Coronavirus: latest global developments

Germany will lift its blanket travel warning for European nations from June 15, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

- Italy opens its borders -

As Europe emerges from lockdowns and quarantines, Italy leads the way as the first country on the continent to reopen its borders to European travellers.

International flights are only expected to resume in three main cities: Milan, Rome and Naples.

- Germany lifts travel warning -

Germany will lift its blanket travel warning for European nations from June 15, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says.

The warning will be replaced by advice for individual nations, "provided that there are no longer any entry bans or large-scale lockdowns in the respective countries", he says.

- Brazil tops 30,000 deaths -

Brazil surpasses a chilling landmark of 30,000 deaths -- the fourth deadliest outbreak in the world.

Figures released by Brazil's health ministry show a new record 1,262 deaths in the previous 24 hours, as well as 28,936 new infections. 

But some states begin to emerge from weeks of quarantine measures despite warnings from the World Health Organization and epidemiologists it is too much, too soon.

- More than 380,000 deaths -

The pandemic has killed at least 380,428 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Wednesday, based on official sources.

There have been 6,399,714 cases registered in 196 countries and territories.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 106,181 deaths, followed by Britain with 39,369, Italy with 33,530, Brazil with 31,199 and France with 28,940.

- Drug study doubt -

The Lancet issues an "expression of concern" over a large-scale study of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine it published that led to the WHO suspending clinical trials of the anti-viral drugs as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

An expression of concern is not as severe as a journal withdrawing a published study, but it signifies that the research is potentially problematic.   

- UN chides Asian nations -

The United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet warns that China and other Asian countries are using the pandemic as an excuse to clamp down on free expression and tighten censorship.

The UN rights office says it has information on "more than a dozen cases of medical professionals, academics and ordinary citizens who appear to have been detained, and in some instances charged, for publishing their views or other information on the situation". 

- Gaza mosques reopen -

Mosques in the Gaza Strip reopen after a 70-day closure, with health measures in place. 

Worshippers are told to wear face masks inside mosques, which will be regularly disinfected as a precaution.

Some mosques in Gaza had opened 10 days ago to celebrate the end of Ramadan, but Wednesday marks a full reopening.