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Over 4.56 million people have coronavirus disease worldwide and Updates by country

A traveler shows her permit to a soldier to access a platform at the Milan Centrale railway station in Milan, Italy, on May 4, 2020, as the city starts to ease its lockdown. (Photo by AFP)
More than 4.56 million people are now infected with the new coronavirus across the world, and over 304,000 have died.

According to a running count by worldometers.info, more than 4,566,000 people are infected with the coronavirus.

It also reported that the death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in Europe exceeded 160,000, while its total infections passed 1.7 million.

Spain's death toll marks low increase of 138

Spain's death toll from the coronavirus registered its lowest increase since Monday as health authorities registered 138 new fatalities on Friday, the Spanish Health Ministry reported.

The country's overall death toll rose to 27,459, while the number of diagnosed cases rose to 230,183 cases from 229,540 on Thursday, the ministry said.

Denmark reports zero deaths

Denmark, the first country in Europe to gradually start reopening, reported no coronavirus-related deaths on Friday for the first time since March 13.

Denmark's total number of confirmed cases rose by 78 to 10,791, with the number of hospitalizations falling by 10 to 137. The death toll remained unchanged at 537.

"Milestone today: In the last day we have had 0 deaths as a result of COVID-19 in Denmark," Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter.

Russia's caseload exceeds 260K

Russia's coronavirus case tally jumped by 10,598 to hit 262,843 on Friday, cementing its status as the country with the second-highest number of infections after the United States, as the city of Moscow began offering free antibody tests.

Russia's death toll rose by 113 overnight to reach 2,418, the country's coronavirus task force said.

Moscow, the epicenter of the Russian outbreak, started mass antibody testing of residents on Friday to try to work out what portion of the population has already been infected and to identify infected people with no symptoms.

A healthcare worker takes blood samples from a man during testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and antibodies after authorities launched free mass screening for residents in the Russian capital, at a clinic in Moscow, Russia, on May 15, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
Georgia to end state of emergency

Georgia will end the state of emergency it declared over the new coronavirus on May 22, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said on Friday.

The South Caucasus country of 3.7 million — which has registered 671 cases of the coronavirus and 12 deaths as of Friday — introduced the state of emergency on March 21 and extended it on April 21.

The state of emergency entails a night curfew from 9 pm untill 6 am, the closure of restaurants, cafés, and most shops, a suspension of public transport, and a ban on gatherings of more than three people. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and petrol stations remain open.

The ex-Soviet country has already removed its lockdown of four big cities, including the capital, Tbilisi, and reopened retail and wholesale stores, except those selling clothing and footwear or located in shopping malls.

Bulgaria to cut taxes for restaurants

Bulgaria’s center-right ruling coalition on Friday proposed cutting value added tax (VAT) on food provided by restaurants and catering services to 9% from 20% from July to help an industry hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

The cut would run through 2021 as a temporary measure to help the sector recover, a draft law before parliament showed, with estimated losses to state finances of 255 million levs (141 million dollars).

Restaurants and cafés were ordered to close in March to combat the virus.

Bulgaria, which has 2,138 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 102 deaths, has started to ease some restrictions and hopes to attract tourists to its Black Sea resorts after July.

Austria okays resumption of cultural events

Austria’s government said Friday it would allow cultural events for up to 100 spectators from the end of the month as the country continues emerging from its coronavirus lockdown.

The government had come under criticism for failing to present a plan for re-opening the country’s vital cultural sector with its top culture official, Ulrike Lunacek, resigning on Friday.

Shortly after Lunacek’s resignation, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober announced in a hastily-convened press conference that events seating up to 100 people would be allowed from May 29.

The number of spectators permitted will go up to 250 from July 1, when cinemas will also be able to re-open.

From August 1, events for up to 500 people will be allowed, Anschober added.

Larger-scale events of up to 1,000 people may also be allowed from August 1, provided that organizers devise safety measures that receive government approval.

The country of 8.8 million people has recorded more than 16,000 new coronavirus cases and 628 deaths to date.

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