In a reversal from statements a day earlier, United States President Donald Trump said emergency taskforce handling his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak would not be wound down and would instead continue its work “indefinitely”.
China hits back at the US over claims by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the new coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, saying he has no evidence.
The United Kingdom now has the highest death toll in Europe even as cases rise rapidly in Russia, which reported more than 10,000 cases for the fourth successive day.
Globally, more than 3.7 million people have been confirmed infected with the new coronavirus so far, and over 260,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Thursday, May 7
00:24 GMT – El Salvador to suspend public transport for 15 days
El Salvador will temporarily suspend public transport from Thursday onwards in a bid to strengthen efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure will remain in place for 15 days, a government decree says.
El Salvador, which has reported 15 deaths from the pandemic, has applied some of the toughest measures in the Americas to tackle the coronavirus.
00:07 GMT – Brazil hits new daily record for novel coronavirus cases, deaths
Brazil, one of the world’s emerging coronavirus hot spots, is reporting a record number of cases and deaths with the health minister flagging the possibility of strict lockdowns in particularly hard-hit areas.
Official figures show 10,503 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, well above the previous record of 7,288 cases on April 30. There are 615 deaths, up from the previous record of 600 on Tuesday.
Health Minister Nelson Teich tells reporters for the first time that an increasing number of local authorities may have to institute “lockdowns,” as the coronavirus growth curve does not appear to be flattening. He is not naming any specific cities or states.
Brazil virus outbreak: Amazonas state capital becomes hotspot (2:24)
While authorities have ordered non-essential services and businesses closed in most states, residents are still allowed to circulate. A lockdown, which so far has only been implemented in the city of Sao Luis in the country’s northeast, prohibits people from leaving their homes except for certain necessary activities.
Still, Teich says, some areas of the country that had not borne the brunt of the pandemic may be able to consider gradually opening up.
Teich’s comments stand in stark contrast to comments over the past two months from President Jair Bolsonaro, who has called the virus a “little flu” and criticised business shutdowns ordered by governors as more damaging to the country’s economy than the virus itself.
Teich took office last month as virus cases started surging in Brazil. He pledged to save both lives and the economy and said at the time that he and Bolsonaro saw eye to eye.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
For key developments from yesterday, May 6, go here.
Al Jazeera and news agencies