Coronavirus live news: cases in Africa pass 150,000; Germany lifts travel warning for Europe

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Global cases pass 6.3m; alert issued in Tokyo amid fear of new surge in cases – as it happened” was written by Helen Sullivan (now and earlier); Kevin Rawlinson, Damien Gayle, Simon Murphy, Simon Burnton and Alison Rourke (earlier), for theguardian.com on Tuesday 2nd June 2020 23.16 UTC

12.16am BST

12.02am BST

Brazil deaths pass 30,000

A record 1,262 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Brazil today – taking the country’s total death toll to 31,199 – but the president continues to downplay the pandemic.

The figures were announced on Tuesday evening by Brazil’s health ministry, which also said the number of coronavirus cases had risen to 555,383, second only to the United States.

The South American country is now on the verge of overtaking Italy, where 33,530 deaths have been recorded, as the country with the third highest number of deaths.

But Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissed Covid-19 as a “little flu”, again brushed off the tragedy on Tuesday.

“I regret each of the deaths – but that’s everyone’s destiny,” Bolsonaro told supporters outside his palace in the capitalBrasília.

Brazil’s most populous state, São Paulo, registered a record number of deaths on Tuesday taking the total number of fatalities there to nearly 8,000. Rio de Janeiro has Brazil’s second highest death toll with 5,686 deaths, followed by the northeastern state of Ceará where 3,421 people have died.

For all Bolsonaro’s dismissiveness, scientists and medical experts believe the situation is dire and likely to get worse. “Not even in our most dreadful nightmare could we have imagined the situation we are now in,” Drauzio Varella, a doctor and broadcaster, wrote in one of Brazil’s top newspapers last week.

11.42pm BST

Yemen aid funding falls short by USbn

Yemen remains on the brink of “a macabre tragedy”, the UN has warned after a humanitarian fundraising summit raised only .35bn (£1.05bn) for this year, around bn short of the target and only half the sum raised at the equivalent pledging conference last year.

The UN’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, said unless more money was raised Yemen “will face a horrific outcome at the end of the year”.

Despite the shortfall “the UN will not abandon the people of Yemen”, he said, adding that pledging would continue because some of last year’s large donors had not yet contributed.

Dr Abdullah al-Rabiah, the head of the King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Aid in Saudi Arabia, which co-hosted the virtual summit, put the overall shortfall down to the impact of coronavirus on national budgets and concerns about the restrictions on aid flows imposed by the parties to Yemen’s five-year civil war. “We want to be sure that the money will go to those in need,” he said.

11.26pm BST

The UK’s EasyJet and cruise operator Carnival are set to lose their place in the FTSE 100 index of the UK’s biggest companies following the collapse in their share prices due to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the travel industry.

The budget airline has lost half of its market value since the start of the pandemic as almost all flights have been cancelled, and the aviation industry warns it will take years to convince people to take to the skies in the same numbers they did before the virus struck. EasyJet last week announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs, although it plans to restart flights on the majority of its routes this summer.

11.13pm BST

Hi, I’m Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest news in the coronavirus pandemic for the next few hours.

As always, I’d love to hear from you – please get in touch on Twitter @helenrsulivan or via email: helen.sullivan[at]theguardian.com with comments, questions and news tips from where you live.

10.40pm BST

In the UK, the home secretary is threatening foreign travellers who disobey forthcoming quarantine rules with deportation, according to new restrictions laid out by ministers.

The rules, due to be set out by Priti Patel on Wednesday, have caused unease in the Tory ranks and been condemned by businesses. The plans, coming into force on 8 June, will see people arriving in the UK told to isolate for 14 days to prevent cases being introduced from overseas.

The Home Office said removal from the country would be considered “as a last resort” for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the order to stay at a single residence.

George Morgan-Grenville, the chief executive of tour operator Red Savannah, said:

By pursuing its quarantine plans without due regard for the economic consequences, the Government is choosing to ignore the devastation it will cause to companies, to employment and to the lives of all those whose jobs will be lost.

The quarantine measures are a blunt weapon which will bring only economic disaster.

9.30pm BST

For the last two months, Keir Starmer has been cautious about criticising the UK government’s coronavirus response.

The opposition leader has preferred to be forensic rather than furious, accepting that ministers have a difficult job.

But it appears that his patience has finally run out.

The calamitous events of the past week, from the Dominic Cummings affair to the mixed messages over the easing of the lockdown, has changed the mood of the new Labour leader. He has a tougher message now.

I am putting the prime minister on notice that he has got to get a grip and restore public confidence in the government’s handling of the epidemic.

If we see a sharp rise in the R rate, the infection rate, or a swath of local lockdowns, responsibility for that falls squarely at the door of No 10. We all know the public have made huge sacrifices. This mismanagement of the last few weeks is the responsibility of the government.

Updated at 9.44pm BST

9.00pm BST

Summary

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

8.52pm BST

The USA has confirmed 14,790 more cases and 761 more deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That takes the cumulative totals to 1,802,470 and 105,157, respectively.

8.20pm BST

In the UK, fewer than 2,000 people were contacted in the first four days of the NHS test and trace scheme, according to leaked data.

The government has yet to publish figures but Channel 4 News has seen the data from Thursday – the day the system was launched – up to Sunday, and it shows that 4,456 confirmed cases reported to the test and trace programme.

Of those, 1,831 self-registered on the website or have been called and completed the form providing information about their contacts. The number of contacts they provided was 4,634, of whom just 1,749 have been contacted, Channel 4 News reported.

7.47pm BST

That comes the day after Parisian cafes and restaurants reopen for the first time in 11 weeks.

The ministry said the number of people in hospital fell by more than 260, or 1.8%, to 14,028, and the number of people in intensive care fell by 49, or 3.8%, to 1,253. Both numbers have been on a downward trend since mid-April.

Updated at 7.57pm BST

7.46pm BST

French daily death toll greater than 100

France’s death toll has risen by more than a 100 in a 24-hour period for the first time in 13 days, as the country enacts a new easing of lockdown measures.

The French health ministry said that the number of fatalities has risen by 107, or 0.4%, to 28,940, the fifth-highest tally in the world.

7.28pm BST

The US and Brazilian presidents, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, are pushing for a joint research effort on using a drug to treat Covid-19 that has been linked to increased deaths in virus patients.

Trump has repeatedly touted use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, even admitting to taking it himself as a preventative measure. US health bosses have cautioned against its use outside of a hospital setting because of a risk of heart problems.

The White House said Trump and Bolsonaro “expressed their mutual appreciation for the longstanding collaboration on health issues between the two countries”, discussing the US delivery of 2m doses of the controversial drug to Brazil and a “joint research effort to help further evaluate the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for both prophylaxis and the early treatment of the coronavirus”.

6.58pm BST

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

  • The number of officially confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world has passed 6.3 million. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, 6,309,107 people are known to have been infected, while 376,445 are known to have died since the outbreak began.
  • Iran confirmed its second highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period since its outbreak began, with the health ministry saying 3,117 people tested positive. The number of new daily infections in Iran has now returned to levels previously seen at the peak of its outbreak in late March.
  • Germany’s travel warning for Europe will be lifted on Wednesday, its foreign minister, Heiko Maas, announced. The worldwide travel warning still applies. But, for the countries of the EU and associated states, the warning will be replaced by travel advice that will give travellers detailed information about the situation in each state.
  • The pandemic is exposing “endemic inequalities” that must be addressed, according to the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, who highlighted the protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd and data showing the crisis has had a worse impact on ethnic minority groups.
  • The UK’s official death toll passed 50,000, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The total differs from the government’s daily counts, which only include deaths in hospitals and care homes where the person had tested positive.
  • The UK statistics watchdog criticised the government’s testing data. Whitehall’s use of testing data appears to be aimed more at making it look like a lot is being done than actually painting a clear picture, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority warned the health secretary, Matt Hancock.
  • A Wuhan doctor who worked with the whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus last week, Chinese state media reported. Hu Weifeng, a urologist at Wuhan central hospital, reportedly became China’s first Covid-19 fatality in weeks when he died on Friday after being treated for more than four months.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map of the coronavirus for more than a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it, according to an Associated Press report.
  • The rise in unemployment slowed in Spain. The number of new jobseekers was close to 27,000 in May, about 10 times lower than in March and April during the country’s lockdown, the labour ministry said.

Thats it from me, Damien Gayle, for another day. See you tomorrow.

6.37pm BST

Reuters has posted this interesting video report on the potential for the spread of coronavirus during the demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd in the US.

In particular, one expert warns, the collapse of trust in the authorities is likely to have an impact on contact tracing. After all, when someone from the government calls you up to ask you who you went to the demo with, are you going to tell them?

6.27pm BST

Global confirmed coronavirus cases pass 6.3m

There have now been more than 6.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus across the world since the outbreak was first detected in China at the end of 2019, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The US-based university said that countries had reported a total of 6,318,040 cases of the virus on Tuesday, of which 376,885 had led to deaths.

The US continues to lead the world in confirmed cases, reporting 1,817,785, more than twice as many as the second-place country, Brazil, which has reported 526,447. Russia is the third worst-affected country, with 423,186 confirmed cases. The UK is fourth, with 277,738.

However, testing for the virus is not widespread even in many of the world’s richest countries, meaning that the true extent of the outbreak is likely to be much larger.

Updated at 6.36pm BST

6.20pm BST

US army scientist predicts vaccine “by the end of the year”

A senior US army vaccine researcher said on Tuesday it was reasonable to expect that some sort of coronavirus vaccine could be available to some parts of the US population by the end of the year, Reuters reports.

The defence secretary, Mark Esper, vowed on 15 May that the US government would collaborate with the private sector to produce a vaccine to treat US citizens and partners abroad by the year-end.

Col Wendy Sammons-Jackson, director of the military infectious disease research programme, told a Pentagon news briefing it was “reasonable to expect that there will be some form of a vaccine that could be available at some level, to a certain population by the end of the year”.

Updated at 6.22pm BST

6.00pm BST

The World Health Organization’s representative in Equatorial Guinea has been ordered to leave the country, after officials accused her of falsifying coronavirus case numbers.

In a document seen by AFP on Tuesday, the foreign ministry asked the UN health agency’s regional office in Africa “to end the duties” of its representative in Equatorial Guinea, Triphonie Nkurunziza, “and immediately oversee her departure from Malabo.”

The prime minister, Pascual Obama Asue, appearing at the Senate last Friday, accused Nkurunziza of “falsifying the data of people contaminated” by the coronavirus. “We don’t have a problem with the WHO, we have a problem with the WHO’s representative in Malabo,” he said in remarks broadcast on state television.

A source at the UN office in Malabo, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the government’s request but declined to go into details. “The government has asked her to go, we have received a document – she is accused of falsifying Covid-19 figures,” the source said. However, Nkurunziza is still in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea’s island capital, as there are no flights enabling her to leave, the source said.

Officials say that as of Monday there were 1,306 recorded cases of coronavirus, 12 of them fatalities, in a population of 1.3 million. The official tally used to be updated daily, but this practice stopped on 28 April, and the update is now being published only from time to time.

Figures put forward by the WHO have sometimes been somewhat higher than the national tally, although both tolls are the same right now.

Updated at 6.15pm BST

5.44pm BST

On Tuesday, Spain’s health ministry reported no new Covid-19 deaths for a second consecutive day, writes Sam Jones, the Guardian’s Madrid correspondent. However, the ministry also said there had been 34 deaths across the country over the past week, leading to some confusion.

Fernando Simón, the head of Spain’s centre for health emergencies, said the death figures were “yielding some problems” but added that the numbers were provided by Spain’s regional governments.

To date, the country has registered 27,127 deaths and 239,932 cases.

5.28pm BST

The World Health Organization struggled to get needed information from China during critical early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to recordings of internal meetings that contradict the organisation’s public praise of Beijing’s response to the outbreak, writes Lily Kuo, the Guardian’s Beijing bureau chief.

The recordings, obtained by the Associated Press (AP), show officials complaining in meetings during the week of 6 January that Beijing was not sharing data needed to evaluate the risk of the virus to the rest of the world. It was not until 20 January that China confirmed coronavirus was contagious and 30 January that the WHO declared a global emergency.

“We’re going on very minimal information,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist and the WHO technical lead for Covid-19, according to the AP. “It’s clearly not enough for you to do proper planning.”

The WHO’s top official in China, Gauden Galea, said in one of the recordings: “We’re currently at the stage where yes, they’re giving it to us 15 minutes before it appears on CCTV [Chinese state TV].”

The report comes amid growing international scrutiny of China’s handling of the outbreak and moves to establish an independent investigation into the origins of the virus, which has infected more than 6 million and killed more than 375,000 people around the world.

5.12pm BST

Official UK coronavirus death toll passes 50,000

The UK reached another grim milestone in its battle with coronavirus today as the official death toll surpassed 50,000, writes Pamela Duncan.

This morning, the ONS released figures showing that 44,401 Covid deaths had occurred in England and Wales by 22 May (these figures differ from the daily figures put out by the government, which include only deaths that have occurred in hospitals and care homes where the person has had a positive Covid-19 test prior to their death).

This follows last week’s release from National Records of Scotland, which showed that 3,779 deaths had been registered there up to 24 March.

A further 716 deaths had occurred in Northern Ireland by 22 May, NISRA figures show.

However, figures from NHS England show there were 931 deaths since then, a number that includes hospital deaths but not those occurring in care homes and other settings.

Scottish government figures released today show there have been 105 deaths newly registered after 24 May.

A further 78 deaths have occurred in Wales since 23 May, while there were 22 deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the same period.

Updated at 5.16pm BST

5.07pm BST

The prime minister of Russia has announced a 5tn rouble (£58bn) package to shore up the economy after coronavirus containment measures triggered the deepest contraction since 2009, Reuters reports.

Despite the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections nearing 424,000, the world’s third highest, Russia began to reopen this week with short walks permitted in Moscow and other, less hard-hit regions, cancelling pass systems and reopening cafes.

In April, the first full month of a nationwide lockdown, joblessness jumped to 5.8%, retail sales dipped by 23.4% and gross domestic product contracted by 12% – its deepest fall since May 2009. Overall, GDP is forecast down by 5-8% this year.

“By the end of the recovery period we should achieve stable, prolonged economic growth above pre-crisis levels,” Mikhail Mishustin, the PM, said, without giving details or figures. Before the coronavirus crisis, Russian GDP was forecast to grow by 3.1-3.2% in 2021-22.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, described the plan as a foundation for repairing the economy and for “long-term structural change”.

“It is a matter of crucial importance for us to solve today’s acute problems, as well as ensure confident movement forward in the long-term,” the French news agency AFP quoted him as saying.

Putin said the epidemic had “seriously impacted all spheres of life” and added that he expected to launch the recovery plan next month.

Updated at 5.11pm BST

4.53pm BST

Shopping malls in Dubai will fully reopen for business on Wednesday, in the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions, the emirate’s media office has announced, AFP reports.

The step makes the city-state the first in the Middle East to drop nearly all restrictions to combat the spread of the virus. Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, had already shortened a nighttime curfew to seven hours starting from 11pm.

Businesses in the private sector had been allowed since last week to work at 50% capacity, but the authorities now say they can “fully operate”.

Dubai’s shopping centres include the Mall of the Emirates, which has its own indoor ski slope, and Dubai Mall, adjacent to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure.

“The move aims to ensure the private sector is able to resume normal activity without compromising on preventive steps to protect people’s health and safety,” a media office statement said.

Preventative measures include wearing face masks, maintaining a minimum distance of 2 metres between individuals, and the regular use of hand-sanitiser, the statement added.

Updated at 4.58pm BST

4.37pm BST

Confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa have passed 35,000, the health minister reported on Tuesday.

In a tweet posted earlier in the afternoon, Zweli Mkhize reported that the cumulative number of cases in the country was now 35,812, an increase of 1,455 since Monday.

South Africa has the most confirmed virus cases of any nation in Africa. Despite that, authorities in the country took another step in easing lockdown restrictions on Monday with alcohol sales allowed again. Authorities have warned that the rate of new cases is expected to quicken.

South Africa has seen cases double roughly every 12 days while cases in the Western Cape, which by itself accounts for more than 23,000 infections, have been doubling every nine days.

Updated at 4.38pm BST

4.16pm BST

A coronavirus alert has been issued in Tokyo, as fears grow of a resurgence of infections just a week after the state of emergency in Japan’s capital was ended.

The regional governor, Yuriko Koike, issued the alert Tuesday after 34 new cases were confirmed in the city, where confirmed infections had slowed to a few per day in late May.

“The alert is to precisely inform the people of the status of infections and to advise caution,” Koike was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Tokyo’s Rainbow bridge is lit in red after authorities issued an alert due to an increase coronavirus cases.
Tokyo’s Rainbow bridge is lit in red after authorities issued an alert due to an increase coronavirus cases.
Photograph: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Lighting on Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge will be changed from rainbow-coloured to red as a sign of alert. However, the alert does not mean restrictions will be reimposed immediately.

Experts say the rise in new cases reflects the increased movement of people since mid-May and could increase further.

Koike said: “I want to remind everyone once again that we are fighting against an unknown virus as we still don’t have any vaccines or treatment for it.”

4.05pm BST

Hundreds of residents of one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Nairobi, Kenya, lit fires in the streets last night as they protested over the killing by police of a homeless man during the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Nineteen Kenyans have been killed by police enforcing coronavirus lockdowns, according to Boniface Mwangi, a civil rights activist. All came from low-income neighbourhoods, he said.

On Monday night, hundreds of people in Mathare, a slum in the east of the Kenyan capital, left their homes and burned tires in the streets in the latest outrage over police brutality. Dominic Njagi told the Associated Press he couldn’t understand why police shot his brother, 51-year-old James Mureithi.

People burn tires as they protest over the killing of a homeless man by police enforcing a coronavirus curfew in Nairobi.
People burn tires as they protest over the killing of a homeless man by police enforcing a coronavirus curfew in Nairobi.
Photograph: Brian Inganga/AP
Mathare residents gather and shine a torch on the body of James Mureithi, who they say was shot twice, once in the legs and once in the chest
Mathare residents gather and shine a torch on the body of James Mureithi, who they say was shot twice, once in the legs and once in the chest
Photograph: Brian Inganga/AP

He said Mureithi was a university-educated automotive engineer who suffered a mental breakdown after divorcing his wife 10 years ago.

“The pathologist I talked to said my brother was shot twice; one on the legs and the other on the chest,” Njagi said. “The pathologist said the chest wound was at close range.”

A local elder, Stephen Wesonga, said Mureithi was well-known in the slum as he used to walk around collecting recyclables to sell.

3.51pm BST

Several gatherings of extended families in the city of Göttingen, north-west Germany, two weekends ago have resulted in a local spike of the coronavirus, which authorities say has highlighted the need to stick to physical distancing rules, writes Kate Connolly, the Guardian’s Berlin correspondent.

As Germany slowly emerges from its lockdown restrictions, the outbreaks in Göttingen serve to illustrate the challenge of keeping the virus contained, despite the relatively efficient tracking and tracing system in place in the country.

Sixty-eight people of 166 tested had been found to have the virus by Monday, following the parties that took place on 23-24 May. Fifty-nine were from the city and nine from the wider area. One of the people infected has been hospitalised. The results of further tests are outstanding.

While the number may appear relatively low, the ramifications are considerable. Three hundred contact people have so far been identified – that is, those who were in close proximity to those who have been tested positive – and have been ordered to quarantine for 14 days.

“They may not leave their flats, not even to go shopping,” Cordula Dankert, a spokeswoman for the city, said.

Sixty of the contact people live in a high-rise block of flats that is home to 700 residents. Authorities have said while it might be desirable from an epidemiological viewpoint to put the whole block under quarantine, it is not realistic to do so.

3.36pm BST

Sweden has recorded a further 775 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 65 more deaths from Covid-19, according to the latest figures from its public health authority.

As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases of cases in the country stood at 38,589, of whom 4,468 have died.

The latest figures came as the numbers of tests carried out reached a new high, but fell well short of the 100,000 a week promised by officials. Almost 36,500 coronavirus tests were analysed in Sweden last week, the public health agency said.

Updated at 3.41pm BST

3.23pm BST

State media say Zimbabwe has confirmed its first coronavirus cases in prisons, with four inmates and two guards testing positive, US news agency the Associated Press reports.

The Herald newspaper says authorities declared the prisons in Plumtree, which borders Botswana, and in Beitbridge, which borders South Africa, as “no-go areas.” Authorities also have suspended movement out of prisons countrywide, resulting in some prisoners failing to attend court hearings.

Zimbabwe’s cases more than doubled in the past week to over 200, with most new infections at centres where people crossing the border are quarantined. Most are returning from Botswana and South Africa, which host millions of Zimbabweans who fled economic turmoil in recent years.

South Africa has more than 34,000 virus cases, the most in Africa. Zimbabwe’s health ministry says the returnees pose the biggest virus threat. Those arrested for illegal border crossings are put into the prisons in Plumtree and Beitbridge.

Zimbabwe earlier released more than 4,000 prisoners to ease overcrowding in facilities where health systems are weak. About 18,000 people are still behind bars.

3.15pm BST

Damien Gayle back at the controls now, with thanks to Simon for keeping things ticking over while I had my break. Remember, you can contact me with any comments, tips or suggestions for coverage, either via email to damien.gayle@theguardian.com, or via Twitter direct message to @damiengayle.

3.09pm BST

Covid-19 pandemic exposing “endemic inequalities”, says UN rights chief

The Covid-19 pandemic is exposing “endemic inequalities” that must be addressed, according to the United Nations’ human rights chief, who highlighted the protests triggered by George Floyd’s death.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, referenced the situation in the United States and a series of other countries, saying data shows the coronavirus crisis has had a worse impact on racial and ethnic minorities.

“This virus is exposing endemic inequalities that have too long been ignored,” she said in a statement, according to AFP.

A female protester stands in front of police officers yesterday in downtown Las Vegas, as part of a “Black lives matter” rally in response to the death of George Floyd.
A female protester stands in front of police officers yesterday in downtown Las Vegas, as part of a “Black lives matter” rally in response to the death of George Floyd.
Photograph: Bridget Bennett/AFP/Getty Images

Similar inequalities were also fuelling the widespread protests in hundreds of US cities over the police killing in Minneapolis last week of Floyd, an unarmed black man, Bachelet said. “In the United States, protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd are highlighting not only police violence against people of colour, but also inequalities in health, education, employment and endemic racial discrimination,” she explained.

She noted the virus death rate for African Americans is reportedly more than double that of other racial groups in the United States. Her statement also highlighted the situation in the UK, where an official study has found that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are up to 50% more likely to die after being infected with Covid-19.

And she pointed to Brazil, where people of colour in Sao Paulo are 62% more likely to die from the virus than white people, and in France’s heavily minority-inhabited Seine Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, which has reported higher excess mortality than other areas.

“The appalling impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities is much discussed, but what is less clear is how much is being done to address it,” Bachelet said.

Urgent steps need to be taken by states, such as prioritising health monitoring and testing, increasing access to healthcare, and providing targeted information for these communities.”

“People from racial and ethnic minorities are also found in higher numbers in some jobs that carry increased risk, including in the transport, health and cleaning sectors,” the statement said. She added:

Collection, disaggregation and analysis of data by ethnicity or race, as well as gender, are essential to identify and address inequalities and structural discrimination that contribute to poor health outcomes, including for Covid-19.

“The fight against this pandemic cannot be won if governments refuse to acknowledge the blatant inequalities that the virus is bringing to the fore,” Bachelet warned.

2.46pm BST

It is a country famed for its cuisine but during lockdown diners in France have been prevented from enjoying the country’s plethora of restaurants.

But now the country has taken a step closer to returning to some sense of normality, as cafes and restaurants opened their doors today for the first time since the Covid-19 control measures were imposed.

Two women enjoy lunch at the terrace of the Cafe Marly by the Louvre pyramid as bars and restaurants reopen in Paris, France, 02 June 2020.
Two women enjoy lunch at the terrace of the Cafe Marly by the Louvre pyramid as bars and restaurants reopen in Paris, France, 02 June 2020.
Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Although restrictions remain in the Paris region, where only outdoor seating and takeout is allowed at restaurants with dining rooms remaining closed, customers still flocked to seize the chance to bask on sunny terraces after 10 weeks of closures to fight the outbreak.

“I’ve missed this so much… we’re social animals, after all,” Rachida, 70, told AFP while sipping an espresso as her grandson enjoyed a lemonade at her local cafe in Romainville, a Paris suburb.

There were similar scenes elsewhere. “I’m almost overwhelmed,” Martine Depagniat, wearing a beige face mask and sunglasses, said at the Cafe de la Comedie in Paris, just across the street from the Louvre Museum where she works. “I think people really need a return to normal, even though there’s still a bit of nervousness,” she said.

But it’s not quite business as normal in the country – which has suffered more than 28,000 Covid-19 deaths – with many servers and customers wearing face masks and tables kept at least one metre apart new under government regulations.

In the rest of the country, where cafes and restaurants are fully open, some even welcomed customers at the stroke of midnight to celebrate their newfound freedom under a further relaxation of lockdown rules. “We’re leaving our confinement, to rediscover the pleasures and good times spent together,” said Frederic de Boulois, president of a regional hotel association in Nantes, western France, speaking from the Prison du Bouffay, a restaurant that sits atop a former mediaeval dungeon.

At the Cafe de Flore, a Left Bank institution in the French capital, waiter Philippe Da Cruz wore a surgical mask over his black vest and impeccably knotted tie as he chatted with clients. “They’re incredibly happy to be back, doing everyday things,” he said. “The real deconfinement is now beginning.”

Updated at 3.32pm BST

2.29pm BST

In England, an official study has found that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are up to 50% more likely to die after being infected with Covid-19.

The report, published today by Public Health England (PHE), reveals that people of Bangladeshi ethnicity had around twice the risk of death than people of white British ethnicity.

Meanwhile, people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and black ethnicity had between 10% and 50% higher risk of death.

The report examines disparities in how the disease affected people, showed there was a significant disproportionate effect on ethnic minorities, while confirming death tolls among the elderly were far higher.

It comes as a United Nations human rights official highlighted the “devastating impact” of the disease on those communities in Britain and other countries.

“Death rates from COVID-19 were higher for Black and Asian ethnic groups when compared to White ethnic groups,” the PHE report said.

Here’s some more detail on the study from my colleague, Haroon Siddique.

Updated at 2.30pm BST

2.16pm BST

It’s Simon Murphy here covering the global live blog while my colleague, Damien Gayle, takes a break.

2.03pm BST

1.58pm BST

Nursery schools in Belgium began reopening on Tuesday, two and a half months after they were closed down as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The reopening is the latest step in the gradual easing of lockdown measures in Belgium, which has recorded the worst per capita death rate from the coronavirus outbreak of any country in Europe.

Most nursery classes are due to reopen on Wednesday and Thursday, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports. From next week, primary schools are also due to reopen.

Belgium’s national security council will meet on Wednesday to decide on the third phase of lockdown easing, which will include the reopening of cafes and restaurants, and the resumption of domestic holidays and religious services, timetabled for 8 June.

A decision is also due to be taken on reopening the borders, which is expected on 15 June, in line with the schedules of Germany and France, Belgium’s biggest neighbours.

On Tuesday, the Sciensano public health institute reported 19 new deaths from Covid-19, bringing the total death toll in Belgium to 9,505. A further 98 people tested positive for coronavirus. So far, Belgium has recorded a total of 58,615 infections.

Updated at 2.23pm BST

1.44pm BST

Coronavirus cases in Africa pass 150,000

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Africa has passed 150,000, after 5,343 more cases were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control.

The latest update from the African Union health agency showed that there had been 152,442 cases of the virus, which causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease, reported by its 54 member states. Of those, 63,661 people had recovered and 4,344 had died.

According to the Africa CDC’s coronavirus dashboard, the worst affected area, by both deaths and infections, was north Africa.

1.30pm BST

Keeping at least 1-metre apart and wearing face masks and eye protection are the best ways to cut the risk of coronavirus infection, according to the largest review to date of studies on coronavirus disease transmission, Reuters reports.

In a review that pooled evidence from 172 studies in 16 countries, researchers found frequent handwashing and good hygiene are also critical – though even all those measures combined can not give full protection.

The findings, published in the Lancet journal on Monday, will help guide governments and health agencies, some of whom have given conflicting advice on measures, largely because of limited information about Covid-19.

“Our findings are the first to synthesise all direct information on Covid-19, Sars, and Mers, and provide the currently best available evidence on the optimum use of these common and simple interventions to help ‘flatten the curve’”, said Holger Schünemann, from McMaster University in Canada, who co-led the research.

A woman uses a facial mask and a protective face shield at the Plaza Las Americas shopping centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A woman uses a facial mask and a protective face shield at the Plaza Las Americas shopping centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Photograph: Thais Llorca/EPA

Current evidence suggests the coronavirus is most commonly spread by droplets, especially when people cough, and infects by entering through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly or via contaminated surfaces.

Derek Chu, an assistant professor at McMaster University, who co-led the work, said people should understand that “wearing a mask is not an alternative to physical distancing, eye protection or basic measures such as hand hygiene.”

Updated at 2.24pm BST

1.20pm BST

Hundreds of far-right supporters led by opposition leaders Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni are breaching social distancing restrictions as they protest in Rome against Italy’s government, writes Lorenzo Tondo, the Guardian’s southern Italy correspondent.

The demonstrators, who took to the streets to celebrate Italy’s Republic Day, have been chanting against prime minister Giuseppe Conte and the lockdown measures, which, according to the protesters, have “limited our freedom”. Many supporters are not wearing masks as the police struggle to restore order and physical distancing measures.

Lega leader Matteo Salvini at an anti-government demonstration in Rome.
Lega leader Matteo Salvini at an anti-government demonstration in Rome.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Even Salvini, who yesterday exhorted his followers to march on the streets of Rome, flaunted the regulations by removing his mask.

‘’Experts are saying the virus is dying’’, said Salvini when asked by journalists why he was not wearing the mask.

Thousands of people attacked Salvini on social media for his choice to protest publicly in such a delicate moment for the country. Many even pointed out that until recently Salvini detested Republic Day. As one of the most outspoken supporters of northern secessionism, on Republic Day in 2013 Salvini tweeted: “Good night, friends. There’s not a fucking thing to celebrate today.”

Updated at 2.25pm BST

1.11pm BST

Germany lifts travel warning for Europe

Germany’s travel warning for Europe will be lifted from tomorrow, the foreign minister, Heiko Maas, has just said. “We are preparing the cabinet to pass a decree tomorrow,” he said at a press briefing, writes Kate Connolly, the Guardian’s Berlin correspondent.

The worldwide travel warning still applies, but for the countries of the EU and associated states, the warning will be replaced by travel advice.

This will give travellers detailed information about the situation in each individual state, which should help them to decide where they can plan to go on holiday and which regions they would be advised to avoid, Maas said.

He said the government will make a decision on countries beyond Europe at a later date.

1.05pm BST

French flight crew have accused Ryanair of blackmailing them into taking pay cuts or losing their jobs, amid a slowdown in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, writes Kim Willsher, the Guardian’s Paris correspondent.

The Irish airline, which has warned it may cut up to 3,000 jobs in Europe, told staff in France it was imposing 20% salary cuts for flight crew and 10% for attendants. Those who are already on legal minimum wages will have their hours reduced.

Staff unions have accused the company of “redundancy blackmail” and acting like cowboys.

“France isn’t the wild west,” Damien Mourgues, a cabin crew union representative, told AFP.

According to confidential documents seen by French media, Ryanair wrote to staff proposing wage cuts take effect from 1 July 2020. The lower wages would be progressively increased over the five years so flight crew would be paid their full current salaries by July 2025. The loss of salary works out at an average 12% over five years for the pilots. Ryanair also proposed to pay new pilots and co-pilots the lower wages.

12.47pm BST

People in Berlin will today taste a little more freedom as fitness studios, casinos and dance schools are allowed to reopen their doors for the first time since Germany’s coronavirus lockdown began on 27 March, writes Kate Connolly, in the German capital.

Sport with a maximum of 12 participants is also allowed to take place indoors for the first time and bars will also be allowed to reopen.

The strict conditions which have to be adhered to include 3-metre physical distancing in fitness studios (the norm in Germany is 1.5 metres), and in bars people have to sit at tables, not at the counter.

In almost all scenarios, from gyms to pubs, customers will have to give their name and phone number to the proprietor so that they can be contacted in case of an infection outbreak.

People attend a rave in boats to demonstrate support for Berlin’s closed nightclubs.
People attend a rave in boats to demonstrate support for Berlin’s closed nightclubs.
Photograph: David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images
Hundreds attended the Rebellion of Dreamers (Rebellion der Träumer) protest in Berlin on Monday.
Hundreds attended the Rebellion of Dreamers (Rebellion der Träumer) protest in Berlin on Monday.
Photograph: David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images
The organisers said they had not expected 400 boats to turn up.
The organisers said they had not expected 400 boats to turn up.
Photograph: David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile the organisers of a rave protest in Berlin on Monday had to apologise after a larger than expected number of demonstrators turned up. Hundreds of ravers, taking advantage of bank holiday weekend sunshine, took rubber dinghies to the Landwehr canal in Berlin to bring attention to the plight of Berlin nightclubs that have been forced to close by coronavirus restrictions.

Organisers of the Rebellion of Dreamers (Rebellion der Träumer) protest were also chided for the decision to bring the protest to an ebullient close, with music, dancing and speeches, outside the Vivantes hospital, which sits on the Urban Ufer – a bank of the canal.

However, they said the protest was justified because it highlighted the many artists and cultural creators in Berlin whose existence is threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We demonstrated for our legitimate interests and deliberately chose to do it in the form of a water demonstration in order to minimise the risk of infection,” the groups said in a statement.

The organisers had not expected 400 boats to turn up, they said. “We repeatedly made clear that people should keep the distancing rules and wear masks. But our communication didn’t reach all the participants”.

Updated at 12.57pm BST

12.31pm BST

The International Rescue Committee has warned that Afghanistan faces a humanitarian disaster as coronavirus spreads undetected and confirmed cases rose 684% in May, Akhtar Mohammad Makoii reports from Herat.

IRC said in a statement that Afghan the health ministry has the capacity to test 2,000 suspected patients each day, but are receiving between five and 10 times as many samples.

“That means between 80 and 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” IRC said.

The organisation urgently called on the international community to work with Afghanistan to improve their testing capacity, and to increase direct support for frontline responders like the IRC.

“Four decades of war has devastated the health care system in Afghanistan and left more than five million Afghans, especially women and children, living in fear of abuse, neglect, conflict, exploitation and violence,” said Vicki Aken, Afghanistan Country Director at the IRC.

“The Covid-19 outbreak is making the already terrible situation much worse. Many health clinics do not have the proper protective gear to treat or refer Covid-19 patients and are turning away those showing signs and symptoms”. Aken added. “Our teams on the ground are seeing an increase in violence against women and children, and women are likely to face increased economic hardship”.

According to IRC the outbreak has left almost 11 million people facing severe food insecurity, unsure of where their next meal will come from.

The humanitarian organisation said it is “extremely concerned” not only for the severe health impacts the virus will have on Afghans, but also for the way this disease is already exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation in the country.

A health official checks the temperature of a woman in Herat.
A health official checks the temperature of a woman in Herat.
Photograph: Jalil Rezayee/EPA

On Tuesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases passed 16,000 in the war-torn country, as the health ministry reported 759 new transmissions and five more deaths from Covid-19. The total number of infections in the country is now 16,509 and the death toll is 270. There have been 1,450 recoveries.

Most of the new infections were recorded in the capital, Kabul, and the western province of Herat, which have been the hotspots of the outbreak in Afghanistan. Kabul recorded 266 new cases and Herat 212. Kabul is the nation’s worst affected area with 6,478 confirmed cases. Three of the latest deaths recorded in the northern province of Balkh.

Problems with testing continue in Kandahar, with no suspected patient tested in the southern province in around three weeks.

Updated at 12.41pm BST

12.19pm BST

A group of current and former world leaders on Tuesday called on the G20 to convene an urgent summit to provide a “strongly coordinated global response” to the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reports.

The collective of more than 230 former world leaders, and top global health experts and economists said the G20 must unite around a multi-trillion dollar plan to face what they said was an “unprecedented global crisis”.

Noting poorer countries are most at risk, they demanded the developed world release 76 nations from debt payments, double the World Bank’s emergency aid fund and honour billions of dollars committed to COVID-19 vaccine efforts.

“The time is right for G20 leaders to hold a second meeting to… agree to a more strongly coordinated global response to the health, economic and social emergencies we face,” they said in an open letter to world leaders.

“The consequences of not acting now would be felt for the rest of the decade,” added the signatories, including UK former prime minsters Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Helen Clark, of New Zealand, and the ex-UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

“Without action from the G20, the recession caused by the pandemic will only deepen, hurting all economies and the world’s most marginalised and poorest peoples and nations the most.”

12.00pm BST

Schools in Senegal are to remain closed after a last minute decision to postpone the resumption of classes for pupils in the last three years of secondary education.

They had been due to return on Tuesday morning, two and a half months after schools were closed down as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

But in the middle of the night, the education ministry announced the much-awaited move was being delayed “until a later date”, after a cluster of infections was detected among teachers in Casamance, a region in Senegal’s far south, AFP reports.

A schoolboy walks out of school after Senegal postponed the reopening of schools.
A schoolboy walks out of school after Senegal postponed the reopening of schools.
Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

By Tuesday, Senegal had counted 3,836 cases of coronavirus, and 43 deaths.

As with other African countries, the pandemic has been relatively contained, but the weak state of Senegal’s health system has stirred many doubts about its ability to withstand major spread.

11.44am BST

Iran records over 3,000 new cases in 24 hours

Iran has recorded its second highest number of new coronavirus cases since its outbreak began, with 3,117 people in the country testing positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, according to the latest health ministry report.

The number of new daily infections in Iran has now returned to levels previously seen at the peak of its outbreak in late March. Iran’s highest number of new cases in a single day was reached on 31 March, when 3,186 positive tests were reported.

Death tolls remain well below levels seen then, however. In his latest update, Kianoush Jahanpour, the health ministry spokesman, said 64 Iranians had died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

So far, 157,562 people in Iran have tested positive for coronavirus, of whom 123,077 have recovered and 7,942 have died.

Women in Valiasr Square, Tehran.
Women in Valiasr Square, Tehran.
Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 12.01pm BST

11.35am BST

At least 20 journalists have died from Covid-19 in Peru as reporters, photographers and camera operators raced to cover the pandemic’s spread through the country, often without protective equipment, writes Dan Collyns in Lima.

The number throws into sharp relief the risks and precarious work conditions which face journalists covering the global pandemic in the Andean country, which, after Brazil is Latin America’s worst-hit with more than 164,000 Covid-19 cases and 4,500 deaths.

Peru is not the only country in the region to report the death of journalists from Covid-19. At least 12 journalists have reportedly died from the virus in Ecuador’s hard-hit city of Guayaquil, about eight in Brazil, and at least one in Nicaragua, among deaths in other countries.

Around the world, at least 117 journalists have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in 31 countries, according to one estimate by the Swiss NGO the Press Emblem Club.

“This pandemic has stripped bare the labour conditions for journalists in Peru,” said Zuliana Lainez, secretary general of Peru’s National Journalists Association, known as the ANP.

At least six journalists died in Peru’s hard-hit Amazon city of Iquitos, four in the capital Lima, and others on the country’s northern coast, a coronavirus hotspot, according to the ANP. Dozens more journalists are reportedly recovering from the virus.

About half of the victims were working when they became infected, Lainez reported, and most were freelancers while just four worked for national media outlets.

11.24am BST

Over 5,000 more people across Africa have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization’s regional office for the continent.

According to the UN health agency, there had been more than 150,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported between the 54 countries in Africa on Tuesday morning, of which 63,000 patients had recovered and 4,200 had died.

South Africa was the worst affected country by number of cases, while Egypt, on the other end of the continent, had recorded the most deaths.

Updated at 11.54am BST

11.17am BST

This is Damien Gayle taking the reins on the live blog now, for the next eight or so hours. If you have any comments, tips or suggestions for our coverage, please drop me a line, either via email to damien.gayle@theguardian.com, or via Twitter direct message to @damiengayle.

11.10am BST

Unemployment rise slows in Spain as lockdown lifts

The number of new jobseekers in Spain was close to 27,000 in May, around 10 times lower than in March and April during the coronavirus lockdown, the labour ministry said today.

Spain imposed a nationwide lockdown on 14 March to slow the spread of the virus, and that month it counted more than 302,000 new jobseekers, followed by another 280,000 in April.

But in May, as the lockdown was gradually eased, the government counted a total of 26,573 new jobseekers in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy, where the total number of unemployed stands at 3.8 million. At the end of March, the National Statistics Institute (INE), which calculates figures in a different way, gave Spain’s jobless figure as 3.31 million.

These figures do not count those who have been furloughed. Between mid-March and the end of May, a total of 3.7 million people were furloughed under a plan rolled out by the labour ministry. But when the furlough scheme draws to a close as planned at the end of June, unemployment figures could rise again.

The government has urged employers not to cut jobs in the six months following the furlough period but layoffs are expected.

In May, as the lockdown was eased, the number of new jobseekers in the construction sector fell by almost 7% compared with April. In industry and agriculture, the figure remained stable but it grew by 1.5% in the service sector which has borne the brunt of the crisis, particularly due to the loss of significant numbers of temporary jobs in tourism.

In the first quarter, Spain’s unemployment rate jumped to 14.4%, INE figures showed. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates unemployment in Spain could soar to 20.8% in 2020, while the government expects a figure of 19%.

10.51am BST

Concerts have been allowed to restart in Portugal, with the country’s prime minister, Antonio Costa, attending a show performed by Bruno Nogueira and Manuela Azevedo in Lisbon last night:

Portuguese entertainer Bruno Nogueira
Portuguese entertainer Bruno Nogueira performs during his show Deixem o Pimba em Paz at Campo Pequeno Arena in Lisbon on Monday.
Photograph: Patrícia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, center, and his wife Fernanda Tadeu applaud as the lights dim for the start of a concert by Portuguese artists Bruno Nogueira and Manuela Azevedo at the Campo Pequeno bullring in Lisbon on Monday.
Photograph: Armando Franca/AP
People wearing face masks attend a concert in Lisbon.
People wearing face masks attend the performing show Deixem o Pimba em Paz by Portuguese entertainer Bruno Nogueira at Campo Pequeno Arena in Lisbon on Monday.
Photograph: Patrícia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

10.46am BST

Statistics watchdog criticises government’s testing data

Britain’s statistics watchdog has again warned the health secretary, Matt Hancock, that figures on coronavirus tests remain “far from complete and comprehensible”.

In a strongly-worded letter, Sir David Norgrove, chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, said the way the Government presented the figures appeared to be aimed at showing “the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding”. The government has faced repeated criticism for its daily testing figures, in which it counts in its headline figure the number of tests posted out to people as well as the number of those completed. It is also not clear from the government data how many of the tests carried out are repeat tests on the same person.

Norgrove said the government’s current statistics figures were misleading people during the daily No 10 briefing as they often do not explain how the headline figure on the number of tests has been calculated.

He said the way the tests were presented at the televised press conference gives “an artificially low impression of the proportion of tests returning a positive diagnosis”.

Norgrove said it was also “hard to believe the statistics work to support the testing programme itself,” adding that they “still fall well short” of the statistics code of practice which Hancock has said he supported. He added:

It is not surprising that given their inadequacy data on testing are so widely criticised and often mistrusted.

You can read the letter in full below:

10.40am BST

Across Europe, those who have coped with coronavirus are aware the world has changed dramatically. Here we ask some of them about life after lockdown:

10.37am BST

What will restaurants look like when they reopen? We asked three experts:

10.32am BST

Antibody testing in Israel suggest that around 200,000 people, and potentially as many as 270,000 in the country, have had coronavirus, amounting to around 2.5% of the population. “The data arising from the survey is generally similar to the information and surveys we’ve seen in other places,” professor Daniel Cohen of Tel Aviv University’s School of Public Health, who organised the testing, told Haaretz. “For example, we see that there’s a higher rate of exposure among men than among women. Among women the rate of infection is 1.2%, compared to 2.6% among men.” The survey showed that 3.6% of people aged between 40 and 59 had had the infection, but only 0.8% of those aged 0 to 19.

10.20am BST

Wuhan doctor dies after four-month illness

A Wuhan doctor who worked with the coronavirus whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus last week, state media reported today, becoming China’s first Covid-19 fatality in weeks.

Hu Weifeng, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, died on Friday after being treated for Covid-19 and allied issues for more than four months, state broadcaster CCTV said. He is the sixth doctor from Wuhan Central Hospital to have died from the virus, which emerged in the central Chinese city late last year.

Cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid-February as the country appears to have brought the outbreak largely under control. The official death toll in the country of 1.4 billion people stands at 4,634, well below the number of fatalities in less populous nations.

Wuhan Central Hospital has yet to give a formal statement on Hu’s death. In early February it said some 68 staff members had contracted coronavirus.

Hu’s condition became a national concern after Chinese media showed images of him with his skin turned black due to liver damage. Fellow doctor Yi Fan showed similar symptoms, but recovered and has since been discharged from hospital.

The death of their colleague Li Wenliang in February triggered a national outpouring of grief and rage against the government as he documented his final days on social media. The 34-year-old ophthalmologist was reprimanded by authorities after he warned colleagues about the virus in late December. Beijing has since named him a national martyr, but suppressed much of the dissent and criticism sparked by his death.

Other medical whistleblowers at Wuhan Central Hospital – including emergency unit director Ai Fen – have told Chinese media they were punished by authorities for speaking out.

China has not released a complete figure of the number of medical worker deaths from Covid-19, but at least 34 medics have been awarded posthumous honours by health authorities. In February the National Health Commission said some 3,387 health workers had been infected.

A child is tested for coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
A child reacts while undergoing nucleic acid testing in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the coronavirus disease outbreak, on 16 May.
Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

City-wide testing that began in mid-May found no new cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan, and 300 asymptomatic cases. A total of 9.9 million people were tested between 14 May and 1 June. China does not count asymptomatic cases, meaning people who are infected with the virus but do not exhibit symptoms of the disease, as confirmed cases.

10.14am BST

Following news today of the first Rohingya refugee to die of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, the country has reported 2,911 new cases, the most they have reported in a single day, from 12,704 samples tested. This takes the total number of confirmed infections in the country over 50,000, to 52,445. There were 37 deaths, 33 men and four women, taking the country’s total to 709.

10.10am BST

Malaysian health authorities today reported 20 new coronavirus cases, bringing the cumulative total to 7,877 cases. The health ministry also reported no new deaths, keeping total fatalities at 115.

10.00am BST

Indonesia has reported 609 new confirmed infections, taking their total to 27,549, and 22 deaths. 1,663 people have now been confirmed as having died of Covid-19 in the country.

9.43am BST

The French coronavirus tracking app, StopCovid, is due to be rolled out at midday today, local time. It will allow anyone who is diagnosed with Covid-19 to warn those with whom they have been in contact in the previous two weeks so they can be tested if they develop symptoms.

Cédric O, France’s secretary of state for the economy responsible for digital technology, said the government wanted to encourage people to download the app, particularly those living in cities where contacts, especially on public transport, are of concern.

Cédric O with the StopCovid contact tracing app.
French junior minister for the digital economy Cédric O presents the StopCovid contact tracing app.
Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Announcing a further easing of lockdown restrictions last week, the prime minister Édouard Philippe said the government “guaranteed” the app would not infringe people’s privacy or be used to collect data on geolocalisation. France’s highest authority for the protection of privacy and data has approved StopCovid and the parliament approved its use last week. “It is an instrument for fighting the virus, not a weapon,” Philippe said.

Apple and Google launched the first contact tracing application API late last month but France, keen not to rely on the US technology firms and wishing to retain “national sovereignty” over the process, developed StopCovid as an independent project. Apple and Google reportedly offered to work with the French government, which turned down the offer considering the companies posed data protection risks. Apple then refused to help with a means of allowing the Bluetooth to work on its phones while the StopCovid app is closed (on iPhones, Bluetooth works only when the app is open).

Cedric O accused the US companies of not cooperating. “Apple could have helped us make it work even better on the iPhone. They didn’t want to do that, for a reason that I can’t quite understand,” he said. “That a large company that has never done so well in economic terms does not help a government fight the crisis, we will have to remember that when the time comes.”

StopCovid will alert anyone who has had “prolonged contact” – meaning more than 15 minutes at less than 1-metre distance – with a person with Covid-19.

Updated at 10.01am BST

9.22am BST

Today is the Festa della Repubblica, Italy’s national day, and the Frecce Tricolori have been doing their thing over Rome:

The Italian Air Force acrobatic unit Frecce Tricolori perform over Rome.
The Italian air force acrobatic unit Frecce Tricolori performs over the Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto and the church di Santa Maria dei Miracoli at Piazza del Popolo in Rome.
Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
The Italian Air Force acrobatic unit Frecce Tricolori perform over Rome.
Frecce Tricolori fly over Rome during the celebrations of Republic Day.
Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA
The Italian Air Force acrobatic unit Frecce Tricolori perform over Rome.
A trail of smoke billows over Trajan’s column after the Italian Air Force acrobatic unit Frecce Tricolori performed in Rome.
Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images
The Italian Air Force acrobatic unit Frecce Tricolori perform over Rome.
Italian Air Forces aerobatic demonstration team Frecce Tricolori fly over Rome during the celebrations of Republic Day.
Photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA

Updated at 10.04am BST

8.57am BST

We have updated our world map with the latest statistics from around the world:

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8.52am BST

My colleague Bethan McKernan, the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, reports on the migrants passing through war-torn Yemen:

Yellow and purple headscarves and patterned dresses made a jarring contrast with the camouflage uniforms worn by soldiers milling around a bullet-ridden checkpoint in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.

It was 8am, and the sun was already hot. The family of six – four women and two men from Ethiopia, across the Red Sea – had already walked eight miles (13km) so far that morning. They stopped to ask the soldiers for water before continuing on their journey.

“We didn’t know about the fighting in Yemen before we came on the boat last night,” said one of the group, Abdul Saleh Tayeb. “But we are looking for money. We have to go to Saudi Arabia.” They still had around 1,000 miles (1,400km) through disputed territories, mountain passes and scorching desert to go.

More here:

8.48am BST

Russia has reported 8,863 new coronavirus cases and 182 deaths in the past 24 hours. The figures are similar to those reported on Monday (9,035 cases and 162 deaths) and bring the nation’s tally to 423,741 confirmed cases, and 5,037 deaths.

8.41am BST

A 71-year-old man has become the first Rohingya living in vast refugee camps in Bangladesh to die from coronavirus, an official said today. Health experts have long warned that the deadly virus could race through the vast network of settlements housing almost a million refugees in the country’s southeast.

“He died on 31 May. But last night we got the confirmation that he died of Covid-19,” said Toha Bhuiyan, a senior health official in the Cox’s Bazar district.

The Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Rohingya refugees at a market in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Photograph: Suzauddin Rubel/AFP via Getty Images

The fatality was in Kutupalong, the largest of the camps, which is home to roughly 600,000 people. The man was among at least 29 Rohingya to have tested positive for the virus in the camps. Bhuiyan said the victim died in an isolation centre run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders and was buried in the camp the same day.

“We are going to speak to administrators in the camp and alert people about the death,” Bhuiyan said, adding they were trying to find people the deceased had been in contact with.

Mahbubur Rahman, head of the health department in Cox’s Bazar district, told AFP officials were waiting for a full report on the death. A UN spokesperson said they would comment later.

Last week about 15,000 refugees were placed in quarantine as the number of cases increased, while Bangladesh and UN authorities have prepared seven isolation centres with the capacity to treat more than 700 patients inside the camps. Aid workers say many of the refugees know very little about the virus. They blame this partly on local authorities cutting off access to the internet in September to combat what they said were drug traffickers and other criminals.

8.14am BST

A couple of days ago Abu Dhabi announced that they would be closing their borders for a week, starting today.

This was the queue to get in this morning:

The E11 highway, between Dubai and Abu Dhabi
A picture taken with a drone shows cars queueing for a security checkpoint on the E11 highway, between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Photograph: Mahmoud Khaled/EPA

Updated at 8.15am BST

8.03am BST

Indonesia has cancelled the haj pilgrimage this year for people in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation due to concerns over the coronavirus, the religious affairs minister said on Tuesday.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians go on the haj to Saudi Arabia, with places allocated according to a quota system. The quota for this year was 221,000, with more than 90% of places already allocated. The average wait for a place on the pilgrimage is 20 years.

Dewi, an employee of a telecommunications company in Jakarta and registered to perform the pilgrimage this year, told Reuters that while she had waited six years, she had made peace with the news. “If that is the decision, I will accept it,” said Dewi, who did not want to give her full name. “After all, I believe that everything happens with God’s permission.”

Updated at 8.11am BST

7.53am BST

Medellin’s phased reopening is being mirrored across South America. Some of Brazil’s hardest hit cities, including the jungle metropolis Manaus and coastal Rio de Janeiro, are starting to allow more activity. Bolivia’s government has authorised reopening most of the country and the government of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro unwound restrictions, while Ecuador’s airports were resuming flights. Here is a report filed last night by AP:

The executive director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program, Mike Ryan, expressed concern over South America’s climbing contagion, telling reporters Monday that the region had become an “intense zone of transmission for this virus,” which had not yet reached its peak. “Clearly the situation in many South American countries is far from stable. There is a rapid increase in cases and those systems are coming under increasing pressure,” he said.

Data from the WHO’s Pan American Health Organization shows the region’s seven-day rolling average of new cases continues rising, due in large part to Brazil, which accounts for more than half the total.

Manaus, the Amazon rainforest’s largest city, was the first Brazilian metropolis whose health care system collapsed. For weeks, overwhelmed intensive-care units were unable to admit patients, deaths at home surged and a city cemetery buried bodies in mass graves.

The Parque Tarumã cemetery in Manaus, Brazil
An open mass grave at the Parque Tarumã cemetery in Manaus, Brazil.
Photograph: Andre Coelho/Getty Images

Such burials continue, yet the capital of Amazonas state on Monday began loosening its clamp on non-essential businesses. Amazonas registered 818 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases above 40,000. There are more than 500,000 confirmed cases in Brazil, the second most in the world, and experts believe the true toll to be much higher due to insufficient testing. Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city with the second-most cases after Sao Paulo, on Monday announced it would begin gradually relaxing restrictions the following day. Already a city in its metropolitan region, Sao Joao de Meriti, started allowing salons, auto mechanics, and hotels to operate on Monday.

“Brazil tends to look at Europe, and the problem is that there they did one or two months of strict quarantine and are now reopening,” said Renato Mendes Coutinho, a specialist in mathematical biology at Covid-19 BR Observatory, an independent group of more than 50 Brazilian researchers. “The difference is that the lockdown they implemented and the restriction measures were much more efficient and thorough.”

Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito, Ecuador
Medical tests are carried out on a would-be passenger at Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito, Ecuador on Monday.
Photograph: Franklin Jacome/Getty Images

Ecuador was one of the first South American nations hit, with grim scenes of people leaving corpses outside their doorsteps in Guayaquil through March and April. The nation’s caseload continues to surge, yet its airport will resume international flights on 3 June, according to Nicolas Romero, the airport’s spokesperson, though he said arriving passengers must spend 15 days in quarantine, without specifying how such quarantine will be enforced. The airport in the country’s capital, Quito, recorded its first flight in 80 days on Monday, and flights to Miami and Houston will take off on 4 June. “It has just been one flight so far, but the important thing is the message it gives, of flying safely,” Luis Galarraga, the airport’s spokesperson, told The Associated Press.

Marcos Espinal, director of PAHO’s communicable diseases department, said by phone that reopening too soon could cause harm in certain places that aren’t yet ready. “If you’re in the middle of the epicenter, we don’t recommend to open,” Espinal said from Washington. “People’s lives are precious, and there shouldn’t be any negotiations of that.”

Venezuela on Monday allowed barbershops, beauty salons, auto shops, construction sites and banks to begin operations, along with other sectors. The nation is dialing down restrictions because it has reported relatively low Covid-19 impact: 1,510 cases and 14 deaths. Experts have roundly criticised Venezuela’s data as suspicious.

Bolivia on Monday instituted a so-called “dynamic quarantine” in most of the country, keeping parks and shows shuttered while resuming work, commerce and public transport, even as contagion continues rising.

Plaza San Francisco in La Paz, Bolivia
People walk at the Plaza San Francisco in La Paz, Bolivia, on Monday, the first day of eased restrictions.
Photograph: David Mercado/Reuters

The government’s public works minister, Ivan Arias, suggested Monday that men shave their beards and moustaches to prevent infection. The Health Ministry’s epidemiological director, Virgilio Prieto, offered less optimism about recalibrating the nation’s quarantine, admitting it “could bring about an explosion of the new coronavirus.”

Having seen first-hand the worst of the virus’ damage in Europe, Jesus Gomez-Gardenes, an associate professor in physics and computational epidemiology at the University of Zaragoza, in Spain, looks on South America’s rush to reopen with concern. “Opening their doors when we have recent growth in the number of daily cases is something that could be, or is, a catastrophe,” he said.

7.33am BST

Shopping malls in Medellin, Colombia reopened yesterday, with temperature checks for all customers, as the city’s mayor, Daniel Quintero, pointed out that it had registered no Covid-19 deaths in the prior 30 days. But in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, which is suffering from a particularly serious outbreak, a new, stricter lockdown has been imposed.

One resident told semana.com: “From the start people here did not take precautions seriously, and were interacting normally, without masks. When the first case was identified, the rest of the family ignored it and on Mother’s Day they had a party and sold vegetables in front of their houses without taking any precautions.”

With the borders of the area heavily policed, nobody is now allowed out except for medical purposes, or people from certain key professions who have signed up to the Medellin Me Cuida online portal.

Local authorities interview residents at the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia
Local authorities interview residents at the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia, which has been placed under strict lockdown after an outbreak of Covid-19.
Photograph: Joaquín Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images
Local authorities interview residents at the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia.
Local authorities interview residents at the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia, which has been placed under strict lockdown after an outbreak of Covid-19.
Photograph: Joaquín Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images

7.06am BST

Morning/evening/whatever-it-is-where-you-are everyone. This is Simon Burnton taking on the live blog for the next few hours. If you have seen any stories that deserve our attention, or if you have any tips, comments or suggestions for our coverage then please let me know by sending me a message either to @Simon_Burnton on Twitter or via email. Thanks!

6.59am BST

Let’s have a quick look at some of the UK front pages. The Guardian has the story I mentioned a couple of posts ago: “Critics round on No 10 over ‘ridiculous’ quarantine”.

The Times splashes with a large picture of the US protests but its main headline is: “Safe return of all primary pupils ‘will be impossible’”.

The Telegraph has “Quarantine plan under review as MPs revolt”.

The Daily Mail has “One metre is enough!”.

And the Mirror has “Small steps into a new normal” as children return to classrooms.

Updated at 7.02am BST

6.46am BST

The Associated Press is carrying a report that says Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the coronavirus for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it, not sharing details key to designing tests, drugs and vaccines.

AP reports that strict controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were largely to blame. The news agency says its report is based on internal documents, emails and dozens of interviews.

The AP report reads:

Health officials only released the genome after a Chinese lab published it ahead of authorities on a virology website on 11 January. Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on giving WHO the details it needed, according to recordings of multiple internal meetings held by the UN health agency in January all at a time when the outbreak arguably might have been dramatically slowed.

Although the World Health Organization continued to publicly commend China, the recordings obtained by the AP show they were concerned China was not sharing enough information to assess the risk posed by the new virus, costing the world valuable time.

“We’re currently at the stage where yes, they’re giving it to us 15 minutes before it appears on CCTV,” said WHOs top official in China, Dr Gauden Galea, referring to the state-owned China Central Television, in one meeting.

The story behind the early response to the pandemic comes at a time when the UN health agency is under siege. President Trump cut ties with WHO on Friday, after blasting the agency for allegedly colluding with China to hide the extent of the epidemic. Chinese President Xi Jinping said China has always provided information to WHO and the world in a most timely fashion.

The new information does not support the narrative of either the US or China, but portrays an agency now stuck in the middle that was urgently trying to solicit more data. Although international law obliges countries to report information to WHO that could have an impact on public health, the UN agency has no enforcement powers. Instead, it must rely on the cooperation of member states.

People wearing face masks wait for the green light while riding scooters on a street in Shanghai.
People wearing face masks wait for the green light while riding scooters on a street in Shanghai.
Photograph: Héctor Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

The AP has found rather than colluding with China, WHO was itself largely kept in the dark, as China gave it only the minimal information required. But the agency did attempt to portray China in the best light, most likely to coax the country into providing more outbreak details.

WHO officials worried about how to press China for more information without angering authorities or jeopardising Chinese scientists, whom they praised for decoding the genome with astonishing speed. Dr Michael Ryan, WHO’s emergencies chief, said the best way to protect China was for WHO to do its own independent analysis, because otherwise the spread of the virus between people would be in question and other countries will take action accordingly.

From the time the virus was first decoded on 2 January to when WHO declared a global emergency on 30 January, the outbreak grew by a factor of 100 to 200 times, according to retrospective Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention data.

WHO and officials named in this story declined to answer questions asked by the AP without audio or written transcripts of the recorded meetings, which the AP was unable to supply to protect its sources.

“Our leadership and staff have worked night and day.to support and share information with all Member States equally, and engage in frank and forthright conversations with governments at all levels,” a WHO statement said.

China’s National Health Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs had no comment.

Updated at 6.49am BST

6.31am BST

UK quarantine rules criticised

In the UK critics have taken aim at the government’s 14-day quarantine rules, calling them “ridiculous”.

Tens of thousands of new arrivals to the UK will be able to go food shopping, change accommodation and use public transport from airports during a 14-day quarantine imposed to prevent a second wave of coronavirus, under draft plans to be laid before parliament.

The rules, still being finalised and due to be published on Tuesday before coming into effect next week, have prompted cross-party concerns about the potentially limited impact on public health amid warnings of the severe damage that could be caused to the travel and aviation industry.

“Not only is there no basis in science for this ridiculous policy, but it will unnecessarily cost thousands and thousands of jobs. The sooner the government scraps it, the better,” said the Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, announced on 22 May that nearly all international arrivals at UK ports, including airports, ferry ports and international rail terminals, must quarantine for 14 days from Monday 8 June. There are exemptions for health workers, scientists, lorry drivers and others.

Around 20% of arrivals will receive a check call to make sure they are where they should be. However, according to draft rules, the police in England will not have power of entry. In theory, if they call on someone suspected of breaching the regulations, the person does not have to open the door. Fines of £1,000 can be issued in England, although while the quarantine plan is UK-wide, enforcement is devolved.

One source said: “To get caught, you will either have to be unlucky or stupid.”

You can read our full story below:

Updated at 6.33am BST

6.23am BST

More on Singapore and the government there is racing to create additional housing for about 60,000 migrant workers by the end of this year, as it seeks to reduce the density in dormitories which have seen mass outbreaks of the coronavirus infection, Reuters reports.

The nation of 5.7 million people has more than 35,000 cases, one of the largest numbers in Asia, largely due to infections in cramped, bunk-bed accommodation that house more than 300,000 mostly South Asian workers.

Singapore will create additional space through temporary structures that can be put together quickly in a modular form.

It will also temporarily fit out unused state properties, such as former schools and vacant factories, the ministries of manpower and national development said on Monday.

Migrant workers living in a Singapore factory-converted dormitory collect meals donated by charities for their Eid-al-Fitr celebrations.
Migrant workers living in a Singapore factory-converted dormitory collect meals donated by charities for their Eid-al-Fitr celebrations.
Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

The government said dormitories were a practical approach to housing migrant workers in land-scarce Singapore, but it was looking to improve accommodation standards.
It is testing new standards, including increased living space per resident, decreasing bed numbers in each room and reducing how many people would share a toilet and bathroom.

Over the longer term, it is planning to build new permanent dormitories to house up to 100,000 workers, which would take several years to complete. About 11 such dormitories will be ready over the next one to two years.

The government is also studying the possibility of building and leasing out these dormitories. Presently, commercial operators build and operate them.

Around 40,000 migrant labourers, many of whom have been moved out of dormitories into alternative accomodation, have been cleared to resume work. Around half of those had been infected and recovered from the disease.

6.12am BST

North Korea will reopen the remainder of its schools this month, according to state media.

North Korean schools usually begin their spring term on 1 April, but it was postponed as the government took various steps to ward off the virus, including sealing its borders.

State media has said high schools and universities started classes on April 20. All other schools, kindergartens, day-care centres and nursing homes will reopen early this month, state radio said late on Monday.

6.09am BST

Singapore reopens schools

School children in Singapore have returned to their classrooms for the first time in nearly two months.

Singapore has said it will ease restrictions gradually, with the registry of marriages and some businesses, including pet salons, also reopening on Tuesday.

Children returned to school in Singapore on Tuesday after nearly two months away from the classroom.
Children returned to school in Singapore on Tuesday after nearly two months away from the classroom.
Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Students are required to wear face masks and temperatures are checked and recorded by teachers.

Singapore has recorded more than 35,000 coronavirus cases and 24 deaths. Most cases have been among migrant workers living in dormitories.

5.47am BST

Summary

  • Global infections from Covid-19 stand at 6,266,193 with deaths at 375,554, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
  • South Korea will begin trialling QR codes as part of its track and trace efforts to contain the virus. From 10 June, visitors to nightclubs, bars, karaoke clubs, daytime discos, indoor gyms that hold group exercises and indoor standing concert halls will be required to use an app that generates a one-time personalised QR code that can be scanned at the door. It follows difficulties tracing potential infections from last month’s Seoul nightclubs cluster of 270 cases, after people gave false or incomplete information.
  • Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, has defended his decision to lift almost all lockdown measures because of economic losses, as cases rise. In a televised address, Khan said his government could not afford to continue giving cash handouts to the poor on such a large scale. He urged people to act responsibly but said more infections and deaths were inevitable. “This virus will spread more. I have to say it with regret that there will be more deaths,” Khan warned. “If people do take care they can live with the virus.”
  • New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Ardern, has said restrictions may be eased again sooner than planned as the country was “ahead of schedule” in tackling Covid-19. Cabinet will decide next Monday whether to move to level-1 restrictions – the most lenient – two weeks ahead of when the government had planned to make that decision. New Zealand has had no Covid-19 cases for 11 straight days. Level-1 is thought to only involve border restrictions.
  • The World Health Organization has warned that the increased use of antibiotics to combat the pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond. WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.
  • The risk of Covid-19 infection could double if the 2-metre rule is reduced in UK, a study part-funded by the WHO and published in the Lancet has found. Last week, Boris Johnson said he hoped to “be able to reduce that [2-metre] distance”, to make it easier to travel on public transport and boost the hospitality industry.
  • Deaths in Mexico passed 10,000 as the WHO warned that Central and South America had become “intense zones for transmission of this virus” and had not reached their peak in cases.
  • Brazil registered 11,598 additional cases of coronavirus and 623 new deaths on Monday, taking its confirmed cases to 526,447 and deaths to 29,937.
  • The Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, has tested positive to Covid-19. Armenia, which has a population of 3 million, had registered 9,492 confirmed coronavirus cases and 139 deaths as of Monday.
  • China reported five new imported cases and no deaths on Tuesday. As of Monday, there were 73 active cases in the country, according to the national health commission.

Updated at 7.46am BST

5.26am BST

In case you missed it, the World Health Organization has warned that that Central and South America had become “intense zones for transmission of this virus” and had not reached their peak in cases.

It came as Mexico passed 10,000 deaths from the virus, with more than 93,000 infections.

On Monday, Brazil registered 11,598 additional cases of coronavirus and 623 new deaths on Monday, taking its confirmed cases to 526,447 and deaths to 29,937.

The US remains way out in front and is approaching 2 million infections (1,811,357) with more than 105,000 deaths.

There are grave concerns over the spread of the virus as a result of the mass street protests taking place, including scenes like the one tweeted below, which show police and protesters shaking hands.

Updated at 7.47am BST

5.16am BST

Hello, this is Alison Rourke stepping in to the blog for the next couple of hours. If you want to get in touch, you can reach me at alison.rourke@theguardian.com

Updated at 5.16am BST

4.57am BST

The Guardian’s Sam Levin reports from Los Angeles, with Joanna Walters in New York:

The full story on Anthony Fauci, the government’s top public health expert and a member of the national coronavirus taskforce, saying on Monday that he is no longer in frequent contact with Donald Trump – comments likely to spark fresh fears that he is being frozen out of the White House.

The pandemic continues to ravage communities across the United States, where the death toll on Monday had reached 105,000, and last month Fauci warned the US Congress during a hearing that the virus was not yet under control.

Asked on Monday whether the president talked to him often about Covid-19 vaccine work, he told a reporter with Stat News, “No … As you probably noticed, the taskforce meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.”

Fauci noted that they used to have taskforce meetings daily, including on the weekend, and said that frequently, the two would talk after the meetings, estimating that a month ago, they met four times a week.

The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases also told a CNN reporter that he had not spoken or met with Trump in two weeks and that their last interaction was on 18 May, during a teleconference with governors.

4.52am BST

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 213 to 182,028, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.

The reported death toll rose by 11 to 8,522, the tally showed.

4.38am BST

South Korea’s GDP contraction to worsen

South Korea’s economic contraction will worsen in the current quarter, the central bank forecast Tuesday, as the coronavirus outbreak hits consumer demand and economic activity even harder, AFP reports.

The Bank of Korea predicted the world’s 12th-biggest economy will shrink at least 2.0 percent in the April-June period over the previous three months.

It already declined 1.3% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months, it said – a slight improvement from its first announcement in April of a 1.4% contraction, but still the biggest drop in gross domestic product since the 2008 global financial crisis.

A man wearing a face mask walks by sale signs at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea.
A man wearing a face mask walks by sale signs at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea.
Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/AP

South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the coronavirus outside mainland China, and while it never imposed a compulsory lockdown, strict social distancing was widely observed from March until it started loosening restrictions last month.

Private consumption decreased 6.5% in January-March from the previous quarter “as expenditures on goods and services both decreased”, the BOK said.

The country appears to have brought its epidemic under control thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” programme and life is beginning to return to normal.

But the BOK forecast last week that the economy will shrink 0.2% in 2020, a dramatic downgrade from its February forecast of 2.1% growth, and cut interest rates to a record low.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated the world economy will contract three percent this year, saying it is expected to “experience its worst recession since the Great Depression” over the pandemic.

The IMF has predicted the South Korean economy will shrink 1.2% this year.

Updated at 4.42am BST

4.17am BST

Podcast: England is easing out of lockdown – is it safe?

Health officials and even government scientists have warned against the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England, saying it could lead to a surge in infections. David Hunter, professor of epidemiology and medicine at the University of Oxford, looks at the risks:

Updated at 4.22am BST

4.07am BST

South Korea is testing a new quick response (QR) code system this week to log visitors at high-risk entertainment facilities, restaurants and churches in a bid to track coronavirus cases and prevent further spread of the disease, Reuters reports.

The decision to mandate QR codes to register visitors’ identities came after authorities struggled to trace people who had visited a number of nightclubs and bars at the centre of a virus outbreak last month after much of the information on handwritten visitor logs was found to be false or incomplete.

Quarantine officials disinfect as a precaution against the new coronavirus at the National Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, 1 June 2020.
Quarantine officials disinfect as a precaution against the new coronavirus at the National Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, 1 June 2020.
Photograph: Kim In-chul/AP

Starting 10 June , visitors to nightclubs, bars, karaoke clubs, daytime discos, indoor gyms that hold group exercises, and indoor standing concert halls, will be required to use any of a number of commercially available apps to generate a one-time, personalised QR code that can be scanned at the door.

Local governments may also designate other high-risk facilities such as libraries, hospitals, restaurants or churches.

The person’s information will be logged in a database kept by the Social Security Information Service for four weeks, before it is automatically deleted, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.

3.57am BST

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

3.43am BST

Amid a pandemic and a brewing tropical storm, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador kicked off Mexico’s return to a new normal Monday with his first road trip in two months as the nation began to gradually ease some virus-inspired restrictions, AP reports.

López Obrador said he’s taking all necessary precautions he drove the 1,000 miles from Mexico City over the weekend rather than flying on a trip to promote construction of one of his signature infrastructure projects the Mayan Train.

The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, waves a flag during an event to mark the start of work on the fourth section, Izamal-Cancun, of the Mayan Train, in Lazaro Cardenas, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 1 June 2020.
The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, waves a flag during an event to mark the start of work on the fourth section, Izamal-Cancun, of the Mayan Train, in Lazaro Cardenas, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 1 June 2020.
Photograph: Alonso Cupul/EPA

While the federal governments nationwide social distancing rule formally ended Monday, it is urging people in so-called red zones to maintain most of those measures and so many people are falling ill and dying each day that those zones cover nearly the whole country.

Mexico is nearing 100,000 confirmed infections and has topped 10,000 deaths, but those official tallies are considered to be undercounts.

Mexican officials said last week that more than 5,000 companies had implemented protocols that would allow them to reopen this week. The federal government had cleared businesses in the mining, construction and auto manufacturing sectors to resume operations.

3.22am BST

Risk of infection could double if 2-metre rule reduced in UK, study finds

Reducing physical distancing advice from 2 metres to 1 metre could double the risk of coronavirus infection, according to the most comprehensive study to date.

The research, part-funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) and published in the Lancet, will add to the debate in the UK about whether the 2-metre rule should be reduced.

Last week, Boris Johnson said he hoped to “be able to reduce that [2-metre] distance”, to make it easier to travel on public transport and boost the hospitality industry. This would allow extra people inside workplaces, restaurants, pubs and shops, and reduce the length of queues. The prime minister has instructed the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to look into the possibility.

The UK guidance is out of line with advice in most other countries and with recommendations from the WHO, which says people should stay 1 metre apart. This is followed by France, while countries such as Germany and Australia have a 1.5-metre rule.

3.13am BST

Covid-free island prepares to bring home stranded citizens

Bernadette Carreon reports for the Guardian from Koror:

For 143 Palau citizens trapped overseas by coronavirus travel restrictions, the journey home, always long, will be especially tortuous. To reach their Pacific island home they face six long weeks of quarantine – two in Guam, two in a hotel in Palau, and then another two weeks of self-isolation at home. They will also face at least five Covid-19 tests.

But some Palauans fear that even these measures will not be enough.

Aerial view, Koror, Palau, Micronesia.
Aerial view, Koror, Palau, in the north Pacific.
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Palau, in the north Pacific, is one of a handful of countries globally with zero cases of coronavirus. Having closed its borders on 22 March, the country has grappled with how to bring home its citizens, trapped abroad, particularly in the US, without importing the virus.

The topic has proven hugely divisive as the government has sought to balance the rights of citizens to return with the need to keep its small population safe.

2.59am BST

In other New Zealand news, the international crew of Avatar 2 have been given special permission to enter New Zealand to begin filming the blockbuster sequel – despite the country’s border being closed to all foreign nationals.

The country’s tourism industry, heavily reliant on overseas visitors, has taken a massive hit, and many families and couples have been separated for months by the measures. Many businesses have also struggled to bring workers stuck overseas home.

So news that Avatar director James Cameron and 55 members of his crew had arrived in the country on a privately chartered plane over the weekend angered many:

2.50am BST

New Zealand ‘ahead of schedule’ on virus elimination, says Ardern

Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian:

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, says her government will consider sooner than planned a move to the lowest level of Covid-19 restrictions after she said the country’s quashing of the virus had progressed “ahead of schedule.”

Ardern’s Cabinet had been due to consider by 22 June whether to move to the loosest, so-called level 1 alert, but she told reporters on Tuesday that it would instead make its decision next Monday 8 June, providing there were “no unexpected cases” of the virus before then.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand’s health officials just announced an 11th straight day of no new cases of Covid-19, with only one person still recovering from the virus. They are not in hospital. 22 people have died of the coronavirus in New Zealand, with no additional deaths announced on Tuesday.

While the proposed level 1 restrictions have not been detailed by the government yet, it is believed they will entail little in the way of rules beyond a continuation of New Zealand’s strict border lockdown.

Ardern said on Tuesday that a possible spike in Covid-19 cases had not happened as restrictions on New Zealanders had gradually relaxed, and she was now more optimistic that such a resurgence would not occur.

“Our strategy of going hard and early has paid off,” she said, referring to the strict national shutdown she imposed in late March, when just over 200 people had been diagnosed with the virus. There have been fewer than 1,500 confirmed cases to date.

2.38am BST

Coronavirus will haunt US economy for a decade and wipe out tn, says CBO

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic will haunt the US economy for a decade, wiping close to tn off economic growth, according to new projections released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday.

In a letter to lawmakers CBO director Phillip Swagel projected the virus will reduce US economic output by 3% through 2030, a loss of .9tn.

Congressional Budget Office Director Phillip Swagel.
Congressional Budget Office Director Phillip Swagel.
Photograph: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

“Business closures and social distancing measures are expected to curtail consumer spending, while the recent drop in energy prices is projected to severely reduce US investment in the energy sector,” Swagel wrote in response to an inquiry from Senator Chuck Schumer. “Recent legislation will, in CBO’s assessment, partially mitigate the deterioration in economic conditions.”

Since the pandemic hit the US trillions of dollars have been poured into the economy via government stimulus programs and actions by the Federal Reserve.

But the moves have not stopped unemployment soaring to levels unseen since the 1930s Great Depression. So far some 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and on Friday the Labor Department is expected to announce the unemployment rate reached 20% in May, up from 14.7% in April and just 4.4% in March.

2.29am BST

Virus still potent says WHO, after claim by Italian doctor

The World Health Organization stressed Monday that the new coronavirus has not suddenly become less pathogenic, following claims by a leading Italian doctor that Covid-19 had lost some of its potency.

“That is not the case at all,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual press briefing.

The claims by Alberto Zangrillo sparked a furore on Monday, with the Italian government urging caution.

“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Zangrillo, head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, the capital of the northern Lombardy region, which has been the worst-hit by the pandemic.

“The swabs performed over the past 10 days have showed a viral load that is absolutely infinitesimal in quantitative terms compared to those carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television on Sunday.

That prompted cries of disbelief from other experts, who said Zangrillo may have mistaken a higher detection rate of asymptomatic cases for diminished potency of the virus.

2.16am BST

New Zealand sees 11th day in a row with no new cases

Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian:

New Zealand has recorded an 11th consecutive day of no new cases of Covid-19, with only one case in the country still considered active.

22 people have died of the virus in New Zealand; there were no additional deaths to report on Tuesday.

No one is being treated in hospital; the one remaining sufferer is recovering at home.
New Zealand is on track to eliminate the virus after locking down the country in late March, when just over 200 cases and no deaths had been recorded. There have been fewer than 1,500 confirmed cases.

Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health, also addressed the large protests that happened in the country’s largest cities on Monday over “the tragic death of George Floyd in the USA.”

“Anyone who attended these gatherings or who is planning to be at other upcoming events and feels they may be at risk by coming into close contact with people they don’t know, should take a cautious approach and seek advice,” Bloomfield said in a statement, adding that those concerned should visit a doctor. He did not recommend those protesting quarantine themselves.

2.02am BST

Pandemic antibiotics surge will cause more deaths: WHO

Increased antibiotics use in combating the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organization said Monday.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.

The UN health agency said it was concerned that the inappropriate use of antibiotics during the coronavirus crisis would further fuel the trend.

The WHO said only a small proportion of Covid-19 patients needed antibiotics to treat subsequent bacterial infections. The organisation has issued guidance to medics not to provide antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis to patients with mild Covid-19, or to patients with moderate illness without a clinical suspicion of bacterial infection.

Tedros said the guidelines said should help tackle antimicrobial resistance while saving lives. He called the threat of antimicrobial resistance “one of the most urgent challenges of our time”.

Highlighting inappropriate usage, he said there was an “overuse” of antibiotics in some countries, while in low-income states, such life-saving medicines were unavailable, “leading to needless suffering and death”.

1.52am BST

Global deaths pass 375,000

There have been at least 375,208 known deaths worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic so far, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

There are at least 6,259,887 cases globally.

Both figures are likely to be higher due to delays in reporting, differing testing rates and definitions, and suspected underreporting.

These are the ten worst-affected countries in terms of infections.

  1. US: 1,809,109 (Deaths: 105,099)
  2. Brazil: 526,447 (Deaths: 29,937)
  3. Russia: 414,328 (Deaths: 4,849)
  4. United Kingdom: 277,727 (Deaths: 39,127)
  5. Spain: 239,638 (Deaths: 27,127)
  6. Italy: 233,197 (Deaths: 33,475)
  7. India: 198,370 (Deaths: 5,608)
  8. France: 189,348 (Deaths: 28,836)
  9. Germany: 183,594 (Deaths: 8,555)
  10. Peru: 170,039 (Deaths: 4,634)

1.40am BST

Pakistanis urged to ‘live with the virus’

In case you missed it earlier:

Pakistanis are being urged to “live with the virus” as the country’s prime minister Imran Khan pushes ahead with a plan to lift lockdown restrictions despite rising infections and deaths, citing the economic losses being suffered.

Pakistan has rolled back almost all measures, primarily to avert an economic meltdown. The country will open to tourism but cinemas, theatres and schools remain closed.The nation of 220 million has reported 72,160 cases and 1,543 deaths, which jumped lately to as high as 80 a day.

The country cannot afford to match the losses incurred as many other countries have done, Khan said. He cited 50 million people who live below the poverty line and 25 million daily wagers. He said his government has given cash handouts to the poor, which wasn’t possible to continue on such a large scale, adding around 130 million to 150 million people were adversely affected by the shutdowns.

Our conditions don’t allow that we keep feeding money to them, how long we can give them money.

He urged people to act responsibly but more infections and deaths were inevitable.

This virus will spread more. I have to say it with regret that there will be more deaths. If people do take care they can live with the virus.

1.34am BST

Fauci says he and Trump no longer in regular contact

Here is more on those comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier:

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top public health expert and Covid-19 task force member, said he was no longer in frequent contact with the president.

Asked whether the president talks to him often about Covid vaccine work, he told a reporter with Stat News, “No … As you probably noticed, that the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.”

Fauci noted that they used to have task force meetings daily, including on the weekend, and said that frequently, the two would talk after the meeting, estimating that a month ago, they met four times a week.

Dr Fauci listens to President Trump speak at the White House in Washington, May 15, 2020.
Dr Fauci listens to President Trump speak at the White House in Washington, May 15, 2020.
Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also told a CNN reporter that he has not spoken or met with Trump in two weeks and that their last interaction was 18 May, during a teleconference with the nation’s governors.

The comments from Fauci come as states across the US have continued to reopen and end lockdowns, even as reports of new Covid-19 cases and deaths continue. Last week, the US recorded

In his STAT interview, Fauci said he understood the desire to reopen states as quickly as possible: “I certainly have sensitivity for the need of the public to start getting to some form of normalization.” But he said he was still concerned about the pace of the reopening:

When I see a situation where there is a region, a state, a city, a county where there’s a considerable amount of viral activity there, and you see people crowding around bars — and there were several pictures of that, that was quite striking over the last couple of days — or on boardwalks, where they’re very, very close to each other, I do get concerned.

He said he was not concerned about the 12-18 month vaccine timetable, but added, “There’s no guarantee that it’s going to be effective.

In May during Senate testimony, Fauci also expressed concerns about the potential for ongoing outbreaks: “There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control. Not only leading to some suffering and death, but it could even set you back on the road to get economic recovery.”

1.12am BST

Summary

Hi, Helen Sullivan with you now. I’ll be bringing you the latest in the coronavirus pandemic from around the world for the next few hours.

As always, we welcome your questions, comments, feedback, news and tips. You can get in touch with me on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email: helen.sullivan[at]theguardian.com

Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top public health expert and Covid-19 task force member, has said he and President Donald Trump are no longer in regular contact, telling a reporter at Stat News: “My meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.” Fauci also told CNN that he and the president have not spoken or met since 18 May.

Fauci’s comments come as protests sweep the US, sparking fears of new infections. The US has more than 1.8 million confirmed cases, and over 105,000 deaths.

Here are the latest developments from the last few hours:

  • Known deaths worldwide near 375,000, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They say at least 6,246,042 people are known to have been infected and at least 374,452 are known to have died since the outbreak began.
  • New analysis from the US has found that masks and social distancing can help control the coronavirus but hand washing and other measures are still needed. Researchers concluded single-layer cloth masks are less effective than surgical masks, while tight-fitting N95 masks provide the best protection. A distance of one meter (more than three feet) between people lowers the danger of catching the virus, while two meters (about 6 1/2 feet) is even better. None of the strategies work perfectly and more rigorous studies are needed, according to the analysis published Monday.
  • Trump deploys military in Washington DC. In an address at the White House shortly after George Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide, the president Trump said he was deploying “thousands of heavily-armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property” in the US capital. In his brief remarks, Trump mentioned the virus only once, saying the protests mean, “Brave nurses who have battled the virus are afraid to leave their homes.”
  • Fauci says he and Trump no longer in regular contact. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top public health expert and Covid-19 task force member, said he was no longer in frequent contact with the president. Asked whether the president talks to him often about Covid vaccine work, he told a reporter with Stat News, “No … As you probably noticed, that the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.” Fauci noted that they used to have task force meetings daily, including on the weekend, and said that frequently, the two would talk after the meeting, estimating that a month ago, they met four times a week. Fauci also told a CNN reporter that he has not spoken or met with Trump in two weeks and that their last interaction was 18 May.
  • Pakistanis urged to “live with the virus”. Pakistanis are being urged to “live with the virus” as the country’s prime minister, Imran Khan, pushes ahead with a plan to lift lockdown restrictions despite rising infections and deaths, citing the economic losses being suffered. Pakistan has rolled back almost all measures, primarily to avert an economic meltdown. Khan urged people to act responsibly but more infections and deaths were inevitable: “This virus will spread more. I have to say it with regret that there will be more deaths. If people do take care they can live with the virus.”
  • UK government criticised over “ridiculous” rules for 14-day quarantine. Tens of thousands of new arrivals to the UK will be able to go food shopping, change accommodation and use public transport from airports during a 14-day quarantine imposed to prevent a second wave of coronavirus, under draft plans to be laid before parliament.
  • Public trust in the UK government as a source of accurate information about the epidemic has collapsed, suggesting ministers may struggle to maintain lockdown restrictions in the aftermath of the Dominic Cummings affair.
  • Spain reported no new deaths for the first time since March. The emergency health response chief, Fernando Simón, called the development very encouraging. There were only 71 new infections over the past 24 hours, he said.
  • There were fears of resurgence in Germany, after the country’s disease control body confirmed 333 new infections and 11 new deaths. The reproduction rate rose to 1.04 on Sunday, staying above the critical threshold of 1 for a second day.
  • Malaysia’s health ministry says 10 days have passed since a coronavirus-related death. On Monday, the country reported 38 new cases, bringing the cumulative total to 7,857 cases. The death toll stands at 115.
  • Bars and restaurants reopened in the Netherlands for the first time in three months. Along with museums, cinemas and theatres, they were allowed to open their doors as long as they followed strict social distancing rules.
  • Long queues stretched outside railway stations in major Indian cities as authorities eased a nationwide lockdown despite a record daily rise in cases. Rail services, apart from the movement of some essential cargo, were halted in late March ahead of efforts to contain the virus that froze almost all economic activity.
  • The family of a Covid-19 victim have called for an inquiry into the Champions League match between Liverpool v Atlético Madrid in March. Richard Mawson, 70, was “fit and healthy” before the match on 11 March, his wife Mary said.

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