The tally of confirmed infections is 10.96 million, the second highest after the United States, with more than 156,000 deaths. But actual infections could range as high as 300 million, a government serological survey showed this month.
After President Duterte further relaxed quarantine restrictions and allowed more businesses to reopen, leaders of nearly 100 medical organisations held an online news conference and warned that the health system may collapse as many medical personnel fall ill or resign out of fear, fatigue or poor working conditions.
Since early in the pandemic it has been clear that men, particularly older men, are at a far higher risk of dying from the virus than women of a similar age, but scientists have not yet been able to pinpoint exactly why.
Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020," the Robert Koch Institute said in a statement on its website, citing a global effort to bring immunisations to market.
World leaders must not politicise the coronavirus pandemic but unite to fight it, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday, reminding all that the pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections.
Scientists in Italy have found traces of the new coronavirus in wastewater collected from Milan and Turin in December 2019 — suggesting COVID-19 was already circulating in northern Italy before China reported the first cases.
Health officials worldwide have expressed concerns in recent days that some countries grappling with the devastating economic impact of lockdowns may lift restrictions too swiftly, and that the coronavirus could spread during mass anti-racism protests.
A drug being tested by scientists at China's prestigious Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the virus, researchers say.
Adorned with intricate designs of orchids, camellias and Chinese characters symbolising good luck, the stylish silk masks created by Chinese fashion designer Zhou Li have become coveted items during the coronavirus outbreak.