The US government was slow to understand how fast coronavirus was spreading from Europe, which accelerated outbreaks across the country, said Dr Anne Schuchat, the number-two official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The World Health Organization has reiterated that the coronavirus is believed to be “natural in origin”, responding to a claim by US President Donald Trump that he had seen evidence that indicated the virus emerged from a virology institute in Wuhan, China.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed infections stands above 3.35 million, with nearly 239,000 deaths and approximately 1.05 million recoveries.
- The coronavirus is ravaging Brazil’s poor, tightly-packed neighbourhoods where the disease is harder to control. There were 92,200 cases in Brazil with 6,412 deaths reported.
Saturday, May 2
17:20 GMT – Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll jumps
Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy jumped by 474, against 269 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, posting the largest daily toll of fatalities since April 21.
The steep increase in deaths followed a long, gradual declining trend and was due largely to Lombardy, the country’s worst affected region, where there were 329 deaths in the last 24 hours compared with just 88 the day before.
The daily tally of new infections was broadly stable for a third day running at 1,900 against 1,965 on Friday.
The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 28,710, the agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.
There were 1,539 people in intensive care on Saturday, slightly down from 1,578 on Friday and maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 79,914 were declared recovered against 78,249 a day earlier.
17:00 GMT – Russia reports almost 10,000 new coronavirus cases
Russia reported 9,623 new coronavirus cases – its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic – bringing the total to 124,054, mostly in the capital Moscow.
The death toll nationwide rose to 1,222 after 57 people died in the last 24 hours, Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said.
Concern was growing in Moscow that hospitals might become overwhelmed after recording the new one-day high of infections, a 20 percent increase over Friday’s count, which itself was a new daily record.
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16:20 GMT – Turkey lifts exports limits for medical equipment
The Turkish trade ministry lifted export restrictions and a requirement to obtain advance permission for private companies to export medical equipment needed in treating COVID-19.
The decision, published in the Official Gazette, rescinded restrictions on exporting ventilators, intubation tubes and ICU monitors, among other equipment.
The trade ministry lifted restrictions on the export of ethanol, cologne, disinfectants and hydrogen peroxide.
Turkey also announced a military plane delivered medical supplies, including locally produced ventilators, to Somalia. Ankara has so far shipped needed supplies to at least 55 countries, including to the United States.
Turkey, a country of 83 million, has more than 122,00 cases and more than 3,200 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
15:21 GMT – UK COVID-19 death toll rises, shadowing Italy
The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 death toll rose 621 to 28,131 as of May 1, just short of Italy which has had the deadliest novel coronavirus outbreak among European countries.
“Sadly of those tested positive for coronavirus… 28,131 have now died,” housing minister Robert Jenrick told reporters at a Downing Street briefing. “That’s an increase of 621 fatalities since yesterday.”
Italy reported a death toll of 28,236 on May 1.
14:45 GMT – Spain makes masks mandatory
Spain will make masks mandatory on public transport from Monday to prevent a new wave of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.
The Madrid government, which had until now “highly recommended” the use of masks, will distribute six million across the country from Monday and supply another seven million to local authorities.