions can resume from June 12 if local health officials approve.

11.46pm BST

Bolsonaro threatens to pull Brazil out of WHO

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro threatened to pull the country out of the World Health Organization (WHO) unless it stops being a “partisan political organisation.”

In comments to journalists broadcast on CNN Brasil, Bolsonaro also said hydroxychloroquine “is back” after “sham” studies regarding its efficacy were retracted.

Bolsonaro has touted the drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus despite a lack of scientific evidence about its effectiveness.

The Lancet paper that halted global trials of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 because of fears of increased deaths was retracted on Thursday after a Guardian investigation found inconsistencies in the data.

11.31pm BST

In New York, the Associated Press reports that arrests from a week of protests have started to put a strain on the city’s justice system amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have been well over 2,000 arrests as police seek to impose order across the city.

Public defenders say too many of those arrested have been detained for too long in cramped and unsanitary conditions while authorities figure who should receive summonses for minor violations and go free, or be charged in criminal complaints and face arraignments remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The backlog prompted The Legal Aid Society to file a lawsuit demanding the New York police department release people held in violation of a requirement to get them in front of a judge within 24 hours, a situation that one defense lawyer said “appears to be designed to retaliate against New Yorkers protesting police brutality.”

Patricia Miller, who heads the city’s Special Federal Litigation Division, called the allegation “disingenuous” and “exceptionally unfair”.

The NYPD and court system are “working within the confines of a pandemic and now suddenly called upon not only to secure orderly protesting, but also to address rioters who are committing burglaries, destroying private property, and assaulting fellow New Yorkers,” Miller said.

Updated at 11.32pm BST

11.10pm BST

A council in England has “strongly” advised its schools to delay wider reopening until at least June 22 over concerns about the R rate in the North West.

Tameside Council’s director of public health Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy has written to all headteachers following new data which suggested the reproductive rate of coronavirus is now around one in the region.

The letter said: “Members of SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies) and the Association of Directors of Public Health advised caution and concern about the too rapid easing of lockdown and the increased risk of a second pandemic wave.

“Balancing this concern, the national R number being between 0.7 to 1.0 and estimated at 0.73 in the North West and the importance of having our children back at school, I supported the limited increase in the number of children attending planned in the Borough from Monday 8th June.

“However information released at 2pm today estimates the R value is now above the critical value of 1 for the North West, at 1.01.

“Because of this change in R, and despite the excellent work undertaken, I am therefore strongly advising all schools and childcare settings to delay wider opening until at least 22 June for us to be more assured that the rate of infection is reducing and R is firmly below 1.”

The council said the situation would be monitored and reviewed on a weekly basis.

10.51pm BST

China advises against travel to Australia over claims of ‘racial discrimination’

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has advised the public to avoid traveling to Australia, citing racial discrimination and violence against the Chinese in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There has been an alarming increase recently in acts of racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians in Australia, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement reported by Reuters.

It did not give any specific examples of such discrimination or violence.

People of Asian origin have said they have been harassed since the outbreak of the coronavirus including in the United States.

China issued a warning to tourists traveling there earlier this year after some said they were mistreated in connection with the outbreak.

Updated at 11.04pm BST

10.34pm BST

The front page of Friday’s UK edition of The Guardian.

10.23pm BST

Public trust in science ‘may be shaken by publishing of false data’

Public trust in science may have been shaken by the publication of academic papers based on false data in leading medical journals, according to renowned infectious disease doctors and former World Health Organization advisers.

The director of Australia’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Professor Sharon Lewin, said she and colleagues were “gobsmacked” by the saga and said it should be “a wake-up call” in a global rush to publish studies about Covid-19.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at the Doherty Institute in Melbourne with Professor Sharon Lewin.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at the Doherty Institute in Melbourne with Professor Sharon Lewin. Photograph: David Crosling/AAP

Updated at 10.34pm BST

10.08pm BST

At a primary school in the Canadian province of Quebec, nine children have tested positive for Covid-19 out of a class of 11, health officials said.

The class was small because the school has been operating at half capacity.

Health officials confirm the school in Trois-Rivières had taken preventative measures, such as handwashing reminders and marking spaces on the floor to encourage social distancing.

Primary schools opened across Quebec outside the city of Montreal on 11 May, despite the province being Canada’s biggest coronavirus hotspot, with 52,398 total cases and 4,935 deaths currently recorded.
Ontario, the site of Canada’s second largest hotspot, has closed schools for the remainder of the school year.

9.53pm BST

An IMF team has agreed a one-year, .2 billion financing package for Egypt to help the country alleviate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IMF board must still approve the financing from the fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), which allows nations to circumvent the lengthy negotiations usually needed to secure a full economic assistance program.

The new funding comes on top of .8 billion the IMF board approved a month ago, although at the time officials acknowledged that more help would be needed.

Cairo requested the aid, known as a Standby Arrangement, to support its efforts “to maintain macroeconomic stability amid the Covid-19 shock while continuing to advance key structural reforms,” IMF mission chief Uma Ramakrishnan said in a statement.

“This will safeguard the gains achieved by Egypt over the past three years and put the country on strong footing for sustained recovery as well as higher and more inclusive growth and job creation over the medium term,” she said.

It also will open the doors to financing from other lenders and help support job creation by the private sector.

The IMF team held virtual negotiations with Egyptian officials on the terms of the package, which the fund’s board is expected to approve in “coming weeks,” she said.

Egypt has suffered over 1,100 Covid-19 fatalities with over 31,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally.

Updated at 9.59pm BST

9.40pm BST

Wall Street surged on Friday after a strikingly upbeat May jobs report unexpectedly provided the clearest evidence yet that the US economy is headed for a quicker-than-anticipated recovery.

The Dow Jones rose 829.16 points, or 3.15%, to 27,110.98, the S&P gained 81.58 points, or 2.62%, to 3,193.93 and the Nasdaq added 198.27 points, or 2.06%, to 9,814.08.

9.33pm BST

Joe Biden has argued that President Trump deserved no credit for the US jobs report which showed unemployment had dropped slightly to 13.3% from 14.7% a month earlier.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said Trump had still failed to acknowledge how his response to the coronavirus pandemic had hampered the country’s economy. “He has no idea the depth of the pain that so many people are still enduring. He remains completely oblivious to the human toll of his indifference,” the former vice president said.

“It’s time for him to step out of his own bunker, take a look around the consequences of his words and his actions.”
Biden added: “Let’s be clear: a president who takes no responsibility for costing millions and millions of American their jobs deserves no credit when a fraction of them return.”

Joe Biden speaks during an event in Dover, Delaware, on Friday.
Joe Biden speaks during an event in Dover, Delaware, on Friday. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

Updated at 9.39pm BST

9.18pm BST

More than a third of Americans misused cleaners and disinfectants to try to prevent infection by the coronavirus, according to a survey taken shortly after Donald Trump publicly asked whether injecting such products could treat Covid-19, reports Reuters.

Washing food with bleach, using household cleaning or disinfectant products on bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting the products were some of the most commonly reported “high-risk” practices in a 4 May online survey of 502 US adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

The survey’s lead author said it was undertaken following a “sharp increase” in calls to poison control centres.

In late April, Trump asked scientists during one of his coronavirus task force briefings whether inserting disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the virus might help clear the disease, horrifying health experts. Makers of household cleaners were compelled to urge people not to drink or inject their products.

Some 39% of people surveyed reported intentionally engaging in at least one high-risk practice, including using bleach to clean food or misting the body with a disinfectant spray. Four per cent drank or gargled with diluted bleach solutions, soapy water or disinfectants.

Updated at 9.19pm BST

9.00pm BST

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

  • The World Health Organization has updated its stance on masks to curb the spread of Covid-19. People over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask when they are out and cannot physically distance, according to new guidance from the WHO, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask.
  • The UK became the second country to officially record more than 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths, as officials said another 357 people who had tested positive for the virus had died. So far, 40,261 virus deaths have been recorded, giving the UK the world’s second-highest death toll behind the United States.
  • Hydroxychloroquine does not work against Covid-19 and should not be given to any more hospital patients around the world, say the leaders of the biggest and best-designed trial of the drug. “If you are admitted to hospital, don’t take hydroxychloroquine. It doesn’t work,” said Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the Recovery trial and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University.
  • There were 85 new coronavirus fatalities in Italy on Friday, down from 88 on Wednesday, while new infections leapt by 518, up from 177 within the last 24 hours. The majority of the new infections – 402 – were in the worst affected Lombardy region.
  • A judge in Australia banned a Black Lives Matter protest planned to take place in Sydney on Saturday, citing the coronavirus crisis, after a legal application from police. New South Wales state Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan ruled the rally was not an authorised public assembly.

8.44pm BST

Team staff wear face masks sit in the stands during the German first division Bundesliga football match between SC Freiburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Team staff wear face masks sit in the stands during the German first division Bundesliga football match between SC Freiburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach. Photograph: Ronald Wittek/AFP/Getty Images

8.30pm BST

The environmental and economic impact of coronavirus in Europe can now be seen using satellite data provided by the European Space Agency.

The ESA and the European Commission launched an internet-based programme that compares pollution levels during the health crisis with a baseline scenario, measures chlorophyll concentrations or illustrates economic parameters such as harvests.

The Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation (RACE) dashboard uses the Copernicus Sentinel satellite network, partner company data and artificial intelligence to make an interactive map of Europe that compares current industrial and transport activity with that of previous years.

The platform will “measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery,” it said.

RACE tracks “key environmental parameters – such as air and water quality changes, economic and human activities including industry, shipping, construction, traffic, as well as agricultural productivity” in 22 ESA member countries.

Air pollution is monitored worldwide, as is the asparagus harvest near Berlin, air traffic in Barcelona, Mediterranean water quality or concentrations of chlorophyll in a chosen region.

Satellite images are accompanied by various tables of information and commentary by specialists.

Some indicators go back to 2014, and are to be updated through the end of this year, according to Yves-Louis Desnos, head of the ESA’s Earth Observation Science and Applications Department.

Updated at 9.06pm BST

8.18pm BST

Saudi Arabia has announced a renewed lockdown in the city of Jeddah starting from Saturday to counter a new spike in coronavirus cases.

“After reviewing the epidemiological situation and the high occupancy rates of intensive care departments, it was decided to take strict health precautions in the city of Jeddah for two weeks”, the health ministry said.

The measures include a curfew running from 3 pm to 6 am, a suspension of prayers in mosques and a stay-at-home order for public and private sector workers in the Red Sea city whose airport serves Mecca pilgrims.

After an easing of precautions in the kingdom in late May, the ministry said that strict measures could also soon return to Riyadh, which was “witnessing a continuous increase during the last days” of critical cases of the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has declared almost 96,000 coronavirus infections and 642 deaths from the Covid-19 respiratory disease, the heaviest toll in the Gulf.

It has suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to Islam’s holiest cities.

Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year’s hajj, scheduled for the end of July, but have urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.

Costumers queue for a temperature check before entering a mobile shop in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca.
Costumers queue for a temperature check before entering a mobile shop in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. Photograph: Bandar Al-Dandani/AFP/Getty Images

8.01pm BST

Estonia has developed an app that could serve as a digital “immunity passport”, allowing users with antibodies to show employers and others their reduced risk of spreading coronavirus.

The Immuunsuspass (ImmunityPassport) app being tested out this month was developed by tech firms Transferwise and Guardtime in cooperation with health specialists for the Back to Work non-governmental organisation.

“The app we’ve created can provide necessary data to schools and employers to help them make decisions,” TransferWise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus told AFP.

“However, before it’s adopted for widespread use, we need to achieve a scientific consensus on COVID-19 immunity.”

The app allows users to access their COVID-19 test results for an hour after proving their identity. They can also share the results with others using a QR-code that expires after a minute.

The developers say this ensures that the immunity results are up-to-date and protected against unauthorised sharing.

In the future, users will also be able to access their vaccination data.

The World Health Organization issued a warning in late April that there was “not enough evidence” to give people “risk-free certificates,” but hours later appeared to backpedal with a modified statement.

In the follow-up, WHO said it expected that people who are infected with COVID-19 “will develop an antibody response that will provide some level of protection” but added that “what we don’t yet know is the level of protection or how long it will last”.

Estonia, known as E-stonia, has made a name for itself as a trailblazer in technology over the years. It pioneered e-voting in 2005 and hosts NATO’s elite cyber defence centre.

Updated at 8.04pm BST

7.44pm BST

On Sunday, the European Union will launch a humanitarian air bridge to support the fight against coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said.

France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves le Drian, his Belgian counterpart Philippe Goffin and European commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic will travel to Kinshasa on the flight from Brussels.

On Monday, they will meet president Felix Tshisekedi in the capital before travelling to the eastern city of Goma, in the troubled region on the border with Rwanda.

More flights will carry at least 40 tonnes of aid such as water purifiers, and medical supplies. provided by the EU, governments and humanitarian agencies.

So far, Africa has been spared the worst of the pandemic, with 4,755 deaths recorded and 170,286 cases compared to more than 180,000 deaths and two million cases in Europe.

But poorer countries like the DRC would struggle to cope if the outbreak intensifies and Brussels has set aside 3.25 billion euros (.67 billion) in grants and 1.4 billion euros in loans to help countries through the crisis.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, will travel to the DRC.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, will travel to the DRC. Photograph: Fabio Frustaci/EPA

Updated at 8.03pm BST

7.35pm BST

The Chinese city of Wuhan has announced it had cleared all hospital cases of coronavirus where patients have shown symptoms.

State newspaper Global Times said that “the last three Covid-19 patients in Wuhan have recovered and been discharged from hospital”.

However, China omits from its data any cases where patients have tested positive for Covid-19 but have not exhibited symptoms. It began recording these separately from 1 April.

The largest night market of Wuhan reopens, mobile vendor stalls and booths can be seen along the sides of the narrow alleyways.
The largest night market of Wuhan reopens, mobile vendor stalls and booths can be seen along the sides of the narrow alleyways. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Updated at 7.38pm BST

7.22pm BST

AstraZeneca’s cancer drug Calquence has shown initial signs of helping hospitalised Covid-19 patients get through the worst of the disease, according to tests.

Results from the preliminary research involving 19 patients, which was backed by the United States National Institutes of Health, encouraged the British drugmaker to explore the drug’s new use in a wider clinical trial announced in April.

Eleven patients had been on oxygen when they started the 10-14 day Calquence course and eight of them could afterwards be discharged, breathing independently, according to results in a paper co-authored by Astra’s head of oncology research, Jose Baselga.

Eight patients were on mechanical ventilation when they were put on Calquence, and four of them could be discharged, though one died of pulmonary embolism.

“These patients were in a very unstable situation, they would have had a dire prognosis … Within one to three days the majority of these patients got better in terms of ventilation and oxygen needs,” Astra’s Baselga told Reuters.

Severe cases of Covid-19 are believed to be triggered by an over-reaction of the immune system known as cytokine storm and initial research has brought Calquence, and other drugs that suppress certain elements of the immune system, into play.

7.12pm BST

Police in Kenya have been involved in the killing of 15 people since the country put a nighttime curfew in place in March to combat coronavirus, the policing oversight body said in a statement seen by AFP.

The Independent Policing Oversight Body (IPOA) said it had received 87 complaints against police since the dusk to dawn curfew and heightened security measures were put in place on March 27.

“After preliminary investigations, 15 deaths and 31 incidents where victims sustained injuries have directly been linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement.”

According to the statement, the complaints include deaths, shootings, harassment, assaults, robbery, inhumane treatment and sexual assault.

Kenya’s police force is often accused by rights groups of using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings, especially in poor neighbourhoods.

In April Human Right Watch accused the police of imposing the curfew in a “chaotic and violent manner from the start”, sometimes whipping, kicking and teargassing people to force them off the streets.

“Police brutality isn’t just unlawful; it is also counterproductive in fighting the spread of the virus,” the rights watchdog said.

6.59pm BST

Summary

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

  • The World Health Organization has updated its stance on masks to curb the spread of Covid-19. People over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask when they are out and cannot physically distance, according to new guidance from the WHO, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask.
  • The UK became the second country to officially record more than 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths, as officials said another 357 people who had tested positive for the virus had died. So far, 40,261 virus deaths have been recorded, giving the UK the world’s second-highest death toll behind the United States.
  • Sweden reported another large rise in new cases of coronavirus on Friday, with the 1,056 positive tests reported by the public health agency marking the third day the country’s caseload had increased by more than a thousand. Sweden has now recorded 42,939 cases of coronavirus, and 4,639 deaths.
  • All hospital visitors and outpatients in England will need to wear face coverings from 15 June, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said. All hospital staff will also be required to wear surgical masks. He also made a plea for people to be mindful of attending protests over the death of George Floyd.
  • A study linked vitamin K deficiency with Covid-19, after researchers found that patients who had died or been admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 have been found to be deficient in the vitamin, which is found in spinach, eggs and hard and blue cheeses.
  • Covid-19’s impact on the US economy waned in May as the unemployment rate dipped to 13.3% and the US added another 2.5m jobs. The surprise news follows the loss of 20m jobs in April when unemployment hit 14.7%. Economists were expecting a rise to as high as 20%.
  • US billionaires gained half a trillion dollars in wealth during outbreak. Even as more than 42 million people have signed on as unemployed in the US, the country’s billionaires have added half a trillion dollars to their combined wealth, according to a think tank report.
  • During the 11 weeks from 18 March, when US lockdowns started, the wealth of America’s richest people surged by over 5bn. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, saw his wealth increase by .2bn. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was the second biggest beneficiary, increasing his net worth by .1bn.
  • A judge in Australia banned a Black Lives Matter protest planned to take place in Sydney on Saturday, citing the coronavirus crisis, after a legal application from police. New South Wales state Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan ruled the rally was not an authorised public assembly.
  • Police in Paris cited ongoing health risks related to the coronavirus pandemic as they banned a demonstration against police brutality planned to take place outside the city’s US embassy on Saturday. Trouble broke out at another anti-police demonstration in the French capital on Wednesday.
  • On Monday, more than half of Spain will enter the fourth and final phase of the country’s lockdown de-escalation, the government announced. However, the 52% of Spaniards in the last stage will not include those in the Madrid region or the Barcelona metropolitan area – the two parts of the country hit hardest by Covid-19.

That’s it from me, Damien Gayle, for another day. I’ll be back with you on Monday.

6.44pm BST

A street vendor poses as he arranges face masks to sell on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
A street vendor poses as he arranges face masks to sell on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Photograph: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

6.34pm BST

Hydroxychloroquine does not work against Covid-19 and should not be given to any more hospital patients around the world, say the leaders of the biggest and best-designed trial of the drug, which experts will hope finally settle the question, writes Sarah Boseley, the Guardian’s health editor.

“If you are admitted to hospital, don’t take hydroxychloroquine,” said Martin Landray, the deputy chief investigator of the Recovery trial and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University. “It doesn’t work.”

Many countries have permitted emergency use of the drug for Covid-19 patients in hospitals, following claims from a few doctors, including Didier Raoult in France, that it was a cure and the ensuing clamour from the public. President Donald Trump backed the drug, saying it should be given to patients and later said he was personally taking it to protect himself from the virus.

Landray said the hype should now stop. “It is being touted as a game-changer, a wonderful drug, a breakthrough. This is an incredibly important result because worldwide we can stop using a drug that is useless.”

The first results from the Recovery trial, which has been testing seven therapies for Covid-19, swiftly followed the retraction of a paper in the Lancet medical journal on Thursday night that claimed hydroxychloroquine was linked to an increased risk of death in Covid-19 patients. The authors of the paper withdrew it after the US company Surgisphere refused to cooperate with an independent audit of the data it had supplied for the study. A Guardian investigation had showed serious errors in the data and raised questions about Surgisphere and its CEO.

6.20pm BST

The World Health Organization’s eastern Mediterreanean office has tweeted a breakdown of coronavirus statistics from member states.

Updated at 6.24pm BST

6.09pm BST

The politicisation of the coronavirus crisis and the Brazilian government’s deliberate “torpedoing” of social distancing efforts has condemned South America’s largest country to a historic tragedy that will most punish the poor, Brazil’s most respected medical voice has said, writes Tom Phillips, the Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, in Rio de Janeiro.

As Brazil’s death toll surpassed that of Italy, Drauzio Varella told the Guardian that historians would be unkind to president Jair Bolsonaro, who is facing international condemnation for his handling of the pandemic.

“I think history will ascribe to him a level of guilt that I really wouldn’t want for myself,” said Varella, an oncologist, author and broadcaster who is a household name thanks to decades of public health activism.

Only two countries, the US and the UK, have lost more lives, and Brazil seems poised to overtake the latter. Brazil has confirmed 615,000 cases, second only to the US.

“Because in Brazil we are already the third country in the world in terms of deaths, we will soon become the second, and we are going to come close to the level of mortality in the US, which has 330 million citizens – that’s 60% larger than Brazil’s population,” predicted Varella.

“The situation couldn’t be worse. It just couldn’t.”

5.58pm BST

The coronavirus crisis “is not over” and will not be “until there is no virus anywhere in the world,” the World Health Organization said on Friday, as it warned of “upticks” in some countries.

The epicentre of the pandemic is currently in countries of central, south and north America, particularly the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

“On upticks (in cases), yes we have seen in countries around the world – I’m not talking specifically about Europe – when the lockdowns ease, when the social distancing measures ease, people sometimes interpret this as ‘OK, it’s over’,” Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.

“It’s not over. It’s not over until there is no virus anywhere in the world,” she said.

Referring to demonstrations since the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis 10 days ago, Harris said that protesters must take precautions. “We have certainly seen a lot of passion this week, we’ve seen people who have felt the need to be out and to express their feelings,” she added. “We ask them to remember still protect yourself and others.”

5.48pm BST

There were 85 new coronavirus fatalities in Italy on Friday, down from 88 on Wednesday, while new infections leapt by 518, up from 177 within the last 24 hours, writes Angela Giuffrida, the Guardian’s Rome correspondent.

The majority of the new infections – 402 – were in the worst affected Lombardy region, according to the figures from the civil protection authority. Over 19,000 tests were carried out in Lombardy in a day, compared to 3,410 on Thursday.

Since 18 May, people have been able to go to bars, restaurants and shops and since Wednesday they have been free to travel beyond their regions. The infection rate across Italy’s 19 other regions has so far been steadily declining, with several registering zero daily cases.

The number of people currently infected with the virus decreased by 1,453 to 36,976 on Friday. Italy has so far registered 234,531 coronavirus cases, including 33,774 deaths 163,781 recoveries.

People protest in Rome on Friday in solidarity with George Floyd and protesters in the US.
People protest in Rome on Friday in solidarity with George Floyd and protesters in the US. Photograph: Yara Nardi/Reuters

5.31pm BST

A major trial of hydroxychloroquine has found it has “no benefit” for patients hospitalised with the coronavirus, researchers said Friday, announcing they had stopped tests of the drug.

The chief investigators in the Recovery trial, which is run by the University of Oxford and is testing a number of potential treatments for the new coronavirus, said in a statement:

We have concluded that there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with Covid-19. We have therefore decided to stop enrolling participants to the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Recovery trial with immediate effect. We are now releasing the preliminary results as they have important implications for patient care and public health.

Hydroxychloroquine, an old malaria and rheumatoid arthritis drug, has been touted by many, including the US president, Donald Trump, as a potential treatment or prophylactic for coronavirus infection.

The announcement comes in the same week that the World Health Organization (WHO) restarted its trials of hydroxychloroquine after they were temporarily halted because of a now-retracted study in The Lancet medical journal.

5.18pm BST

UK becomes second country with 40,000 Covid-19 deaths

The UK became the second country to officially record more than 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, as health officials said another 357 people who had tested positive for the virus have died.

So far, 40,261 deaths due to the virus have been recorded, giving the UK the world’s second-highest pandemic death toll behind the United States.

The actual Covid-19 death toll is widely considered to be higher as the total only includes those who have tested positive for the virus.

According to the department of health, 1,650 more people were recorded as testing positive for the coronavirus, pushing the country’s total caseload up to 283,311.

On Friday, leading medics and scientists called on the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to order a public inquiry to prepare Britain for a second wave of the coronavirus this winter, warning that many more will die unless the country improves its response.

5.02pm BST

Universities and colleges will reopen in Zambia next week, more than two months after they were closed as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

On Friday the minister for higher education, Brian Mushimba, said classes would resume from 8 June, with graduating students who are writing final examinations the first to go back.

Other students would have to continue with online learning for the time being, Mushimba was quoted as saying by China’s official Xinhua news agency.

Covid-19 preventative measures would still be mandatory, including instructions to students to bring their own face masks, hand sanitisers and soap with them to campus.

4.52pm BST

Police in Paris cited ongoing health risks related to the coronavirus pandemic as they banned a demonstration against police brutality planned to take place outside the city’s US embassy on Saturday, Reuters reports.

Trouble broke out at another anti-police demonstration in the French capital on Wednesday. Thousands had turned up despite a police ban on the event in memory of Adama Traore, a 24-year old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to Floyd’s death.

4.38pm BST

On Monday, more than half of Spain will enter the fourth and final phase of the country’s lockdown de-escalation, the government announced on Friday, writes Sam Jones, the Guardian’s Madrid correspondent.

However, the 52% of Spaniards in the last stage will not include those in the Madrid region or the Barcelona metropolitan area – the two parts of the country hit hardest by Covid-19.

Along with many other regions, they will instead proceed to the penultimate phase, in which groups of up to 15 people can meet.

People living in areas in the final phase, such as Andalucía, the Balearic islands and the Canary islands, can once again eat inside restaurants as long as social distancing is practised, while shops, cinemas and theatres can open at 50% capacity.

Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, appealed for people to continue to behave responsibly so that the progress made during the lockdown was not squandered, adding: “The virus is still around.”

On Wednesday, the Spanish congress approved a sixth and final extension of the state of emergency, which is now set to end on June 22.

Spain is due to reopen to foreign tourists from 1 July.

4.28pm BST

WHO advises public to wear face masks when unable to distance

People over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask when they are out and cannot socially distance, according to new guidance from the World Health Organization, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask, writes Sarah Boseley, the Guardian’s health editor.

The UK may have to rethink its advice following the significant change of stance by the WHO, which until now has been reluctant to advocate the wearing of masks by the public because of limited evidence that they offer protection.

On Thursday, UK ministers announced it would be mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport from 15 June, but these coverings can be simply T-shirts or scarves.

The new WHO guidance, announced on Friday, is a result of research commissioned by the organisation. It is still unknown whether the wearers of masks are protected, say its experts, but the new design it advocates does give protection to other people if properly used.

Updated at 10.35am BST

4.16pm BST

A model wears a mask designed by RIXO.
A model wears a mask designed by RIXO. Photograph: Getty Images/BFC/["Getty Images for the BFC"]

The fashion question de nos jours would have been unimaginable four months ago,. Namely: how do I quickly find a face mask that does not scare my children or make me look like Bane in the Dark Knight Rises?

Clearly the use of face masks is primarily a public health issue, and not a style one writes Hannah Marriott, the Guardian’s fashion editor. But it would be better if your face mask – your de facto first impression for the next who-knows-how-long – did not make you feel any weirder than you already do.

Updated at 4.16pm BST

3.44pm BST

In the US, Donald Trump is giving a press conference to celebrate the unexpectedly good unemployment news there. You can follow that live on our US live blog here:

Figures released today showed Covid-19’s devastating assault on the US economy waned in May as the unemployment rate dipped to 13.3% and the US added another 2.5m jobs.

The latest tally follows the loss of 20m jobs in April when unemployment hit 14.7%. In February the unemployment rate was just 3.5%.

Some had predicted an increase in unemployment to about 20% today.

3.31pm BST

Ireland is accelerating the relaxation of lockdown restrictions by expanding the travel limit and reopening shops, playgrounds, libraries and other facilities from Monday.

The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, struck an upbeat tone in Ireland’s fight against Covid-19 by quoting Samwise Gamgee, a hobbit in Lord of the Rings. “But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”

The announcement on Friday came amid a sharp fall in new cases – fewer than a hundred each day for the past 12 days – and evidence the reproduction number remains well below 1. Some business leaders, politicians and commentators had voiced concern that the lockdown exit strategy was too slow and conservative.

Varadkar said the roadmap will be speeded up and shortened from five to four phases. “Summer is not lost and this can be a summer of hope if we keep the virus at bay.”

From Monday, the start of the second phase, all retail stores can reopen, but with staggered opening times. The 5km travel limit will expand to let people travel within their county or up to 20km from home, whichever is greater.

Groups of up to 6 people will be able to interact indoors or outdoors as long as they keep at least 2m apart. Groups of up to 15 can meet for outdoor sporting activities. Those aged over 70 or medically vulnerable can receive a small number of visitors at home.

Public libraries, playgrounds, outdoor camps for children, marts and greyhound racing can also resume. Up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals. Hairdressers, beauticians and barbers must wait until 20 July to reopen.

In earlier, more sombre pandemic-related speeches Varadkar quoted Seamus Heaney. On Friday he quoted Cicero before channeling JRR Tolkien.

3.30pm BST

Patients who have died or been admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 have been found to be deficient in a vitamin found in spinach, eggs and hard and blue cheeses, raising hopes that dietary change might be one part of the answer to combating the disease, writes Daniel Boffey in Brussels.

Researchers studying patients who were admitted to the Canisius Wilhelmina hospital in the Dutch city of Nijmegen have extolled the benefits of vitamin K after discovering a link between deficiency and the worst coronavirus outcomes.

Covid-19 causes blood clotting and leads to the degradation of elastic fibres in the lungs. Vitamin K, which is ingested through food and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, is key to the production of proteins that regulate clotting and can protect against lung disease.

The Dutch researchers are now seeking funding for a clinical trial, but Dr Rob Janssen, a scientist working on the project, said that in light of the initial findings he would encourage a healthy intake of vitamin K, except to those on blood-clotting medications such as warfarin.

He said: “We are in a terrible, horrible situation in the world. We do have an intervention which does not have any side effects, even less than a placebo. There is one major exception: people on anti-clotting medication. It is completely safe in other people.”

3.20pm BST

The EU has pledged to lift border controls inside its territory by the end of the month while extending a ban on travellers coming from outside the bloc until 1 July.

The extension of the ban on non-essential travel by foreign nationals into the EU’s border free-travel zone was approved by the EU’s 27 home affairs ministers on Friday by video conference.

The travel ban, which had been due to expire on 15 June, applies to all non-EU countries, with exemptions for citizens from EU-associated countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. British travellers also remain exempt from the ban but face two-week quarantine requirements from some European governments.

The EU’s home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson, told journalists that “almost all member states” had expressed “a strong preference for a further but short prolongation” of the travel ban. Countries had agreed a “gradual and strictly coordinated lifting” of the restriction from July, she said.

Updated at 3.20pm BST

3.04pm BST

The commander of US forces in Japan has accused China of using the coronavirus crisis as a cover for a surge in naval activity to push territorial claims in the South China Sea.

In a telephone interview with the Reuters news agency, Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider said there had been a surged of activity by China, with navy ships, coast guard vessels and a naval militia of fishing boats in harassing vessels in waters claimed by Beijing.

“Through the course of the Covid crisis we saw a surge of maritime activity,” he told Reuters in a phone interview. He said Beijing had also increased its activity in the East China Sea, where it has a territorial dispute with Japan.

Beijing’s increased level of activity would likely continue, predicted Schneider: “I don’t see troughs, I see plateaus,” he said.

Amphibious assault ship USS America, Royal Australian navy helicopter frigate HMAS Parramatta, guided-missile destroyer USS Barry and guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill conduct manoeuvres in the South China Sea.
Amphibious assault ship USS America, Royal Australian navy helicopter frigate HMAS Parramatta, guided-missile destroyer USS Barry and guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill conduct manoeuvres in the South China Sea. Photograph: Australia Department Of Defence/Reuters

China says its maritime activities in the area are peaceful. The press office at the Chinese embassy in Tokyo was not immediately available to comment outside of normal business hours, Reuters said.

Japan hosts the biggest concentration of US forces in Asia, including an aircraft carrier strike group, an amphibious expeditionary force and fighter squadrons. In addition to defending Japan, they are deployed to deter China from expanding its influence in the region, including in the South China Sea.

2.50pm BST

Peru is beginning the second phase of its economic reopening on Friday, even as its ongoing coronavirus outbreak showed little signs of slowing, with 4,284 new confirmed cases reported on Thursday.

The president, Martin Vizcarra, announced the second phase of lockdown easing on Thursday, after his council of ministers approved a presidential decree calling for the restart of economic activity.

Peru is the second-worst affected country in Latin America, the region which the World Health Organisation has said is now at the centre of the global coronavirus pandemic. In spite of an early and strictly enforced lockdown it has so far reported a total of 183,198 coronavirus infections and 5,031 deaths from Covid-19 – 137 of which were reported on Thursday.

Maria Garcia embraces her daughter Sofia, while selling oranges on a street in Lima.
Maria Garcia embraces her daughter Sofia, while selling oranges on a street in Lima. Photograph: Rodrigo Abd/AP

The economic shutdown has caused widespread hardship in Peru, where much of the population survives from working in the informal economy. Vizcarra’s plan is for 80% of the country’s economy to resume operation from Friday. During lockdown, the economy has been operating at 50% capacity, which Vizcarra said was “not enough to sustain 100%” of the country’s needs.

“We want to raise it to 100% and then even see growth on top of that,” Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Vizcarra as saying.

Among the sectors scheduled to return to work from Friday were small and medium-size mining enterprises, feed-making for animals, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, footwear production, printing, and medical tools manufacturing and repair, services including legal and accounting firms, architecture and engineering companies, as well as some retail.

Updated at 2.51pm BST

2.19pm BST

Sweden records third consecutive day of over 1,000 new cases

Sweden reported another large rise in new cases of coronavirus on Friday, with the 1,056 positive tests reported by the public health agency marking the third day the country’s caseload had increased by more than a thousand.

While a bumper report of 2,214 cases on Wednesday was partly explained by a lab releasing a backlog of results, on Thursday, after another 1,084 cases were reported, the public health agency said the rise in cases could not wholly be explained by increased testing.

The agency’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, told a news conference on Thursday that the increases in new cases was seen primarily in Western Sweden and among younger people.

Sweden has now recorded 42,939 cases of coronavirus, and 4,639 deaths after another 77 deaths were reported on Friday – not all of which will have occurred within the past 24 hours due to reporting delays from local areas. The death rate remains well below a peak reached towards the end of April.

The Swedish approach to tackling the coronavirus has been described as “light touch”, with shops, gyms and restaurants allowed to stay open, and the public simply asked to avoid non-essential travel or venturing out if unwell.

Lockdown sceptics who thought that the kinds of lockdown measures seen elsewhere in Europe had gone to far have hailed the strategy. But criticism has been mounting after the per capita death rate in the country far exceeded its close neighbours.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s coronavirus death rate surpassed that of France. However, it remains well below the UK, Italy, Spain and Belgium – all countries which have enforced curbs on freedoms in attempts to contain the spread of the disease.

Updated at 2.35pm BST

2.05pm BST

Covid-19’s devastating assault on the US economy waned in May as the unemployment rate dipped to 13.3% and the US added another 2.5m jobs, writes Dominic Rushe, for the Guardian US, in New York.

The surprise news follows the loss of 20m jobs in April when unemployment hit 14.7%. Economists had been expecting a rise to as high as 20%.

But the rate is still historically high. In February the unemployment rate was just 3.5%. A decade’s worth of gains made in the labor market since the last recession have been erased in just three months.

All 50 states have now begun easing quarantine restrictions and the pace of this unprecedented hollowing has now slowed as some have returned to work but uncertainties remain.

Weekly unemployment claims have plummeted from a frightening peak of 6.6m in April to 1.9m last week but Jason Reed, a professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, said the numbers were still huge. He worried America is now witnessing a shift from temporary to permanent layoffs.

While the unemployment rate remains well above the 10% peak in the last recession, president Donald Trump was quick to hail victory. “Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!” he wrote on Twitter.

1.47pm BST

Mosques, churches and other places of worship reopened in Jakarta for the first time in nearly three months on Friday, as the Indonesian capital loosened a partial lockdown, AFP reports.

Jakarta’s governor announced the easing of restrictions on Thursday, with offices, restaurants, shopping malls and tourist attractions also scheduled to reopen in the coming weeks.

While mosques have remained open in some other parts of Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority country, for many residents of Jakarta, a megacity that is home to about 30 million people, it was their first time attending Friday prayers since mid-March.

Al-Azhar mosque in Jakarta.
Al-Azhar mosque in Jakarta. Photograph: Donal Husni/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Mohamad Fathi, 35, said he was “full of happiness” at the news. “It cheered me up and satisfied my longing for mass prayers,” he told AFP. “I’m very happy we’re now allowed to return to pray.”

However, the weekly service was shorter than usual as part of efforts to lower the risk of COVID-19 infections, he said. Mosque-goers were also ordered to bring their own prayer mats and abide by social-distancing rules with temperature checks at the door.

On Friday, Indonesia reported 703 new cases of coronavirus and 49 coronavirus-related deaths. There have now been a total of 29,521 infections in the country of 274 million people, and 1,770 deaths.

1.33pm BST

Clothes retailer Gap reports bn Covid-19 shutdown loss

US clothing retailer Gap has reported a quarterly loss of almost bn, after it had to close the vast majority of its stores worldwide during the coronavirus shutdown, writes Joanna Partridge, for the Guardian’s business desk.

The company, based in San Francisco, made a loss of 2m (£738m) for the three months to 2 May, compared with 7m profit during the same period in 2019.

The retailer, know for its denim, chinos and T-shirts, included in its quarterly loss a 4m write-down on its stores and operating lease assets, and a 5m charge on excess stock.

A Gap Kids store in Winter Park, Florida.
A Gap Kids store in Winter Park, Florida. Photograph: John Raoux/AP

Like many of its competitors, Gap has been left with mountains of seasonal clothing that it has not been able to sell while 90% of its global stores were temporarily forced to close during lockdown.

Retailers of non-essential goods, such as clothing, have been significantly affected by store closures across many territories, which were designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The pandemic triggered several high-profile retail insolvencies in the US, including fashion chain JCrew, and department store chains JC Penney and Neiman Marcus.

The group, which also owns the Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, said that customers were focused on buying casual clothes while staying at home, hitting sales at Banana Republic, which offers more workwear.

1.23pm BST

For the first time in 75 years, there will be no D-day veterans on the beaches of Normandy to mark the anniversary of the Allied landings on Saturday, writes Kim Willsher, the Guardian’s Paris correspondent.

Official commemorations have been cancelled except for a limited gathering of representatives from nine countries – including the British ambassador to France – for a short ceremony.

A year after the fanfare of the 75th anniversary of the 1944 landings that marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany, many of this year’s events will be relayed by livestream to the dwindling number of elderly former soldiers who took part in Operation Overlord.

A website will transmit events commemorating the day when 150,000 troops swarmed ashore at strategic points along 50 miles of France’s west coastline. That day in 1944 they were met with a hail of machine gun fire and bombardments, leaving 10,000 casualties, among them 2,500 dead.

Saturday’s commemorations will include a flypast by the French air force’s air acrobatic team, the Patrouille de France.

“Since 1945, every year we have paid homage to the men who fought for our freedom,” said Jean-Marc Lefranc, president of the Comité du Débarquement (D-day Landing Committee). “This year, for the first time it will not be open to the public.”

1.10pm BST

More than 3,000 shops and markets across Pakistan were closed down on Friday in a series of raids for violating social distancing regulations, the Associated Press reports, as the country drew close to 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

On Friday, health authorities reported 68 more coronavirus-related deaths, raising its overall death toll to 1,838. Meanwhile 4,896 more people tested positive in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day rise in infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 89,249.

The pace of the virus’s spread has increased since the prime minister, Imran Khan, eased lockdown measures in May. Doctors are now bracing for a surge of Covid-19 patients and some hospitals are already turning back those with mild infection, asking them to quarantine themselves at home.

Critics say Khan eased restrictions prematurely, but the government has blamed the public for the spread in infections, saying people failed to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

12.58pm BST

Despite his wealth having increased by bn in the past 11 weeks (see previous post), the billionaire Elon Musk is still cranky enough for a Twitter spat with a rival billionaire.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted Jeff Bezos to call for the break up of Bezos’s online retail empire, Amazon, in the latest row over censorship related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Tesla chief executive lashed out after an author complained on social media about being unable to self-publish a book entitled “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates.”

“This is insane @JeffBezos,” Musk tweeted at Bezos. “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”

According to Reuters, Amazon had no comment on Musk’s call for its dissolution but said the book in question, by author Alex Berenson, had been blocked in error and was now available for sale via its Kindle e-reading service.

The decision to allow the book’s sale was not due to Musk, Amazon said.

According to preview text on the Amazon website, Berenson’s book “provides a counterweight to media hysteria about coronavirus.” Musk has been a prominent lockdown sceptic, lashing out on Twitter about shelter-at-home restrictions and trying to reopen his factories even as orders remained in place.

Updated at 12.59pm BST

12.40pm BST

They are this season’s must-have accessory. Surgical masks are in demand all over the world as people take precautions to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus. Now the environmental impact of these single-use, disposable items is beginning to be felt, according to this news report from the French news agency AFP.

12.29pm BST

Judge bans Sydney Black Lives Matter protest over Covid-19 fears

A judge in Australia has banned a Black Lives Matter protest planned to take place in Sydney on Saturday, citing the coronavirus crisis, after a legal application from police to stop it taking place.

New South Wales state Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan ruled the rally was not an authorised public assembly. Under restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, outdoor gatherings in Sydney are restricted to 10 people, while up to 50 people can go to funerals, places of worship, restaurants, pubs and cafes.

“I don’t diminish the importance of the issues and no one would deny them in normal circumstances,” Fagan was reported as saying by the Associated Press. “No one denies them that but we’re talking about a situation of a health crisis.”

His decision came after thousands of people indicated they would join the rally in in Australia’s largest city on Saturday afternoon to remember George Floyd, the victim of a police killing in Minneapolis last week, and to protest against the deaths of indigenous Australians in custody.

The state premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said organisers initially proposed a protest far smaller rally. She said protesters could not guarantee social distancing protocols would be followed.

“All of us have given up so much and worked so hard to make sure we get on top of the virus,” Berejiklian told reporters.

12.17pm BST

Restaurants are opening, parks are full and people are getting back to work: parts of Europe, Asia and much of the Middle East are enjoying the benefits of flattened coronavirus curves. Meanwhile, parts of the US, India and Latin America are still recording thousands of new cases every day.

The first wave of the coronavirus is not over. The future shape of the pandemic will be decided both by human action, in the form of social distancing, testing and other traditional methods of disease control, and also several unanswered questions about the nature of the virus itself.

Experts say there are several possibilities, Michael Safi, the Guardian’s international correspondent, reports.

Updated at 12.20pm BST

12.02pm BST

US billionaires gain half a trillion dollars during outbreak

Even as more than 42 million people have signed on as unemployed in the US, the country’s billionaires have added half a trillion dollars to their combined wealth, according to a thinktank report.

During the 11 weeks from 18 March, when US lockdowns started, the wealth of America’s richest people surged by over 5bn, the Institute for Policy Studies calculated in a report published on Thursday.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has benefited the most, as orders at his online delivery service soared, with his wealth increasing by an eye-watering .2bn. Mark Zuckerberg was the second biggest beneficiary, increasing his net worth by .1bn. Even Bill Gates, who has positioned himself as global health saviour by backing a number of Covid-19 vaccine projects, has ended up .8bn better off.

  • Jeff Bezos – up .2bn
  • Mark Zuckerberg – up .1bn
  • Elon Musk – up .1bn
  • Sergey Brin – up .9bn
  • Larry Page – up .7bn
  • Steve Ballmer – up .3bn
  • MacKenzie Bezos – up .6bn
  • Michael Bloomberg – up .1bn
  • Bill Gates – up .8bn
  • Phil Knight – up .6bn
  • Larry Ellison – up .5bn
  • Warren Buffett – up .7bn
  • Michael Dell – up .6bn
  • Sheldon Adelson – up .1bn

Chuck Collins, a co-author of the report, said:

These statistics remind us that we are more economically and racially divided than at any time in decades.

Updated at 12.25pm BST

11.34am BST

The number of new cases of coronavirus in Iran slid slightly from its new peak yesterday, with 2,886 more people in the country testing positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry.

On Thursday, Iran reported a new record in transmissions detected in a single day, suggesting that the country could be experiencing a second wave of the epidemic. The previous daily record in Iran, which was one of the first countries in the Middle East to be gripped by the disease, was 3,186 on 30 March.

In spite of a steadily rising infection rate, authorities have been progressively lifting controls on shops, mosques, schools, offices and travel. The border with Turkey was also being opened for haulage traffic on Thursday.

A man and a woman hang out on a bench in Tehran.
A man and a woman hang out on a bench in Tehran. Photograph: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

In his latest update, Kianoush Jahanpour, the health ministry spokesman, said 63 more Iranians had died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. There are currently 2,573 people in critical condition.

So far, Jahanpour said, 129,741 people out of a total of 167,156 infected with the virus have recovered.

Updated at 12.26pm BST

11.18am BST

More than 168,000 people have so far tested positive for the coronavirus in Africa – an increase of about 6,000 since Thursday – according to the latest figures circulated by the World Health Organization on Friday.

After a couple of days’ unexplained hiatus, the UN health agency’s regional office for the continent has resumed its tweets giving the rundown of the latest figures from the 54 countries in Africa.

Of the official confirmed cases so far, more than 73,000 people have so far recovered and 4,700 have died.

Updated at 12.30pm BST

11.13am BST

This is Damien Gayle taking the reins now on the live blog, bringing you the latest headlines and news on the global coronavirus outbreak as it happens.

If you have any comments, or tips or suggestions for coverage, please drop me a line, either via email to damien.gayle@theguardian.com, or via Twitter direct message to @damiengayle.

11.08am BST

That’s it for me today. Thanks to those who got in touch with their comments and suggestions – I’m now handing over to my colleague Damien Gayle.

Updated at 12.30pm BST

11.07am BST

Summary

  • Covid-19 deaths pass 390,000 worldwide. The number of confirmed deaths now stands at 391,439, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Meanwhile, known cases passed 6.6 million across the globe, with 6,651,047 currently confirmed.
  • Brazil’s death toll overtakes Italy’s to become third highest worldwide. Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll passed that of Italy on Thursday, as the health ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional coronavirus cases. The Latin American nation has now reported 34,021 deaths from the coronavirus, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • First Covid-19 case recorded among persecuted Rohingya in Myanmar. The 38-year-old man in Rakhine state had returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh, officials told Radio Free Asia. Rights groups are concerned about the squalid conditions in camps in Rakhine, where around 130,000 internally displaced Rohingya remain trapped.
  • South Africa sees record rise in coronavirus cases. South Africa has recorded 3,267 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest increase since the pandemic hit the country. Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths, bringing the total to 848. More than half of the cases are in the Western Cape region, where health services are under pressure.
  • Covid-19 ‘under control’ in France, says government adviser. The head of the government’s scientific advisory council, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, told France Inter radio: “We can reasonably say the virus is currently under control. The virus is still circulating, in certain regions in particular … but it is circulating slowly.”
  • Turkey cancels weekend lockdown after backlash. President Tayyip Erdoğan has cancelled a lockdown, announced late on Thursday, after a public backlash, but warned of a rise in the number of daily coronavirus cases.
  • British pharma giant “on track” to roll out 2bn vaccine doses if trials successful. AstraZeneca will begin rolling out the vaccine in September if ongoing trials prove successful, its chief executive said. The company is partnering with Oxford University, which has pioneered the vaccine, and is already manufacturing doses before seeking final regulatory approval once testing concludes in the coming months.
  • US pandemic jobless claims passed 42m after another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The pace of layoffs has slowed dramatically from its peak of 6.6m at the start of April as states begin to relax quarantines. Last week was the ninth consecutive week of declines.
  • Death of man after face mask arrest shines light on Mexican police brutality. Mexicans have responded with outrage after a man was found beaten to death hours after he was arrested by police officers for not wearing a face mask in public. Video of the incident emerged on Wednesday, and shows the police officers with assault rifles forcing Giovanni López, a 30-year-old bricklayer, into a police pickup truck as bystanders plead for his release.

Updated at 12.36pm BST

10.50am BST

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, will hold a video conference on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, economic policy and international issues, a German government spokesman has said.

Updated at 12.30pm BST

10.48am BST

Malaysia has reported 19 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the cumulative total to 8,266 infections.

The health ministry also reported its first death in two weeks, raising the number of fatalities to 116.

Earlier on Friday, Malaysia’s prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, unveiled an additional economic stimulus package worth around .2bn in an effort to revitalise industries badly hit by the pandemic.

Updated at 12.33pm BST

10.38am BST

Mining sites in Canada, the US and around the world have become hotspots for the spread of coronavirus, and approximately 4,000 mine workers in 18 countries have tested positive, according to a report by an international coalition of non-profit groups.

The report links mining sites to virus outbreaks in several Indigenous and remote communities.

In a separate statement more than 330 organisations around the world called mining “one of the most polluting, deadly, and destructive industries” and accused the industry of ignoring the threats of pandemic and using it to weaken regulations.

“We reject the central claim that mining represents an essential service,” it reads.

The mining industry pushed governments to declare them “essential” and many continue to operate throughout the pandemic in the US and Canada, said Kirsten Francescone of MiningWatch Canada, one of the non-profit groups that authored the report.

Mine workers and members of nearby Indigenous and remote rural communities are at grave risk.

At least 45 infected workers from a fly-in, fly-out work camp housing thousands at Exxon’s Imperial Oil Kearl Lake oil sands mine project in northern Alberta flew home in mid-April unknowingly spreading the virus in five Canadian provinces.

This triggered an outbreak in a remote northern Saskatchewan Dene village, killing two elders, and in a long-term care home in British Columbia. The Kearl Lake outbreak has expanded to 107 cases as the mine continues to operate.

In mid-May another Alberta oilsands operation reported an outbreak but Alberta government officials insist these operations must remain open to protect the economy, said Francescone. “These outbreaks are hardly surprising with mine workers living together in camps.”

10.32am BST

The British pharma giant AstraZeneca is “on track” to begin rolling out up to 2bn doses of a coronavirus vaccine in September if ongoing trials prove successful, its chief executive said on Friday.

The company is partnering with Oxford University, which has pioneered the vaccine, and is already manufacturing doses before seeking final regulatory approval once testing concludes in the coming months.

The AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot, told the BBC:

So far we’re still on track … we are starting to manufacture this vaccine right now, and we have to have it ready to be used by the time we have the results.

Our present assumption is that we will have the data by the end of the summer, by August, so in September we should know whether we have an effective vaccine or not.

The firm announced this week it had struck agreements with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Serum Institute of India to double production capacity of the Covid-19 vaccine to 2bn doses.

The partnership with the Indian institute – one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers – will help supply it to a large number of low- and middle-income countries.

AstraZeneca has established separate supply chains for the vaccine in Europe, the United States, and India and is also looking at setting up production in China, Soriot said.

He added AstraZeneca, which is undertaking the work on a non-profit basis, could lose money if trials prove disappointing.

But he said the company was sharing the financial risk with organisations such as CEPI.

“We’re manufacturing indeed at risk – and that’s the only way to have the vaccine ready to go if it works,” he added.

Oxford University began initial trials of its Covid-19 vaccine with hundreds of volunteers in April, and is now expanding them to 10,000 participants.

It said last month they were “progressing very well”.

Researchers announced this week they would also start tests in mid-June in Brazil, the first country outside Britain to take part in the study, as the South American country’s virus infection rate spirals while the UK’s falls.

Updated at 12.38pm BST

10.26am BST

French winemakers are to turn unsold wine into hand gel and ethanol to make room for this year’s production, the country’s farming agency has said.

The government agency FranceAgriMer said around 3m hectolitres needed distilling as a result of lower sales during the coronavirus crisis.

Winemakers have been hit by the closure of bars and restaurants in France and abroad. Exports to the US, which halved after the Trump administration introduced punitive 25% tariffs last October, fell further after the Covid-19 outbreak.

FranceAgriMer said that from Friday, 33 distilleries had been authorised to collect 2m hectolitres of unsold wine to transform it into ethanol or hydro-alcoholic gel in order to free up room in vintners’ caves for this year’s production.

The exceptional measure has been approved by Brussels, and the EU will finance the distillation, the agency added.

Similar measures are being employed in Spain and Italy to deal with an excess of wine and to destroy young grapes.

The alcohol produced through the distilling process will be used by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry and for the production of hand sanitising gel.

10.22am BST

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has cancelled a weekend lockdown announced late on Thursday after a public backlash, but warned of a rise in the number of daily coronavirus cases.

On Thursday, Turkey’s interior ministry announced the stay-at-home order in 15 cities to prevent the spread of the virus, continuing the country’s policy of weekend lockdowns.

In a series of tweets, Erdoğan said the government had to impose the weekend lockdown after daily new Covid-19 cases rose from around 700 to nearly 1,000.

“However, the reactions we received from our people pushed us to re-evaluate the decision,” and the lockdown is now revoked, he said, urging citizens to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.

Updated at 12.40pm BST

10.10am BST

The Philippines’ health ministry has confirmed three new coronavirus deaths and 244 more infections, the lowest single-day increase in cases in two weeks.

The ministry said total deaths had reached 987 while confirmed cases had risen to 20,626. There are 4,330 patients who have recovered.

Updated at 12.40pm BST

10.09am BST

A professional rugby union team that set off for an away match on 23 February have still not made it home, the BBC have reported.

The Manuma Samoa team set off for a match in Perth, Australia over 100 days ago, and were forced to quarantine in New Zealand on their way home – where they ended up stuck when the country closed its borders.

They lived in a church compound in Auckland for three months, with 20 players sharing one room.

“When we arrived in New Zealand it was summer,” the team’s video analyst, Hari Junior Narayan, told the BBC. “When we left it was winter.”

The squad is now back in Samoa, halfway through a two-week quarantine, after which they will finally be reunited with their families.

“My daughter is four months old,” said Narayan. “The last time I saw her, she was one month, so I’ve missed a lot.”

9.56am BST

All air traffic at Israel’s principal airport was shut down on Friday after workers walked off the job to demand compensation for wages lost due to the coronavirus crisis.

Global demand for air travel has plummeted amid the pandemic and Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, put about 2,500 airport workers on unpaid leave in early March.

The Israel Airports Authority’s workers’ union has demanded the country negotiate a compensation package with airport workers.

“The workers that were placed on unpaid leave have now stopped receiving unemployment benefits. We need the government to find a solution,” the union spokeswoman Gali Gabbay said.

Most flights at the airport had already been halted due to the pandemic, save for a handful of daily passenger and cargo services.

The workers’ strike will affect 37 flights on Friday, 17 outbound and 20 inbound, the airport said. It did not say how many were passenger or cargo flights.

Israel has not said when it will end Covid-19 border restrictions.

Updated at 10.03am BST

9.46am BST

A US aircraft carrier ship, whose captain was removed for scathing remarks about a coronavirus outbreak onboard, has returned to service in the Pacific Ocean, authorities said.

Brett Crozier lost his command in early April as punishment for the leak of a letter he sent to superiors seeking tougher action against the spread of Covid-19 on his ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Hailed as a hero by his crew, Crozier’s case is now being reconsidered by the US navy, which has recommended his reinstatement to the defense secretary, Mark Esper.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt departs Apra Harbor in Guam.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt departs Apra Harbor in Guam. Photograph: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier/AP

The massive carrier was sidelined for about 10 weeks because of the outbreak, which infected a fifth of its 5,000 sailors, but set sail again from the US Pacific territory of Guam on Thursday, the ship’s public affairs office said.

It had a famous navy battle cry – “Don’t Give Up The Ship” – flying from the port yardarm.

The ship returned to the US 7th Fleet area of operations to provide maritime security with new social distancing rules including staggered mealtimes, the navy said.

“We have returned Theodore Roosevelt to sea as a symbol of hope and inspiration,” said the new Captain, Carlos Sardiello.

Updated at 10.05am BST

9.37am BST

Thailand is positioning itself as a trusted destination for international tourists after travel restrictions ease, capitalising on its relative success in containing the coronavirus outbreak, industry officials say.

The south-east Asian country, the first to report a virus case outside of China, wants to build on its reputation and remake its popular image as a destination for big tour groups.

“After Covid eases, we plan to refresh the country’s image to a trusted destination where tourists will have peace of mind,” Tanes Petsuwan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) deputy governor for marketing and communications, told Reuters.

The campaign, to be launched later in the year, will be aimed at young, affluent travellers from places that are considered low-risk such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, Tanes said.

It will highlight scenic beaches and parks, part of a “tourism bridge” that could emerge in Asia including Hong Kong and Japan.

The government has rolled out a health certification system for hotels and restaurants so that travellers can be reassured.

South-east Asia’s second-largest economy has so far reported just over 3,100 cases and 58 deaths – far less than other major regional economies, except for Vietnam.

Local transmission has waned, with the last recorded case on 25 May.

A man sits at the edge of the beach by a left over sign warning of the beach’s closure, on the first day of reopening in Pattaya, Thailand.
A man sits at the edge of the beach by a leftover sign warning of the beach’s closure, on the first day of reopening in Pattaya, Thailand. Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPA

The tourism industry, which accounts for 12% of the economy, collapsed after the outbreak escalated.

Thailand welcomed 39.8 million foreign tourists last year but projects as few as 14 million for 2020.

Thailand has banned international flights until at least 30 June, and foreign tourists aren’t expected until later in the year.

In the meantime, the government is drawing up a stimulus package to promote domestic tourism from July to October.

But when international travel resumes, Thailand will promote the “trust” concept, as hotels emphasise measures they are taking for safety and offer special packages.

Central Plaza Hotel, which manages 46 hotels and resorts across Thailand, will seal rooms once they are cleaned and disinfected so guests will be confident, the deputy CEO Markland Blaiklock told Reuters.

“We may limit occupancy at 50% on some properties so guests experience social distancing that they are comfortable with,” he said.

But it’s unclear if travellers will be at ease before a coronavirus vaccine is available, which experts say is at least a year away.

Updated at 10.08am BST

9.23am BST

The Czech Republic said it would fully open borders with Austria and Germany, as well as travel with Hungary, on Friday, 10 days earlier than planned, almost three months after they were shut to curb coronavirus.

Travellers will be free to enter from noon (10:00 GMT) without submitting a negative virus test or going into quarantine.

Czechs still require people from countries including Britain and Sweden to submit negative test results before being allowed in.

Having closed all borders on 16 March to stem coronavirus infections, the Czechs reopened the Slovakia frontier on Thursday and lifted all travel restrictions with their neighbour.

Officials said on Monday they would open the border for the citizens of “safe” countries, including their neighbours but also Switzerland, Finland and the Baltic states, from 15 June.

“We have brought the opening forward with these countries,” the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, told reporters, referring to Austria, Germany and Hungary, without explaining why the move was being made earlier than planned.

The government also announced on Monday that Czechs would be free to travel to less-safe countries including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain.

But foreigners arriving from these countries would have to submit a negative test result upon entry, just like those from the least safe countries – Britain and Sweden.

Czechs returning from Britain and Sweden will have to provide negative tests too.

As of Friday morning, the Czech Republic had registered almost 9,500 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 326 deaths, in a population of 10.7 million people.

Updated at 10.09am BST

9.10am BST

Surgical masks are washing up in growing quantities on the shores of Hong Kong, a city that has overwhelmingly embraced face coverings to fight the coronavirus.

Conservationists say the masks are adding to already alarmingly high levels of plastic waste in the waters around the finance hub.

“The single use plastic mask is just another additional burden that we are leaving behind for the future generations on the beach,” Gary Stokes, co-founder of OceansAsia, told AFP.

During a recent visit, conservationists counted and removed 70 masks from a 100 metre stretch of beach. A week later, another 30 masks had washed up.

“Ever since society started wearing masks, the cause and effects of it are now being seen on the beaches,” Stokes said.

Gary Stokes, founder of the environmental group OceansAsia, shows discarded face masks he found on a beach in Hong Kong.
Gary Stokes, founder of the environmental group OceansAsia, shows discarded face masks he found on a beach in Hong Kong. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong’s 7.5 million inhabitants produce six million tonnes of waste each year, only around 30% of it recycled.

Even before the coronavirus emerged, residents often wore face masks on the daily commute, especially during the winter flu season.

But the emergence of the deadly Covid-19 disease has made mask wearing near ubiquitous.

A growing number of companies are now offering reusable masks and the government has also launched an initiative to send all residents a fabric mask that can be washed.

But disposable masks remain by far the most popular choice. Stokes said:

What I’ll be waiting to see is when we’ll get a dead porpoise or dolphin washed out with masks inside their stomach.

Obviously these are another thing that enters into the marine environment and could be mistaken for food.

Updated at 10.10am BST

9.04am BST

Covid-19 ‘under control’ in France: government adviser

The Covid-19 pandemic is now “under control” in France, the head of the government’s scientific advisory council has said, as the country cautiously lifts a lockdown imposed in March.

Jean-Francois Delfraissy told France Inter radio:

We can reasonably say the virus is currently under control. The virus is still circulating, in certain regions in particular … but it is circulating slowly.

Delfraissy, an immunologist, and his colleagues were appointed to the coronavirus advisory panel as authorities sought to contain an outbreak that has killed more than 29,000 people in France.

The number of daily deaths has fallen off, however, with just 44 reported by the health ministry on Thursday.

Delfraissy said around 1,000 new cases were currently being reported in France per day, down from around 80,000 in early March, before the nationwide stay-at-home orders and business closures were issued.

In its latest summary of findings published on Thursday, the Sante Publique France health agency estimated that the country had 151,325 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of 2 June, when restaurants across France were allowed to reopen.

But it cautioned that at the height of the outbreak, patients with suspected coronavirus infections were not systematically tested, meaning the actual number of cases exceeds the official estimate.

Updated at 10.21am BST

8.51am BST

Russia’s coronavirus infections near 450,000

Russia has reported 8,726 new cases of Covid-19, pushing the total number of infections in the country to 449,834.

Officials said 144 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,528.

Updated at 8.51am BST

8.50am BST

An influential medical journal article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in Covid-19 patients was retracted on Thursday, adding further controversy to the drug championed by US president Donald Trump.

Three of the authors of the article retracted it, citing concerns about the quality and veracity of data in the study, following a Guardian investigation into the data and US company Surgisphere which provided it.

The anti-malarial drug has been controversial in part due to support from Trump, as well as implications of the study published in British journal The Lancet last month, which led several Covid-19 studies to be halted.

The three authors said Surgisphere would not transfer the dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources”.

The fourth author of the study, Dr Sapan Desai, chief executive of Surgisphere, declined to comment on the retraction.

The Lancet said on Thursday it “takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study”.

It said institutional reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations were urgently needed.

Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine that relied on Surgisphere data and shared the same lead author, Harvard Medical School professor Mandeep Mehra, was retracted for the same reason.

The observational study published in The Lancet on 22 May said it looked at 96,000 hospitalised Covid-19 patients, some treated with the decades-old malaria drug.

It claimed that those treated with hydroxychloroquine or the related chloroquine had higher risk of death and heart rhythm problems than patients who were not given the medicines.

The World Health Organization, which paused hydroxychloroquine trials after The Lancet study was released, said on Wednesday it was ready to resume trials, and dozens of other trials have resumed or are in process.

The study’s lead author, professor Mehra, said in a statement:

I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry.

Many scientists voiced concern about the study, which had already been corrected last week because some location data was wrong. Nearly 150 doctors signed an open letter to The Lancet calling the article’s conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer review comments that preceded publication.

The episode highlights how studies to prevent and treat the virus are being conducted at unprecedented speed while garnering high levels of attention that could give findings unwarranted weight.

8.21am BST

Singapore has confirmed another 261 coronavirus cases, the city-state’s smallest increase in nearly two months, taking its tally to 37,183.

The lower number of cases was partly due to the fact that fewer swab-tests were conducted, the health ministry said.

8.08am BST

Afghanistan has recorded its biggest one-day rise of new coronavirus cases as around 60% of tests over the last 24 hours came back positive, with a continued surge of transmission in Kabul and record high in Helmand.

According to the latest update, the health ministry has detected 915 new cases out of 1,570 tests, marking the war-torn country’s biggest one-day rise of new infections.

Nine patients also died overnight, with the total number of infections now standing at 18,969 and the death toll at 309. There have been 1,763 recoveries.

Most new cases have been reported in the capital city of Kabul, where the health ministry detected 423 new cases out of 811 tests. Kabul is the country’s worst affected area with 7,556 cases.

The western province of Herat recorded 201 new cases out of 243 tests in the last 24 hours. Testing capacity remains low in Afghanistan and experts warn that real Covid-19 figures may be much higher.

Earlier this week, the International Rescue Committee warned about the low capacity of testing and said the Afghan health ministry has the capacity to test 2,000 suspected patients each day, but is receiving between 10,000 – 20,000 samples daily.

The IRC said:

That means between 80 – 90% of potential cases are not being tested.

Afghanistan has one of the highest test positivity rates (40%) of all the countries where the IRC works, suggesting a high level of undetected population infection.

Helmand province recorded 20 new cases after more than a month without new reports.

On Thursday, a newly introduced acting minister of public health, Ahmad Jawad Osmani, said in a press conference that he would bring reforms to the health sector.

Osmani said the coronavirus must be fought, but that reforms in hospitals and in other service areas must also be made. He said current health services do not meet the people’s standards and need to be increased.

7.55am BST

New orders for German manufacturing firms saw their sharpest fall on record in April during the coronavirus shutdown, official data has shown, plunging a worse-than-expected 25.8% from March.

The closely-watched indicator of future industrial activity saw “the biggest fall since the beginning of the data series in 1991” just after German reunification, federal statistics authority Destatis said.

The reading was down 36.6% year-on-year, it added.

Destatis had previously flagged March’s 15% month-on-month plunge as the worst in the history of the industrial orders measure.

“The collapse in new industrial orders worsened again in line with expectations in April,” the economy ministry in Berlin said, as “restrictions against the corona pandemic were in place during the whole month”.

Other indicators of German industrial output have also plummeted in recent months.

Since January, carmakers have built fewer than one million vehicles, down more than one-third compared with the first five months of 2019.

Ministers in chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government this week agreed a new €130bn (8bn) stimulus package to get the country moving again as it gradually emerges from infection control lockdowns.

The country’s biggest post-war package, includes cuts to VAT, handouts to families, and subsidies for greener transport options.

However the economy ministry said that the “given gradual loosening (of lockdowns) the worst of the industrial recession should be behind us”.

7.50am BST

Dozens of protesters in Hong Kong marched through a shopping mall on Friday, chanting pro-democracy slogans a day after thousands defied a police ban to hold a vigil for the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen crackdown in 1989.

Protesters of all ages joined the march in the heart of the city’s financial district, which ended peacefully after an hour.

Some held banners that read “Hong Kong independence” and “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” as well as the former British colonial flag, while others chanted “Glory to Hong Kong”, the unofficial anthem of the protests.

Thursday’s anniversary of Chinese troops opening fire on student-led protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square was particularly sensitive this year as the central government drafts national security laws for the Asian financial hub.

Participants gesture with five fingers, signifying the “Five demands - not one less”, during a vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on Thursday.
Participants gesture with five fingers, signifying the “Five demands – not one less”, during a vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

It was the first time in 31 years that scuffles briefly disrupted what is usually a solemn day in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, which traditionally organises the world’s biggest memorial for the crackdown.

Officers would not have intervened if protesters had not blocked roads in the district of Mong Kok, police said on Twitter on Thursday. They had rejected the application for the vigil over concerns about the coronavirus.

7.32am BST

Governments must rebuild their economies after the coronavirus crisis to withstand the next shock heading their way – climate change – the central bank governors of Britain and France have said.

“Unless we act now, the climate crisis will be tomorrow’s central scenario and, unlike Covid-19, no one will be able to self-isolate from it,” Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey and his French counterpart, François Villeroy de Galhau, wrote in a joint article published in the Guardian.

They said countries around the world were far from meeting their climate goals and the coronavirus pandemic had shown that reacting to a crisis at its height brought huge costs. They said:

To address climate breakdown, we can instead take decisions now that reduce emissions in a less disruptive manner. That requires us to be strategic. To build back better.

Central banks have increasingly put the risks of climate change into their assessments of the health of the financial services firms that they monitor.

A group representing central bankers and regulators – the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) – will publish climate reference scenarios in the coming weeks which Bailey and Villeroy said would “raise the bar for the financial sector”.

The article was co-written with Frank Elderson, chair of NGFS who is an executive board member of the central bank of the Netherlands, and with former BoE governor Mark Carney, who is the United Nations’ special envoy for climate action and finance.

Updated at 9.26am BST

7.22am BST

First Covid-19 case recorded among persecuted Rohingya in Myanmar

The first case of Covid-19 has been recorded among the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, adding to concerns that the virus could spread rapidly among the persecuted group.

Rohingya have faced decades of oppression in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship, face severe restrictions on their movement, and have extremely limited access to health care.

Rights groups are particularly concerned about the squalid conditions in camps in central Rakhine state where around 130,000 internally displaced Rohingya remain trapped.

Human Rights Watch recently reported that the Burmese authorities are using the Covid-19 response measures as a pretext to further harass and extort Rohingya, and are “doubling down on a system in which they are already effectively incarcerating the population”.

In 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya fled over the border to Bangladesh, following brutal campaign by the Myanmar military that has since led to a genocide case in the UN’s top court. Around 600,000 Rohingya remain in Myanmar, where the UN warns they face a continued risk of genocide.

The 38 year-old man in Rakhine state who is confirmed to have the virus was tested on Monday and had returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh, officials told Radio Free Asia.

This week, authorities in Bangladesh confirmed the first death from Covid-19 in the country’s refugee camps, where there are also major concerns about overcrowding, poor sanitation and limited medical facilities.

The man, aged 71, died on 31 May while undergoing treatment at the camp’s isolation center. So far, 29 people have tested positive in the camps, which host about one million Rohingya.

7.13am BST

The Norwegian economy contracted 4.7% in April from March but the outlook for the rest of the year now looks less bleak than it did in late April, Statistics Norway has said.

The mainland economy, which excludes the volatile offshore oil and gas production, is now forecast to drop 3.9% for the full year compared to the 5.5% fall predicted on 24 April when Norway was in lockdown.

7.07am BST

Hello, this is Jessica Murray, I’ll be steering the live blog for the next few hours.

If you have any stories or suggestions you’d like to share, feel free to get in touch:

  • Email: jessica.murray@theguardian.com
  • Twitter: @journojess_

6.52am BST

A quick look at the Guardian UK’s front page, which is leading on a pandemic exclusive: “Revealed: NHS test and trace not fully operational until September”.

Updated at 7.06am BST

6.27am BST

Britain’s test-and-trace system could take another four months before it is working properly, the Guardian has learned, raising concerns about how the country might cope with a second wave of coronavirus infections. Tony Prestedge, a banker drafted in to run the NHS scheme, told staff that the programme would be “imperfect” at launch and won’t be world class until September or October. Boris Johnson had said the “world-beating” scheme would be in place by 1 June.

You can read more about this and get up to speed with all the developments in our UK Morning Briefing with Martin Farrer below.

6.16am BST

Japan to cancel its biggest annual music event

Fuji Rock Festival, Japan’s biggest annual music event, will be cancelled for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said, disappointing thousands of rock-and-roll fans who flock to the outdoor festivities every year.

Since its inception in 1997, headliners at the event have included The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Cure and Kendrick Lamar. Last year, the event, held in the summer, attracted 130,000 people over four days.

“We had hoped the pandemic would abate in time to hold this summer’s festival as scheduled and were moving forward with planning,” the organisers said on their website.

“We apologise for taking so long to inform everyone of this decision.”

This year’s festival had been scheduled for three days from 21 August, with American rock band The Strokes among the acts.

Japan has been hit by around 18,000 infections and 900 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival has been cancelled over virus fears.
Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival has been cancelled over virus fears. Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

6.08am BST

US unemployment figures are due out on Friday, with some economists predicting the rate may shoot up to almost 20%.

Reuters reports that =while layoffs remained very high in the US, they eased considerably in the second half of May as businesses reopened after shuttering in mid-March to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The employment report is compiled from two separate surveys. According to a Reuters poll of economists, the survey of households is likely to show the unemployment rate jumped to 19.8% in May from 14.7% in April, which was the highest since 1948 when the government started keeping records. The survey of establishments is forecast showing non-farm payrolls dropped by 8m jobs after a record 20.537m plunge in April.

That would bring total job losses to 29.4m since March. If borne out by the new figures, that would be more than three times the jobs lost during the 2007-09 GFC, and it took six years recoup the jobs lost during that downturn.

Awoman walks past the Laugh Factory comedy club, closed amid the coronavirus pandemic on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.
Awoman walks past the Laugh Factory comedy club, closed amid the coronavirus pandemic on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Photograph: Valérie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

5.54am BST

Singapore plans wearable contact-tracing device

Singapore plans to soon launch a wearable device for coronavirus contact tracing that, if successful, it will distribute to all of its 5.7 million residents, the government said on Friday.

The city-state has already developed the first-of-its-kind smartphone app to identify and alert people who have interacted with novel coronavirus carriers, but the bluetooth technology has been beset with glitches and the app is not widely used.

“We are developing and will soon roll out a portable wearable device that will … not depend on possession of a smartphone,” foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan told parliament on Friday.

Singapore has started to ease its circuit breaker measures against Covid-19 since 2 June and reopen the economy in phases.
Singapore has started to ease its circuit breaker measures against Covid-19 since 2 June and reopen the economy in phases. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

“If this portable device works. We may then distribute it to everyone in Singapore … This will be more inclusive, and it will ensure that all of us will be protected.”

The device being developed can be worn on a lanyard or kept in a handbag and will be battery-operated, Balakrishnan said last month in an interview with Sky News Australia.

5.26am BST

Summary

  • Known cases pass 6.6 million worldwide. The number of known coronavirus infections has passed 6.6 million, with 6,601,349 currently confirmed, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Deaths are approaching 390,000, with the current toll at 389,645.
  • Brazil’s death toll overtakes Italy’s to become third-highest worldwide. Brazil’s total Covid-19 death toll blew past that of Italy on Thursday, as the Health Ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional coronavirus cases. The Latin American nation has now reported 34,021 deaths from the coronavirus, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Ebola drug remdesivir endorsed as a coronavirus treatment in Australia. The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups.
  • South Africa sees record rise in coronavirus cases. South Africa has recorded 3,267 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest increase since the pandemic hit the country. Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths, bring the total to 848. More than half of the cases are in the Western Cape region where health services are under pressure.
  • New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, urged protestors to get tested for coronavirus, saying several days and nights of demonstrations in the state after the killing of George Floyd could accelerate the spread. He noted that an estimated 30,000 people have protested in the state.
  • Death of man after face mask arrest shines light on Mexican police brutality. Mexicans have responded with outrage after a man was found beaten to death hours after he was arrested by police officers for not wearing a face mask in public.Giovanni López, a 30-year-old bricklayer, was detained on 4 May by municipal police officers in the town of Ixtlahuacán de Los Membrillos near Guadalajara.Video of the incident emerged on Wednesday, and shows the police officers with assault rifles forcing López into a police pickup truck as bystanders plead for his release.
  • Covid-19 causing 10,000 dementia deaths beyond infections, UK research says. There were almost 10,000 unexplained extra deaths among people with dementia in April, according to official figures that have prompted alarm about the severe impact of social isolation on people with the condition. The data, from the Office for National Statistics in England and Wales, reveals that, beyond deaths directly linked to Covid-19, there were 83% more deaths from dementia than usual in April, with charities warning that a reduction in essential medical care and family visits were taking a devastating toll.
  • Argentina extends lockdown. Argentina has extended a mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires, the capital, and some other parts of the country until 28 June, as confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise, surpassing 20,000 earlier in the day.
  • Virus patients with high blood pressure twice as likely to die: study. Patients with high blood pressure admitted to hospital with coronavirus infections are twice as likely to die as those without the condition, researchers said on Friday.
  • Tokyo Olympics exec says must watch virus situation for Games decision. A Tokyo 2020 executive board member said on Friday that organisers will need to monitor the coronavirus situation until next spring to decide whether to hold the Summer Olympics next year, Kyodo News reported.
  • Turkey announces weekend lockdown in 15 cities. Turkey will impose a weekend lockdown in 15 cities as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the interior ministry said.In a statement, the ministry said bakeries and certain shops could operate during the lockdown.Turkey has had 167,410 Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • Low Covid-19 figures for Africa are “broadly accurate”, the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said. There were concerns that low levels of testing, poor infrastructure and a lack of cooperation from some governments may be disguising the true extent of the disease’s spread.
  • US pandemic jobless claims passed 42m after another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The pace of layoffs has slowed dramatically from its peak of 6.6m at the start of April as states begin to relax quarantines. Last week was the ninth consecutive week of declines.

5.08am BST

Politicians may need to reimpose lockdown restrictions if there is a resurgence in coronavirus cases, a leading intensive care specialist has said.

Maurizio Cecconi, head of intensive care at the Humanitas research hospital in Milan and the incoming president of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, was one of three Lombardy doctors who warned the rest of Europe to “get ready” for Covid-19 in the early days of the outbreak.

Now he says society will have to “learn how to live” with coronavirus until there is a vaccine. While he is optimistic about European health authorities’ efforts to monitor the virus, he doesn’t exclude a return to tighter social controls. “If there is an increase in transmission we need to be ready to slow down again, and maybe to put [in place] restrictive measures again,” he said.

4.47am BST

The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Japan plans to allow business travellers from certain countries to bypass the country’s two-week quarantine requirement, starting in summer this year – if they have proof of a negative test result:

The government plans to hold talks with countries with similarly low infection rates to renegotiate immigration restrictions on both sides. Discussions will begin as early as this month with Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand, with new rules to be implemented once an agreement is reached.

The changes, which come after Japan lifted its nationwide coronavirus state of emergency, would likely cover corporate executives, engineers and other specialists, internal company transfers, and technical trainees, among others, according to details of a government proposal seen by Nikkei.

4.25am BST

Cases pass 6.6 million worldwide

The number of known coronavirus infections has passed 6.6 million, with 6,601,349 currently confirmed, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Deaths are approaching 390,000, with the current toll at 389,645.

The figures, which are based on official and media reports, are likely to significantly underestimate the scale of the pandemic due to differing testing and recording regimes, as well as suspected under-reporting.

4.12am BST

Tokyo Olympics exec says must watch virus situation for Games decision

A Tokyo 2020 executive board member said on Friday that organisers will need to monitor the coronavirus situation until next spring to decide whether to hold the Summer Olympics next year, Kyodo News reported.

The comment by lawmaker Toshiaki Endo, one of six vice presidents on the board and a former Olympics minister, marks the first time an executive from the organising committee has commented on the timing for a decision on going through with the Games, the news agency said.

The Games were postponed from this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

4.01am BST

Australia’s most populous state has lodged a legal application to stop a Black Lives Matter protest occurring in Sydney, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday, over coronavirus restriction concerns.

NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller says he lodged an injunction because the numbers of those attending the protest kept growing online. Protests in groups of 10 are allowed under the health order, but that if the supreme court outlaws the protest, a gathering of hundreds would be illegal.

Thousands of people have pledged to attend a protest organised in Sydney on Saturday in the wake of death of black American George Floyd in US police custody.

The protest had secured permission as it originally planned to have fewer than 500 people present.

But Berejiklian said when it became clear that thousands planned to attend, the legal application was made to the state’s Supreme Court.

Fuller said:

If ten people turn up in Pitt St tomorrow, we wish them well.

But if hundreds and thousands of people turn up, then they’re in breach of the health order and if they haven’t complied with the Supreme Court, then obviously all of the police powers available to us can be used.

Berejiklian spoke directly to those intending to attend:

I’m asking, appealing and pleading with those thousands of people who’ve indicated they’re turning up to a protest – please, do not do it. Stay at home. Express yourself in a different way.”

Updated at 5.28am BST

3.48am BST

A bubbly tale from Australia now …

A group of schoolchildren in the state of Queensland have sent fan mail to a lonely aquarium fish in Cairns to help him overcome his coronavirus lockdown-induced despondence, AAP reports.

But since the aquarium was closed due to the pandemic, one Queensland grouper began retreating to dark corners of his tank, and even stopped eating for a few weeks.

Students from Torbanlea State School empathised with Chang’s plight, and made it their mission to cheer him up.

“Out of nowhere we received this package in the mail, and it was addressed to Chang the Lonely Grouper,” aquarium boss Daniel Leipnik told AAP.

A Queensland grouper named Chang with fan mail from schoolchildren sent to cheer him up.
A Queensland grouper named Chang with fan mail from schoolchildren sent to cheer him up. Photograph: Daniel Leipnik/PR IMAGE

Inside were scores of self portraits drawn by the year one class, and a letter addressed to Chang. “When we couldn’t come to school, some of us were feeling gloomy too,” the letter read.

The aquarium was under strict instructions to attach the pictures to the other side of the acrylic.

“I thought, ‘oh maybe they might put the letter up in the staff room or something’. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that they would actually do it,” teacher Di McRae told AAP. But the aquarium did as they were told, and “it did the trick”.

“He was in a cave the whole day, but then when we put the pictures up against the acrylic, he actually came out, and was watching it,” Mr Leipnik said.

“People can relate to what an individual may feel like in an isolation type setting,” he said.

“I think people see themselves in this giant fish.”

Updated at 6.10am BST

3.35am BST

Japan’s household spending slumped again in April, falling 11.1% from a year earlier, government data showed Friday, as the world’s third-largest economy struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reports.

The figure released by the internal affairs ministry was largely in line with market expectations of a 12.75% drop. It was the seventh straight month of declines since October, when the government hiked a sales tax.

The April drop was partly attributed to declines in spending on transport and telecommunications, and well as on leisure activities.

A woman wearing a kimono crosses a street in Tokyos Ginza area on 5 June 2020.
A woman wearing a kimono crosses a street in Tokyos Ginza area on 5 June 2020. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

The latest figures come after official data last month confirmed Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, shrinking by 0.9% in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus.

The drop in gross domestic product followed a 1.9% decline in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the tax hike and typhoons hit Japan hard – even before the pandemic shut down much of the economy.

Fears about the economic impact of the virus have shaken global and Japanese financial markets and the Bank of Japan last month expanded its emergency monetary easing and cut growth forecasts for the country.

3.29am BST

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 394 to 183,271, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

The reported death toll rose by 26 to 8,613, the tally showed.

3.08am BST

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged the country to remain calm Thursday as Mexico registered the second straight day of escalating coronavirus death numbers that rivaled those coming out of Brazil or the United States, AP reports.

The Health Department announced 816 more confirmed Covid-19 deaths, one day after officials reported a toll of 1,092 deaths, which was more than double the highest previous toll reported in a single day. Officials said an additional 1,033 suspected Covid-19 deaths were awaiting confirmation, suggesting daily tolls would remain high. Newly confirmed coronavirus cases also continued to rise by record amounts, with 4,442 reported Thursday.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell sought to allay fears over the new numbers, saying that daily deaths had peaked 17 May. He said many of the Covid-19 deaths reported this week actually occurred in May but were not tallied until now because of backlogs in reporting or testing.

Aerial view of graves being dug to meet the demand of deceased people at the Municipal Pantheon of Valle de Chalco in State of Mexico on 4 June 2020.
Aerial view of graves being dug to meet the demand of deceased people at the Municipal Pantheon of Valle de Chalco in State of Mexico on 4 June 2020. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

But with total deaths standing at 12,545, he acknowledged the pandemic could wind up costing as many as 35,000 lives in Mexico, local media reported.

Experts said the reason for this week’s sudden jump in deaths was attributable to a number of factors, including confirmation and inclusion of deaths stretching back as far as 25 days. But the country is also passing through the pandemics most critical moment with a dramatically increasing number of confirmed and suspected infections.

2.52am BST

South Africa has dehorned dozens of rhinos in three popular game parks, aiming to prevent armed poachers taking advantage of empty parks to kill them for their horns.

The exercise in Pilanesburg National Park and the Mafikeng and Botsalano game reserves – all northwest of Johannesburg – leaves the rhinos with horn rumps too small for poachers to bother with, Nico Jacobs, helicopter pilot and founding member of non-profit Rhino 911 told Reuters.

As Jacobs flew a helicopter over Pilanesburg last month with Reuters journalists, they spotted a lioness eating the carcass of a rhino that had been poached days earlier. Experts fear the absence of tourists may already have spurred a poaching spike.

A rhino that has been dehorned in an effort to deter poaching lies on the ground, amid the spread of the coronavirus, at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in North West Province, South Africa, 12 May 2020.
A rhino that has been dehorned in an effort to deter poaching lies on the ground, amid the spread of the coronavirus, at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in North West Province, South Africa, 12 May 2020. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

On Monday, scientists published a study showing that humans are causing mass extinction on a scale unseen since a meteor wiped out the land dinosaurs 65 million years ago, the sixth large-scale extinction in Earth’s history.

Decades of hunting and habitat loss have reduced Rhino numbers to about 27,000 today, according to the International Rhino Foundation. A poaching surge has wiped out thousands in the past three years.

Rhino horn sells for ,000 a kilogram, more than cocaine or gold. In East Asia, it is used in medicinal potions, despite containing the same key component as human fingernails.

Dehorning is controversial, especially as it makes male rhinos vulnerable in fights. But they are not essential for survival, and, like fingernails, they grow back.

2.42am BST

As Brazil’s toll passed Italy’s, President Jair Bolsonaro cracked jokes in a 45 minute Facebook broadcast with foreign policy adviser Filipe Martins.

During the broadcast, Bolsonaro barely mentioned victims of the virus, choosing instead to attack his political enemies, as well as the protestors who have been mobilising against him. He called demonstrators “addicts” and “criminals” and “fools”.

2.35am BST

Despite the worsening situation in Brazil, many parts of the region are moving towards reopening, against the advice of most medical experts.

Miguel Lago, the director of Brazil’s Institute for Health Policy Studies, said reopening was a mistake that was likely to cause an explosion of infections and pile further pressure on hospitals that were already struggling to cope with the pandemic.

“I am very worried … We are going to witness hospitals collapsing in almost every state,” Lago warned. “I think the worst is still to come.”

Coronavirus cases have now been detected in more than 70% of Brazilian cities, with the south-eastern states of Rio and São Paulo particularly badly hit.

Updated at 2.35am BST

2.22am BST

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

2.15am BST

In Brazil, in an online broadcast shortly before the numbers were released, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro made almost no mention of the victims but continued to publicly attack efforts to slow the advance of coronavirus with quarantine measures and social distancing.

“We can’t go on like this. Nobody can take it anymore,” Bolsonaro said of the shutdown efforts being implemented by state governors and mayors across Brazil. “The collateral impact will be far greater than those people who unfortunately lost their lives because of these last three months here,” Bolsonaro said.

The numbers – which came after Mexico reported a record daily tally of more than 1,000 deaths on Wednesday – reinforced fears that Latin America’s two biggest economies, and other countries in the region, were facing a bleak few months.

2.13am BST

Brazil’s death toll overtakes Italy’s to become third-highest worldwide

Brazil’s total COVID-19 death toll blew past that of Italy on Thursday, as the Health Ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional coronavirus cases.

The Latin American nation has now reported 34,021 deaths from the coronavirus, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom.

2.06am BST

Virus patients with high blood pressure twice as likely to die: study

Patients with high blood pressure admitted to hospital with coronavirus infections are twice as likely to die as those without the condition, researchers said on Friday.

For in-patients with the virus who had stopped taking medication for high blood pressure, the risk of dying doubled again, they reported in the European Heart Journal.

“It is important that patients with high blood pressure realise that they are at increased risk of dying from Covid-19,” said senior author Fei Li, a cardiologist at Xijing Hospital in Xian, China.

For the study, researchers in China and Ireland retroactively examined cases admitted to Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan between 5 February and 15 March.

Nearly 30% – 850 patients – had a history of hypertension, another term for high blood pressure. 4% of those patients died, compared with just over one percent of the 2,027 patients without hypertension.

After adjusting for age, sex and other medical conditions, the researchers calculated that having high blood pressure increased the risk of dying two-fold.

1.51am BST

Mexico sees record daily case rise

Mexico’s health ministry reported a record 4,442 additional cases of the novel coronavirus in the country on Thursday, and 816 more deaths, bringing the total to 105,680 cases and 12,545 deaths.

Workers bury an alleged victim of Covid-19 at the Municipal Pantheon of Valle de Chalco, State of Mexico on 4 June 2020.
Workers bury an alleged victim of Covid-19 at the Municipal Pantheon of Valle de Chalco, State of Mexico on 4 June 2020. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

1.41am BST

Argentina extends lockdown

Argentina extended on Thursday a mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires, the capital, and some other parts of the country until 28 June, as confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise, surpassing 20,000 earlier in the day.

The three-week extension of the lockdown, which had been due to expire June 7, will impact the capital city, the province of Buenos Aires and some other areas that account for the highest concentration of confirmed infections, President Alberto Fernandez said during a press conference. The rest of the country will move to a phase of “mandatory and preventive social distancing.”

The next phase will include new permissions, including outdoor exercise during certain hours in the city of Buenos Aires, which has the highest concentration of cases, officials said.

Argentina recorded 929 new infections on Thursday, one of the highest daily counts since the pandemic began. The country has 20,197 cases, mostly in the city Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires. The death toll is at 608.

“Our results are still good, but we have not yet overcome the problem,” Fernandez said.

Argentina has been under mandatory lockdown since March 20, though officials already relaxed restrictions in some areas of the country. Argentina has a commercial flight ban until 1 September, one of the world’s strictest travel measures during the pandemic.

Men ride a motorcycle in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Men ride a motorcycle in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photograph: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

1.27am BST

Death of man after face mask arrest shines light on Mexican police brutality

Mexicans have responded with outrage after a man was found beaten to death hours after he was arrested by police officers for not wearing a face mask in public.

Giovanni López, a 30-year-old bricklayer, was detained on 4 May by municipal police officers in the town of Ixtlahuacán de Los Membrillos near Guadalajara.

Video of the incident emerged on Wednesday, and shows the police officers with assault rifles forcing López into a police pickup truck as bystanders plead for his release.

“Just for not a wearing a mask?” asks one witness, incredulously.

“He was resisting,” answers an officer.

López’s relatives went looking for him at the police station, but were told he had been taken to a public hospital in Guadalajara. When they reached the hospital they found his dead body.

He had a bullet would in his foot, and an autopsy later revealed that he died of a blunt trauma to the head.

1.14am BST

China reported five new Covid-19 cases and three new asymptomatic infections for June 4, the health commission said on Friday.

The National Health Commission said all five of the new cases were imported, involving travellers from overseas. For 3 June, China had reported one confirmed case and four asymptomatic cases.

Chinese women wear protective masks and costume as they dance for exercise outside a luxury shopping mall on 4 June 2020 in Beijing.
Chinese women wear protective masks and costume as they dance for exercise outside a luxury shopping mall on 4 June 2020 in Beijing. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China does not count asymptomatic cases, people who test positive for the coronavirus but do not exhibit Covid-19 symptoms, as confirmed infections.

The total number of infections in China stands at 83,027. The death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

1.01am BST

Covid-19 causing 10,000 dementia deaths beyond infections, research says

There were almost 10,000 unexplained extra deaths among people with dementia in April, according to official figures that have prompted alarm about the severe impact of social isolation on people with the condition.

The data, from the Office for National Statistics, reveals that, beyond deaths directly linked to Covid-19, there were 83% more deaths from dementia than usual in April, with charities warning that a reduction in essential medical care and family visits were taking a devastating toll.

“It’s horrendous that people with dementia have been dying in their thousands,” said Kate Lee, chief executive officer at Alzheimer’s Society. “We’ve already seen the devastating effect of coronavirus on people with dementia who catch it, but our [research] reveals that the threat of the virus extends far beyond that.”

12.47am BST

New Zealand tiptoes towards elimination of coronavirus

Charlotte Graham McLay reports from Wellington:

As health officials announce each new day of no new Covid-19 cases, social media explodes with New Zealanders celebrating the news.

“That feeling like you got away with something that seemed impossible and you can’t quite believe it even though you want to believe it,” wrote one, on Twitter. “But for an entire country.”

Twenty-two New Zealanders have died of Covid-19, ; thousands have lost their jobs and the nation’s largest export sector, tourism, lies in tatters. But as New Zealanders look to the hundreds of thousands of deaths recorded in other countries, there is a sense that the rest of the world faced a different pandemic, the disastrous scale of which never fully arrived here.

Now, providing there are no new and unexpected cases to marr the country’s 13-day streak of zero fresh instances of Covid-19, scientists say they expect to be able to declare next week that the virus has been eliminated from New Zealand – making it the first country among the OECD group of wealthy nations, and the first country that has recorded more than 100 cases to make such a statement, analysts said.

12.36am BST

Remdesivir: Ebola drug endorsed as a coronavirus treatment in Australia

The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups.

The National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce said Australian doctors treating adults with moderate, severe or critical Covid-19 should consider using the drug to aid recovery times. The antiviral drug is the first medication to be recommended as a considered treatment for patients treated in hospital after contracting coronavirus.

Originally developed for the treatment of Ebola, clinical trials have shown remdesivir may improve recovery time for people with moderate to critical Covid-19 symptoms. The taskforce’s executive director, Associate Professor Julian Elliott, said while it was early days it was a significant step forward.

“This is the first information we have that a drug has a beneficial effect as a treatment for Covid-19,” he said.

“The preliminary data published so far from two clinical trials indicate that it can reduce the time for someone to recover from Covid-19.

“However, we do not yet have definitive information that remdesivir will reduce the risk of dying from the disease.”

12.35am BST

Cuomo: Protesters have ‘civic duty’ to get tested for the virus

The thousands of people protesting the death of George Floyd have a “civic duty” to be tested for the coronavirus and help New York avoid a spike in new cases as it slowly restarts its economy, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

There’s widespread concern that people packing in tightly for demonstrations, sometimes without faces coverings, could lead to more Covid-19 cases. Cuomo was particularly concerned about daily mass demonstrations in New York City, which is poised to relax some restrictions amid an intense, monthslong effort to tame the outbreak.

Protestors hold up placards and raise their arms during a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, at Brooklyn Borough Hall on 1 June 2020 in New York.
Protestors hold up placards and raise their arms during a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, at Brooklyn Borough Hall on 1 June 2020 in New York. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

“If you were at a protest, go get a test, please,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “The protesters have a civic duty here also. Be responsible, get a test.”

An estimated 20,000 people have demonstrated in New York City alone, the governor said, as he expanded the state’s testing criteria to include people who attended recent protests across the state. Around 30,000 have protested across the state.

“New York City had the highest number of protesters,” Cuomo said. “We have to be smart.”

12.30am BST

South Africa sees record rise in coronavirus cases

South Africa has recorded 3,267 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest increase since the pandemic hit the country.

The country now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths, bring the total to 848.

More than half of the cases are in the Western Cape region where health services are under pressure.

A mine worker wearing a face masks boards a bus ahead of his shift, amid a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, at a mine of Sibanye-Stillwater company in Carletonville, South Africa, 19 May 2020.
A mine worker wearing a face masks boards a bus ahead of his shift, amid a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, at a mine of Sibanye-Stillwater company in Carletonville, South Africa, 19 May 2020. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africa is the sub-Saharan African country hardest hit by the pandemic. President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 27 ordered South Africans to observe a lockdown aimed at slowing the disease’s spread.

The move sharply limited people’s freedom of movement while slowing an economy already in recession. But Ramaphosa has gradually eased the lockdown measures and allowed most of the economy to restart.

12.21am BST

Summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments and tips on Twitter @helenrsullivan or email: helen.sullivan[at]theguardian.com.

South Africa, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases on the continent, has recorded a record increase in confirmed infections, with more than 3,000 in 24 hours. More than half of all cases are in the Western Cape province. The country imposed a strict, nationwide lockdown that included the banning of alcohol and cigarette sales, but has since eased restrictions.

Meanwhile in New York, where an estimated 30,000 people joined demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, governor Andrew Cuomo has urged protestors to get tested for coronavirus. “I’m not a nervous Nellie, I’m just looking at the numbers,” he said. “Many wear masks. But there is no social distancing. Police are in their face … If you were at a protest, get a test, please.”

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • South Africa sees record rise in coronavirus cases. South Africa has recorded 3,267 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest increase since the pandemic hit the country. Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths, bring the total to 848. More than half of the cases are in the Western Cape region where health services are under pressure.
  • New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, urged protestors to get tested for coronavirus, saying several days and nights of demonstrations in the state after the killing of George Floyd could accelerate the spread. He noted that an estimated 30,000 people have protested in the state.
  • Turkey announces weekend lockdown in 15 cities. Turkey will impose a weekend lockdown in 15 cities as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the interior ministry said.In a statement, the ministry said bakeries and certain shops could operate during the lockdown.Turkey has had 167,410 Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The UK unveiled a bn (£1.5bn) fund aimed at ensuring poorer countries can access doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine. The announcement was made at the third Gavi vaccine alliance replenishment summit, a virtual pledging event that raised .8bn.
  • The UK’s transport secretary, has announced that face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in England from 15 June. Grant Shapps added that people can be refused permission to travel if they do not comply and could be fined.
  • Low Covid-19 figures for Africa are “broadly accurate”, the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said. There were concerns that low levels of testing, poor infrastructure and a lack of cooperation from some governments may be disguising the true extent of the disease’s spread.
  • US pandemic jobless claims passed 42 million after another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The pace of layoffs has slowed dramatically from its peak of 6.6m at the start of April as states begin to relax quarantines. Last week was the ninth consecutive week of declines.

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