Coronavirus live news: Russia and Afghanistan announce their biggest rises in cases

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Bolsonaro stokes Brazil protests in defiance of health advice – as it happened” was written by Helen Sullivan (now and earlier; Clea Skopeliti and Nick Ames, for theguardian.com on Sunday 3rd May 2020 23.38 UTC

12.38am BST

We’ve launched a new global liveblog at the link below – follow me there for rolling coverage of the pandemic:

12.35am BST

Non-NHS healthcare staff had less access to Covid-19 tests – study

Healthcare staff working outside the NHS or on temporary contracts have had less access to coronavirus tests, a survey suggests.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) UK-wide survey of more than 22,000 health and care workers was conducted over the weekend before the government’s announcement of testing expansion.

At that time, 76% of all those surveyed said they had not been offered a test. Of those, 44% said they did not know how to access testing.

The RCN also found more than four in five temporary staff had not been offered Covid-19 testing, compared to three-quarters of permanent staff.

The survey found 79% of those working outside of the NHS had not been offered a test, compared with 75% in the health service.

It found that in care homes and prisons, about 50% did not know how to access tests. With temporary staff, this figure was 60%.

Of the staff who were offered testing, 90% were able to access it.

12.18am BST

Hi, Helen Sullivan with you now and for the next few hours.

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

12.11am BST

Mike Pompeo: ‘enormous evidence’ coronavirus came from Chinese lab

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed on Sunday there is “enormous evidence” the coronavirus outbreak originated in a Chinese laboratory – but did not provide any of the alleged evidence.

Pompeo’s claims, made in an interview with ABC’s This Week, represented an escalation in rhetoric. He had previously said the US was looking into the possibility the virus came from a lab in Wuhan, China.

On Sunday, Pompeo said: “There is enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” later adding: “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

At one point, the secretary of state appeared confused over whether he was claiming the Sars-CoV-2 virus (which causes the Covid-19 disease) was deliberately engineered or escaped as the result of a lab accident.

“Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point,” he said.

But when he was reminded that US intelligence had issued a formal statement noting the opposite – that the scientific consensus was that the virus was not manmade or genetically modified – Pompeo replied: “That’s right. I agree with that.”

11.59pm BST

That’s all from me for today, thank you for reading and writing in. Handing over to my colleague Helen Sullivan to take you through the next few hours.

11.58pm BST

Summary

Here’s a summary of the key developments from over the last few hours:

  • The global confirmed case total is approaching 3.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins. The global death toll is at 246,736.
  • Bolsonaro fuelled protests over the weekend in defiance of his own health ministry’s appeals for citizens to stay at home because of the coronavirus. The country has now registered 101,147 confirmed cases of the virus and 7,025 deaths.
  • New York hospitalisations have fallen below 10,000 for the first time since mid-March. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 280 further deaths, lifting the total toll to 19,189.
  • Travellers to France who arrive from a country within the European area (EU, the Schengen open-border area and the UK) will be exempt from a planned compulsory two-week quarantine, the French embassy in Britain announced on Sunday.
  • Portugal has downgraded its state of emergency to a category of “calamity”, as the rate of new infections reached its lowest since the beginning of the outbreak, six weeks after a state of emergency was declared.
  • Qatar, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s second worst-hit country after Saudi Arabia, reported 679 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 15,551. Twelve people have died from the virus in the Middle Eastern country.
  • The UK will trial a new coronavirus tracing programme, which includes a smartphone app alongside traditional tracing techniques, on the Isle of Wight next week.
  • Meanwhile, France’s state-supported ‘StopCOVID’ contact-tracing app is expected to enter its testing phase a week on Monday when the country starts to relax its lockdown.
  • Greece prepared to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the notoriously overcrowded island camp Moria to the mainland on Sunday. Two groups, of 142 and 250 “vulnerable” migrants will board ferries from the island of Lesbos.
  • A Sydney school has closed for intensive cleaning and contact tracing after a student tested positive to the coronavirus. Warragamba public school will be “non-operational for on-site learning” on Monday, with all students undertaking at home learning.

11.17pm BST

The UK government’s plan to exit lockdown through a tracking app will need detailed justification to satisfy human rights and data protection laws, a report has warned.

A centralised system for contact tracing, which it is thought the government may well choose, would result in “significantly greater interference with users’ privacy and require greater justification”, the report – given as a legal opinion – concludes.

Read the full story here.

Updated at 11.18pm BST

10.51pm BST

More than 2,000 rural migrant workers blocked from returning home pelted Indian police with stones, officials in Gujarat said, as millions more stranded in the state readied to return to villages.

Poor migrant workers across the country lost their jobs during the world’s biggest pandemic lockdown, which began in late March to guard against the spread of new coronavirus.

A health worker (R) checks the temperature of stranded migrant workers before they board on special busses to return to their hometowns during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, near Surat, some 290 km south of Ahmedabad on May 1, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
A health worker (R) checks the temperature of stranded migrant workers before they board on special busses to return to their hometowns during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, near Surat, some 290 km south of Ahmedabad on May 1, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Saturday’s clash in western India’s Gujarat is the latest in a spate of such protests across India.

It happened when officials stopped the workers, who had rented vehicles, from crossing into neighbouring Madhaya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states, because they did not have sufficient paperwork for entry, officials told AFP.

10.29pm BST

Serbia will end its state of emergency over the coronavirus next week, as the rate of infections has slowed sufficiently, President Aleksandar Vucic has announced.

The lifting of the state of emergency – involving closure of borders and airports, a daily curfew, and weekend lockdowns since mid-March – should be ratified by the government-controlled parliament on Wednesday, Vucic said.

The Balkan nation has confirmed 9,464 cases and 193 people deaths from the Covid-19 disease, but infections have declined to under 5% of the thousands of people tested daily, epidemiologists say.

Updated at 10.29pm BST

10.09pm BST

Brazil passes 100,000 confirmed cases

There have been 4,588 new cases of the coronavirus in Brazil and 275 deaths over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, bringing total confirmed cases in the country to over 100,000.

The nation has now registered 101,147 confirmed cases of the virus and 7,025 deaths. The number of cases increased roughly 5% on Sunday from the previous day, while deaths rose by roughly 4%, the ministry said.

9.28pm BST

Travellers to France who arrive from a country in the European area (EU, the Schengen open-border area and the UK) will be exempt from a planned compulsory two-week quarantine, the French embassy in Britain said on Sunday.

The new quarantine rules will apply to travellers, whether French or foreigners, as part of the fight against the new coronavirus.

“People entering the French territory from countries in the European area (EU/Schengen and United Kingdom) will NOT be affected by the quarantine measure announced in France, the details of which will be specified shortly,” the French embassy in Britain said on Twitter.

France, which has been the fifth-hardest hit country with 24,895 deaths from Covid-19, is preparing to gradually lift lockdown measures from May 11.

French government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said earlier on Sunday that a list of “countries at risk” would soon be issued, without giving details.

Updated at 10.07pm BST

9.20pm BST

South Africa’s mining union has announced it has won a court case against the government that will force authorities to impose strict guidelines on mining companies to protect workers against Covid-19.

The union said in a statement on Facebook that it was “truly elated” with the court’s ruling on Friday. “Now the lives and livelihoods of mineworkers can be protected,” South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa said.

South Africa, the world’s largest platinum, manganese and chrome ore producer which has recorded 6,336 cases of the coronavirus, of whom 123 have died, is letting its mines run at half-capacity during a national lockdown.

But AMCU filed the court action to demand national safety standards for mines, including sanitisation procedures and minimum level of protective gear, before they go back to work.The miners fear being infected because social distancing is near impossible inside deep mine shafts.

Workers in deep mines in Peru have also pushed back against returning to work without adequate protective gear and proper information about cases at sites. Such resistance could also spread to Chile, Burkina Faso, the United States and other countries, where mine workers are making similar demands.

9.07pm BST

Portugal downgrades state of emergency

Portugal has downgraded its state of emergency to a category of “calamity”, as the rate of new coronavirus infections reached its lowest since the beginning of the outbreak, six weeks after a state of emergency was declared.

“It’s like being freed from prison,” enthused Rodrigo Garcia, 40, on a walk to Lisbon’s River Tagus with his wife, two sons and dog. “We’ve gone out here and there, but with the end of the state of emergency we feel much freer.”

A three-phase reopening plan begins on Monday, after a six-week state of emergency when people were urged to stay indoors except for brief exercise, and most non-essential services were shut.

People walk past 25th April Bridge along the Tagus river, in Lisbon, Portugal, May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
People walk past 25th April Bridge along the Tagus river, in Lisbon, Portugal, May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
Photograph: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Beaches remain closed other than for water sports and exercise, but under the lesser state of calamity spending time in parks is no longer strictly forbidden. Still, police officers were out in force on Sunday urging people not to linger and to maintain social distancing.

“A state of calamity still means you should stay home as much as you can,” officer Sofia Gordinho told Reuters. “If people want to sit in the sun for a bit, that’s okay, but we are asking them to move on so others can come without it getting crowded.”

Spared the huge tolls in neighbouring Spain and some other Western European nations, Portugal reported 25,282 cases of the new coronavirus on Sunday, just 0.4% more than the day before, and 1,043 deaths in a population of 10 million people.

Updated at 9.07pm BST

8.49pm BST

Coronavirus test kits used in Tanzania have been dismissed as faulty by President John Magufuli because he said they had returned positive results on samples taken from a goat and a pawpaw.

Magufuli, whose government has already drawn criticism for being secretive about the coronavirus outbreak and has previously asked Tanzanians to pray the coronavirus away, said the kits had “technical errors”.

The Covid-19 testing kits had been imported from abroad, Magufuli said during an event in Chato in the north west of Tanzania, although he did not give further details.

The president said he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits. They had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

These samples were then submitted to Tanzania’s laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins.

8.42pm BST

You can get in touch with me on Twitter @cleaskopeliti. Thanks to everyone who has written in so far today.

8.13pm BST

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan will not be hosting the programme tomorrow as he waits for the results of a Covid-19 test after experiencing a “mild symptom”.

“On medical advice, and out of an abundance of caution for a mild symptom that arose in past 48hrs, I’ve had a test for Covid-19 and so won’t be working on @GMB until I get the result back, which should be tomorrow,” he tweeted.

Updated at 8.17pm BST

8.07pm BST

Qatar, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s second worst-hit country after Saudi Arabia, reported 679 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 15,551.

Al Jazeera reports that 12 people have died from the virus in the Middle Eastern country.

Updated at 8.08pm BST

7.53pm BST

Meanwhile in the UK, more people are now in hospital with coronavirus in the north-west of England than in London, as regional differences in the spread and peak of the pandemic become increasingly apparent.

Latest figures show 2,033 people in London hospitals compared to 2,191 in the north-west, where the peak for hospitalisation appears to have been on 13 April, compared to 8 April in the capital.

Read the full report here.

Updated at 7.59pm BST

7.35pm BST

France’s tracing app expected to enter testing week on Monday

France’s state-supported ‘StopCOVID’ contact-tracing app should enter its testing phase a week on Monday when the country starts to unwind its lockdown, a government minister has said.

Minister for Digital Affairs Cedric O, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s inner circle, presented the app as a key element of France’s strategy to stave off the coronavirus as authorities grapple with the prospect of mass testing.

“There’s nothing magical about this app, but it’s not technological coquetry either,” O wrote on online publishing platform Medium. “It’s only useful if it’s integrated into a global health system.”

Countries are rushing to develop apps to assess the risk of one person infecting another, helping to isolate those who could spread the disease.

7.09pm BST

Bolsonaro fuels protests in defiance of health advice

The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, has written this dispatch on the situation in Brazil:

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has spent another weekend stirring up street protests in defiance of his own health ministry’s appeals for citizens to stay at home because of coronavirus.

On Sunday lunchtime Bolsonaro appeared outside his palace in the capital, Brasília, where a crowd of several hundred hardcore supporters had gathered with yellow and green flags and vuvuzelas.

Brazil’s far-right leader embraced and shook hands with admirers as the throng shouted anti-left slogans such as: Our flag will never be red!”

“I’m certain of one thing: we have the people on our side [and] the armed forces are on the side of the people,” Bolsonaro said.

A Brazilian photographer from one of the country’s top newspapers was reportedly assaulted by Bolsonaro supporters as he documented the rally.

Bolsonaro’s outing – apparently an attempt to project strength in the face of a mounting political and economic crisis – drew immediate criticism from both left and right.

One right-wing commentator, Diogo Mainardi, dubbed the president’s supporters “the death squad”.

As Bolsonaro attended the demonstration, his health minister flew to the crisis-stricken Amazon city of Manaus where authorities have been forced to dig mass graves to accommodate the soaring number of dead.

So far Covid-19 – which Bolsonaro has dismissed as “a bit of a cold” – has claimed at least 6,750 Brazilian lives.

Updated at 8.36pm BST

7.04pm BST

France has recorded a further 135 deaths in hospitals and nursing homes, bringing the country’s total to 24,895.

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 fell on Sunday to 25,815 from 25,827 on Saturday, and the number of people in intensive care fell to 3,819 from 3,827.

Updated at 7.29pm BST

6.49pm BST

Some readers have written in with questions about the UK figures today – Reuters explains how totals are calculated here:

The UK’s death toll from Covid-19 rose to 28,446, an increase of 315, according to latest data on Sunday that includes hospitals and other settings like nursing homes.

The data is produced by the official Public Health England and its counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, records the number of deaths in a 24-hour reporting period.

Earlier data on Sunday published by NHS England, the body which leads the state-funded health system in Britain’s most populous nation, said there had been 327 deaths reported by hospitals in England in the reporting period.

The discrepancy between these two totals is because the NHS England figure records the date when deaths are reported by hospitals, which is not necessarily the same day they occurred.

The UK-wide figures collated by Public Health England are based on when deaths occurred rather than when they were reported by hospitals.

Updated at 6.51pm BST

6.24pm BST

Italy reports lowest toll since first day of lockdown

Italy has reported 174 new coronavirus deaths, its lowest toll since 168 fatalities were registered when the country’s lockdown started on March 10.

The Mediterranean country’s toll on the eve of its first easing of lockdown measures on Monday officially stands at 28,884 dead, second only to the United States.

The 1,389 new infections were also the lowest since the first week of March.

Updated at 6.33pm BST

6.15pm BST

UK to trial new tracing programme

The UK will trial a new coronavirus tracing programme next week on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England, cabinet minister Michael Gove has announced as the government looks to minimise the risk of a second wave of infection.

Suffering one of the worst death tolls in Europe from Covid-19, Britain is confident that the peak of the virus has passed and is now looking at how to restart its shuttered economy and ease social restrictions on citizens, according to the Press Association.

“This week we will be piloting new test, track and trace procedures on the Isle of Wight with a view to having that in place more widely later this month,” Gove said.

Gove said the system being trialled next week would include asking citizens on the island to download a smartphone app as well as traditional ways of tracing those who have come into contact with a patient who has tested positive.

Updated at 6.24pm BST

5.42pm BST

Greece is preparing to evacuate hundreds of migrants from a notoriously overcrowded island camp to the mainland, according to AFP.

Two groups, of 142 and 250 “vulnerable” migrants will board ferries from the island of Lesbos, according to a police source, after leaving the “deplorable” conditions in Moria camp.

In April, Human Rights Watch urged Greek authorities to act quickly to ward off a potential health crisis in migrant camps lest the coronavirus take hold there. The sites are battling rampant overcrowding, poor sanitation, lack of proper water supplies and rudimentary healthcare.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on LesbosMigrants from the Moria camp wearing protective face masks board a ferry that will transfer them to the mainland as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Elias Marcou
Migrants from the Moria camp wearing protective face masks board a ferry that will transfer them to the mainland as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Elias Marcou
Photograph: Elias Marcou/Reuters

A transfer from the Moria camp would be the first since confinement measures were imposed on March 23 to stem the spread of Covid-19. A few days before that around 600 migrants had been transferred to the Greek mainland.

An estimated 37,000 migrants live in terrible conditions on five Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. The camps were built to house 6,200 people. Moria holds around 19,300 migrants, more than six times its capacity.

Plans to alleviate overcrowding were stalled by the discovery of Covid-19 cases among migrants on the mainland. But Greek officials now plan to move around 2,000 people from the islands, and migration minister Notis Mitarachi said recently that 10,000 had reached the mainland in the first three months of the year.

Around 150 migrants on the mainland have tested positive for the virus, but up till now, no cases have been reported in the overcrowded island camps.

Updated at 5.43pm BST

4.57pm BST

French feminist advocacy groups are reporting an increase in sexual assault and harassment incidents in broad daylight by aggressors who know their victims are unlikely to be able to summon help.

Fatima Benomar, a 36-year-old rights activist, said she was hounded by several youths on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, a wide-open thoroughfare that has been emptied of cars and passers-by.

“They came up because I was ignoring their catcalls, and started insulting and threatening me,” Benomar told AFP. “It was incredibly scary.”

“There wasn’t any way to escape, all the stores were closed and there was nobody to ask for help,” she said.

Police have been urging victims or witnesses to report any cases. They have not released official figures on the number of assault reports during the lockdown.

But prosecutors reported last week that two women were raped in public spaces within 24 hours of each other – one in a park, the other on a street – in Seine-Saint-Denis, just north of Paris.

4.40pm BST

Singapore records 657 new infections

Singapore has confirmed 657 new coronavirus cases, the vast majority of them foreign workers living in dormitories, taking the city-state’s total to 18,205.

Reuters reports the health ministry announced one death, an 86-year-old Singaporean woman, bringing the country’s death toll to 18.

Among the new infections, ten were Singaporeans or permanent residents, while 626 cases were foreign workers living in dormitories, the ministry said.

Singapore has among the highest number of coronavirus infections in Asia, mainly due to outbreaks in cramped migrant-worker dormitories. It has managed to curb the spread of the disease among locals outside the dormitories.

Singapore will start easing coronavirus restrictions over the next few weeks, authorities said on Saturday.

4.32pm BST

In a trial at a restaurant in the city of Arnhem, Netherlands, McDonald’s has been looking for ways to maintain social distancing when the coronavirus lockdown is relaxed, Reuters reports.

Adjustments such as Big Macs delivered on meal trolleys, hand sanitisers at restaurant entrances and designated waiting spots are being tested.

Restaurants, bars and other public places in the Netherlands have been closed since March 15. As of Friday, 39,791 coronavirus cases had been confirmed with 4,893 deaths. But new infections have been dropping, prompting calls to loosen the lockdown after its current deadline of May 19.

An employee wearing protective gloves handles an order at a prototype location of fast food giant McDonald’s for restaurants which respect the 1.5m social distancing measure, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Arnhem, Netherlands, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
An employee wearing protective gloves handles an order at a prototype location of fast food giant McDonald’s for restaurants which respect the 1.5m social distancing measure, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Arnhem, Netherlands, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters

A decision on whether to reopen restaurants and bars is expected around May 12, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte has ruled out a return to normal. If they do reopen, they will have to keep customers and staff at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart to avoid a new wave of infections.

About three quarters of McDonald’s 39,000 restaurants worldwide were operational as of Thursday, including almost all its nearly 14,000 outlets in the United States, where drive-throughs are common.

4.20pm BST

The UK daily briefing has been delayed and is expected to begin within the next 15 minutes.

4.10pm BST

Head over to the UK live blog to follow Downing Street’s daily coronavirus briefing.

4.09pm BST

Hello, I’ll be taking over the live blog for the next few hours. If you have a news tip, comment or suggestion, please get in touch via Twitter DM @cleaskopeliti or by email at clea.skopeliti.casual@guardian.co.uk. Thanks in advance.

4.08pm BST

I’m passing you on now to my colleague, Clea Skopeliti, who will continue to bring you the day’s Coronavirus news from around the world on this live blog. Thanks for all your emails, tweets and comments over the past eight hours.

4.06pm BST

Summary

  • The Pope has called for any successful Covid-19 vaccine to be shared worldwide. He said international scientific cooperation would be important in discovering a vaccine, stressing that it is “important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial way”.
  • NHS England has announced a further 327 deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19. The total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England is now 21,180.
  • A coalition of artists, celebrities, scientists and intellectuals has warned that Brazil’s indigenous peoples are at grave risk of a Covid-19 “genocide”. Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, David Hockney and Paul McCartney are among those who have signed an open letter to the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Vietnam has confirmed its first Coronavirus case in nine days, meaning its total now stands at 271. The country’s lockdown was eased in late April and it is yet to record a Covid-19 death.
  • Footballers in Serie A, Italy’s top division, will be allowed to start individual training sessions from Monday. It is the latest step in a series of cautious moves towards restarting top-level sport across Europe, which has also seen players in England and Germany permitted different degrees of training ground work.
  • One third of 500 random coronavirus tests in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, have come back positive. It has raised fears that one of the world’s most fragile states may be harbouring widespread undetected infections.

3.46pm BST

Primary schools in England could reopen on 1 June. Here is more from our education editor, Richard Adams:

3.37pm BST

One third of 500 random coronavirus tests in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, came back positive, health officials have said, raising fears of widespread undetected infections in one of the world’s most fragile states.

The results are concerning, said public health ministry spokesman Wahid Mayar. Afghanistan has performed only limited testing so far: close to 12,000, with more than 2,700 confirmed infections, in a nation of 36.6 million.

As more testing becomes available, the country’s confirmed infection numbers will likely rise sharply, said Mayar. He urged residents to stay home. Kabul and most other cities are in lockdown, but compliance has not been widespread. The death toll, officially at 85, could also be much higher.

More than 250,000 Afghans returned home from Iran since the beginning of the year, fanning out across their country without being tested or quarantined. Anecdotal reports have emerged of dozens of returnees dying of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

At a recent briefing, a senior government official said 40 people died of the virus in Sarobi district, barely 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Kabul. The Health Ministry said it could not confirm the claim, reports AP. The country’s health care system, devastated by four decades of war, is woefully unprepared for a major outbreak. It has only 400 ventilators.

Updated at 3.41pm BST

3.25pm BST

An international media rights group says the coronavirus pandemic is being used by governments around the world to increase restrictions on press freedoms, AP reports.

In a report issued to coincide with World Press Freedom Day 2020, the International Press Institute concluded that in both democratic and autocratic states the public health crisis has allowed governments to exercise control over the media on the pretext of preventing the spread of disinformation.

It said authoritarian governments have been abusing emergency measures to further stifle independent media and criminalise journalism, while in democracies efforts to control the public narrative and restrict access to information around the pandemic are on the rise.

The Vienna-based organisation said it has documented 162 press freedom violations related to coronavirus coverage over the past two and a half months, almost a third of which have involved the arrest, detention or charging of journalists.

The institute’s report came three days after the International Federation of Journalists published a survey that found that the working conditions of news reporters around the globe have deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic amid job losses and attacks on media freedom.

Earlier, Egypt was singled out by Amnesty International for its treatment of journalists over the last four years.

3.16pm BST

Our US live blog is now up and running. Martin Pengelly has all the Coronavirus updates from New York and beyond; Donald Trump has once again awoken in vocal mood:

3.04pm BST

Top executives of Emirates and Etihad, two of the Middle East’s biggest airlines, have said passenger demand may not return to pre-coronavirus crisis levels until 2023, reports AFP.

About 85% of the world’s airlines could face financial distress by the end of the year without government aid, Emirates president Tim Clark and Etihad CEO Tony Douglas told a video conference hosted by the US-UAE Business Council last week.

Clark and Douglas reiterated their beliefs that until an effective vaccine for the COVID-19 respiratory disease becomes widely available, how passengers fly will be different, a statement by the council said. Lasting restrictions like 14-day quarantines, testing, and social distancing will impact demand and operations, they said. The airlines could not be reached for comment.

Emirates and Etihad, which operate fleets of over 370 aircraft, a majority of them wide-bodied, have grounded their operations in March and are serving limited outbound flights to take repatriate foreigners from the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is expected to resume welcoming tourists by July, more than four months after halting the vital sector due to the coronavirus pandemic, an official said. The return, however, will be gradual and could be delayed until September, Helal al-Marri, the director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, told Bloomberg TV last week.

A majority of global airlines have also stopped operations due to shutdowns imposed to counter the spread of coronavirus.

2.54pm BST

This global report from Sam Jones in Madrid focuses further on the easing of lockdown measures in Spain and Italy.

In Spain, where 217,466 cases of Covid-19 and 25,264 deaths have been confirmed, adults were allowed back on to the street to exercise for the first time in seven weeks this weekend.

Small shops, such as bookshops, hardware stores and hair salons were due to reopen on Monday, serving customers by appointment, along with restaurants for the collection of takeaways.

The prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has announced that the wearing of face masks will be mandatory on public transport, and that 14.5m masks will be handed out across the country.

Sánchez also confirmed that his coalition government would be seeking MPs’ approval this week to extend the state of emergency declared on 14 March until 24 May.

“We’re winning the battle against the epidemic, but the cost in lives and sacrifices has been very high,” he said on Saturday.

Here it is in full:

2.44pm BST

Test results suggesting people in South Korea had been reinfected after recovering from Covid-19 were actually false positives caused by dead lung cells, the World Health Organisation’s technical lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show today.

You can watch the video here:

2.34pm BST

Footballers in Serie A, Italy’s top division, will be allowed to start individual training sessions from Monday in the latest cautious step towards a restart for sport across Europe.

“Athletes and non athletes, of non individual disciplines, just like any citizen, are allowed to practise individual sporting activities, in private and public areas, in respect of the interpersonal safety distance of at least two metres and in respect of the ban to gather in any form,” the Italian interior ministry said in a letter to local authorities.

A number of clubs in England’s Premier League allowed players to work on an individual basis at their training grounds on a strict rota basis from last Monday, while players at clubs in the German Bundesliga are permitted to train in small, socially-distanced groups. The leagues in France and the Netherlands, however, have been concluded without any further activity taking place.

2.22pm BST

NHS England announces 327 further deaths

NHS England has announced 327 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 21,180.

More details on this, and the rest of the Covid-19 picture across the UK, from my colleague Nadeem Badshah.

2.18pm BST

I’m back with you from now until around 4pm BST. Do send any hints, tips or observations to nick.ames@theguardian.com or @NickAmes82. Thanks for all your communications so far today.

1.54pm BST

Nearly 3,000 cruise ship workers quarantined aboard a liner will undergo tests for the novel coronavirus, German travel group TUI said.

“Mein Schiff 3” was being used to ferry 2,899 TUI employees and crew home with both cruises and the usual means of transport in much of Europe shut down by the pandemic.

Problems began when the huge vessel docked at in the German North Sea port of Cuxhaven on April 28 with more than a dozen crew members showing flu-like symptoms.

One of them then tested positive for the virus on Friday leading the company to quarantine everyone on board.

A first wave of 229 tests on personnel who had been in contact with the infected crew member came back negative, TUI said.

1.49pm BST

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said mosques would reopen across large parts of the country Monday, as officials reported a drop in the number of deaths from the novel coronavirus.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 47 people died of the virus over the past 24 hours, the lowest daily count in 55 days. He told a news conference he hoped “the trend will continue in the upcoming days”.

His remarks came as President Hassan Rouhani said 132 counties, around one third of the country’s administrative divisions, would “reopen their mosques as of tomorrow”.

“Social distancing is more important than collective prayer,” he said in a televised meeting of the country’s virus taskforce.

The president argued that Islam considers safety obligatory, while praying in mosques is only “recommended”.

Rouhani did not give the names of the counties affected by the measure or the number of mosques due to reopen on Monday.

The measure is not expected to be implemented in the capital, Tehran, or in the main Shiite holy cities of Mashhad which are among those most affected by the outbreak.

Mosques and some key Shiite shrines in Iran were closed in March amid the Middle East’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

The targeted counties are “low-risk”, Rouhani said.

According to Jahanpour, the 47 new deaths brought to 6,203 the total number officially recorded in Iran since it reported its first cases in mid-February.

He added that 976 fresh infection cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 97,424.

1.24pm BST

Hello everyone. I am going to be updating you on the latest developments while Nick takes lunch. Please do share your news tips, insights and comments with me.

Twitter: @sloumarsh
Instagram: sarah_marsh_journalist
Email: sarah.marsh@theguardian.com

1.21pm BST

Handing over to my colleague Sarah Marsh for the next hour or so of global coronavirus updates.

1.15pm BST

Netherlands reports 335 new Covid-19 infections and 69 deaths

Dutch health authorities have confirmed a daily increase of 335 coronavirus infections, meaning the country’s total is now 40,571, while 69 new deaths have been recorded. In total, the Netherlands has now seen 5,056 fatalities.

This rise means the Netherlands is still 15th in the global ranking of Covid-19 cases, although the authorities have warned that the actual number of infections is probably higher because not all suspected patients are being tested.

1.05pm BST

For those waking up in the US around now, Gene Marks has written a guide for small businesses who may not be covered by the government’s paycheck protection program (PPP). If that applies to you, there could be other funding streams available.

12.57pm BST

Our coronavirus world map, curated by Pablo Gutiérrez, has up-to-date visuals displaying where the virus has spread and where its impact has been most significant.

12.48pm BST

Vietnam has confirmed its first Coronavirus case in nine days, meaning its total now stands at 271. The country of 95 million locked down for more than a month but began to re-open in late April. To date it has not recorded any deaths caused by Covid-19.

12.36pm BST

Pope calls for Covid-19 vaccine to be shared worldwide

Pope Francis has called for international scientific cooperation to discover a vaccine for the coronavirus and said any successful vaccine should be made available around the world, Reuters reports.

“In fact, it is important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial way to find vaccines and treatments,” he said when delivering his Sunday address from the papal library in the Vatican City, a measure necessitated by the Italian lockdown. He added that it was also important to “guarantee universal access to essential technologies that allow each infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary medical treatment”.

The pope also backed a proposal by an inter-religious group known as the Higher Committee on Human Fraternity for an international day of prayer and fasting on 14 May to ask God to help humanity overcome the pandemic.

12.25pm BST

Brazil’s indigenous peoples are at grave risk of a Covid-19 “genocide”, a coalition of artists, celebrities, scientists and intellectuals has warned.

Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, David Hockney and Paul McCartney are among those who have signed an open letter to the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, warning that warned the pandemic meant indigenous communities in the Amazon faced “an extreme threat to their very survival”.

They have warned that these communities, decimated centuries ago by diseases brought by European colonisers, may now disappear completely. Tom Phillips reports from Rio de Janeiro:

12.13pm BST

Italy’s two-month shutdown will partially ease from tomorrow onwards. This has been known for almost two weeks, but a report by AFP suggests many are still in the dark about what they will – and won’t – be permitted to do.

They quote Pietro Garlanti, a 53-year-old cleaner in Rome, asking: “I’m hoping this morning’s paper will clear it up. I want to take my old mum to the sea-side, can I?”

Italians will be able to move more freely within their own regions, visiting relatives, going to the re-opened parks with their children and going cycling or running further from home. But these activities cannot be undertaken in groups and people will not be allowed to leave their regions unless for an essential reason.

But several of the 20 regions have come up with their own interpretations of the rules. Veneto and Calabria have already relaxed their lockdowns, allowing restaurants and bars with outdoor tables to open earlier in the week. Liguria is reopening its beaches. But a lack of clarity is causing significant concern.

“We’ve been waiting with longing for May 4, but now it’s finally arrived it’s a letdown. Until they tell me I’m really free, I’ll feel paranoid, like I’m breaking the rules in some way,” 37-year old Michele Magna said.

On Saturday the government published a Q&A that explained people could see extended relatives, but not friends.

12.00pm BST

Maternal care in the US has been derailed because of the coronavirus pandemic, writes Alexandra Villarreal. It poses a particularly serious problem for black mothers as they navigate the hospital system.

Maternal care in the US, already flawed compared to similarly well-off countries, has been derailed because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Prenatal visits have transitioned to a combination of telehealth and in-person appointments where only the pregnant person is allowed to be physically present. Maternity units are also limiting visitors, usually to one, though some hospitals in Covid-19 hotspots have not allowed any.

These changes have made deliveries difficult for all expecting mothers, regardless of a Covid-19 diagnosis, race or ethnicity. But even under “normal” circumstances, black mothers face a terrifying prospect as they navigate US hospitals, historically influenced by systemic racism and implicit biases, experts say. Add a global pandemic that’s overwhelming the country’s healthcare institutions, and advocates warn the outcome could be disastrous.

“Black women aren’t trusted. They aren’t trusted to know and understand their own bodies,” said Nia Martin-Robinson, director of black leadership and engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Read the piece in full here:

11.52am BST

Armenia will reopen some shops, restaurants and bars from Monday. It marks the start of a significant relaxation of restrictions that will also see manufacturing resume and restraints upon movement lifted.

Confirmation of the easing was given by Tigran Avinyan, the deputy prime minister, and came despite a recent rise in confirmed infections. The country has registered 2,386 cases of the coronavirus and 35 deaths, with the number of infections rising from an average of 50 a day in mid-April to more than 100 in recent days, including 134 registered on Wednesday.

Reuters reports that Armenia is looking to ease the hit on an economy that could shrink by 2% this year. Smaller shops, beauty salons and dry cleaners will open on Monday, Avinyan stated on social media. Malls, trade centres, markets and all schools and colleges will remain closed for now, however, while public transport is to remain suspended.

11.35am BST

Summary

  • Russia has announced its biggest daily increase in Covid-19 cases to date. The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre reported 10,633 new cases and 58 deaths, increasing the total fatalities to 1,280.
  • Afghanistan has confirmed its highest rise both in coronavirus cases and deaths. The country confirmed 235 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, marking its biggest one-day rise of new infections, and 12 patients died overnight – bringing the total number of infections to 2,704 and death toll to 85.
  • Japan could start easing its coronavirus curbs. Parks and museums are among the facilities that could reopen soon, as long as strict preventative measures are adhered to. However, its state of emergency – which currently expires on Wednesday – is likely to be extended by another month.
  • Spain has reported its lowest rise of Covid-19 deaths in six weeks. The health ministry announced a one-day rise of 164 deaths from coronavirus, meaning the country’s total is now 25,264. It is the smallest increase since 18 March. Meanwhile, confirmed cases of the virus in Spain rose to 217,466 today.
  • Iran will reopen mosques across large parts of the country on Monday. The president, Hassan Rounani, confirmed that centres of worship in around one third of the country’s administrative division would be allowed to operate from tomorrow. He did, however, stress that “social distancing is more important than collective prayer”.
  • Watchdogs in the US say Donald Trump’s links with donors and backers deserve scrutiny as huge amounts of federal funds are distributed. There are concerns that, even during an unprecedented national crisis, Trump’s priorities and campaign machine often tilt towards giving donors and political allies favours, access and publicity.

Updated at 11.52am BST

11.16am BST

Watchdog groups in the US say Donald Trump’s close ties with donors and backers deserve scrutiny as trillions in federal funds are handed out during the Covid-19 crisis. Peter Stone reports from Washington.

Fracking billionaire and Trump donor Harold Hamm was among an elite group of oil and gas executives who met with the president in early April to press for federal help, including access to big loans for businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. It prompted Trump afterwards to promise to “make funds available to these very important companies”.

Major Trump ally Tommy Fisher, who last year landed a 0m Army Corps of Engineers contract to build 31 miles of Trump’s border wall in Arizona, in April received another m from the army – despite an active investigation by a Pentagon watchdog into allegations of favouritism after Trump reportedly pushed for Fisher.

Another big Trump donor, Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow and the chair of Trump’s campaign in Minnesota, got red-carpet treatment from Trump at a press briefing in late March. Lindell then praised Trump, hailing him as “chosen by God” as the president touted the firm’s efforts to make thousands of face masks.

Updated at 11.16am BST

11.07am BST

As evidence of lockdown regulations being loosened in some parts of Europe, Reuters has reported on the return to action of Austria’s tennis players. Players can compete again, in singles format, with no touching of each other’s match balls and no handshaking. Golf, horse riding, archery, shooting and mini-golf are among other social distancing-compatible sports to have been given the green light since Friday in the country’s second wave of lockdown easing.

10.53am BST

Our daily roundup of coronavirus developments across Australia is now up, courtesy of Christopher Knaus.

10.45am BST

Indonesia’s health ministry has reported 349 new coronavirus cases and 14 new deaths. The country’s total number of infections now stands at 11,192, with 845 deaths in total. More than 83,000 people have been tested.

Neighbouring Malaysia has reported 122 new cases, meaning the total now stands at 6,298. Its health ministry also reported two new deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 105

Updated at 10.50am BST

10.36am BST

Here is a big Sunday piece by Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for Guardian US. Three years of hostility to evidence-based policy have led to a crisis in which the Donald Trump’s ill-informed, self-serving “hunches” have deadly consequences – but how will the president’s war on science play out?

Three months into the pandemic, with the number of confirmed cases passing 1 million, the tension that has been simmering for months between Trump and the scientific world is at boiling point. His improvisation about injecting disinfectant encapsulated the sense of demoralisation – of despair, almost – that many American scientists now feel about the drift from evidence-based leadership.

Full article:

10.26am BST

Spain reports 164 new Covid-19 deaths, in lowest rise since 18 March

Spain’s health ministry has reported a one-day rise of 164 deaths from coronavirus, meaning the country’s total is now 25,264. It is the lowest increase since 18 March. Meanwhile confirmed cases of the virus rose to 217,466 today, from 216,582 on Saturday.

10.11am BST

Iran will reopen mosques across large parts of the country on Monday, the country’s president Hassan Rouhani has confirmed.

Mosques have been closed since early March after the coronavirus outbreak intensified, but AFP quote Rouhani saying 132 counties, around one third of the country’s administrative divisions, would “reopen their mosques as of tomorrow”.

“Social distancing is more important than collective prayer,” he added, arguing that Islam considers safety obligatory, while praying in mosques is only “recommended”.

The targeted counties are “low-risk”, Rouhani said in a televised meeting of the country’s virus taskforce. He said the committee was also mulling reopening schools by May 16 to allow for a month of classes before the summer break.

Covid-19 has killed more than 6,150 and infected over 96,440 in Iran since it announced its first cases in mid-February. On Saturday, the country reported its lowest daily toll of new infections since 10 March.

10.00am BST

If you’re just joining our live global coverage of the day’s Covid-19 news, welcome – and don’t forget you can contact me at nick.ames@theguardian.com or via direct message at @NickAmes82 with any tips, suggestions, observations or feedback.

9.54am BST

Tensions aboard the Greg Mortimer, an Australian cruise ship that spent a month stranded off the South American coast and remains in limbo, are running high amid allegations that the ship’s operators and captain pressured the chief medical officer to mislead authorities in Uruguay about the health situation onboard. Thirty-three members of its crew have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and one has died. Uki Goñi reports:

9.36am BST

Japan could start easing some of its coronavirus-enforced curbs, with parks and museums among the facilities being slated to reopen.

The economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura is quoted by Reuters as saying certain restrictions may be eased as long as the correct preventative measure are imposed. “As long as the proper preventive measures are in place, it could be possible to ease some of the current restrictions on economic activities,” Nishimura said.

Places like parks, museums, art galleries, and libraries could reopen even in the 13 prefectures where coronavirus has spread rapidly, if they take steps to disinfect their premises and ensure visitors maintain their distance, he added. Further details of how restrictions might be eased will be discussed at an experts’ meeting on Monday.

Regardless, Japan’s state of emergency – which currently expires on Wednesday – is expected to be extended by another month. Covid-19 has infected 15,589 people and killed 530 in the country.

Updated at 11.39am BST

9.26am BST

The developed world’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is imperilling health systems, economies and livelihoods elsewhere in the world that were already on the edge, writes Simon Tisdall.

The west’s self-absorption threatens to obscure the virus’s harmful impact on treatment of non-Covid, preventable diseases. Just as UK cancer deaths are forecast to rise due to a diversion of resources, so measles and other immunisation programmes in poorer nations are being undercut.

The WHO announced last week that polio vaccinations for up to 12 million children in Africa will be delayed as resources are switched to fighting Covid-19. It admitted the move would inevitably lead to more child polio cases.

Disrupted vaccination programmes have frequently led to “explosive” outbreaks of life-threatening diseases previously held in abeyance, warned vaccine specialist Edward Parker. “Without systematic efforts to maintain immunisation programmes, the virus’s legacy could include a disastrous surge in childhood deaths.”

The pandemic is providing cover for malign governments to pursue or accelerate policies that place lives at risk, regardless of Covid-19. A striking example is Myanmar, where the army has renewed its repression of minorities in Rakhine and Chin states.

9.09am BST

Afghanistan announces its highest rise of Covid-19 cases and deaths

Six new polio cases have been reported in Afghanistan as the war-torn country recorded its highest one-day rise of new coronavirus cases and deaths, triggered by the continued surge of transmission in Kandahar and Kabul amid an intensified war across the country.

The country confirmed 235 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, marking its biggest one-day rise of new infections, and 12 patients died overnight – bringing the total number of infections to 2,704 and death toll to 85. There have so far been 345 recoveries. Wahidullah Mayar, a health ministry spokesman, said 256 health workers have also tested positive in the country.

Most of the new infections were confirmed in Kabul, raising the total number of transmissions to 680 – with 63 reported in the last 25 hours. Kabul is the country’s worst-affected area and authorities have implemented a lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Despite the lockdown in several provinces, in most cities streets are still crowded with vehicles and people walking freely around. Experts fear that may be a challenge in the fight with Covid-19.

The disease may cause huge collateral damage among Afghanistan’s many vulnerable citizens. Save the Children has already warned that lockdowns – although they are being widely ignored – have put seven million children at risk of hunger.

Meanwhile, Mayar said on Saturday that six new polio cases were recorded in the country, mostly in the southern province of Kandahar. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

War continued to intensify in the country. A government spokesman said 17 civilians were killed by the Taliban in the first week of Ramadan.

Updated at 9.18am BST

8.55am BST

Russia records its biggest increase of Covid-19 cases

Russia has recorded its highest daily rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 10,633 new cases listed today. It brings the overall number to 134,686. A further 58 deaths have been reported by the country’s coronavirus crisis response centre, increasing the total number of fatalities to 1,280.

8.42am BST

Our UK live blog is now up and running, with Ben Quinn – you can join it here:

8.31am BST

Pharma giant Roche gets US go-ahead for Covid-19 antibody test

Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG says it has received emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antibody test to help determine if people have ever been infected with the coronavirus.

Governments, businesses and individuals are seeking such blood tests to help them learn more about who may have had the disease, who may have some immunity and to potentially craft strategies to end lockdowns that have battered global economies.

Roche had previously pledged to make its antibody test available by early May and to boost production by June to “high double-digit millions” per month.

8.24am BST

Singapore has confirmed 657 new coronavirus infections, taking its total to 18,205. According to the country’s health ministry, most of the new cases were diagnosed among migrant workers living in dormitories.

8.17am BST

After Covid-19: How will a socially distanced high street actually work?

Britain’s once bustling high streets are now eerily quiet, with all non-essential shops closed and thousands of staff furloughed. Many may never reopen as the lockdown accelerates shifts to online shopping, while others will have to find ways to adapt to a radically different retail world of long-term social distancing rules and nervous customers afraid of catching the virus.

The British Independent Retailers Association warned last week that one fifth of their members might close for good if footfall is low. Yet some of the big non-food retailers such as Homebase and B&Q are starting to reopen stores, and the British Retail Consortium has issued guidance on how non-essential shops could trade while keeping customers and staff safe.

The Observer spoke to five shop owners on one British high street to find out how they are faring and what the future holds for their businesses.

8.11am BST

Hello, this is Nick Ames and I’ll be with you for the next eight hours or so as our coverage of live coronavirus news from around the world continues. If you have any tips, suggestions, feedback or anything else then please feel free to email me at nick.ames@theguardian.com or send me a direct message on Twitter @NickAmes82.

8.01am BST

That’s it for me, Helen Sullivan, for today.

I have just one question before I go: did you remember to video-chat the eels? Let me know here. In case you missed it, they’re forgetting humans exist:

7.50am BST

Summary

  • Global cases near 3.5 million as death toll approaches 250,000. According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker there were 3,428,422 confirmed cases worldwide on Sunday, with 243,831 people losing their lives to the disease. The US continues to be the most affected country, with more than 1.3 million cases and 66,385 deaths.
  • Warren Buffett says ‘world has changed’ for airlines. The legendary American investor has dumped his firm’s holdings in the four major US airlines, warning that the “world has changed” for the aviation industry in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. In comments that will send shockwaves through financial markets already pulverised by the economic shock of the outbreak, Buffett said the outbreak could have an “extraordinarily wide” range of possible economic outcomes.
  • Only 17% of Brits want schools, pubs and restaurants reopened. Fewer than one in five Britons believe the time is right to consider reopening schools, restaurants, pubs and stadiums. The findings, in a new poll for the Observer, suggest Boris Johnson will struggle to convince people to return their lives to normal if he tries to ease the lockdown soon.
  • Half of UK doctors say they have had to source their own PPE. Almost half of Britain’s doctors have sourced their own personal protective equipment or relied on a donation when none was available through normal NHS channels, according to a survey. The British Medical Association said its latest survey was the biggest of frontline NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis.
  • European leaders join forces to combat Covid-19. European leaders have pledged to raise billions of pounds to help find a vaccine and treatments for Covid-19 as part of an “international alliance” fighting the disease. An online pledging conference due to be held on Monday will aim to pull in €7.5bn (£6.6bn) in funding to support the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account. The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old conspiracy theorist David Icke had violated its policies on sharing information about coronavirus. The former footballer has made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.
  • India imposes jail lockdowns as virus spreads in overcrowded prisons. The spread of the coronavirus in India’s notoriously crowded prisons has prompted authorities to impose jail lockdowns and release thousands of pretrial detainees on parole, as health experts worry that the cramped facilities are serving as breeding grounds for the disease.
  • Boris Johnson’s doctors had plan to announce his death. Boris Johnson has revealed that doctors prepared to announce his death as he spent three nights in intensive care last month. Britain’s PM told the Sun on Sunday: “They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario. The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong.” Johnson, 55, said: “The bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe. That was when it got a bit … they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”
  • Travel within China surges. China’s most populous cities saw a leap in outbound travellers, tourists and day-trippers on 1 May, first day of a long holiday weekend, led by Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic that first struck the country late last year. The number of people travelling outside their home cities jumped nearly 50% at the start of the Labour Day weekend, compared with the first day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday on 4 April, according to Reuters calculations on data from China’s internet giant Baidu Inc.

7.45am BST

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan with questions, comments and news from your part of the world.

Updated at 7.46am BST

7.40am BST

UK front pages, Sunday 3 May

7.25am BST

“We forget that flu once plagued the economy as coronavirus does today,” writes William Keegan, the Observer’s senior economics commentator.

It is a sobering thought that, according to the many well-researched accounts to have appeared in recent weeks, this Johnson/Cummings government seems to have been prepared to risk 250,000 deaths from the policy of “herd immunity”. This approach was, mercifully, laid to rest after the intervention of Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, on 16 March. There followed the introduction of lockdown and what some of us prefer to call “physical distancing.”

Commentators have been putting the 27,000 or more deaths in this country attributed to the virus so far in the context of the 60,000 civilian deaths recorded during the second world war. This is bad enough. But I wonder how many people are aware that during the “Spanish” flu epidemic of 1918-21, which followed the first world war, the estimated loss of life in this country was, well, 250,000?

7.16am BST

Exclusive: almost a fifth of UK homes with children go hungry in lockdown

The number of households with children going hungry has doubled since lockdown began, as millions of people struggle to afford food.

New data from the Food Foundation shared exclusively with the Observer has revealed that almost a fifth of households with children have been unable to access enough food in the past five weeks, with meals being skipped and children not getting enough to eat as already vulnerable families battle isolation and a loss of income.

The strain on larger families, single parent homes and those with disabled children has been immense. A reported 30% of lone parents and 46% of parents with a disabled child are facing food insecurity and finding it difficult to manage basic nutritional needs at home. With schools no longer providing a reprieve for children reliant on free breakfast clubs and school lunches, poorer families are at crisis point.

7.08am BST

Pandemic! by Slavoj Žižek; Where Is God in a Coronavirus World? by John Lennox – review

Detained at home with time to write instant books, two septuagenarian sages here make very different attempts to wrest a meaning or moral from the coronavirus pandemic. The Slovenian theorist Slavoj Žižek treats the disease as an intellectual malaise from which we will only be rescued by a “philosophical revolution”; John Lennox, an Oxford mathematician who moonlights as a Christian evangelist, approaches Covid-19 as a theological conundrum and tries to explain why God seems so unbothered by our distress. While clinicians work on decoding the coronavirus, Žižek unhelpfully inflates it to an imaginary bogey, a “spectral fantasy”. In the absence of a vaccine, Lennox prescribes prayer, which at least is better advice than injecting bleach.

6.57am BST

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

6.49am BST

Elsewhere, the pandemics danger remained evident. Pakistan followed Russia in reporting its biggest one-day spike in new infections.

Pakistan announced nearly 1,300 new cases Saturday, raising the total in the country of 220 million people to about 18,000. The government has said it might ease controls, but doctors have pleaded for stricter lockdowns, warning an explosion of infections would overwhelm hospitals, AP reports.

Commuters are passing through a road during a downpour in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Saturday,2 May 2020.
Commuters are passing through a road during a downpour in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Saturday,2 May 2020.
Photograph: PPI/REX/Shutterstock

Moscow is considering establishing temporary hospitals at sports complexes and shopping malls to deal with the influx of patients. Russia has reported around 125,000 cases and more than 1,200 deaths, but the actual numbers are believed to be much higher because not everyone is tested.

A man riding a bicycle along the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow.
A man riding a bicycle along the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow.
Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/TASS

Singapore announced Saturday it will let selected businesses reopen from 12 May in a cautious rollback of a two-month partial lockdown, and Sri Lanka said the government and private sector should resume work from 11 May “to ensure a return to normalcy in civilian life and to revive the economy.

Bangladesh, which opened thousands of garment factories last month, confirmed 552 new cases on Saturday.

6.44am BST

From the United States to Europe and Asia, people in many parts of the world are emerging from their homes as virus-related restrictions begin to ease and springtime temperatures climb, AP reports.

Chinese were flocking to tourist spots, many newly reopened, after a relaxation of domestic travel restrictions ahead of a five-day holiday that runs through Tuesday.

Nearly 1.7 million people visited Beijing parks on the first two days of the holiday, and Shanghai’s main tourist spots welcomed more than a million visitors, according to Chinese media reports. Many spots limited the number of daily visitors to 30% of capacity or less, keeping crowds below average.

Masks were worn widely, from runners in Spain to beach-goers in the southern United States. In New York City’s Central Park, joggers moved past each other without a glance on Saturday, and a steady stream of folks left tips for a trio working their way through a set of jazz standards alfresco.

Neighbouring New Jersey reopened state parks, though several had to turn people away after reaching a 50% limit in their parking lots.

People enjoy Sheep Meadow in Central Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 2, 2020 in New York City.
People enjoy Sheep Meadow in Central Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 2, 2020 in New York City.
Photograph: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

6.23am BST

Warren Buffett dumps US airline stocks, saying ‘world has changed’ after Covid-19

Warren Buffett, the legendary American investor, has sold his firm’s entire holdings in the four major US airlines, warning that the “world has changed” for the aviation industry because of the coronavirus crisis.

In comments that will send shockwaves through financial markets already pulverised by the economic shock of the outbreak, Buffett said the outbreak could have an “extraordinarily wide” range of possible outcomes.

Shares around the world are poised for another torrid week as worldwide cases of the virus creep towards 3.5 million and deaths near 250,000. Despite massive central bank and government intervention, stock markets have been rocked by the continued spread of Covid-19, the plunge in oil prices and Donald Trump’s threats to reignite his trade war with China.

Buffett, 89, who has become known as the Sage of Omaha for his investment skill over the decades, indicated that he believed stock markets had not reached the bottom of the current dip.

Speaking at the virtual annual meeting of his company Berkshire Hathaway from Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett said he had not provided financial support to companies as he did during the 2008 financial crisis because he saw nothing “attractive” enough, even after the recent plunge in the markets.

5.56am BST

You can get in touch with me directly on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

5.55am BST

Summary

Here are the most important developments from the last few hours:

  • Fewer than one in five of the British public believe the time is right to consider lifting lockdown. The findings, in a new poll for the Observer, suggest Boris Johnson will struggle to convince people to return their lives to normal if he tries to ease the lockdown soon.
  • Primary schools in England and Wales could reopen for all in June. Children aged five to 11 could return to school from Monday 1 June as part of government plans to gradually ease lockdown measures, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.
  • Number of people travelling outside home cities in China jumps 50% in a month. The number of people travelling outside their home cities jumped nearly 50% at the start of the Labour Day weekend, compared with the first day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday on 4 April, according to Reuters calculations on data from China’s internet giant Baidu Inc.
  • Venezuela prison riot leaves 40 dead. A riot erupted at a prison in central Venezuela on Friday, killing at least 40 people and injuring 50 more, including a National Guard officer who was wounded by an explosion and the warden, who suffered a knife wound, authorities said.
  • European leaders join forces to combat Covid-19. European leaders have pledged to raise billions of pounds to help find a vaccine and treatments for Covid-19 as part of an “international alliance” fighting the disease. An online pledging conference due to be held on Monday will aim to pull in €7.5bn (£6.6bn) in funding to support the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • YouTube has deleted conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account.The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing information about coronavirus. The former footballer has made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.
  • Nearly 3,000 crew quarantined on cruise ship in German port. Nearly 3,000 crew of a cruise ship belonging to German tourism giant TUI have been quarantined on board after one person tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said on Friday.
  • France proposes 14-day quarantine on entry. Those entering France after the end of lockdown on 11 May could be subjected to a minimum of a fortnight in quarantine as part of a new proposed law which would extend the state of “health emergency” for weeks further.
  • Businessman Warren Buffett has given an upbeat assessment of the US’ ability to withstand crises.“This is quite an experiment,” Buffett said. “I remain convinced … that nothing can basically stop America.”
  • Three new cases in Yemen. Fears of an outbreak are growing in the war-ravaged Gulf country after two new cases were confirmed in Aden and one in Taiz province, which is now set to seal its borders.
  • Cinemagoing habits could see further long-term shift. Lockdown hit Trolls World Tour, an animated musical extravaganza about a group of pop-loving trolls, could become the most important film in recent Hollywood history after amassing digital sales of £80m in three weeks.

5.35am BST

China has published a short animation titled “Once Upon a Virus” mocking the U.S. response to the new coronavirus using Lego-like figures to represent the two countries, Reuters reports.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to describe the evidence.

In the animation posted online by China’s official Xinhua news agency, red curtains open to reveal a stage featuring Lego-like figures in the form of a terracotta warrior wearing a face mask and the Statue of Liberty.

Washington and Beijing are locked in a war of words over the origins of the disease, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has grown into a global pandemic.

The United States and other countries have accused China of misleading the world about the severity of the outbreak, and there are growing calls for an international inquiry into the origins of the virus.

Lego’s press office wrote in an emailed statement on Saturday: “We weren’t involved in making the animation in any way.”

Updated at 7.19am BST

5.16am BST

Nearly 3,000 crew quarantined on cruise ship in German port

Nearly 3,000 crew of a cruise ship belonging to German tourism giant TUI have been quarantined on board after one person tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said on Friday.

The Mein Schiff 3 cruise ship stands under quarantine in Cuxhaven, Germany.
The Mein Schiff 3 cruise ship stands under quarantine in Cuxhaven, Germany.
Photograph: David Hecker/Getty Images

Fifteen crew members of the “Mein Schiff 3” were tested after showing mild flu symptoms, with one of them testing positive for COVID-19.

All 2,899 crew members would remain in quarantine on board in the ship’s home port of Cuxhaven on Germany’s North Sea coast until further notice, TUI said in a statement.

The cruise ship had no passengers on board, TUI added.

TUI, the leader in global tourism, has agreed a 1.8 billion euros (.9 billion) bridging loan from the German government to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on one of the hardest-hit sectors.

4.52am BST

Venezuela prison riot leaves 40 dead

A riot erupted at a prison in central Venezuela on Friday, killing at least 40 people and injuring 50 more, including a National Guard officer who was wounded by an explosion and the warden, who suffered a knife wound, authorities said.

The upheaval at the Llanos Penitentiary Center started with an inmate protest demanding that their relatives be allowed to deliver them food and then an armed confrontation broke out between inmates and guards, lawmaker María Beatriz Martínez told The Associated Press.

Relatives of inmates protest outside Los Llanos penitentiary after a riot erupted inside the prison leaving dozens of deadin Guanare, Venezuela 2 May 2020.
Relatives of inmates protest outside Los Llanos penitentiary after a riot erupted inside the prison leaving dozens of deadin Guanare, Venezuela 2 May 2020.
Photograph: Reuters

The National Guard officer was injured by a grenade explosion, said Martínez, who had access to an early report prepared by the town’s security forces. The prison is located in the city of Guanare, 450 kilometers (280 miles) south-west of the capital of Caracas.

Venezuela has roughly 30 prisons and 500 jails that can hold an estimated 110,000 inmates. Human rights officials say the prisons are violent and badly overcrowded, with gangs that traffic weapons and drugs in control.

According to the human rights group Venezuelan Prison Observatory, the Guanare prison was built to hold 750 inmates but is jammed beyond capacity with 2,500 inmates.

4.34am BST

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 793 to 162,496, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 74 to 6,649, the tally showed.

A picture taken on 2 May 2020 shows an empty beach with closed wicker beach chairs in the northern German city of Duhnen, near Cuxhaven at the North Sea amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
A picture taken on 2 May 2020 shows an empty beach with closed wicker beach chairs in the northern German city of Duhnen, near Cuxhaven at the North Sea amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
Photograph: Morris Mac Matzen/AFP via Getty Images

For more on the pandemic in Germany at the moment, the Guardian’s Kate Connolly and Kim Willsher have this report on Europe’s schools re-opening:

Playgrounds began reopening in Germany on Friday and pupils aged 11 and 12 are due to return to school in a staggered system starting next week. Classes will be split in two and the groups will alternate between lessons at school and at home.

Hygiene measures being adopted across Europe include strict handwashing and disinfection regimes, physical distancing and the demarcation of playgrounds into zones to ensure pupils do not mix more than necessary. Children will have to file out of classrooms at different times to maintain physical distancing.

Germany has temporarily removed sport and music lessons from the curriculum because they are considered too great a risk, but older pupils already returned to sit exams last month. Nurseries will remain closed for all children, except those of key workers, for the time being.

4.25am BST

Number of people travelling outside home cities in China jumps 50% in a month

China’s most populous cities saw a spike in outbound travellers, tourists and day-trippers on 1 May, first day of a long holiday weekend, led by Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic that first struck the country late last year.

The number of people travelling outside their home cities jumped nearly 50% at the start of the Labour Day weekend, compared with the first day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday on 4 April, according to Reuters calculations on data from China’s internet giant Baidu Inc.

Women in traditional Chinese dress walk in the park in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, 1 May 2020.
Women in traditional Chinese dress walk in the park in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, 1 May 2020.
Photograph: Alex Plavevski/EPA

The increase in outbound travel during the five-day holiday, one of China’s peak tourism periods each year, would help lift the travel and hospitality sectors that have been hit hard by disruption from the coronavirus pandemic.

The spike in tourism was led by increases in travellers from Wuhan, Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin and Jinan, with China having eased curbs on travel and relaxed rules on quarantine amid dwindling cases of the coronavirus.

Hundreds of sightseeing spots have also been reopened, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, as authorities sought to revive and repair local economies.
The country recorded more than 23 million domestic tourists on 1 May, according to China’s culture and tourism ministry.

Hubei’s tourism department said its 22 reopened tourist sites saw 109,664 visitors on 1 May, down 87% from a year ago, while tourism revenue plunged 95% to 6.79 million yuan (1,729).

Updated at 4.28am BST

4.05am BST

As more and more state and local officials announce the release of thousands of at-risk inmates from the nations adult jails and prisons, parents along with children rights groups and criminal justice experts say vulnerable youths should be allowed to serve their time at home, AP reports.

But they say demands for large-scale releases have been largely ignored. Decisions are often not made at the state level, but instead carried out county by county, with individual judges reviewing juvenile cases one by one.

Such legal hurdles have resulted in some kids with symptoms being thrown into isolation for 23 hours a day, in what amounts to solitary confinement, according to relatives and youth advocates. They say many have been cut off from programs, counsellors and school. Some have not been issued masks, social distancing is nearly impossible and they have been given limited access to phone calls home.

One mother reported that her daughter was so cut off from the outside world with no TV and staff not wearing any protective gear that the girl had no idea a deadly virus was even circulating in America. In some states, authorities have been shuttling kids between facilities, trying to make sure sick and healthy young people are kept apart.

Growing fears and frustrations have led to violence and mayhem not just in Louisiana, but at juvenile centres in other coronavirus hot spots such as New York. Young people are calling their parents to say they’re scared and desperate to escape. Sheriffs deputies responded to a facility in Portland, Oregon, this month after a disturbance broke out, but no injuries were reported.

3.45am BST

The Bolshoi ballet held its first online classes only this week, more than a month after lockdown began, AFP reports.

In the middle of their bedroom, Bolshoi ballet dancers Margarita Shrainer and Igor Tsvirko have placed a linoleum mat and a barre. Since the start of the lockdown, the couple, both soloists in the legendary troupe, have largely used their own initiative to keep up their dance skills at home.

Yet Tsvirko and Shrainer still look toned and Tsvirko pulls at his waistband. “I don’t think I’ve got fat, that’s the main thing,” says the 30-year-old dancer, a leading soloist at the Bolshoi who has performed lead roles in “Ivan the Terrible” and “Nureyev”.

Russian Bolshoi Ballet principal dancers Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov attend an online training with their ballet partners at home in Moscow.
Russian Bolshoi Ballet principal dancers Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov attend an online training with their ballet partners at home in Moscow.
Photograph: Pavel Golovkin/AP

Shrainer, a first soloist who has performed major roles in “Coppelia” and “Carmen Suite”, massages her leg with a tennis ball and moves into the splits.

Together for more than a year, they are living in a studio flat owned by the theatre. The same block is home to several other dancers and it was outside this building that the notorious acid attack on then-artistic director Sergei Filin took place in 2013.

Their Zoom class is led by a teacher doing steps in his bedroom to a piano accompaniment.

3.26am BST

Mexico’s health ministry reported 1,349 new known coronavirus cases and 89 more deaths on Saturday, bringing the country’s total to 22,088 cases and 2,061 deaths.

The head of Mexico’s consumer protection agency, Ricardo Sheffield, said on Twitter on Saturday he had tested positive, becoming at least the second high-ranking federal government official with the virus.

3.18am BST

China reported two new coronavirus cases for 2 May, up from one the day before, data from the country’s national health authority showed on Sunday.

One case was imported and the other was local, the National Health Commission (NHC) said. This compares to one imported case and no domestic transmissions on 1 May.

The NHC also reported 12 asymptomatic cases for May 2, down from 20 the day before.

The number of confirmed cases in China has reached 82,877. With no new deaths reported, the death toll remained at 4,633.

People wearing face masks visit Zhongshan Park on the second day of the 5-day International Workers’ Day holiday on 2 May 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China.
People wearing face masks visit Zhongshan Park on the second day of the 5-day International Workers’ Day holiday on 2 May 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China.
Photograph: China News Service/China News Service via Getty Images

3.06am BST

AFP has this equine report from Germany:

Every morning white mare Jenny leaves her stable to stroll through her Frankfurt neighbourhood. Bringing trams to a halt and smiles to people’s faces, the free-roaming horse is brightening up the coronavirus lockdown for many.

“Everyone else has to live with coronavirus restrictions but Jenny is as free as ever,” her owner Anna Weischedel, 65, told AFP.

25-year-old horse named Jenny strolls through the streets followed by a small dog during her daily walk in Fechenheim near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on 28 April 2020.
25-year-old horse named Jenny strolls through the streets followed by a small dog during her daily walk in Fechenheim near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on 28 April 2020.
Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP via Getty Images

For more than a decade Jenny has wandered solo through her local Fechenheim area, a green part of Frankfurt on the bank of the Main river. She explores the high street, trots along the tram line to a nearby field and spends hours nibbling on patches of grass. The beloved Arabian mare, already a venerable 25 years old, has always been a hit with residents. But never more so than in recent weeks.

Like many countries, Germany has closed schools, playgrounds and many businesses to curb the outbreak. Though it has slowly started easing some lockdown measures, people are encouraged to limit their social interactions and keep their distance.

Jenny stands next to her owners Anna (C) and Werner Weischedel as she is getting ready for her daily walk in Fechenheim near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on 28 April 2020.
Jenny stands next to her owners Anna (C) and Werner Weischedel as she is getting ready for her daily walk in Fechenheim near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on 28 April 2020.
Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP via Getty Images

2.47am BST

Why is Australia’s Covid commission backing a fertiliser plant as its top recovery project?

When the Daily Telegraph reported last week that a fertiliser plant in Narrabri being advanced by a West Australian businessman had topped the list of the projects being promoted by the National Covid Coordination Commission, there was some surprise.

Vikas Rambal and Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers are not exactly household names, and the controversial Narrabri coal seam gas project – which would provide the cheap gas that the fertiliser project depends on – is yet to be approved by the New South Wales government.

The commission considered fertilisers to be one of the biggest opportunities, along with petrochemicals and methanol, the executive chairman of the Covid commission, Nev Power, the former Fortescue Metals chief executive, told the Telegraph.

“A cracking idea,” the energy minister, Angus Taylor, told the Telegraph in response to Power’s touting of the Perdaman project.

“I like to think of the other side of Covid-19 as being a gas-fired recovery,” Taylor said.

Just why Power has chosen to promote this project in his quest to rebuild the nation is unclear.

2.36am BST

Just one in five Brits want schools, pubs and restaurants to be reopened – poll

The Guardian’s Toby Helm, Robin McKie and Lin Jenkins report.

Fewer than one in five of the British public believe the time is right to consider reopening schools, restaurants, pubs and stadiums. The findings, in a new poll for the Observer, suggest Boris Johnson will struggle to convince people to return their lives to normal if he tries to ease the lockdown soon.

The poll by Opinium, taken between Wednesday and Friday last week, found 17% of people think the conditions have been met to consider reopening schools, against 67% who say they have not been, and that they should stay closed.

Opposition to reopening restaurants and pubs – and allowing mass gatherings in sports and other stadiums to resume – is even higher. Just 11% of people think the time is right to consider reopening restaurants, while 78% are against. Only 9% believe it would be correct to consider reopening pubs, while 81% are against; 7% say it would be right to allow mass gatherings at sports events or concerts to resume, with 84% against.

2.32am BST

As warmer weather tempted New Yorkers to come out of quarantine, police dispatched 1,000 officers this weekend to enforce social distancing and a ban on congregating in public spaces, AP reports.

Officers set out on foot, bicycles and cars to break up crowds and remind those enjoying the weather of public health restrictions requiring they keep 6 feet away from others.

“I believe with the warm weather people will come outside,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. “You cant stay indoors all the time. People will come outside and thats great, go for a walk. But respect the social distancing and wear a mask.”

The New York City Police Department has made 60 arrests and issued 343 summonses related to social distancing since 16 March.

Medical staffers ask a New York City firefighter to photograph them in front of the firetrucks gathering for the 7pm appreciation clap for health care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, 2 May 2020, in New York.
Medical staffers ask a New York City firefighter to photograph them in front of the firetrucks gathering for the 7pm appreciation clap for health care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, 2 May 2020, in New York.
Photograph: Sally Stapleton/AP

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea issued a stern warning after a series of clashes this week between police officers and members of Orthodox Jewish communities over social distancing.

A stark example of non-compliance came Thursday when officers interrupted a crowded funeral procession in Brooklyns Borough Park neighbourhood. Video posted to social media showed officers in protective masks chasing a minivan and shouting at dozens of people marching behind the van to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

On 18 April officers passed out summonses and made arrests at a Bronx parking lot and garage where they found a makeshift nightclub featuring a pool table and bar offering hard liquor and Corona beer, and at a closed Brooklyn barbershop where more than 50 people gathered for a party featuring loud music and gambling.

Two days later officers broke up a 4/20 marijuana holiday celebration staged in the vacant third floor of a building in Manhattans Chelsea neighborhood. Dozens of people, some drawn by social media hype about the party, were given summonses for trespassing.

2.23am BST

China and Australia: how a war of words over coronavirus turned to threats of a trade war

Australia and China’s fractious relationship scrapped its way to an unedifying new low this week, with a degenerating dispute emerging, ostensibly, from Australia’s call for an international, independent inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic that has so far killed more than 230,000 people.

But China and Australia view this inquiry – amorphous though the proposal still is – as entirely different entities.

China sees Australia as frontrunning – yet again in Beijing’s eyes – on an issue deliberately constructed to isolate, condemn and humiliate China. It contends the inquiry is a political witch-hunt, engineered by Washington.

From Australia’s perspective, the Chinese response appears a dramatic overreaction to an entirely legitimate international concern to understand the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak. The response appears, to Canberra, like an attempt to deflect responsibility, or worse, to shift blame elsewhere.

Relations were already deeply damaged, scarred by a succession of antagonisms that the two countries seem to find easy to accumulate, but far harder to shake: the decision of Australia to exclude Huawei from the 5G network rollout; China’s continued incarceration of Australian pro-democracy writer Yang Hengjun; a dispute over the South China Sea; concerns over Chinese influence in Australian business, economics and politics; continuing allegations of espionage.

2.11am BST

As countries around the world try to figure out the best way to limit the spread of coronavirus, many are considering some form of contact tracing app. But the methods and level of privacy intrusion vary widely.

Here’s what we know about how apps are being rolled out in various countries.

1.57am BST

‘How is this possible?’ Researchers grapple with Covid-19’s mysterious mechanism

Respiratory physician Dr David Darley says something peculiar happens to a small group of Covid-19 patients on day seven of their symptoms.

“Up until the end of that first week, they’re stable,” says Darley, a doctor with Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital. “And then suddenly, they have this hyper-inflammatory response. The proteins involved in that inflammation start circulating in the body at high levels.”

In these patients, the lungs begin to struggle. Blood pressure lowers. Other organs, including the kidneys, may begin to shut down. Blood clots form throughout the body. The brain and intestines may also be affected. Some suffer changes to their personality, suggesting brain damage.

Darley is one of the researchers working on a long-term St Vincent’s study of patients admitted to the hospital with Covid-19. Patients will be followed for a year after being discharged, receiving tests at regular intervals to see if there are any lasting effects or changes in the body’s immune system and blood. They will also be assessed for any ongoing changes to lung, gut and brain functions. No one yet knows if the virus causes permanent or long-term harm.

1.43am BST

The spread of the coronavirus in India’s notoriously crowded prisons has prompted authorities to impose jail lockdowns and release thousands of pretrial detainees on parole, as health experts worry that the cramped facilities are serving as breeding grounds for the disease, PA media reports.

Although there are no official numbers on how many inmates have been infected by the virus, Indias correction facilities are slowly recording more infections and have temporarily banned visitors.

Prisoners making masks in Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh, on Monday, 13 April 2020.
Prisoners making masks in Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh, on Monday, 13 April 2020.
Photograph: Prabhat Kumar Verma/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

On Thursday, authorities locked down Nagpur Central Jail in coastal Maharashtra, among the Indian states worst hit by the pandemic. It was the eighth prison in Maharashtra to be locked down. The move came after 19 inmates in Indore Central Jail in central Madhya Pradesh state tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. Around 250 others who came in contact with them were shifted to a temporary jail.

Updated at 1.44am BST

1.35am BST

UK prime minister reveals doctors prepared to announce his death

Boris Johnson has revealed that doctors prepared to announce his death as he battled coronavirus in hospital last month.

The UK Prime Minister spent three nights in intensive care at St Thomas’ in London with the disease. He told the Sun On Sunday: “They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.

“The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong.”

Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, arriving back at no. 10 Downing Street from hospital after the birth of his baby son in London, Britain, 29 April 2020.
Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, arriving back at no. 10 Downing Street from hospital after the birth of his baby son in London, Britain, 29 April 2020.
Photograph: Andrew Parsons/DOWNING STREET/EPA

Mr Johnson, 55, said it was “hard to believe” his health had deteriorated in just a few days, saying he “couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better”. The PM told the paper the “indicators kept going in the wrong direction” and that he kept asking himself: “How am I going to get out of this?”

“The bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe.

“That was when it got a bit … they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”

He said he was “in denial” initially about how serious his illness was, and that doctors were right to “force” him to go to hospital.

After a fortnight convalescing from the virus, and just two days after he returned to work full-time, his fiancee Carrie Symonds gave birth to their son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson.

Updated at 8.50am BST

1.29am BST

YouTube has deleted conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account.

The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing information about coronavirus.

The former footballer has made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.

The video service, which is owned by Google, told the BBC: “YouTube has clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the existence and transmission of Covid-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS.

“Due to continued violation of these policies we have terminated David Icke’s YouTube channel.”

The ban follows a similar move by Facebook, which removed Icke’s page on Friday.

1.16am BST

Here is the full story on European leaders joining forces to combat Covid-19

Writing in the Independent newspaper, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Norway and senior EU officials said the outbreak had “caused devastation and pain in all corners of the world”.

They said responding to the “global challenge” required “bringing together the world’s best – and most prepared – minds to find the vaccines, treatments and therapies we need to make our world healthy again”.

This would accompany “strengthening the health systems that will make them available for all, with a particular attention to Africa”.

The politicians declared their support for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and backed the recent launch of the “Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator”.

The “global cooperation platform” aims to accelerate research, development, access and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine and other treatments, the leaders wrote, adding that it has “laid the foundation for a real international alliance to fight Covid-19”.

1.08am BST

Summary

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of coronavirus news from around the world.

I’m Helen Sullivan, I’ll be with you for the next few hours, and you can reach me on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

As European countries ease restrictions, France has proposed a minimum 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving in the country from abroad after the end of lockdown on 11 May – a measure similar to that in place in Australia.

The measure is included in a new law extending the state of “health emergency” until June 24 to be presented to the French parliament from Monday.

European leaders, meanwhile, will hold an online pledging conference on Monday, in an effort to make up a global funding “shortfall” estimated by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) – an independent monitoring and accountability body that ensures preparedness for global health crises – and others.

  • European leaders join forces to combat Covid-19. European leaders have pledged to raise billions of pounds to help find a vaccine and treatments for Covid-19 as part of an “international alliance” fighting the disease. An online pledging conference due to be held on Monday will aim to pull in €7.5bn (£6.6bn) in funding to support the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • YouTube has deleted conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account.The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing information about coronavirus. The former footballer has made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.
  • UK medical expert admits immunity evidence gap. A senior British government medical adviser said officials “don’t have enough information yet” to know whether people can catch coronavirus more than once.
  • France proposes 14-day quarantine on entry. Those entering France after the end of lockdown on 11 May could be subjected to a minimum of a fortnight in quarantine as part of a new proposed law which would extend the state of “health emergency” for weeks further.
  • Businessman Warren Buffett has given an upbeat assessment of the US’ ability to withstand crises.“This is quite an experiment,” Buffett said. “I remain convinced … that nothing can basically stop America.”
  • Three new cases in Yemen. Fears of an outbreak are growing in the war-ravaged Gulf country after two new cases were confirmed in Aden and one in Taiz province, which is now set to seal its borders.
  • Mexicans protest lack of information outside hospital. Families in a city just outside Mexico’s capital demanded news about their relatives who have coronavirus, and urged for the return of the bodies of the dead, after videos showed corpses inside the Las Americas general hospital in Ecatepec, which is among the Mexican municipalities worst-affected by the the virus.
  • Primary schools in England and Wales could reopen for all in June. Children aged five to 11 could return to school from Monday 1 June as part of government plans to gradually ease lockdown measures, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.
  • Italy reports surge in deaths but figure is misleading. Reported coronavirus deaths in Italy rose by 474, after 269 new fatalities were recorded on Friday, but the figures were distorted by late registrations of 282 hospital deaths which had occurred in April, according to La Repubblica newspaper. The daily tally of new infections nationwide was broadly stable for a third day running at 1,900 against 1,965 on Friday.
  • Malaysian authorities have rounded up and detained hundreds of undocumented migrants, including Rohingya refugees, as part of efforts to contain coronavirus, officials said. The UN said the move could push vulnerable groups into hiding and prevent them from seeking treatment.
  • Migrants allowed off Italy’s quarantine ferry. About 180 migrants rescued at sea and held in isolation on an Italian ferry off the coast of Sicily will be disembarked in Palermo on Monday, AFP reports, citing the Avvenire daily.
  • UK death toll rises further. Another 621 people are confirmed to have died from the virus in the UK, bringing the total to 28,131 – just short of Italy which has so far had the world’s second most deadly outbreak after the US – as criticism mounts over the government in London’s handling of the crisis in the early stages.
  • Spain eases lockdown as people emerge to exercise. As of first thing Saturday, adults across Spain are allowed to exercise between 6am and 10am and then 8pm til 11pm, while the children’s slot is midday til 7pm. The streets are reserved for older people and those who need assistance from 10am til midday and then 7pm til 8pm.
  • Hairdressers in Austria reopen. Austrians visited newly reopened hairdressers, beauticians and electronics shops on Saturday after the further relaxation of its seven-week lockdown. Protective measures remain in place, while bars are set to reopen within a fortnight.
  • Thousands protest in California against lockdown. Amid demonstrations across the state in defiance of the lockdown, California’s governor Gavin Newsom promised meaningful adjustments to stay-at-home orders in the coming days which would affect how businesses, including restaurants, can operate.
  • Controversial Chinese virologist dismisses defection rumours. Shi Zhengli, a researcher of bat coronaviruses whose work has been at the centre of an extremely controversial claim about the origin of coronavirus, has reportedly dismissed rumours that she has defected from China.
  • Cinemagoing habits could see further long-term shift. Lockdown hit Trolls World Tour, an animated musical extravaganza about a group of pop-loving trolls, could become the most important film in recent Hollywood history after amassing digital sales of £80m in three weeks.

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