Trump to wind down US coronavirus taskforce: Live updates | News

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

  • US President Donald Trump is winding down the taskforce leading the country’s coronavirus response even as data shows more than 71,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and more than 1.2 million diagnosed with the disease.

  • The United Kingdom now has the highest death toll in Europe with cases rising fast in Russia, which reported more than 10,000 cases for the third successive day.

  • More than 3.6 million people around the world have now been confirmed with the coronavirus and nearly 257,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 1.2 million people have recovered.

Wednesday, May 6

03:15 GMT – Germany updates on coronavirus outbreak

Germany has released the latest data on its coronavirus outbreak.

The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases says the number of confirmed cases rose by 947 to 164,807. 

A further 165 people died, bringing the toll to 6,996, it said.

02:00 GMT – Sanofi to enrol thousands in coronavirus vaccine trial

French drugmaker Sanofi says it plans to enrol thousands of people across the world in trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Sanofi Pasteur executives told Reuters the company hopes to start the trials in September and will be testing the vaccine on larger numbers of people to secure stronger data sooner. Late-stage trials comparing the vaccine with a placebo are expected to take place at the end of this year or early 2021. 

01:50 GMT – Chinese border city loosens lockdown restrictions

Suifenhe, the Chinese town on the country’s northeastern border, is loosening coronavirus restrictions that were introduced after a surge on cases among travellers returning from Russia, according to the Global Times.

01:30 GMT – China reports two new coronavirus cases

China’s National Health Commission says the mainland had two new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday with 20 new asymptomatic cases. No deaths were recorded.

The two new cases were in people who had travelled outside China.

00:00 GMT – South Korea’s baseball season resumes – without fans

South Korea’s baseball season has resumed to the sound of empty stadiums.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride says players have to abide by certain rules in order to play and it will be some time before fans are allowed back into stadiums.

23:30 GMT (Tuesday) – Trump to wind down coronavirus taskforce

US President Donald Trump is to wind down the government’s coronavirus taskforce as his focus shifts towards opening the economy.

Trump said Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, the two senior medics who took prominent roles in the taskforce, would remain as advisers.  

“We can’t keep our country closed for the next five years,” Trump said when asked about why it was time to wind down the taskforce. The taskforce had done a “great job”, he said during a visit to a face mask factory, but the focus now was “safety and opening”.

More than 70,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United States, more than anywhere else in the world. 

US Trump mask

President Donald Trump during his visit to a factory making personal protective equipment, including masks [Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

Read the updates from yesterday (May 5) here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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