Confirmed deaths worldwide pass 290,000. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 4,247,709 people around the world are known to have contracted the virus, while at least 290,838 have died since the pandemic began. The numbers, which are based on official and media reports, are likely to be significant underestimates due to suspected underreporting and differing recording and testing regimes.
Pence avoiding Trump after aide’s positive test. The US vice-president, Mike Pence, is keeping his distance from Donald Trump after the former’s press secretary tested positive, the White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has confirmed.
French schools reopen. Thousands of schools have reopened throughout France as the government eased its lockdown rules, despite fears of a second waves of infections, Agence France-Presse reports.
Covid-19 R number falls below 1 in Germany. 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.
UK official death toll passes 40,000. The Office for National Statistics says 35,044 deaths involving Covid-19 have been registered in England and Wales up to 9 May. Adding the latest figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland and more up to date fatalities from the four nations, the total official UK death tollnow stands at 40,496.
Spain’s new daily cases lowest in two months. The health ministry identified 594 new cases, bringing the total since the country’s epidemic began to 228,030. The number of fatalities related to the disease rises by 176 to 26,920.
“Potentially positive data” on drugs, WHO says. The World Health Organization says some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of suffering caused by Covid-19 and that it is focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones. “We do have some treatments that seem to be, in very early studies, limiting the severity or the length of the illness, but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” its spokeswoman Margaret Harris says.
Kremlin spokesman in hospital. Dmitry Peskov, the Russian government’s spokesman, is admitted to hospital with Covid-19, local media report. “Yes, I got sick, I’m being treated,” Peskov is quoted as saying. He is at least the second person in Vladimir Putin’s administration to test positive.
Lebanon orders ‘total lockdown’. People in the eastern Mediterranean country are told to stay at home for four days after an increase in infections followed an easing of restrictions. Lebanese health authorities have officially announced 870 cases of Covid-19, including 11 newly detected on Tuesday, and 26 deaths.
UK recession ‘already happening’ The UK is effectively in the midst of a recession, its chancellor says. Rishi Sunak tells the BBC: “We already know that many people have lost their jobs and it breaks my heart. We’ve seen what’s happening with universal credit claims already. This is not something that we’re going to wait to see; it’s already happening.”
Top US adviser testifies. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top public health expert, warned that official figures are underestimating the death toll in the US and that “the consequences could be really serious” if the country relaxes safeguards too abruptly. Fauci delivered testimony to the Senate on Tuesday as the US president, Donald Trump, encouraged businesses to reopen.
Virus hits South Sudanese camp. For the first time, Covid-19 has been confirmed in a crowded civilian protection camp in South Sudan’s capital, the United Nations says. It is a worrying development in a country that is one of the world’s least prepared for the virus’s spread.