Published:  12:51 AM, 30 May 2020

Russia reports record daily death toll

Elsewhere, Brazil has over 26,000 new cases within a single day, while India now has more cases and deaths than China. In Europe, several countries have announced plans to end lockdowns. Follow DW for the latest.

Russia reports a record increase of 232 deaths. India's infections continue to rise with another single-day high. France and the UK are preparing to further ease lockdowns next week.

Global cases are approaching 6 million with at least 361,000 dead14:31 South Africa says it faces a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for COVID-19 due to a shortage of medical supplies.

"This challenge is caused by the limited availability of test kits globally," the health ministry said in a statement overnight.

The country has conducted more than 655,000 coronavirus tests so far, more than any other country in Africa. It also has the most confirmed coronavirus cases at 27,403, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Africa relies heavily on imported medical supplies, which have fallen as exporting countries attempt to conquer their own outbreaks.

14:04: A group of monkeys made off with blood samples of Indian patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.  Local authorities said the ambush occurred earlier this week while a laboratory technician was taking the samples to the campus of the medical college in Meerut, near the capital New Delhi.

Dheeraj Raj, the superintendent of the college, told the French news agency AFP that the samples were recovered and not damaged. People living near the campus had feared the virus may spread if the monkeys carried the samples to the nearby community.

Authorities in Meerut often have to grapple with thieving monkeys that snatch food and cell phones.

13:45: Germany has recorded 560 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, and not an earlier figure of 741, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's disease control agency said on Friday. The RKI did not change the number of total infections, which sits at 180,458.

An RKI data expert told the DPA news agency that the earlier incorrect figure was the result of a technical issue that included old cases in the tally.

The death toll from the virus in Germany is also unchanged - 39 in the past 24 hours for a total count of 8,450.

13:01: Spain has given the green light for the creation of a minimum income worth €462 ($514) a month for its poorest residents, who are among the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme would help roughly 2.3 million citizens, Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias said at a press conference.

People aged between 23 and 65 with assets of less than €16,614, not including their house or discounted loans, will be eligible for the new scheme.

As a result, average spending on fighting poverty in Spain will increase from just over 0.1% of GDP, one of the lowest in Europe, to almost the same as the average for the other OECD member countries, which is 0.4%, the left-wing government said.

12:43 Norway and Denmark will resume free travel between the two countries from June 15, but that freedom won't be afforded to another Scandinavian neighbor, Sweden, at least for now.

The number of coronavirus infections remains much higher in Sweden and more than 4,250 Swedes have died from COVID-19 - more than five times the combined total of the other two Nordic countries.

Denmark will also open its borders to holidaymakers from Germany and Iceland from June 15.

12:25: A so-called second wave of coronavirus infections in Germany could well be avoided, thus negating the necessity for another nationwide lockdown, according to two of the country's top virologists.

"Perhaps... we will avoid a second shutdown," virologist Christian Drosten told German magazine Der Spiegel. Thanks to Germany's handling of the first wave of the pandemic, there is now a "theoretical possibility" that citizens will "get through without a second wave."

Virologist Hendrik Streeck from the University of Bonn said that while there may well be local outbreaks from time to time, like the ones in Leer and Frankfurt, Germany is unlikely to witness a large second outbreak. Streeck told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) in a preliminary report: "I don't think we'll be seeing a second wave that literally floods and overwhelms us."

Last weekend, two other leading German public health experts warned that a second wave of infections could be brought back to Germany from abroad by holidaymakers.

12:12: Germans have been doing more home cooking during their coronavirus lockdown, while also using a greater number of fresh ingredients, rather than processed foods, according to the food and agriculture ministry.

Results from a survey about eating habits revealed some 30% of those questioned said they cooked more meals themselves than before the crisis, while 28% said they ate more often with other members of the same household than earlier. Only 7% of those interviewed said they ate more processed foods than before.

Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner said: "Coronavirus is changing the daily nutrition of Germans. Regional foods have gained in importance."

11:05: Iran has declared its highest number of new infections in almost two months and warned the Middle East's deadliest outbreak was worsening in some regions.

The government has largely lifted its lockdown restrictions after Iran's first infections were revealed in February but has been keeping an eye out for emerging clusters.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,819 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 146,668.

That daily figure is the highest since April 2. New infections have been on a rising trajectory ever since a near two-month low was reached on May 2.

10:53: Portugal has seen a drop 98.3% in overnight stays at hotels in comparison with this time last year as flights were grounded, keeping visitors away as the industry suffered heavy losses.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed overnight stays by Britons, the main source of tourism for Portugal, fell 99.3% in April compared to the same period last year.

Portugal's tourism board has said that the country's beaches and hotels will be ready to welcome tourists by mid-June. However, there is still concern about how to check that new arrivals have been tested for the novel coronavirus, a measure the government wants to see implemented, and how to control whether social distancing rules are maintained on beaches.

A complete cancellation of the tourist season this year could have resulted in the Portuguese economy contracting up to 6%.

10:17: Polish football fans will be able to attend matches from June 19, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced, but only 25% of the capacity of stadiums will be used in order to maintain social distancing and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"The Polish Football Association and the Premier League have chosen the 19th, so it will be possible to prepare everything according to the correct procedures," Morawiecki said.

The Bundesliga in Germany returned two weeks ago but with games behind closed doors.

Belarus is the exception to the rule, where football has continued unaffected by the pandemic.

09:45: Spain has begun a 10-day period of national mourning for the victims of COVID-19.

09:25: Russia has reported an increase of 232 fatalities, a record high, as Moscow authorities released mortality figures in an effort to quash suggestions they were being manipulated.

A total of 4,374 have died from COVID-19, according to health officials.

Officials confirmed there had been a total of 387,623 cases, only the United States and Brazil have more.

Authorities have forecast a higher death toll in May compared to April, attributing this to deaths among patients who were hospitalized during the peak of the outbreak several weeks ago. The hardest-hit city in Russia is Moscow and officials reported a further 2,332 cases. They also released data about mortality statistics for April in an effort to dispel allegations they had been under-reporting deaths.

09:10: In New Zealand, only one person currently has the novel coronavirus after not detecting any new infections for the past week.

The country of some five million people has registered 1,504 infections in total, with just one remaining case. 1,481 have recovered and 22 have died from COVID-19.

08:55: Pakistan has reported 57 deaths from the novel virus over the last 24 hours, its most in one day since the outbreak first emerged in February.

The country's death toll now stands at 1,317. The government has also registered 2,636 new cases, raising the total number of infections to 64,028.

08:34: India has recorded another single-day high of 7,466 cases, overtaking China's numbers, both in terms of confirmed infections and deaths from the novel coronavirus.

The Health Ministry said the total number of cases in India is 165,799, from which 4,706 people have died. China has reported 4,634 deaths and 82,995 cases overall.

The surge in infections comes as India's two-month-old lockdown is set to end on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is expected to announce a new set of guidelines this weekend, possibly extending the lockdown in the worst-hit areas.

08:12: In April, German retailers have suffered their worst month-on-month losses since 2007, as lockdown measures were in place for the entire month.

Sales fell by 5.1% compared with March and according to the Federal Statistical Office this is "the strongest decline in sales compared to a previous month since January 2007."

Despite the fact that shops have reopened in the meantime, The German Retailers Association (HDE) said revenue has yet to return to pre-crisis level. "So the crisis is by no means over," said HDE managing director Stefan Genth.

Leave Your Comments

Latest News

More From Back Page

Go to Home Page »

Site Index The Asian Age