The Cook Islands declared Covid-19-free

Starting last night's address to the nation, Prime Minister Henry Puna thanked God for giving people courage and strength during the country's greatest threat in modern history.

He said hundreds of Covid-19 tests taken in the Cook Islands had come back negative, and the country can officially be confirmed as a Covid-free zone - one of the first nations in the world to do so.

This means some of the more restrictive Code Yellow measures introduced in late March to stop the virus, will now be eased.

UK lockdown extended while Japan declares national emergency

"We have just come too far, we've lost too many loved ones, we've already sacrificed far too much to ease up now, especially when we are beginning to see the evidence that our efforts are starting to pay off," Raab told reporters.

Raab is deputising while Prime Minister Boris Johnson recuperates from Covid-19 complications that nearly cost him his life.

Apple tracks changes in travel behavior

The Mobility Trends Report produces three daily percentage figures, showing how many fewer people are driving, walking and using public transport compared with on 13 January, before the coronavirus lockdowns came into effect.

It covers major cities and national figures for 63 countries. Hong Kong is included but not mainland China.

It follows a similar effort by Google.

Guam now has 135 cases of Covid-19

There are now 135 confirmed coronavirus cases in Guam.

Five people have died from the virus.

Governor Lou Leon Guerro said the Health Department tested 30 samples and all were negative.

But she says one postive case was reported from the Diagnostic Laboratory Services.

66 people have recovered from Covid-19 in Guam.


Covid-19: Boris Johnson says 'it could have gone either way'

Johnson, 55, was taken to London's St Thomas' Hospital on Sunday (local time) - 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19.

He spent three nights in intensive care before returning to a ward on Thursday.

He said in a video on Twitter that he had witnessed the "personal courage" of hospital staff on the front line.

Johnson said two nurses - Jenny from Invercargill, New Zealand and Luis from Portugal - stood by his bedside for 48 hours at the most critical time and named several other hospital workers who cared for him this past week that he wanted to thank.

Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 cases pass 2 million

A tally from the US-based Johns Hopkins university shows the number of reported cases worldwide has roughly doubled since April 2, while the global death toll stands at 119,483.

Restrictions imposed to halt the spread of coronavirus have been slightly eased in some countries although health officials around the world are concerned that halting quarantine and social distancing measures could easily undo hard-earned progress.

Indonesian village uses 'ghosts' for distancing patrols

Kepuh village, on Java Island, started deploying the patrols at night last month.

In Indonesian folklore, ghostly figures known as "pocong" are said to represent the trapped souls of the dead.

Indonesia so far has about 4,500 cases and 400 confirmed virus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

But there are fears, according to experts, that the true scale of the infection across the country is much worse.

Guam confirms another Covid-19 case

Five people have died from coronavirus in Guam.

Governor Lou Leon Guerro said one case was reported as clinically diagnosed.

But she said out of 33 samples recently tested, zero cases were confirmed positive.

58 people people have recovered from the virus in the US territory.


Marshall Islands feeling economic hit of Covid-19

The Ministry of Finance estimated a 25 percent shortfall in collections against projections for March, with worse likely to come.

"The number that I'm providing now is very rough," said Finance Secretary May Bing Thursday.

"But when we looked at our figures for FY2020, our collection in March is way below budgeted/expected figures and may continue the trend in coming months."

She estimated the March tax shortfall at 25 percent.

"We do anticipate a decrease in collection as activities within the private sector are clearly challenged," Ms Bing added.

Further plea for help as 50 hotels close in Samoa and hundreds jobless

The government announced a $US23.6 million package to deal with the impacts of the Covid-19 coronavirus, however the Samoa Hotel Association (SHA) indicated more help may be needed.

The association said more than 50 hotels had temporarily closed their doors since the global Covid-19 pandemic started.

Association President Tupa'i Saleimoa Vaai told the Samoa Observer newspaper that over 500 workers had lost their jobs.

He suggested that could double within the week.