Japan backs coronavirus drug; Moscow keeps lockdown: Live updates | News

  • Japan has approved the antiviral drug remdesivir for coronavirus treatment in a fast-track review just four days after a United States company submitted an application.

  • Italy became the third country in the world to record 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus, reporting 243 new fatalities compared with a daily tally of 274 the day before.

  • Authorities in Moscow have extended a lockdown in the capital until the end of the month.
  • The administration of US President Donald Trump shelved a document with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team obtained by the AP news agency.

  • The US prevented a vote in the United Nations Security Council on a resolution calling to end worldwide hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Afghans face dire conditions in Ramadan amid coronavirus lockdown.

  • The US unemployment rate for April skyrocketed to 14.7 percent as the coronavirus and lockdowns battered the economy. About 33.5 million people in the US have claimed unemployment benefits as of May 2.

  • More than 275,000 worldwide have died from the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus, with cases up around 4 million and more than 1.3 million recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, May 9

02:01 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,251 to 168,551

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,251 to 168,551, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.

The reported death toll rose by 147 to 7,369, the tally showed.

01:45 GMT – Argentina extends quarantine for capital, relaxes elsewhere

Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez has extended until May 24 a quarantine for its capital Buenos Aires but relaxed the restriction aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus elsewhere in the country.

The lockdown, which was in place since March 20 and is due to expire on Sunday, will remain in place in the capital and its outskirts, Fernandez said in a televised address.

Fernandez said he was “extremely proud” of Argentines for observing the strict social isolation measures. As of Friday, the country had registered 5,611 confirmed cases of the virus and 293 deaths.

01:15 GMT – US lawmakers urge support for Taiwan at WHO, amid COVID-19 fight 

The leaders of US congressional foreign affairs committees have written to more than 50 countries asking them to support Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Organization, citing the need for the broadest effort possible to fight the coronavirus pandemic, congressional sources told Reuters.

Taiwan, which is not a member of the United Nations, has been excluded from the WHO, which is a U.N. agency, due to objections from China.

“As the world works to combat the spread of the COVID-19, a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, it has never been more important to ensure all countries prioritize global health and safety over politics,” the lawmakers said in their letter, sent on Friday, and seen by Reuters.

Taiwan - coronavirus

People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus as they visit a night market in Taipei [Chiang Ying-ying/AP]

00:10 GMT – Three nurses murdered in Mexico as coronavirus reaches peak transmission

Three nurses, all sisters, were found dead with signs of strangulation in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, officials said on Friday, an apparent triple murder that follows a series of assaults on health workers in the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said they were investigating the crime but that the motive was not clear. Health workers have faced increased aggression in Mexico in recent weeks over fears of contagion.

Javier Guerrero, a top official for Mexico’s main public health service IMSS in Coahuila, described the deaths of the three nurses as murders. They “happened at a moment when our health workers are the most important element to face the health crisis”, he said.

Coronavirus - Mexico

Gravediggers walk toward a hearse carrying the body of a woman, who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), before her funeral, at a cemetery in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez [Reuters]

00:01 GMT – Germany’s Merkel, Pope Francis discuss coronavirus pandemic

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office says the German leader has discussed the coronavirus pandemic with Pope Francis in a phone conversation, AP news agency reported on Saturday.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert says that during the call, the chancellor and the pontiff advocated support for poor countries in the virus crisis. He says it centred on “the global humanitarian and political situation in view of the corona pandemic” and on the significance of solidarity in Europe and the world.

Merkel invited Francis to visit Germany when that is possible again.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

For key developments from yesterday, May 8, go here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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