Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
President Donald Trump is terminating the task force that leads the country’s coronavirus response, although data shows that more than 71,000 Americans died from COVID-19 and more than 1.2 million people have been diagnosed with the disease.
The UK now has the highest mortality rate in Europe, with cases increasing rapidly in Russia, which reported more than 10,000 cases for the third consecutive day.
- More than 3.6 million people worldwide have now been confirmed by the coronavirus and nearly 257,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 1.2 million people have recovered.
Wednesday May 6
02:00 GMT – Sanofi recruits thousands of people for a coronavirus vaccine trial
French drug maker Sanofi has announced plans to enroll thousands of people around the world in trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it is developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Sanofi Pasteur executives told Reuters the company hopes to start trials in September and will test the vaccine on more people to get stronger data faster. Advanced trials comparing the vaccine to a placebo are expected to take place later this year or early 2021.
01:50 GMT – Chinese border town eases lock restrictions
According to the Global Times, Suifenhe, the Chinese city on the country’s northeast border, is easing restrictions on coronaviruses that were introduced after a spate of cases among travelers returning from Russia.
From Wednesday, China–Russia border town Suifenhe to the NE #Heilongjiang lowered its level of response to low-risk epidemics and accelerated the resumption of work and production. The border town has seen an increase in the number of # COVID-19[FEMALE[FEMININE since late March. pic.twitter.com/XrmRiVYYhn
– Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 6, 2020
01:30 GMT – China reports two new cases of coronavirus
The National Health Commission of China said the mainland had two new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday with 20 new asymptomatic cases. No deaths have been recorded.
The two new cases involved people who traveled outside of China.
00:00 GMT – South Korea baseball season resumes – fanless
The baseball season in South Korea has resumed to the sound of empty stadiums.
Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride said that there are certain rules that must be followed by players in order to play and it will take some time before fans are allowed to return to the stadiums.
11:30 p.m. GMT (Tuesday) – Trump to end coronavirus task force
US President Donald Trump must end the government’s coronavirus task force as his focus turns to opening up the economy.
Trump has said that Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, the two senior doctors who played a leading role in the task force, will remain as advisers.
“We cannot keep our country closed for the next five years,” said Trump when asked why it was time to end the task force. The task force has done “great work,” he said during a visit to a face mask factory, but the focus is now on “safety and openness.”
More than 70,000 people have died from coronaviruses in the United States, more than anywhere else in the world.
Read yesterday’s (May 5) updates here.