Countries around the world are easing coronavirus restrictions, but senior scientific advisors warned that England risks losing control of the pandemic again because it is starting to lift its lockdown without a fully operational track and trace program in place.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* More than 5.93 million people have been reported infected with the coronavirus globally and 364,043 have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 0325 GMT on Saturday.
* For Eikon users, see MacroVitals cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and a summary of developments.
* The European Union urged the United States to reconsider its decision to cut ties with the World Health Organization over its handling of the pandemic.
* Italy will not be treated like a leper colony, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said, promising a warm welcome to foreign tourists this summer and warning other European Union states not to shut out Italians.
* Parisians hurried into parks and gardens as they reopened in the French capital for the first time after almost 11 weeks of lockdown, one of the last areas of France to ease restrictions.
* The coronavirus is sweeping through some of the mountain villages of Russia’s far-flung Dagestan region and they are struggling to treat patients properly, protect medics or even count the dead, five local officials said.
* Russian women flocked to their small town’s “banya” or public steam sauna when it reopened after the lockdown, for the luxury of hot water after going without for six weeks.
* U.S. President Donald Trump said he is terminating the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO had essentially become a puppet organization of China.
* The U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges on Friday to curbs on religious services in California and Illinois during the pandemic.
* New York City is “on track” to enter phase one of reopening on June 8, New York Governor Cuomo said as he announced that five upstate regions will now transition to phase two which includes businesses like barber shops and hair salons.
* Coronavirus deaths in Brazil reached 27,878, the Health Ministry said on Friday, surpassing Spain to become the fifth ranking nation in the number of dead.
* India reported a record daily jump of 7,964 new COVID-19 infections, with a recent surge in cases as restrictions start to be relaxed raising the possibility that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could extend curbs beyond May 31.
* A Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine could be ready for market as early as the end of this year, China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) said in a social media post.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Government employees went back to work in Iran and President Hassan Rouhani said mosques would resume daily prayers across the country, even though some areas are seeing high levels of coronavirus infections.
* Bottlenecks at borders as government screen lorry drivers to contain the virus are putting the delivery of vital food supplies in East Africa at risk, the U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) warned.
* Lufthansa’s management board has accepted a more favourable set of demands from the European Commission in exchange for approval of a 9 billion euro ($10 billion) government bailout, the carrier said on Saturday, paving the way for its rescue.
* British finance minister Rishi Sunak offered fresh help to employers hammered by the coronavirus shutdown in the form of a gradual phase-in of contributions by them to the government’s hugely expensive wage subsidy scheme.