The US government was slow to understand how fast coronavirus was spreading from Europe, which accelerated outbreaks across the country, said Dr Anne Schuchat, the number-two official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The World Health Organization has reiterated that the coronavirus is believed to be “natural in origin”, responding to a claim by US President Donald Trump that he had seen evidence that indicated the virus emerged from a virology institute in Wuhan, China.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed infections stands above 3.34 million, with nearly 239,000 deaths and approximately 1.05 million recoveries.
The coronavirus is ravaging Brazil’s poor, tightly-packed neighbourhoods where the disease is harder to control. There were 92,000 cases in Brazil with 6,400 deaths reported as of Friday.
Here are the latest updates:
Saturday, May 2
07:13 GMT – Two percent of Moscow residents have coronavirus: Mayor
About two percent of Moscow residents – or more than 250,000 people – have the coronavirus, the mayor of the Russian capital said, citing test results.
Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his blog that Moscow has significantly ramped up testing capacity over the past few weeks, adding the city has managed to “contain the spread of the infection” due to the enforcement of stay-at-home rules and other measures.
But he reiterated that the city was not yet past the peak of the outbreak, saying “the threat is apparently on the rise”.
UK: Black Africans dying at much higher rate than white Britons (02:59)
05:45 GMT – Australia reports coronavirus cases at meat factory
A small cluster has emerged at a meat factory in the Australian state of Victoria, health officials said on Saturday, as parts of the country started easing physical distancing restrictions after suppressing the infection rate to below 1 percent.
Three of the cases in Victoria were related to a meat-processing facility, said its health minister. A total of eight employees have tested positive.
In Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) two out of five new cases were recorded at the Newmarch aged care facility in Sydney, where about 60 people have been infected, and 13 have died.
Local clusters of COVID-19 and cruise ship infections have accounted for a large percentage of Australia’s nearly 6,800 cases and 93 deaths.
05:30 GMT – Thailand reports six new coronavirus cases, no new deaths
Thailand reported six new coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,966, according to Reuters news agency.
Three of the new cases were found on the southern resort island of Phuket, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman of the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
While more than half of Thailand’s nearly 3,000 cases were concentrated in Bangkok, Phuket has the highest rate of infection per population, Taweesin said. Since Thailand first detected the virus in January, 54 patients have died, 2,732 have recovered, and 180 are still hospitalised, according to official figures.
04:51 GMT – NASA, SpaceX urge spectators to skip launch
NASA and SpaceX have urged spectators to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Top officials warned the public against travelling to the US state of Florida for the May 27 launch of two NASA astronauts on board a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station, the Associated Press news agency reported.
It will be the first launch of astronauts from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in nine years – the last space shuttle flight was in 2011. It also will be the first attempt by a private company to fly astronauts into orbit.
04:13 GMT – Singapore to ease restrictions starting on May 12
Singapore announced on Saturday that it will ease some restrictions in the country, allowing some businesses to operate starting May 12, according to Reuters news agency.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that as the number of cases in the broader community drop, more restrictions will be lifted in the weeks to come.
The government also said it will allow some students to return to school beginning on May 19.
03:35 GMT – Malaysia: Raid of migrants carried out to contain coronavirus
Malaysian authorities rounded up undocumented migrants as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, the country’s police chief said.
Over 700 migrants were taken into custody, including young children and Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, during Friday’s raid in a downtown area where thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers live, rights groups had said.
“We cannot allow them to move freely… as it will be difficult for us to track them down if they leave identified locations,” Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador told state news agency Bernama.
Those detained would be placed at a single location for monitoring until the movement curbs are lifted, he said, according to state news agency Bernama.
02:55 GMT – Germany’s coronavirus death toll hits 6,575
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 945 to 161,703, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
The death toll rose by 94 to 6,575.
02:15 GMT – IMF approves $643m in pandemic aid for Ecuador
The International Monetary Fund has approved a request from Ecuador for emergency financing to fight the coronavirus pandemic, granting a $643m loan, the Andean country’s economy ministry has announced.
Ecuador has been among the hardest-hit countries in Latin America, with 24,675 confirmed cases and 883 deaths, plus a further 1,357 deaths that were likely caused by the coronavirus.
“This financing will allow us to have the necessary liquidity to support the reactivation of the economy, and protect jobs,” the ministry said in a statement.
01:40 GMT – Japan to review sumo tournament schedule
The Japan Sumo Association has announced it will reconsider its schedule for the summer grand tournament starting on May 24 if the government extends the state of emergency, Japan’s NHK news reported.
The nationwide measures are currently due to expire on Wednesday, May 6.
The opening of the event had already been postponed for two weeks to May 24.
Organisers are also considering holding the tournament without spectators, or cancelling it, the report said.
01:20 GMT – South Korea reports single-digit infections for fourth day
South Korea reported six more cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the nation’s total infections to 10,780, according to Yonhap news agency.
It marked the fourth day in a row for the new daily infections to stay in the single digits.
The nation’s death toll from the virus rose by two to 250, while 9,123 people have recovered, up 51 from a day earlier.
01:12 GMT – US coronavirus stimulus went to some healthcare providers facing criminal inquiries
An investigation conducted by the Reuters news agency has revealed that taxpayer money has gone to some companies and people facing civil or criminal fraud investigations in the US.
The disclosures prompted outrage among some congressional Democrats, who say they highlight the problems with how stimulus funds have been distributed.
The funds came from the $2.3 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress to blunt the economic toll of the pandemic, which has killed more than 64,000 Americans and thrown at least 30 million people out of work.
00:05 GMT – US emergency approval broadens use of COVID-19 drug remdesivir
Gilead Science Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir was granted emergency use authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for COVID-19, clearing the way for broader use of the drug around the US.
During a meeting at the White House with US President Donald Trump, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day called the move an important first step and said the company was donating 1.5 million vials of the drug to help patients.
The donation is expected to be enough for at least 140,000 patients, depending on the number of days they need to be treated.
Gilead said on Wednesday that the drug, which is given intravenously, had helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19 and provided data suggesting it worked better when given earlier in the course of infection.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national viral genomics consortium to better sequence the transmission of COVID-19.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can find all the key developments from yesterday, May 1, here.