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… and 92% of the country’s recorded 7,200 cases have recovered.
With the health situation largely contained, today marks another significant relaxing of restrictions across the country.
Rules vary across states, but in New South Wales (the most-populous state, which includes Sydney), the venues reopening include beauty salons, museums, libraries and public pools.
Leisure travel across the state is allowed, while pubs and restaurants can also have 50 patrons on site – as long as social distancing is maintained.
Twenty-person gatherings are also now allowed in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia – while Western Australia and the Northern Territory will allow even bigger groups later this week.
Metro Manila’s transition to more relaxed measures will be a welcome relief for many whose livelihoods have been affected by one of the world’s longest lockdowns.
The US had supplied Brazil with two million doses of hydroxychloroquine – despite medical warnings about risks associated with the controversial drug.
The WHO had days ago suspended testing the drug in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns.
But the leaders of both countries have touted the use of the drug – US President Trump said he was taking the anti-malaria drug as a preventive measure – and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro said he kept a box of the drug in case his 93-year-old mother needed it.
There is no scientific evidence that hydroxycholoroquine is effective against the coronavirus.
The Chinese city of Wuhan – where the coronavirus first emerged – reported no new asymptomatic cases on Sunday.
It’s the first time this has happened since Wuhan started releasing figures on virus carriers showing no symptoms.
China has recorded 16 new cases on Sunday – all of which were imported – up from just 2 cases the day before.
Of the new cases, 11 were recorded in Sichuan province, 3 in Inner Mongolia and 2 in Guangdong.
A Belgian prince who contracted coronavirus after attending a party during lockdown in Spain has apologised and “will accept the consequences”.
“I deeply regret my actions,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
Prince Joachim, 28, travelled from Belgium to Spain for an internship on 26 May, but went to a party two days later in the southern city of Córdoba.
Spanish reports suggest the prince, a nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe, was among 27 people at the party.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors have had to deal with death more often than many are used to, and due to restrictions in place over hospital visitors, they are often the last person to spend time with a terminally ill patient.
Filmmaker Paul Myles spoke to five doctors administering end-of-life care during the crisis.
Brazil has reported 16,409 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing its total number of infected cases to 514,849 – the second highest case load in the world.
There were also 480 new deaths reported, bringing the death toll to 29,314 – the world’s fourth highest death toll. Only the US, UK and Italy have recorded more deaths.
Despite this, President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently played down the outbreak, criticising state lockdowns for harming Brazil’s economy and jobs.
Many experts believe Central and South America are now the major hotspots for increased infections.
A combination of under-pressure healthcare systems and a mixed response by governments to the severity of Covid-19 has meant the region cannot apply the same easing of lockdowns taking place in Europe and elsewhere.
BBC News, Sydney
The city has
opened two council-run outdoor pools today for the first
time since mid-March.
I was among the first to get
back in the water – but swimming in the time of Covid is very different.
Before even being allowed to
take up a booked 45-minute swim slot there was an online form.
Here I declared I was not
unwell, agreed not to engage in any “unmeaningful or unnecessary conversations” and – tough one this – promised not to urinate in the pool.
To keep other potential sources
of infection to a minimum, it’s swimming costume and goggles only. No floats,
kickboards or inflatable crocodiles.
Changing rooms are closed (plan
your outfit carefully). Instead there’s a chair with your lane number because – Olympic-style – you get your own lane.
While slowly splashing my way up lane 3, I spotted an employee thoroughly cleaning the steps that lead
into the pool.
With just eight swimmers an hour –
each paying A$6 (£3; $4) – the operation is running at a huge loss.
But on a crisp sunny winter
morning it was absolutely glorious. And everyone I spoke to afterwards seemed
grateful and glad to be back. Hopefully those counted as meaningful
The Philippines’ capital region of Metro Manila has today emerged from a lockdown that began in mid-March – longer even than the 76-day quarantine in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged last year.
Manila has moved into a state of general community quarantine (GCQ), which will allow more people to return to work, some shops and factories to reopen, and public transportation to run at a limited capacity.
However, public facilities like gyms, cinemas, karaoke bars and nightclubs will remain shut – and authorities have reiterated the need for the public to stay at home if they can.
Manila two weeks ago moved to the “Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)” – a slightly more relaxed version of its original lockdown, which allowed some people to do things like exercise outdoors.
The Philippines currently has 18,086 confirmed cases and 957 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Hello and welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. We’re writing to you from Singapore this morning, and will be joined by our colleagues across Asia, the UK, and the US later today. For now, here’s a quick look at what’s happened overnight:
- Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, has finally eased a lockdown that has been in place since mid-March. More people will be allowed to work and shops will reopen – though many restrictions are still in place
- In Brazil, the number of confirmed cases has passed half a million, the second highest total in the world
- The US has sent Brazil two million doses of hydroxychloroquine, the unproven drug that was touted by US President Trump. The WHO recently suspended clinical trials of the drug over safety concerns
- There have now been 6.1 million confirmed cases and 371,000 deaths linked to Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University