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Breaking news | Covid-19 wrap: Global deaths hover around 300 000, US jobless at 2.98m and China accuses US of ‘smearing’


Breaking news | Covid-19 wrap: Global deaths hover around 300 000, US jobless at 2.98m and China accuses US of ‘smearing’

Breaking news | Covid-19 wrap: Global deaths hover around 300 000, US jobless at 2.98m and China accuses US of ‘smearing’

Breaking news Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus
(Covid-19) news from around the world.FOLLOW LIVE | We will be moving to Level 3 lockdown, says President Cyril RamaphosaCoronavirus toll at 11:00 (GMT) ThursdayParis
– The novel coronavirus has killed at least 297 259 people since the outbreak
first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official
sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 (GMT) on Thursday.At least 4 362 090 cases of
coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at
least 1 514 600 are now considered recovered.The tallies, using data collected
by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organisation
(WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many
countries are testing only the most serious cases.Over the past 24 hours, 5 259
deaths and 89 210 new cases have been recorded.The United States has the highest
number of total deaths with 84 136 from 1 390 764 cases. At least 243 430 have
been declared recovered. Britain has the second-highest toll with 33 186 deaths
from 229 705 cases.It
is followed by Italy with 31 106 deaths and 222 104 cases, Spain with 27 321
deaths and 229 540 infections and France with 27 074 fatalities and 178 060
cases. – AFPNew US jobless claims slow, but still high at 2.98 millionWashington
– New US claims for unemployment benefits continued to slow in the latest week
but at 2.98 million showed the coronavirus pandemic continues to destroy jobs,
according to government data released on Thursday.The number of people filing for
jobless benefits for the first time in the week ended 9 May decreased about 200
000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said, but the level was well
above what analysts expected and remained far higher than any week prior to the
pandemic.The new data brings the total job
losses since economic shutdowns began in mid-March to 36.5 million, a figure
rivalled only by the Great Depression 90 years ago.That is pushing the unemployment
rate closer to Depression-era levels as well, jumping to 14.7% in April with
20.5 million job losses in a single month as governments ordered businesses
closed to stop the spread of the virus that has killed more than 84 000 people
in the United States. – AFPChina rejects US claim of attempted vaccine theft as ‘smearing’Beijing
– Beijing accused the United States on Thursday of smearing China after
Washington alleged Chinese hackers were attempting to steal research on
developing a vaccine against the coronavirus.The claims have added fuel to
tensions between the global superpowers, who have traded barbs over the origin
of the pandemic that has killed 300 000 people worldwide.US authorities said on Wednesday
that Chinese hackers were trying to obtain coronavirus data on treatments and
vaccines, warning the effort involved Chinese government-affiliated groups and
others.The FBI and the Cybersecurity and
Infrastructure Security Agency said China’s efforts posed a “significant
threat” to the US response to Covid-19.”China expresses strong
dissatisfaction and firm opposition to such smearing,” foreign ministry
spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a regular press briefing. “Judging from past
records, the US has carried out the largest cybertheft operations worldwide.”He stressed that Beijing has significant achievements of its
own in the fight against the pandemic. – AFPCyprus frees man jailed for
visiting lover on lockdownNicosia
– The president of Cyprus on Thursday ordered the release of a man jailed for
breaching a coronavirus curfew to see his girlfriend, officials said.A court sentenced the 35-year-old
Cypriot man to 45 days in prison on Tuesday, after police caught him violating
restrictions on movement and breaking a curfew in March.A public outcry followed the
ruling, which the island’s attorney general said was inappropriate. President
Nicos Anastasiades agreed.”Exercising
the powers provided to him by the Constitution, following a recommendation by
the Attorney General, the president decided to suspend the sentencing,” a
statement by deputy government spokesperson Panayiotis Sentonas said.The president’s ruling took into
account that two days after the incident, a decision was made that
“offences of this nature are punishable by on-the-spot fines”.The man told officers he was
travelling to visit his girlfriend when stopped for breaking the curfew shortly
after 21:00 on 25 March. – AFPThousands cram into Indonesian airport terminalThousands
of people crammed into a terminal at Jakarta’s main airport, breaking social
distancing rules after the Indonesian government lifted a ban on air travel
imposed to fight the spread of the virus.Images of the scene went viral
online, prompting airport officials to intervene and separate baggage-laden
travellers. The flight ban was relaxed last week, earlier than originally
anticipated, even as the number of cases continues to rise sharply in
Indonesia. – AFPBangladesh builds mega field hospital as outbreak worsensBangladesh
has prepared a huge field hospital in three weeks to treat coronavirus patients
in an attempt to fight the intensifying outbreak in the country.The South Asian nation has
reported nearly 18 000 infections and 269 deaths from Covid-19 despite a
countrywide lockdown, but critics say the numbers are far lower than the true
virus figures because of insufficient testing. – AFPStay healthy and entertained during the national lockdown. Sign up for our Lockdown Living newsletter. Register and manage your newsletters in the new News24 app by clicking on the Profile tab

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