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Live Reporting

Edited by Owen Amos

All times stated are UK

  1. Now 22 deaths linked to Ruby Princess cruise ship

    Ruby Princess cruise ship seen between grave stones at a Sydney cemeter

    Copyright: AAP/EPA

    Image caption: The Ruby Princess cruise ship is the single largest source of infection in Australia

    Australian authorities say an 81-year-old woman, a passenger on the Ruby Princess, died in New South Wales overnight.

    The Princess is the Carnival-operated cruise ship linked to 700 virus cases and now 22 deaths.

    In March, authorities allowed the ship to dock in Sydney and unload more than 2,700 passengers while there were reports of illness on board.

    There are separate police, government and coroner investigations into what went wrong.

    One of those, a special public inquiry, has rigorously questioned witnesses including ship employees, state health authorities and port officials.

    The testimonies have suggested a number of errors were made – including miscommunication between officials and a failure to carry out due diligence. The investigations continue.

  2. Dr Fauci: ‘Real risk’ if lockdown eased too soon

    The top US infectious diseases doctor has warned senators the virus will spread if the country opens up too soon.

    Dr Anthony Fauci said if federal guidelines to reopen are not followed, “little spikes” will become outbreaks.

    His message is at odds with the upbeat tone of President Trump who is keen to get the economy going again.

    Dr Fauci was speaking via video to a Republican-led committee of the US Senate.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Rough ride for Dr Fauci in Senate hearing
  3. In pictures: Getting ready for normal life

    Workers disinfecting a theatre

    Copyright: AFP

    Image caption: Across China, life is gradually returning to normal. Here, workers are disinfecting a theatre in Yantai so it can reopen after months of closure

    Workers disinfecting a theatre stage

    Copyright: AFP

    Image caption: Despite small clusters, China has so far managed to prevent a second wave and people are eager to put the pandemic behind them

    Worker disinfecting a school canteen

    Copyright: AFP

    Image caption: In South Korea, schools have been disinfected so they could open this week. But a large cluster in Seoul has reminded Koreans that easing out of a lockdown is very tricky

    Workers disinfecting a nightclub in Seoul

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: The Seoul outbreak is traced to the nightlife district, which was then disinfected. The reopening of schools has been put back by a week
  4. NZ to allow 50 people at funerals

    Up to 50 people can now say farewell to their loved ones in New Zealand, said authorities, backtracking on a previous ruling.

    It comes just hours before New Zealand moves into alert level 2 – which allows retail stores, restaurants, cinemas and other public spaces to reopen.

    Under the level two rules, mass gatherings are limited to under 100 people – but the government had maintained that funerals would be restricted to 10 people.

    Opposition leader Simon Bridges called the restriction “inhumane”.

    “It’s not just unkind, it’s inhumane. If you can socially distance at a movie theatre with 99 other people you can do the same at a funeral,” he told Newstalk ZB.

    Funeral parlours however, will need to ensure that measures including social distancing are met.

  5. How cake and songs made Indian police heroes

    Inspector Munish Pratap Singh

    Copyright: BBC

    Image caption: Inspector Munish Pratap Singh has several containment zones in his area

    Inspector Munish Pratap Singh was about to finish his shift around 22:00 when a helpless father called him with an unusual request.

    “Could you please get a birthday cake for my son? It’s his birthday and he is really sad,” the father said.

    Insp Singh is not used to dealing with such requests, but these are no ordinary times. All shops were shut in his area, but he called a baker he knew and – luckily – a cake was available.

    “The happiness on the boy’s face made everything worthwhile. My team and I forgot how tired we were,” he says.

    Insp Singh is not alone among his colleagues with such a simple act of kindness.

    Many other officers in India have delivered birthday cakes to children and the elderly, given food to the homeless and provided essential medicines.

  6. Singapore to test all 323,000 foreign workers

    All 323,000 foreign workers living in dormitories in Singapore will be tested for the virus, authorities have said.

    Singapore, which was held up as a model in how to beat Covid-19, has since been hit with a large-scale outbreak amongst its migrant worker community.

    The island is home to hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, often from South Asia, many of whom work in construction.

    The construction workers live in tightly-packed dorms, with up to 16 migrants packed in a room. Thousands of workers across a dozen dormitories in Singapore have been placed under quarantine, but hundreds are testing positive each day.

    So far, more than 32,000 workers in dorms have been tested – about 10% of the total. National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said about 3,000 tests were carried out each day.

    There are currently 24,671 confirmed cases in Singapore – almost all migrant workers – and 21 deaths.

    A healthcare worker dressed in personal protective equipment collects a nasal swab sample from a migrant worker

    Copyright: Getty Images

  7. Life, and parking fines, get back to normal in NZ

    Parking restrictions were eased in Wellington, New Zealand during the lockdown. But things got back to normal pretty quickly.

    According to the NZ Herald, more than 800 tickets were issued on Tuesday, as paid parking returned.

    “We think we’ve given people a pretty good run up and a warning that enforcement was going to start again,” a city council spokesman told the Herald.

    “I know a lot of people would love us to put the parking wardens away and never see them again, but unfortunately that’s never going to happen – they’re back.”

  8. Seoul nightlife cluster rises to 119

    Workers disinfecting Seoul streets

    Copyright: EPA

    There has been another rise in infections linked to a cluster in Seoul’s nightlife district Itaewon, taking the total to 119.

    The nightlife outbreak came after the government began relaxing some social distancing rules – showing how difficult it is to control infections after returning to normal life.

    South Korea, through extensive testing and contact tracing, had managed to bring daily cases down to single digits without enforcing a national lockdown.

    Tracing the nightclubs cluster has proved difficult, though, as some clubbers provided false names or numbers when entering LGBT clubs.

    Overall, there have been just under 11,000 confirmed infections in South Korea with about 1,000 still active and the rest recovered. The death toll stands at 259.

  9. Indian state to release half of inmates

    The western state of Maharashtra will release nearly half of its prisoners – 17,000 out of 35,000 – in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 in its jails.

    On Tuesday, the state’s home minister said that Arthur Road jail in the state’s capital, Mumbai, had recorded at least 180 positive cases.

    “This measure has been taken to ensure that social distancing norms are observed in every jail of the state and spreading of Covid-19 is prevented,” Anil Deshmukh told local media.

    He added that those being released would be out on temporary bail – and that those jailed for “serious crimes” including murder, rape, and financial fraud, would stay in prison.

    India has reported more than 70,000 cases, including 2,293 deaths. Maharashtra is one of the worst-affected states in the country, with more than 24,000 infections.

  10. Slow recovery for musicals, says Abba singer

    Björn Ulvaeus is one of the singer/songwriters for the Swedish pop group Abba and co-wrote the songs for the hit musical Mamma Mia! It’s been playing in London’s West End for two decades.

    But Björn predicts a slow recovery for musicals and theatre – saying it will be a long time before people will want to sit in packed auditoriums:

    Video content

    Video caption: Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus fears for future of West End theatres
  11. Chinese vice mayor warns of ‘huge risk’

    The vice mayor of China’s Jilin city has warned of a “huge risk” that the virus could spread further, amid a spate of cases in the province.

    Gai Dongping told reporters that authorities in Jilin city would step up measures to curb and contain the virus, according to a Reuters report.

    The city – which shares the same name as the north-eastern province – has already stopped outgoing train services.

    The province reported six new virus cases today – last week, 11 local cases were reported in nearby Shulan, all said to be linked to one local laundrywoman.

    Shulan has implemented a more severe lockdown than Jilin city.

  12. Venezuelans fear coronavirus outbreak

    In Venezuela, the price of food has increased by 80% since lockdown, and fuel is being rationed.

    The United Nations calls Venezuela one of the most vulnerable countries in the world – there is high malnutrition, 20% of hospitals have no running water, and over 70% of doctors have emigrated.

    Official Covid-19 cases in the country are low but there is a fear among doctors that should the coronavirus spread, it would be catastrophic.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Venezuelans struggling with fuel shortage
  13. Cebu Pacific cancels flights until June

    Cebu Pacific aircraft

    Copyright: EPA

    Philippines budget airline Cebu Pacific has extended the cancellation of its domestic and international flights from 16 to 31 May.

    The carrier says affected passengers can either rebook or have their payments refunded.

    The country was one of the first in the region to implement a strict lockdown and has just announced an extension in big cities like Manila and Cebu until June.

    There are more than 11,000 confirmed cases in the country and 751 deaths have been linked to the virus.

    Like in many other South East Asian countries, however, there is concern that low testing capability might leave many cases undetected.

  14. Australian concern over China ‘beef beef’

    Australian beef products in a shop

    Copyright: EPA

    Image caption: Some Australian beef exports have been banned in China

    Tensions between China and Australia aren’t dying down, and the latest “beef” (Australian slang for fight) is about… beef.

    First a recap. Last month, Australia joined the US in calling for a global
    investigation into the origins of the virus and how it spread from China.

    That drew fervent criticism from Beijing, with its ambassador warning that Chinese
    consumers might boycott Australian products as a result.

    Given China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and buys
    over a third of its exports – this was viewed as a threat of “economic coercion” in
    Canberra.

    Then yesterday, China slapped a temporary ban on beef imports
    from Australia’s four largest producers – citing concerns with inaccurate labelling.

    Both Australia and China have dismissed suggestions these
    moves could be political retaliation.

    However, as analysts point out, they always seem to come to
    a head when a diplomatic fight is going on.

  15. California eases some virus measures

    Life is starting to get back to normal in some parts of California – with offices allowed to open and some restaurants able to offer sit-down dining services.

    Some shopping malls in certain counties will be allowed to partially reopen, though tattoo parlours, nail salons and gyms still remain firmly shut.

    “It’s a mistake to over-promise what reopening means,” said Governor Gavin Newsom in a daily press briefing.

    The easing of restrictions comes as infections in California appear to be stabilising. But the state allows local governments to impose their own stricter guidelines – areas like Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area for example, have not yet eased restrictions.

    An employee inside a restaurant waits for customers arriving for pickup in Alhambra, California on May 7, 2020.

    Copyright: Getty Images

  16. Deals struck to produce experimental Covid-19 drug

    A vial of the antiviral drug remdesivir.

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The company behind the experimental coronavirus treatment remdesivir has signed non-exclusive licensing deals with five drugmakers based in India and Pakistan to make and sell the antiviral medicine in 127 countries.

    Gilead Sciences said the agreements cover almost all of the world’s low-income and lower-middle income countries, including Afghanistan, India, North Korea, Pakistan and South Africa.

    The pacts also include several upper-middle and high-income nations.

    This month both the US and Japan authorised remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19 patients.

    Many other pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a treatment or vaccine to combat the pandemic.

  17. US daily death toll jumps to almost 2,000

    Coffin draped in US flag

    Copyright: AFP

    The United States has recorded 1,894 deaths linked to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 82,339, according to the real-time tally by the Johns Hopkins University.

    The latest daily increase was a sharp rise after tolls had fallen below 1,000 on both Sunday and Monday.

    The total number of confirmed infections in the US stands at 1,369,386.

  18. New Zealand ready for ‘sharp, short economic shock’

    Jacinda Ardern

    Copyright: Getty Images

    New Zealand’s government has warned the county is in for a “sharp, hopefully short economic shock”.

    Ahead of the annual budget, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there’d be investment to cushion the fallout but that “New Zealand is about to enter a very tough winter”.

    The budget is expected to include billions of stimulus dollars on infrastructure, healthcare, housing, and more subsidies for low income workers.

    The country has managed to bring the pandemic under control – there are currently only 78 active cases, and 21 deaths in total.

  19. The (back) pains of working from home

    As Twitter allows some employees to work from home permanently, what is the best way to stay comfortable out of the office?

    We asked an expert on some simple ways to maintain good posture and
    make working from home a more comfortable experience.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How to combat back pain while working from home
  20. China sees more new cases in Jilin

    China reported seven new cases on Wednesday, up from one new case a day earlier.

    Of the seven cases – six were local infections in the north-eastern Jilin province, which has seen a recent spate of infections.

    Shulan city, in Jilin, was this week labelled the highest risk city in China and was put in lockdown after a cluster of cases connected to a local woman.

    The woman, who had no known history of travel or exposure to the virus, spread it to her husband, three sisters and other family members.

    Most transport links in and out of Shulan have now been cut off and all residents told to stay at home.