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  1. Today's main headlines

    We're pausing our live coverage for the time being. Our colleagues in Asia will be picking it back up shortly.

    In the meantime, here's a reminder of the main developments on Wednesday:

    • A gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions continues in several European countries - Germany will allow football to resume behind closed doors and shops can open, while in Belgium retailers will be allowed to open from next week
    • It comes the World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries there is a real risk of the virus returning if governments are not vigilant
    • The WHO also warned that infections are rising in Eastern Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Americas
    • 30,076 people have now died in the UK - the highest in Europe - while the government missed its target of 100,000 daily tests for the fourth day running
    • Around 90,000 healthcare workers are thought to have been infected globally, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) says
    • The economic fallout continues, as the European Union warns of a historic recession, 122 million in India have lost their jobs due to the economic downturn, and Uber plans to sack 14% of its workforce
    • US President Donald Trump said his coronavirus taskforce will be re-shaped, rather than disbanded as he earlier suggested
    • And finally, for something lighter, take a look at this new painting by Banksy, hung in a hospital in England

    Our live page is written and edited by our journalists in Singapore, London and Washington. Wednesday's coverage was brought to you by: Ritu Prasad, Georgina Rannard, Deirdre Finnerty, Michael Emons, Claire Heald, Robin Levinson-King, Emlyn Begley, Hugo Bachega, Toby Lockhurst, Simon Fraser, Kate Whannel, George Wright, Thomas Spender, Alex Bysouth, Sarah Collerton, Doug Faulkner, Krutika Pathi, Yvette Tan, Tessa Wong, Andreas Illmer, Anna Jones, and Saira Asher.

  2. Irish people return old favour by donating to Native American fundraiser

    The Hopi Indian Reservation is in Arizona, US - the community need clean water, food and health supplies
    Image caption: The Hopi Indian Reservation is in Arizona, US - the community need clean water, food and health supplies

    If you help someone during this pandemic, one day the favour might be returned.

    That's what two Native American communities in the US have learned.

    The Choctaw Nation sent $170 (around $5,000 in today's money) to Ireland in the 1840s when one million Irish people died during the potato famine. Their genorosity was sparked partly by the deaths of many Native Americans on the Trail of Tears, the forced displacement of 60,000 people.

    Now the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Reservation are badly affected by the coronavirus, partly due to a lack of clean water, and Irish people are recognising the old kindness by donating $100,000 to a fundraiser.

    One message, from Pat Hayes, read: “From Ireland, 170 years later, the favour is returned! To our Native American brothers and sisters in your moment of hardship.”

    The organisers of the fundraising wrote to praise the “acts of kindness from indigenous ancestors passed being reciprocated nearly 200 years later through blood memory and interconnectedness.”

  3. 'Nonsensical' to test every American

    Kayleigh McEnany speaks to press

    At a briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the US had conducted 7.5m Covid-19 tests thus far.

    When asked why not every American was able to get a test yet, she said it was a "myth" that everyone needed testing.

    "If we tested every single American in this country at this moment, we’d have to retest them an hour later and an hour after that, because at any moment you could theoretically contract this virus," McEnany said.

    "The notion that everyone needs to be tested is simply nonsensical. The people who need to be tested are vulnerable populations."

    The press secretary also repeated Trump's stance on masks, saying it's "the choice of the individual".

    Other key points:

    • McEnany said the US mortality rate was 218 per million, comparing it with Spain's at 548 per million and Italy's 485 per million
    • McEnany said the president had "decided that coronavirus taskforce is here to stay"
    • The press secretary described the current US-China relationship as one of "disappointment and frustration", reiterating the administration's criticisms that China had not done enough to warn the world
    • More than $181bn (£146bn) has gone out in the second wave of small business pay protection loans

    More on the situation in the US:

  4. Iceland is almost free of coronavirus

    The Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Solfar), a sculpture by Jon Gunnar Arnason in Reykjavik, in Iceland
    Image caption: Iceland has carried out extensive testing of its population of around 328,000

    And now for some more positive news.

    Iceland says it has almost entirely eliminated its outbreak of coronavirus. Only two new cases have been confirmed in the past week and 97% of all infected patients have recovered.

    "We have been pleasantly surprised to see a very fastdeceleration of the pandemic in Iceland," said the country's chief epidemiologist, Thorolfur Gudnason.

    But he added it was very important to remain vigilant to minimise risks of further outbreaks.

    Iceland carried out very extensive testing of its population, so much so that anyone who wanted a test received one. Randomised tests showed that half of people showed no symptoms at all.

    Listen here to understand more about the country's approach.

  5. UK government plans to help dairy farmers

    England’s dairy farmers will be able to access up to £10,000 ($12,000) each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has announced.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "Our dairy industry plays a crucial role in feeding our nation and we're doing all we can to ensure they are properly supported during this time.

    "We’ve already relaxed competition laws so dairy farmers can work together through the toughest months, but recognise there's more to be done. That's why we have kick-started a new campaign to boost milk consumption and announced a further package of funding. We will continue to stand alongside our dairy farmers through this difficult period."

    Last month, the BBC revealed that some dairy farmers were having to throw away thousands of litres of fresh milk because of the disruption to the supply chain caused by coronavirus.

  6. Worst soundtrack ever for a presidential visit?

    Video content

    Video caption: Worst song possible plays as Trump tours mask plant

    As President Donald Trump touted plans to reopen the US economy while visiting a mask factory in Phoenix, Arizona, the song Live And Let Die from Guns 'N' Roses blared out over a loudspeaker, causing some bemusement. It was not clear if the choice of song was a coincidence.

    The US has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths of any country in the world with more than 1.2 million cases and more than 72,600 fatalities.

  7. Coronavirus to be in Coronation Street storylines

    Characters in one of the UK's biggest soap operas, Coronation Street, will be seen dealing with life during the coronavirus pandemic when filming resumes, its producer has said.

    Rovers Return pub
    Image caption: Filming has been suspended because of the pandemic

    But the crisis will not "dominate every single story", Iain MacLeod promised.

    The ITV soap has suspended filming and is making plans to return when real-life restrictions start to be lifted.

    MacLeod said he decided the virus "has to exist in our world", but that the issue would be "handled with a light touch".

    He did not say whether any characters would catch the virus, but its impact will be seen through things like hand-washing protocols and food outlets switching to takeaways.

  8. Chicago prisoner 'uses mask to escape'

    An inmate in Chicago, Illinois, was wrongfully released from jail over the weekend after he swapped identities with another inmate who was due to be released - with the help of a mask.

    Quintin Henderson, 28, gave his identity to 21-year-old Jahquez Scott, who allegedly promised him $1,000 (£810) for the swap, the Cook County Sheriff's office said, according to CBS Chicago.

    While wearing a face mask, given to inmates to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Scott allegedly gave Henderson's name and personal details and was released. Staff realised what had happened after the real Henderson later came to finish paperwork for his release, officials said.

    An investigation is under way and the authorities are searching for Scott. His record includes aggravated battery, possession of a controlled substance and criminal trespass.

  9. Islanders react to app: 'I won't be a guinea pig'

    Daryll Pitcher
    Image caption: Daryll Pitcher was one of those who said they did not want to be "guinea pigs"

    The UK government has chosen the Isle of Wight to test its coronavirus tracing app, but what do the islanders make of it?

    Some like parish councillor Daryll Pitcher say they do not want to be "guinea pigs".

    "I am greatly concerned that this trial has been imposed on the Isle of Wight and I believe that the final say should have been local," he said.

    Pitcher, who is the Covid-19 response co-ordinator for the island's Wootton village, said he had concerns regarding his civil liberties and data security, because the app traces anyone who has recently been in contact with someone with the virus.

    He also said he felt the island was "not a suitable testing area" due to its demographics and geography, both of which vary from the UK's national average.

    Read more reaction from the island.

  10. 'Polite request to PM'

    In today's UK Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson said the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK should not be compared with those in other European countries - and quoted a newspaper article from Professor David Spiegelhalter as part of his argument.

    However, Spiegelhalter has since gone on to Twitter to say: "Polite request to PM and others: please stop using my Guardian article to claim we cannot make any international comparisons yet.

    "I refer only to detailed league tables - of course we should now use other countries to try and learn why our numbers are high."

    Watch the clip below to see the exchange between Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer earlier today, when Spiegelhalter was mentioned.

    View more on twitter
  11. Canadian province set to reopen

    Canada's most populous province is taking its first baby steps towards reopening the economy.

    Hardware stores and nurseries in Ontario, where about 40% of Canadians live, will be able to open fully to the public on Friday. Customers will still be asked to maintain social distancing.

    All retail stores with street access (such as small shoe and clothing stores) will be able to offer curbside pickup starting Monday.

    The province is also extending the hours at liquor stores and cutting the mandatory minimum pricing for booze in restaurants and bars.

    Coronavirus cases are still on the rise there, albeit at a slower pace. There were 412 news cases Tuesday, up from 387 on Monday.

    On 25 April, Ontario hit a high of 640 cases in a single day.

    Other provinces have also started to reopen, including Quebec, which has had the most cases in the country.

  12. German football to restart on 15 May

    Bayern Munich
    Image caption: Bayern Munich (pictured training on Tuesday) are four points ahead of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the German Bundesliga with nine matches remaining

    Earlier today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country's top football league, the Bundesliga, could resume this month and we now have the date: 15 May.

    The last Bundesliga match was played on 11 March, before football across most of Europe was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. All remaining matches in Germany will be played behind closed doors.

    Top-flight leagues in England, Spain and Italy are trying to find a way to complete their campaigns, although France's Ligue 1 will not resume and Paris St-Germain have been declared champions, while the Netherlands' Eredivisie season has been abandoned, with no champions, relegation or promotion.

  13. Uber to sack 14% of its workforce

    An Uber taxi in Krakow, Poland
    Image caption: Demand for Uber's taxi services have fallen by more than 60% in coronavirus hotspots

    Uber has announced it will cut 3,700 full-time staff - or around 14% of its workforce.

    Business has plunged for the company since the pandemic began.

    But even before, Uber was struggling to balance its books, making a loss of $8.5bn (£6.8bn) in 2019.

    The staff cuts will come mainly in its customer support and retail teams, the company says.

    The chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, will also waive his base salary - set at $1m in 2019 - for the rest of the year.

  14. What's happening in the US?

    Swab testing in Florida
    Image caption: A police officer gets a swab test

    Here are some updates from across the US today:

    • There are currently more than 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US, and nearly 72,000 deaths
    • Trump said the White House virus task force would be re-framed to focus on reopening; he had earlier suggested the group would be disbanded, but told reporters on Wednesday: "I thought we could wind it down sooner, but I had no idea how popular the task force is"
    • Nearly 4,900 inmates or detained individuals have Covid-19, and 88 have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control, along with nearly 2,800 correction staff, 15 of whom have died
    • A farmer in Kansas who sent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo an N-95 mask has received an honorary degree from his state university, thanks to his "kindness and lifelong career in agriculture"; he was two credits away from graduating in 1971 but had left school to care for his mother
    • New Jersey, which has been a hotspot for the virus, will extend its state of public health emergency for another 30 days
    • An Ohio Republican state lawmaker has said he will not wear a mask due to his Christian religious beliefs, as the image of God is "seen the most by our face"
  15. Iran orders overall death figures hushed

    Siavash Mehdi-Ardalan

    BBC Persian

    Iran’s Central Registrar Office has confirmed that it has been ordered not to publish the overall death rates in the country over the past three months, increasing scepticism over the official coronavirus statistics.

    Iran's official tally is 6,418 dead and more than 100,000 cases since the first coronavirus case was confirmed on 19 February.

    The real figures are thought to be much higher and authorities on Tehran's city council have disputed the official numbers.

    A parliamentary report published last month also estimated that the real numbers of cases and fatalities were 10 times higher.

    The government of President Hassan Rouhani has boasted that its management of the pandemic has helped to contain the spread and to keep the numbers of fatalities down.

  16. 'At least 90,000' health workers infected

    Medical workers stand outside NYU Langone Health hospital as people applaud
    Image caption: Medical workers stand outside a New York hospital as people applaud

    At least 90,000 healthcare workers are thought to have contracted coronavirus, although the number could be as much as twice that, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said.

    More than 260 nurses have lost their lives to Covid-19, it said. The estimate is based on data collected from 30 countries.

    The ICN urged governments to maintain accurate records to assist in stopping the virus spreading among staff and patients.

    "The figure for health care workers infections has risen from 23,000 to we think more than 90,000, but that is still an under-estimation because it isn't [covering] every country in the world," Howard Catton, ICN's chief executive officer, told Reuters.

  17. Dutch PM outlines exit strategy

    Anna Holligan

    BBC News Hague correspondent

    Mark Rutte
    Image caption: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke at a news conference in The Hague on Wednesday

    The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has been outlining how the Netherlands plans to slowly unlock the partial lockdown.

    From 11 May schools and day cares will reopen (this had been previously announced) and hairdressers, beauticians and other contact professions can start operating again next week, along with libraries opening. People should try to keep their distance but Rutte has acknowledged this will not always be possible but face masks won’t be required.

    From 1 June everyone on public transport must wear a face mask, although Rutte, speaking during a press conference this evening, urged people to make their own masks, saying “medical masks are for medical staff”.

    Rutte has recommended face masks in situations where it’s not possible to keep a distance of 1.5 metres - not because they stop you contracting but to stop people infecting others.

    Also from 1 June Dutch bars can reopen their terraces - reservations and limited numbers with 1.5 metre spacing. Restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres and museums can start operating again, under strict conditions: only with reservations, but again people must maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.

    As of 1 July, camp sites and churches can open doors again.

  18. Cases increasing outside Western Europe, WHO says

    Customers sit on chairs at Maponya Mall as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide lockdown
    Image caption: Dr Tedros said cases were increasing in regions like Africa

    We have been watching the World Health Organization's regular news conference. Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained that while the number of cases in Western Europe is declining, they are increasing in Eastern Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Americas.

    He also warned governments that unless the lifting of lockdown restrictions is managed carefully, "the risk of the virus returning remains very real".

    He described six criteria to meet before lockdowns are lifted:

    • Cases must be declining, and surveillance of cases strong
    • Health systems are able to test, treat and isolate cases
    • Hospitals and care homes have minimal outbreaks
    • Preventative measures in place in workplaces and schools
    • Imported cases (from abroad) can be managed
    • Communities are adjusted to the "new normal"
  19. Beer 'about to run out' in Mexico, brewers say

    A worker of the Mexican company Grupo Modelo organizes beer bottles for sale in a store in Mexico City, Mexico, 03 April 2020
    Image caption: The price of Tecate has gone up by 12% since the second week of March, a survey suggests

    Mexico is days away from running out of beer, the country's brewers' association is warning.

    Brewing is not among the industries which the government declared essential and therefore had to halt production at the end of March.

    "There's no production, there's no distribution, we're not producing a single beer," said Karla Siqueiros, president of Brewers of Mexico.

    Siqueiros said she did not have an estimate of how many beers were left in supermarkets and shops, but that she had already received reports of prices shooting up as speculators took advantage of shortages.

    She reassured beer lovers that brewers were poised to restart production as soon as they were allowed to by the government - but cautioned that she had not been given any hint as to when that could be.

  20. US hair salon owner jailed for defying lockdown

    Shelley Luther, owner of a Dallas hair salon, speaks to supporters at an "Open Texas" rally against coronavirus restrictions outside of City Hall in Frisco, Texas, April 25, 2020
    Image caption: On 25 April, Luther addressed an "Open Texas" rally outside City Hall in Frisco

    A hair salon owner in Texas has been jailed for a week for staying open despite coronavirus restrictions that have shut all non-essential businesses.

    Shelley Luther, owner of Salon à la Mode in Dallas, appeared in court on Tuesday after defying a cease-and-desist letter and a restraining order.

    The judge said she could avoid prison if she apologised for being selfish, shut the salon and paid a fine. But Luther refused, saying "feeding my kids is not selfish".

    Read the full story.