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The United States has recorded 382 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its death toll to 115,729, according to a tally on Sunday by Johns Hopkins University.
This was the lowest US 24-hour toll since the peak in mid-April. It has been averaging 800 or so a day recently.
The world's top economy is by far the hardest-hit country in the pandemic, with both the highest number of deaths and the largest number of infections - 2,093,335 at 8.30 pm Saturday (0030 GMT Sunday), a tracker maintained by the Baltimore-based university showed.
Mass testing in Beijing fulled by fear of second wave
Chinese health officials reported 49 new coronavirus cases on Monday, including 36 more in the capital Beijing where a fresh cluster linked to a wholesale food market has fuelled fears of a second wave of infections.
In addition to the new Beijing cases, the National Health Commission said there were three confirmed cases in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing.
Beijing has begun mass testing workers at the Xinfadi food market, as well as those who live nearby and anyone who visited it in recent weeks.
Officials have said they plan to carry out virus tests on 46,000 residents in the area. More than 10,000 people have been tested already.
Eleven residential neighbourhoods near the market have been put under lockdown, and several cities have warned residents not to travel to Beijing.
Foreign minister denies Japan is easing entry ban
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Monday it was not true the government had decided to ease an entry ban, which was implemented to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, for people from certain countries.
The Yomiuri daily reported last week that Japan may restart business trips to and from Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Thailand in the next few months.
The government is examining ways to ease entry bans, taking into consideration various factors comprehensively, and would ease restrictions in stages if it decided to do so, Mr Motegi told parliament.
Mr Motegi has agreed with his counterparts from Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand to discuses the possibility of re-allowing travel to those who need it, he said.
Warning as restrictions flouted in Pakistan and infections rise
Pakistan's upward spiral of new virus infections neared 145,000 on Monday amid warnings from political leaders that the numbers could double by the end of June and were likely to hit a stunning 1.2 million by the end of July if Pakistan's 220 million people continue to flout basic precautions like mask wearing.
Planning and Development Minister Asad Umer, who also heads the government's Covid-19 command center, warned that the virus will rampage through Pakistan unless there is "a change in our attitude toward the virus", that ends the relentless refusal of most in Pakistan to social distance and wear masks in public.
Still he defended Pakistan's easing on lockdown restrictions saying the country's economy would collapse under the burden of a total shutdown. Pakistan has stepped back on some easing of restrictions, closing markets on the weekend and extending closures of large wedding halls, restaurants, gymnasiums and large gatherings.
Colombia records more than 50,000 cases
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Colombia have risen to over 50,000, the country's Health Ministry said on Sunday, while neighboring Ecuador approached the same milestone.
Colombia has reported 50,939 cases of the coronavirus and 1,667 deaths. In Ecuador, cases have surpassed 46,700 and deaths stand at 3,896.
Covid-19 has overwhelmed Ecuador's health system, in some cases leaving authorities unable to collect the bodies of the dead and forcing the government to store corpses temporarily in refrigerated shipping containers.
The country entered a national lockdown in late March, which is expected to be lifted on July 1.
Peru frees inmates to curb riots and spread of infection
Peru has freed 1,500 inmates over the past two months to ease overcrowding in prisons that have seen riots and deaths from the coronavirus.
The announcement of the freeing of people serving time for minor offenses was made in a weekend statement by Justice Minister Fernando Castaneda.
On April 14, the government pledged to free 3,000 prisoners to ease overcrowding.
Peru has the second-most cases in Latin America after Brazil, reporting 229,736. It is third in deaths after Brazil and Mexico, with 6,688.
Inmates fearing contagion with the virus in jam-packed prisons have staged several riots in Peru. The last of these came on May 19 in the south of the country, and left 14 prisoners and guards injured.
What you might have missed
- French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday gave Paris restaurants and cafés the green light to reopen fully and serve customers indoors, saying France has won “a first victory against the coronavirus.”
- Germany’s R-rate spiked above 1 on Sunday according to both daily and weekly measures - just days before the country is set to launch its tracing app.
- The first Covid-19 lawsuit filed against Chinese government in latest sign of bubbling unrest.
- France's epidemic has sparked an explosion of interest in la collapsologie - a Gallic take on the end of the world — with a rising number of converts seeking advice on how to prepare for the impending demise of civilisation.
- British holidaymakers will be allowed to travel to Spain from June 21 so long as the Covid-19 situation allows, as the government seeks to salvage what's left of the summer tourism market.
- The Swedish coastal city of Malmö has shown a remarkably different result to Stockholm, with few fatalities and a remarkably low death rate.