Coronavirus lockdown measures will finally be eased for people in Madrid and Barcelona from today, while elsewhere in Spain the first beaches are due to reopen, according to AFP.
Residents in the two cities can now meet in groups of up to 10 people in their homes or on the terraces of bars and restaurants.
The gates of the capital's parks will also be reopened, and major museums will be able to receive a limited number of visitors.
The Madrid and Barcelona regions, the most populated in the country, and a large part of Castile-Leon in the northwest are moving into the first phase of Spain's four phase deconfinement programme, following what has been one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.
Turkey confirms 32 deaths, 1,141 new Covid-19 cases
Turkey’s health minister has announced 32 new deaths from Covid-19, bringing the death toll in the country to 4,340.
Fahrettin Koca also said there were 1,141 new infections confirmed in the past 24 hours. The total number of infections has reached 156,827, according to AP.
Turkey ranks ninth in a global tally by Johns Hopkins University but experts believe the number of infections could be much higher than reported. More than 118,000 people have recovered, according to the health ministry statistics.
Germany tries to trace people who attended church service after 107 test positive
German authorities are trying to trace everyone who attended a church service in Frankfurt this month after more than 107 people tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to Reuters, churches in the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
“This situation shows how important it is that all of us stay alert and avoid becoming careless, especially now during the easing of restrictions. The virus is still there and will spread,” Hesse state health minister Kai Klose said.
First signs if a Covid-19 vaccine works possible in autumn: Gavi
First indications of the effectiveness of a potential vaccine against coronavirus may be available in the autumn, the head of the Gavi vaccine alliance told a Swiss newspaper, forecasting a long road from there to broad availability.
“Unfortunately, we really do not know which vaccine will work and whether there will be one at all. If we’re lucky, we’ll receive indications in autumn as to (a potential vaccine’s) effectiveness,” Gavi head Seth Berkley told NZZ am Sonntag in an interview.
“But there will still be a long way to go from there until an approved active substance becomes available in large quantities for the global population,” he said.
France wants its citizens to holiday at home this summer
The French government does not want its citizens to travel abroad this summer and recommends they take their holidays in France, Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne has said.
Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron said it was unlikely that French people would be able to undertake major foreign trips this summer and that even trips within Europe may have to be limited to reduce the risk of a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic.
Borne, in an interview with France Inter radio, also said that next week the government would decide on possibly loosening rules on French domestic travel, currently limited to a maximum 100 kilometres from home.
According to Reuters, she said that Paris parks had to remain closed for now, as the capital was still a “red zone” for virus circulation.
In fight against virus, South Africa expects a long wait
So far, South Africa has not seen the explosion of virus infections that emerged in Europe. One possible contributing factor is the country’s youthful population, with just 3pc of people above the age of 60, say several health experts.
Africa’s small elderly population may help explain why the disease is spreading relatively slowly across the continent.
South Africa is still in the early stages of the pandemic, leading health experts to predict the peak could come as late as August or September. A surge of cases in Cape Town suggests that city might reach its maximum near the end of June. The forecasts portend a lengthy wait to resume normal activity.
Sindh's tally tops 22,000 after more than 700 cases reported for eighth straight day
Sindh's coronavirus tally has topped 22,000 after it reported 846 new cases. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that 3,547 tests were conducted over the last 24 hours, out of which 846 came back positive.
"Twenty four per cent tests coming back positive is a big increase," he said, adding that this was due to carelessness in following precautionary measures.
He added that 156 patients are in critical condition while 34 are on ventilators.
The chief minister said that 146 people recovered and were sent to their homes during the last 24 hours.
Chinese lab has 3 coronavirus strains from bats but none match Covid-19
The Chinese virology institute at the centre of the United States allegations that it may have been the source of the Covid-19 pandemic has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new global contagion, its director has said.
Scientists think Covid-19 originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal.
But the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster CGTN that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others the virus could have leaked from the facility were “pure fabrication”.
CM Buzdar pays tribute to plane crash victim who worked on the frontline in fight against virus
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has paid tribute to Khalid Sherdil, a senior member of Pakistan Administrative Service who was killed in the ill-fated PIA plane crash on Friday.
"Khalid Sherdil worked on the frontline during the corona outbreak and provided timely support to the government," Buzdar was quoted as saying by the Government of Punjab's Twitter account. The chief minister was visiting Sherdil's family to offer his condolences.
"Punjab government has been robbed of a capable and intelligent officer."
Muslims around the world are observing a sombre Eidul Fitr, many under coronavirus lockdown, but lax restrictions offer respite to worshippers in some countries despite fears of skyrocketing infections.
This year, the celebration is overshadowed by the fast-spreading respiratory disease, with many countries tightening lockdown restrictions after a partial easing during Ramazan led to a sharp spike in infections.
Further dampening the festive spirit, multiple countries — from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Turkey and Syria — have banned mass prayer gatherings, a festival highlight, to limit the spread of the disease.
In Eid message, US president hopes Muslims find 'comfort and strength'
United States President Donald Trump, in his Eidul Fitr message, has said that he hopes Muslims find comfort, strength and healing from the Covid-19 disease that has dampened the celebrations of this year’s festival.
“As Muslims observe the day of Eid al-Fitr, we hope they find both comfort and strength in the healing powers of prayer and devotion.
“Over the past weeks and months, as we have fought the coronavirus, we have relied on our faith, family, and friends to help guide us through these unprecedented times,” Trump's message, released by his office, said.
72pc Covid-19 patients are over 50, NCOC data says
The data of the National Command and Operation Centre on coronavirus shows that as many as 72 per cent of total patients are over the age of 50 years.
Besides, 74pc of the patients are male and 72pc of them have comorbidities, which means that the patients are suffering from more than one disease at the same time. Conditions described as comorbidities are often chronic or long-term conditions.
Labs to continue conducting coronavirus testing during Eid: Punjab govt notification
Laboratories in Punjab will continue to conduct coronavirus testing during the Eidul Fitr holidays, albeit on a reduced schedule, according to a notification issued by the provincial primary and secondary health department.
According to the notification, the labs across the province will work in a single shift on the first day of Eid, followed by two shifts on days two and three each.
"All public laboratories shall remain functional as per given schedule," the notification adds.
Rohingya targeted in Malaysia as coronavirus stokes xenophobia
For decades, Muslim-majority Malaysia welcomed Rohingya and largely turned a blind eye to their technically illegal employment in low-paying jobs.
But, as in some other parts of the world, the novel coronavirus outbreak has turned sentiment against foreigners, who have been accused of spreading disease, burdening the state and taking jobs as the economy plummets.
While the Rohingya have been the most obvious targets, other migrants are also worried in a country that relies heavily on foreign labour at factories, construction sites and plantations.
Rare protest in Qatar over unpaid wages amid Covid-19 crisis
Migrant labourers staged a rare protest in Qatar over unpaid wages, the government said, at a time of economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and rock-bottom oil prices.
Images on social media showed more than 100 men blocking a main road in the Msheireb district of the capital Doha late Friday, clapping and chanting as police looked on.
“Following an immediate investigation (the ministry) has taken steps to ensure that all salaries will be promptly paid in the coming days,” the labour ministry said in a statement. It added that legal action has been taken against the companies involved in non-payment of salaries.
Punjab allows Eid holidays to Covid-19 testing staff; labs to function at lower capacity
The Punjab health department has decided to grant Eid holidays to staff working at labs carrying out coronavirus testing in order to give them "much-needed rest", according to Azhar Mashwani, the focal person on digital media to the Punjab chief minister.
Malaysia says second virus cluster breaks out at migrant detention centres
A new cluster of coronavirus infections has broken out in Malaysia at a detention centre for undocumented migrants, authorities have said.
The health ministry said that 21 cases were identified at the Semenyih detention center near the capital Kuala Lumpur, which houses around 1,600 detainees.
According to a Reuters report, Malaysia has this month arrested more than 2,000 foreigners for not having permits that allow them to be in the country following raids in areas under lockdown. The centres they are detained in are often crowded, with dozens of migrants packed in a single cell.
The United Nations and rights groups have called on Malaysia to stop the crackdown and criticised authorities for going after a vulnerable community during the pandemic.
China's Wuhan says conducted 1.47 million Covid-19 tests on Friday
The city of Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China, conducted 1,470,950 nucleic acid tests for the virus on Friday, the local health authority says, compared with 1,000,729 tests the previous day.
Wuhan kicked off a campaign on May 14 to look for asymptomatic carriers — infected people who show no outward sign of illness — after confirming on May 9-10 its first cluster of Covid-19 infections since its lockdown was lifted on April 8.
Britain divided over reopening schools as virus rules ease
Since March 20, the coronavirus has forced British schools to close to all but a small number of key workers’ children and those under social care.
The British government now wants children to start returning to primary schools in stages from June 1. Those going back first include the youngest — ages 4 to 6. Daycare providers also have been told to start welcoming back babies and toddlers from June.
The reopening has divided the country and faced vehement opposition from teachers unions, which say it’s too risky for everyone and could cause a spike in infections.