April 30 (UPI) — Spain on Thursday reported its lowest death toll from COVID-19 in nearly six weeks while the daily case count in Russia was its highest to date.
Madrid said the latest daily toll fell to 268, its lowest in more than a month. The Spanish regions of Galicia, Cantabria and Murcia reported no new deaths for the first time.
Overall, 24,500 patients have died in Spain.
The Spanish government is expected to ease lockdown restrictions slightly beginning Saturday.
The crisis has deepened in Russia, which reported a record 7,000 new cases in a single day — 3,000 in Moscow, a rise of 6 percent. Nearly 106,500 have been sickened there. With the new figures, Russia surpassed China and Iran in cases.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the national lockdown until May 11 and warned citizens of “a hard and difficult path” ahead.
Worldwide, there have been 3.2 million cases and 230,000 deaths so far, according to Johns Hopkins University. Almost 986,000 have recovered.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday he will extend a state of emergency beyond May 6.
“Returning to normalcy from May 7 is difficult and we need to brace for a protracted battle,” he said, adding that he will consult with health experts to determine the length of the extension.
Japan’s lower house approved an emergency spending measure to fight the outbreak, which has produced about 15,000 cases so far.
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was scheduled to make his first televised briefing since overcoming the disease and leaving the hospital.
Johnson returned to work Monday after spending several days in intensive care. His fiancee Carrie Symonds gave birth to the couple’s first child Wednesday. He is to chair a cabinet meeting before his briefing Thursday.
Justice secretary Robert Buckland said Thursday the British government is unlikely to reach its goal of performing 100,000 tests by the end of April.
More than 26,000 of Britain’s 165,000 patients have died since the start of the pandemic and London reported more than 4,000 new cases Thursday.
In Brazil, the official coronavirus death toll surged past 5,500 Thursday, putting it on pace to bypass Iran as the hardest-hit country outside of the United States and Europe. Its national caseload rose to more than 80,000, approaching China’s figure of 84,000.
Brazil surpassed China’s total death toll on Tuesday. When asked about it by reporters outside his official residence in the capital Brasilia, President Jair Bolsonaro responded, “So what? I’m sorry, but what do you want me to do?”
The Brazilian leader, who has refused to order national quarantines or close the country’s borders, went on to say, “I regret the situation we’re going through with the virus. We sympathize with the families who lost their loved ones, who were mostly elderly people.
“But that’s life.”