Daily coronavirus cases, deaths in Spain again drop: Live updates


Daily coronavirus cases, deaths in Spain again drop: Live updates

For the fourth day in a row, the numbers have dropped from the previous day in Spain as global deaths pass 70,000.

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Spain has reported 4,273 new cases of the coronavirus with 637 new deaths, the fourth day the daily totals have declined from the previous day.

The total deaths in the country from COVID-19 as of Monday stands at 13,055 among 135,032 cases. The new numbers offer another glimmer of hope in Europe, after Italy on Sunday saw its death toll at its lowest in more than two weeks and its infection curve finally on a downward slope.


Meanwhile, the United States entered one of the most critical weeks so far in the coronavirus crisis with government officials warning the death toll in states such as New York, Michigan and Louisiana was a sign of trouble to come in other states.

“This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localised,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on US media network Fox News on Sunday.

In the United Kingdom, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to a hospital for tests, in what his office said was a “precautionary step”. He remains in charge of the government.

Globally, the death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new virus, has passed 70,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, while the number of infections rose above 1.28 million.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, April 6

13:27 GMT – Boris Johnson: I’m in good spirits doing routine tests

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he undergoing routine tests for coronavirus symptoms but was in good spirits and in touch with his team.

“On the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms,” Johnson said on Twitter.

“I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.”

13:22 GMT


Hello, I am Tamila Varshalomidze in Doha, Qatar, taking over the blog from my colleague Joseph Stepansky.


China exports ventilators and masks crucial in coronavirus fight (02:38)

12:45 GMT – Kenyan president halts movement in affected areas

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a halt to all movement in parts of the country affected by the new coronavirus, including capital Nairobi.

“The cessation of movement within the Nairobi metropolitan area shall be for an initial containment period of 21 days with effect from 7 pm Monday the 6th of April 2020, that is today,” Kenyatta said in a televised address.

Kenya has reported 158 coronavirus cases and six deaths.

12:20 GMT – Britain now has 10,000 ventilators: PM spokesman

Britain now has 10,000 ventilators in its healthcare system, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman has said, confirming the number had increased after deliveries from suppliers.

The spokesman also said there were no current plans to ban citizens from exercising outside their homes, and that 16,000 tests for the coronavirus were carried out on Sunday.

12:10 GMT – Poland’s parliament rejects ruling party plan to vote on postal ballot proposal

Polish lawmakers have rejected a ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party proposal to hold a presidential election on May 10 by post, making it more uncertain whether the ballot will take place amid the coronavirus pandemic.

PiS insists the election should be held despite the rising number of deaths caused by the virus. But critics accuse it of sacrificing public health in a bid to support its ally, the incumbent Andrzej Duda, who is running first in the polls. It has proposed replacing voting booths with postal ballots.

Parliament said 228 lawmakers opposed including the plan in the legislative agenda, and 228 were in favour, while three abstained and one did not vote. The tied result meant the PiS motion was rejected.

UK’s Queen Elizabeth praises key workers in coronavirus address

12:00 GMT – Romania will extend state of emergency by 30 days

Romania’s government will extend its state of emergency by another 30 days after the current period ending next week, to help halt the spread of the new coronavirus, President Klaus Iohannis has said.

“We need to do this again. It’s a necessity. People should understand that without this measure, the virus cannot be stopped,” Iohannis told a video briefing.

Romania has so far recorded 4,057 confirmed cases of infection and 157 deaths.

11:45 GMT – Spain’s government seeks to consolidate contagion slowdown 

Spain’s government wants to consolidate the current rate of coronavirus contagion slowdown in Europe’s second-worst hit country, Health Minister Salvador Illa has said, as Spain enters its fourth week of confinement.

Up to 60,000 recently retired medical staff – aged 70 or less – have been rehired to contribute to the outbreak response, Illa added.

Life under lockdown: Chileans getting creative

11:30 GMT –  China vows to strengthen controls at land borders

China will work to further prevent coronavirus cases imported through its land borders, the Chinese government has said in a statement after a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The risk of the virus being imported into China via land borders is increasing and the number of such cases has exceeded those recorded at airports recently, the statement said.

Of the 38 imported cases with symptoms recorded in mainland China on Sunday, 20 had arrived in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang after travelling overland from Vladivostok in neighbouring Russia, having flown to Vladivostok from Moscow.

People Mourn COVID-19 Victims In Wuhan On Tomb Sweeping Day
A resident presents flowers during a silent tribute to “martyrs” who died in the fight against the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China [Getty Images]

11:25 GMT –  Thailand extends ban on incoming passenger flights

Thailand has extended a ban on all passenger flights from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the country’s aviation agency said.

The ban on incoming flights came into effect on Saturday morning and was originally set to run until the end of Monday, according to a previous order by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

The new order, which extended the ban for 12 more days until the end of April 18, came after the country reported 51 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths on Monday, raising the numbers to 2,220 cases and 26 fatalities.


11:20 GMT –  Germany draws up plans to end lockdown after April 19

Germany has drawn up a list of measures, including an obligation to wear masks in public, limits on public gatherings and the rapid tracing of infection chains, that officials think should allow life to return to normal after lockdown’s scheduled end on April 19.

The proposals, contained in a draft action plan compiled by the Interior Ministry document and seen by Reuters news agency on Monday, say the measures should be sufficient to keep the number of people infected by each person below 1 even as public life is allowed gradually to resume.

For this to be possible, mechanisms will have to be in place to track more than 80 percent of people an infected person had contact with within 24 hours of diagnosis. In return, schools will be able to reopen on a regional basis and strict border controls will be relaxed, the paper said.

Pandemic profiteering: US cracks down on scammers, price gouging

11:15 GMT –  Accused of ‘piracy’, US denies diverting masks bound for Germany

The US had no knowledge of a shipment of face masks bound for Germany that officials in Berlin have accused it of diverting from an airport in Bangkok, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Thailand said.

The comment came after Berlin Secretary of Interior Andreas Geisel said on Friday that an order of 200,000 masks bound for Germany had been “confiscated” in Bangkok and diverted to the United States, calling it an “act of modern piracy”.

“The United States Government did not take any action to divert any 3M supplies that were destined to Germany nor did we have any knowledge of such a shipment,” Jillian Bonnardeaux, the spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, told Reuters new agency.

11:00 GMT –  Head of junior Poland coalition party quits over election plan

Jaroslaw Gowin, the head of Accord, a junior party in Poland’s ruling coalition, has said he is quitting because he opposes the country’s decision to hold a presidential election in May, when the coronavirus outbreak is expected to peak there.

The biggest party in the conservative alliance, the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS), plans to hold the election on May 10 as scheduled.

“I am resigning… since I think the election cannot be held on May 10… Accord will remain a member” of the coalition, Gowin told a news conference.

Education on hold: School closures disadvantaging Africa’s poor

10:55  GMT – Switzerland deaths hit 584, infections rise to 21,652

The Swiss death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen to 584, the country’s public health agency has said, from 559 people on Sunday.

The number of positive tests also increased to 21,652 from 21,100 on Sunday, it said.

10:45 GMT – India PM Modi, lawmakers agree to 30 percent salary cut

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top government figures will take a 30 percent salary cut this year, a government minister has said, as the country tackles the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the economy.

Modi has imposed a three-week lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, but it has left millions without jobs and many of the more vulnerable sections of society struggling for food and shelter.

The federal cabinet has approved a decree under which Modi, along with President Ram Nath Kovind, state governors and members of parliament, will take the salary cut as part of their social responsibility, cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

10:30 GMT – France to see worst post-war downturn this year: Bruno Le Maire

France will likely see its worst post-war economic downturn this year, surpassing the 2.2-percent slump seen in 2009 after the global financial crisis, its finance minister has said.

“We will probably be at more than the negative 2.2 percent in 2009. That shows the magnitude of the economic shock we are facing,” Le Maire told the Senate in hearing by teleconference.

The government estimated last month in an emergency budget update that the economy would contract by 1 percent this year, but has since indicated that it would have to revise that figure.

Members of the French Civil Protection service arrive on site for a rescue operation in Paris, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France, April 4, 2020. Picture taken Apr
Members of the French Civil Protection service arrive on site for a rescue operation in Paris [Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

10:20 GMT – Iran death toll reaches 3,739

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus outbreak has reached 3,739, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur has said on state TV

The total number of people infected by coronavirus in the country has reached 60,500, he said.

10:10 GMT – South African telecoms regulator announces emergency spectrum release

South African telecoms regulator ICASA has announced an emergency release of broadband spectrum to meet a spike in internet usage due to the new coronavirus, which has so far infected 1,655 people and killed 11 in the country.

“The emergency release of this spectrum does not … negate the processes that are currently underway for permanent assignment of spectrum through an auction, the process which the Authority had committed to finalise by the end of 2020,” said the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) in a statement.

A man carries home groceries during a nationwide 21 day lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Umlazi township near Durban
A man carries home groceries during a nationwide 21-day lockdown in South Africa [Rogan Ward/Reuters]

09:45 GMT – Spain reports 4,273 new cases, 637 new deaths, continuing downward trend

Spain has reported 4,273 new cases of the coronavirus with 637 new deaths, the fourth day the daily total for both tallies has declined from the previous day.

The total deaths from COVID-19 in the hard-hit country, which has the second-most cases in the world to date, now stands at 13,055 among 135,032 reported infections.

09:35 GMT – Iran will never ask US for help: Official

Iran will never ask the US to help Tehran in its fight against the new coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has said, adding that Washington should lift its “illegal” sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

“Iran has never asked and will not ask America to help Tehran in its fight against the outbreak … But America should lift all its illegal unilateral sanctions on Iran,” Mousavi said in a televised news conference.

“They (the US) are trying to force Tehran to accept negotiations with America.”

09:30 GMT – Austria plans to start reopening shops from next week

Austria plans to reopen smaller shops from next week in its first step to loosen a lockdown that has slowed the spread of the coronavirus, as long as the public continues to observe the lockdown broadly, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said.

Kurz told a news conference that since Austria had acted earlier than most countries, that gave it the ability to reopen shops sooner as well.

If all goes well, it will reopen non-essential shops of less than 400 square metres and DIY shops on April 14, followed by all shops and malls on May 1, he said.


09:15 GMT – Japan to declare state of emergency in some areas lasting for a month: PM

Japan is to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures as early as Tuesday in a bid to stop the coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abehas said, with the government preparing a stimulus package to soften the economic blow.

More than 3,500 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Japan, and 85 have died. As the numbers rising, there is particular alarm over the spread in Tokyo, which has more than 1,000 cases, including 83 new ones on Monday.

During a televised news conference, Abe said an emergency, which would last about a month, will give governors authority to call on people to stay at home and businesses to close, but not to order the kind of lockdowns seen in other countries.

Japan mask
Commuters wear masks on their way to work in Tokyo, Japan [Kimimasa Mayama/EPA]

09:00 GMT – Philippines reports 11 more deaths, 414 new infections

The Philippines’ Health Ministry has reported 11 additional deaths and 414 new infections from of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths in the Philippines had reached 163 and cases rose to 3,660, while 73 patients had recovered.

08:55 GMT – Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in cases

Indonesia has confirmed 218 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily jump since the first cases were announced a month ago, taking the total number of infections to 2,491, a Health Ministry official said.

Achmad Yurianto, the official, said that 11 deaths had been recorded, taking the total to 209, while 192 people had recovered.

08:50 GMT – Poland expects peak of infections in May, June

Poland is still at the beginning of its fight with the coronavirus, with the peak of infections expected in May and June, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said.

Speaking to the lower house of parliament, Morawiecki said Poland has some shortages of medical equipment. It plans to increase within days the number of daily coronavirus tests to 8,000-9,000 from the current 6,000-7,000, he said.

Poland has reported 4,201 coronavirus cases, including 98 deaths.

Poland coronavirus statue mask
Someone has provided Krakow’s famous Eros Bendato (Eros Bound) sculpture with a face mask [Jakub Wlodek/Reuters]

08:40 GMT -Thousands of Pakistanis in UAE want to go home

More than 20,000 Pakistani workers stuck in the United Arab Emirates want to go home, as the Gulf state tightens restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Over 20,000 people had registered since April 3 with the consulate to return to Pakistan, a consulate spokesman told Reuters news agency.

The UAE, which has reported 1,799 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths, has gradually increased curbs, including imposing a nationwide curfew, suspending passenger flights and putting Dubai under lockdown.

08:15 GMT – Czech Republic reports lowest daily rise in cases

The Czech Republic has reported its lowest daily percentage rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the country entered its fourth week of restrictions on business and movement.

The country had 4,591 cases as of Sunday midnight, up 2.6 percent from the previous day, the Health Ministry said on its website. This was the lowest percentage increase since early March when the country had a handful of known infections. There have been 72 deaths and 96 recoveries.

08:05 GMT – Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive, stunning zoo officials

A tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the US or a tiger anywhere in the world, federal officials and the zoo said.

The four-year-old Malayan tiger, Nadia, was among a group of six other animals to have also fallen ill, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the zoo, said in a statement on Sunday.

She was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions, it said, adding that all of the cats are expected to recover.

Read more here.

tiger story inside image
Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for the coronavirus [Reuters]

07:50 GMT – Russia cases jump by almost 1,000 in 24 hours

Russia’s coronavirus case tally has risen to 6,343 in the past 24 hours, a record daily increase of 954, the country’s crisis response centre has said.

Cases have been recorded widely, but Moscow remains the epicentre of the outbreak with 591 new cases, the centre said. At least 47 people have died across the country, it said.

07:40 GMT – Podcast: Did Iran flatten the COVID-19 curve?

From the numbers, it was looking like Iran managed to flatten the coronavirus curve, but many in the country remain sceptical of the government data.

They fear Iran’s severe shortage of testing and medical equipment – caused largely by US sanctions – has left the health system with few resources in a fight that is nowhere near over, and could get a lot worse.

Al Jazeera’s The Take podcast speaks to Dr Rasha Ahmadi, an ER doctor in Tehran, Homa, a 27-year-old Iranian teacher, and Hamed Mousavi, a professor of political science at the University of Tehran, about the situation in the country.

07:30 GMT – New Zealand to stick with restrictions despite signs of improvement

New Zealand will stick to its tough curbs to combat the coronavirus, despite some early signs the spread of the illness has been stabilising, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

New Zealand started a four-week total lockdown of its population of about 5 million late in March, and declared a national emergency to slow the spread of the virus. The country’s 67 new infections on Monday were the lowest in five days, taking its tally to just over 1,100. It has reported one death.

“Our actions for the remainder of the period in level four will be about doubling down to ensure the gains made in the first half are not squandered in the second,” Ardern told reporters in Wellington.


07:20 GMT – European shares jump as deaths in continent slow

European shares rebounded on Monday as a slowdown in coronavirus deaths in France and Italy raised hopes that sweeping lockdowns were starting to show results.

The benchmark STOXX 600 index was up 2.9 percent at 07:07 GMT, after ending Friday with its sixth weekly decline in seven as the health crisis stalled business activity.

Italian and French bourses jumped 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, as data showed Italy reported its lowest daily death toll for more than two weeks on Sunday, while France’s death toll dropped and admissions into intensive care slowed.

The STOXX 600 index has lost more than $3 trillion in market value since February as the slump in economic activity brought many sectors to the verge of collapse, forcing companies to suspend dividends and share buyback to shore up cash.

Employees of the Lantz funeral company, wearing protections, pull the coffin of a victim of the COVID-19 of an EHPAD (Housing Establishment for Dependant Elderly People), in Mulhouse, eastern France,
Funerary employees bring the coffin of a COVID-9 victim out of a home for the elderly in Mulhouse, France [Sebastian Bozon/AFP]

07:00 GMT – Alibaba’s Jack Ma donates 500 ventilators to 54 African countries

Jack Ma, cofounder of tech powerhouse Alibaba, donated 500 ventilators, 200,000 suits and face shields, 2,000 thermometers, one million swabs and extraction kits and 500,000 gloves to all 54 African countries, he said on Twitter.

Ma had previously donated over one million laboratory diagnostic test kits and infection prevention and control materials to the continent.

Public health experts have warned of a severe shortage of supplies, in particular ventilators, across Africa, with the Norwegian Refugee Council warning in March that the Central African Republic had only three ventilators available for COVID-19 patients.

Jack Ma


Our second donation to 54 countries in Africa is on the way. That includes 500 ventilators, 200K suits & face shields, 2K thermometers, 1M swabs & extraction kits and 500K gloves. Thank you @AbiyAhmedAli @flyethiopian @AfricaCDC @WFP for your partnership. Stay safe Africa!

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06:45 GMT – UK Johnson will continue to lead government: Housing minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to lead the government, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said, after the British leader spent the night in hospital for tests because he was still suffering symptoms of the coronavirus.

“He’s been working extremely hard, leading the government and being constantly updated, that’s going to continue,” Jenrick told BBC TV.

The housing minister added that Johnson is “doing well”.

Read more here.

In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson claps outside 11 Downing Street to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS init
Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests after showing persistent symptoms of coronavirus [The Associated Press]

06:35 GMT – Thailand reports 51 new coronavirus cases, three more deaths

Thailand has reported 51 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths, according to a spokesman for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

Thirteen of the new cases were medical personnel who tended to infected patients or were in contact with them, said the spokesman, Taweesin Wisanuyothin.

More than half of the new cases were in Bangkok, he said. Thailand has confirmed a total of 2,220 cases and 26 fatalities since the outbreak emerged in the country in January.

thailand blog entry
Migrant workers from Myanmar pass through the Myawaddy border gate after leaving Thailand due to the coronavirus [Reuters]

06:25 GMT – Norwegian Air’s March traffic tumbles 60 percent

Norwegian Air’s passenger volume fell by 60 percent year-on-year in March as the company gradually grounded its fleet amid global efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The company has said it will cancel 85 percent of its flights in the time ahead and furlough 90 percent of its staff while seeking financial aid from Norway’s government.

06:10 GMT – Japan considering 6 months for state of emergency: Report

The Japanese government is considering a period of six months for the state of emergency that it is preparing to call in response to the coronavirus pandemic, broadcaster TBS has reported.

The move would cover Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures as well as Osaka, TBS said, citing unidentified sources. Within the six-month period, these prefectures would decide the length of time for their individual measures, TBS said.

The government is preparing to announce a state of emergency as early as Tuesday, the broadcaster said.


This is Joseph Stepansky in Doha taking over the live updates from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.


05:40 GMT – Apple to ship 1 million face shields a week

Apple says it will produce one million face shields a week for medical workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook says the company has designed its own transparent protective face shield and begun mass production at its factories in the US and China.

“We plan to ship over one million by the end of this week,” he says, adding that initial distribution will be focused on the US.

05:07 GMT – Germany reports fourth daily drop in rate of new infections

Germany recorded 3,677 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, marking the fourth straight drop in the daily rate of new cases.

The figure is lower than the 5,936 new infections reported on Sunday, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

At least 1,434 people have died from COVID-19 in Germany, while the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 95,391.

04:10 GMT – Virus-hit cruise ship docks in Australia as criminal probe begins

The Ruby Princess, a cruise ship that has become the biggest single source of coronavirus cases in Australia, is docking at a port in southern New South Wales so crew in need of urgent medical treatment can be brought ashore.

Police in New South Wales are launching a criminal investigation into the ship’s allowing infected passengers to disembark in Sydney on March 19.

At least 360 COVID-19 cases, including crew members, are associated with the Ruby Princess. At least six of them are reported to have died.

Read more here.

03:51 GMT – Scots’ medical chief resigns after flouting own rules

Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, is resigning after she broke her own advice on staying at home by visiting her second home this weekend and last.

Calderwood said she had agreed in discussions with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening that her actions risked distracting from the “hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic”.

“It is with a heavy heart that I resign as chief medical officer,” she says in a statement.

Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.

Scotland's First Minister Sturgeon Gives A Coronavirus Briefing
Catherine Calderwood at a coronavirus briefing at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh, Scotland [Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]

3:31 GMT – Japan’s Pikotaro redesigns signature song as hand-washing melody

Japanese social media celebrity Pikotaro returned as a leading Twitter trend in Japan with a coronavirus hand-washing song that repurposes his signature Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen (PPAP) to Pray-for-People-and-Peace.

Pikotaro, whose real name is Kazuhito Kosaka, wore the same gold animal print outfit he wore in 2016’s viral PPAP video.

His hand-washing video, shorter than the 2016 two-minute hit, had also been viewed more than 250,000 times on YouTube since it was uploaded on Saturday.




PPAP-2020-/PIKOTARO(ピコ太郎) https://youtu.be/WKfolJv6Kx8  @YouTubeより

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02:47 GMT – Japan ‘set to declare a state of emergency’

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency due to a surge in coronavirus infections, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.

The declaration will empower local authorities to instruct the public to stay at home and request the closure of schools and other facilities, according to Kyodo, and will target big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.

02:25 GMT – Older Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in ‘imminent danger’

Amnesty International is warning that older Rohingya refugees in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh are being left behind in the humanitarian response to COVID-19.

The rights group says basic accurate information about the illness and measures to prevent its spread is failing to reach people in the camps, especially older refugees.

There are more than 31,500 refugees aged 60 or older among the 860,000 people residing in the camps, according to United Nations figures.

Myanmar Faces Charges Of Genocide
People at a restaurant in a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh [File: Allison Joyce/Getty Images]

02:05 GMT – Can ‘immunity passports’ ease coronavirus lockdowns?

Going back to work and getting the economy moving again may take a long time in many countries. But there is one idea in the works with the hope that it may ease worldwide lockdowns: the “immunity passport”, a certificate for those who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been declared immune to the virus.

“The idea behind this is that if people get immune through natural infection, they are in a similar situation as someone having received a vaccination. We could use antibody tests as soon as proper tests become available to document that immunity,” says Gerard Krause, who heads the Department for Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany’s Braunschweig.

Watch this report from Al Jazeera’s Priyanka Gupta for more on this topic.

1:51 GMT – New cases in S Korea fall below 50 for first time since February peak

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 47 new cases of the new coronavirus, down from 81 cases a day earlier and the fewest daily infections since its February 29 peak.

The figure brings South Korea’s total infections to date to 10,284.

Three people died from the virus at the end of Sunday, raising the death toll to 136.

1:45 GMT – World sees ‘horrifying surge in domestic violence’ amid pandemic

Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, is appealing for an end to domestic violence as fears grow that victims are unable to escape to safety because of coronavirus lockdowns imposed as the world.

“Over the past weeks, as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence. In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled,” he says in a statement.

Governments must make the “prevention and redress” of violence against women a key part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he adds.

01:12 GMT – China reports increase in cases

Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases at the end of Sunday, all but one of them imported from abroad, up from the 30 reported a day earlier, as the number of asymptomatic cases also surged.

The National Health Commission said 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.

Only one new death was recorded on April 5, the new data showed.

00:46 GMT – US ‘will reach a horrific point’ in virus deaths

US President Donald Trump is warning of an increase in coronavirus deaths in the US in the coming weeks.

“I think we all know that we have to reach a certain point and that point is going to be a horrific point in terms of death. But its also a point at which things are going to start changing,” the president says.

“We are getting very close to that level right now. The next week and a half, two weeks are going to be very difficult.”

00:30 GMT – Haiti reports first death

Haiti recorded its first death from the coronavirus, a 55-year-old man who had underlying health conditions.

He was one of only 21 confirmed cases in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

00:20 GMT – Trump hopes for ‘levelling-off’ of coronavirus in hot spots

Trump is expressing hope the US is seeing a “levelling-off” of the coronavirus crisis, citing a slight drop in deaths in New York, the hardest-hit state.

“Maybe that’s a good sign,” Trump told reporters, referring to the drop in fatalities.

The death toll in New York state rose to 4,159 on Sunday, up from 3,565 the day before.

00:00 GMT – US braces for ‘hardest, saddest’ week

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Americans shoul brace for “the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localised,” the top doctor warned on Fox News on Sunday.

He had a message for the nine governors who have not yet imposed shelter-in-place orders in their states

“If you can’t give us a month, give us what you can. Give us a week. Give us whatever you can to stay at home during this particularly tough time when we’re going to be hitting our peak over the next seven to 10 days.”

Hello, this is Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

You can find all of the updates from yesterday, April 5 here.





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