The novel coronavirus has killed at least 382,016 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 8pm today. 

At least 6,440,940 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,768,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only symptomatic cases or the most serious ones.

Since the same time yesterday, 4,753 new deaths and 120,242 new cases were recorded worldwide.

The countries with the most new deaths were Brazil with 1,262, the United States with 1,052 and Mexico with 470.

The US remains the worst-hit country with 106,696 deaths from 1,841,471 cases. At least 463,868 people have been declared recovered. 

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Britain with 39,728 deaths from 279,856 cases, Italy with 33,601 deaths from 233,836 cases, Brazil with 31,199 deaths and 555,383 cases and France with 29,021 deaths from 188,674 cases.

Deaths in Brazil exceed 30,000

A gravedigger standing at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Brazil

Brazil passed 30,000 deaths at the same time as Italy - at one point the hardest-hit country - prepared to reopen its borders.

The latest official Covid-19 death toll of 31,199 in Brazil is the fourth-highest in the world, after the US, Britain and Italy.

The figures come as some Brazilian states began to emerge from weeks of quarantine measures despite warnings from the World Health Organization and epidemiologists it is too much, too soon.

"In the current situation, relaxing the measures is adding gasoline to the fire," Rafael Galliez, an infectious diseases expert at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said.

Yet surfers and swimmers streamed back to the beach in Rio de Janeiro as the city started easing lockdown measures, allowing the reopening of places of worship and water sports.

United States suspends flights from Chinese airlines

The United States has ordered the suspension of all flights by Chinese airlines into and out of the country after Beijing failed to allow American carriers to resume services to China.

"US carriers have asked to resume passenger service, beginning June 1st. The Chinese government's failure to approve their requests is a violation of our Air Transport Agreement," the US Transportation Department (DoT) said in a statement.

The suspension order takes effect 16 June, but could be implemented sooner if President Donald Trump orders it, the statement said.

US air carriers sharply reduced or suspended service to China amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but United and Delta submitted applications at the beginning of May to resume flights and have been unable to receive authorization from Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), DoT said.

Coming at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, the latest spat centers partially on the CAAC deciding to determine its limit on foreign airlines based on their activity on 12 March.

But US carriers by then had suspended all flights due to the pandemic - meaning their cap was calculated to be zero - while Chinese-flagged flights continued.

The "arbitrary 'baseline' date... effectively precludes US carriers from reinstating scheduled passenger flights to and from China," the DoT order says.

The department also said there are indications Chinese airlines are using charter flights to get around the limit of one flight a week to increase the advantage over US carriers.

In early January 2020, before the pandemic struck, US and Chinese carriers operated approximately 325 weekly flights between the two countries.


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A museum guard checks a visitor's temperature at Castle of Buonconsiglio in Trento, Italy.

In Europe, most countries have flattened their initial infection curves and are gradually easing out of confinement as they try to curb the economic fallout of the shutdowns.

Italy reopens its borders to travellers from Europe today, three months after the country went into lockdown, with hopes for economic revival pinned on reigniting its tourism industry.

In a symbolic victory in the French capital, Parisians reclaimed beloved cafe terraces that were allowed to sprawl across pavements to accommodate social distancing measures. 

Schools, swimming pools, pubs and tourist sites are steadily reopening across the continent to ease the economic pain, and stock markets rose on European optimism, despite fears of a second wave of infections. 

Greece suspended flights to and from Qatar yesterday after detecting multiple infections on a flight from Doha to Athens. 

The respiratory disease has claimed nearly 400,000 lives and infected more than 6.2 million around the world, upending life for billions since it first emerged in China late last year. 

The focus now falls on Latin America, which passed one million cases this week. 

Brazil has more than half of that caseload - 555,383 - making it the second most affected country after the United States, where experts fear mass demonstrations over the police killing of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis could reignite the spread of Covid-19. 

The WHO has warned that healthcare systems could soon be overwhelmed with Peru, Chile and Mexico also seeing big daily increases in infections. 

Mexico has also started rebooting the economy after more than two months of shutdown, allowing activity in the car, mining and construction industries to resume.

In Venezuela the virus forced political rivals to come together, with the government of Nicolas Maduro striking a deal with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who claims the presidency, to seek resources to address the disease's spread, all parties have confirmed. 

Virus on rise in Iran with over 3,000 cases for third day

Iran has been on rising trajectory for infections since hitting two-month low on 2 May

The spread of coronavirus has accelerated again this month in Iran which today officially confirmed over 3,000 new cases for a third consecutive day.

The country has recorded an additional 3,134 cases, a health ministry spokesman told state television, bringing the total number of infections to 160,696.

New cases were at their highest on 30 March, hitting 3,186.

Another 70 people have died, he added, taking the death toll to 8,012 since the outbreak was first declared in the country in February.

Infections have been on a rising trajectory in the Islamic republic since hitting a near two-month low on 2 May, though the official number of daily deaths has remained below 100 in recent weeks.

Iran has since last month largely lifted the curbs it imposed to stem the outbreak, but experts both at home and abroad have voiced scepticism about its official figures, saying the real toll could be much higher.

20 journalists die from Covid-19 in Peru

Meanwhile at least 20 journalists have died from the coronavirus outbreak in Peru, most of them infected while reporting on the pandemic, often with little protection, the country's journalists' union said. 

People wait to receive medical attention outside the emergency area at Alberto Sabogal Hospital in Lima

Peru is Latin America's second worst-hit country after Brazil with more than 170,000 cases and 4,600 deaths. 

Australia heading for recession after economy contracts
            
Australia is heading for its first recession in nearly three decades after the economy shrunk in the January-March quarter, with a "far more severe" reading expected in the next three months as the effects of the virus shutdown bite.

The 0.3% contraction was the first quarterly drop since 2009 during the global financial crisis and came as the lockdown exacerbated the impact of a prolonged drought and massive bushfires.

And while it was smaller than the forecast 0.4% drop, finance minister Josh Frydenberg said Australia was now on track to enter its first recession since 1991 "on the basis of the advice that I have from the Treasury Department about where the June quarter is expected to be".

"The economic impact will be severe. Far more severe than what we have seen today," Mr Frydenberg said.

Authorities ordered numerous businesses shut and closed the country's international borders to stem the spread of Covid-19, costing the economy billions of dollars but achieving success in containing the virus.

Mr Frydenberg said the negative March quarter "compared very well" to results in countries including China, France and Britain, showing the Australian economy's "remarkable resilience".

"We were on the edge of the cliff. What we were facing was an economist's version of Armageddon," he said.

"We have avoided the economic fate, and the health fate, of other nations because of the measures that we have taken as a nation."

Australia has recorded about 7,200 cases and 102 deaths from coronavirus, with many regions now regularly reporting zero new daily cases.

Back where it all began in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first emerged in December, officials touted another success after finding only 300 positive cases after testing nearly 10 million people over the past two weeks.

"These numbers show that Wuhan is now the safest city," said Feng Zijian, deputy director of China's national Center for Disease Control and Prevention.