Health authorities in Spain have reported no new deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours for the first time in nearly three months.
Coronavirus cases in Iran have jumped by nearly 3,000, its highest daily count in two months, while China also saw its biggest daily rise in infections in three weeks.
Residents of Moscow are now allowed to go out for a walk – for the first time in more than two months, while the United Kingdom has also relaxed some of its lockdown measures, despite concerns among the government’s scientific advisory body.
Latin America’s death toll has exceeded 50,000 with some one million cases reported across the region.
More than 6.18 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 372,000 people have died, including more than 104,000 in the US. At least 2.64 million have recovered globally.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, June 1
20:20 GMT – Canada to fast-track C$2.2 billion for infrastructure to cash-strapped municipalities
Canada’s cash-strapped municipalities will receive C$2.2 billion ($1.62 billion) in fast-tracked federal infrastructure funding to help cover funding shortfalls in budgets battered during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
The one-time payment will be delivered in June through the federal Gas Tax Fund, Trudeau told his daily press briefing. As of Monday, Canada had 91,351 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease cause by the novel coronavirus, and had reported 7,305 deaths, according to official data.
Municipalities will have flexibility to use the funding to meet local needs, including for projects like boosting access to high-speed broadband or improving roads and water systems, Trudeau said.
“From testing clinics to programs for seniors, cities and towns provide essential services, so it’s crucial that they have the resources they need,” he told reporters.
19:35 GMT – US Senate leader hopes for quick passage of House coronavirus small business bill
US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he hoped the Senate would soon pass legislation already passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives easing terms of the coronavirus small-business loan program.
“I hope and anticipate the Senate will soon take up and pass legislation that just passed the House, by an overwhelming vote of 417 to one, to further strengthen the Paycheck Protection Program so it continues working for small businesses that need our help,” McConnell, a Republican, said.
19:15 GMT – WHO chief: UN agency wishes to continue collaborating with US
Three days after US President Donald Trump said he was withdrawing from the World Health Organization, the UN agency’s head publicly expressed the desire to continue working together.
“It is WHO’s wish for this collaboration to continue,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at an online press conference, adding that US governments had done a lot for health around the world over decades.
Trump on Friday said the US will withdraw from the WHO and accused the UN agency of failing to enact reforms in the face of US concerns over its handling of the pandemic and that it put too much faith in information from China, where the outbreak originated.
Trump had already announced a halt in funding to the WHO, a decision met with dismay by other countries and health experts.
18:40 GMT – Coronavirus infections yet to peak in Central, South America: WHO
The coronavirus pandemic has not yet reached its peak in South and Central America, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned, adding it could not predict when it would happen.
“South and Central America, in particular, have very much become the intense zones of transmission,” said WHO expert Michael Ryan.
“I don’t believe we have reached the peak in that transmission. At this point I cannot predict when we will,” he added.
Brazil, Peru, Chile and Mexico are the countries with the highest numbers of newly recorded coronavirus cases, he said. Countries in the region “need our support, they need our solidarity,” he added.
He said there were good examples of countries where the government and society fought together against the virus, as well as others where there was “a weakness,” without naming any specific countries.
18:30 GMT – Nearly 26,000 nursing home COVID-19 deaths reported to feds
Federal health authorities have received reports of nearly 26,000 nursing home residents dying from COVID-19, according to materials prepared for the nation’s governors. That number is partial and likely to go higher.
A letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 60,000 cases of coronavirus illness among nursing home residents.
The numbers, which had been promised by the end of May, are partial. The letter said the data are based on reports received from about 80% of the nation’s 15,400 nursing homes.
18:15 GMT – French healthy ministry urges people to continue exercising caution
French health ministry has said people should continue applying protective measures against the new coronavirus outbreak even as the number of cases in hospitals and intensive care continues to fall.
It said in a statement that as France readies for a second phase of the easing of restrictive measures from Tuesday, with parks, bars and restaurants expected to reopen, the “good news should not make us forget the danger of the virus.”
It said in a daily update that 18,506 coronavirus deaths have been reported in hospital since march 1, while there were still 14,288 cases in hospital on Monday, a slight drop from 14,322 on Sunday.
17:30 GMT – UK contact tracing, system has spare capacity, says minister
Britain’s new coronavirus test-and-trace system is working well and some of the thousands of contact-tracers who have been recruited are not yet fully occupied, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
“The system is up and running, it’s successful. I am very glad to report that those who are asked to isolate by the contact-tracers are expressing the willingness to do so,” Hancock said during the government’s daily coronavirus briefing.
“We have more capacity than we need and this is a good thing.”
Hancock did not give any data on the number of people who have been contacted under the new system. The national coordinator, John Newton, said the numbers of contacts being identified were “high”.
17:10 GMT – Turkey reopens most public places after coronavirus lockdown
Turkey has reopened restaurants and cafes in addition to many other public areas, as the government further eased coronavirus restrictions on Monday.
Many other facilities – including parks, beaches, swimming pools, gyms, libraries and museums – reopened across the country.
Istanbul’s iconic 15th-century Grand Bazaar market also reopened while millions of public sector employees returned to work.
Read more here.
16:45 GMT – WHO: No evidence to suggest coronavirus is becoming more potent
There is no evidence the new coronavirus has been altering either in its form of transmission or severity of the disease it causes, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert have said.
“In terms of transmissibility, that has not changed, in terms of severity, that has not changed,” Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, told a media briefing.
“What’s important is that there are measures in place to reduce and to suppress transmission.”
16:15 GMT – Italy coronavirus deaths rise by 60 to 33,475, total cases 233,197
Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy have climbed by 60, against 75 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases fell to just 178 from 355 on Sunday.
The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 33,475, the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
The number of confirmed cases amounts to 233,197, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Brazil, Spain and Britain.
People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 41,367 from 42,075 the day before.
There were 424 people in intensive care on Monday, down from 435 on Sunday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 158,355 were declared recovered against 157,507 a day earlier.
The agency said 2.452 million people had been tested for the virus as of Monday, against 2.434 million on Sunday, out of a population of around 60 million.
16:00 GMT – Nigeria to relax coronavirus restrictions on places of worship
Nigeria will relax restrictions on places of worship that were imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the chairman of the presidential task force for COVID-19 has said.
Boss Mustapha, in a speech to journalists in the capital Abuja, also said a lockdown in the northern city of Kano would be eased. He said in both cases the easing of restrictions would take effect from Tuesday.
15:25 GMT – Spain reports no new coronavirus deaths
Spain has reported no new coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time since March.
Emergency health response chief Fernando Simón said the development is “very, very encouraging.” He told a news conference there were only 71 new infection over the past 24 hours.
“We are in a very good place in the evolution of the pandemic,” Simón said. “The statistics are following a trend. They are going the right direction.”
Spain reported its first two deaths on March 3. Another was reported two days later. Spain’s number of infections and death jumped exponentially. On April 2, it recorded 950 deaths in 24 hours – the peak death toll.
The official death toll now stands at 27,127, with 240,000 confirmed cases.
14:20 GMT – Italian football authorities consider allowing fans into stadiums in July
Italian footballing authorities are considering the possibility of allowing fans into stadiums starting next month.
The Italian league is set to resume on June 20 with no spectators allowed. There are also strict rules limiting the number of people in the stadium to 300. That includes both teams, staff and journalists.
Italian media are reporting that the football federation could discuss the possibility of increasing that number and permitting a vastly reduced number of fans.
Federation president Gabriele Gravina says “it’s something I really wish for with all my heart.”
Gravina says “it’s unthinkable that in a stadium that can hold 60,000 there’s not space for a small percentage of fans with the necessary precautions.”
14:05 GMT – Chile to see ‘very significant drop’ in economy: Finance minister
Chile´s finance minister Ignacio Briones said he expects a “very significant drop” in the country´s economy in May as measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus hammer output in the South American nation
Chile’s death toll from the coronavirus on Sunday surged past the 1,000 mark, after a sudden increase in the number of cases over the last two weeks, making it one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in Latin America.
13:55 GMT – UK finance minister says we’re getting our lives back without a ‘big bang’
British finance minister Rishi Sunak has said that people were starting to get their lives back to normal as the government eased the coronavirus lockdown.
“Slowly we are going to get our lives back to normal,” Sunak told reporters at a street market where he bought lunch.
“We are now at the stage of that plan when we can get our lives a little bit more back to normal – but that is not an overnight, big bang thing – it is measured, progressive. We are doing it in a safe and responsible way.
“Hopefully at the beginning of July we will be able to get many more restaurants and pubs open as well,” he said. “People should have the confidence to go out there and get their lives a little bit more back to normal.”
13:45 GMT – UK quarantine to go ahead but looking at ‘air bridges’: PM Johnson’s spokesman
Britain still intends to go ahead with a COVID-19 quarantine later this month for those arriving in the United Kingdom but is looking at “air bridges” with certain countries, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday.
“It’s something we’ve said we’re looking at and that remains the case,” the spokesman said. “We’ve set out the reasons why we believe (quarantine) is a necessary step: its intention is to control the spread of the virus and protect the British public.”
With the government easing some lockdown measures from Monday, the spokesman also said that if the public followed social distancing guidelines, it was unlikely to lead to a spike in infections.
But he said measures could be reimposed if there were local outbreaks.
13:40 GMT – Russian PM says there are ‘grounds for cautious optimism’
There are grounds for cautious optimism in Russia about the country’s coronavirus outbreak, where the situation remains stable, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has said.
Russia has reported 414,878 cases of the novel coronavirus and 4,855 deaths.
Hi, This is Ramy Allahoum in Doha taking over the blog from my colleague Saba Aziz.
12:30 GMT –
I will be handing over the blog to another colleague in Doha shortly. Here is a quick summary of the day’s developments:
Several countries, including the Philippines, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Russia, have eased lockdown restrictions.
Turkey has resumed air and road travel between big cities.
According to a new survey, WHO says the global pandemic is severely disrupting treatment for non-communicable diseases.
12:15 GMT – Visitors tour Rome’s newly reopened landmarks
A long line of masked visitors were seen outside the Vatican Museums as one of Italy’s biggest tourist draws reopened after a three-month coronavirus shutdown.
Across town, Rome’s other big attraction – the Colosseum – also opened its ancient doors, but it appeared there were more television crews than tourists on hand.
“This is a symbolic moment for Rome and for Italy,” the director of the Archaeological Park at the Colosseum, Alfonsina Russo, said.
12:00 GMT – Coronavirus case confirmed in UAE jail
A detainee at a jail in the United Arab Emirates has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being denied treatment, a rights group has said.
Abduallah al-Shamsi, an Omani citizen, was diagnosed with the virus at Abu Dhabi’s al-Wathba prison after showing symptoms, the International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE (ICFUAE) said in a statement.
The group called on Emirati authorities to “release all prisoners of conscience and conditionally release those who were in contact with al-Shamsi or suffer serious or terminal illnesses so they can self-isolate in a safe environment with access to healthcare”.
11:30 GMT – WHO: Pandemic disrupting health services for cancer, diabetes
The World Health Organization has said about half of the countries surveyed in a new analysis have had partial or complete disruption of services for people with high blood pressure and diabetes treatment during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a survey of 155 countries last month, the UN health agency found worrying problems in the provision of health care for people with non-communicable diseases, many of whom are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19.
“Many people who need treatment for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have not been receiving the health services and medicines they need since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement.
11:20 GMT – Thailand reopens some beaches
People returned to some of Thailand’s famed sandy beaches, keeping well apart but enjoying the outdoors, as authorities eased some coronavirus restrictions for the first time in more than two months.
In Pattaya, visitors marvelled at the clarity of the turquoise-blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand, as pensioners eager for exercise promenaded along the beach. But, beaches in Phuket, in the south, are still off-limits.
Local authorities have ordered beachgoers to stay at least a metre (three feet) apart.
10:30 GMT – Iran’s coronavirus cases hit two-month high
Iran has reported almost 3,000 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily count in two months, as it warned of “another dangerous peak” in the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak.
“People seem to think the coronavirus is over… some officials also believe everything” is back to normal, said Health Minister Saeed Namaki.
“The coronavirus is not only far from over, but we could at any moment see (another) dangerous peak,” he said in a televised interview.
Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour raised Iran’s caseload to 154,445 with 2,979 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours.
10:15 GMT – Spain’s tourism revenue nearly halves amid lockdown
No tourists travelled to Spain in April because of the coronavirus lockdown, dragging income from the key sector down by just about half in the first four months of the year, the National Statistics Office (INE) said.
Tourists only spent 11.7 billion euros ($13.02bn) between January and April, 48 percent lower than a year ago, the INE said.
Spain, which entered into lockdown mid-March to contain the pandemic, welcomed only 10.58 million tourists in these four months, half of the visitors that travelled there during the same period last year.
10:00 GMT – From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics
On March 11, the WHO declared the new coronavirus a pandemic.
Check out our interactive to find out more about the past pandemics that shook the world.
09:30 GMT – India orders airlines to keep middle seat vacant if passenger load permits
Airlines have been ordered to keep the middle seat empty if passenger load factors and seat capacity allow for it, India’s aviation regulator said in a notice to domestic and international carriers.
However, members of the same family would be allowed to sit together, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in its notice, the Reuters News Agency reported.
If a seat between two passengers is occupied, the DGCA said, the person in that seat must be provided with additional safety gear such as a ‘wrap-around gown’ apart from the face mask and face shield that airlines already have to provide to everyone on board.
08:50 GMT – Philippines sees traffic jams as lockdown eased
Traffic jams and crowds of commuters have returned to the Philippine capital, as the metropolis relaxed anti-virus measures in a high-stakes gamble to slowly reopen the economy while fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Commuter trains, taxis, ride-sharing cars, special shuttle buses and motorcycles rumbled back on the road in metropolitan Manila but were only allowed to carry a fraction of their capacity as a safeguard.
Public transport was still limited by the relaxed rules and many commuters waited for hours to get a ride despite the government’s deployment of buses.
08:45 GMT – Turkey resumes domestic flights, opens Grand Bazaar
Flights and car travel resumed between Turkey’s big cities while cafes, restaurants and Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar reopened in the country’s biggest step to ease restrictions taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The first passenger plane took off from Istanbul for the capital, Ankara. There were a total of 156 passengers on the Turkish Airlines plane, state news agency Anadolu reported.
Only a limited number of flights are restarting for now, from Istanbul to the Aegean city of Izmir, the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya and the Black Sea city of Trabzon.
08:30 GMT – Greece lifts lockdown on hotels, primary schools
Greece has lifted lockdown restrictions for hotels, open-air cinemas, golf courses and public swimming pools as the country ramped up preparations for the crucial summer tourism season to start in two weeks. Primary school children also returned to class.
Strict public safety measures have kept Greece’s COVID-19 infection rate low with 2,917 cases. The country has seen only 175 virus-related deaths, according to the health ministry.
International flights with screening procedures will return to Athens and Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki starting on June 15, and will be expanded to the rest of the country on July 1.
08:15 GMT – China accuses US of selfishness over cutting ties with WHO
China has accused the United States of “selfishness” after President Donald Trump said he would terminate the US relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The international community generally disagrees with such US acts of selfishness, evasion of responsibility, and undermining of international cooperation against the epidemic,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular news briefing.
Washington and Beijing have repeatedly clashed over the pandemic and on Friday Trump said he would sever ties with the UN health body, which he had previously accused of being too lenient with China.
08:00 GMT – Japanese MotoGP round cancelled due to pandemic
Japan will not have a MotoGP round for the first time since 1986 after organisers cancelled the October 18 race at Motegi due to the COVID-19 pandemic that will keep the series in Europe until mid-November.
The race is a home one for champions Honda as well as manufacturers Yamaha and Suzuki. It is the sixth on the 2020 calendar to be cancelled this year.
Read here to find out which other sporting events have been cancelled because of the pandemic.
07:45 GMT – Latest coronavirus figures
Russia: 414,878 cases (9,035), 4,855 deaths (162)
Singapore: 35,292 cases (408), 23 deaths (0)
Germany: 181,815 (333), 8,511 deaths (11)
07:30 GMT – UK reopens markets and some schools
English schools are reopening for the first time since they were shut 10 weeks ago because of the coronavirus pandemic, but many parents planned to keep children at home amid fears ministers were moving too fast.
The easing of strict measures will mean classes will restart for some younger children, up to six people can meet outside in England, outdoor markets can reopen, elite competitive sport can resume without spectators and more than two million of the most vulnerable will now be allowed to spend time outdoors.
Read more here.
07:00 GMT – Armenian PM tests positive for COVID-19
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has revealed that he and his family have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“I didn’t have any symptoms, I decided to take a test as I was planning to visit the frontline,” he said during a Facebook live video, adding that his whole family was infected.
Armenia, with a population of 3 million, has so far registered 9,402 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 139 deaths.
Read more here.
06:40 GMT – South Africa partly lifts lockdown, schools’ reopening postponed
South Africa has partly lifted a two month-old coronavirus lockdown, letting people outside for work, worship, exercise or shopping, and allowing mines and factories to run at full capacity to try to revive the economy.
The government hopes Monday’s move to “level 3” lockdown will sputter businesses to a start.
However, the reopening of schools for the last years of primary and secondary school has been postponed by a week after concerns raised by the teachers’ union about insufficient protective equipment.
Read more here.
06:30 GMT – Primark to open all stores in England on June 15
Fashion retailer Primark is working to reopen all its 153 stores in England on June 15, in line with the country’s easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, its owner Associated British Foods said.
Primark is currently trading from 112 stores across Europe and the United States, representing 34 percent of its total selling space. By June it is planning to have 281 stores open or 79 percent of selling space.
06:20 GMT – India climbs to 7th biggest outbreak in world
India has registered 230 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 5,394 as the country begins its three-stage reopening on Monday.
The lockdown is being eased in most places except for the containment zones now isolated due to coronavirus outbreaks.
The Health Ministry said India had 190,535 cases, which is the seventh most worldwide, exceeding Germany and France.
More than 60 percent of India’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred in just two states – Maharashtra, the financial hub and entertainment hub of India, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Read the full story.
05:30 GMT –
I’m handing over the blog to my colleagues in Doha. A quick recap of developments over the past few hours, as a number of places – from Australia to Russia and the UK – loosen their lockdowns further.
China has seen the biggest spike in cases in three weeks – linked to people returning home on a flight from Egypt – while Hong Kong has reported its first locally-acquired cases in two weeks. Japan, meanwhile, is considering allowing nationals of some countries to visit, provided they follow strict conditions.
05:10 GMT – Pakistan’s top leadership to meet as coronavirus cases spike
Pakistan’s National Coordination Committee on the Coronavirus, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is due to meet on Monday to thrash out a plan to deal with a sharp rise in cases and fatalities from the virus, according to Al Jazeera correspondent Asad Hashim.
Cases rose by more than 2,900 on Sunday with an additional 62 fatalities taking the death toll to 1,579.
There has been a sharp increase in coronavirus deaths in the last week, with cases rising at an increasing daily rate after most restrictions were lifted ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the country’s most important holiday.
05:00 GMT – Eating out back on the menu in Turkey as lockdown eased further
Restaurants, cafes, museums, beaches and swimming pools are due to reopen in Turkey as the government further relaxes its lockdown.
More than 4,500 people have died from the virus in Turkey, but authorities say the outbreak is now under control. Restrictions on movement for people over 65 and under 18 will remain in force.
04:05 GMT – Japan considers allowing visitors from handful of countries
Japan may reopen its borders to visitors from countries with low levels of coronavirus infection, including Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and New Zealand, local media reported on Monday.
The Asahi Shimbun said business travellers from the four nations would be allowed entry providing they tested negative for COVID-19 before departure and on arrival. Their movements once in Japan would also be tightly restricted.
03:50 GMT – Hong Kong announces first locally transmitted cases in two weeks
Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is investigating two new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus – a 34-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man.
Public broadcaster RTHK says the woman works at a logistics warehouse labelling food imported from the UK. Two people there tested positive for the virus a month ago.
The new cases bring the total number of cases in the territory to 1,085, with four deaths.
03:15 GMT – Muscovites get to go out for walks again as lockdown eased slightly
People in the Russian capital will be allowed to go out for a walk or run, and some shops will reopen, as Moscow moves to loosen a lockdown that has been in force since late March.
Residents will be allowed out for walks three times a week on a schedule linked to where they live. People will also be able to go for a run between 5am and 9am as parks open their gates again.
Shopping centres, as well as car showrooms, dry cleaners, bookshops and laundrettes are also scheduled to reopen.
Thousands of cases are still being reported across Russia’s 11 time zones, but at a far lower level than previously. Russia has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world.
03:00 GMT – N Korea to start reopening schools after coronavirus delayed term
North Korea will start reopening schools in phases from this month, providing strict anti-coronavirus measures are in place.
State media says thermometers and hand sanitiser need to be provided at the school gate as well as in classrooms and administrative offices, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
Top priority will be given to testing children at nurseries and kindergarten, as well as disinfecting buildings.
North Korea has said it has no cases of coronavirus.
02:30 GMT – Encouraging drop in viral load in experimental S Korean drug
South Korea’s Celltrion Inc says its experimental treatment for COVID-19 has shown a 100-fold reduction in the viral load of the disease during animal testing.
The pre-clinical study of the drug showed improved recovery in runny nose, cough and body aches after the first day of treatment, and clearing of lung inflammation within six days, the company said in a statement.
Celltrion has research experience with other types of coronavirus conditions such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). It hopes to start the first human clinical trials for the COVID-19 treatment in July, said Kwon Ki-Sung, head of the firm’s research and development unit.
“(Celltrion) has the capability to roll out mass production of the therapeutic antibody treatment once it is ready,” Kwon said.
Want to know more about viral load, read our Doctor’s Note from Dr Sara Kayat.
02:00 GMT – China coronavirus cases highest in three weeks
China has reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases in three weeks after a number of cases were found among people who had returned from Egypt.
The National Health Commission reported 16 new cases, all of them in people coming from overseas.
Chinese state television said 11 people who arrived in Sichuan on a flight from Egypt had tested positive, while a further six asymptomatic cases were also found.
00:50 GMT – Australia zoos, museums reopen as restrictions eased further
Zoos, museums and other public attractions have begun to reopen in parts of Australia for the first time in more than two months.
In New South Wales, the state where most Australians live, cafes, restaurants have also been allowed to welcome as many as 50 people at a time.
— Zara James (@Zara_James9) May 31, 2020
23:30 GMT (May 31) – Brazil records 480 new deaths on Sunday
Brazil reported 480 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its death toll to 29,314, the health ministry said.
More than half a million people in the country have now been confirmed to have a virus that Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed as a “little flu”.
Bolsonaro was out on horseback on Sunday, greeting supporters at a rally against the country’s top court, which is investigating the right-wing leader.
Brazil has the second-highest number of cases in the world after the US and the fourth-highest death toll after the US, UK and Italy.
23:00 GMT (May 31) – US sends 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil
The US has delivered two million doses of the antimalarial medicine hydroxychloroquine to Brazil to fight COVID-19, the White House said, even though the drug has not been proven effective against the coronavirus.
“HCQ will be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals against the virus. It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected,” a statement said in reference to the drug.
It said the US would also send 1,000 ventilators to Brazil, the epicentre of South America’s outbreak.
“We are also announcing a joint United States-Brazilian research effort that will include randomized controlled clinical trials,” it added.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria as well as the autoimmune disorders lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The WHO recently suspended trials into the drug because of concerns about side effects.
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 (May 31) here.