Countries from Asia to Europe move to ease lockdowns as deaths slow, and US steps up rhetoric on China.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is “enormous evidence” that the virus originated in a lab in China, in a comment likely to add to tensions with Beijing over the outbreak.
Australia, Malaysia and India are among countries in Asia that will begin to ease parts of their lockdown on Monday.
Afghanistan’s health ministry raised the alarm over the spread of the new coronavirus after a small study with random tests in Kabul suggested that about a third of the capital’s residents could be infected.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus exceeds 3.5 million. More than 247,000 people have died while about 1.1 million have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, May 4
03:00 GMT – China develops extensive delivery network in coronavirus boom
Delivery services have boomed across China – and many other countries around the world – helping people get through strict coronavirus lockdowns that mean they can only go out to get food supplies or to see a doctor.
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu in Beijing visited one distribution centre that is processing tens of thousands of packages every day with most of them delivered within 24 hours of ordering.
02:50 GMT – With coronavirus response under fire, Brazil’s Bolsonaro takes to streets
Brazil’s right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro appeared at a rally of hundreds of supporters on Sunday to attack Congress and the courts.
Bolsonaro is under fire adn increasingly isolated over his response to the coronavirus with known cases now totalling more than 100,000.
Read more here.
02:00 GMT – Some coronavirus curbs eased in India
India is moving to ease some of its coronavirus restrictions although the nationwide lockdown – the world’s biggest – remains in force until May 17.
Each state and city has been colour-coded – red, orange or green – according to the incidence of coronavirus. New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have been named red zones. In these places, businesses can open at one-third capacity, construction can resume providing the workers live on site, and standalone shops can reopen.
In orange zones, taxis can also operate while green zones – areas where there has been no incidence of coronavirus in 21 days – can resume all activities unless they’re prohibited under the nationwide lockdown.
At the national level all travel remains suspended, while schools, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other places where people gather are to remain closed.
There is no restriction on manufacturing and the movement of goods between states.
00:20 GMT – Malaysia eases restrictions on business, but some states hold back
Malaysian businesses, including restaurants, have been told they can reopen from Monday providing they adhere to requirements on social distancing, hygiene and contract tracing.
The federal authorities continue to encourage people to work from home, but after a spike in cases over the weekend, some state governments have said they will not ease the restrictions.
Malaysia reported 122 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the highest since the middle of April, and two more deaths.
Malaysia relaxes its Covid-19 partial lockdown today, so what can we expect? https://t.co/tB2oNaxGFu
00:10 GMT – Trump claims there will be coronavirus vaccine by year-end
US President Donald Trump has told TV network Fox News that he believes that there will be a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. He also said he would like to see schools and universities open in September.
00:00 GMT – Australia debates opening of schools, as some restrictions eased
Australia is beginning to ease coronavirus restrictions, but a Sydney schoolboy’s positive test for coronavirus has added to the debate about whether schools should reopen.
The seven year old’s diagnosis prompted the closure of his school, but it was the only new case of the coronavirus in New South Wales (NSW), state premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
NSW, home to nearly half the country’s roughly 6,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus is reopening schools on a staggered basis, while neighbouring Victoria state has asked parents to keep children at home until the middle of the year.
The states are also moving at different speeds to lift movement restrictions: NSW has allowed people to make house visits in groups of up to two, while Victoria has said it will consider relaxing its stay-home order on May 11.
Read the updates from yesterday (May 3) here.
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