Coronavirus: latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

– Borders reopen –

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 allow free movement between each other.

Greece says it will reopen some air and sea links from Monday.

– More lockdown restrictions eased –

Austria’s cafes and restaurants become the latest part of the country’s economy to reopen.

The Czech Republic says it will allow gatherings of up to 300 people from May 25, when businesses including restaurants and pubs will also be allowed to open.

Russia decides to allow the relaunch of the football championship from late June.

Ireland will implement the first of a five-stage plan to lift its lockdown on Monday, allowing staff to return to outdoor workplaces and the reopening of some shops, sports facilities and beaches.

– St Peter’s Basilica to reopen –

Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome will fully reopen to all visitors on Monday. The largest Catholic church in the world has been fully disinfected after a two-month closure due to the pandemic.

– More than 304,000 dead –  

The coronavirus has killed at least 304,619 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Friday at 1900 GMT based on official sources.

There have been more than 4,491,730 officially recorded cases in 196 countries and territories.

The United States has recorded the most deaths at 86,744. It is followed by Britain with 33,998, Italy with 31,610, France with 27,529 and Spain with 27,459.

– Kawasaki disease –

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is studying a possible link between COVID-19 and a rare inflammatory illness, with symptoms similar to those of Kawasaki’s disease, that has sickened and killed children in Europe and the United States.

– Vaccines –

US President Donald Trump says he hopes a COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of the year, and announced he is appointing a former pharmaceutical executive to spearhead the effort.

China has a fifth potential coronavirus vaccine in a human trial and more are on the way, a health official says.

– NYC lockdown extended –

Lockdown measures in New York City are extended until May 28 under an executive order signed by state Governor Andrew Cuomo.

– Germany in recession –

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.

– Transport woes –

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.

Total passenger traffic at Paris airports fell by 98.6 percent in April from the same period a year earlier.

– Brazilian health minister goes –

Brazilian Health Minister Nelson Teich resigns over “incompatibility” with President Jair Bolsonaro’s approach to the coronavirus crisis. He had less than a month ago replaced Luiz Henrique Mandetta, sacked by Bolsonaro over the same issue.