India records highest spike in coronavirus cases: Live updates | News

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  • India has reported 6,767 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily jump, taking the overall total to 131,868.
  • Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed coronavirus outbreaks.
  • Turkey announced 32 new COVID-19 deaths and 1,186 infections in the past 24 hours, the highest number of the week, pushing total cases to 55,686 and deaths to 4,308. An Eid al-Fitr weekend lockdown has been imposed.
  • More than 5.3 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus to date, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 342,000 people have died, while more than two million have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, May 24

12:28 GMT – 53 workers at AngloGold Ashanti mine in South Africa confirmed with coronavirus

Underground production at AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine in South Africa will remain closed until further notice after 53 employees tested positive for the coronavirus, a provincial health department has said in a statement.

The mine, the deepest in the world, restarted operations on April 22 after closing entirely during a nationwide lockdown, and was operating at 50 percent capacity.

12:07 GMT – Philippine public warned of claims of anti-viral drug

The Philippine health department has warned the public against social media posts claiming that an anti-viral drug developed by a Filipino doctor can cure or protect people against the coronavirus.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a cease-and-desist order against the use of the Fabunan anti-viral injection, amid reports that more people were getting the medication, said Health
Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“To date, there has not been any record of the (Fabunan anti-viral injection) applying with the FDA,” the Department of Health said in a statement.

“The department will continue to update our people of any scientifically proven developments in our fight against COVID-19,” it added.

11:52 GMT – In Pictures: Eid al-Fitr in the time of coronavirus

Subdued Eid celebrations are held across the Muslim world as many people mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan under lockdown.

View the photo gallery here.

Palestinians attend Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a mosque in Gaza City [Khalil Hamra/AP]

11:40 GMT – A lonely Eid al-Fitr under a highway in Jakarta

Workers in the Indonesian capital struggle to earn a living and support their families amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read about it here.

Jessica Washigton photos - Jakarta

Before the pandemic and the lockdown, horse carriage workers earned about $30-40 a day [Jessica Washington/Al Jazeera]

11:27 GMT – Iran: Death toll nears 7,500

Iran has confirmed 58 more fatalities from coronavirus over the past day, bringing the nationwide death toll to 7,417.

Another 2,180 people tested positive for coronavirus, raising the overall count to 135,701, the Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

11:08 GMT – First signs if a COVID-19 vaccine works possible in autumn: GAVI

First indications of the effectiveness of a potential vaccine against coronavirus may be available in the autumn, the head of the GAVI vaccine alliance has told a Swiss newspaper, predicting a long road from there to broad availability.

“Unfortunately, we really do not know which vaccine will work and whether there will be one at all. If we’re lucky, we’ll receive indications in autumn as to (a potential vaccine’s) effectiveness,” GAVI head Seth Berkley told NZZ am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday.

“But there will still be a long way to go from there until an approved active substance becomes available in large quantities for the global population.”


11:04 GMT – Lyon boss calls French League’s halt to Ligue 1 ‘stupid’

Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas lashed out at the French football league for ending the Ligue 1 soccer season early, calling the decision “stupid”.

Aulas spoke after La Liga on Saturday got the Spanish government’s green light to resume play. Matches will likely begin on June 12, according to League president Javier Tebas.

“In the past two months, the Spanish officials have been observing and working with UEFA,” Aulas told L’Equipe on Sunday, referring to European soccer’s governing body.

“What is paradoxical is that Javier Tebas, in particular, attended the same meetings as (French League director-general) Didier Quillot, notably that of April 23.”

“In fact, what was said at that meeting with UEFA is ‘patience’. When we see that our officials attended this meeting and drew different conclusions, one can feel that we are really too stupid.”

10:58 GMT – Chinese Foreign Ministry says ‘political virus’ spreading across US

China’s Foreign Ministry has said US politicians are spreading “lies” and “conspiracy theories” regarding Beijing’s role in the pandemic, while calling on the two countries to cooperate in fighting the virus.

“It’s most regrettable that while the coronavirus is still out there, the political virus is also spreading in the US and jumping at any opportunity to attack and slander China,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a press conference on the sidelines of China’s parliamentary session, the National People’s Congress.

Wang added that some US politicians “ignore the basic facts and make up countless lies and conspiracy theories concerning China”.

China National People’s Congress focuses on economic recovery

10:54 GMT – Lufthansa to resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June

Lufthansa, which is in talks with the German government over a nine billion euro ($9.8bn) bailout, will resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June, including some holiday hot-spots, a spokeswoman has said.

The destinations include Mallorca, Crete, Rhodes, Faro, Venice, Ibiza and Malaga, the spokeswoman said, adding flights would depart from the airline’s main hub in Frankfurt.

Further destinations will be unveiled at the end of next week, she said.

10:51 GMT – UK PM Johnson’s adviser Cummings will not resign: minister

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who drove 400km (250 miles) to northern England while coronavirus lockdown measures were in place, will not resign, Transport Minister Grant Shapps has said.

“Is he going to resign?” BBC presenter Andrew Marr asked during an interview.

“No,” Shapps said.

Several lawmakers from Johnson’s Conservative Party called on Sunday morning for Cummings to quit.

09:32 GMT – Malaysia reports 60 new coronavirus cases

Malaysia has reported 60 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 7,245, the health ministry has said.

The number of deaths remained unchanged at 115, it said.

09:31 GMT – UK aims to reopen primary schools from June 1

The United Kingdom’s government intends to stick with a plan to reopen primary schools to some pupils from June 1, Transport Minister Grant Shapps has said.

“That’s certainly the intention,” he told Sky News.

The government faces opposition to the plan from some teachers and labour unions.

09:30 GMT – Indian states seek delay in restarting flights as coronavirus cases rise

Three large Indian states have sought to delay the planned opening of their airports on Monday as new cases of the coronavirus jumped by a record, complicating the federal government’s plan to resume flights after a two-month lockdown.

Airlines are preparing to resume about a third of their domestic flight operations from Monday, even without clarity over which states will allow flights or what quarantine rules may apply to passengers.

9:00 GMT – India reports 6,767 coronavirus cases, highest daily jump

India has reported 6,767 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily jump, taking the overall total to 131,868, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

At least 147 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of deaths to 3,867.

According to NDTV (New Delhi Television), Sunday marks the third consecutive day that India has recorded more than 6,000 coronavirus cases with a record number of new patients each day.

08:20 GMT – China ‘open’ to international effort to identify virus source: FM

China is “open” to international cooperation to identify the source of the coronavirus, China’s foreign minister has said.

But any investigation must be “free of political interference”, Wang Yi said at a press conference, blasting what he called efforts by US politicians to “fabricate rumours” about the pathogen’s origins and “stigmatise China”.

He added that World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has done a good job and countries with decency will support the body.

08:05 GMT – Iranian 107-year-old woman recovers from coronavirus

A 107-year-old Iranian woman who was infected with the new coronavirus has recovered, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency has reported.

The woman, Saltanat Akbari, was admitted to the Khansari hospital in the central city of Arak. She was released from the hospital after spending “some time” in isolation.

“She defeated the virus with the help of doctors and nurses at the hospital,” Fars said.


08:03 GMT – Those who want China to pay coronavirus compensation are daydreaming: Diplomat

Those who want to make China pay compensation for the coronavirus outbreak are daydreaming, the Chinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi has said.

07:54 GMT – Russia records 153 coronavirus deaths, highest daily toll yet

Russia has reported 153 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, the epidemic’s highest daily toll, raising the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 3,541, the country’s coronavirus crisis response centre has said.

It also said 8,599 new cases had been documented, fewer than on the previous day, pushing the total number of infections to 344,481.

07:42 GMT – Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher reopens

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in occupied East Jerusalem has reopened to visitors after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Christian authorities managing the site closed it to visitors in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but religious leaders maintained prayers inside the shuttered church throughout its closure.

On Sunday, church authorities limited entrance to 50 people at a time, and required that those entering the cavernous site maintain social distance and avoid touching any of the church’s stones, icons or other religious items.

07:38 GMT – UK PM adviser Cummings must quit over lockdown drive: Conservative lawmaker

Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who travelled 400km (250 miles) to northern England during lockdown while his wife showed COVID-19 symptoms, must resign, a lawmaker from the Prime Minister’s Conservative Party has said.

“It is intolerable that Boris’ government is losing so much political capital,” Steve Baker wrote on Twitter. “Dominic Cummings must go.”

Cummings said on Saturday he had behaved reasonably and within the law.

07:24 GMT – Singapore confirms 548 more cases

Singapore’s health ministry says it has confirmed 548 more coronavirus cases, taking its overall number of infections to 31,616.

The vast majority of the newly infected people are migrant workers living in dormitories, the ministry said in a statement. Three are permanent residents.

07:14 GMT – Muslims pray outside Al-Aqsa Mosque

Muslims prayed outside the closed gates leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City as the holy site remained closed amid coronavirus restrictions over the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Israeli police, some in riot gear, guarded the entrances to the compound.

Most virus restrictions have been lifted in Jerusalem, but the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound remains closed until after Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Eid al-Fitr prayer in Jerusalem

Israeli police stand guard in front of one of the gates to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Palestinian Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer in occupied East Jerusalem [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

07:10 GMT – Australia PM pushes jobs, Victoria to resume tourism

Australia’s prime minister has stressed the need to create jobs as a way to minimise government welfare spending, while the country’s second-most populous state Victoria set out measures to resume tourism.

“Whether it’s how we access markets, how we deliver assistance, whether it’s to bushfire affected communities … the thing that gets Australia back to where we want to be is making jobs,” Scott Morrison told reporters.

These are his first comments since the Treasury Department flagged last week that Australia had vastly overestimated the initial costs of its coronavirus wage subsidy scheme.

06:30 GMT – Coronavirus kills more than 22,000 people in Brazil

Brazil has confirmed 22,013 deaths from the new coronavirus after 965 more deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

According to the Health Ministry data, the number of cases jumped to 347,398 with 16,508 new cases registered.

Brazil, which has the largest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Latin America, is the second country with the highest number of cases in the world after the US.

06:15 GMT – Thailand records no new cases for fourth time this month

Thailand has reported no new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, keeping the total at 3,040 confirmed cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak began in January.

Sunday was the fourth day in this month that there were no new daily cases, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, a spokeswoman for the government’s coronavirus taskforce.

There are 2,921 patients who have recovered and returned home since the outbreak started.

This picture taken on May 22, 2020 shows people eating at tables with plastic dividers, as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, at the Srinagarindra Train Night M

People eat at tables with plastic dividers as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus in Bangkok [Lillian Suwanrumpha/ AFP]

06:00 GMT

Hello, this is Mersiha Gadzo in Doha taking over the live updates from my colleague Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur.

04:36 GMT – Australia use apps to trace coronavirus infections

Government officials say six million Australians have downloaded a mobile phone app that helps health authorities trace coronavirus infections.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the COVIDSafe app is playing a strong role in Australia’s response to the pandemic and several countries have expressed interest in learning from the positive experience.

The government has said at least 40 percent of Australia’s 26 million people need to use the app for it to be effective. There are approximately 17 million mobile phones in Australia. If a user is diagnosed, the app works to identify other users who have been in close proximity for 15 minutes or more in the previous three weeks.

03:38 GMT – China confirms three new coronavirus cases

China on Sunday reported three new confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Two of the cases had arrived from outside the country, and one had been locally transmitted in the northeastern province of Jilin, which had experienced a minor outbreak.

No new deaths were reported, and 79 people remain in treatment, with another 380 under isolation. China has reported a total of 4,634 COVID-19 deaths out of 82,974 cases.

03:10 GMT – South Korea reports 25 new cases, total at 11,190

South Korea reported 25 more cases of the new coronavirus as health officials try to bring mass infections tied to Seoul’s nightlife district of Itaewon under control, Yonhap news agency reported.

The total number of cases recorded to date has reached 11,190, while its death toll remained unchanged at 266, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

Eight of the new cases came from overseas, and 17 are local infections, the statement said. The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 10,213, up 19 from a day earlier.

03:04 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 431 to 178,281

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 431 to 178,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The tally showed the reported death toll rising by 31 to 8,247, Reuters news agency reported. 

02:30 GMT – Indonesia marks Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan 

Muslims in Indonesia are marking a muted holiday of Eid al-Fitr, usually a joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar.

The world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, with more than 240 million people, has reported nearly 22,000 infections and 1,350 fatalities, the most in Southeast Asia.

It means no congregational prayers at mosques and open fields, no family reunions, no relatives bearing gifts for children.


Indonesians after Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end the holy fasting month of Ramadan, amid the spread of COVID-19 in Bekasi, on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta [Willy Kurniawan/Reuters]

01:57 GMT – New York Times front page lists virus victims; US deaths near 100,000

US newspaper The New York Times devoted its entire front page on Sunday to a list of the names of people who died in the coronavirus pandemic.

The names and brief descriptions culled from nationwide obituaries fill six columns under the headline: “US Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss,” with a sub-headline reading: “They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us.”

The all-text list takes the place of the usual articles, photographs and graphics in an effort to convey the vastness and variety of lives lost, according to Simone Landon, assistant editor of the graphics desk.

A tally kept by Johns Hopkins University says more than 97,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the US, while the Worldometers website showed more than 98,000 US deaths.

01:35 GMT – Mexico tally now at 65,856 coronavirus cases, 7,179 deaths

Mexican health authorities registered 3,329 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the country and 190 new deaths, Reuters news agency reported, quoting a health official. The total number of cases in the country has hit 65,856 with at least 7,179 deaths. 

01:01 GMT – Oxford’s vaccine trial has 50-percent chance of success: Report

The University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has only a 50-percent chance of success as coronavirus cases ebb in the UK, the professor co-leading the development of the vaccine told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Adrian Hill, director of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, which teamed up with drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to develop the vaccine, ChAdOx1, said an upcoming trial involving 10,000 volunteers threatened to return “no result” due to low COVID-19 transmission in the community.

“At the moment, there’s a 50-percent chance that we get no result at all,” Hill told the British newspaper. Human trials of the vaccine started in April.

00:40 GMT – Greece reports two coronavirus deaths

Two deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Greece during the last 24-hour period, bringing the death toll to 171, AP news agency reported, quoting health authorities.

Another three infections have been recorded since Friday afternoon, raising the nation’s total to 2,876. The number of patients on ventilators stands at 20, while 99 have left intensive care.

Greek authorities say they have administered 152,998 tests for the disease.

00:10 GMT – Brazil registers 965 new coronavirus deaths, cases hit 347,398

Brazil registered 965 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of deaths to 22,013, the Ministry of Health said.

The country now has 347,398 confirmed cases, according to the ministry, up 16,508 from Friday, when it surpassed Russia to become the world’s virus hot spot behind the US.

00:01 GMT – Argentina extends Buenos Aires lockdown until June 7

Argentina extended a mandatory lockdown for the capital, Buenos Aires, until June 7, President Alberto Fernandez has announced, after the city saw a steady increase of coronavirus cases in recent days.

Argentina’s lockdown, which was due to expire on Sunday, has been in place since March 20, though officials relaxed restrictions in some areas of the country.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

You can find all the updates from yesterday, May 23, here.

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