Cuomo to involve pharmacists in testing, Global death toll passes 200,000, as it is announced UK prime minister set to return to work on Monday
The total number of people to die worldwide after contracting the novel coronavirus has surpassed 200,000, figures show. The global death toll increased to 202,368 on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The figures for infections are likely to underestimate the true scale of the pandemic due to suspected under-reporting and differing testing regimes. Death toll figures are also controversial, with some countries reporting deaths as confirmed Covid-19 cases on the basis of symptoms and in the absence of a positive test, while others are not including them.
Boris Johnson will return to work on Monday and is ‘raring to go’, a Downing street spokeswoman has confirmed. The prime minister has been recovering in his country residence after spending three nights in intensive care in April. He returns to face a dilemma over whether to ease the coronavirus lockdown, as leading scientists warn that the number of new cases remains much too high.
German police arrested dozens of protesters in Berlin on Saturday for flouting the coronavirus lockdown measures they were demonstrating against. About 1,000 people turned out for the rally, which has become a weekly event in the German capital. Saturday’s protest attracted mainly far-left activists but there were also right-wing supporters and members of other fringe groups.
Paraguayan authorities have laid out details of a plan to begin lifting the country’s total quarantine. Health minister Julio Mazzonleni announced at press conference on Friday that a new “intelligent quarantine” will begin on 4 May. It will gradually reintroduce public freedoms and economic activities through a four-stage plan set to run until early July.
The UK’s biggest steel producer needs about £500m in government support to see it through the coronavirus crisis, according to Welsh MP Stephen Kinnock. Tata Steel has reportedlyapproached the UK and Welsh governments for a bailout after its big European customers halted production. The company employs 8,385 people across the UK, including more than 4,000 workers at the Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales.
Spain could lift more lockdown restrictions and allow adults out to exercise from 2 May if efforts to contain the spread of the virus continue to pay off, prime minister Pedro Sánchez has said. The strict lockdown enacted after the declaration of a state of emergency on 14 March has been extended until 9 May, but children under the age of 14 will be allowed out for an hour’s exercise each day from Sunday.
As rumours of Kim Jong-un’s death circulate on social media, one news agency has suggested that he may be sheltering from Covid-19 in a North Korean resort town. On Friday, South Korean news agency Newsis said that a special train for Kim’s use had been spotted by intelligence sources in the town of Wonsan. A Washington-based North Korea monitoring project called 38 North has captured satellite images which also appear to show a special train, possibly belonging to the Northern Korean leader, in Wonsan. Though the group said it was probably Kim Jong Un’s train, Reuters has not been able to confirm that independently, or whether he was in Wonsan.
The World Health Organization said on Saturday there was currently “no evidence” that people who have recovered from coronavirus are protected from a second infection – even if they now have antibodies against it.