Covid-19 wrap | China says Pompeo 'insane' over virus theory, Italy eases world's longest lockdown and chaos outside liquor stores in India

2020-05-04 14:57

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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China says Pompeo 'insane' over virus lab origin theory

China's state broadcaster CCTV on Monday attacked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "insane and evasive remarks" over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, further fuelling Sino-US tensions.

Pompeo on Sunday said "enormous evidence" showed the virus originated in a lab in China, doubling down on previous claims that have been repeatedly denied by the WHO and various scientific experts.


Italy begins to emerge from world's longest lockdown 

Stir-crazy Italians were free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on Monday as Europe's hardest-hit country eased back the world's longest remaining coronavirus lockdown.

More than four million people - an estimated 72% of them men - returned to their construction sites and factories as the economically and emotionally shattered country tried to get back to work.


Chaos outside liquor stores as India eases virus lockdown       

Police used batons on Monday to beat back thirsty Indians jostling to buy alcohol for the first time in 40 days as the government eased further the world's biggest coronavirus lockdown.

Officials had painstakingly drawn chalk circles for buyers of booze to stand in but the social distancing efforts were thwarted as people gathered from early morning.


Trudeau unsure if his kids would return to school in worst-hit Quebec     

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he did not know if he would send his children back to school in the province worst-hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Quebec has seen more than half the country's 60 000 Covid-19 cases and nearly 60% of Canada's 3 700 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.


Mexico reports jump in coronavirus infections, based on model

Mexico reported a five-fold increase in the number of coronavirus infections, taking the nation's total to nearly 130 000, based on an epidemiological surveillance model used by the government.

The country has officially reported 23 471 Covid-19 cases and over 2,154 deaths from the virus, according to the US Johns Hopkins tally, but data from Sentinel Surveillance - a World Health Organisation monitoring system in use in Mexico since 2006 - estimates the country has as many as 128 033 Covid-19 infections.


Masks mandatory on Spain public transport as easing begins   

Masks became mandatory on public transport Monday as Spain took its first tentative steps towards a commercial reopening with small businesses accepting customers by appointment and restaurants.

The daily death rate has been steadily falling, with the country on Monday counting another 164 deaths in 24 hours, an identical number to Sunday which was the lowest figure in nearly seven weeks.

- AFP 

Hong Kong economy suffers record contraction

Hong Kong suffered its worst quarterly contraction since modern records began as the coronavirus outbreak hammered an economy already mired in recession from political unrest and trade war woes.

The financial hub is now experiencing its third-straight quarter of negative growth - its longest financial downturn since the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crash.


Greece debuts mobile virus testing as economy reopens          

Greece on Monday began deploying mobile teams to boost testing for the coronavirus as lockdown restrictions were gradually eased, starting with small businesses.

Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said the first 25 teams - which will eventually grow to 500 - will prioritise testing in vulnerable, closed facilities such as prisons and homes for the elderly.

Read more on:    justin trudeau  |  mike pompeo  |  hong kong  |  spain  |  mexico  |  italy  |  india  |  china  |  canada  |  coronavirus  |  economy

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