WHO warns of more lockdowns if transition not managed carefully. The director general of the World Health Organizationwarns of the risks of returning to lockdown if countries emerging from pandemic restrictions do not manage transitions “extremely carefully and in a phased approach”. preparedness.
Germany eases restrictions but retains ‘emergency brake’. The country’s top football league, the Bundesliga, is set to resume this month – one of various restrictions to be lifted as Germans are once again allowed to meet a limited number of friends and family and some shops are allowed to reopen.
UK could start easing virus lockdown next week. The British government will set out details of its plan to ease lockdown on Sunday, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, says, adding his hope that some measures could come into force the following day. Speaking in parliament for the first time since being hospitalised with Covid-19, Johnson says “every death is a tragedy”, calling the statistics “appalling”.
Spain extends state of emergency after bitter political dispute. Pred Sanchez’s Socialist-led coalition government secured an extension until 24 May. Congress’s approval for the latest extension of the crisis powers comes after days of bitter rowing and frantic negotiations.
Diplomatic split widens amid virus origin row and China shrugs off US claims and calls for focus on beating pandemic. China will not invite international experts in to investigate the source of Covid-19 while the pandemic is still raging, its UN ambassador says. China’s foreign ministry says the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is wrong to claim he has evidence suggesting the virus originated in a Chinese lab. The US-China relationship is one of disappointment and frustration, the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said, highlighting the deepening rift between Washington and Beijing.
Sweden nears 3,000 deaths. “We are starting to near 3,000 deceased, a horrifyingly large number,” Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, says. The country’s public health agency reports that a total of 23,918 cases have been confirmed and 2,941 deaths recorded; an increase of 87 deaths from the day before. Rather than enforcing a lockdown, Sweden has allowed many businesses to remain open, while asking citizens to keep their distance.
Iran warns of ‘rising trend’ as virus cases top 100,000. Iran records 1,680 new infections, the highest daily figure since 11 April, taking its overall caseload beyond the 100,000 mark. The country’s apparent success in controlling the epidemic has gone into reverse, with a sharp rise in the number of new daily infections over the past four days.
‘More than 90,000 health workers infected worldwide’. At least 90,000 healthcare workers globally are believed to have been infected, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) says, noting that the the true figure could be as much as twice that. It says more than 260 nurses have died amid reports of continuing shortages of protective equipment, as it urges authorities to keep more accurate records.