Coronavirus: Summary of global news for Sunday 3 May

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Coronavirus live: latest global Covid-19 news - 3 May

India onto Phase 3 of lockdown

India today moves onto Phase 3 of its lockdown - expected to run through to 17 May - with some "considerable relaxations". Stay up to date with the latest news from India with our dedicated live feed.

Coronavirus test that gives "results within 24 hours of infection"

The US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has reportedly developed a test that can detect the coronavirus' presence as early as 24 hours after infection, before people show symptoms and several days before a carrier is considered capable of spreading it to other people. That is also around four days before current tests can detect the virus.

The head of Darpa’s biological technologies office, Dr Brad Ringeisen, said that if approved by regulators the test would be a "gamechanger".

Trump is putting pressure on the US intelligence agencies to identify the source of the coronavirus in China.

Pompeo says 'significant' evidence new coronavirus emerged from Chinese lab

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was "a significant amount of evidence" that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that it was not man-made.

"There is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan," Pompeo told ABC's "This Week," referring to the virus that emerged late last year in China and has killed about 240,000 people around the world, including more than 67,000 in the United States.

Pompeo then briefly contradicted a statement issued this week by the top U.S. spy agency that said the virus did not appear to be man-made or genetically modified. That statement undercut conspiracy theories promoted by anti-China activists and some supporters of President Donald Trump who suggest it was developed in a Chinese government biological weapons laboratory.

"The best experts so far seem to think it was man-made. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point," Pompeo said.

When the interviewer pointed out that was not the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies, Pompeo backtracked, saying, "I've seen what the intelligence community has said. I have no reason to believe that they've got it wrong."

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on Pompeo's comments.

Thursday's report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it concurred with "the wide scientific consensus" that the disease was not man-made.

U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reporting and analysis have said for weeks that they do not believe Chinese scientists developed the coronavirus in a government biological weapons lab from which it then escaped.

Rather, they have said they believe it was either introduced through human contact with wildlife at a meat market in the central city of Wuhan, or could have escaped from one of two Wuhan government laboratories believed to be conducting civilian research into possible biological hazards.

Pompeo on Thursday said it was not known whether the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a meat market, or somewhere else. Trump said the same day that he was confident it may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but he declined to describe the evidence.

Trump

What do Trump and White House say about second stimulus check in May

There are still millions of Americans waiting for their checks but there is already talk of a second stimulus check in May and beyond potentially. Here's what Donald Trump and White House have to say about it.

J.K. Rowling donates to coronavirus victims of domestic violence, homeless

(Reuters) - "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has donated 1 million pounds ($1.25 million) to help victims of domestic abuse and homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic after recovering from the virus herself.

The British writer said the money would be split between the charities Crisis and Refuge, which help the homeless and victims of domestic violence respectively.

"As ever in a crisis of this sort, the poorest and most vulnerable are hit hardest," she wrote on Twitter.

The donation comes a month after 54-year-old Rowling - who is married to a doctor - said she had recovered from a suspected case of COVID-19 after two weeks of illness.

She said she had three key workers in her immediate family and was torn between "pride and anxiety".

Rowling's contribution marked the latest celebrity donation to relief efforts as the global pandemic ravages the world's most vulnerable communities, with the United Nations describing rising domestic violence as a growing "shadow pandemic".

In April pop singer Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation joined forces with Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Foundation and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to donate $6.2 million to 11 organizations including some helping victims of domestic abuse and the homeless. Both charities welcomed Rowling's donations.

Refuge said it came at a time when it had seen calls to "our already overwhelmed helpline increase by 50% during Covid-19".

Domestic violence has risen globally as many countries imposed tougher restrictions on people leaving their homes.

Lawmakers in Britain have called for urgent action to tackle soaring domestic violence, warning that failure to intervene could have "devastating consequences for a generation".

Police in London have reported making 100 arrests a day for domestic abuse - with a 24% increase in charges and cautions.
 
Programs for domestic violence in the United States have cited increases in calls for help. The YWCA of Northern New Jersey said domestic violence calls have risen by up to 24%.

Lots of countries starting to drop now but some continue to rise. Brazil, for example, showing a worrying increase.

Britain to trial new coronavirus tracing system

(Reuters) - Britain will trial a new coronavirus tracing programme next week on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England, cabinet minister Michael Gove said on Sunday as the government looks at how to minimise the risk of a second wave of infection.

Suffering one of the worst death tolls in Europe from COVID-19, Britain is confident that the peak of the virus has passed and is now looking at how to restart its shuttered economy and ease social restrictions on citizens.

"This week we will be piloting new test, track and trace procedures on the Isle of Wight with a view to having that in place more widely later this month," Gove told a news conference.

A mass testing system along with the ability to trace people who have been in contact with those who test positive are seen as crucial to preventing a second spike and facilitating the relaxation of a lockdown which has lasted almost six weeks.

Gove said the system being trialled next week would include asking citizens on the island to download a smartphone app as well as traditional ways of tracing those who have come into contact with a patient who has tested positive.

"We will be able to make sure that people who are suffering from the virus ... they and their contacts can be encouraged to stay at home, so that we can limit the potential of any outbreak," Gove said.

The Isle of Wight has around 80,000 households.

President questions Tanzania coronavirus kits after goat test

Coronavirus test kits used in Tanzania were dismissed as faulty by President John Magufuli on Sunday, because he said they had returned positive results on samples taken from a goat and a pawpaw.

Magufuli, whose government has already drawn criticism for being secretive about the coronavirus outbreak and has previously asked Tanzanians to pray the coronavirus away, said the kits had "technical errors".

The COVID-19 testing kits had been imported from abroad, Magufuli said during an event in Chato in the north west of Tanzania, although he did not give further details.

The president said he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits. They had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

These samples were then submitted to Tanzania's laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins.

Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, the president said, adding this meant it was likely that some people were being tested positive when in fact they were not infected by the coronavirus.

"There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,"

Magufuli said, adding the kits should be investigated. As of Sunday, Tanzania had recorded 480 cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths but unlike most other African countries, Dar es Salaam sometimes goes for days without offering updates, with the last bulletin on cases on Wednesday.

COVID-19 infections and fatalities reported across Africa have been relatively low compared with the United States, parts of Asia and Europe. But Africa also has extremely low levels of testing, with rates of only around 500 per million people.

Jordan lifts all curbs on economic activity in latest easing of lockdown

Jordan said on Sunday it had lifted all restrictions on economic activity in the latest easing of coronavirus lockdown rules to help jump-start the cash-strapped economy.

Jordan has in the last two weeks been lifting restrictions to allow businesses back to work, but with lower levels of staff and strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Jordan have 460 confirmed cases and 9 deaths according to John Hopkins University.

NHS

Coronaviros death toll in English hospitals rises to 21,180

A total of 21,180 people have died in hospital in England after testing positive for the new coronavirus, up by 327 in a 24-hour period, the National Health Service for England said on Sunday.

The 327 patients who died were aged between 46 and 101 years old, with 17 of them - aged between 47 and 97 years old - having had no known underlying health condition. Figures for the whole of the United Kingdom will be published later today.

Italian government gives Serie A clubs all-clear to resume training

Clubs in Serie A can return to training following a ruling by the Italian government, with players set to work individually.

Covid-19

Netherlands top 5,000 deaths landmark

The Dutch health board have confirmed that the death toll of victims from coronavirus has topped the 5,000 mark in the country with a cumulative total of 5,056 fatalities.

Pope Francis

Pope says coronavirus vaccine must be shared worldwide

Pope Francis called on Sunday for international scientific cooperation to discover a vaccine for the coronavirus and said any successful vaccine should be made available around the world.

Francis, who has been delivering his Sunday address from the papal library instead of St. Peter's Square because of the lockdown in Italy, thanked all those around the world who were providing essential services.

He encouraged international cooperation to deal with the crisis and combat the virus, which has infected nearly 3.5 million people and killed more than 240,000 people worldwide.

"In fact, it is important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial way to find vaccines and treatments," he said.

Football medics debate future of the Premier League season

The CEO of the representative body for football’s medical practitioners spoke to AS English about the steps required before the Premier League can restart the 2019/20 season.

Boris Johnson sends message to UK citizens

The English PM, now back at work having recovered from the virus himself, took to his personal Twitter account to send a message of encouragement to UK citizens..... 'We will beat this together'

USA

Video: The world winces as hundreds take to the streets in California protest

Despite over 1,200 deaths and 50,000 cases in California, these Huntington beach protesters saw no need for social distancing. 

Watch the video here:

Iran

Iran coronavirus death toll rises by 47 to 6,203

The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak in Iran rose by 47 over the past 24 hours to 6,203, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on state TV on Sunday.

Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the outbreak, has a total of 97,424 cases of the coronavirus, he said.

 

Spain reports lowest death toll since mid March

The Spanish government have confirmed that 164 people have succumbed to the Covid-19 virus with the death rate for the past 24 hours the lowest posted since 18 March.

metro

Face masks obligatory on Spanish metro systems

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez outlined plans for an easing of the lockdown in the nation as cases start to ease but has reiterated that the wearing of face masks will be obligatory in all major city metro networks.

AS Roma to resume training as Serie A clubs eye return

AS Roma followed in the footsteps of Serie A rivals Sassuolo, announcing a return to training next week.

 

1 in 5 Britons feel it's too early to lift lockdown restrictions

Today's Observer details how a poll reveals the bulk of UK citizens want the current restrictions to remain with the virus still causing problems for the NHS and death rates remaining high.

AS

They're back!

Today's front cover of AS makes reference to the return of runners, cyclists, surfers and walkers on the first day of exercise as the Spanish government eases lockdown restrictions.

Rolling Stones announce Extra Licks #StayAtHome specials

The Rolling Stones have announced their Extra Licks weekly livestream series, featuring bonus footage from six concert films from throughout the band’s career.

The series — released as part of YouTube’s #StayHome campaign — will kick off May 3rd at 1500 ET/2100 CEST with extra footage from the band’s 2016 concert film Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America. 

Covid-19

China confirms 2 new cases

China reported two new coronavirus cases for May 2, up from one the day before, data from the country's national health authority showed on Sunday.

One case was imported and the other was local, the National Health Commission (NHC) said. This compares to one imported case and no domestic transmissions on May 1.

The NHC also reported 12 asymptomatic cases for May 2, down from 20 the day before.

The number of confirmed cases in China has reached 82,877.With no new deaths reported, the death toll remained at 4,633.

S.Korea to relax social distancing rules starting May 6

South Korea will further relax social distancing rules starting on May 6, allowing a phased reopening of businesses, as the nation has largely managed to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Sunday.

The government "will allow businesses to resume at facilities in phases that had remained closed up until now, and also allow gatherings and events to take place assuming they follow disinfection guidelines," he told a televised meeting of government officials.

V.Putin

Russia's Coronavirus Cases Jump By Nearly 10K in new one-day high

Russia confirmed 9,623 new coronavirus infections Saturday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 124,054 and marking a new one-day record increase.

Russia is now the seventh most-affected country in terms of infections, having surpassed China, Turkey and Iran this week.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Thursday confirmed that he has the coronavirus, making him the highest-ranking official in Russia to contract the virus. 

In total, 1,222 people have been killed by the virus in Russia.

(from Moscow Times)

Covid-19 plasma trial begins in UK

Thousands of coronavirus survivors across the UK have signed up to donate blood plasma as part of a nation-wide clinical trial.

New York becomes Ground Zero again

A highly recommended article on the impact of the coronavirus on the Big Apple from NY BBC correspondent Nick Bryant.

FT trends update

The daily trends post from Financial Times statistician John Burn-Murdoch offers fine insight as to how countries around the world are progressing, based on reported figures.

Good morning and welcome to our live global coronavirus blog. Over the course of the day, we will be bring you the latest information, breaking news and data relating to the Covid-19 pandemic from around the world on 3 May. At the time of writing, the virus has claimed over 243,000 lives with over 3.4 million positive cases currently confirmed across the planet.

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