World coronavirus death toll exceeds 250,000: Live updates

Toll continues to rise as US and China step up war of words over coronavirus origin and countries ease lockdowns.

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

  • Some 251,059 people around the world have now died from COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed cases exceeds 3.5 million, while nearly 1.2 million people have recovered.
  • China’s state broadcaster CCTV attacked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on the origins of the coronavirus as “insane and evasive”.
  • The US could see up to 3,000 deaths per day from the coronavirus by June 1, according to documents obtained by The New York Times newspaper. 
  • Italy was among countries in Europe and around the world that began cautiously easing lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, May 5

03:10 GMT – US researchers double death forecast, citing eased lockdowns

A newly-revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as social-distancing measures are relaxed;

The new forecast from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reflect “rising mobility in most US states” with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said.

The IHME projections are presented as a statistical range of outcomes. The latest forecast predicts the cumulative number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 will run from as few as 95,092 to as many as 242,890 by August 4 – with 134,475 lives lost representing the most likely, middle ground.

In the previous April 29 revision, the middle-case figure was 72,400 deaths, within a range between 59,300 and 114,200 fatalities.

03:05 GMT – Germany reports 685 new cases, 139 more deaths

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 685, bringing the total to 163,860. A further 139 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 6,831.

02:25 GMT –  Fugitive in China gives himself up after failing to get health code

Health monitoring through phone apps is at the centre of China’s return to normal life after the coronavirus outbreak.

The app is colour-coded according to each person’s health status, and allows them to move around, get work and even buy food.

But it seems it has also ensnared a man who had been on the run for more than two decades after a killing. The Global Times says he turned himself in because he couldn’t get the code. 

A man from NW #China’s #Gansu Province who had been at large for 24 years for killing someone finally turned himself in #Zhejiang as he has no green health code amid #COVID19 to allow him to find a job, rent a house and buy food. pic.twitter.com/Q8Fgx0VvEI

01:45 GMT – New Zealand reports no new cases for second day

New Zealand has recorded no new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined a coronavirus cabinet meeting with Australia.

The two countries discussed opening borders and Ardern said it was unlikely New Zealand would have open borders with the rest of the world for a “long time” it was looking to work something out with Australia.

More:

  • Travel restrictions, border shutdowns by country

  • What we know so far about coronavirus

  • How to make sense of the coronavirus numbers and charts 

23:50 GMT – China reports one new case of coronavirus, no deaths

China’s National Health Commission says the country found just one case of coronavirus on Monday, in someone who had returned from overseas. It also reported 15 asymptomatic cases of the disease.

There were no new deaths.

Read all the updates from yesterday (May 4) here.

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