[Reuters]Shoppers queue at a grocery store during a nationwide 21 day lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Chatsworth near Durban
[Reuters]Shoppers queue at a grocery store during a nationwide 21 day lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Chatsworth near Durban

Multiple countries are easing or considering easing restrictions gradually for social and economic recovery although the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is nearing 3 million.

Global caseload at 0000 GMT on Monday hit 2,968,627, with the United States standing first at 964,937, followed by Spain with 226,629, and Italy with 197,675, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

In Italy, the number of new deaths, new infections and patients in intensive care keeps declining, according to the latest data released by the country’s Civil Protection Department.

A total of 260 people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours in the country, the lowest single-day death toll since March 15. It registered 2,324 new cases over the last 24 hours, 33 fewer than on Saturday, and the lowest in six days.

Starting May 3, Italy will be adopting “Phase Two” of a national lockdown put in place March 10, which involves “the gradual resumption of social, economic and productive activities.”

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled guidelines for a phased reopening of parts of the economy disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states started reopening portions of their businesses over the weekend.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the country will be able to double its COVID-19 testing capacity over the next several weeks, which is needed to safely reopen portions of the economy.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Sunday in a Twitter message that he would present the government’s strategy for lockdown exit to parliament on Tuesday.

France saw COVID-19 deaths rise by 242 to 22,856 as of Sunday, the lowest daily increase this week, bringing relief to the health system as the country is planning to lift the lockdown on May 11, according to the country’s health ministry.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will return to work Monday morning, his office’s spokesperson told Xinhua on Sunday.

The prime minister was treated in hospital after contracting the novel coronavirus and having a short period of self-isolation. He has been in recovery after leaving the hospital around two weeks ago.

As many as 152,840 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Britain as of Sunday morning, with 20,732 deaths as of Saturday afternoon, according to the figures released on Sunday by Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice said on Sunday that it was too early to review the current social distancing measures, and the evidence would be examined at the regular three-week review.

Myanmar’s parliament said on Sunday that it will resume its 16th regular session on May 18.

The session was initially scheduled to resume on Monday but was postponed to May 18 due to COVID-19, Kyaw Soe, director general of Myanmar’s parliament, told Xinhua.

As of Sunday morning, Myanmar reported 146 confirmed COVID-19 cases with five deaths since the infectious disease was first detected in the country on March 23. Enditem

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