Global confirmed death toll exceeds 285,000. The number of people known to have died since the pandemic began has reached at least 285,445, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They say at least 4,168,427 people are known to have been infected. The figures are likely to significantly underestimate the true scale of the pandemic.
White House staff ordered to wear masks. The White House directs staff working in the West Wing, where the daily operations of Donald Trump’s administration are carried out, to wear masks. A senior administration official says the directive will apply at all times other than when staff are at their own desks.
Trump accused of racism over press conference comments. The president was criticised for telling an Asian-American journalist to direct her questions on the US’s epidemic to China, instead of to him. Trump insisted he would have answered the question the same way regardless of who had asked it. Trump refused to take further questions and abruptly ended the press conference. CNN’s influential chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, said Trump’s actions had “racist overtones”, adding: “It’s racist to look at an Asian-American correspondent and say ‘ask China’; it’s part of a pattern from the president.”
Senegal eases restrictions. The west African nation is reopening mosques and churches and easing other restrictions, even as it sees its largest one-day rise in cases. The president, Macky Sall,had ordered places of worship closed in March and imposed a dawn-to-dusk curfew. Since then, the daily pace of new cases has picked up – 177 on Monday from a previous high of 104 – with increasing community transmission in hotspots such as the holy city of Touba.
Algeria touts rapid test kits. Algeria starts producing rapid test kits with a detection time of 15 minutes and a production capacity of 200,000 units per week, its government says.
‘No guarantee’ of vaccine, UK’s PM says There is no guarantee of a Covid-19 vaccine, says the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, but he adds that the UK is heavily involved in the work to develop one.
‘Extreme vigilance’ needed as lockdowns end – WHO. The World Health Organization says “extreme vigilance” is needed as countries begin to exit lockdowns imposed to curb the virus’ spread.
Germany has reported an acceleration in new infections after taking early steps to ease its lockdown. South Korea, another country that succeeded in limiting infections, has seen a new outbreak in nightclubs.
Putin eases Russia lockdown despite infection surge. The Russian president announces an easing of the nationwide lockdown, even as the country sees a record number of new infections. Vladimir Putin says people in some sectors will return to work, though restrictions on public gatherings will remain in place. “We have a long and difficult process ahead of us with no room for mistakes,” he tells Russians.