Moscow, UK move to ease coronavirus lockdowns: Live updates | News

  • Moscow residents will be able to stroll – for the first time in more than two months – on Monday, while the UK is also preparing to ease its blockade, despite the concerns of the government's scientific advisory body.
  • The death toll in Latin America has already exceeded 50,000, with about one million cases recorded in the region.

  • Most of the deaths occurred in Brazil, where supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro attended a rally on Sunday against the country's main court, which is investigating the right-wing leader.

  • More than 6.17 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 372,000 people died, including more than 104,000 in the United States. At least 2.64 million recovered globally.

Here are the most recent updates:

Monday, June 1

07:00 GMT – Armenian PM positive for COVID-19

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan revealed that he and his family tested positive for the new coronavirus.


"I had no symptoms, I decided to take a test while planning to visit the front line," he said during a live video on Facebook, adding that his entire family was infected.

Armenia, with a population of 3 million, has so far registered 9,402 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 139 deaths.


Pashinyan attends a meeting of heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in St. Petersburg, Russia in December 2019 [File: Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters]

06:40 GMT – South Africa partially suspends blockade, schools reopen postponed

South Africa partially lifted a two-month-old coronavirus block, allowing people to go out to work, worship, exercise or shop and allow mines and factories to operate at full capacity to try to revive the economy.

The government hopes that Monday's move to the "level 3" blockade will speed up business.

However, the reopening of schools in the last years of elementary and high school was postponed for a week, after concerns raised by the teachers' union about insufficient protective equipment.


Blockade in Zimbabwe: grandmothers offer free therapy


06:30 GMT – Primark will open all stores in England on June 15th

Fashion retailer Primark is working to reopen all of its 153 stores in England on June 15, in line with easing restrictions on coronavirus blocking in the country, said its owner Associated British Foods.

Primark is currently negotiating in 112 stores in Europe and the United States, representing 34% of its total sales space. In June, it plans to have 281 stores open, or 79% of the sales space.

06:20 GMT – India rises to the seventh largest outbreak in the world

India has recorded 230 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 5,394 when the country opens its three-stage reopening on Monday.

Blocking is being eased in most places, except in the containment zones now isolated due to coronavirus outbreaks.


People wearing face shields walk inside a park after restrictions have been lifted during a long national blockade to slow the spread of coronavirus disease in New Delhi [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

The Ministry of Health said India had 190,535 cases, the seventh most in the world, surpassing Germany and France.

More than 60% of COVID-19's deaths in India occurred in just two states – Maharashtra, India's financial and entertainment center, and Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state.

Hello this is Saba Aziz in Doha, taking over my colleague's blog Kate Mayberry.

05:30 GMT –

I am delivering the blog to my colleagues in Doha. A quick recap of developments in the past few hours, while several places – from Australia to Russia and the United Kingdom – further loosen their roadblocks.

China recorded the biggest increase in cases in three weeks – linked to people who returned home on a flight from Egypt – while Hong Kong registered its first cases acquired locally in two weeks. Meanwhile, Japan is considering allowing nationals from some countries to visit, provided they follow strict conditions.

05:10 GMT – Pakistan's top leadership meets increased coronavirus cases

Pakistan's National Coordinating Committee on Coronavirus, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is due to meet on Monday to devise a plan to deal with a sharp increase in cases and fatalities of the virus, according to the Al Jazeera correspondent, Asad Hashim.

Cases increased by more than 2,900 on Sunday, with 62 additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,579.

There has been a sharp increase in coronavirus deaths in the past week, with cases increasing at an increasing daily rate, after most restrictions were lifted before Eid al-Fitr, the country's most important holiday.

05:00 GMT – Eating out on the menu in Turkey, with the blocking easing further

Restaurants, cafes, museums, beaches and swimming pools are expected to reopen in Turkey as the government relaxes its blockade further.

More than 4,500 people died of the virus in Turkey, but officials say the outbreak is now under control. Restrictions on the movement of people over 65 or under 18 will remain in effect.

04:05 GMT – Japan considers allowing visitors from several countries

Japan may reopen its borders to visitors from countries with low levels of coronavirus infection, including Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and New Zealand, local media reported on Monday.

Asahi Shimbun said business travelers from the four nations would be allowed to enter, provided they tested negative for COVID-19 before departure and on arrival. His movements once in Japan would also be severely restricted.

Japan Tokyo

An almost deserted Narita airport in Tokyo, when the coronavirus spread in early March [Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters]

03:50 GMT – Hong Kong announces first cases transmitted locally in two weeks

The Hong Kong Health Protection Center (CHP) is investigating two new cases of locally transmitted coronavirus – a 34-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man.

Public broadcaster RTHK says the woman works in a logistics warehouse that labels food imported from the UK. Two people tested positive for the virus a month ago.

The new cases bring the total number of cases in the territory to 1,085, with four deaths.

03:15 GMT – Muscovites go out for a walk again while the blockade eases a little

People in the Russian capital will be able to go for a walk or run, and some shops will reopen as Moscow moves to loosen a blockade that has been in place since late March.

Residents will be able to go for walks three times a week, according to a schedule linked to the place where they live. People will also be able to run between 5 am and 9 am, when the parks open their gates again.

The opening of shopping centers, car showrooms, laundries, bookstores and laundries is also expected.

Russia, Moscow

A shop assistant prepares a children's clothing store to open in Moscow after Mayor Sergei Sobyanin decided to relax coronavirus restrictions from June 1 [Yuri Kochetkov/EPA]

Thousands of cases are still being reported across Russia's 11 time zones, but at a much lower level than previously. Russia has the third largest number of confirmed cases in the world.

03:00 GMT – North Korea to start reopening schools after coronavirus postponement

North Korea will begin phasing in schools starting this month, provided strict measures are taken against the coronavirus.

State media say thermometers and hand sanitizers need to be provided at the school gate, as well as in classrooms and administrative offices, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Maximum priority will be given to testing children in day care centers and kindergartens, as well as to disinfecting buildings.

North Korea said it has no cases of coronavirus.


02:30 GMT – Encouraging a drop in viral load in South Korea's experimental drug

Celltrion Inc of South Korea says its experimental treatment for COVID-19 showed a 100-fold reduction in the viral load of the disease during animal testing.

The preclinical study of the drug showed improvement in the recovery of runny nose, cough and body pain after the first day of treatment and elimination of lung inflammation in six days, the company said in a statement.

Celltrion has experience in research with other types of coronavirus diseases, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The company hopes to start the first human clinical trials for treatment with COVID-19 in July, said Kwon Ki-Sung, head of the company's research and development unit.

"(Celltrion) has the ability to implement mass production of therapeutic antibody treatment as soon as it is ready," said Kwon.

Want to know more about viral load, read our Doctor's note by Dr. Sara Kayat.

02:00 GMT – Coronavirus cases in China are highest in three weeks

China recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases in three weeks after the discovery of several cases among people who returned from Egypt.

The National Health Commission reported 16 new cases, all involving people from abroad.

Chinese state television said 11 people who arrived in Sichuan on a flight from Egypt were positive, while six other asymptomatic cases were also found.

00:50 GMT – Zoos and museums in Australia reopen as restrictions ease further

Zoos, museums and other public attractions began to reopen in parts of Australia for the first time in more than two months.

In New South Wales, the state where most Australians live, cafes and restaurants have also been allowed to host up to 50 people at a time.

23:30 GMT (May 31) – Brazil records 480 new deaths on Sunday

Brazil recorded 480 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its death toll to 29,314, the Ministry of Health reported.

More than half a million people in the country have already been confirmed to have a virus that Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, considered a "small flu".

Bolsonaro went on horseback on Sunday, greeting supporters in a demonstration against the country's main court, which is investigating the right-wing leader.

Brazil has the second highest number of cases in the world after the USA and the fourth highest number of deaths after the USA, United Kingdom and Italy.

23:00 GMT (May 31) – USA sends 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil

The United States has delivered two million doses of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to Brazil to combat COVID-19, the White House said, although the drug has not been shown to be effective against the coronavirus.

"HCQ will be used as a prophylactic to help defend nurses, doctors and health professionals in Brazil against the virus. It will also be used as therapy to treat Brazilians who are infected," said a statement referring to the drug.

He said the United States would also send 1,000 fans to Brazil, the epicenter of the South American outbreak.

"We are also announcing a joint research effort between the United States and Brazil that will include controlled and randomized controlled trials," he added.

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria, as well as autoimmune disorders of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. WHO recently suspended studies on the drug because of concerns about side effects.

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

Read all yesterday's updates (May 31) on here.

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