Confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 3.5m worldwide: Live updates | News

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is "enormous evidence" that the virus originated in a laboratory in China, in a comment that is likely to increase tensions with Beijing during the outbreak.

  • Australia, Malaysia and India are among the countries in Asia that will begin to ease parts of their blockade on Monday.

  • Afghanistan's health ministry warned of the spread of the new coronavirus after a small randomized trial in Kabul suggested that about a third of the capital's residents could be infected.

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases exceeds 3.5 million. More than 247,000 people died, while around 1.1 million recovered.

Here are the most recent updates:


Monday, May 4

04:50 GMT – US intelligence sources believe China has covered the extent of the outbreak, according to AP

American officials believe China has covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak – and how contagious the disease was – to stock up on the medical supplies needed to respond to it, according to intelligence documents.

Chinese leaders "intentionally concealed the severity" of the world pandemic in early January, according to a four-page intelligence report from the Department of Homeland Security dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press.


The revelation comes when the Trump administration intensifies its criticism from China about the pandemic.

04:00 GMT – Coronavirus data: countries release latest updates

A summary of some of the coronavirus data that was released on Monday.

  • Germany's Robert Koch Institute recorded 679 new cases, bringing the country's total to 163,175. There were also 43 deaths. About 6,692 people have already died of the disease in Germany.
  • China recorded three new cases – all among people returning from abroad – bringing the total to 82,880. The National Health Commission also reported 13 new asymptomatic cases. There were no new deaths.
  • South Korea, which plans to facilitate social detachment guidelines on Wednesday, has registered eight new cases, all imported from abroad. Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the total number of cases now stands at 10,801.

03:50 GMT – Japan's Abe to extend state of emergency: NHK

Japan's national broadcaster NHK is reporting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to extend the country's state of emergency until the end of May.

Abe is due to hold a press conference later on Monday night, where he is also expected to announce new preventive measures.


About 15,000 people were diagnosed with the virus in Japan and more than 500 died.


03:40 GMT – New Zealand does not register new cases for the first time since mid-March

New Zealand did not register new cases of coronavirus on Monday, marking the first time the country has registered zero cases since the outbreak occurred in mid-March.

The development comes less than a week after the Pacific nation began to ease a strict blockade that was imposed to contain the outbreak.

"It is symbolic of the effort that everyone has made," he said Ashley Bloomfield, director general of health.

"This is the first day that we have had no new cases and we want to continue like this."

Construction resumed after New Zealand eased some restrictions on the coronavirus last week. The country did not register new cases of the disease on Monday [Marty Melville/AFP]

03:00 GMT – China develops extensive distribution network in the coronavirus boom

Delivery services have grown across China – and in many other countries around the world – helping people get through strict coronavirus blockages, meaning they can only go out to get food supplies or see a doctor.

Katrina Yu of Al Jazeera in Beijing visited a distribution center that is processing tens of thousands of packages every day, with most delivered within 24 hours of ordering.

Home delivery network fuels China's economy amid confinement

02:50 GMT – In response to the coronavirus under fire, Brazilian Bolsonaro takes to the streets

Brazilian Right President Jair Bolsonaro appeared at a rally of hundreds of supporters on Sunday to attack Congress and the courts.

Bolsonaro is being criticized and increasingly isolated for his response to the coronavirus, with known cases now totaling more than 100,000.

Read More on here.

02:00 GMT – Some coronavirus brakes have decreased in India

India is acting to ease some of its restrictions on coronaviruses, although the national blockade – the largest in the world – remains in effect until May 17.

Each state and city was color coded – red, orange or green – according to the incidence of coronavirus. New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were named red zones. In these locations, companies can open at a third of capacity, construction can resume supplying workers to the site, and independent stores can reopen.

In orange zones, taxis can also operate, while green zones – areas where there is no incidence of coronavirus in 21 days – can resume all activities, unless prohibited under national blockade.

At the national level, all travel remains suspended, while schools, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other places where people gather must remain closed.

There are no restrictions on the manufacture and movement of goods between states.

Coronavirus from India

Tests are an essential part of India's relaxation from its coronavirus blockade [Yawar Nazir/Getty Images]

00:20 GMT – Malaysia eases business restrictions, but some states hold back

Malaysian companies, including restaurants, have been told they can reopen as of Monday, as long as they meet the requirements of social distance, hygiene and contract seeking.

Federal authorities continue to encourage people to work from home, but after an increase in cases over the weekend, some state governments have said they will not ease the restrictions.

Malaysia registered 122 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the highest since mid-April, and two more deaths.

00:10 GMT – Trump says there will be a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year

U.S. President Donald Trump told Fox News that he believes there will be a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. He also said that he would like to see schools and universities open in September.

00:00 GMT – Australia debates opening schools, with some restrictions relaxed

Australia is beginning to ease restrictions on coronavirus, but a Sydney student's positive test for coronavirus has heightened the debate over whether schools should reopen.

The seven-year-old diagnosis led to the closure of his school, but it was the only new case of coronavirus in New South Wales (NSW), said Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

NSW, home to nearly half of the country's nearly 6,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus is reopening schools on a staggered basis, while the neighboring state of Victoria has asked parents to keep their children at home until mid-year.

States are also moving at different speeds to remove movement restrictions: NSW has allowed people to make home visits in groups of up to two, while Victoria said she would consider relaxing her order to stay home on May 11.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Read yesterday's updates (May 3) on here.

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