US GDP drops 4.8pc as coronavirus impact hits hard

  • The number of people around the world confirmed to have the coronavirus has risen to more than three million, and at least 217,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 929,000 people have recovered.
  • France has unveiled plans, including the adoption of aggressive testing, for a gradual relaxation of its nationwide lockdown from May 11.
  • Germany has already loosened some of its restrictions, but people are now being encouraged to stay at home amid concern the infection rate could be picking up again.

  • Airbus posted a first-quarter loss of half a billion dollars, while British Airways is set to cut up to 12,000 jobs.
  • As in other parts of the world, African doctors and nurses are confronted with challenges in the face of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, while others remain optimistic about the systems within which they operate.

    Read here their stories of fighting the pandemic on the front lines.

    16:42 GMT – ‘Quickly and decisively’: WHO defends its handling of the pandemic

    The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) defended the body’s record in its response to the new coronavirus.

    “From the beginning, the WHO has acted quickly and decisively to respond to warn the world,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing.

    The remark came after the agency’s chief gave a timeline of what the body knew in the lead-up to declaring COVID-19 a global emergency on January 30.

    “We sounded the alarm early and we sounded it often,” he said.

    16:30 GMT – Serbians to protest for a third day in a raw

    Stuck at home under curfew, Serbians are expected to vent their anger against the government’s coronavirus containment measures for a third evening in a row.

    Armed with tin pans, drums, whistles and horns, citizens standing near their windows have expressed their frustration with restrictions such a daily curfew from 16:00 GMT and weekend lockdowns.

    The government has started to lift restrictions as the rate of infections slows, but said that a lockdown should remain in place.

    The country has so far reported 8,724 cases and 173 deaths.

    16:05 GMT – Yemen’s Aden city sets three-day curfew

    Authorities in the Yemeni port city of Aden have declared a three-day, 24-hour curfew starting at midnight local time, after five new infections were confirmed.

    The announcement came from the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist group that declared self-rule on Sunday in southern Yemeni provinces including Aden.

    15:58 GMT – ‘Turkey passing over peak of pandemic’

    Turkey’s health ministry said the country is currently passing over the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but the drops in numbers must be consistent.

    “The number of recovered patients in Turkey in the past 24 hours reaches twice that of newly diagnosed patients,” Fahrettin Koca said in a press conference in Ankara.

    The coronavirus death rate in Turkey dropped for intubated patients from 74 to 14 percent, smf for intensive care patients from 58 percent to 10 percent, Koca added.

    So far, the country reported almost 3.000 deaths amid more than 114.000 infections, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University.

  • 15:46 GMT – Life after lockdown

    When we first heard from Peng Peng, Al Jazeera’s cameraman in Beijing, it was for our first episode on COVID-19.

    He and his family were suddenly trapped in Hubei province as the novel coronavirus began spreading. The world has changed since he went into lockdown, but the latest update from him is one that brought us hope.

  • 15:27 GMT – Plan to use malaria drug in Mumbai slums temporarily shelved

    A plan to give the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to thousands of people in Mumbai’s crowded slums to prevent coronavirus infections has temporarily been shelved.

    Indian health officials in Mumbai said that a test to prove the efficacy of the much-touted but largely untested drug was still in the cards, but for now, they would follow government guidelines.

  • 15:07 GMT – Chinese labs doing contagious pathogen work under unknown security: Pompeo

    In the latest exchange between the US and China over the origin of the coronavirus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington believed Beijing may lack the adequate security to prevent future pandemics.

    “There are multiple labs that are continuing to conduct work, we think, on contagious pathogens inside of China today,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference.

    “And we don’t know if they are operating at a level of security to prevent this (coronavirus pandemic) from happening again. Remember this isn’t the first time that we’ve had a virus come out of China.”

    14:35 GMT – Ramadan inside Delhi quarantine centres

    Thousands of members of Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary organisation in India, are still being kept in isolation wards despite testing negative for coronavirus.

    “It has been almost a month and three coronavirus tests done on me which came out negative, but I am still here in this centre, not allowed to meet my family or friends,” said member Izhar Ahmad, who was quarantined after a Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi in March was linked to coronavirus infections.

    Since then, the organisation’s members have been subjected to a hostile media campaign, with Hindu far-right groups accusing the Muslim community of spreading the virus.

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