The number of beds occupied by coronavirus patients in Italy have continued to decline, while Spain has begun easing lockdown restrictions.
The Civil Protection Agency said that there were 212 fewer people hospitalised with the virus and 39 fewer in intensive care in the past 24 hours, numbers that have been consistently easing in recent weeks.
That has given authorities confidence to be able to cope with any new spike in cases as more businesses reopen and individuals are allowed more freedom to move around their towns and cities of residence.
At the same time, the number of dead nudged up the most in 11 days – by 474 – and the number of people who have recovered from the virus was the lowest in more than two weeks.
The government says it will administer the first 150,000 antibody blood tests on a sample population starting Monday. More nasal tests have been distributed throughout the country, in a bid to identify and isolate positive cases.
The blood tests and nasal tests are meant to give a snapshot of where the virus has spread to focus further testing.
Italy has registered the most deaths after the United States, at 28,710.
Spaniards filled the streets to exercise for the first time after seven weeks of confinement to fight the coronavirus.
People ran, walked or rode bicycles under a sunny sky in Barcelona, where many flocked to the maritime promenade to get close to the still off-limits beach. Others jogged around parks and along sidewalks across the nation.
The Spanish government will require commuters on public transportation to wear masks, starting Monday.
People will also be able to restaurants and cafes to take away food. Bookstores, hair salons and some retail outlets can open.
Spain has 24,824 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus and 215,216 infections. The lockdown has helped reduce daily increases of infections.
France hopes to extend the health emergency put in place to fight the coronavirus crisis until July 24.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran made the announcement on Saturday, arguing that the extension of the measures that began March 24 is required to prevent a new flare-up of infections.
The proposal, which will be put to the French Parliament next week and is expected to pass, is centred on the notion that a “premature” relaxing the state of emergency “could see a risk of the outbreak” increasing.
Meanwhile, Eurostar says all its passengers must wear face masks as a safeguard against coronavirus, effective Monday.
France is among countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, having recorded some 24,594 deaths and 167,346 confirmed cases so far.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have named their baby boy Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, honouring their grandfathers and doctors who cared for the UK leader after contracting the coronavirus.
The birth came just days after Mr Johnson returned to work following his hospitalisation for the coronavirus.
Mr Johnson’s office says he’ll take paternity leave later this year.
Barbers and hair salons are back in business in Austria, but most residents will have to wait a month for a haircut because they’re booked.
Austrians quickly snapped up appointments after the government relaxed restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. All staff members and customers must wear masks and chairs need to be at least one metre apart.
Restaurants will be allowed to reopen on May 15, followed by hotels on May 29.
Austria’s government is implementing a staggered restart of the economy so that it can issue another lockdown in case coronavirus infection rates start to climb.
The nation has recorded 15,558 infections and 596 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Russia has reported a sharp spike in its daily tally of coronavirus infection cases, with a new one-day high of 9,633 on Saturday.
That’s a 20 percent increase from the previous day’s count. More than half of the new cases were reported in Moscow, where concern is growing about whether hospitals could become overwhelmed.
The Russian capital’s mayor said this week officials are considering establishing temporary hospitals at sports complexes and shopping malls.
Infection cases have reached the highest levels of government, with both the prime minister and the construction minister reporting they have the virus.
A Philippine Supreme Court justice says nearly 10,000 poor inmates have been temporarily freed by reducing the amounts of their bails to decongest jails amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Associate Justice Mario Victor Leonen told an online video news conference Saturday most of the more than 9,731 inmates freed since mid-March were from jails on the main northern Luzon island, which has been placed under a massive quarantine.
Some of the inmates, who could not afford to post bail, were released to the custody of local officials, the Supreme Court said.
China, where the pandemic began in December, reported one new infection and no deaths in the 24 hours through midnight Friday.
The country has reported a total of 82,875 confirmed cases and 4633 deaths.
The National Health Commission reported 43 people were released from hospitals Friday after being declared recovered, raising the total to 77,685.
There were a total 557 people still hospitalised on the mainland.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
Apply safe food practices; and
Stay home if you are sick.
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