Global death toll passes 142,000
The total number of coronavirus deaths across the world has reached 142,735, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked the spread of the virus during the pandemic.
The US has the highest number of deaths, with more than 33,000, followed by Italy, which has passed the 22,000 mark, and Spain, which has recorded more than 19,000 fatalities.
Across the world, the total number of coronavirus cases has reached more than 2.13 million.
Trump announces guidelines to end US lockdown
Donald Trump has announced guidelines for individual states to reopen on different schedules.
At his White House briefing, he said: “We’re opening up our country … America wants to be open … our experts say the curve has flattened and the peak in new cases is behind us.”
The president added: “We must have a working economy and we want to get it back very quickly, and that’s what’s going to happen.”
UK government minister’s father died from pneumonia ‘brought on by coronavirus’
Greg Hands tweeted in tribute to his father, who he said died on Monday with Covid-19. The trade minister paid tribute to the “brilliant grammar school scientist” and “determined man”, adding that he would be “sorely missed”.
Hands, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham in west London, shared the tribute after taking part in the applause for NHS workers on Thursday night, calling the moment “especially poignant”.
Captain Tom to ‘keep on going’
Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old war veteran pacing his garden to raise money for the NHS, says he will continue completing his laps despite passing his 100-lap target.
Moore originally aimed to raise just £1,000 for NHS Charities Together, but has now raised almost £16m. He completed his final lap on Thursday but tweeted to say he planned to “keep on going”.
Police discover 17 bodies in US nursing home
Police have found 17 bodies in one of New Jersey’s largest nursing homes after an anonymous tip said a body was being stored in a shed.
A total of 68 people associated with the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Centers have recently died, with 26 having tested positive for coronavirus.
Officers found no body in the shed, but said the facility’s tiny morgue was “overwhelmed”, holding 17 bodies. It is unclear how many of the deaths were due to Covid-19.
US business funding programme runs out of money
A US small business lending programme set up to help companies affected by coronavirus has run out of money. The Small Business Administration said it was unable to accept new applications “based on available appropriations funding”.
It had been given the task of managing the $349bn (£280bn) programme that grants loans to businesses so that they can pay their employees.
Saudi Arabia pledges $500m to support efforts to tackle coronavirus
Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, said it has pledged $500m to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and urged other countries and organisations to help bridge an $8bn financing gap.
Riyadh said it would allocate $150m to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, $150m to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and $200m to other health organisations and programmes.
France death toll increases by 753
France registered 753 more deaths from coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 17,920, the fourth highest tally in the world. But the number of people in hospital declined for a second day running.
Jerome Salomon, head of France’s public health authority, said the total number of people in intensive care units fell for the eighth day in a row, to 6,248 – the lowest figure since 1 April.
At 17,920, the number of fatalities is up 4.4% over 24 hours, with the rate of increase decelerating again after it had increased the two previous days.
Brazil’s president Bolsonaro fires health minister
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has sacked his health minister, Luiz Mandetta, after a standoff between the two men over radically different views of the pandemic.
Mandetta tweeted on Thursday: “I have just received notice of my dismissal from President Jair Bolsonaro. I would like to say thank you for the opportunity that was given to me, to manage our health service … and to plan our fight against the coronavirus epidemic, this great challenge that our health system is about to face.”
Mandetta has defended social isolation while the far-right president insists the impact of the pandemic on Brazil’s struggling economy is more important than loss of life.
Putin delays Victory Day anniversary celebrations
Vladimir Putin has delayed Russia’s celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Victory Day due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Russia’s president said: “The risk connected to the epidemic, the peak of which has not passed, are still dangerously high. And that doesn’t give me the right to begin the preparations for the parade and other mass events.”
Putin did not set a new date for the parade, which had been scheduled for 9 May, but promised it would take place this year.