Coronavirus latest: Russia reports record 10,000 new cases | News | DW | 03.05.2020

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Coronavirus latest: Russia reports record 10,000 new cases

Russia is registering more new infections than any other country in Europe. Helicopters and drones are being deployed in Moscow to enforce social distancing ahead of a two-day public holiday. Follow DW for the latest.

Watch video 03:35

Thousands of youngsters still left behind in Greek camps

  • Russia has recorded its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases and is now lodging the most new infections in Europe

  • Pakistan and India are also reporting record one-day spikes in infections

  • Italy sees its lowest death toll since its lockdown started on March 10

  • The global death toll currently stands at more than 246,000 with almost 3.5 million cases of the virus that first emerged in China at the turn of the year

Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

23:04 Canada will devote CAN$240 million (US$170 million, €155 million) to develop virtual care and mental health tools in order to help citizens cope with the psychological aspects of the outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced.

The money will be used primarily to set up new digital platforms and applications to give people "strategies to manage stress or support from a procurement professional," Trudeau said.

Another objective of the scheme is to improve online virtual care to help stop the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 60,000 people and resulted in 3,795 deaths in the country.

"By helping doctors run appointments online, you can stay safe at home while getting care, and our hospitals can stay focused on those who need it most," said Trudeau told reporters at his daily briefing.

"If we can use apps to order dinner and videochats to stay in touch with family, we can use new technology to keep each other healthy," he added.

22:29 United States officials believe China did not reveal the full extent of the outbreak, as well as how infectious it was, according to US intelligence documents. This breathing space enabled China to stock up on medical supplies, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report.

Beijing "intentionally concealed the severity" of the outbreak, according to a four-page intelligence report dated May 1 and obtained by news agency The Associated Press. Marked "for official use only," the report states that, while downplaying the severity of the virus, China increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies. It attempted to cover up doing so by "denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data," the document says.

The DHS report also says China refrained from telling the World Health Organization (WHO) that the virus "was a contagion" for most of January, so it could acquire medical supplies from abroad, such as face masks and surgical gowns and gloves, which increased significantly at that time.

The leak comes amid intense criticism of China's handling of the pandemic from the White House, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that that country was responsible for the spread of COVID-19 and must be held accountable.

Read more: US chief diplomat Pompeo backs coronavirus Wuhan lab claims

21:43 Brazil has recorded an additional 4,588 cases in the last 24 hours, meaning the hardest-hit Latin American country has now seen more than 100,000 infections since its first recorded case towards the end of February. In total, Brazil has reported 7,025 deaths after an increase of 275 over the last 24 hours.

The number of cases increased approximately 5% on Sunday from the previous day, while deaths rose by some 4%, the health ministry said.

21:25 Jordan's economy is expected to contract some 3% this year as a result of the pandemic, as government revenue plunges due to a strict lockdown that left businesses paralyzed and citizens housebound, the finance minister announced.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which in March authorized a four-year $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) programme with the kingdom, had expected 's economy to grow around 2.1% in 2020, then rise in the next few years to 3.3%, but this notion now appears to be in tatters.

"The impact of the big economic blow that hit the local economy has been deep and this will continue," Mohammad Al Ississ told state television.

21:03 As of Thursday, Serbia will no longer be in a state of emergency, President Aleksandar Vucic has announced, meaning an end to nightly and weekend curfews.

"On Thursday there will be no more curfew," he told broadcaster TV Pink. Vucic called the state of emergency on March 15 and also imposed social distancing measures, as well as the curfews. In addition, the Serbian military has been guarding the country's borders, hospitals and migrant centers.

Serbia on Sunday reported 102 new cases, bringing its total number of infections to 9,362, while four more deaths have been recorded over the last 24 hours, taking the country's death toll to 193.

19:49 France now says it will not impose quarantine on "anyone, regardless of nationality, from the EU, the Schengen area or the United Kingdom. On Saturday, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the quarantine measures would be required for anyone arriving from overseas. Details on how long people arriving from outside of Europe will be required to stay isolated will be confirmed in the next few days.

France has extended its state of emergency for two months until July 24. The country has started to ease some restrictions, with further relaxation expected after May 11.

19:37 The governor of the US state of Michigan says gun-carrying protesters who demonstrated inside her state's Capitol "depicted some of the worst racism" and "awful parts'" of U.S. history. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer told CNN that the protests featured `|Confederate Flags, and nooses,'' as well as swastikas.

Members of the Michigan Liberty Militia protested the state's stay-at-home orders this week, some with weapons and tactical gear and their faces partially covered. They went inside the Capitol, where being armed is allowed, then demanded access to the House floor, which is prohibited. Some went to the Senate gallery, where a senator said armed men shouted her.

Whitner has used an executive order to extend a state of emergency declaration and has directed most businesses statewide to remain closed.

19:21 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will work several other US states, including Massachusetts and Delaware to create a regional supply chain for personal protective gear and other medical supplies vital to fighting the disease.

He said the collaboration was prompted by months of dealing separately with a "totally inefficient and ineffective'" purchasing process that pitted all 50 states against each other, which drove up prices of masks, gowns, ventilators, testing supplies and other equipment as supplies dried up.

New York buys about $2 billion (€1.82 billion) worth of medical equipment supplies per year, Cuomo said. The other states joining the consortium together spend about $5 billion per year. Working together, they'll have stronger purchasing power and improve their clout with global suppliers, he added.

18:36 German Health Minister Jens Spahn has warned that the worldwide scramble to develop a coronavirus vaccine could take years. Though there had been a number of promising initial steps, the development of vaccines remained among "the most challenging" tasks in medicine, Spahn told public broadcaster ARD on Sunday evening.

"I would be happy if it succeeded in a few months," he added but cautioned people to remain realistic. "It could also take years because of course there can also be setbacks, as we have seen with other vaccines."

An international donor conference on Monday hopes to generate €7.5 billion ($8.3 billion) for the development of treatments and a vaccine against the virus. 

Watch video 02:52

Emergency aid helps German small business stay afloat

18:20 The number of people who have died in France has climbed by 135 to 24,895. But the health ministry said those being treated in hospital for COVID-19 and in intensive care units continued to fall albeit slightly. The number of people in hospital with the respiratory disease is now at 25,815, while the number in intensive care fell to 3,819.

18:12 The UK says its exit from the nationwide lockdown will likely be gradual. There would likely be "some degree of constraint" once restrictions were eased until a vaccine was found, senior Minister Michael Gove said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil the government's plans in the coming days, after announcing the country had passed the peak of the virus last week.

Weekend newspaper reports said primary schools could reopen in early June while commuters taking public transport could face temperature checks. A quarantine period for people traveling to the UK has also been suggested.

17:43 One-third of 500 random coronavirus tests in Afghanistan's capital Kabul has come back positive, health officials said Sunday, raising fears of widespread undetected infections in one of the world's most fragile states.

More than 250,000 Afghans have 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.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Mayar said the results were "concerning."

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. The death toll — officially at 85 — could also be much higher.

17:29 Greece has allowed some 400 migrants to leave the camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos. Greek media reported that the group is being taken to the mainland by ferries, with another 100 to follow on Tuesday. The country's migration ministry says the migrants are mainly elderly and sick people as well as families, who need to be shielded from COVID-19. They will be housed in rented hotels, apartments and camps in other parts of the country. Rights groups have repeatedly warned that an outbreak in the overcrowded refugee camps would have catastrophic consequences.

Watch video 03:43

Refugees pushed from both sides of the Turkey-EU border

17:01 Italy has reported its lowest daily death toll since the first day of its nationwide lockdown on March 10. The country confirmed 174 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday. The Mediterranean country's toll officially stands at 28,884 fatalities, second only to the United States.

On Monday, Italians will be able to visit parks and their nearby relatives for the first time in nine weeks. But most businesses will remain closed for another two weeks. Bars and restaurants are due to start seating customers on June 1.

16:55 The UK will trial a new coronavirus tracing program next week on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said local officials will ask the island's 80,000 households to download a smartphone app or take part in traditional methods of tracing those who have come into contact with a patient who has tested positive for the virus.

The plan is to quickly roll out the program nationally to allow the country to loosen its stay at home order.

Britain has suffered the second-worst death toll in Europe from COVID-19, but ministers say they are confident that the peak of the virus has passed.

15:49 The UK death toll has risen to 28,446 after the government reported 315 more fatalities in hospitals, care homes and the wider community. The figure is just below Europe's worst-hit country, Italy.

A total of 186,599 people have tested positive, up 4,339 on Saturday's figures. But ministers say the country is past the peak.

Read more: Coronavirus takes tragic toll on UK care homes

15:43 The mayor of New York has praised the city's residents for mostly adhering to social distancing rules while outside enjoying the warmest weekend of the year so far.

"The vast majority of New Yorkers have really risen to the challenge,'' Bill de Blasio said, though he and the city's police chief acknowledged some hiccups, including big crowds at Manhattan's Christopher Street Pier and Brooklyn's Domino Park.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the city's parks and public spaces Saturday as temperatures hit about 23 degrees Celsius (low-70s Fahrenheit). Police commissioner Dermot Shea said officers issued 51 summonses on Saturday and made at least three arrests.

15:13 Bankruptcy-threatened Norwegian Air has received the green light from bondholders to enter into a state-backed rescue plan. Chief executive Jacob Schram wrote to the Oslo Stock Exchange on Sunday saying a fourth and final group of creditors has now approved the debt restructuring plans.

The airline now has to reach an agreement with the companies from whom it leases its fleet of jets and shareholders will have to approve the rescue plan at a special meeting on Monday.

Norwegian, like many other airlines, is struggling with a significant drop in demand amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Around 7,650 employees have been placed on temporary leave.

The airline was suffering from financial problems before the crisis hit, having racked up large debts during a rapid expansion course since its founding in 1993.

Read more: Social-distance flying the new normal?

14:52 White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx says it is "devastatingly worrisome'' to see protesters in Michigan and elsewhere not wear masks or practice social distancing as they demonstrate against stay-at-home orders. 

Birx was responding to the hundreds of protesters who crowded the Michigan statehouse last week to push for a reopening of businesses.

She told Fox News Sunday that people "will feel guilty for the rest of our lives'' if they pick up the virus because they didn't take precautions and then unwittingly spread it to family members who are especially vulnerable to severe illness due to preexisting
conditions or older age.

Protests took place in several US states over the weekend amid growing frustration over the economic impact from restrictions imposed during the outbreak.

14:32 Lufthansa says it is close to securing billions in euros of state aid. The German flag carrier's supervisory board told staff in a letter that the airline "is in intensive and constructive exchanges with the German government. (...) In our opinion, these discussions could be concluded in the near future."

Local media reported last week that Lufthansa is seeking a €10 billion ($11 billion) bailout that would give the government a 25.1% stake in the company.

According to Der Spiegel, the government will hold over half of the stake — €5.5 billion — as a silent partner, for which they will receive a guaranteed return of 9%. The state-owned development bank Kreditanstalt for Wiederaufbau (KFW) will also contribute another €3.5 billion, backed by the government. 

14:08 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is substantial evidence that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

"There is enormous evidence that this is where it began," he said on ABC's This Week. But while highly critical of China's handling of the matter, Pompeo declined to say whether he thought the virus had been intentionally released.

Scientists believe the killer virus jumped from animals to humans, possibly from a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat. However, conspiracy theorists have spread rumors that the virus was synthesized at WIV and possibly released intentionally.

The unsubstantiated accusations have gained enough traction globally to prompt the Office of the Director of US National Intelligence and the World Health Organization to this week to deny them as pure speculation.

14:00 Several countries are easing coronavirus restrictions in response to slowing coronavirus transmission rates. Here's a summary of the latest measures:

Iran: Mosques will reopen in 132 cities deemed "white zones" — areas designated as virus-free — from Monday, President Hassan Rowhani announced on Sunday. Mosque closures during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan have hit worshippers particularly hard. Hairdressers, beauty salons and sports venues are also being allowed to re-open. Schools, universities, restaurants and cafes will remain closed. Sporting events will also remain banned.

Israel: First-, second- and third-graders have returned to their classroom — Sunday is the first day of the week in the Jewish-majority country. Students in the last two grades of high school also returned, giving them time to prepare for final exams. School reopenings are the latest measure to be rolled back after the country introduced sweeping restrictions in mid-March. Many shops were allowed to reopen last week, but shopping centers remain closed.

Tunisia: Some businesses are set to re-open on Monday. Ahead of this move, the government of the north African country set out measures for individuals and businesses, including the wearing of protective face masks, and asked people to avoid overcrowding, and observe social-distancing and hygiene guidance.

Thailand: Residents are allowed to once again visit restaurants, markets, parks and sports clubs for non-contact sports. However, a nightly curfew between 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (1500 to 2100 UTC) remains in place, as does its state of emergency — until at least May 31.

South Korea: Public facilities are the focus of Seoul's next exit phase, set to begin on Wednesday, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said on Sunday. There will be a staggered re-opening: public parks, outdoor sports and leisure facilities and museums will open ahead of welfare centers, public theaters and concert halls. Schools will also see a staggered re-opening in this next phase.

Italy: Residents will be allowed to visit public parks and gardens on Monday after two months in lockdown. Strolling, cycling and jogging will be permitted, but picnics will be banned. People will also have to obey social-distancing rules, staying at least 1 meter apart. Visits to relatives and takeouts from restaurants will also be allowed again. But residents in the country with the highest virus death toll in Europe will have to wait until June 1 to get their hair cut or visit a beauty salon.

Spain: The government is planning a major roll-back of lockdown measures, also from Monday. Restaurants can re-open but only for takeout food. Shops under 400 square meters (4,300 square feet) can reopen for appointments as long as a 1-to-1 ratio of customer to worker is maintained. Face masks will be obligatory on public transport.

Bulgaria: Intercity travel will start up next week when the country removes checkpoints controlling regional travel, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Sunday. This would likely happen from Wednesday — when the country celebrates St. George’s Day. The leader of the Balkan country said more restrictions will be lifted in the coming days, including bars and restaurants, following inspections by authorities.

13:28 Vienna International Airport is to offer coronavirus tests beginning on Monday to avoid the 14-day quarantine normally required on entry into Austria. Passengers can be tested for the virus on arrival for €190 ($211), the airport announced. The result should be available within two to three hours. Until now, passengers entering the country must either present a negative corona result not older than four days or isolate themselves for two weeks.

13:22 Belarus says it still plans to go ahead with its military parade on May 9 commemorating the end of World War II in the Soviet Union 75 years ago, despite a growing coronavirus outbreak in the country. 

"We can't just cancel the parade," President Alexander Lukashenko told the Belta state news agency.

Authoritarian Lukashenko has so far described the virus as "psychosis". Football matches continue to be played, despite international criticism.

13:02 The president of Tanzania has placed an order for an "unproven" herbal treatment of coronavirus from Madagascar which the World Health Organization (WHO) and scientists around the world have denounced as lacking any scientific evidence. 

The herbal remedy is called "Covid Organics" and is made out of artemisia, a plant native to Madagascar. President John Magufuli said he has dispatched a plane to fetch the mixture.

Authorities in Madagascar have given the "medicine" to children returning to school. The President of the Republic of the Congo is also reportedly considering importing the herbal concoction.

The WHO told the BBC that they do not recommend "self-medication with any medicines ... as a prevention or cure for COVID-19." It also described the testing period for Covid Organics as extremely short, calling it "unproven."

Tanzania has reported 480 coronavirus infections and 16 deaths.

12:54 The Philippines has closed several airports because of the expected return of tens of thousands of workers from abroad due to the pandemic. The authorities wanted to ease the burden on quarantine facilities, the head of the government's anti-virus task force, Carlito Galvez, said. At present, all returning Filipinos have to spend 14 days in state quarantine facilities. The airport closure, which happened with only eight hours' advance warning, will last a week. The move leaves many Filipino migrant workers stranded in their host countries.

11:39 Pope Francis is using his Sunday address to appeal for international cooperation to ensure a coronavirus vaccine is made available around the world. Italy's coronavirus lockdown means the pontiff has been delivering sermons from the papal library rather than his usual spot at St. Peter's Square.

"It is important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial way to find vaccines and treatments," Francis said. It was also important, the pope added, to "guarantee universal access to essential technologies that allow each infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary medical treatment."

Scientists around the world are racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, but experts predict it could take a year or longer before one is ready to be made available to the public.

10:44 People in Thailand were allowed to go to parks, restaurants and markets on Sunday as the government partially eased measures. A ban on buying alcohol was also lifted, prompting people to flock to bottle shops and supermarkets, according to local media. Army commander General Pornpipat Benyasri urged the public not to become complacent and to stay home, despite their new freedoms.

"There are no measures from the government that say you should let your guard down," he told a press briefing. 

Thai media reported that roads across the country were clogged with people traveling for Labor Day weekend after the government announced the first stage of eased measures on Thursday.

"Over the past few days, there has been a lot of traveling taking place," Pornpipat said. "Please stay home, maybe do some allowed activities, and continue working from home." 

Thailand has reported a total of 2,969 coronavirus cases, with 54 deaths. Three new infections were reported on Sunday.

Read more: Thailand's king living in luxury quarantine while his country suffers

10:42 South Korea will further relax social distancing rules from May 6, allowing a phased reopening of businesses. The government "will allow businesses to resume at facilities in phases that had remained closed up to now."

Gatherings and events will be allowed to take place, if "disinfection guidelines" are met. South Korea was one of the first countries outside of China to report cases of coronavirus and experienced an early spike, but managed to limit deaths and cases compared to some western countries.

Overall, 10,793 people have been infected and 250 people died.

10:14 Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says Germany wants to see more transparency from China in its handling of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

"The whole world has an interest in clarifying the exact origin of the virus," Maas told the Funke Media Group on Sunday. "But sound answers to these questions have to come from science, not politics."

"China can demonstrate here how transparently it really wants to deal with the virus," he added.

While scientists agree the virus is natural in origin, questions remain about where it came from. Chinese scientists have said the virus was likely transferred from an animal to humans at a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. However others, including US President Donald Trump, have backed the unproven theory it was accidentally released from a virology lab in Wuhan — an allegation Beijing rejects.

09:45 Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, says mosques in "low risk" parts of the country can reopen from Monday.  Measures imposed in mid-March to contain the coronavirus outbreak banned religious gatherings and forced mosques to close. As a result, people in the Middle East's worst-hit country began going to drive-in ceremonies broadcast on big screens during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

"Mosques will reopen in 132 low-risk or 'white cities' and towns from Monday. Friday prayer sermons will resume in those areas as well ... However, all these steps will be taken by respecting the health protocols," Rouhani said at a televised meeting of the country's virus taskforce. He also said some schools would be able to reopen on May 16.

The Health Ministry uses the colors white, yellow and red to classify risk levels in different parts of the country.  Iran has reported 97,424 infections cases of the coronavirus, including 6,203 deaths, although experts both in Iran and abroad have questioned the accuracy of the figures, saying the real numbers could be much higher. 

08:28 Spain has recorded its lowest daily death count from the coronavirus since March 18, with 164 new fatalities confirmed Sunday, according to the Health Ministry. The country's toll now stands at 25,264. The ministry said the number of infections also rose to 217,466 on Sunday, up from 216,582 the day before.

On Saturday, Spaniards were allowed to leave their homes to exercise for the first time in seven weeks as part of a gradual easing of strict rules that had largely confined people to their homes. 

09:00 Deutsche Welle has given this year's Freedom of Speech Award to journalists who have been persecuted for their coverage of the coronavirus crisis.

"We honor all our colleagues who are being prevented by force from doing their job in these difficult times," DW Director General Limbourg said. "Deutsche Welle is demanding that all journalists worldwide who have been arrested because of their coverage of the COVID-19 crisis are released immediately." 

DW's Freedom of Speech Award has been awarded annually since 2015. You can read more about it here: DW's Freedom of Speech Award honors journalists persecuted for coronavirus reporting

08:56 Russia has recorded its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections, with 10,633 new cases confirmed on Sunday. That's more new cases than any other European country is registering right now.  According to health authorities, 134,686 people in Russia have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1,280 have died since the start of the outbreak. Some 58 new deaths were reported on Sunday.

 Although cases in the country of 145 million are steadily increasing, the official mortality rate is low compared to hard-hit nations such as Italy, Spain and the US. The government has suggested it could decide to begin lifting lockdown measures from May 12, depending on the region. President Vladimir Putin has said the situation remains "very difficult."

07:39 German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer says he supports plans to get the country's Bundesliga up and running this month, despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

"I find the schedule proposed by the German league plausible and I support the restart in May," Seehofer, who is also the minister for sport, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Germany's national soccer league wants to resume the season in the next few weeks by holding matches without spectators and under strict conditions. If the plan goes ahead, the Bundesliga would become the first European championship to take such a step. Seehofer said football teams would be subject to the same rules as the rest of the population and would not get any special testing privileges.

"If there is a case of coronavirus in a team or its management, the club as a whole, and eventually also the team against which it last played, must go into quarantine for two weeks," he said. 

German authorities are expected to meet next week to discuss the issue.

07:11 Six people have been killed in a plane crash in Bolivia's Amazonian region, including four Spaniards who were being repatriated amid coronavirus-related travel bans. Bolivia's Defense Ministry said the Santa Cruz-bound plane experienced engine failure shortly after taking off from Trinidad. Two Bolivian crew were among the dead. 

Authorities said the plane was on a "humanitarian mission" and was also carrying aid supplies and samples from patients who may have been infected with COVID-19. The four Spanish nationals were scheduled to catch a repatriation flight to Madrid from Santa Cruz next week. The European Union says it has already brought home 550,000 EU citizens stranded overseas as a result of the global pandemic.

06:27 India has reported its biggest one-day increase in coronavirus cases since the outbreak began. Confirmed infections in the country of 1.3 billion have climbed by 2,600 to just under 40,000 in the past 24 hours, while the number of deaths has risen by 83. The toll now stands at 1,301.

India's six-week lockdown has been extended by another two weeks, and restrictions in some less-affected parts of the country have been eased. The government has also ordered all public and private sector employees to use a contact tracing app that alerts users if they have crossed paths with people who later test positive for COVID-19.

05:57 German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned that lifting worldwide travel warnings too early could "jeopardize the progress" made in the fight against the coronavirus.

"We cannot allow these to be hasty steps," he told the Funke Media Group. "When people are able to not just fly abroad again, but also come back in a sufficiently safe way, then we can roll back these travel warnings step by step."

 Germany has repatriated at least 225,000 citizens who became stranded overseas after dozens of countries began implementing coronavirus travel restrictions in March.

 "We cannot and will not bring back another quarter of a million people from their holidays again this summer," Maas said, adding that the government must "act in a controlled and coordinated manner."

The German Foreign Ministry this week extended a warning against all unnecessary tourist travel abroad to mid-June.

05:22 Swiss drugmaker Roche says it has been granted emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its coronavirus antibody test.  Such blood tests have been seen by governments and businesses as a potentially important tool in working out who has contracted the virus, and who may be immune, as countries move towards lifting lockdowns.

The Basel-based company had previously pledged to make the test, called Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2, available by early May. It requires an intravenous blood draw, and is designed to determine if a patient has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and if they have developed antibodies against it. Roche said it had already started shipping the tests to laboratories around the world, with plans to "ramp up production capacity to the high double-digit millions per month."

04:49 The coronavirus death toll in Japan has surpassed 500. According to official figures cited by local broadcaster NHK, the number of fatalities now stands at 530, with more than 15,000 confirmed cases.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to decide Monday whether to extend the nationwide state of emergency, which is set to expire on May 6.

While citizens are encouraged to stay home, and many shops and businesses are closed, Japan has resisted imposing the kind of strict lockdown measures seen in some other countries. People have still been allowed to go out to parks and beaches, as well as to crowded places such as games halls.

04:04 The Australian state of Victoria has seen its biggest jump in new cases in several weeks while the country's most populous state, New South Wales, is dealing with a cluster of infections at an old people's care facility.

Thirteen new cases have been registered in Victoria, health officials said, with six of the infections related to a meat processing facility in the state’s capital, Melbourne.

"What I'm worried about is the unknown unknowns," Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said, pleading for more people to get tested. She added: "We want to make sure that if we have cases that are positive in the community we can identify those individuals... this is how we are going to defeat the virus."

In New South Wales there were four new infections, two of which were reported at the Newmarch aged care facility in Sydney, where more than 60 people have contracted the novel virus, resulting in 14 deaths.

03:57 The number of confirmed cases in Germany has increased by 793 to 162,496, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has revealed.

This represented a decrease of 152 on the previous day's amount of new infections as the number of daily cases in Germany continues to steadily decline.

The reported death toll rose by 74 bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,649.

02:49 China has reported two new cases in its daily COVID-19 update, up from one the day before, the country's national health authority has revealed.

One case was imported and the other was local, the National Health Commission (NHC) said. The NHC also reported 12 asymptomatic cases for May 2, down from 20 in the previous day's update.

China has recorded 82,877 cases in total since the outbreak first emerged in the city of Wuhan while the country's death toll currently stands at 4,633.

The Chinese government has taken a number of stringent measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including blocking almost all foreigners from entering the country and sharply curtailing the number of international flights.

02:08 German Health Minister Jens Spahn has raised ethical questions over the possibility of issuing so-called "immunity passports" to those who had already been infected with the novel coronavirus.

Spahn expressed his concerns in a letter to the Ethics Council in Germany, according to newspaper Bild am Sonntag. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician said it is "a matter of concern to him that the ethical aspects" are met while there were still questions over "how and in what context the proof of immunity should be used."

"Immunity passports" could be a way for key workers to get back to work as they will have developed the antibodies necessary to give them protection from the virus that has infected almost 3.5 million people worldwide.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently said it was yet to be convinced on the idea of any such certification being issued.

01:25 The United States has registered 1,435 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 66,364, significantly more any other country in the world.

The Johns Hopkins University has stated that more than 1.1 million infections have occurred in the country, having recorded its first case on January 20.

01:22 Doctors treating British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for coronavirus last month were prepared to announce his death after he was taken into intensive care, he told the Sun on Sunday newspaper.

"It was a tough old moment, I won't deny it," he said. "They had a strategy to deal with a 'death of Stalin'-type scenario."

"I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were contingency plans in place. The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong."

The British PM first announced he had contracted the virus on March 27 but at the time was only displaying mild symptoms.

However, the following week it became apparent that his condition had deteriorated sufficiently for him to be admitted to hospital, where soon after he was moved to intensive care.

Johnson spent three days on "oxygen support," and admitted after his discharge on April 12 that his battle "could have gone either way."

The 55-year-old and his partner Carrie Symonds announced the arrival of their newborn son earlier this week and said the child would bear the names of "the two doctors that saved Boris' life," Symonds said.

Read more: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson names baby after coronavirus doctors

01:17 Mexico's health ministry reported 1,349 new cases of the novel coronavirus on May 2, bringing the total number of infections in the country to over 22,000. The country also reported 89 more deaths, which brought the total death toll to over 2,000.

00:48 Panama has recorded 370 new cases, bringing its total to 7,090, and 197 deaths, the health ministry said. The ministry said the increase was partly because of ramping up testing.

In addition, Luis Sucre, Panama's health vice minister, said about a quarter of all tests performed had come back positive.

"This tells us that we're not meeting our required objectives for this phase," said Sucre.

00:02 The Eiffel Tower joined other famous landmarks around the world on Saturday in capping a sparkling tribute to those fighting against COVID-19. The initiative was first launched by the Empire State Building in New York last month.

At 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT), the Paris monument lit up in "sparkling white" to hail "the unfailing courage of care workers confronting the coronavirus pandemic," said SETE, the firm that manages the Eiffel Tower.

The nine-day #HeroesShineBright initiative first began on April 24 in New York. Each night a different color is shone into the night sky to express gratitude towards healthcare staff, transit workers, and police or military personnel, SETE said.

Other landmarks that have seen similar acts are the Euromast in Rotterdam, the 360 Observation Deck in Chicago, the UAE'S Burj Khalifa, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Macao tower in China, the Busan Tower in South Korea, the Ostankino TV Tower in Russia, the Tallinn TV Tower in Estonia and the OVNI Tower in Slovakia.

00:00 Catch up on yesterday's coronavirus news here: Coronavirus latest: Spain released from seven-week lockdown 

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.DW's editors send out a selection of the day's news and features. Sign up here.

jsi,nm/shs,aw (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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