China says Wuhan has no more hospitalized coronavirus patients.
Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic in China, now has no coronavirus patients in its hospitals, a government official said on Sunday.
The city, an industrial metropolis of 11 million, was the first to experience total lockdown and road bans as its hospitals became overwhelmed with patients. Officials reported 46,452 total infections and 3,869 deaths from Wuhan in a tally published Sunday, though critics believe the actual figures to be higher.
Once debilitated by the virus, Wuhan has been showing signs of recovery and each milestone has been celebrated. Capsule hospitals that had been set up in Wuhan stadiums and gymnasiums were cleared in March, and the government allowed outbound traffic on April 7 after ending its lockdown.
On Friday, health officials said that only one patient had a severe case of the virus in Wuhan. Officials said that as of Saturday the city still had 12 coronavirus cases, but no new infections.
“As our next step, we will carry out the demands of the central government in continuing to guard against transmissions from the outside and rebounds from within,” Mi Feng, the spokesman for China’s National Health Commission, said in a news conference on Sunday.
China on Sunday reported 11 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for the previous day. The latest official tally recorded a total of 82,827 confirmed cases, including 4,632 deaths.
Weeks after entering the hospital for the coronavirus and being treated in an intensive care unit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain will return to 10 Downing Street on Monday to once again lead the government’s response to the pandemic.
Mr. Johnson is “raring to go,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said by telephone on Sunday.
While battling the virus, the prime minister had deputized Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to carry out certain duties. Mr. Johnson had revealed on March 27 that he was infected, but continued to work. When his condition worsened, he was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on April 5. The next day, the prime minister was moved into intensive care after his condition deteriorated, and he was given oxygen treatment. The government said Mr. Johnson did not require a ventilator.
He was discharged on April 12 and was recuperating at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house.
In his absence, each evening a rotating roster of cabinet ministers and two expert advisers have given the nation a coronavirus update from Downing Street. The briefings are the antithesis of the fiery, freewheeling spectacle presided over by President Trump. There is none of the gladiatorial combat of Mr. Trump’s clashes with reporters, none of the awkward moments when the leader second-guesses the scientists and no fulsome expressions of praise by subordinates.
Yet despite the cultural differences, there are deeper parallels between the sessions. And now, Mr. Johnson faces what one cabinet member called “the political calculus of life and death”: how to ease the lockdown.
The question becomes more urgent as springtime temperatures rise and more people in Britain leave their homes. Already, officials said at a news briefing on Saturday, the number of passengers using London’s subway had risen after falling drastically during the lockdown.
On Sunday, Mr. Raab told Sky News that the government should act cautiously to avoid a second spike in infections and a second lockdown that would damage public confidence.
“We are at a delicate and dangerous stage, and we need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed,” he said, adding that the government was “doing the homework” on what would happen in the next phase.
Britain had more than 152,000fgerman confirmed cases as of Sunday, and more than 20,000 deaths.
Children took to the streets of Spain on Sunday for the first time in six weeks, as part of the government’s plan to gradually ease a nationwide lockdown in response to improved coronavirus numbers.
The rules allow children to take a stroll for one hour within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of their home, accompanied by an adult. And the sight of parents pushing strollers and teenagers riding skateboards brought a semblance of normalcy to Madrid and elsewhere.
Paulino Motter, a Brazilian resident of Madrid, said he and his 7-year-old daughter, Helena, had decided to take their usual morning walk to school, even though it was a Sunday. “I felt it was important to show her that the city has changed, but that her life can hopefully return to normal at some point,” Mr. Motter said.
Beatriz Teja was helping her 2-year-old son, Juan, steer his miniature blue racing bike down Calle Serrano, one of Madrid’s main shopping avenues. “I cannot believe that it is over 40 days since Juan has been out,” she said. “We hear all the time about health, but I really think that keeping a child at home for so long cannot in any way have been good for his health.”
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Saturday that adults would also be allowed outdoors to take a stroll or exercise from May 2 if the improvement in Spain’s coronavirus figures continues.
On Sunday, the country reported 288 deaths overnight — the first time that the daily number of fatalities had fallen below 300 since March 18, shortly after the lockdown came into force.
Two mink farms in the Netherlands have been quarantined after the animals were found to have the coronavirus, the Dutch Agricultural Ministry said on Sunday.
It is believed to be the first time that minks were reported to be infected during the pandemic.
The minks’ symptoms included respiratory problems, the ministry said in a statement, and they are believed to have contracted the virus from farm employees.
The agriculture minister, Carola Schouten, said that mink farmers, veterinarians and researchers would now be required to report any respiratory problems or increased mortality in minks in the country. The order does not extend to other livestock, since they do not appear to be susceptible to the virus, the statement said.
Investigations have begun to determine the source of the infections, the statement said, and air and dust samples were taken near the farms to test for traces of the virus. As a precautionary measure the department advised people to avoid cycling or walking within about 1,300 feet of the farms.
A few hundred people gathered at a Hong Kong mall to belt out protest songs and anti-police slogans on Sunday evening in the first sizable public demonstration since a second wave of coronavirus cases subsided in the semiautonomous Chinese city this month.
The crowds were pushed out by hundreds of police officers holding pepper-spray rifles and wearing ballistic goggles and surgical masks under their helmets. The protesters also wore masks, which is the norm in Hong Kong now but which also carried a second meaning: Masks became a symbol of resistance after the government banned them in October to prevent demonstrators from concealing their identities at unsanctioned rallies.
The police have been swift to charge offenders caught defying rules put in place because of the virus, including those who broke mandatory home quarantine or gathered in nonwork settings in groups larger than four. Violations can lead to jail sentences and fines.
After two weeks in which no or single-digit new coronavirus cases were reported in Hong Kong, calls to resume antigovernment demonstrations started to circulate after officials cracked down on the protest movement with new arrests.
The public has also been angered by the Chinese central government’s assertive rhetoric over what it considers its right to intervene in the territory’s affairs.
The same secrecy that has led to a widespread belief that North Korea is experiencing a coronavirus outbreak even though it has reported no cases is now fueling speculation that the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has fallen ill from an unknown cause.
Depending on the news outlet or social media post, Mr. Kim, believed to be 36, is recuperating after a minor health issue like a sprained ankle, or he is “in grave danger” after a heart surgery. Or he has become “brain-dead” or is in a “vegetative state” after a heart-valve surgery gone wrong at the hands of a nervous North Korean surgeon or one of the doctors China dispatched to treat him.
Or Mr. Kim is grounded with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The lack of real information from the hermetic country is giving rise to rampant rumor mongering, leaving North Korean experts, foreign officials and intelligence agencies to parse through it all for signs of the truth.
Mr. Kim last appeared publicly on April 11, when he presided over a Politburo meeting. Speculation about his health began swirling after he missed state celebrations for his country’s biggest holiday, the April 15 birthday of his grandfather and founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung.
North Korea took drastic action against the virus, including closing the border with China, sooner than most other nations. Still, outside health experts hold deep reservations about the North’s ability to fight an outbreak that many fear has already spread widely.
Decades of isolation and international sanctions have ravaged North Korea’s public health system, and relief agencies including the World Health Organization have had to get special waivers to ship test kits, protective gear and other supplies there.
According to W.H.O. officials, North Korea has quarantined and then released more than 25,000 people. It has also begun testing hundreds of people for the virus.
As the United States neared a sobering milestone — 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus — some states were moving to reopen. Governors of several states appeared on Sunday talk shows to lay out blueprints for restarting their economies. But even under the most optimistic estimates, it will be months, and possibly years, before Americans crowd…