India records largest single-day coronavirus surge

  • India reports 5,242 new cases of coronavirus, taking the country’s infection tally to more than 96,000, the highest in Asia.
  • Spain has reported a daily death toll below 100 for the first time in two months, while Italy’s was the lowest since the start of its lockdown.
  • Globally, there have been more than 4.7 million known cases of COVID-19, and nearly 315,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.7 million people have recovered.

    Monday, May 18

    10:39 GMT – Shops, cafes reopen as Italy lifts restrictions

    Italy has taken its biggest step towards a cautious return to post-coronavirus normality, allowing a number of businesses and churches to reopen after more than two months of strict lockdown restrictions.

    Restaurants, bars and cafes across the country were permitted on Monday to serve customers again, so long as they adhered to physical distancing rules.

    Museums, clothing stores, hairdressers, beauticians also opened their doors – but at many shops, customers will have to book ahead of time.

  • 10:33 GMT – #IndonesiaWhatever: Indonesians vent online over response

    A flood of criticism of the Indonesian government’s response to the pandemic and the behaviour of many Indonesians has appeared on social media under a hashtag that translates as #IndonesiaWhatever.

    The posts followed online comments by a doctor and social media influencer, Tirta Mandira Hudhi, who was outraged by the easing of a flight ban that led to passengers inundating a Jakarta airport late last week and ignoring guidelines on social distancing.

    On his Instagram account, the doctor posted a picture of himself in full personal protective equipment, holding a sign with the words “Indonesia? Whatever. Do what you like!”

    By Monday, the post had drawn more than 400,000 likes and the hashtag #IndonesiaTerserah was among the top trending on Instagram and Twitter.

    10:30 GMT – Spain aims to reopen borders to tourism in late June

    Tourism-dependent Spain aims to reopen borders to visitors around the end of June as its lockdown fully unwinds, a minister has said.

    Madrid last week surprised its EU partners by imposing a two-week quarantine on all overseas travellers and effectively keeping borders closed, saying that was needed to avoid importing a second wave of the coronavirus.

    But the move was meant to be temporary and Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said it would be phased out in parallel with travel being allowed within Spain, whose regions are easing restrictions in different phases.

    10:28 GMT – Russian PM says growth of new cases has stopped

    Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has said that growth of new coronavirus cases has stopped in Russia, which has recorded the world’s largest number of infections after the US.

    “The situation with the spread of the coronavirus infection remains difficult but we can still acknowledge that we managed to put a stop to the growth of infections,” Mishustin told a government meeting.

    10:22 GMT – Australia welcomes growing support for inquiry at WHO meeting

    A resolution pushed by the EU and Australia calling for a review into the origins and spread of the coronavirus has the support of 116 countries at the World Health Assembly, almost enough for it to pass, a document showed.

    The resolution on the coronavirus will be put forward on Tuesday if it gains backing from two-thirds of the 194 members of the assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization.

    China has strongly opposed calls for an international investigation into the pandemic but appeared more amenable to the resolution on Monday.

    10:18 GMT – 130 people test positive at refugee home in Germany

    130 people have tested positive for the coronavirus at accommodation for asylum seekers in
    western Germany, officials have said.

    The remaining 170 residents at the shelter in the town of St Augustin, around 30km (19 miles) southeast of Cologne, have been confirmed negative in tests, a spokeswoman for the district government of Cologne said.

    The residents are now being housed separately, depending on their test results, with outdoor areas also segregated. Asylum seekers have been instructed to eat only in their rooms.

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