May 2 (UPI) — China on Saturday reported no new coronavirus deaths for the fifth day in a row as the global death toll reached over 239,000.
The country also reported one new COVID-19 case in five days.
Since the virus outbreak began, the number of cases in China has reached 83,959, with 4,637 deaths, Johns Hopkins University global tracker data shows.
The rate of cases and deaths has slowed since lockdown measures in the country began in January, leading the country to start easing restrictions.
China’s National Health Commission said Friday that 43 patients were released from hospitals, bringing the total number of people recovered from the virus to 77,685 people, leaving 557 hospitalized.
Chinese authorities first identified a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, in December as a novel coronavirus outbreak in January.
Evidence suggests the initial outbreak was associated with a seafood market in Wuhan, China, according to the World Health Organization.
As of Saturday, the number of cases worldwide has reached more than 3 million with more than 239,000 deaths, the global tracker shows.
Across the world, some countries are taking new measures to control the virus as some lockdown measures ease and migrant detention has become more controversial.
The Spanish government lifted its restriction on adult participation in nonessential outdoor activities for adults Saturday, giving adults the first chance to exercise outdoors since imposing a lockdown in mid-March and following an announcement earlier this week that children under 14 are now allowed to play outdoors.
In an attempt to contain one of the worst outbreaks in Europe — with 213,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and a death toll of more than 24,500 — the Spanish government imposed a fine of $1,000 to anyone who left their homes for any trips except those deemed essential, like visits to grocery stores or pharmacies.
The number of new cases and reported deaths in the country have both begun to taper.
Under the relaxed rules, children can be outdoors between noon and 7 p.m., adults from 6 to 10 a.m. and 8 to 11 p.m., with vulnerable adults and seniors able to exercise outdoors between those windows.
In France, the numbers of new cases and deaths have also continued to decline, but the French government introduced a bill Saturday that would its state of emergency until July 24.
The bill includes provisions for the obligatory wearing of masks on public transport and a 14-day quarantine requirement for those arriving in France from abroad.
In Malaysia, Security Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob struck back at criticism over Friday’s arrest of 586 undocumented migrants, including young children and ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
Yaakob said that those detained had been screened for COVID-19 and tested negative.
“Even though the migrants were living under lockdown, their presence here is still illegal,” Yaakob said.
Malaysia has 6,176 cases and 103 deaths from the pandemic, the global tracker shows.
Indian officials mandated that all public and private sector employees use a contact-tracing app using Bluetooth, the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs said late Friday.
The app is designed to help workers follow social distancing in offices and officials said it will not infringe on privacy because data is collected anonymously.
Meanwhile, the country’s capital New Delhi has started to ease lockdown measures in lower-risk areas.
India has reported 37,336 cases and 1,223 deaths as of Saturday.
South Korea reported six new cases Saturday, continuing a monthlong streak of daily cases below 100.
WHO and individual nations have praised the country for largely managing to bring the virus under control with extensive testing and contact tracing.
South Korea has reported 10,780 cases and 250 deaths since the outbreak began.
The United States, which has six times the population of South Korea, has the most confirmed cases at 1,104,161 and more than 65,000 deaths.
Italy has the second-highest number of deaths at 28,236 deaths, the tracker shows, with 207,428 cases.
World moves to reopen after COVID-19 pandemic
A hairstylist and his client wear protective face masks and gloves at a salon in Jerusalem on May 1. Israel has eased some coronavirus restrictions, allowing small stores and beauty salons to open, while maintaining the strict social distancing rules. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI |