COVID-19: Seven latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

– Lockdowns eased further –
Lockdown measures are finally eased in Spain’s two biggest cities Madrid and Barcelona, where people can now meet in groups of up to 10 in their homes or in parks or on the terraces of bars and restaurants. Beaches also reopen in parts of the country after months-long closures.

Italy reopens swimming pools and gyms, Greece does the same with restaurants and cafes, while Ukrainians can again take the metro in capital Kiev for the first time in 10 weeks.

Iran reopens its main shrines.

Japan lifts a nationwide state of emergency but warns caution is still necessary to prevent another wave.

India resumes domestic flights.

– British stores to reopen –
Britain could reopen all non-essential retail stores on June 15 “contingent upon progress against” the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says.

– Hydroxychloriquine trials suspended –
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it has temporarily suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure, after publication of a study in The Lancet which indicated that using the drug on such patients could increase their chances of dying.

– More than 344,000 deaths –
The pandemic has killed at least 344,107 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT on Monday, based on official sources.


The United States has recorded the most deaths with 97,948 fatalities. It is followed by Britain with 36,914, Italy with 32,877, France with 28,457 and Spain with 26,834 (toll revised down).

– British PM’s aide defiant –
British Prime Minister Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings defies calls to resign over allegations that he broke coronavirus rules and undermined the government’s response to the health crisis.

Cummings says he acted “reasonably and legally” when he drove across the country with his wife while she was suffering from the virus, despite official advice to stay at home.

– Berlin to Lufthansa’s rescue –
Coronavirus-stricken German airline group Lufthansa strikes a nine-billion-euro ($9.8 billion) rescue deal with the German government.

The German government will offer a three-billion-euro loan and 5.7 billion euros of “silent” capital, as well as buying 20 percent of the company for 300 million euros.

– Pay rise for French health workers?  –
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says, when kicking off consultations with doctors and nurses, that health workers will soon get hefty pay increases as part of an overhaul of the country’s hospital system in response to the coronavirus crisis.