LIVE: Easing of coronavirus lockdowns continues, amid fears second wave could be coming

Iranians queue outside a money exchange office in Tehran on May 9, 2020 amid fears a renewed spike in coronavirus deaths because of loosened COVID-19 controls. (AFP)
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Updated 10 May 2020

LIVE: Easing of coronavirus lockdowns continues, amid fears second wave could be coming

  • New case in China’s Wuhan, where the outbreak was first detected late last year

DUBAI: More than 4 million people from almost all continents have tested positive for COVID-19, with one recent case from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the outbreak was first detected late last year.

While other countries are preparing to ease lockdown restrictions, a different scenario is unfolding in Brazil where the number of fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak has surpassed 10,000 – the worst in Latin America.

Over in the Middle East, there are fears Iran may have lifted its coronavirus controls so soon after a new spike in infections was reported. The government has gradually allowed businesses to reopen to prop the Iranian economy already burdened by US sanctions.

Sunday, May 10, 2020 (all times in GMT)

18:50 - After a call with UK PM Boris Johnson, French president Emmanuel Macron said there will be no quarantine for French people travelling to the UK at this stage, and said any quarantine measures would be reciprocal and imposed after mutual consultation.

15:30 - Egypt's health ministry announces 436 new confirmed cases of coronavirus bringing the total to 9,400.

13:45 - Saudi Arabia's health officials said on Sunday the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Kingdom now stands at 39,048. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

12:40 - Kuwait announced 1,065 new cases of the coronavirus and 107 new recoveries from the disease on Sunday. 

10:15 - South Korea warned of a second wave of the new coronavirus as infections rebounded to a one-month high, just as the authorities were starting to ease some pandemic restrictions.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” President Moon Jae-in told the nation, saying a new cluster shows the virus can spread widely at any time, and warning of a second wave late this year.

10:00Emirates airline said on Sunday it will raise debt to help it through the coronavirus pandemic and may have to take tougher measures as it faces the most difficult months in its history.

The state-owned airline, which suspended regular passenger flights in March due to the virus outbreak that has shattered global travel demand, said that a recovery in travel was at least 18 months away.

09:06Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus fell to 143 on Sunday, down from 179 the previous day, the health ministry reported.

08:27 – The Philippines recorded 184 new coronavirus cases, 15 more deaths.

07:41 – Oman has confirmed 175 new cases of coronavirus, raising its caselod to 3,399.

07:34 – The Russian authorities said they had recorded 11,012 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 209,688.

07:34Australia’s most populous state, home to Sydney, will allow restaurants, playgrounds and outdoor pools to reopen on Friday as extensive testing has shown the spread of the coronavirus has slowed sharply.




Protesters opposed to lockdown measures implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease clash with police outside Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia on May 10, 2020. (AAP via Reuters)

07:14 – Singapore has reported 876 new coronavirus infected cases.

06:55 – At the foot of the Acropolis hill, in the touristic Koukaki district, the coronavirus lockdown has silenced the sound of Airbnb customers’ wheeled luggage. READ THE STORY

06:48Malaysia’s government extended the time frame for movement and business curbs by another four weeks to June 9, amid a gradual reopening of economic activity stunted by the coronavirus pandemic.

05:30 – Three members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, placed themselves in quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, another stark reminder that not even one of the nation’s most secure buildings is immune from the virus.

05:19China’s National Health Commission reported 14 new confirmed coronavirus cases on May 9, the highest number since April 28, including the first for more than a month in the city of Wuhan where the outbreak was first detected late last year.

04:59Thailand reported five new coronavirus cases but no deaths, bringing the total to 3,009 cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak started in the country in January.

04:42 – People in France and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, were preparing for an easing of lockdown rules as the global number of infections surpassed four million.

02:47South Korea reported 34 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily number in a month, after a small outbreak emerged around a slew of nightclubs that a confirmed patient had visited.

02:37 – Brazil, the hardest-hit Latin American country in the coronavirus pandemic, has surpassed 10,000 deaths, according to figures released Saturday by the Ministry of Health.

02:27 – While many residents in Iran’s capital are taking advantage of loosened COVID-19 controls, some worry about a new spike in infections in what remains the Middle East’s deadliest virus hotspot. READ THE STORY


‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

Updated 40 min 52 sec ago

‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

  • Turkey claims an agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to create a “fait accompli” over rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean by drilling off the coast of Libya, analysts told Arab News on Saturday.

Ankara’s announcement that it intends to activate last year’s maritime borders agreement with the Libyan government in Tripoli has brought simmering tensions to the boil.   

Turkey claims the agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between its southern coast and Libya’s northeastern coast. However, Greece, Cyprus and the EU say the deal is illegal. Turkey may also face EU sanctions over drilling in Cypriot territorial waters.

Ankara has not said exactly where it will drill, but experts told Arab News they expect exploration activities to begin off Tripoli in the short term, and then near to the coastal city of Sirte.

“From a tactical point of view, Turkey may test the scenario of a crisis with Athens where escalation takes place and then, in the context of de-escalation, the two countries would have to discuss and negotiate their positions,” said Zenonas Tziarras, a researcher at PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Mona Sukkarieh, a political risk consultant and co-founder of Middle East Strategic Perspectives, said: “If we take Turkish operations off the Cypriot coast as an indicator, operations off the Libyan coast might start off on the less provocative part of the spectrum and grow bolder with time toward the more provocative part of the spectrum.

“The objective is to demonstrate a resolute determination in order to extract concessions or, at the very least, to impose itself as a player to reckon with.”