Tanzanian President John Magufuli declared the East African country “coronavirus-free” thanks to prayers by citizens.
Coronavirus might have been spreading in China as early as August 2019, according to a Harvard Medical School research.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to press on with efforts to contain the coronavirus. “More than six months into the pandemic this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online briefing.
More than seven million people have now been confirmed to have the coronavirus with at least 406,500 dying from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US, the UK and Brazil have recorded the highest death tolls. The US, Brazil and Russia have the most cases.
Here are the latest updates:
Tuesday, June 9
08:00 GMT – Russia records more than 8,500 new COVID-19 cases
Russia reported 8,595 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infections nationwide to 485,253.
The authorities said that 171 people had died from the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 6,142.
Only US and Brazil have reported more cases of coronavirus than Russia [Reuters]
07:45 GMT – New Delhi reverses limits on COVID-19 testing, sickbeds after pressure
New Delhi has reversed orders that limited the scope of coronavirus testing and reserved hospital beds for city residents as the Indian capital’s caseload continues to surge.
Delhi’s numbers of infected jumped to 29,943 on Tuesday of India’s 266,598 total cases nationwide.
Since coming to power in 2013, the government led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has prioritized investing in health care. Delhi has the best health care in India, drawing patients from across the country.
As of Tuesday, the Indian capital has recorded almost 30,000 coronavirus cases [Danish Siddiqui/Reuters]
As lockdown restrictions eased in recent weeks, the number of people infected with coronavirus has soared in the capital. On Sunday, Kejriwal announced that hospital beds for COVID-19 patients would be reserved for Delhi residents and testing limited to those with symptoms of the disease.
But the central government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly objected to the rules, and late Monday the Delhi government set them aside, with Kejriwal tweeting that “making arrangements for treatment for people from across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic is a major challenge. But maybe it’s God’s will that we have to serve everyone in the country.”
07:20 GMT – COVID-19 may have been spreading in China in August: Harvard research
The novel coronavirus might have been spreading in China as early as August 2019, according to Harvard Medical School research based on satellite images of hospital travel patterns and search engine data.
The research used high-resolution satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in Wuhan – where the disease emerged in late 2019 – and data for symptom-related queries on search engines for things such as “cough” and “diarrhoea”.
“Increased hospital traffic and symptom search data in Wuhan preceded the documented start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in December 2019,” according to the research.
“While we cannot confirm if the increased volume was directly related to the new virus, our evidence supports other recent work showing that emergence happened before identification at the Huanan Seafood market.”
“These findings also corroborate the hypothesis that the virus emerged naturally in southern China and was potentially already circulating at the time of the Wuhan cluster,” according to the research.
It showed a steep increase in hospital parking lot occupancy in August 2019.
“In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhoea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data,” according to the research.
China first reported to the WHO a pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan on December 31, 2019 [Hector Retamal/AFP]
06:45 GMT – Tanzania president declares country ‘coronavirus-free’
Tanzanian President John Magufuli declared the East African country “coronavirus-free,” local media reported.
President John Magufuli attributed the claimed success over the worldwide pandemic to prayers and fasting that the people of Tanzania have offered to God.
“It gives me joy to be the leader of a country that puts God first, God loves Tanzania,” Jamvi TV in Tanzania reported.
“The works of the devil will always be defeated in Tanzania because Tanzanians love God and that is why even the corona has been defeated by God,” Magufuli told a Catholic congregation in the capital Dodoma.
Kenya closed its borders with Tanzania due to rising cases of imported COVID-19 [Thomas Mukoya/Reuters]
06:30 GMT – Mexico reopens its economy after COVID-19 lockdown
Mexico is reopening its economy after it implemented measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But the numbers of bodies piling up in morgues and crematoriums in the capital don’t seem to match the numbers that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says are helping to flatten the curve.
06:00 GMT –
Hello, this is Hamza Mohamed in Doha taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
05:30 GMT –
I am now handing the blog to my colleagues in Doha. A quick recap of developments in the past few hours: Deaths have jumped in Brazil where there is anger and confusion over the data being released, Pakistan hs reported its deadliest-ever day with 105 deaths from coronavirus, and Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan has told Al Jazeera he’s confident the Indonesian capital is in control of the outbreak there.
05:15 GMT – New Zealanders hug, shop and party after restrictions lifted
New Zealanders are enjoying their return to normal life after the last of the country’s coronavirus restrictions were removed at midnight.
“It’s really helped generate that absolute buzz and that feeling of more normality really,” cafe owner Katy Ellis told Reuters of the removal of social distancing guidelines.
Cities came back to life as people returned to their offices and browsed the shops with public transport crowded once again.
“People are shopping, dining and just hanging about holding hands,” Steve Price told the news agency from Wellington. “It’s so lovely to see.”
Not just light at the end of the tunnel: double rainbow on Day 1 of Level 1 (Waipu, NZ) pic.twitter.com/U46BKwZmgd
— Chris Chang (@ChrisChang) June 9, 2020
05:05 GMT – Pakistan records deadliest day yet in outbreak
Pakistan has recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak so far, with at least 105 people dead, according to Al Jazeera correspondent Asad Hashim.
The country also registered 4,646 new cases taking the overall number of cases to 108,317.
Pakistan has seen a sustained spike in cases since late May. In an address to the nation on Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government expected cases to peak in late July. He also defended his decision to keep the economy open, arguing that lockdowns were “not a solution” to the pandemic.
03:55 GMT – Antibodies found in US Navy sailors on aircraft carrier: study
A US Navy investigation into the spread of coronavirus on board the Theodore Roosevelt has found 60 percent of the roughly 400 sailors on the aircraft carrier who volunteered to be tested had antibodies for the virus, according to Reuters.
All 4,800 sailors on the ship were previously tested for COVID-19 and about a quarter were positive. In April, the navy and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention began tests to look for specific antibodies to get a more accurate understanding of the virus’s spread on the ship.
Three officials cautioned that the results of the study, which could be released as early as Tuesday, could not be generalised to the entire crew. They noted the number of volunteers was less than half the 1,000 sought. Those who participated were also tested again for COVID-19 and asked to complete a survey.
One sailor died and a number of others were hospitalised as a result of the outbreak. The ship’s captain was also fired after a letter he wrote calling for stronger protections for crew was leaked.
US Navy relieves commander of coronavirus-hit ship over memo leak
03:45 GMT – Jakarta’s governor confident coronavirus under control as city reopens
Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan has told Al Jazeera’s Jessica Washington that he is confident coronavirus is under control and that the Indonesian capital can cope with a relaxation of lockdown measures that began on Monday,
The governor said that the situation was much better than in March and April and the authorities wanted to be at the stage where the city was “safe, healthy and productive”. You can read more of the interview here.
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan speaks to Al Jazeera
03:20 GMT – Venzuela says COVID-19 aid from Iran has arrived
Venezuela’s government has said a shipment of humanitarian aid from Iran arrived in the country on Monday.
Most of the supplies were test-kits, Plann ing Minister Ricardo Menendez told state television. Iran’s ambassador said the materials would “strengthen Venezuela’s fight against the coronavirus.”
02:40 GMT – California cinemas could be open again on Friday
Cinemas in California could be open again by Friday if they follow capacity guidelines and other measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, and get the approval of local officials.
CInemas, which have closed all over the world, will have to limit attendance to 25 percent of capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower.
Movie studios are hoping enough cinemas will be open for a season of summer blockbusters with Disney’s hotly-awaited epic ‘Mulan’ slated for a July 24 release.
01:15 GMT – University of Washington forecasts 145,000 US deaths by early August
Researchers at the University of Washington estimate that 145,728 people in the US could die of COVID-19 by August – an increase of 5,000 deaths since their last forecast only a few days ago.
The US has confirmed almost 111,000 deaths according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
00:00 GMT – Antibodies found in more than half the residents of Bergamo
More than half the residents tested for coronavirus in Italy’s northern province of Bergamo have been found to have coronavirus antibodies.
Health authorities said of 9,965 people tested between April 23 and June 3, 57 percent had antibodies indicating they had come into contact with the virus. The results were based on a “random” sample that officials said was sufficiently broad to give an indication of how many people had been infected in the province.
Bergamo was at the centre of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak.
23:45 GMT – Brazil reports 679 new deaths amid data controversy
Brazil has reported 679 deaths from coronavirus and 15,654 new cases amid growing controversy about its data and allegations of political manipulation.
The Health Ministry removed data from its website over the weekend and stopped releasing cumulative totals in relation to the disease’s spread. In a statement on Monday, it said the changes were made because of mistakes in the dataset from two states that were later corrected.
The move has fuelled calls for an inquiry in a country where right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the virus as a “little flu” and raged against lockdowns.
“By changing the numbers the Ministry of Health covers the sun with a sieve,” said Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house. “The credibility of the statistics needs to be urgently recovered. A ministry that manipulates numbers creates a parallel world in order not to face the reality of the facts.”
23:30 GMT – UN reiterates importance of investing in health
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the president of the UN General Assembly, has stressed the importance of investing in health which he said was an “investment in human capital, social and economic development, and the empowerment of people.”
The UN adopted a landmark political declaration on universal health coverage last September.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (June 8) here.