India has reported another record increase in cases and Pakistan marked its highest daily death toll, while in New Zealand, health authorities have not found a new case for the past week.
Brazil has reported a record daily increase of more than 26,000 coronavirus cases, as the political crisis surrounding President Jair Bolsonaro continues.
Elsewhere, hundreds of people have fled quarantine centres in Zimbabwe and Malawi, South Koreans have returned to strict lockdown measures and a 111-year-old woman has become Chile’s oldest COVID-19 survivor.
This story will be regularly updated throughout Friday.
Friday’s key moments:The latest numbers from around Australia
The Government has released its most recent COVID-19 statistics, providing a snapshot of case numbers, recoveries and deaths around the country.
No new deaths have been announced and the nation’s total amount of cases has been confirmed as 7,173, with 6,582 people having recovered.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers across the states and territories.
StateTotal casesRecoveriesDeathsNSW3,0922,66648VIC1,6341,54919TAS22820313WA5855519QLD1,0581,0457SA4404354ACT1071043NT29290Total7,1736,582103New Zealand near eradication, India and Pakistan see record increases
New Zealand has all but eradicated the coronavirus from its shores with just one person in the nation of 5 million known to be still infected.
Developments elsewhere have been generally grim, with India reporting another record increase in cases and Pakistan a record number of deaths.
In the US, the virus threw more than 2 million people out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses.
The latest job loss figures from the US Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March.
In New Zealand, health authorities have not found any new virus cases for a week. Of the 1,504 people who were infected, 22 have died and all but one of the rest have now recovered.
In India, some police officers wore helmet and held shields depicting the coronavirus as they warned people to maintain safe distance during the lockdown.(Reuters: P. Ravikumar)
India has registered another record daily increase of 7,466 cases just before its two-month lockdown ends Sunday.
The Government’s new guidelines, which are expected this weekend, may extend the lockdown in the worst-hit areas while easing the rules to promote economic activity elsewhere.
Most cases in India are concentrated around its largest cities, including Mumbai and New Delhi, but cases have been increasing in some of the poorest eastern states as migrant workers who lost jobs in the cities return to their native villages.
Pakistan on Friday reported 57 deaths, its highest single-day increase since the outbreak began. That increased the overall death toll to more than 1,300 and the number of cases to over 64,000.
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to ease a lockdown in the capital to a more relaxed quarantine from Monday, after more than two months of strictures enforced by the police and military.
Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 5.8 million people and killed about 360,500, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The true dimensions of the disaster are widely believed to be significantly greater, with experts saying many victims died without ever having been tested.
First communal Friday prayers held in Turkey as restrictions ease Restrictions across Turkey are set to ease further on Monday.(AP: Burhan Ozbilici)
Worshippers in Turkey have held their first communal Friday prayers in 74 days after the Government reopened some mosques as part of its plans to relax measures in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Prayers were held in the courtyards of a select number of mosques on Friday, to minimise the risk of infection.
Authorities distributed masks at the entrance to the mosques, sprayed hand sanitisers, and checked temperatures for fever.
Worshippers were asked to bring their own prayer rugs, but some mosques offered disposable paper rugs which were placed 1.5 meters apart.
The partial opening of the mosques follows a slowdown in the confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced plans to lift restrictions on movement between cities and reopen restaurants, cafes, sports centres, beaches and museums on June 1.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 160,979 cases of coronavirus in Turkey, and 4,461 deaths.
Portugal’s once-booming tourism collapses due to coronavirus Portugal is trying to establish a deal with the UK to revitalise its debilitated tourism sector.(AP: Armando Franca)
Portugal’s once-booming tourism sector collapsed in April as lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus grounded flights and kept away visitors from the country’s largest market — Britain.
The National Statistics Institute (INE) said in an estimate the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists in Portugal dropped 98.3 per cent.
Overnight stays by Britons fell 99.3 per cent in April compared to the same period in 2019, followed by a massive drop in the German and Spanish markets, decreasing 98.9 per cent and 98.1 per cent respectively.
Portugal, which has so far recorded 31,596 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,369 deaths, is slowly easing restrictions in place since it locked down in mid-March.
Most stores and restaurants have already reopened.
Though the country’s borders never fully shut to European nations, with the exception of its land border with hard-hit neighbouring Spain, most hotels decided to close as there were limited flights and no customers.
In 2019, more than 16 million foreign tourists visited Portugal, almost 20 per cent of them from Britain.
Portugal and Britain are in talks to try and secure an air corridor for tourists that would allow British visitors to avoid a COVID-19 quarantine upon returning home.
EU proposes 15 billion euro fund to prevent hostile takeovers
The European Commission has proposed setting up a 15 billion euro ($25 billion) fund to invest in strategic companies that have been weakened by the COVID-19 crisis.
The proposal, which needs to be approved by EU governments and MEPs, comes after businesses became vulnerable to hostile takeovers as share prices fell and there were fewer funding opportunities during the coronavirus crisis.
The new facility could buy stakes in, or offer loans to, strategic companies in sectors such as healthcare, space, defence, digital and green technologies, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said.
Concerns over the vulnerability of some European companies grew in March after reports that the US was looking into gaining access to Germany-based CureVac, a biotech firm working on a new technology that could slash costs for vaccines.
The EU Commission reacted by promising 80 million euros to CureVac.
Brazil records 26,000 new coronavirus cases in one day Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has previously claimed lockdown measures could kill more people through unemployment and hunger than the virus itself.(AP: Eraldo Peres)
Brazil has reported a daily record of 26,417 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to more than 438,000.
The country’s death toll rose by 1,156, just shy of a record of 1,188 deaths recorded on May 21.
Brazil is now second only to the United States in the total number of coronavirus cases recorded, and is behind the US, UK, Spain, Italy and France in terms of deaths.
This chart uses a logarithmic scale to highlight coronavirus growth rates. Read our explainer to understand what that means — and how COVID-19 cases are spreading around the world.
It came on a day President Jair Bolsonaro took aim at the nation’s Supreme Court for investigating an alleged disinformation and intimidation campaign by his supporters, criticising court-ordered police raids on those accused of spreading lies on social media.
“The Supreme Court investigation is targeting those who support me,” he said.
“Don’t plunge Brazil into a political crisis,” he warned, urging the court to suspend the investigation.
In a social media video, Mr Bolsonaro said the court’s investigation was unconstitutional and any move to restrict fake news in Brazil would establish censorship in the country.
The crisis has continued to distract from efforts to control the country’s exploding coronavirus outbreak.
Criticism of the top court on pro-Bolsonaro social media last year, including calls for its closure and threats against judges, led the chief justice to open the probe into alleged financing and coordination of a “fake news” network.
Mr Bolsonaro’s tensions with the judiciary boiled over last week, when a judge released a video of a Cabinet meeting where one of Mr Bolsonaro’s ministers said the Supreme Court justices should be jailed.
The video was made public by the court in a separate probe into alleged presidential interference in law enforcement.
Russia reports highest daily increase in virus death toll
Russia has reported its highest daily jump in coronavirus deaths once again, with health officials 232 deaths in the past 24 hours.
So far, 4,374 people in the country have died and its comparatively low mortality rate continues to raise questions among experts both in Russia and in the West, with some suggesting that the country’s Government may be underreporting virus-related deaths for political reasons.
Russian officials vehemently deny the allegations and attribute the low numbers to the effectiveness of the measures taken to curb the spread of the outbreak.
Russia’s coronavirus caseload has risen to 387,623, with health officials reporting over 8,500 new infections.
Earlier this month President Vladimir Putin announced lifting some lockdown restrictions, saying that Russia was able to “slow down the epidemic” and it was time for gradual reopening.
The vast majority of the country’s regions have been on lockdown since March 30.
National Cabinet agrees to $131 billion public hospital funding model
National Cabinet has developed a five-year hospitals agreement between the states and territories, including $131.4 billion in additional public hospital funding.
The 20-25 national health reform agreement for hospitals will provide an additional $34.4 billion in federal funding to public hospitals from July 1 this year, in addition to more than $8 billion in federal funding during the COVID-19 response.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement after today’s National Cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders.
He also announced the National Cabinet format would permanently replace the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), with state and federal leaders to meet more regularly via video conference.
COAG was established in 1992 as a forum for state and territory leaders to work with the Federal Government.
Mr Morrison said the permanent National Cabinet would be driven by a single agenda: to create jobs.
Seven new cases in Victoria including school student Keilor Downs College is set to reopen on Monday morning.(Google Street View)
A student from Keilor Downs Secondary College in Melbourne’s north-west is among seven new coronavirus cases in Victoria.
The student is associated with a recent family cluster, but it is likely they were infected when on campus on Tuesday. The school has been closed for cleaning.
The student was also in a shared class with students from schools in St Albans and Taylors Lakes, and those students are also self-isolating.
A teacher at the school tested positive earlier in the week, but at the time authorities said the teacher had not been on campus while infectious.
Overall, the state has recorded seven new cases, but one previous case has been reassigned, so there has been a net increase of six cases.
New South Wales recorded two new cases, bringing its state total to 3,092, with 378 still active.
There have been no new cases recorded in Queensland, the Northern Territory or the ACT. There are six active cases in Queensland, and zero in both of the territories.
Hundreds flee quarantine in Zimbabwe, Malawi Zimbabwe and Malawi’s health systems may not cope with a surge in coronavirus cases.(AP: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Searches have begun after hundreds of people, some with coronavirus, fled quarantine centres in Zimbabwe and Malawi, triggering fears for the countries’ compromised health systems.
In Malawi, more than 400 people recently repatriated from South Africa and elsewhere fled a centre at a stadium, jumping over a fence or strolling out the gate while police and health workers watched.
Police and health workers told reporters they were unable to stop them as they lacked adequate protective gear.
At least 46 people who left had tested positive for the virus. Some of those who fled told reporters they had bribed police.
Read more about coronavirus:
In Zimbabwe, where a 21-day quarantine is mandatory for those returning from abroad, police spokesman Paul Nyathi said officers were “hunting down” more than 100 people who left one of the quarantine centres.
“They escape and sneak into the villages … We are warning people to stop sheltering them. These escapees are becoming a serious danger to communities,” Mr Nyathi said.
Nearly all of Zimbabwe’s 75 new cases this week came from the centres that hold hundreds of people who have returned, sometimes involuntarily, from neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.
The quarantine centres have become “our source of danger”, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told a special parliamentary committee this week.
Both Zimbabwe and Malawi have fewer than 200 confirmed cases but regional power South Africa, where many in both countries go to seek work, has more than 25,000.
South Africa has the most cases in Africa, where the continent-wide total is nearly 125,000.
South Korea re-imposes restrictions At the beginning of the pandemic, South Korea was lauded for its strict contact-tracing regime.(AP: Ahn Young-joon, File)
South Korea reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most in nearly eight weeks, triggering the return of tougher social distancing measures.
At least 82 cases this week have been linked to a cluster of infections at a logistics facility run by Coupang, one of the country’s largest online shopping firms, in Bucheon, west of Seoul, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
About 4,100 workers, including 603 delivery people, at the warehouse were believed to have not properly followed social distancing and protective measures, such as mask wearing, KCDC deputy director Kwon Jun-wook told a briefing.
Coupang, one of a group of e-commerce firms whose plants have scrambled to fill a surge in demand, has said the Bucheon centre was disinfected every day, with all employees wearing masks and gloves and their temperatures checked.
Thousands of laptops ordered for disadvantaged students during coronavirus shutdown sit idle The Queensland Government ordered 5,000 laptops for students to use while schools were closed.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)
More than 1,500 laptops that the Queensland Government ordered to help disadvantaged students access online learning during the coronavirus pandemic are yet to be handed out.
In March, the Department of Education announced it would supply 5,000 laptops to students who did not have access to devices.
The department split half the cost of the laptops with schools, allowing them to buy them at half-price and loan them to students in need.
Now the Government has revealed some 3,400 laptops have been handed out to schools, but 1,600 are yet to be distributed.
Some school principals have told the ABC they have hundreds of children who do not have laptops or devices at home and they simply cannot afford to buy them all laptops, even at half price.
Japan fears coronavirus will trigger a backslide in suicide rates
Health workers in Japan are worried the pandemic’s economic shock will return the country to 1998, when more than 30,000 people took their lives in one year.
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
With the highest suicide rate among G7 nations, Japan adopted legal and corporate changes that helped lower the toll to just over 20,000 last year.
But frontline workers are worried the current crisis will reverse that downward trend, and are urging the Government to boost both financial aid and practical support.
“We need to take steps now, before the deaths begin,” said Hisao Sato, head of an NGO providing counselling and economic advice in Akita, the prefecture known for Japan’s worst suicide rate.
National suicides fell 20 per cent year-on-year in April, the first month of the country’s soft lockdown, but experts said that was likely due to an internationally recognised phenomenon in which suicides decreased during crises, only to rise afterwards.
“It’s the quiet before the storm, but the clouds are upon us,” Mr Sato said.
Dominic Cummings breached lockdown, police say Dominic Cummings drove 400 kilometres to his parents’ house, flouting lockdown rules that the government had imposed on the rest of the country(AP: Matt Dunham)
Police in the county of Durham in north-east England have found Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior aide, Dominic Cummings, breached the UK’s stringent lockdown rules.
In late March, Mr Cummings decided to travel 400 kilometres from London to his parents’ home in Durham to self-isolate with his wife and son after his wife developed coronavirus symptoms — despite a nationwide order from the UK Government for people with symptoms to stay home.
Mr Cummings has since defended his decision to take the trip, which he said was to ensure his four-year-old son would be taken care of if he and his wife fell ill, and was insistent he had not broken any lockdown rules.
But the Durham Constabulary released a statement saying that a subsequent 40km trip from Mr Cummings’s family’s property to a local tourist spot that he said was to test his eyesight before returning to London was a “minor breach” of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention.
“Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis,” the statement read.
Police in Durham will take no further action on the matter.
ClubsNSW says some venues can reopen with more than 500 patrons
Some large clubs in New South Wales will be able to accommodate hundreds of patrons from Monday if they meet certain conditions, according to an internal industry document obtained by the ABC that boasts “heavy influence” over state government decision-making.
In a memo sent to member clubs on Wednesday, ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis took credit on behalf of the association for the rapid easing of restrictions across the hospitality sector in the state.
In the ClubsNSW circular, Mr Landis boasted that the NSW Chief Health Officer and other government officials were “heavily influenced by ClubsNSW’s reopening plan“.
NSW Health would not directly respond to this claim but said in a statement it would “continue to engage with industry groups on the safe reopening of businesses in line with health advice”.
Last week, the NSW State Government announced a limit of 50 people per venue. But large pubs and clubs with multiple restaurants or cafes can accommodate an additional 50 people permitted per dining area.
Indian cases continue to surge On May 4, India eased lockdown rules and allowed migrant workers to travel back to their homes.(AP: Rajanish Kakade)
India on Thursday reported more than 6,500 new cases of coronavirus, another single day record.
The surge comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government prepares a new set of guidelines to be issued this weekend, possibly extending a two-month lockdown in the worst-hit areas while also allowing some economic activity.
The Health Ministry also reported another 194 deaths, bringing the country total to 4,531.
The country’s top court, meanwhile, ordered authorities to provide free train rides and food and water to migrant workers returning to their villages after losing jobs because of the pandemic.
111-year-old Chilean woman recovers from coronavirus Juana Zuniga survived 28 days in quarantine after contracting COVID-19.(Supplied: Servicio Nacional del Adulto Mayor)
Authorities in Chile have reported a 111-year-old woman has survived after contracting COVID-19 and spending 28 days in quarantine.
Juana Zuniga tested positive for the virus after an outbreak emerged at her care home in Nunoa, near Santiago, on April 10.
She went into isolation for several weeks and was treated through a few episodes of fever, but was otherwise asymptomatic, according to the director of the care home.
After 28 days in isolation, Ms Zuniga got the all clear on May 10.
Chile’s National Service for Older Persons, SENAMA, said Ms Zuniga was the oldest person in the country to have recovered from COVID-19.
More nurses have died of COVID-19 in Brazil than anywhere else Brazil has registered 157 deaths of nurses, nurse technicians and nursing assistants, according to the Federal Council of Nursing.(AP: Eraldo Peres)
The new coronavirus has killed more nurses in Brazil than in any other country, according to the International Council of Nurses.
The group did not provide exact figures but said it was in the process of updating data and would release a new statement regarding the global situation early next week.
Brazil has registered 157 deaths of nurses, nurse technicians and nursing assistants from COVID-19 so far, according to the Brazilian Federal Council of Nursing.
The council said the trend was for the death toll among the workers to continue growing and warned its scale depended on several factors, including supply of personal protective equipment and the spread of the virus in the general population.
Cancer patients with COVID-19 more likely to die
Two studies have found cancer patients who develop COVID-19 are much more likely to die within a month than those without cancer.
A US study of 928 current and former cancer patients who were infected with the coronavirus in March and April found 13 per cent died within 30 days of their COVID-19 diagnosis, and more than half were hospitalised.
Those whose cancers were actively progressing at the time of infection were five times more likely to die within 30 days than those who were in remission or had no current evidence of cancer.
Coronavirus questions answered
Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC’s Coronacast podcast.
A second study from researchers in the UK analysed 800 patients with various types of cancer and COVID-19 and found an even higher death rate — 28 per cent. The risk rose with age and other health problems such as high blood pressure.
The global death rate from COVID-19 is about 358,000 out of 5,765,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data — about 6 per cent.
Jeremy Warner, a Vanderbilt University data scientist who led the US study, said the results demonstrated the need for cancer patients to be extra careful in protecting themselves against the virus.
“If they don’t have COVID-19, they want to do anything they can to avoid getting it,” he said.
The US study also found the risk of death seemed higher for patients taking hydroxychloroquine with the antibiotic azithromycin, but this could be because sicker patients were given those drugs.
In that trial, 181 patients were taking hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin, and 89 were taking hydroxychloroquine alone.
Hydroxychloroquine was initially thought to help patients with coronavirus, but recent data has cast doubt on the remedy.(AP: John Locher)
“Taking the combination gives a three times increased risk of dying within 30 days of any cause,” Dr Warner said.
But he stressed, “we do not know if this is cause and effect”.
Dr Warner advised, unless cancer patients were in one of the carefully designed studies currently testing hydroxychloroquine, “don’t take that drug” on your own.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels confirm coronavirus cases Yemen’s internationally recognised government has reported 278 cases and 58 deaths.(AP: Rahmat Gul)
Houthi rebels in Yemen have acknowledged for the first time that the coronavirus has spread to multiple areas under their control.
The Houthi health ministry said in a statement on Thursday that authorities were working to trace and isolate infected cases recorded in the capital, Sanaa, and several provinces across the war-torn country.
The rebels have officially reported just four cases, including one death, and have tried to stop doctors and journalists from speaking out about a dramatic surge in deaths among those with COVID-19 symptoms.
The statement accused the World Health Organization of sending “inaccurate” and deficient tests, and said it would reveal the results in the coming days.
Yemen’s internationally recognised government has reported 278 cases and 58 deaths. A major outbreak is threatening to overwhelm Yemen’s health system, which has been devastated by five years of war.
Bank of England recommends more stimulus Britain, the world’s sixth-largest economy, will have to contend with the ramifications of Brexit and COVID-19.(Shaun Curry, file photo: AFP)
Britain’s economy is unlikely to recover fully from the “searing experience” of the coronavirus in the next two to three years, Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders has warned, adding it would be better to provide too much stimulus than too little.
Even as the lockdown eases, fears of further job losses and companies going bust, as well as a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections, would weigh on the economy, he said.
“The searing experience of such a dramatic drop in incomes, jobs and profits is likely to have lasting behavioural effects, as after previous crises,” Mr Saunders said.
“If unchecked, there are risks of a vicious circle, whereby the economy gets stuck in a self-feeding loop of weak activity, pessimistic expectations and low investment.”
The BoE published a scenario on May 7 showing economic output would return to pre-COVID levels next year, despite a historic 25 per cent fall pencilled in for the current quarter.
English Premier League to restart The English Premier League still needs a green-light from the UK Government to proceed.(AP: Alastair Grant)
The Premier League plans to restart on June 17 after a 100-day shutdown, with new staggered kick-off times to make sure every game can be shown on television as fans are prevented from attending games.
The clubs agreed that the competition should resume with a Wednesday night double-header featuring Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United — two games that were postponed during earlier rounds.
However, the league still needs formal approval from the UK Government.
“This date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said
“The health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.”
After those makeup games are played, the 30th round will start on Friday, June 19 — if authorities approve safety plans.
Philippine restrictions to lift Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to lift Manila’s lockdown.(AP)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte eased one of the toughest and longest lockdowns in the world for residents in the capital of Manila from June 1, even as the country saw its biggest spike in coronavirus cases yet.
The Philippines reported 539 new infections on Thursday, the highest daily tally since it recorded its first case of the coronavirus in January.
The new cases brought the nationwide tally to 15,588, including 921 deaths.
“For me, this does not look bad,” Mr Duterte said.
Health Minister Francisco Duque said 90 per cent of the country’s COVID-19 cases were “mild” and less than 2 per cent were “severe and critical”.
This weekend, Manila’s lockdown will surpass the 76-day quarantine of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the first outbreak of the coronavirus was detected.
French beaches and cafes to slowly reopen, with exceptions in Paris As France gradually re-opens from lockdown, parts of Paris may still be under coronavirus restrictions.(Reuters: Jacky Naegelen)
France will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen from June 2, though with more restrictions in Paris than elsewhere.
The Government is also lifting a nationwide 100-kilometre travel restriction and will reopen beaches and parks from next week.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the next phase in easing the country’s lockdown, saying he was in favour of removing border restrictions within Europe’s Schengen area without quarantine rules from June 15.
“Freedom will become the rule, bans the exception,” Mr Philippe said in a televised address.
The spread of the virus is slowing quicker than hoped for and the PM warned while Paris is no longer deemed a “red zone”, there is no room for complacency.
The greater Paris region is now an “orange” zone, meaning it not as virus-free as almost all other regions designated “green”. Mr Phillipe said the easing of restrictions there would be more cautious.
Finland, Denmark, report no spike after schools re-open Danes have been enjoying loosened lockdown restrictions.(AP via Ritzau Scanpix: Tariq Mikkel Khan)
Finland and Denmark both say re-opening schools has not resulted in any surge in coronavirus cases.
Finland started to reopen schools and day care centres from May 14 following an almost two-month shutdown.
Denmark was one of the first countries to reopen society on April 15 after a one-month lockdown, allowing students up to fifth grade back in school.
“The time has been short, but so far we have seen no evidence,” said Mika Salminen, director of health security at the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare.
Czech masks subject of national exhibition A worker prepares a face mask for display at Czechia’s National Museum.(Reuters: David W Cerny)
The National Museum in Prague has put on display the most visible symbol of the nation’s response to the coronavirus: face masks.
The Czech Government made wearing masks in public mandatory in mid-March, when amid an initial shortage, many people started making their own masks.
Some of the masks featured in the museum exhibition were made by leading fashion designers, while others are the handiwork of creative home crafters.
One example exhibited is a mask with a flap strategically placed with velcro to allow for drinking and staying safe.
This mask was made with a Velcro flap to assist the wearer in consuming drinks.(Reuters: David W Cerny)
“If we want to leave a legacy for future generations, this collection of face masks says only positive things about us,” National Museum spokeswoman Lenka Bouckova said.
“That as a nation we are able to face a challenge in a positive way and we are able to stick together. The face masks are a clear expression of that.”
What you need to know about coronavirus: