Kim Jong-un reportedly appears in public
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un makes his first public appearance in nearly three weeks, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
His absence amid the pandemic led to speculation, though South Korean and US officials have stressed their belief he was not ill and could simply have been sheltering from the outbreak.
Global number of infections passes 3.3m
At least 3,334,416 people have been infected and at least 237,943 have died around the world since the pandemic began, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.
The figures, which are based on official and media reports, are likely to significantly underestimate the scale of the outbreak due to suspected underreporting, as well as differing testing and statistical regimes.
Trump now hopes for fewer than 100,000 US deaths
The president offers an increasingly bleak picture, telling a White House event: “Hopefully, we’re going to come in below that 100,000 lives lost, which is a horrible number, nevertheless.”
Trump, who initially dismissed the outbreak as a “hoax”, has oscillated between claiming that a death toll of between 100,000 and 200,000 peoplewould represent a success and predicting it could be as low as 60,000 or 70,000.
According to the latest figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 62,406 people have died in the US since the outbreak began.
US to allow emergency use of drug for hospitalised patients
The drug remdesivir is approved for emergency use to treat virus patients. The FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn clarifies that the drug has specifically been cleared for emergency use on those in hospital.
Trump says the approval represents a “very promising situation” and the White House’s taskforce coordinator Dr Deborah Birx adds: “I think this really illustrates what can happen in such a short time.”
Markets slide on US-China Covid-19 trade war threat
Trump’s threats to reignite the US-China trade war in reaction to the pandemictrigger a sell-off in global financial markets, as the economic costs of the pandemic continue to mount.
Against a backdrop of rising tension between the world’s two biggest economic superpowers, share prices resume a downward slide, with the FTSE 100 falling by 144 points, or 2.5%, in London.
Strict measures to continue in Ireland
Restrictions on movement are to continue for several more weeks in Ireland, although over-70s may now leave their homes to exercise. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, says most restrictions will remain until 18 May to “weaken the virus further so it doesn’t make a comeback”.
UK death toll rises to at least 27,510
The UK reports 739 more deaths, bringing the total death toll in the country to 27,510. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, says 177,454 people have tested positive: an increase of 6,201 since Thursday’s update. Of those, 15,111 patients are in hospital, Hancock says.
India extends lockdown
The country extends its lockdown – the world’s broadest by population – for two more weeks, but with some easing of restrictions in areas with few cases. The home ministry says that in view of “significant gains in the Covid-19 situation”, there will be “considerable relaxations” in areas with few or no cases.
South Africa begins to ease lockdown
Some industries are allowed to reopen after five weeks of restrictions in Africa’s most industrialised nation, which was already struggling with low growth and high debts when the lockdown began on 27 March.
Its easing comes after the ratings agency S&P downgraded the country’s credit rating to junk on Wednesday.