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May 16, 2020

COVID-19: 4,203 perish in a day

Top Story

May 16, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The novel coronavirus has killed at least 307,285 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally at 01:40 PST, Saturday.

At least 4,605,499 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,739,366 are now considered recovered. On Friday 4,203 people fall prey to the deadly virus.

The tallies probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only the most serious cases. The United States has the highest number of deaths overall with 88,115 from 1,477,354 cases. Britain has the second highest toll with 33,998 deaths from 236,711 cases. It is followed by Italy with 31,610 deaths and 223,885 cases.

Russia registers more than 10,000 new infections, as Moscow unveils mass antibody testing and a national lockdown eases.

More than 400 people have tested positive at Kazakhstan´s top-producing Tengiz oil field, in the Atyrau region, health officials say, AFP reported. Meanwhile, Europe´s economic powerhouse Germany tipped into a recession in the first quarter, with its economy shrinking by 2.2 percent due to the pandemic.

Portugal´s gross domestic product dropped 3.9 percent in the first quarter. The British government is to pump up to 1.6 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) into London´s public transport system to restore services and help prevent overcrowding as people return to work.

Slovenia declares an end to its coronavirus epidemic and opens its borders, despite new infections still being reported. The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania lift restrictions on movement and set up a free movement zone between themselves. Poland and Finland could join the zone in the near future.

A nine-year-old boy has died in France from a Kawasaki-like disease believed to be linked to coronavirus, the first such death in the country as similar child fatalities are investigated in New York and London.

US Democrats will aim to pass a record $3 trillion coronavirus response package through the House of Representatives on Friday. President Trump and Republicans say it will be "dead on arrival" in the Senate.

Meanwhile, lockdown measures in New York City have been extended until June 13 under an executive order signed by state Governor Andrew Cuomo. Stay at home orders will be eased for the state´s five least populated regions, however, allowing businesses there to get back to work gradually.

Earlier, more than 12,500 deaths of care home residents in Britain were linked to the coronavirus, according to figures released Friday, heaping further pressure on the government over its handling of the pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 12,526 care home residents in England and Wales had died from the virus in March and April, with nearly three-quarters occurring within homes and the rest in hospitals.

However, the ONS suggested the actual death toll of care home residents could be far higher, noting it had recorded 23,136 more fatalities in the first four months of the year than in the same period in 2019.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had said Thursday that "the vast majority" of care homes had seen no virus cases and that the rate of deaths in them was less than in neighbouring European countries.

Meanwhile, China has a fifth potential coronavirus vaccine in a human trial and more are on the way, a health official said Friday, as the world races to find a formula to stop the contagion in its tracks.

So far there have been no "major adverse reactions" reported among the 2,575 volunteers participating in the five phase-two tests, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission.

"According to the plan, if all goes well, the above projects will complete the second phase of clinical trials in July this year," Zeng said. More vaccine candidates are in the pipeline and awaiting approval for human trials, he added. China had previously said four human trials for possible vaccines were under way.