Coronavirus cases exceed 3 million, a third in US: Live updates | News

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  • The number of people around the world confirmed to have the coronavirus has risen to more than three million, and at least 217,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 929,000 people have recovered.

  • Brazil, India and Pakistan reported their largest number of deaths in a single day.
  • France has unveiled plans, including the adoption of aggressive testing, for a gradual relaxation of its nationwide lockdown from May 11.

  • Germany has already loosened some of its restrictions, but people are now being encouraged to stay at home amid concern the infection rate could be picking up again.

  • Planemaking giant Airbus posted a first quarter loss of half a billion dollars, while British Airways is set to cut up to 12,000 jobs.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, April 29

10:00 GMT – Iran reports 80 new deaths from coronavirus

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran rose by 80 in the past 24 hours to 5,957, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV

The total number of diagnosed cases of new coronavirus in Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak in the Middle East, has reached 93,657, he said.

Here is a map showing all the confirmed cases in the region.

09:45 GMT – German company begins testing possible vaccine

German pharmaceutical company BioNTech said it has begun testing a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus on volunteers.

BioNTech, which is working with US-based Pfizer, said 12 participants of a clinical trial in Germany have received doses of the vaccine candidate BNT162 since April 23.

BioNTech said in a statement that in a next step, it will begin increasing the dose of BNT162 in a trial involving about 200 participants aged 18 to 55.

09:30 GMT – Spain’s daily toll slightly up with 325 new deaths

Spain recorded 325 deaths from the novel coronavirus overnight, up from 301 reported the previous day, the health ministry said. 

The overall death toll from the virus, however, rose by 453 to 24,275, it said, adding that some of the additional cases were from the previous days.

The number of diagnosed cases rose by 2,144 from Tuesday to 212,917, the ministry said.

COVID-19: A moment of silence for fallen front-line workers in UK

09:15 GMT – Highest daily jump in COVID-19 deaths in India

India saw its highest jump in deaths related to the novel coronavirus in a 24-hour period even as regional governments prepared to ease lockdown restrictions.

A total of 73 people affected by the virus had died since Tuesday morning, taking the country-wide toll to 1,007, the federal health ministry said. The number of positive cases crossed 30,000.

The highest number of COVID-19 cases has been reported from Maharashtra, largely in its two biggest cities Mumbai and Pune, and the national capital New Delhi.

9:09 GMT – UK PM announces birth of son after he and fiancee had coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have announced the birth of a healthy baby boy.

Both had suffered from coronavirus, but Johnson’s illness was far more severe as he received treatment at an intensive care unit at a London hospital.

Both have now recovered and Johnson recently returned to work.

Johnson, 55 and and his fiancee Symonds, 32, announced in February that they were expecting a child [File: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images]

08:50 GMT – Indonesia reports 260 coronavirus cases, 11 deaths

Indonesia confirmed 260 new coronavirus infections, taking the total in the southeast Asian nation to 9,771, according to health ministry official Achmad Yurianto. 

Johnson, 55, and Symonds, 32, announced in February that they were expecting a child.

Yurianto reported 11 new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 784, while 1,391 people have recovered. More than 67,700 people have been tested.

HRW: COVID-19 lockdown violators in Philippines abused

08:45 GMT – Poland to reopen hotels and malls on May 4 

Poland will reopen hotels and shopping malls on May 4 while it will consider reopening pre-schools on May 6, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

Poland started relaxing some curbs earlier in April, saying they were costly for the economy. It has reopened forests and parks and eased rules on the number of customers in shops.

By Wednesday, the European Union member state of 38 million had reported 12,415 cases and 606 deaths.

08:35 GMT – Beijing to lower COVID-19 emergency response level

Beijing’s municipal government said it will lower its COVID-19 emergency response level on Thursday, removing quarantine requirements for some people arriving from other low-risk parts of the country.

The decision by Beijing to lower its emergency response measures to level II from level I comes on the same day China announced that the parliament will begin its key annual session in the capital on May 22.

The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in the country have dropped sharply from the height of the epidemic in February. 

Daily Life In Beijing After China Declared Epidemic Contained

Life in Beijing is slowly returning to normal following a city-wide lockdown on January 25 to contain the coronavirus outbreak [Lintao Zhang/Getty Images]

08:30 GMT – Azerbaijan to keep borders closed till May 31

Azerbaijan will keep its borders closed until May 31 to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government said on Wednesday.

The former Soviet republic has so far recorded 1,717 coronavirus cases and 22 deaths from the virus.

Read more about travel restrictions and border shutdowns around the world here. 

08:15 GMT – Turkey extends closure of schools to end-May

Turkey has extended the closure of schools until the end of May as part of its measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Education Minister Ziya Selcuk said.

Ankara announced the initial closure of schools on March 12 after it reported its first case of COVID-19 and now has nearly 115,000 cases with a death toll of nearly 3,000.

Children play in front of the locked Fatih Mosque as Turkey suspended mass prayers in mosques nationwide until the risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) passes in Istanbul

Children play in front of the locked Fatih Mosque as Turkey suspended mass prayers in mosques nationwide until the risk COVID-19 passes in Istanbul [File:Umit Bektas/Reuters]

07:55 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus cases near 100,000 mark

Russia has reported 5,841 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its overall nationwide case tally to 99,399.

The official nationwide death toll reached 972 after 108 people with the virus died in the last 24 hours, Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said.


07:40 GMT – Singapore confirms 690 new coronavirus cases

Singapore’s health ministry confirmed 690 more coronavirus infections, taking total cases in the country to 15,641.

Most of the new cases are among migrant workers living in dormitories in the city-state, which has among the highest number of coronavirus infections in Asia.

Here is list of all the countries with confirmed cases.  

07:30 GMT – Turkey sends aid to US to fight COVID-19

Turkey has assured “all means of solidarity” with the United States in “combatting the coronavirus outbreak and normalisation process after the pandemic”. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to his US counterpart Donald Trump together with the medical aid that Turkey sent to the US on Tuesday to support the country’s fight against the coronavirus as it has reported over one million confirmed cases.

Erdogan said he hopes the aid helps US people recover from COVID-19.

07:10 GMT – Global airlines face unprecedented turbulence

Grounded planes

Grounding flights amid the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people in the airlines and related industies [File: Nick Oxford/Reuters]

The global airlines industry is bleeding billions of dollars in cash, with some carriers already facing bankruptcy and others seeking government help.

More than half of the world’s fleet of passenger aircraft has been grounded because of travel bans, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an airline industry group.

European aviation giant Airbus reported a net loss of 481 million euros ($522m) in the first quarter under the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Read more here.

07:00 GMT – Japan PM: Impossible to hold Olympics unless virus curbed 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the postponed Tokyo Olympics could not take place next year unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained. 

“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely,”  Abe said in response to an opposition legislator in parliament. 

“It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” he added. 

Mar 24, 2020; Tokyo, Japan; Olympic rings monument at Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, Tokyo. On Monday the IOC announced that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Games would be postponed due to the COVID-19 corona

The International Olympic Committee announced last month that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games would be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic [File: Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters]

06:30 GMT – Australia to ramp up testing with 10 million more kits

Australia plans to expand screening for the coronavirus after securing 10 million more test kits from China.

Australia, which has been one of the most successful countries in containing COVID-19, has so far carried out around 500,000 tests in a population of 25 million people.

“These 10 million tests will allow our state and territory public health units to be able to test right through 2020, to provide us with the capacity to contain, suppress and defeat the virus,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Melbourne.

Bondi Beach

Surfers prepare to enter the water at Bondi Beach in Sydney as coronavirus pandemic restrictions are eased [Rick Rycroft/AP]

06:00 GMT – Pakistan records second deadliest day of pandemic

Pakistan registered its deadliest day from the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, with 26 people dying of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, taking the country’s death toll to 327 since its outbreak began in late February.

Cases also rose by their highest single-day amount on Tuesday, increasing by 806 to 14,885, of which 11,113 are active cases, as per data collected by Al Jazeera.

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Tuesday was the second consecutive day for Pakistan to have registered its deadliest day, with 20 deaths recorded the day before.

At least 3,425 patients have recovered since the start of the outbreak, government data says.

05:50 GMT – Qatar sends virus aid to Iran and Algeria

Qatar has sent medical supplies to Iran and Algeria to support their fight against the novel coronavirus.

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani ordered urgent medical aid to be sent to Algeria, according to a report by the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA).

The country also sent aid to Iran for the fourth time with some 16 tons of medical supplies, the report added.

05:45 GMT – Hotels in Poland to be open for summer holidays

Hotels in Poland will be open for summer holidays, traditionally held over July and August in the country, government spokesman Piotr Muller told state radio, while adding that the novel coronavirus infections were still on the rise in the country.

On Wednesday, the Polish government is set to announce its decision with regards to re-opening some businesses that were closed until now due to the pandemic.

The government has extended school closures until May 24.

05:40 GMT – Tokyo governor calls to extend nationwide emergency

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has called for an extension of Japan’s nationwide “state of emergency,” which requests people to stay home and social distance, to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Tokyo is still facing a serious situation and so I would like to have it go on longer,” she told reporters.

The state of emergency, declared by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, lasts through May 6.

Japan In Third Week Of Coronavirus State of Emergency

Japan has begun to see a slow down in COVID-19 infections after several weeks under a state of emergency intended, amongst other things, to reduce person-to-person contact  [Carl Court/Getty Images] 

Hello. This is Saba Aziz in Doha, taking over the blog from my colleague Kate Mayberry.


05:15 GMT – Germany to extend tourism travel warning to June 14: Der Spiegel

Germany will announce on Wednesday a warning on overseas tourism will be extended until June 14, according to the the magazine Der Spiegel.

The country is slowly loosening its coronavirus controls but there are concerns the virus is picking up.

Earlier, the Robert Koch Institute announced there were 1,304 more coronavirus cases and 202 more deaths.

04:45 GMT – Cambodia using COVID-19 for bogus arrests: Human Rights Watch

Cambodia is using the COVID-19 outbreak to carry out arbitrary arrests of opposition supporters and government critics, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The group said at least 30 people, including 12 linked to the dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party had been arrested on charges of spreading “fake news” and other offences since the pandemic began.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen is busy tightening his grip on power and throwing political opposition figures and critics in jail while the world is distracted by COVID-19,” deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement. “Peaceful political activity and criticising the government are not crimes, including during a pandemic. The authorities should drop the bogus charges and release those detained.” 

04:00 GMT – Brazil deaths reach record amid deepening Bolsonaro scandal

Brazil’s Health Ministry reported a record 474 people died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 5,017.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who is at the centre of the biggest political storm since he took office last year, had little to say when asked about the escalating coronavirus crisis.

“So what? I’m sorry, but what do you want me to do?” he said when reporters asked about the record deaths.

Bolsonaro on Tuesday named a family friend to head the federal police, days after the country’s justice minister quit and accused the president of meddling in law enforcement. You can read more here.

03:10 GMT – China’s parliament to sit on May 22 after coronavirus delay

China’s parliament will start its key annual session in Beijing on May 22, more than two months later than originally planned because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

China usually ratifies major legislation and unveils economic targets at the parliament, which was initially scheduled to start on March 5.

China’s top political consultative body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, has also proposed to start its annual session on May 21.

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It’s not clear yet how long the two meetings will last. The gatherings usually involve more than 5,000 delegates travelling to Beijing from all over China for at least 10 days, but the capital currently has stricty quarantine rules on anyone entering the city from elsewhere.

02:30 GMT – Winston the pug becomes first dog in US to test positive for coronavirus

A pug named Winston has become the first pet dog in the United States to test positive for the coronavirus.

Winston belongs to a family who are taking part in the Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection research study at Duke University.

A handful of pet cats and dogs have previously been found with the virus.

US dog

Winston is believed to be the first dog in the US to have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans, [Heather Seabury McLean/via Reuters]

02:15 GMT – European countries move towards gradual easing, focus on testing

Several European countries are eyeing a gradual end to their coronavirus lockdowns as infection rates slow and death rates decline.

Governments from France to Spain, Greece and Russia are setting out plans to reopen schools, shops and businesses with many looking to testing and tracing to keep control of the virus. Social distancing measures will remain in force too.

“Our emergence from quarantine will be done step by step,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address. “No one can rule out the risk of the threat rekindling. A return [to normal life] must not lead to a relapse.”

You can read more about what’s going on in each country here.


Employees prepare a coffee shop for reopening as Greece begins a gradual relaxation of its coronavirus lockdown [Alexandros Vllanchos/EPA]

02:05 GMT – Alphabet warns of difficult period for Google advertising business

Alphabet, the company that owns Google, posted double-digit advertising growth in the three months ended March 31 despite the economic slowdown from the novel coronavirus.

But Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat told analysts on Tuesday that while users were searching more, they were looking up less commercial topics, and advertisers were cutting spending.

“As of today, we anticipate the second quarter will be a difficult one for our advertising business,” Porat said.

Porat said search ad revenue had declined by a “mid-teens percentage” by the end of March compared with a year earlier. Impact has more on that story here.

02:00 GMT – China reports 22 new cases of coronavirus, no deaths

China’s National Health Commission says the mainland had 22 new cases of coronavirus for April 28, all but one of them in people who had returned from overseas. 

The total number of deaths remains unchanged at 4,633. 

00:10 GMT – ICRC calls on Asian countries to include migrants in coronavirus response

The International Committee of the Red Cross says governments in the Asia Pacific must “systematically include” migrants, regardless of their legal status in their coronavirus response programmes, and take “all possible measures” to reduce the use of immigration detention.

“Governments in the region should do more for the migrants,” said Christine Cipolla, ICRC regional director for Asia and the Pacific. “It is in their best interest. It saves lives. It protects society as a whole.”

Migrants, including refugees, make up a large proportion of the population in several countries and play a crucial role in the economy, the ICRC statement noted.

23:30 GMT (Tuesday) – US considering coronavirus testing on some international flights

US President Donald Trump says the US is considering testing passengers on international flights for the coronavirus.

“We’re looking at doing it on international flights coming out of areas that are heavily infected,” Trump said at the White House.” He added that the administration was already discussing the plan with airlines and it could be introduced “in the very near future”.

The US has a third of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the world and the most deaths anywhere.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Read all the latest updates from yesterday (April 28) here.

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