Brazil reported 1,262 deaths from COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Tuesday night, another daily record.

New Zealand could return to ‘normal life’ as early as next week but borders will remain closed.

Tens of thousands of people, including coronavirus, patients have been evacuated from around Mumbai as a rare cyclone closes in on the area and officials warn the peak of the outbreak is weeks away.

More than 6.3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 378,000 people have died, including more than 106,000 in the US. More than 2.7 million have recovered from the disease.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, June 3
04:20 GMT – Mumbai braces for cyclone as coronavirus cases top 200,000

Coronavirus and now a tropical cyclone.

At least 100,000 people, including coronavirus patients, have been moved out of the path of Cyclone Nisarga, which is threatening India’s west coast and the city of Mumbai.

The storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon Indian time, just south of Mumbai, which has not been hit by a cyclone in 70 years.

The Health Ministry has just said that the number of coronavirus cases in the country has exceeded 200,000 with a rise of 8,909 cases in a single day.

“We are very far away from the peak,” said Dr Nivedita Gupta of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Mumbai: #CycloneNisarga has intensified further, eye diameter has decreased to about 65 km during the past hour; visuals from Marine Drive. #Maharashtra

— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2020

03:55 GMT – New Zealand could return to ‘normal life’ next week

People in New Zealand could return to ‘normal life’ as early as next week with the end of social distancing measures.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she will decide on Monday whether to reduce the country’s alert level to one, more than two months after she imposed a strict, level four, lockdown. The decision will depend on whether more recent relaxations have led to an increase in coronavirus cases. 

“If it hasn’t, we will be in a good position to move,” she said in a televised news conference. 

Even if the country does move to level one, it has no plans to reopen its borders. New Zealand has reported only one active case of coronavirus and no deaths for 12 days.

03:10 GMT – South Korea approves import of remdesivir

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved a health ministry request to import the anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19.

02:50 GMT – Comprehensive study of bat viruses homes in on Rhinolophus 

Science magazine says a group of scientists working on bat viruses have published the most comprehensive analysis of such viruses ever completed, singling out one genus – Rhinolophus (Chinese horseshoe bats) – as crucial to the evolution of SARS-related coronaviruses. 

The research examines the partial genetic sequences of 781 coronaviruses found in bats in China and while it can’t pinpoint the origin of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, co-author Peter Daszak said it found Rhinoloplus was a “major reservoir” of SARS-related coronaviruses. 

Daszak is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, whose research grant to study the bats with colleagues in China was pulled by the US National Institutes of Health last month.

A preprint of the study was posted to bioRxiv.

An international team of scientists whose funding for research on bat coronaviruses was recently yanked by the U.S. government has published what it calls the most comprehensive analysis ever done of such viruses. by @sciencecohen and @kakape

— Martin Enserink (@martinenserink) June 2, 2020

02:00 GMT – UK government says traveller quarantine crucial to stop second wave

The UK government says the 14-day traveller quarantine it plans to introduce on June 8 is crucial to stop a second wave of coronavirus hitting the country.

Home Minister Priti Patel and Transport Minister Grant Shapps outlined the plan – despite criticism from airlines, business groups and some members of their own party – in an article published in the Daily Telegraph late on Tuesday.

The two ministers said travel details and contact information would need to be provided, and there would be spot checks and fines to ensure compliance. There had been a lot of “misinformed speculation” about the measures, they added.

The quarantine will apply to all international arrivals including citizens. The UK has the most deaths in the world from coronavirus, after the United States.

International arrivals at London’s Heathrow Airport last month. From June 8, all travellers from overseas including British citizens will have to complete a 14-day quarantine [Toby Melville/Reuters] 

01:25 GMT – Malaysia locks down housing estate near Kuala Lumpur airport

Malaysia has imposed a “semi-enhanced” lockdown in two housing estates near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), according to Malaysiakini.

The two housing areas are surrounded by razor wire and the local health authorities will screen all residents for COVID-19 by Friday.  

Malaysiakini said the move was believed to be linked to a cluster of 28 coronavirus cases among cleaners working at KLIA.

01:05 GMT – Bolivia feels coronavirus strain as cases exceed 10,000

Authorities in Bolivia are making door-to-door checks in regions with severe coronavirus outbreaks to try and stem the spread of COVID-19.

The landlocked country registered its first novel coronavirus cases on March 10, and until May 21 had reached 5,000 cases. That number has since doubled, government data shows.

More on that story here.

00:00 GMT – Brazil sets another daily record for coronavirus deaths

Some 1,262 people in Brazil died from coronavirus in the 24 hours to Tuesday evening, the country’s Health Ministry said.

It’s another daily record for the South American country where the outbreak shows no sign of slowing down.

Brazil also confirmed 28,936 additional cases of the disease, bringing the total to 555,383. A total of 31,199 people in Brazil have died from coronavirus.

COVID-19 began in the country’s wealthy neighbourhoods and large cities where there were links with international travellers, but the virus is now making its way to poorer and more isolated areas to devastating effect. You can read more on that here.

A patient being treated for coronavirus in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a field hospital in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo state, Brazil [Amanda Perobelli/Reuters] 

23:30 GMT (Tuesday) – Lancet raises new questions about hydroxychloroquine study

The Lancet has commissioned an independent audit of the data behind a study it published last month that found hydroxycholorquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients.

The May 22 study was based on data provided by healthcare analytics firm Surgisphere and not a traditional clinical trial that would have compared hydroxychloroquine to a placebo or other medicine.

The editors of the British medical journal said serious scientific questions had been brought to their attention.

Several clinical trials into the use of the drug, including one by the World Health Organization, were suspended after the paper was published. Hydroxychloroquine is usually prescribed for illnesses such as malaria or lupus, but has been trumpeted as a COVID-19 treatment by US President Donald Trump and other right-wing leaders.

A group of artists pay tribute to the victims of the coronavirus in Brasilia on June 1 [Joedson Alves/EPA] 


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur. 

Read all the updates from yesterday (June 1) here.

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