Coronavirus latest: Tokyo schools, malls, gyms and theaters open

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 6,131,531, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 371,154.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:


(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Monday, June 1

11:50 a.m. Public schools resume in Tokyo after a three-month closure, while the capital allows businesses such as shopping malls, gyms and movie theaters to reopen. Schools are still taking precautions, such as limiting attendance numbers, to prevent a second wave of infections.

11:30 a.m. South Korea’s Celltrion says its experimental COVID-19 treatment showed a 100-fold viral load reduction in animal tests. The pre-clinical study noted improved nasal drainage, cough and body aches after the first day, and clearing of lung inflammations within six days, the company said in a statement.

10:27 a.m. South Korea reports 35 new cases, up from 27 a day ago. Total infections reach 11,503 with 271 deaths. Preschools in the country’s provincial regions reopen today, while the government plans to announce its third extra budget soon.

10:20 a.m. Tokyo begins random antibody tests on about 3,000 volunteer residents. Some of the antibody tests are underway in Miyagi Prefecture north of the capital, while Osaka further south will start testing from Wednesday.

10:00 a.m. China reports 16 new cases for May 31, the highest since May 11 and up from two cases a day earlier. All the cases came from overseas travellers. There were 16 new asymptomatic cases, compared with three a day earlier.

9:50 a.m. South Korean exports tumbled in May for the third straight month, though at a slower pace, as extended global lockdowns weighed on global demand. Shipments contracted 23.7% year on year in May, slower than the 25.1% drop in April.

8:55 a.m. Capital spending in Japan rose 4.3% in the January-March quarter from a year earlier. Investment by all nonfinancial sectors for factories, equipment and similar expenditures totaled 16.35 trillion yen ($152 billion).


A COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Los Angeles, California on May 40.

  © Reuters

5:35 a.m. Global coronavirus cases set a new record of over 134,000 on May 30 according to Johns Hopkins data. Brazil had 33,000 cases, far more than 24,000 in the U.S.

5:30 a.m. Seven out of 10 Japanese companies with domestic plants will revise their supply chains, a Nikkei survey shows, highlighting corporate efforts to find a new normal in light of continuing risks from the novel coronavirus.

3:40 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the next Group of Seven summit, signaling his desire to find partners as he blames China for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Trump said that he will postpone the G-7 summit from June to September.

Sunday, May 31

9:00 p.m. Sri Lanka plans to reopen its tourism sector in mid-June by allowing only small groups of visitors to begin with, a local newspaper quoted a senior tourism ministry official as saying.

7:30 p.m. Thailand’s House of Representatives passes a 1.9 trillion baht ($59.8 billion) support package to ease the impact of the coronavirus. The legislation, comprising three bills, needs approval from the Senate, which is expected to convene in early June, before it can become law.

1:50 p.m. Thailand reports four new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, taking the Southeast Asian country’s total number of infections to 3,081, with 57 deaths.

10:52 a.m. China confirms two new infections, down from four the day before, lifting the total number of recorded cases in the mainland to 83,001. With no new fatalities reported, the death toll remains at 4,634.

9:11 a.m. Brazil’s Health Ministry says the coronavirus death toll has risen to 28,834, with 956 fatalities in the past 24 hours. The South American country surpasses France, with only the U.S., Britain and Italy reporting more deaths. The number of infections in Brazil reaches 498,440, with a daily record of 33,274 new cases reported.

4:12 a.m. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a total coronavirus case count of 1,737,950, an increase of 18,123 from its previous count. The number of deaths has risen by 1,074 to 102,785.

12:14 a.m. Austria’s health ministry gives the green light for two Formula One motor races on July 5 and 12 — the delayed season-openers — to be held without spectators, Reuters reports.

Saturday, May 30

9:46 p.m. The Philippine Health Department reports eight additional deaths from the coronavirus and 590 new infections. Total fatalities rise to 950, while confirmed cases reach 17,224.

6:16 p.m. Malaysia reports 30 new coronavirus infections, raising its total to 7,762. The Southeast Asian country’s death toll remains at 115.

5:46 p.m. Indonesia records 557 new infections, taking its tally to 25,773. The country reports 53 new deaths, raising the toll to 1,573.

4:13 p.m. Singapore’s Health Ministry confirms 506 more coronavirus cases, increasing the city-state’s total to 34,366.

3:16 p.m. Taiwan approves remdesivir, from Gilead Sciences, to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

11:15 a.m. Japan’s health ministry postpones the approval of Avigan, a candidate drug for treating coronavirus infections, until June or later. The delay dashes the hopes of many, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who previously said that he “will aim for approval by the end of May.”

11:00 a.m. China records four new cases of coronavirus as of the end of Friday, compared with zero the day before. All of the cases were imported. The country also confirms four new asymptomatic cases, versus five the day before. With no new fatalities reported, the death toll remains at 4,634.

8:00 a.m. Brazil registers 1,124 deaths from the novel coronavirus and 26,928 additional cases in the past 24 hours. The death toll in Brazil, which has the second-largest outbreak in the world, stands at 27,878.

7:00 a.m. Japan’s largest diagnostic companies will step up to help the country in its lagging coronavirus testing effort by tripling their combined capacity to roughly 10,000 daily before summer’s end.

6:15 a.m. A record 5.97 million Japanese people, or about 9% of the nation’s entire workforce, were employed but not working last month, official data shows.

5:23 a.m. U.S. stocks end the final trading day of May with mixed results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls almost 0.1%, paring its losses after President Donald Trump’s news conference on China, in which he announced less drastic measures than some had expected. The S&P 500 rises about 0.5%.

3:52 a.m. The U.S. will “terminate” its relationship with the World Health Organization and roll back preferential treatment for Hong Kong, President Donald Trump says at a news conference. Trump claims the WHO is under China’s “total control.”

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.

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