(Reuters) - The United States plans a massive testing effort involving over 100,000 volunteers and a half dozen or so of the most promising vaccine candidates in an effort to deliver a safe and effective one by the end of 2020, scientists leading the program told Reuters.
* More than 5.40 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and 343,900 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* French authorities reported the smallest daily rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths on Sunday since before a lockdown began on March 17, raising hopes that the worst of the epidemic is over in France.
* Russia on Sunday reported 153 coronavirus deaths over the previous 24 hours, the epidemic’s highest daily toll there, raising total fatalities to 3,541, its coronavirus crisis response centre said.
* Adrian Hill, director of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, which has teamed up with drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to develop the vaccine, said that an upcoming trial involving 10,000 volunteers threatened to return “no result” due to low transmission of COVID-19 in the community.
* Spain will reopen its borders to tourists in July and its top soccer division will kick off again in June, the prime minister said.
* Police arrested about 60 protesters in Berlin on Saturday as part of city-wide demonstrations against restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, German newspaper Tagesspiegel reported.
* The White House on Sunday said it was restricting travel from Brazil to the United States, two days after the South American nation became the world’s No. 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases.
* Americans flocked to beaches and outdoor areas on Saturday, snarling roadways and forcing some closures on the Memorial Day weekend after weeks in lockdown.
* Argentina extended until June 7 a mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires on Saturday and tightened some movement restrictions, after a steady increase in the city’s confirmed coronavirus cases in recent days.
* Domestic flights will resume across India on Monday after a day of “hard negotiations”, the federal civil aviation minister said on Sunday, after some states sought to limit the number of flights.
* China recorded no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland for May 22, the first time it had seen no daily rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan late last year.
* Finance minister Mohammed al Jadaan said Saudi Arabia’s economy is solid and has the ability to deal with the coronavirus crisis despite the need to cut spending. [L8N2D50JR]
* Zambia’s information minister Dora Siliya said she had tested positive for the coronavirus, but was asymptomatic and had gone into self-isolation.
* Chinese lenders could post flat or even falling profits in 2020 despite earnings growth in the first quarter as the virus outbreak brings difficulties to the economy, the central bank said.
* France’s state debt to gross domestic product ratio is set to increase to more than 115% by the end of the year due to the cost of coronavirus crisis measures, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said.
* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday the novel coronavirus could cost as many as a million jobs in the country as many industries considered not essential remain shut.
* Car rental firm Hertz Global Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy protection after its business was decimated during the pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in much needed relief.
Compiled by Angus MacSwan and Vinay Dwivedi; Editing by John Stonestreet and Shounak Dasgupta