- Over 2.4 million people worldwide have been infected by the deadly COVID-19, resulting in more than 165,000 deaths
- The European Center for Disease Control says the continent now has over 1 million cases of the virus, with 100,000 deaths
- Some small shops reopen in Germany in a first step towards loosening lockdown measures
- Bavaria becomes third German state to require that people cover their faces on public transport
- The World Health Organization has asked governments to prepare for a possible resurgence
Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)
14:15 German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on citizens and residents to continue to adhere to social distancing measures, saying it would be a “crying shame if we were to stumble into a relapse with our eyes wide open.”
“We stand at the beginning of the pandemic and are still a long way from being out of the woods,” Merkel said.
She said China needed to be more transparent about how it has tackled the outbreak, adding that it would be “better for all.” The chancellor also noted that the upcoming EU budget would likely be overhauled to ensure a robust recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
13:26 US oil prices dropped nearly 40%, hitting their lowest value since 1998. The main West Texas intermediate (WTI) benchmark slumped to $11.04 (€10.17) a barrel as the pandemic has all but dried up global demand for oil.
“As production continues relatively unscathed, storage is filling up by the day,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen of Rystad Energy. “The world is using less and less oil and producers now feel how this translates in prices.”
Although OPEC and Russia recently agreed to slash output by 10 million barrels per day, following a disagreement on production limits that had put severe pressure on oil prices before the coronavirus dirsuptions, that move has had little effect on diminished energy demands caused by restrictions on mobility to curb the outbreak.
12:50 Renowned world snooker referee Olivier Marteel is working as a full-time nurse in special COVID-19 section of a hospital in the northwestern Belgian town of Veurne.
“When I was asked to take on this role, I didn’t even have one second of doubt,” Marteel told the World Snooker Tour.
Aside from his involvement in the World Snooker Tour — he wore the white gloves of a referee rather than PPE for the 2015 world championship final — Marteel regularly works as a nurse in radiology.
“I have always said that refereeing is a piece of cake compared to my main job. I treat snooker like a job as well of course, but for me it is a holiday. And that will never feel more true than when I’m back at a tournament — before long I hope.”
12:21 Health authorities in the Netherlands have reported 750 new cases, bringing the country’s total to 33,405. They also recorded 67 new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 3,751.
The National Institute for Public Health said the real number is likely much higher since it only reports on its tests, which are overwhelmingly administered to healthcare workers and seriously ill patients.
11:45 Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, says that his country has managed to mitigate the coronavirus crisis, but that the outbreak’s peak was still to come. The number of confirmed infections in Russia reached more than 47,000 on Monday, with 405 reported dead.
11:35 In Iran, the health ministry says the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has reached 5,209, with 91 deaths in the past 24 hours. More than 83,500 people are reported infected.
On Monday, Iran began opening shopping centers and intercity highways in an effort to keep its sanction-hit economy going. Restaurants and gyms remained shuttered, however, and shops and markets that were allowed to trade had to close at 6 p.m., the Associated Press news agency reported.
Iran is believed to be the worst-hit country in the Middle East. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has suggested that large gatherings should be banned during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins later this week.
In the Iranian capital Tehran, there was a return to the bazzar for some shoppers
11:15 During lockdown, different states in Germany have implemented different restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.The German Police Union (GdP) has complained this is making the job of the police more difficult.
“We owe it to democracy to be able to explain the behavior of the police –this gets more difficult when the differences are no longer able to be explained,” Jörg Radek, chair of the GdP, told regional newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine.
In the police’s view, coronavirus restrictions should be the same across Germany, said Radek. People compare the restrictions, he explained. It makes the enforcing of rules and bans more difficult, when rules in one state are different to those in another.
Radek added that the coronavirus should not be used to score political points, but he feared this was already starting to happen.
11:00 From next week, people in Bavaria will have to wear masks or some other form of face covering inside all shops and on public transport.
State Premier Markus Söder said the measure would come into force next Monday, when the southern German state is set to reopen small shops.
The federal government has already recommended that people wear masks when they go out, but Söder said “appeals alone probably won’t be the necessary safeguard.”
A similar mask rule is already in place in neighboring Saxony, and it will be compulsory to wear them on public transport in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania starting next week.
The state premier tweeted a picture of hiself with a Bavarian flag mask.
Söder also said Bavaria planned to provide artists struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic with €1,000 ($1,090) per month. Parents in the state will also not have to pay kindergarten fees for the next three months due to school closures, he added.
10:20 Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized excessive discussions about easing lockdown measures in Germany, warning that an “orgy” of talks on when to reopen for business could jeopardize the progress made so far against the virus.
The chancellor told members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at a virtual meeting that the virus continued to present a danger and it was important that social distancing measures were maintained. If not, the slowdown in transmission rates that Germany has seen might not continue.
Her comments come as some smaller German retailers began reopening on Monday, along with car and bicycle dealers, and bookstores, under an agreement Merkel reached with state leaders last Wednesday.
Germany has the fifth highest COVID-19 number of coronavirus cases behind the US, Spain, Italy and France at over 145,000 but has kept fatalities down to a relatively low 4,642, in part due to early and extensive testing.
10:10 More than 200,000 people are now infected with the coronavirus in Spain, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Only the United States has more confirmed cases.
09:50 Health Minister Jens Spahn says Berlin will cover the costs of treating coronavirus patients transferred from other European Union countries to Germany, as a show of solidarity.
There are currently 200 seriously ill coronavirus patients from fellow EU states being treated in German intensive care units at a cost of about €20 million ($21.7 million).
“The willingness and capacity is there to admit more if necessary,” Spahn said on Monday.
Most of the patients brought to Germany came from neighboring France and Italy, where a rapid rise in infections overburdened healthcare systems. Spain and Italy have each reported more than 20,000 deaths from COVID-19, while at least 19,718 have died in France. Germany has confirmed 4,404 deaths.
09:05 In Denmark, hair salons, tattoo parlors, driving schools, physiotherapists and dentists were allowed to reopen, albeit with some modifications.
08:55 The health ministry of Singapore is reporting an additional 1,426 coronavirus cases, marking a record daily jump. The new diagnoses mainly affect foreign workers living in dormitories, and authorities have responded by boosting testing in these living quarters.
08:30 India has recorded its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus infections, with the number of cases jumping by 1,533 to more than 17,000 on Monday. The increase came as the government began easing a strict nationwide lockdown that was imposed on March 24. From Monday, limited manufacturing and agricultural activities were allowed to resume in cases where employers could meet social distancing and hygiene requirements.
08:15 The German Retailers Association (HDE) says it doesn’t expect droves of people to flock to the shops as some stores begin reopening their doors.
Commercial spaces that are less than 800 square meters are allowed to resume trade
07:50 In Poland, parks and forests have been reopened as the government eases a few of the restrictions that have essentially brought daily life to a standstill.
However, Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski says the government may reverse steps to ease restrictions if there is a spike in new coronavirus infections.
The country recorded 545 new cases on Sunday — the biggest daily increase in infections to date. “It can be always (be reversed),” Szumowski told public radio, when asked about plans to lift lockdown measures.
07:45 From Australia, South Australia Police tweeted these images of a kangaroo taking advantage of the lockdown to enjoy having the streets of Adelaide to itself.
07:25 Kindergartens in Norway have reopened as the country gradually relaxes a monthlong coronavirus lockdown. The move has been met with a mixed response from parents, 24 percent of whom said they did not want to send their children back to pre-school so soon, according to a poll by public broadcaster NRK.
Pre-schools opening their doors will have to meet certain safety requirements. For example, children under the age of three will have to be kept in groups of no more than three with one adult supervising. Those aged between three and six can be in groups of six.
Primary school pupils are expected to return to class next week, with higher grades to follow before the summer, the government said.
Norway is among the first European countries, including Austria, Denmark and Germany, to announce a roadmap for the staggered reopening of schools.
The Nordic country has registered 7,068 coronavirus cases and 154 deaths.
07:10 The coronavirus pandemic has exposed “systemic weaknesses” in global health systems, the G20 says.
Health ministers from the 20 most advanced economies held a virtual meeting on Sunday hosted by the group’s current president Saudi Arabia. It followed criticism that the G20 was slow to address the pandemic.
“Health Ministers recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted systemic weaknesses in health systems,” the group said in a joint statement.
“It also has shown vulnerabilities in the global community’s ability to prevent and respond to pandemic threats.”
“Ministers addressed the need to improve the effectiveness of global health systems by sharing knowledge and closing the gap in response capabilities and readiness.”
06:20 German car manufacturer Volkswagen is calling for new government subsidies to help it deal with an impending drop in demand during the coronavirus crisis.
“In this situation, a premium should be broadly expanded, and should also cover modern vehicles with internal combustion engines,” head of brand Ralf Brandstätter told the Handelsblatt newspaper, adding that VW was committed to Germany’s climate goals and that current subsidies for electric cars should remain in place.
“We’re going to get out of this crisis and into the green transformation,” he said.
05:50 A roundup of the latest from North and South America:
Coronavirus deaths in Canada have jumped by almost 12% to 1,506 in 24 hours, according to official data from the public health agency. The body also said there were now 33,922 people infected with the virus, up from 32,412 the previous day.
The United States reported 1,997 new coronavirus deaths in the 24-hour period ending on Sunday, according to John Hopkins University. The country has the highest number of deaths and infections, with over 759,000 confirmed cases, but evidence shows lockdowns there are beginning to have an impact.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the peak of infections had been reached, but warned that it was “no time to get cocky,” stressing that cash-strapped states needed help from the federal government.
The president of Guatemala says a total of 50 migrants who were deported to the Central American country from the US have tested positive for coronavirus. Guatemala, which has reported 289 cases and seven deaths, has faced pressure from the Trump administration to keep receiving deported migrants, despite concerns about the risk of spreading infections.
Cuba has diagnosed over 1,000 cases of coronavirus, with 34 deaths, the country’s health ministry confirmed. Cuba is home to many well-trained medical professionals and offers free healthcare to its citizens, but often lacks up-to-date medical equipment and supplies. Peru have passed 15,000 — the second-highest in South America after Brazil, which has more than double that number. The pandemic has brought the nation’s economy to a halt and left millions unemployed. At least 500 people have died so far, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro joined hundreds of protesters in demonstrating against a stay-at-home order issued by the country’s state governors.
Brazil is currently the hardest-hit Latin American country, but Bolsonaro protested the governor-imposed lockdown
“I am here because I believe in you and you are here because you believe in Brazil,” the president said in a speech to the crowd, which was demanding a military intervention.
Bolsonaro has been critical of partial quarantine measures put in place by provincial leaders to stop the spread of COVID-19, which he has repeatedly described as a “light flu.”
Brazil is currently the hardest-hit Latin American country, with more than 38,500 confirmed cases and more than 2,400 deaths.
05:35 The Economics Commissioner of the European Union, Paolo Gentiloni, has told German magazine Der Spiegel that some 1.5 trillion euros ($1.63 trillion) in aid could be needed for the bloc to tackle the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Gentiloni gave an estimated breakdown of the figures, telling der Spiegel: “The Eurogroup have proposed €500 billion ($542 billion) for healthcare provision, short-term working and to assist small and medium-sized businesses. That leaves at least another trillion Euros. That is roughly the order of magnitude that is being talked about.”
“Exact figures have yet to be agreed,” added Gentiloni. He said that, in his opinion, the EU budget could be the mechanism to provide the EU economies with the financial assistance.
Gentiloni’s comments come a day after the head of the Eurozone’s bailout fund, Klaus Regling, told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that Europe needed at least another €500 billion from EU institutions to finance its economy after the coronavirus pandemic. Like Gentiloni, Regling said that the said the easiest way to organize such funds would be via the European Commission and the EU budget.
EU finance ministers have already signed off on safety nets for sovereigns, companies and individuals worth in total €540 billion.
05:00 In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the country’s strict lockdown measures will remain in place for one more week. After that, more relaxed restrictions would apply for another two weeks before the government reviews the situation on May 11.
Speaking at a press conference, Ardern said New Zealand had halted the “uncontrolled explosion” of the coronavirus. The lockdown came into force on March 26, and included the closure of nonessential businesses and widespread stay-at-home orders.
“We have done what very few countries have been able to do,” Ardern said. “We have stopped a wave of devastation.”
“We believed that decisive action, going hard and going early, gave us the very best chance of stamping out the virus. And it has,” she said.
New Zealand has 1,440 reported cases of COVID-19, with 12 fatalities and 974 recovered patients.
04:55 The Robert Koch Institute has confirmed an increase of 1,775 case of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Germany, bringing the country’s total to 141,672.
A further 110 deaths were confirmed, bringing the total of COVID-19 fatalities to 4,404. Meanwhile, the institute — Germany’s disease prevention and control research agency — records some 3,500 more people as having recovered compared with the previous day.
03:32 Thailand is seeing a resurgence in rare turtle nests, as social distancing measures keep people away from the country’s popular beaches.
Environmentalists say that 11 leatherback sea turtle nests have been discovered since last November, the highest number in 20 years.
Leatherbacks, the world’s largest sea turtles, are considered endangered in Thailand and are listed as a vulnerable species worldwide.
The turtles lay their eggs in dark and quiet areas, hard to come by in a country known globally for its beautiful beaches.
“This is a very good sign for us because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans,” director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong told Reuters news agency, adding that no nests had been found in the last five years.
“If we compare to the year before, we didn’t have this many spawn, because turtles have a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach.”
Thailand currently has 2,765 cases of the coronavirus, with 47 deaths. International travel bans have decimated the country’s normally high tourist figures.
02:32 New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, has past its peak in its fight against the deadly infection, according to the state’s leader, as hospitalization rates and reported deaths decreased again.
“We are past the high point, and all indications at this point is that we are on the descent,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a daily press briefing.
Nearly 14,000 people in New York have died from COVID-19 – over 500 in the last 24 hours. The US has reported more than 40,000 coronavirus fatalities since the outbreak began.
01:58 A total of 50 migrants deported from the US to Guatemala have tested positive for coronavirus, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has said. The deportees arrived by plane in the Central American nation on Monday and Tuesday last week.
01:10 According to the John Hopkins Institute, 1,997 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the US in the 24-hour period ending Sunday.
01:06 Cuba has diagnosed over 1,000 cases of coronavirus, the country’s health ministry confirmed, saying over 26,000 tests had been conducted. Thus far, 34 people in Cuba have died from the lung infection. Cuba is home to many well-trained medical professionals and offers free healthcare to its citizens, but often lacks up-to-date medical equipment and supplies.
01:03 For the second day in a row, China has reported zero deaths from the coronavirus on the mainland. In its daily report, the country confirmed 12 new locally transmitted cases of the virus on Sunday, compared with 16 the day before. Officials also confirmed 8 new imported cases and 49 asymptomatic cases. China now has 82,747 confirmed infections, which have resulted in 4,632 deaths.
00:38 US President Donald Trump has said he would be willing to provide coronavirus aid to Iran if Tehran were to ask for it.
“If Iran needed aid on this, I would be willing,” Trump said at a daily White House briefing.
Iran is currently the Middle Eastern country the most affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with over 82,000 infections and over 5,000 deaths.
00:10 Czech President Milos Zeman says citizens should plan to spend the summer within their own borders this year, as travel outside the Czech Republic will be banned for a full year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking in a radio interview, Zeman said border restrictions would remain in place for a year “so that no new wave of infection is caused by travelers going to countries where the epidemic is not yet over.”
A ban on entering or leaving the country has been in place since mid-March.
00:05 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has joined hundreds of protesters in demonstrating against a stay-at-home order issued by the country’s state governors.
Some 600 demonstrators gathered outside an army headquarters in the capital of Brasilia on Sunday to call on the army to intervene against the orders.
“I am here because I believe in you and you are here because you believe in Brazil,” the president said in a speech to the crowd, given from the back of a pick-up truck.
Bolsonaro has been critical of partial quarantine measures put in place by state governors to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Brazil. On Friday, he fired his health minister, who had supported the measures.
Brazil is currently experiencing the largest outbreak in Latin America, with more than 38,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 2,400 deaths.
00:02 World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that while the move to ease restrictions to public life is encouraging, countries need to be prepared for the possibility of a resurgence, saying that “lifting so-called lockdown restrictions is not the end of the epidemic in any country; it’s just the beginning of the next phase.”
Speaking in a video conference with G20 health ministers, the WHO chief said that “it’s vital in this next phase that countries educate, engage and empower their people to prevent and respond rapidly to any resurgence; to ensure they have the capacity to detect, test, isolate and care for every case, and trace every contact; and to ensure their health systems have the capacity to absorb any increase in cases.”
Many countries in Europe on Monday will lift or continue lifting lockdown measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Here is an overview of some of the changes happening Monday:
In Germany, commercial spaces that are smaller than 800 square meters will be allowed to reopen, along with car dealerships, bicycle shops, and book stores.
The Czech Republic is launching a five-stage plan to reopen public life by allowing open-air markets and workshops to open. Czech residents are also now allowed to travel abroad, for business or to visit relatives, but must undergo a 14-day quarantine upon their return.
France will allow visitations to resume at nursing homes. Physical contact will remain prohibited and only two relatives may visit at the same time. Coronavirus has been confirmed in 45% of French nursing homes.
Kindergartens in Norway will reopen as well as some health specialists. High schools, universities, and hair, massage, and beauty salons are all slated to reopen in a week.
Albania will lift restrictions on the mining and oil industry, farming, food and fish processing, and small retailers.
Despite recording its biggest spike in new cases on Sunday with 545 new infections, Poland is reopening its parks and forests and increase the number of people allowed to enter shops.
Catch up on Sunday’s coronavirus news here: Coronavirus latest: Europe cases reach 1 million as Spain sees drop in infections
In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified, DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real time, collating data from world health organizations, state and national governments and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information.
Germany’s national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU.