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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of June 7 to June 13, WHO says vaccine should be a global public good

Brazil's death toll overtakes Britain's to become second highest

Director General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference.   © Reuters

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Follow the latest updates.

Global cases have reached 7,629,227, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 425,330.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Saturday, June 13

10:14 a.m. China reports 11 new COVID-19 cases and seven asymptomatic cases on June 12, the national health authority says on Saturday. The total number of COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 83,075, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634. China does not count asymptomatic patients, who are infected with the virus but do not display symptoms, as confirmed cases.

9:14 a.m. Mexico's health ministry reports a record 5,222 new confirmed coronavirus infections along with 504 additional fatalities on Friday, bringing the total in the country to 139,196 cases and 16,448 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the official count.

8:06 a.m. Brazil's death toll overtakes Britain's to become the second highest in the world with 41,828 dead, but the World Health Organization said the nation's health system was standing up to the pressure, reports Reuters.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks end higher on buying by bargain hunters following sharp declines the previous day. The Dow closed 1.9% higher while the S&P 500 rose 1.3%. But these indexes had the worst week since March.

2:15 a.m. Canada will phase in mandatory temperature checks for airline passengers and bar anyone with a fever from flying, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

1:36 a.m. Vaccines for COVID-19 should be treated as global public goods, the World Health Organization says.

"Many leaders...have promoted the idea of making any vaccine a global public good, but that should continue to be promoted," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells a press conference.

Friday, June 12

11:55 p.m. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirms a vow to make every effort to restore the U.S. labor market back to its pre-coronavirus strength, Reuters reports.

10:35 p.m. U.S. stocks recover from the previous session's 1,800 point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow is up nearly 700 points, or more than 2.5%, at the open.

10:20 p.m. Formula One has added Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan to the list of grand prix events cancelled this year owing to the coronavirus.

9:24 p.m. Diners in Thailand will again be able to enjoy traditional grilled chicken and papaya salad with a glass of cold beer at eateries as the government has decided to allow the serving of alcoholic beverages beginning Monday.

8:47 p.m. Indonesia has begun internal government discussions on how to restart regular travel to and from China, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, Odo Manuhutu, deputy minister of Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment said. He said the country's foreign ministry will draw up criteria for a so-called "travel bubbles."

"In addition to the high level of tourists, there are also business interests with these four countries as well," the deputy minister said in a Zoom press conference, adding that what is eventually agreed with these four countries will become "prototypes before opening with other countries."

6:01 p.m. Indonesia reports more than a thousand daily cases count for the third time with 1,111 new infections on Friday, up from 979 yesterday. It also reveals 48 new deaths, bringing the total to 36,406 cases and 2,048 fatalities.

5:28 p.m. Cheers from tens of thousands of New Zealand rugby fans this weekend will herald not only the return of the national obsession but also the defeat of the coronavirus.

5:10 p.m. Russia reports 8,987 new cases, bringing its total to 511,423. It also reported 183 deaths for the past 24 hours, pushing total fatalities to 6,715.

4:00 p.m. Thailand says it will lift its nationwide curfew and remove other restrictions on Monday now that the country has reported no local transmissions for 18 days. The tourist-dependent kingdom is also in "travel bubble" talks with other Asia-Pacific countries that have contained the virus, though it has not set a target date as to when it might welcome back visitors.

2:30 p.m. Japan's parliament approves a record $300 billion second extra budget to fund a stimulus package aimed at cushioning the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic. The second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year that began in April, worth 31.9 trillion yen ($299 billion), will fund part of a $1.1 trillion relief package the government unveiled last month.

2:20 p.m. Thailand reports four new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total number of confirmed infections to 3,129, of which 58 were fatalities. The four new cases were Thai nationals returning from India who were in quarantine.

2:00 p.m. India reports a total of 297,535 coronavirus infections, surpassing the U.K. to become the world's fourth worst affected country. The number of infections increased by 10,956 on Friday, another new daily record, and the death toll reached 8,498.

12:50 p.m. Japanese drug-discovery specialist PeptiDream says it will collaborate with U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co to develop COVID-19 therapies. The companies will work to create peptide therapeutics that may be effective against multiple coronavirus strains.

11:50 a.m. South Korea will maintain its intensive prevention and sanitation guidelines until new daily cases drop into the single digits, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo says. The announcement comes as new daily cases remain around 50 due to clusters in and around Seoul.

10:38 a.m. South Korea reports 56 new daily cases, up from 45 a day ago, pushing the country's total infections over 12,000. Accumulated confirmed cases stand at 12,003 with 277 deaths.

10:00 a.m. New Zealand says it will allow entry of some maritime vessels as it looks to open up its economy after lifting all coronavirus restrictions earlier this week. Cruise ships and people traveling for leisure, however, will continue to be banned.

9:45 a.m. China reports seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases, down from 11 a day earlier; six of the new patients traveled overseas. The country also reports one asymptomatic case, down from seven the previous day.

9:30 a.m. Tokyo stocks open sharply lower Friday, with the benchmark Nikkei briefly tumbling more than 3%, tracking an overnight nose-dive on Wall Street where fears grew over the impact from a possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy.

New Zealand is still saying no to cruise ships and leisure travelers as it opens its ports to other vessels.   © AP

6:48 a.m. Twitter said it was removing hundreds of thousands of accounts tied to a Beijing-backed influence operation that deceptively spread messages favorable to the Chinese government, including about the coronavirus. The company suspended a core network of 23,750 highly active accounts, as well as a larger network of about 150,000 "amplifier" accounts, which it said were used to boost the core accounts' content.

5:00 a.m. U.S. equities end a brutal day that portends a stormy open in Asian markets.

3:00 a.m. U.S. stocks have extended their losses, with crude oil futures also tanking as investors react to signs of a possible second wave of infections.

2:39 a.m. Coronavirus worries shake global stock markets. Germany's benchmark DAX index ends with a 4.5% decline, led by Volkswagen and other automotive industry names. In London, the FTSE 100 closes 4% lower, dropping for a fourth straight session.

1:20 a.m. Brazil's Instituto Butantan, one of the country's biggest vaccine producers, has joined with China's Sinovac Biotech to develop a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, according to a statement.

12:30 a.m. The World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is "accelerating" in Africa, spread by international travelers.

12:15 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 1,000 points as the U.S. stock market sell-off quickens.

A South African soldier stands guard as police officers check documents of commuters at a minibus taxi rank during a nationwide lockdown in Cape Town on May 13.   © Reuters

Thursday, June 11

10:42 p.m. U.S. stocks tumble, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 800 points after the open as investors show concern over the risk of a coronavirus resurgence and the subdued tone of the Federal Reserve's latest outlook.

9:02 p.m. Vietnam is preparing to resume international air travel to China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Laos in a bid to sustain economic growth, with the first flights expect in early July.

8:38 p.m. Japan's government looks to allow up to 250 business travelers a day to enter the country when it eases restrictions on such travel this summer. Travelers will be asked to use a contract-tracing app as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

7:20 p.m. The Tokyo metropolitan government is set to lift all business restrictions on June 19 after the capital ended on Thursday its state of alert, a warning issued regarding a potential second wave of COVID-19 infections.

6:30 p.m. Indonesia reports 979 new coronavirus infections and 41 deaths, bringing its total cases to 35,295 and fatalities to 2,000, the health ministry said. Hundreds of Indonesian children are believed to have died from COVID-19, Reuters reports, citing health officials and pediatricians who said the deaths were due to malnutrition, anemia and inadequate medical facilities. This would mean Indonesia has suffered one of the highest death rates among children from an outbreak of the disease, which experts worldwide had said posed little direct danger to the young.

6:00 p.m. Beijing confirms a new coronavirus case Thursday, the first in the capital in nearly two months, according to the Communist Party-backed People's Daily newspaper. The patient has not left Beijing or been in contact with anyone who has traveled overseas in the last two weeks, the report says.

5:10 p.m. The U.S. surpasses 2 million confirmed cases as the pandemic hopscotches to new states, according to Johns Hopkins University. While hot spots such as New York are experiencing fewer new cases, COVID-19 hospitalizations have swelled in Texas, Arizona and California.

4:50 p.m. Russia reports 8,779 new cases, bringing its infection tally to 502,436. In addition, 174 people died in the past 24 hours, pushing the official national fatality toll to 6,532.

4:35 p.m. Vehicle sales in China have increased the past two months, recording 14.5% annual growth to 2.194 million units in May and stoking optimism in the world's largest auto market, which had previously slumped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

4:09 p.m. India records its most ever new daily cases, 9,996, and single-day fatalities, 357. The country's cumulative totals stand at 286,579 infections and 8,102 fatalities.

2:05 p.m. Malaysia's Top Glove, the world's largest medical glove maker, posted a 366% jump in third-quarter net profit amid "unparalleled growth" in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. It recorded a net profit of 347.9 million ringgit ($81.90 million) for the three-month period ended May 31, versus 74.7 million ringgit a year earlier.

1:50 p.m. Thailand reports no new coronavirus infections or deaths, the first time in nearly three weeks that it has confirmed no new cases and the 17th day in a row for it to go without a local transmission.

1:15 p.m. Malaysia's industrial production index plunged 32% in April from a year earlier, its biggest drop on record, government data shows.

Rainbow Bridge is lit in red after Tokyo declared a coronavirus alert on June 2. The Japanese capital is moving toward ending the alert on June 12.   © Reuters

12:30 p.m. The Tokyo metro government is on the verge of lifting its alert as the spread of the coronavirus appears to be under control, Nikkei learns. The alert was triggered on June 2. If it is indeed lifted, Tokyo plans to further ease restrictions at midnight, allowing karaoke parlors, internet cafes, game centers and similar businesses to resume operations.

10:50 a.m. South Korea's exports jumped 20.2% in the first 10 days of June from a year earlier, which was largely due to a calendar effect but still raised hopes for a recovery in global trade. Overseas sales of semiconductors rose 22.6% for the period. The daily export average fell 9.8% on year, but that was better than the 30.2% decline recorded a month ago.

10:31 a.m. South Korea confirms 43 new infections, down from 50 the day before. Total infections reach 11,947 with 276 deaths.

9:30 a.m. Business sentiment among large Japanese companies fell to its lowest point in 11 years in the April to June quarter, as the mood turned gloomy due to the coronavirus pandemic, a government survey shows.

9:20 a.m. China reports 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of the end of June 10, up from 3 a day earlier. All the new cases involved travelers from overseas. The country also says it recorded four asymptomatic cases, down from 5 the previous day.

8:00 a.m. Brazil's most populous state of Sao Paulo reports a record number of COVID-19 deaths for the second day running on Wednesday even as the state's dominant city of the same name allowed shops to resume business and prepared to reopen malls. The state recorded 340 new deaths in the last 24 hours, raising its confirmed toll of fatalities to 9,862.

5:00 a.m. U.S. cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 2 million, a Reuters tally shows.

4:15 a.m. Starbucks says it plans to open takeout-only stores in New York, Seattle and other cities, seeing a possibility that in-store eating and drinking may not return to pre-pandemic levels.

4:00 a.m. Chinese street stalls are back in the spotlight, this time as the topic of a heated debate among the country's leadership as economy struggles out of the pandemic. Read more in this week's China up close.

3:43 a.m. Federal Reserve policymaker projections see benchmark U.S. short-term interest rates staying near zero through at least 2022.

1:55 a.m. Chinese cities partner with the private sector to issue billions of dollars in vouchers, joining the government's push to revive the slumping economy by boosting consumption.

12:21 a.m. The Summer Games hosted by Japan will not be "done with grand splendor," organizers say, setting up an Olympics next year that will fall short of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's original hope of holding them "in their full form."

A beach in Athens: The European Union will gradually ease its travel ban from July 1.    © Reuters

12:05 a.m.The European Union plans a "gradual and partial" easing of its ban of nonessential travel to the bloc starting July 1.

The easing of the restriction will take "into account a number of principles and criteria" and be "based on a common, coordinated approach by member states," EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell says.

Wednesday, June 10

10:02 p.m. Garuda Indonesia, the struggling airline whose problems were made worse by the pandemic, has narrowly avoided defaulting on $500 million in Islamic bonds after agreeing with its creditors to extend the maturity of the debt.

8:52 p.m. Tomisaku Kawasaki, the Japanese pediatrician who discovered the rare inflammatory syndrome now known as Kawasaki disease, has died at a Tokyo hospital. He was 95. Kawasaki disease has gained renewed attention amid the coronavirus pandemic.

8:00 p.m. Singapore approves the antiviral drug remdesivir for treating severely ill COVID-19 patients, Reuters reports. The drug produced by U.S. company Gilead Sciences has already been approved by South Korea, Japan, India and the U.S. for emergencies.

7:40 p.m. Japan plans to issue guidelines for night spots, such as hostess bars, where workers and customers typically sit in close quarters.

5:47 p.m. Indonesia has reported 1,241 new cases of coronavirus infections, the biggest daily rise so far, and 36 deaths. This brings its total to 34,316 cases and 1,959 deaths. The three worst-hit provinces over the last 24 hours are East Java, South Sulawesi and Jakarta.

3:03 p.m. Corporate executives in Asia are being offered "fast track" treatment in a cautious reopening of regional travel after economies such as Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea prioritize business trips to try to reboot economic activity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

2:52 p.m. "The Japanese government and population do not have just one X-factor but a range of characteristics that have helped it to escape a worse fate so far," Shinya Yamanaka, director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University explains in his latest column for Nikkei Asian Review.

2:07 p.m. Indian biotech firm Panacea Biotec announces its partnership with U.S.-based Refana to create a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The collaboration aims to make more than 500 million doses of the candidate vaccine, with over 40 million doses expected to be available early next year, Panacea says in a statement. Panacea's shares jumped 20% in morning trading on India's National Stock Exchange after the news.

1:44 p.m. Thailand reports four new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,125 confirmed infections, of which 58 were fatalities.

11:44 a.m. Malaysia will ask Bangladesh to take back about 300 Rohingya refugees detained after their boat entered its waters this week, according to Reuters. Malaysia does not recognize refugee status but has been a favored destination for mostly Muslim Rohingya, who are fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh. Malaysia said it will no longer accept Rohingya refugees after tightening border controls to stem the coronavirus. "The Rohingya should know, if they come here, they cannot stay," said government minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

11:38 a.m. China reports that passenger numbers fell 52.6% in May from a year earlier to 25.83 million, compared with a year-on-year decline of 68.5% in April.

11:32 a.m. The International Monetary Fund approves emergency credit of about $364 million to Papua New Guinea to help the country deal with the pandemic. The IMF says the resource-dependent economy had been hit by measures to prevent a major outbreak of the virus and was facing a balance of payments shortfall of around 4% of gross domestic product and a budget deficit of more than 6% of GDP.

10:39 a.m. The Philippines' trade deficit narrows to its lowest in more than five years in April, as imports plunged by a record amount amid slowing activity due to the pandemic. The 65.3% drop in imports in April is greater than the record 50.8% fall in exports, resulting in a trade deficit of $499 million.

South Korean job seekers take an exam outdoors amid social distancing measures. The pandemic took a deeper economic toll on South Koreans in May.   © Reuters

10:26 a.m. South Korea confirms 50 new cases, up from 38 on Tuesday and bringing the country's cumulative infections to 11,902. It has also suffered 276 deaths. Beginning today, people going to bars, karaoke rooms and clubs must register with a QR code.

9:16 a.m. Mexico confirms 4,199 new cases and 596 deaths, raising the cumulative numbers to 124,301 infections and 14,649 fatalities.

8:57 a.m. Japan's April core machinery orders dropped 12% from March, their fastest rate of decline since September 2018, amid the nation's peak coronavirus threat. The highly volatile data set indicates where capital spending will be in the coming six to nine months.

8:06 a.m. South Korea's May unemployment rate surged to its highest level in more than 10 years. The seasonally adjusted gauge climbed to 4.5% in May from 3.8% in April to its highest reading since January 2010, according to Statistics Korea.

7:19 a.m. Brazil reports 32,091 new cases and 1,272 additional deaths, bringing its totals to 739,503 infections and 38,406 fatalities.

6:11 a.m. AMC Entertainment expects to reopen its movie theaters globally in July after the COVID-19 crisis forced it to shut them for months, hurting its first-quarter results.

4:40 a.m. People with type O blood are between 9% and 18% less likely than those with other blood types to become infected with the new coronavirus, according to preliminary results of a study done by genetic-testing company 23andMe.

The study, involving 750,000 participants, is looking at genetic factors to try to determine why some people who contract the new coronavirus experience no symptoms, while others become gravely ill.

Genetic-testing company 23andMe found evidence that differences in a gene influencing a person’s blood type might affect a person’s susceptibility to COVID-19.   © Reuters

4:15 a.m. The leaders of Denmark, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium and Poland have urged joint research and development of vaccines to prepare for future pandemics, Reuters reports.

4:09 a.m. Migrant workers and other marginalized groups have borne the brunt of India's lockdown, exposing a weakness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic recovery plan. Read more in this week's Big Story.

3:00 a.m. Grand plans by Indonesia and Egypt to move their capitals to new ground have stalled as their governments divert resources to fighting the coronavirus.

2:47 a.m. "The worst is behind us," Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman says at a conference hosted by the Wall Street bank. Gorman says Morgan Stanley will make smaller provisions for loan losses this quarter, Reuters reports.

2:30 a.m. The World Health Organization's regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne, warns that coronavirus cases are showing "exponential" rises in some parts of Central and South America.

12:00 a.m. SoftBank has conducted 44,000 coronavirus antibody tests on employees and their families as well as more than 500 medical institutions, the largest testing initiative by a private Japanese company. Here's what it found.

Tuesday, June 9

10:58 p.m. Indonesia is lifting its ban on air travel, allowing planes to carry up to 70% of their passenger capacity starting Wednesday. Travelers on international flights will be required to show negative results from coronavirus PCR tests, while domestic passengers can simply show a doctor's letter stating they are free from flu-like symptoms.

The transportation ministry says travel restrictions are similarly lifted for long-distance bus and rail services that have been suspended owing to the pandemic.

6:14 p.m. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agrees to allow bars and karaoke establishments to reopen. They were the last businesses to receive such permission since Hanoi eased nationwide social distancing rules on April 23. Vietnam has reported no new coronavirus cases for 54 straight days.

6:09 p.m. Malaysia's movement restrictions expire Tuesday, allowing a full-fledged economic restart after nearly three months. Almost all business activity will return to normal starting Wednesday, albeit under stringent health guidelines.

6:01 p.m. Japanese biotechnology company Takara Bio has developed a method to simultaneously process more than 5,000 tests to screen for the coronavirus in just under two hours. Typical tests take a whole day to produce results.

5:52 p.m. Indonesia's new daily infections top 1,000 for the first time, just a few days after the capital Jakarta began easing movement restrictions. The country reported 1,043 new infections for a total of 33,076. There were 40 new deaths, bringing that overall number to 1,923. New cases in Jakarta in the last 24 hours came to 232, up from 89 the day before.

People walk around Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure after quarantine restrictions were partially lifted in Moscow on June 8, 2020.   © Reuters

5:45 p.m. Nearly 13 million Muscovites dip their toes in a semblance of normalcy as a two-month lockdown of their city is lifted despite the Russian capital still reporting over a 1,000 daily cases. For the day, Russia reports 8,595 new infections, bringing the nationwide total to 485,253, and 171 deaths, raising that total death toll to 6,142.

4:15 p.m. The novel coronavirus may have been spreading in China as early as last August, according to research by Harvard Medical School, which analyzed satellite images of hospital travel patterns and search engine data. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying calls it "outrageously absurd" to conclude there was an outbreak based on such evidence alone.

3:10 p.m. As Australia begins relaxing a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, South Australia's state government gave the all-clear for more than 2,000 fans to attend an Australian Rules Football game in Adelaide this weekend. Pro sports resumed last month after a two-month hiatus and Australia will be among the first countries to admit spectators.

2:10 p.m. Cathay Pacific Airways announces a recapitalization plan worth HK$39 billion ($5.03 billion) led by the Hong Kong government, which will be issued HK$19.5 billion of preference shares and HK$1.95 billion of warrants. The government will also provide a HK$7.8 billion bridge loan, Cathay says.

2:05 p.m. The number of bankruptcies in Japan dropped 55% to 314 in May from a year earlier, the smallest number in 56 years. But experts say the fall was likely an anomaly as many law firms and local courts may have reined in operations due to the pandemic.

Thailand, a favorite destination for Chinese, Japanese and other Asian tourists, has not had a local coronavirus transmission for 15 days in a row.   © Reuters

1:50 p.m. Thailand reports two new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,121 confirmed cases, of which 58 were fatalities. The two cases were quarantined Thai nationals returning from Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. Thailand has recorded no new local transmission for 15 days in a row.

12:30 p.m. Japan's average overtime pay for April dropped 12.2% from a year earlier to 17,984 yen ($165), the sharpest fall since January 2013 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The preliminary data on monthly wages showed average overtime hours fell 18.9% to nine hours.

11:00 a.m. South Korea's Hyundai Development has told creditors of Asiana Airlines it wants to reconsider the terms of its agreement to buy the troubled carrier due to "unexpected negative situations coming to light." A consortium led by Hyundai Development agreed late last year to purchase Asiana Airlines for about 2.5 trillion won ($2.09 billion).

10:24 a.m. South Korea confirms 38 new cases, unchanged from Monday. Its cumulative totals are now 11,852 infections and 274 deaths.

10:20 a.m. Cathay Pacific Airways plus its major shareholders Swire Pacific and Air China halt the trading of their shares in Hong Kong pending announcements. Cathay has grounded most of its jetliners, flying only cargo and very few passenger flights to major destinations.

Ahead of a major announcement, Cathay Pacific Airways plus its major shareholders Swire Pacific and Air China halt the trading of their shares in Hong Kong.   © Reuters

9:30 a.m. Japan's April inflation-adjusted real wages fell at their fastest pace since December, newly released government data shows, fanning fears about consumer sentiment going forward. Real wages, which gauge household purchasing power, fell 0.7% from a year earlier, the second drop in a row.

7:00 a.m. Brazil reports 679 new COVID-19 deaths and 15,654 additional confirmed cases on Monday, as controversy grew over the country's official coronavirus data amid allegations of manipulation from a senior lawmaker. Brazil's Health Ministry removed data from its website over the weekend and stopped releasing cumulative totals for coronavirus deaths and infections

6:30 a.m. More than 136,000 new coronavirus cases were reported worldwide on Sunday, the most in a single day, the World Health Organization says. "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 said. Nearly 75% of the cases were reported from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.

3:40 a.m. Travel on U.S. roads fell by 39.8% in April as coronavirus stay-at-home orders prompted tens of millions of Americans to work from home and avoid travel. The U.S. Transportation Department said U.S. motorists drove 112 billion fewer miles compared with April 2019, for a total of 169.6 billion miles.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange wear masks as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.   © Reuters

12:57 a.m. The coronavirus will cause global economic output to contract by 5.2% in 2020, the World Bank says, warning that its latest forecasts would be revised downward if uncertainty remains over the pandemic and lockdowns. The organization said that advanced economies are expected to shrink 7.0% in 2020, while emerging market economies will contract 2.5%, their first since aggregate data became available in 1960. On a per capita GDP basis, the global contraction will be the deepest since 1945-1946.

Monday, June 8

10:37 p.m. Japanese drugmakers Daiichi Sankyo and Nichi-Iko say they will work with the University of Tokyo to develop a potential inhalation treatment for the coronavirus.

10:04 p.m. India begins a gradual lifting of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown by first allowing restaurants, hotels and shopping malls to reopen.

10:04 p.m. Moscow will lift all major restrictions relating to the novel coronavirus this month, says Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

6:00 p.m. China challenges U.S. Sen. Rick Scott to show evidence to prove that Beijing is trying to slow down or sabotage the development of a COVID-19 vaccine in Western countries. "[P]lease let him present the evidence. There's no need to be shy," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing in response to the Republican senator's comments to the BBC.

5:45 p.m. Indonesia reports 847 new infections, up from 672 yesterday, and 32 new deaths. That brings the total to 32,033 cases, including 1,883 deaths. Long lines appeared at commuter rail stations across Greater Jakarta as the capital began easing restrictions on movement and workplaces on Monday.

4:40 p.m. Pakistan has registered 2,067 deaths and 103,671 infections, prompting authorities to begin strict enforcement of safety measures. The country lifted its lockdown last month but promulgated protocols for the reopening of markets, industries and public transport -- including mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing. "We directed administrations to crack down on places protocols are not being followed," Pakistan's planning minister said.

4:25 p.m. Tokyo confirms 13 new infections, down from 14 a day earlier, sources tell Nikkei. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government issued an alert last week, asking residents to avoid unnecessary trips and especially to stay away from nightlife districts.

3:00 p.m. India's COVID-19 tally has topped 250,000 with another biggest single-day spike of 9,983 new infections. The country's total confirmed cases now stand at 256,611 with 7,135 deaths, which rose by 206 over the past 24 hours.

2:10 p.m. Thailand confirms seven new infections, with all of them found in quarantine, taking the country to two weeks without a local transmission. Thailand has reported 77 cases in the past 14 days, and all were contained after being imported from overseas.

1:00 p.m. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says all coronavirus measures will be lifted, starting Tuesday, other than border closure restrictions, as the virus has been eliminated in the country.

11:30 a.m. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rises past the 23,000 mark for the first time in three and a half months on hopes of a quick economic recovery, buoyed by better-than-expected U.S. unemployment data. The benchmark index ended the morning session at 23,075.3, up 0.93% from the previous day's close.

11:10 a.m. Global coronavirus cases have surpassed 7 million, with more than 400,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

11:00 a.m. New Zealand has no known active cases of COVID-19 in the country for the first time since Feb. 28, the country's Ministry of Health says. The last person being monitored for coronavirus has been released from isolation as he is free of symptoms.

10:23 a.m. South Korea confirms 38 new coronavirus cases, down from 57 the previous day. To date, there have been 11,814 infections and 273 deaths. The country reported more than 50 cases a day over the weekend, but the number dropped on Monday.

10:00 a.m. Vietnam reports two new coronavirus infections, both of which involved Vietnamese citizens returning from Mexico. Those travelers were quarantined on arrival. The country has gone 53 days without a domestically transmitted infection, and has a total of 331 cases with no deaths.

9:09 a.m. Japan's economy shrank 2.2% at an annualized pace in January-March, the government announced on Monday, a milder decline than the preliminary estimate of a 3.4% contraction.

4:42 a.m. Chinese drugmaker Shanghai Junshi Biosciences has launched early-stage trials of a potential antibody therapy for the coronavirus in uninfected subjects, official newspaper Liberation Daily reports. The treatment is being developed in collaboration with Eli Lilly.

Cemetery workers bury a man who died from COVID-19 in Breves, Brazil, on June 7. The country has the third-highest death toll from the virus, behind the U.S. and U.K.   © Reuters

2:30 a.m. The global death toll from the COVID-19 virus reached at least 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with nearly 110,000 confirmed virus-related deaths, followed by the U.K. and Brazil. At least 6.9 million people have been infected by the virus.

1:32 a.m. The approval rating of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government sank 11 points from the previous month in June to 38% in a new Nikkei survey, matching the lowest level during his second stint in office. While Japan has logged relatively few coronavirus infections, the economic response has been criticized as too slow, especially the 100,000 yen ($930) cash payments to every resident.

12:15 a.m. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott accuses China of trying to sabotage coronavirus vaccine development by Western countries. "What I really believe is, whether England does it first or we do it first, we're going to share," he said. "Communist China, they're not going to share."

Sunday, June 7

11:32 p.m. Thailand holds its first virtual live music festival, with thousands attending via the Zoom video meeting platform.

10:58 p.m. Gilead Sciences, maker of the potential COVID-19 treatment remdesivir, has been approached by U.K.-based AstraZeneca about a possible merger, Bloomberg News reported.

5:41 p.m. Indonesia reports 672 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to 31,186, and 50 new deaths, taking the total to 1,851.

5:02 p.m. Malaysia will lift most coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses Wednesday, including a ban on interstate travel, after a nearly three-month lockdown, although international borders will remain closed. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announces in a televised address the outbreak is under control and Malaysia will begin a new recovery phase until Aug. 31.

4:03 p.m. Taiwan will further ease restrictions related to control of the coronavirus, the government says, as the island has kept the pandemic well in hand with only 6 active cases and no local transmission for 56 days.

12:23 p.m. China's exports contracted in May as global coronavirus lockdowns continued to devastate demand, while a sharper-than-expected fall in imports pointed to mounting pressure on manufacturers as global growth stalled. Overseas shipments in May fell 3.3% from a year earlier, after a surprising 3.5% gain in April, customs data shows.

11:39 a.m. China's foreign exchange reserves rose unexpectedly in May even as the yuan weakened on worries over an escalation in Sino-American tensions. The country's foreign exchange reserves -- the world's largest -- rose $10.233 billion in May to $3.102 trillion, central bank data shows.

Saturday, June 6

10:30 p.m. Potential coronavirus treatment Avigan is now expected to take until July at the earliest to complete a clinical trial, further delaying government approval in Japan, Nikkei has learned. A sharp decline in COVID-19 cases in Japan has made it difficult to secure enough patients for testing, according to people familiar with the matter.

5:42 p.m. Indonesia reports its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with 993 new cases, taking its total to 30,514. It also reports 31 new deaths related to COVID-19, taking total deaths there to 1,801.

4:38 p.m. India reports a record 9,887 new coronavirus cases in one day and overtakes Italy as the world's sixth-biggest outbreak, two days before relaxing a lockdown with the reopening of malls, restaurants and places of worship.

1:49 p.m. Thailand reports two new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, taking its total confirmed cases to 3,104 and 58 deaths since the outbreak began in January. The two cases are men who returned from Russia and Kuwait and are in quarantine.

10:30 a.m. The group of 20 rich and emerging economies issues a statement saying it has pledged more than $21 billion to fight the coronavirus.

5:00 a.m. The Dow closes 3.2% higher and the S&P 500 climbs 2.6%. For the week, they were up 6.8% and 4.9%, respectively, the sharpest gains since the week ending April 10.

3:26 a.m. New York City has logged its first day of no COVID-19 deaths in roughly three months. The tally of zero was recorded on Wednesday, data from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows.

2:30 a.m. China's tourism ministry has advised the public to avoid travel to Australia, warning of racial discrimination and violence against the Chinese in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week's latest updates.

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