The United States government was slow to understand how fast coronavirus was spreading from Europe, which accelerated outbreaks across the country, says Dr Anne Schuchat, the number-two official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Venezuela, more than 40 people died during a riot about coronavirus-related restrictions on family visits, while prisoners at a Brazilian jail held guards hostage for several hours in protest to the suspension of all visits.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed infections stands above 3.35 million, with nearly 239,000 deaths and approximately 1.05 million recoveries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated 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.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, May 3
06:35 GMT – S Korea to further ease physical distancing rules
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the country will further relax physical distancing rules starting on May 6.
The government “will allow businesses to resume at facilities in phases that had remained closed up until now, and also allow gatherings and events to take place assuming they follow disinfection guidelines”, he told a televised meeting of government officials.
06:10 GMT – Philippines temporarily bars incoming flights
Incoming passenger flights are barred from entering the Philippines for one week to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“This decision is meant to decongest our quarantine facilities to protect our people by preventing the further spread of COVID-19 and also ensure that our overseas Filipino workers are well taken care of when they arrive from abroad”, officials said in a statement.
Some 20,000 repatriated Filipinos are undergoing mandatory quarantine in the capital, Manila, officials said. Entry to the country is closed to all except repatriated Filipinos.
As of Sunday, the country has reported 8,928 infections and 603 deaths.
05:30 GMT – Thailand reports lowest number of cases, as some restrictions ease
Marking its lowest number since early March, Thailand reported three new coronavirus cases and no new deaths as it started easing restrictions on some business and aspects of life.
The country allowed businesses such as restaurants, hair salons and outdoor markets to reopen as long as physical distancing was maintained and temperature checks carried out.
So far, there have been a total of 2,966 infections and 54 deaths.
04:51 GMT – World ‘needs a robust airline system for COVID-19 recovery’
Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of Airline Ratings, has said a lot more needs to be done to assist airlines with their recovery
“Across the globe, we’ve all got to make concessions. This is all costing us money. At the same time, whether we are supporting our local airline or our favourite local restaurant with takeaways – everybody needs help, and the airlines are no different. Because the airlines are losing half of their revenue for 2020, and some of the bailouts are absolutely massive,” he told Al Jazeera.
“In certain jurisdictions, it has been enough. For instance in the Middle East – some of the countries there have stepped up significantly, like Qatar. In other jurisdictions, they haven’t. In Australia, the federal government hasn’t supported its two airlines. So coming out of COVID-19, you’re going to get some airlines that are very well looked after and other ones that are not.”
He added: “A lot more needs to be done because aviation is the fabric of the economy of the world and we need a robust airline system to help with this recovery … Certainly, we want to preserve as many of these airlines as we possibly can for the highly competitive market that we want post-COVID-19.”
03:56 GMT – UK made contingency plan for Johnson’s death as he battled COVID-19
Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has said the British government made contingency plans for his death as his condition deteriorated while he battled COVID-19 last month in intensive care.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper on Sunday, Johnson said he was given “litres and litres of oxygen” to keep him alive.
“They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario,” Johnson told The Sun. “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it.”
03:05 GMT – Roche gets US FDA approval for antibody test
Roche Holding AG said received emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antibody test to help determine if people have ever been infected with the coronavirus.
The Swiss drugmaker said its antibody test, Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2, has a specificity greater than 99.8 percent and can help assess patients’ immune response to the new coronavirus, officially known as SARS-Cov-2.
02:36 GMT – South Korea reports 13 new cases
Health authorities in South Korea reported 13 new coronavirus cases, of which 10 were imported.
The country reported fewer than 15 cases for more than two weeks, and authorities say they plan to loosen social distancing rules this week. Details of the so-called “everyday life quarantine” are expected later today, according to the official Yonhap news agency.
02:17 GMT – Rise in virus cases in crowded Indian jails prompts concerns
The spread of the coronavirus in India’s notoriously crowded prisons prompted authorities to impose jail lockdowns and release thousands of pretrial detainees on parole, as health experts worry the cramped facilities are serving as breeding grounds for the disease.
“It is a terrifying situation. If measures aren’t taken soon, then things can become extremely difficult,” Madhurima Dhanuka, head of the Prison Reforms Program for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, told the Associated Press news agency.
Although there are no official numbers on how many inmates have been infected by the virus, India’s correction facilities are slowly recording more infections and have temporarily banned visitors.
On Thursday, authorities locked down Nagpur Central Jail in coastal Maharashtra, among the Indian states worst hit by the pandemic. It was the eighth prison in Maharashtra to be locked down. The move came after 19 inmates in Indore Central Jail in central Madhya Pradesh state tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Indian prisons are highly overcrowded. According to the latest data by the National Crimes Record Bureau in 2018, India has some 450,000 prisoners, exceeding the country’s official prison capacity by about 17 percent.
Prisons in New Delhi and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state have the highest occupancy rates, at more than 50 percent above capacity.
Making matters worse, “the health facilities in prisons are not up to the mark,” said Dhanuka.
02:06 GMT – China reports two new coronavirus cases
China reported two new coronavirus cases for May 2, up from one the day before, according to data from the National Health Commission.
One case was imported and the other is local. This compared with one imported case and no domestic transmissions on May 1. The NHC also reported 12 asymptomatic cases for May 2, down from 20 the day before.
The number of confirmed cases in China has reached 82,877. With no new deaths reported, the death toll remains at 4,633.
01:46 GMT – Hundreds in US state of Oregon protest stay-at-home order
Hundreds opposed to Oregon’s stay-at-home order demonstrated in the city of Salem as health officials announced five additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
Most of the protesters did not wear face masks, but they waved American flags and Trump campaign signs in the rain. Other signs read, “Reopen Oregon” and “Let me earn a living”.
A group of healthcare workers demonstrated at the top of the Capitol steps, urging a phased plan to ease the state’s social distancing requirements. Most of the other protesters ignored them.
01:04 GMT – Pelosi, McConnell decline coronavirus tests for US Congress
The top Republican and Democrat in Congress said they are respectfully declining an offer of quick COVID-19 tests offered by the Trump administration.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, normally fierce political rivals, say Congress is “grateful” for the offer, but “wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly”.
The US’s 100 senators, many of whom are advanced in age, will return to Washington, DC on Monday following a recess that was prolonged due to the pandemic.
00:54 GMT – Yemen’s Houthi rebels call for more test kits
Taha al-Mutawakel, the Houthi public health minister, urged the United Nations to increase the number of testing kits for COVID-19.
“We are sending this appeal given the global situation of coronavirus, the ongoing assault against our country, the embargo on our country, and because the amount of the PCR tests which the World Health Organization has sent to us is very little and is about to run out,” he told reporters in Sanaa on Saturday.
00:26 GMT – UN calls for probe into Venezuela prison riot that left 46 dead
The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an investigation into a prison riot in western Venezuela that left 46 people dead and 75 injured.
The OHCHR said on Twitter it is “gravely concerned” about the incident on Friday at the Los Llanos penitentiary in Portuguesa state. The South American country’s prisons are infamous for extreme levels of violence and poor conditions.
“We urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, tackle overcrowding, and guarantee basic rights,” the office said.
The riot came shortly after prison officials barred inmates’ family members from bringing them food, a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within prisons.
00:12 GMT – Guards freed after prison riot at Brazil’s Manaus
Prison authorities in Brazil said 10 guards and five inmates suffered non-critical injuries following an uprising at a prison in Manaus, a state capital in the Amazon rainforest.
The inmates held seven guards hostage for more than five hours, but the situation was brought under control, according to the state’s public security secretariat.
Relatives of inmates said the prisoners at Puraquequara prison were protesting the suspension of all family visits and poor conditions at the lockup amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with all the latest updates.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, March 2, here.