Coronavirus cases exceed 3 million, a third in US: Live updates

While some countries are beginning to ease virus lockdowns, there is concern infection rates could accelerate again.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

  • The number of people around the world confirmed to have the coronavirus has risen to more than three million, and at least 216,500 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 925,500 people have recovered.

  • France has unveiled plans, including the adoption of aggressive testing, for a gradual relaxation of its nationwide lockdown from May 11. Germany has already loosened some of its restrictions, but people are now being encouraged to stay at home amid concern the infection rate could be picking up again.

  • China accused US politicians of telling lies to distract from their own performance, shortly after US President Donald Trump renewed his verbal attacks on China. 

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, April 29

03:10 GMT – China’s parliament to sit on May 22 after coronavirus delay

China’s parliament will start its key annual session in Beijing on May 22, more than two months later than originally planned because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

China usually ratifies major legislation and unveils economic targets at the parliament, which was initially scheduled to start on March 5.

China’s top political consultative body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, has also proposed to start its annual session on May 21.

It’s not clear yet how long the two meetings will last. The gatherings usually involve more than 5,000 delegates travelling to Beijing from all over China for at least 10 days, but the capital currently has stricty quarantine rules on anyone entering the city from elsewhere.

02:30 GMT – Winston the pug becomes first dog in US to test positive for coronavirus

A pug named Winston has become the first pet dog in the United States to test positive for the coronavirus.

Winston belongs to a family who are taking part in the Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection research study at Duke University.

A handful of pet cats and dogs have previously been found with the virus.

02:15 GMT – European countries move towards gradual easing, focus on testing

Several European countries are eyeing a gradual end to their coronavirus lockdowns as infection rates slow and death rates decline.

Governments from France to Spain, Greece and Russia are setting out plans to reopen schools, shops and businesses with many looking to testing and tracing to keep control of the virus. Social distancing measures will remain in force too.

“Our emergence from quarantine will be done step by step,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address. “No one can rule out the risk of the threat rekindling. A return [to normal life] must not lead to a relapse.”

You can read more about what’s going on in each country here.

02:05 GMT – Alphabet warns of difficult period for Google advertising business

Alphabet, the company that owns Google, posted double-digit advertising growth in the three months ended March 31 despite the economic slowdown from the novel coronavirus.

But Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat told analysts on Tuesday that while users were searching more, they were looking up less commercial topics, and advertisers were cutting spending.

“As of today, we anticipate the second quarter will be a difficult one for our advertising business,” Porat said.

Porat said search ad revenue had declined by a “mid-teens percentage” by the end of March compared with a year earlier. Impact has more on that story here.

02:00 GMT – China reports 22 new cases of coronavirus, no deaths

China’s National Health Commission says the mainland had 22 new cases of coronavirus for April 28, all but one of them in people who had returned from overseas. 

The total number of deaths remains unchanged at 4,633. 

00:10 GMT – ICRC calls on Asian countries to include migrants in coronavirus response

The International Committee of the Red Cross says governments in the Asia Pacific must “systematically include” migrants, regardless of their legal status in their coronavirus response programmes, and take “all possible measures” to reduce the use of immigration detention.

“Governments in the region should do more for the migrants,” said Christine Cipolla, ICRC regional director for Asia and the Pacific. “It is in their best interest. It saves lives. It protects society as a whole.”

Migrants, including refugees, make up a large proportion of the population in several countries and play a crucial role in the economy, the ICRC statement noted.

23:30 GMT (Tuesday) – US considering coronavirus testing on some international flights

US President Donald Trump says the US is considering testing passengers on international flights for the coronavirus.

“We’re looking at doing it on international flights coming out of areas that are heavily infected,” Trump said at the White House.” He added that the administration was already discussing the plan with airlines and it could be introduced “in the very near future”.

The US has a third of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the world and the most deaths anywhere.

Read all the latest updates from yesterday (April 28) here.

Source: Read Full Article