New Zealand’s Health Ministry says the country, which implemented one of the toughest lockdowns anywhere in the world, no longer has any active cases of coronavirus. The last case of the disease was reported on May 22.
Coronavirus restrictions are being relaxed in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta as well as in India. New York is also due to begin emerging from its lockdown on Monday.
More than 7 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have coronavirus with nearly 403,000 dying from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US, the UK and Brazil have recorded the highest death tolls.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, June 8
05:30 GMT –
I’ll be handing over the blog to my colleagues in Doha shortly. Before I go, a quick recap on developments this morning.
There’s a great deal of happiness in New Zealand which has managed to stop community transmission of the coronavirus and will return to a nearly-normal life in a few hours time. Globally, the picture doesn’t seem quite so encouraging with the number of cases now in excess of 7 million and the Americas the epicentre of the pandemic. Some countries are looking to reopen though – the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, loosened restrictions on Monday morning.
05:05 GMT – Sugar rush at Brazil port of Santos
More than 70 ships are lined up at the Brazilian port of Santos waiting to load some 3 million tonnes of sugar as the coronavirus complicates efforts to fulfil a a rush of orders as a result of poor harvests in India and Thailand.
Reuters news agency says the queue could take as long as a month to clear.
“It is mayhem in Santos,” one sugar trader told the news agency.
Traders are worried how the ships will be cleared with Brazil now reporting the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
“The situation has been complicated by the virus,” said Stephen Geldart, head of analysis at Czarnikov Group, a food supply chain services company. “Everyone is nervous about what happens if vessels are unable to berth or load quickly.”
05:00 GMT – No local transmission for two weeks in Thailand
There has been no local transmission of coronavirus in Thailand for the past two weeks, with all 77 cases over the last 14 days imported from overseas.
Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration says the authorities confirmed seven new cases of the disease on Monday with no deaths. All the cases were among people returning from overseas and were quarantined, he said.
04:35 GMT – Hong Kong announces certain quarantine exemptions
Hong Kong has announced quota-based exemptions to compulsory quarantine for directors and executives of certain listed companies who travel to mainland China.
Eligible companies must apply for the exemption and those who travel will be subject to a number of conditions. A maximum of two directors and executives can be nominated each calendar month.
“We strive to balance the need of safeguarding public health and promoting Hong Kong’s economic development,” Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, said in a statement.
“The new scheme will facilitate directors or executives of sizable Hong Kong-listed companies to perform business activities that are essential to their operation. This is conducive to maintaining the normal business operation of these enterprises under the very dynamic and challenging business environment.”
04:05 GMT – South Korea new coronavirus cases slow, focus on Seoul
New cases of coronavirus have slowed in South Korea but concerns remain over a second wave of the outbreak in Seoul as the country entered the final phase of its plan to reopen schools.
On Monday morning, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 38 new cases compared with 57 the day before, according to Yonhap news agency.
Of the 38 new cases, 33 were locally-transmitted – all of them in the Seoul metropolitan area. Distancing restrictions that had been relaxed have recently been tightened again.
03:10 GMT – New Zealand to lift last COVID-19 curbs at midnight, borders stay closed
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is speaking now.
She has announced that New Zealand will lift its last remaining restrictions to curb the coronavirus at midnight (12:00 GMT) when the country will return to Level 1 on its four level system of alerts.
Ardern said New Zealand had introduced a strict lockdown 75 days ago with the aim of getting to a level “where life feels as normal as it can in the midst of a global pandemic. Today, I can announce that Cabinet has agreed we can now move to Level 1.”
International borders will remain closed given the challenge of COVID-19 around the world.
“There’s no denying this is a milestone,” Ardern said. “Thank you, New Zealand.”
03:05 GMT – Guatemala’s president to work remotely after 18 staff get coronavirus
Guatemala’s president Alejandro Giammattei says he will work remotely after 18 members of his office and security detail were diagnosed with coronavirus.
“I and the vice president will carry out our activities remotely,” he said in a televised address. “We’ve been tested. We don’t have coronavirus.”
The presidential office will be deep-cleaned and disinfected.
02:35 GMT – Honduras extends curfew by a week to June 14
Honduras has extended its coronavirus curfew by one week until June 14. The extension was announced on television by security ministry spokesman Jair Meza as the Central American country was due to begin a gradual reopening of its economy.
01:30 GMT – New Zealand clear of coronavirus as last patient leaves hospital
New Zealand has confirmed it is clear of coronavirus with no new cases of the virus reported and no active cases.
The last patient was released from isolation after showing no symptoms for 48 hours.
“This is really good news for the person concerned and it’s also something the rest of New Zealand can take heart from,” Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement. The last reported case of coronavirus in New Zealand was on 22 May.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to give an update on New Zealand’s lockdown at 3pm local time (03:00 GMT).
Today we can announce that there are now no active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand! Read our full update at https://t.co/YYbSSBzUJC pic.twitter.com/GEMQ1QghgA
— Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora (@minhealthnz) June 8, 2020
#BREAKING After weeks without a single person contracting the virus, New Zealand’s last remaining active Covid-19 case — has recovered!
Today, Kiwis have achieved something many of the world’s most powerful nations may only ever dream of.https://t.co/pDQBRKlwwX pic.twitter.com/W1nYl3eEu6
— nzherald (@nzherald) June 8, 2020
00:20 GMT – Vietnam reports two new cases – both imported
Vietnam has reported two new cases of coronavirus. Both were returning from Mexico and have been quarantined.
The country has not had a domestically transmitted case of coronavirus in 53 days.
00:00 GMT – More countries loosen restrictions despite high caseloads
Offices, restaurants and places of worship will start opening in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta from Monday, providing they operate at only 50 percent of capacity. Public transport will also operate at 50 percent capacity while shopping centres will be able to reopen next week.
India is also further relaxing its lockdown, even as case numbers surge. In Delhi, which has about 10 percent of India’s 246,628 confirmed cases, authorities earlier ordered hospital beds be reserved solely for the city’s residents.
23:30 GMT – Chile death toll jumps sharply as data consolidated
Chile has revised its coronavirus death toll sharply higher after reviewing death registry data and information from laboratories carrying out COVID-19 tests and consolidating the list.
Health Minister Jaime Manalich reported 653 deaths from COVID-19 bringing the total toll to 2,290. Of the 653, 96 were new deaths.
“This is an adjustment we have to make and report, a commitment to legitimacy especially when we’ve made a huge effort to search additional databases for information not present in the databases we were using before,” it said.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (Sunday) here.