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Coronavirus summary: deaths and cases - 12 May

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 11: Near empty streets of the Hyde Park area of Leeds during the pandemic lockdown. Normally bustling with the sounds of student life the back to back houses of Hyde Park are distinctly quiet on May 11, 2020 in Leeds, United Ki

Coronavirus live global: latest Covid-19 news - Tuesday 12 May

China reports 7 new coronavirus cases in mainland on May 12, just 1 a day earlier

China reported seven new confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland on May 12, up from one a day earlier, the country's health authority said on Wednesday.

Six of the new cases were local infections in the northeastern province of Jilin. The one imported case was in Shanghai, the National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin.

China also confirmed eight new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on May 12, compared to 15 the day before.

Mexico sees 353 deaths in most lethal coronavirus day

Mexico's health ministry confirmed 1,997 new cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, along with 353 additional deaths, the most deadly day since the pandemic began.

The new infections brought confirmed coronavirus cases to 38,324 and 3,926 deaths in total, according to the official tally. Mexico's previous highest daily death toll was on Thursday, when Mexico reported 257 fatalities.

The world's oldest living Covid-19 survivor, at 113

Maria Branyas who, at 113 years of age is the oldest pensioner in Catalunya, Spain, has overcome Covid-19 having experienced only mild symptoms of the virus. Her family members and workers at the Santa Maria del Tura care home in Olot, in northern Catalunya, where she has lived for the past 20 years have confirmed that Branyas is doing well, but her daughter Rosa Maria told the Catalan News Agency of how worried they were just a few weeks ago.

Chinese Covid-19 vaccine could be tested and manufactured in Canada

China’s CanSino Biologics Inc, the company behind one of the few coronavirus vaccine candidates already in clinical trials, is collaborating with Canada’s National Research Council to “pave the way” for future trials in Canada, Reuters reports.

If CanSino’s vaccine works, the collaboration could help ensure that Canadians have access to it. Local trial data could reassure Health Canada that the vaccine is safe, and local manufacturing could ensure some doses are at hand.


UK researchers try to crack Covid-19 genetic riddle

British researchers will study the genes of thousands of ill Covid-19 patients to try to crack one of the most puzzling riddles of the novel coronavirus: why does it kill some people but give others not even a mild headache?

Researchers from across the United Kingdom will sequence the genetic code of people who fell critically ill with Covid-19 and compare their genomes with those who were mildly ill or not ill at all. The hunt for the specific genes that could cause a predisposition to getting ill with Covid-19 will involve up to 20,000 people currently or previously in hospital intensive care with Covid-19 and about 15,000 people with mild symptoms.

"We think that there will be clues in the genome that will help us understand how the disease is killing people," Kenneth Baillie, who is leading the study at the University of Edinburgh, told Reuters. "I would bet my house on there being a very strong genetic component to individual risk. Your chance of dying from an infection is very strongly encoded in your genes - much more strongly than your chances of dying from heart disease or cancer".


Brazil coronavirus cases surpass Germany

Brazil's confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 177,589 on Tuesday, according to the health ministry, surpassing Germany's 170,508 confirmed cases of the disease. Brazil also declared 881 deaths in the last 24 hours, a record for a single day. There were 9,258 new cases registered in the 24-hour period.

British Royal Family thank nurses all over the world


France's Covid-19 death toll overtakes Spain

France's death toll from the coronavirus rose by 348 to 26,991 on Tuesday, overtaking Spain to become the country with the world's fourth-highest number of fatalities after the United States, Britain and Italy.

On Tuesday the United States' Covid-19 death toll stood at 81,805, Britain at 32,769 and Italy at 30,911. Spain followed France with 26,920. President Emmanuel Macron's government stated that it was ready to tighten restrictions again if necessary, saying it will consider locking down the country again if daily new infections rise above 3,000 again. In the past six days, the case count has increased by about 670 per day on average.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia to enforce nationwide 24-hour curfew for Eid holiday

Saudi Arabia will enforce a countrywide 24-hour curfew during the five-day Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday later this month to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, the interior ministry said today.

The curfew will apply from 23-27 May following the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Until then, commercial and business enterprises will remain open as they now are and people can move freely between 9 am and 5 pm - except in Mecca which remains under a full curfew, the statement published by state news agency SPA said.

Saudi Arabia has so far recorded 42,925 cases of Covid-19 and 264 deaths. These are the highest numbers in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which together have recorded more than 107,000 cases and 582 deaths.

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams apologises

Canadian singer Bryan Adams has apologised for a social media post in which he blamed "bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards" for the coronavirus pandemic. The post was widely condemned on social media. 

In his apology, also posted on Instagram, Adams said he had no excuse, he "just wanted to have a rant about the horrible animal cruelty in these wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism."

Vladimir Putin's spokesman tests positive for Covid-19

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that he has tested positive for Covid-19. "I have fallen ill. I am receiving treatment," Peskov said today, adding that he last saw Russian president Vladimir Putin in person over a month ago. 


"International holidays unlikely this year"

Britain's Secretary for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock admitted that it is highly improbable that most Britons who had hoped to go on holiday abroad this summer would be able to do so. When asked whether summer had been cancelled on ITV's This Morning programme, he replied,  "I think that's likely to be the case. We haven't made a final decision on that yet but it is clear that we will seek to reopen hospitality, some hospitality, from early July if we keep successfully reducing the spread of this virus. The conclusion from that is it is unlikely that big, lavish international holidays are going to possible for this summer."


Coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany falls below critical threshold

The reproduction rate for the coronavirus pandemic in Germany fell below the critical threshold of 1 with an estimated value of 0.94 on Tuesday after 1.07 on Monday, the Robert Koch Institute for public health and disease control said.

The so-called 'R' number indicates that 100 infected people on average infect 94 others, meaning the number of new infections is slowing after accelerating at the beginning of the week. "So far, we do not expect a renewed rising trend," the RKI said in its daily report, adding the overall number of cases in Germany was diminishing, meaning local outbreaks had a greater impact on 'R' than with higher case numbers.


Italy's daily death toll remains stable but new cases rise

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 172 on Tuesday, against 179 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the daily tally of new cases doubled to 1,402 from 744 on Monday.

However, the rise in new cases was partly due to late reporting by the hard-hit Lombardy region, which said it had found 419 infections from previous weeks that it had not logged. The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on 21 February now stands at 30,911 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 221,216, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia. 

UK rail worker dies of coronavirus after being spat at on duty

The Guardian reports that Belly Mujinga, a station ticket officer in London, died of coranvirus after being spat at and coughed on by a member of the public who claimed to have Covid-19. 

Within days of the assault she fell ill with the disease and was eventually admitted to hospital, where she was put on a  ventilator but died on 5 April. She had underlying respiratory problems. British Transport Police are investigating the incident

Coronavirus vaccine: "Trump's 'America First' approach hinders the global search"

The "go-it-alone approach" adopted by Donald Trump's administration in the search for a coronavirus vaccine "has seen it exclude the US government from an accelerating global effort against Covid-19, raising concerns that the endeavor could falter without official US support and leadership," reports Tom McCarthy in the Guardian:

Coronavirus: FC Copenhagen convert stadium into school classroom


Coronavirus: FC Copenhagen convert stadium into school classroom

Football academy

A visit to the national football stadium is usually a big occasion in a young fan's life, but for some schoolchildren in Copenhagen it has become part of the daily routine. Could other countries see similar initiatives?

Putin's voice tests positive

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was receiving treatment at hospital, Russian news agencies reported.

'Yes, I am sick. I am receiving treatment,' Peskov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. Peskov said he had last met Putin in person over a month ago, the TASS news agency reported.

UK furlough extended

The chancellor has said that 7.5m jobs have been supported, and almost one million businesses helped.

He also states that the scheme will be extended for four months, until the end of October. (It has been due to end at the end of June.)


Robotic cleanse

A ZenZoe Robot disinfects a room with ultraviolet light (UV-C) in Madrigalejo del Monte, near Burgos, on May 12, 2020.

ASTI Mobile Robotics and BOOS Technical Lighting have developed a mobile disinfection solution against coronavirus named ZenZoe robot which uses the ultraviolet (UV-C) light to eliminate germs and pathogens in the air as well as on surfaces and objects. (Photo by Cesar Manso / AFP)

"It's not over. The virus continues to circulate"

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday that parks and gardens would remain closed in Paris and the greater Paris region to limit the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections as France gradually eases a nationwide lockdown.

Veran was reacting after Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo asked on Twitter for the re-opening of the French capital's parks, closed since 17 March, provided people wear face masks. The minister was speaking after crowds of Parisians gathered on the banks of the trendy Saint-Martin canal and the Seine river on Monday to celebrate the easing of the lockdown.

No one expects the Spanish isolation

The Spanish government ordered a two-week quarantine for all travellers coming into the country from 15 May in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after one of the Europe's strictest lockdowns helped slow down the epidemic in Spain.

Incoming travellers will have to remain locked in and will only be allowed to exit for grocery shopping, go to health centres and in case of "situation of need", an official order published on Tuesday said.

The quarantine has been enforced for all travellers coming to Spain between 15 May and at least 24 May, when the state of emergency is due to end. 

Spain update

The number of newly diagnosed cases of coronavirus in Spain in one day fell on Tuesday to its lowest in more than two months, the health ministry reported.

Health authorities identified 594 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 228,030. The number of fatalities related to the disease rose 176 on Tuesday to 26,920, via Reuters.

Antigen test progress in Japan

Japan plans to approve its first coronavirus antigen testing kits on Wednesday, a health ministry official said, in a move to boost the number of diagnostic tests available to battle the pandemic. Full story

Front page focus

There's little doubt over what continues to take most of the headlines of major news outlets.

Staying trim

Long queues formed outside hairdressers in Singapore on Tuesday as the government eased some restrictions of a nationwide lockdown, although any styles beyond a trim would have to wait.

'We can only provide haircuts. Dying and perms are off limits,' said Jervis Goh, supervisor at the New Hairstory salon in a residential area of central Singapore, via Reuters.

Laundry services and shops selling pet supplies were among a handful of establishments allowed to resume business on Tuesday, although most workplaces and schools remain closed and dining at restaurants is still banned under lockdown due to last until 1 June.

'It feels so light now that I had it cut,' said 85-year-old retiree Pang Kaytee, one of the first in line at the salon. 

Wuhan worries

A testing offensive has begun in the city of origin as new cases rise ($)

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Coronavirus live coverage: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog on the global coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered well over 4 million confirmed cases worldwide.

We'll bring you the latest developments and statistics as they emerge throughout the course of the day.