23:50 South Africa has seen its biggest surge in daily infections with 3,267 cases being registered in 24 hours.
Fifty-six new deaths were reported, taking the total toll to 848.
The country is the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa with a total of 40,792 cases of infection.
23:08 The total number of coronavirus deaths in Peru crossed 5,000, as hospitals in the country grapple with a lack of oxygen for seriously ill patients.
More than 4,200 new cases of COVID-19 and 137 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
Peru has registered over 183,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 5,031 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, making it the second hardest-hit country in Latin America after Brazil.
The country has the third most deaths in Latin America.
Peru’s medical system is nearing collapse with more than 9,000 coronavirus patients receiving treatment in the hospitals.
Responding to an acute shortage, the government declared oxygen a "strategic health resource" earlier on Thursday.
22:28 Fifteen cities in Turkey will be put under a two-day weekend lockdown in a move aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus, the interior ministry said on Friday.
Bakeries and certain shops will be allowed to function during the lockdown.
22:00 A UK government-hosted a vaccine summit saw a total of $9 billion dollars being raised to immunize children in developing countries and to discuss how any potential vaccine against COVID-19 might be distributed globally and fairly.
The event was a pledging conference for the vaccines alliance GAVI.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have urged for the development of "a people's vaccine" for COVID-19 that would be freely available to everyone, calling it a "moral imperative."
21:35 Moving ahead with its plans for a gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions, India has issued new guidelines for offices, shopping malls, places of worship and restaurants that are set to reopen from June 8.
On Thursday, the Indian health ministry issued a set of standard operating procedures to contain the spread of coronavirus as the country reopens after a two-month lockdown.
The easing comes at a time when India is reporting consecutive record jumps in the number of daily infections.
Earlier on Thursday the country also recorded its largest spike in infections with 9,304 cases being reported.
As per the new guidelines, entrances of offices, malls, religious places and restaurants should have thermal checks and hand sanitizers.
Only asymptomatic people will be allowed to enter the premises.
Staff and visitors in malls and restaurants have been advised to wear face masks at all times.
Strict social distancing norms will have to be adhered to in all public places.
20:54 In the UK, passengers will be required to wear masksor face coverings on buses, subways, trams, and trains starting June 15, the British government has said.
"We need to ensure every precaution is taken, on buses, trains, aircraft and ferries," said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Failure to wear a face mask could lead to fines, but young children and people with breathing disabilities would be exempt, according to the official.
Non-essential stores, such as electronic retailers and department stores are also set to reopen on June 15.
The face-covering measure would only apply to England, but Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are expected to adopt similar policies soon. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her government was also considering mandatory face coverings while using transport.
Authors Mandeep Mehra, Frank Ruschitzka, and Amit Patel said the could "no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources." They accused Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, of refusing to transfer the full dataset for independent review. Surgisphere chief Sapan Desai, the fourth author of the study, did not join the retraction.
The study on the anti-malaria drug was published in the reputable Lancet magazine last month. It was used to criticize US President Donald Trump, who previously said he was taking hydroxychloroquine regularly for two weeks in order to reduce the risk of infection.
19:00 Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called for calm after the country's health officials reported a record daily jump in COVID-19 fatalities. On Wednesday evening, health authorities said 1,092 more people lost their lives in 24 hours, which is more than double the previous record daily death toll.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said it was due to "various reasons," including deaths that were being counted days later. The updates took the country's death toll to over 11,000 deaths and 101,000 confirmed infections.
Lopez accused the press of fanning fears of the pandemic.
"Let there not be psychosis, let there not be fear," the president said.
The mortality increase comes after the country moved to reactivate the economy last week. The president said he would recommend stricter measures if infections surge.
18:40 NBA chiefs approved a plan to restart the basketball league after a three-month shutdown, US media reports.
The games would continue on July 31, with playoffs starting in August and the NBA Finals completed in October.
The league would move 22 teams in Orlando, Florida, where they can control the players' contact with the outside world. All games would be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
Players would be tested daily, and those who test positive would be isolated and quarantined, according to sources cited by ESPN broadcaster and the Athletic website.
The NBA season has been on hold since March 11, after Utah Jazz player Ruby Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Less than a dozen other players have also tested positive since March.
18:25 Protesters rallying against police brutality in the US have a "civic duty" to get tested for coronavirus, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his daily press briefing.
"I'm not a nervous Nellie, I'm just looking at the numbers," he said, warning that some 30,000 came out to protest across the state.
"Many wear masks. But there is no social distancing," he added. "Police are in their face."
At the same time, Cuomo said his concerns would not affect the gradual reopening of the state's economy, with construction and manufacturing to restart on Monday.
Earlier this week, Chicago health officials urged protesters in the US' second most populous city to go into self-quarantine for 14 days, if possible.
On Thursday, Cuomo said he shared the outrage over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and that New York will observe a moment of silence over the tragedy.
17:52 Faced with oxygen shortages, Peru is set to declare oxygen supplies a matter of national interest, local media quoted Defense Minister Walter Martos as saying. The government will set aside a "big budget" to import the gas used in treatment of COVID-19 patients. With its population of 33 million people, Peru has seen nearly 179,000 confirmed infections, the second-largest caseload after Brazil's 584,000. Peru health officials have also reported a total of 4,894 deaths.
Peru has started imposing coronavirus restriction in mid-March, but the measures have so far failed to stem the infection. The government is now expected to extend the state of health emergency, set to expire next week, by another 90 days.
17:31 Jordan will lift most of its coronavirus restrictions as it enters a "period of general easing" said Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz.
Mosques, churches, and restaurants will be allowed to open on Saturday. The nation's ports would also resume operation and intercity travel, including by plane, would be allowed, with tourism activities restarting for Jordan residents.
However, schools, universities, and cinemas will remain closed and the government would keep international flights suspended.
The Arab country of some 10 million people has seen 765 coronavirus cases with only nine deaths. New infections stayed below 10 throughout last week.
17:24 Casinos in Las Vegas reopened after the pandemic forced them to close their doors over two and a half months ago. With the US state of Nevada easing restrictions, visitors were allowed in after midnight local time. However, US officials introduced strict rules to combat the infection, including temperature scans for guests, face masks or shields for staff, and disinfected dice.
"The past few months have presented our city with an unprecedented challenge," casino owner Derek Stevens told the AP news agency. "We are all excited to get our employees back to work and to welcome guests to the entertainment capital of the world."
17:07 Sweden said it would provide free coronavirus testing, both for active and past infections.
"From now on, everyone with symptoms will be able to test themselves for COVID-19 free of cost," said Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund.
The country will also conduct contact tracing for people who turn out to be infected as a way to control infection rates. With its population of over 10 million people, Sweden has reported nearly 42,000 COVID-19 cases and over 4,500 deaths. The country's authorities have refused to impose a wide-spread lockdown, leading much higher mortality rates than in other Scandinavian countries.
Last week, the country had more deaths per capita than any other country in the world.
The government announced that Swedes not showing coronavirus symptoms would be allowed to travel across the country starting June 13. However, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that the situation was "still serious."
"This announcement doesn't mean that the danger has passed," he said.
15:51 The GAVI vaccines alliance said it had raised $567 million from international donors to buy future COVID-19 vaccines. Once a vaccine has been developed, GAVI aims to buy enough vaccines to immunize health workers and risk groups in poorer countries, as well as accrue a "buffer of doses" for emergency use.
Germany pledged €700 million to GAVI, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that global vaccination campaign should be launched as soon as possible.
"Vaccination saves lives," Merkel said. "This must not be dependent on the country one lives in."
Separately, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it would be able to deliver over two billion doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine. The UK-Swedish firm said it has concluded massive manufacturing agreements, including a deal worth $750 million (€663 million) with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the pro-vaccine alliance GAVI to make 300 million doses of their product. Also, AstroZeneca joined forces with the Serum Institute of India to supply one billion shots of the potential vaccine, designated AZD1222, for low and middle-income countries.
15:15 The European Central Bank announced earlier it would boost its pandemic support program by €600 billion ($670 billion) to a total of €1.35 trillion. The move is an attempt to keep affordable credit flowing to the economy amid a sharp downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The program will now extend to at least June 2021, the bank has confirmed. It was expected to expire at the end of this year.
Interest rates remained at historic lows, with the benchmark refinancing rate at 0% and the deposit rate at -0.5%.
ECB President Christine Lagarde stressed the importance of eurozone countries working together. "An ambitious and coordinated fiscal stance remains critical in the euro economy in response to the pandemic emergency," she told reporters.
15:00 Hotel operators in Italy fear a bad summer season despite the easing of restrictions. Little income coupled with high costs to ensure hygiene spell trouble. Resorts that are usually most popular will be hit hardest.
Italy: The prospect of empty beaches
14:21 Winemakers in France will convert wine that went unsold during the country's two-month lockdown into hand sanitiser and ethanol, in order to make room for the next harvest, a farming agency has announced.
Wine sales and exports, particularly to the US, have plummeted recently, leaving winemakers with millions of litres of excess produce.
"From tomorrow, 33 licensed distillers will be able to collect the wine and distil it," said Didier Josso, head of the wine branch in the agricultural agency FranceAgriMer.
"The distilled wine in no case is to be used to make spirits," said Josso during a video conference. "There will probably be a need to stock ethanol as well, but the volumes will be less significant than for wine."
It is not yet clear what changes the Nordic country is seeking but the 27 EU member states are due to discuss the European Commission's package on June 19.
The recovery proposal due to the pandemic is hoping to raise an unprecedented €750 billion ($845 billion) of debt. This comes in addition to the €1.1 trillion for the long-term EU budget, taking the total funding to €1.85 trillion.
Meanwhile, health officials in Finland announced no new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the first time in more than three months. However, one person died from the novel virus, bringing the Scandinavian country's death toll to 322.
14:00 Many Russians think alcohol can protect against the coronavirus. Alcohol consumption has soared since the lockdown began. The nationalist group 'Sober Russia' aims to unmask the illegal trade in alcohol.
Russia: Vodka and the virus
13:54 Turkey's Minister of Transport and Infrastructure has announced the country is beginning to relax its borders with international flights starting next week.
Adil Karaismailoglu said that flights will gradually resume on June 10 with routes to and from Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar, Greece and the self-declared state in the north of Cyprus. Turkey is alone in its stance of recognizing Cyprus' want-away north.
Turkey will relaunch other routes later this month, including a number of European countries. However, there are no imminent plans for flights to or from some hard-hit coronavirus countries, such as Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom. In addition, there are no plans for flights to or from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Tajikistan, Singapore and Kazakhstan.
Proposals are in place to screen citizens upon arrival and send them to hospital if they display symptoms of the novel coronavirus. In the cases where these symptoms are noticeable, citizens would be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
13:25 The number of people filing for unemployment claims in the United States has fallen below the 2 million mark for the first time since March, when the effects of the nationwide lockdown began to take hold.
Roughly 1.88 million people made a claim last week, the Department of Labor revealed, demonstrating the pace of job losses continues to ease up.
Despite the downward trend, the stock market, which has been moving upward, is looking increasingly disconnected from the economy as a whole.
Officials in the US have warned that jobs recovery will most likely occur at a slower rate in comparison with other economic data and that the worst in unemployment figures may be yet be on the horizon.
12:45 The Czech Republic will drop restrictions on travel to and from Austria, Germany and Hungary on Friday, Czech news agency CTK has reported.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis made the announcement following the re-opening of the border with Slovakia on Wednesday. This latest move fits in with the plan for most EU member states to open their borders by June 15.
12:09 Health officials in Finland have announced no new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours for the first time in over three months.
"This is the first 'zero day' since February 26," a government spokesperson told AFP news agency.
However, there was one death from coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total death count to 322 in the Nordic country. Over 7,000 people have been infected since the pandemic began. Finland has been slowly lifting emergency regulations during May.
12:06 The European Central Bank (ECB) has approved more financial stimulus to the EU to prop up an economy in the biggest recession since World War II.
Months after emergency measures were introduced, the ECB said it would increase the size of emergency bond purchases by €600 billion ($674 billion) to €1.35 trillion in total. The payments will now run until June 2021.
11:20 The UK's business secretary has been tested for coronavirus and went into self-isolation after showing symptoms during a speech in parliament on Wednesday. The topic of the debate was whether virtual parliamentary sessions should be ended, during which Alok Sharma, who had been feeling unwell, shook and sweated profusely.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced strong criticism for pushing to return parliament to the Palace of Westminster, with many opposition lawmakers pointing out that forcing Members of Parliament to travel across the country could help spread the virus. Social distancing is difficult in the old building and a socially-distanced vote on Tuesday took over 45 minutes to complete with lawmakers standing in a line over a kilometer long. Lawmakers in high-risk groups may not be able to attend.
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy described the government's decision to end the virtual sitting of parliament as "reckless."
11:19 Iran confirmed 3,574 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the country’s highest daily count since the outbreak began. For the fourth day in a row, new cases in the Middle Eastern country topped 3,000.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the uptick could be due to increased testing rather than a second wave of infections.
Still, in recent days the ministry has upped its public health campaigning, reminding people to keep their distance from each other and to take health precautions.
Jahanpour also confirmed that 59 people had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Iran’s virus death toll currently stands at 8,071. A total of 164,270 people have tested positive for the infection.
11:06 Russia saw almost 9,000 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours, with 168 new deaths. Russia has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, with 441,108 confirmed cases. Some 5,384 people have died.
A planeload of 150 ventilators has also arrived in Russia from the United States, showing a further sign of medical collaboration between the two countries.
Questions have been raised about Russia’s relatively low death, with concerns from health experts over the way Russia counts fatalities. Russia claims the discrepancy comes from the high number of tests they carry out, more than 11.7 million overall, with many asymptomatic people diagnosed.
11:05 France is cancelling its annual Bastille Day military parade due to concerns over the coronavirus. Instead, the presidency said the country will mark the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 — a turning point in the French Revolution — honoring medical personnel who are battling the pandemic. The traditional march of soldiers and military machinery down the Champs-Elysees will be replaced with a much smaller ceremony at the Place de la Concorde, where the parade normally ends, it said.
08:36 Germany is forging a new alliance with three European Union countries to secure access to coronavirus vaccines, once they are developed, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Health Minister Jens Spahn has written to the European Commission along with his counterparts from France, Italy and the Netherlands to announce that they have joined up to "achieve the fastest and best possible outcome in negotiations with key players in the pharmaceutical industry."
Germany is eager to ensure the EU will have vaccine access over fears that China or the United States may attempt to monopolize the market.
08:35Pakistan has reported a record single-day spike in coronavirus death with 82 fatalities and 4,688 cases in 24 hours. Authorities say the spike in infections comes from ramped up testing in the country.
Pakistan conducted over 20,000 tests, a daily record. Overall the country has conducted around 615,000 tests.
Prime Minister Imran Khan eased lockdown restrictions, ignoring experts’ recommendations to keep them in place. Authorities say people have not properly observed social distancing measures.
08:25Israel's parliament has suspended sessions for the day after a lawmaker tested positive for coronavirus.
Israel began to ease restrictions on public life in recent weeks after the number of cases began to decrease. Officials are eager to avoid a second spike in case numbers.
The Israeli parliament has sent away all non-essential staff and committee meetings were postponed "pending an investigation."
"I appeal to all of those who have been in my immediate vicinity to get tested," infected representative Sami Abou Shahadeh said on Twitter.
07:16North Macedonian authorities have issued a fresh curfew as the number of infections rose again a week after most contact restrictions were lifted.
An 80-hour curfew with full restriction of movement begins at 9 p.m. on Thursday night in most major towns and cities and lasts until 5 a.m. Monday. In smaller communities, the curfew will only be in place at night.
The decision was made on Thursday morning after 101 new cases were detected in the Balkan country. This was a rise from 76 the day before. North Macedonia, with a population of around 2 million, has reported a total of 2,492 cases and 145 people have died.
07:15 India's tally of COVID-19 fatalities has passed 6,000 after registering 260 new deaths in the past 24 hours. The country also saw its largest spike in new cases reported with nearly 10,000 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. The total number of infections stands at 216,919.
The Health Ministry said it was ramping up testing across the country and over 4 million people have been tested so far in the country of 1.35 billion people. Cities are more affected than rural areas, with the financial hub of Mumbai reporting a large proportion of cases.
07:14 A major Australian airport has proposed to reopen flights to New Zealand from July 1. Canberra Airport opened a register for travelers interested in flying to the New Zealand capital of Wellington.
Under the proposal, the flights will not require the quarantine of passengers, as is currently necessary.
"There is a very strong demand for these flights, and we do think the time is right for the government to set a date and for the parties to work together to set a date," airport managing director Stephen Byron told the Associated Press.
New Zealand is one of Australia's major trading partners and many people are eager to see the route between the country open as quickly as possible. The Australian economy is expected to enter recession this summer for the first time in nearly 30 years.
03:58 Germany has reported 394 new cases of coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
Thirty new deaths were recorded, taking the total to 8,591.
The tally of the total number of infections in the country is now 182,764.
About 167,800 people have already recovered — almost 600 more than the day before.
03:48 Researchers at the University of Bonn found that contracting the virus from surfaces in a domestic situation is highly unlikely.
"The domestic environment predominantly does not seem to pose a high risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2," the study said, referring to the novel coronavirus by its official name.
The researchers took samples from multiple places in residences where at least one person was in direct contact with a positive case. The samples included the surfaces of toilets, doorknobs and even a remote control.
The wastewater samples from showers, washbasins and toilets returned the highest number of positive tests with 15.15%.
The researchers said that the study supported "the hypothesis that indirect environmental transmission may only play a minor role, which needs clarifications in further studies."
03:30 A full post-mortem examination of George Floyd has revealed that he tested positive for coronavirus in April, the Associated Press reports.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office released a 20-page autopsy report on Wednesday.
As per the report, Floyd had a heart attack while being restrained. His death on May 25 was classified as a homicide.
03:20 Chinese authorities have reported one confirmed new coronavirus case and four asymptomatic cases, which it does not count in its official tally. Beijing also reported no new deaths as a result of the deadly pathogen.
Authorities said the cases were imported from travelers arriving from abroad.
China is the origin point of the globe-spanning outbreak. However, experts have yet to trace the virus to an exact source.
Western countries, including Germany and the US, have criticized Beijing for a lack of transparency concerning the novel coronavirus, especially at the onset of the pandemic.
How humans drove rise of infectious diseases
02:35 A highly-anticipated study on the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat the novel coronavirus did not show a statistically-significant impact compared to a placebo.
In a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, only 11.83% of people given hydroxychloroquine were infected after exposure from an infected individual, as opposed to 14.25% of those given a placebo.
"This randomized trial did not demonstrate a significant benefit of hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis for COVID-19," said the study's authors in their paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
US President Donald Trump announced last month that he was hydroxychloroquine to prevent infection of the deadly pathogen, and recommended others to do the same.
On Tuesday, the British medical journal the ;Lancet announced that it had concerns about a much-vaunted article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients.
01:30 Brazil has registered a record number of daily deaths from the coronavirus for the second consecutive day.
As the pandemic continued to take a grim toll on Latin America's hardest-hit country, Health Ministry data brought the country’s new total death toll to 32,548, with 584,016 confirmed infections.
The caseload is the second-highest worldwide, after the United States. Experts say that a lack of testing in the nation of some 210 million people means the real numbers are probably much higher.
President Jair Bolsonaro has fiercely criticized coronavirus lockdown measures imposed by regional governors, even as the number of infections and deaths continues to soar.
The country is the latest frontline of the pandemic, with deaths and infections on the rise. Authorities have imposed fresh restrictions in Brazil’s northeast after "extremely high" numbers of cases were reported.
Concern over the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Latin America has increased even as the health crisis has eased in other regions of the world.
01:16 Mexican authorities said the number of coronvirus-related deaths doubled within a 24-hour period, the country's highest death toll in one day so far.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, however, attributed the increase to "various reasons," including deaths that were being counted days after.
"We have had a very substantial increase in mortality," Lopez-Gatell said.
Mexico is under pressure from its northern neighbor, the US, to rollback lockdown measures and jump-start the economy. Indeed, Mexican authorities had anticipated an easing of restriction, but the latest increase in deaths and confirmed cases has dimmed that prospect.
Critics have accused the US government of fumbling its response to the pandemic.
Mexican officials have acknowledged that the number of positive cases could be significantly higher than the official tally.
00:01 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said governing parties have agreed on a €130 billion ($146 billion) stimulus package to help the economy recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The measures include temporarily cutting value-added tax form 19% to 16%, providing families with an additional €300 per child and doubling a government-supported rebate on electric car purchases.
The package also establishes a €50 billion fund for addressing climate change, innovation and digitization within the German economy.
The measures were agreed by Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, and junior governing partner, the Social Democrats following marathon negotiations that lasted 21 hours.
In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified, DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real-time, collating data from world health organizations, state and national governments and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information.
Germany's national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU.