Coronavirus: global death toll passes 200,000 as more countries prepare to reopen


As WHO warns no evidence exists to suggest people can’t catch Covid-19 twice, India, Belgium and Greece among latest countries to ease lockdowns

The global toll from Covid-19 passed 200,000 on Saturday, with over 2.8 million people infected, as the WHO warned against issuing “immunity passports” because there is no evidence people who recovered from the disease are protected against a second infection.

It took more than three months after the coronavirus first emerged for deaths from the disease to pass 100,000, a grim milestone that was reached on 10 April. It took just over two weeks for that toll to double, and worldwide the number of confirmed infections is creeping towards 3 million.

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The US navy is seeking to reinstate the fired captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, whose crew hailed him as their hero for risking his job to safeguard their lives from coronavirus, officials have said.

Nearly 60 new cases of coronavirus infections have been confirmed in Nagasaki among crew members of an Italian cruise ship docked there for repairs, Japanese domestic media has reported. With testing of all crew members complete, the new number brings the total infections onboard the Costa Atlantica to around 150, roughly one-quarter of the vessel’s 623 crew members

Thailand has reported 53 new coronavirus cases and the death of a 48-year-old Thai man who was infected with the virus along with four other family members. Of the new cases, three were linked to previous cases, one had no known links, and 42 were migrant workers who have been under quarantine at an immigration detention centre in the southern province of Songkhla

There have reportedly been discussions within the White House about changing its coronavirus briefings to curtail the president’s role. Donald Trump has refused to answer questions at his latest briefing, after a day earlier promoting a sham treatment that involves ingesting a powerful chlorine bleach.

In Australia and New Zealand it is Anzac Day, the annual day of remembrance for armed forces. With both countries under lockdowns or strict social distancing rules, there were not the usual parades or public dawn services, with people observing a minute’s silence in the streets outside their houses instead.

Serbia sent four planes carrying medical equipment including gloves, masks and protective suits to Italy as a donation. Another four will be sent in the next two days, the president Aleksandar Vučić said, noting that Italy sent aid to Serbia after devastating floods in 2014. Italy was Serbia’s second-largest trade partner after Germany last year, and Italian companies including Fiat employ more than 20,000 people in Serbia.

China reported 12 new coronavirus cases on Friday compared with six the previous day, National Health Commission data showed on Saturday. Of the new cases, 11 were imported, compared with two cases reported previously, the data said. The UK has removed China from a list of nations from which it draws international comparisons over the spread of coronavirus amid concerns about the accuracy of the country’s figures.

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