Covid-19 wrap | Cases soar past 145 000 in Russia, UK PM readies plan to ease lockdown and WHO says Madagascar's herbal tonic not a cure for virus

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

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Coronavirus cases in Russia soar past 145 000  

Russia registered a near record in new daily coronavirus cases on Monday as total infections surpassed 145 000, cementing its position as the top reporter of new cases in Europe.

Health officials reported 10 581 new infections over the last 24 hours, only 52 less than Sunday's record, and bringing Russia's total to 145 268 cases and 1 356 deaths.

- AFP


WHO says Madagascar's herbal tonic against Covid-19 not a cure       

The World Health Organisation is warning that Madagascar's herbal tonic its president claims can cure patients of Covid-19 has no scientific basis.

Other African countries such as Tanzania and Guinea-Bissau have made plans to import the tonic, which contains the artemisia plant, which is normally used to treat malaria.

- Al Jazeera

UK PM readies plan to ease lockdown with new office guidance             

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out his plan to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown next Sunday, media reports said, as new guidance emerged on how to maintain social distancing in workplaces.

Stay-at-home orders imposed in late March are up for review on Thursday in Britain, one of the worst hit countries in the Covod-19 pandemic, but the government has already said the measures will be eased only gradually.

- AFP

Birx warns against gatherings as US reopens from lockdowns

Dr Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, has warned against US citizens gathering in public spaces again as the number of of Covid-19 infections topped 1.1 million in the country and the death toll rose to more than 67 000 on Sunday.

Birx said on "Fox News Sunday" that massing on beaches was not safe unless people kept at least six feet apart and weighed in against allowing such businesses as beauty salons and spas to reopen in the first phase.

- Al Jazeera


High schools, unis slowly reopen in Iceland  

Iceland's secondary schools and universities began reopening on Monday, as the country began easing measures put in place seven weeks ago to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

The country, a vast island of 364,000 people located in the North Atlantic, has confirmed 1,799 cases of the illness and 10 deaths, but the number of new cases has ranged between zero and three since April 23.       

-  AFP

Schools to reopen as virus fears ease in South Korea

South Korean students will return to school starting next week, officials said on Monday, as the country seeks a return to normal life after a significant drop in new coronavirus cases in recent days.

The reopening of schools does not mean the end of Covid-19," said education minister Yoo Eun-hae, adding that precautionary measures must be taken to return to the "free and energetic classes" of pre-outbreak times.

- AFP

Global conference seeking to raise $8bn for coronavirus vaccine

World leaders are due to hold a virtual conference to raise $8.3bn for efforts to develop a vaccine and treatments against the new coronavirus.

The fundraising drive aims to pool resources worldwide to develop a vaccine and effective treatments as quickly as possible and to make them universally available at affordable prices.

- Al Jazeera


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