As many countries lift restrictions and re-open their economies, the World Health Organization warned countries where coronavirus infections are declining that they could still face an “immediate second peak” if they ease the measures too soon.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* More than 5.52 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and 345,902 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 1026 GMT on Tuesday.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click the link in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, click the link in an external browser.
* A global campaign to fund the development of vaccines and therapies against COVID-19 has so far raised 9.5 billion euros ($10.4 billion), the head of the European Commission said.
* Spain urged its European Union partners to set up common rules to open borders and re-establish the freedom of travel in the Schengen Area as national lockdowns are phased out.
* Germany plans to ease social distancing steps from June 29, a week earlier than previously planned, and aims to lift a travel warning for 31 European countries from mid-June.
* The United Kingdom’s death toll surpassed 47,000 on Tuesday, a dire human cost that could define the premiership of Boris Johnson, already under fire for his handling of the pandemic.
* The White House brought forward by two days restrictions on travel to the United States from Brazil as the number of deaths recorded there over 24 hours surpassed the U.S. daily toll.
* California allowed retail with in-store shopping and places of worship to open.
* Americans paid a low-key tribute to those who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces on Monday, with many Memorial Day events cancelled.
* Indian states witnessing millions of migrant labourers returning from the big cities are recording rising infections, officials said, fearing that the pandemic could spread through villages where medical care is basic at best.
* Indonesia’s military ordered the deployment of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police to enforce rules on wearing masks and safe distancing.
* A Kuwaiti livestock ship, without animals aboard, was being held off Australia’s west coast after six crew members tested positive for the virus.
* Australia will not open its borders “anytime soon”, the prime minister said, but added the country will continue discussions with neighbouring New Zealand for a trans-Tasman safe travel zone.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Saudi Arabia will begin easing restrictions on movement and travel this week, with an aim to lift the curfew completely — with the exception of the holy city of Mecca — from June 21.
* Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity reopened to worshippers and tourists on Tuesday as Palestinian authorities eased restrictions in the occupied West Bank.
* World shares forged ahead and commodity markets drove higher, as investors disregarded Sino-U.S. tensions to focus on more stimulus in China and a re-opening world economy.
* The British government has awarded more than 32 billion pounds ($39 billion) in loans and guarantees to businesses to see them through the pandemic.
* Bank of Japan governor said the central bank may take more steps to cushion the economic impact from the pandemic, maintaining his gloomy outlook even as a state of emergency was lifted in Tokyo.
* China will strengthen its economic policy and continue efforts to lower interest rates on loans, central bank governor said, reinforcing expectations of further support measures to revive an economy.
* Australian prime minister called for an ideological truce between employers and workers to revive the country’s economy.
* Denmark’s economy is facing its biggest contraction since World War Two this year, the finance ministry said.
Compiled by Milla Nissi, Linda Pasquini, Sarah Morland and Vinay Dwivedi