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Trump's White House briefings may be scaled back after disinfectant comments

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: Children play on the streets of Barcelona on April 26, 2020. Spain eased some lockdown restrictions, now allowing children to leave their homes for up to an hour per day.
Children play on the streets of Barcelona on Sunday. Spain eased some lockdown restrictions, now allowing children to leave their homes for up to an hour per day.David Ramos / Getty Images

As his aides and allies increasingly worry that President Donald Trump's lengthy appearances at his his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic may may backfire politically, the White House is considering scaling them back.

It follows widespread mockery and an immediate and universal backlash from the medical community after the president suggested Thursday evening that people might be able to inject household cleaning items or disinfectants to deter the respiratory illness.

The evaluation of Trump's briefings comes as the worldwide death toll for the coronavirus surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Over 53,000 of those fatalities have been recorded in the U.S. according to an NBC News tally and more than 20,000 in the U.K. making it the fifth nation to reach that grim milestone.

However, in China where the pandemic began, the government reported no new deaths for a 10th straight day.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 27 for coronavirus news.

India's Modi urges citizens follow lockdown as virus cases rise

People line up to receive free food distributed during the government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Hyderabad, India earlier this week.Noah Seelam / AFP - Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to citizens to strictly comply with the nationwide lockdown and maintain social distancing norms, as cases of virus mounted steadily in country of 1.3 billion people.  

Almost a month after lockdown measures were put in place Modi said in a radio address that the country was in the midst of a "war" and urged citizens to sustain the "people driven" fight and not be misled into believing the spread of the virus has been brought fully under control.

"I will urge you that we should not be trapped into over-confidence and nurse the belief that in our city, in our village, in our streets, in our office, coronavirus has not reached and that is why it will not reach," Modi said.

India's high population density, poor sanitation infrastructure, and high rates of internal migration has hastened the spread of the virus. in the country which reported 26,496 cases of COVID-19, and 824 deaths as of Sunday. 

Touch a shadow, 'You're it!': New routines as Denmark returns to school after lockdown

Students in Denmark under the age of 12 returned to school on April 17th after one month of mandatory lockdown.
Students in Denmark under the age of 12 returned to school on April 17th after one month of mandatory lockdown.Ziad Jaber / NBC News

The little voices carried over the fence before they were visible: laughter, squealing, yelling. At Kongevejens Skole, a state primary school on the outskirts of the capital, kids playing together is a rare and welcome sight.

Denmark reopened nurseries and primary schools last week after a month of lockdown and, so far, students are adapting to yet another new normal.

On Thursday afternoon, the second graders at Kongevejens Skole were engaged in a heated game of tag. But instead of physically touching, they stepped on each other’s shadows instead.

“Everything is new,” one second grade teacher, Marie Riber Sundgaard, told NBC News. "Even the games."

Read the rest here.

Spain's children allowed outside for the first time in six weeks

As children prepared to go outside for the first time in six weeks, Spain recorded its lowest number of daily-recorded fatalities in a month on Sunday. 

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced an easing of lockdown restrictions on Saturday, which will allow children under 14, one hour of supervised outdoor activity per day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., within around a mile of their homes. 

In a televised address, Sanchez said Spaniards will be allowed out to exercise alone from May 2 if the number of deaths continues to fall. People living together will be permitted to take short walks together, he added. 

The number of daily virus-related deaths was 288 deaths on Sunday, according to the Spanish health ministry, bringing the total number to 23,190. 

South Korea records 10 new infections as cases continue to slow

South Korea has confirmed 10 new cases of the virus on Sunday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as the country’s caseload continues to slow. 

The data brings the country’s total to 10,728 confirmed cases, with 8,717 patients recovered. The additional cases reported Sunday marks the ninth day in a row that South Korea recorded daily increase below 20.

South Korea had recorded hundreds of new cases every day between late February and early March, but after an extensive testing campaign, the government has recently relaxed some of its social distancing rules.

Officials have nonetheless raised worries, however, about possible transmissions by “quiet spreaders,” according to the Associated Press.

U.K.'s Boris Johnson to return to work on Monday

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will return to work on Monday after recovering from COVID-19 that sent him to intensive care earlier this month, a government spokesperson confirmed.

It comes just as Britain surpassed 20,000 deaths from the respiratory illness on Saturday. The U.K. has the fifth-highest death toll in the world, after the U.S., Italy, Spain and France.

In Johnson’s absence, Britain's government has faced growing criticism over low levels of virus testing, as well as complaints from health workers over a lack of sufficient protective gear.

China reports no deaths for 11th straight day

China's National Health Commission reported no new deaths for the 11th day in a row on Sunday. It confirmed 11 new cases, bringing the total to 82,827 in the country — 77,394 of which have been reported fully recovered. 

Five of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, a northeastern border area with Russia that has seen a surge in infections. Another was in Guangdong province, a manufacturing and tech region bordering Hong Kong in the south. The other five cases were imported from overseas.

As the number of reported new infections continue to remain low, China has started to lift restrictions on public life. 

New high tech virus contact tracing efforts stoke privacy concerns

'I want my life back': Germans protest against lockdown

German police wearing riot gear and face masks tussled with dozens of protesters demonstrating in central Berlin against the lockdown on public life on Saturday.

Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights”, and “Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing.”

Police said on Twitter they had arrested more than 100 people. Some protesters tried to keep a distance from each other, sitting on the ground and wearing masks, but others clustered together. Like dozens of countries around the globe, Germany has put in place strict curbs on public activity to slow transmission of COVID-19, imposing its lockdown on March 17.

The protesters handed out newspapers entitled “Democratic Resistance”, which said the coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. The papers quoted 127 doctors from around the world who question the need for strict lockdowns. Germany has the fifth-highest COVID-19 case total behind the U.S., Spain, Italy and France. It has, however, kept fatalities relatively low after early and extensive testing.

Cuba sends doctors to South Africa to combat coronavirus

Cuba sent 216 healthcare workers to South Africa on Saturday, the latest of more than 20 medical brigades it has sent worldwide to combat the coronavirus pandemic, in what some call socialist solidarity and others medical diplomacy.

The Communist-run country has sent around 1,200 healthcare workers largely to vulnerable African and Caribbean nations but also to rich European countries such as Italy that have been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus.

The Trump administration has urged nations not to accept Cuba's medical missions, saying it exploits its workers, which Havana denies. But the calls have largely gone unheeded as overwhelmed healthcare systems have welcomed the help.

Cuba, which has confirmed ,1337 cases of the virus at home and 51 deaths, has one of the world's highest number of doctors per capita and is renowned for its focus on prevention, community-oriented primary health care and preparedness to fight epidemics.

South Africa has recorded 4,361 cases, including 86 deaths, with 161,004 people tested for the virus as of Saturday.

Tony Bennett leads 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' singalong

San Franciscans serenaded each other Saturday during a citywide singalong of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" led by 93-year-old crooner Tony Bennett.

The native New Yorker tweeted earlier in the day, encouraging people to record the moment and share using the hashtag #SingOutSF.

"I love you San Francisco. Let's sing our song!" he tweeted. "I am so proud to see San Francisco come together and make a difference during this uncertain time."

Some people sang from their balconies while others flocked to the streets but remained physically distant from one another.

Hawaii extends stay-at-home order to May 31

HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige on Saturday extended Hawaii’s stay-at-home order and the mandatory quarantine for visitors through May 31.

“This was not an easy decision. I know this has been difficult for everyone. Businesses need to reopen. People want to end this self-isolation and we want to return to normal,” Ige said in a statement. “But this virus is potentially deadly, especially for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.”

At a news conference to announce the decision, Ige pointed to alarming COVID-19 clusters on the Big Island and Maui, Hawaii News Now reported. “We still need to remain vigilant.”