Covid-19 wrap | Russia records highest death toll, Mumbai's hospitals close to collapse

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 307,321 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December.

At least 4,549,100 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,602,400 are now considered recovered.

Russia records highest death toll

Russia on Saturday recorded its highest daily death toll yet from the coronavirus while new cases fell to the lowest level in two weeks. Russia is in second place in the world to the United States with 272,043 cases, with 9,200 new cases announced Saturday, the lowest number since May 2.

But the number of deaths announced Saturday for the last 24 hours was the highest yet in Russia, at 119.

Critics have cast doubt on Russia's low mortality rate, accusing authorities of under-reporting deaths in order to play down the scale of the crisis. The total number of officially confirmed deaths is now 2,537, lower than a number of other countries with fewer cases.

Iran reports new deaths

Iran on Saturday reported 35 new deaths from the coronavirus -- the lowest number since March 7 despite infections rising -- and announced a further relaxation of Covid-19-related closures.

The new deaths brought the overall toll to 6,937, he added. But in an ominous sign, Iran on Friday reported its highest number of new infections in more than a month.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 1,757 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed across Iran in the 24 hours to Saturday, bringing the overall total to 118,392.

Alarm in Germany as 'corona demos' take off

From anger over lockdown measures to a purported vaccine plan by Bill Gates: a growing wave of demonstrations in Germany by conspiracy theorists, extremists and anti-vaxxers has alarmed even Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Initially starting as a handful of protesters decrying tough restrictions on public life to halt transmission of the coronavirus, the protests have swelled in recent weeks to gatherings of thousands in major German cities.

Italy to reopen borders as Spain seeks state of emergency extension

Italy will reopen to European tourists from early June and scrap a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, the government said on Saturday, as it quickened the exit from the coronavirus lockdown.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte enforced an economically crippling shutdown in early March to counter a pandemic that has so far killed more than 31,500 people in Italy.

Spain's government meanwhile will seek a fresh extension of its state of emergency that will last "about a month" until the transition out of lockdown is completed, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday.

Mumbai's hospitals close to collapse in war on virus

Packed morgues, bodies in wards, patients forced to share beds and medical workers run ragged: Mumbai's war against coronavirus has pushed the Indian city's hospitals to breaking point.

The huge Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, better known as Sion, has become a byword for the stunning failure of Mumbai -- home to billionaires, Bollywood and slums -- to cope with the pandemic.

With space at a premium, and relatives too afraid or unable to claim their dead because they are themselves in quarantine, disposal of coronavirus corpses is not easy, doctors say.

But dealing with the sick is much harder.

Manila's malls reopen but discourage shoppers from lingering

Manila's malls set air conditioners to warm and switched off free wifi to stop people lingering as many of them cautiously reopened after a two-month lockdown that brought the sprawling hubs of community life to a halt.

Just a trickle of customers showed up at the huge commercial centres in the Philippine capital, which usually attract millions of people each day and often contain churches, restaurants, gyms and event spaces.

Measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus included walk-in booths filled with clouds of disinfectant, distanced queues, temperature checks and mandatory masks.

Leopards spotted in Islamabad park as virus clears trails

Leopards, jackals and other creatures living in Islamabad's tree-covered hills have been enjoying a rare respite from the throngs of hikers and joggers that normally pack the trails.

Rangers in the Pakistani capital's Margalla Hills National Park saw animal activity increase soon after the city was locked down in March to counter the coronavirus.

Motion-triggered wildlife cameras have been clicking away as animals explore areas they had long been nervous to visit.

30 Indian migrant workers killed in lockdown crashes

At least 30 Indian migrant workers were killed in two road accidents as they tried to return to their home villages during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, officials said.

The accidents, in central and northern India, were the latest involving some of the millions of labourers left stranded and jobless by the seven-week shutdown.

In the deadliest incident, a truck carrying about 40 labourers struck another vehicle also carrying workers and their families that was parked at a roadside cafe in Uttar Pradesh, local magistrate Abishek Singh told AFP.

At least 25 were killed and 30 injured.

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