World

The latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

The latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world
A construction worker passes a mural by artist Casper Cruse, showing a woman with a face mask holding a heart in the colours of the Dutch flag as a statement of support for those suffering from the effects of the coronavirus, in The Hague, Netherlands. Picture: Peter Dejong/AP

Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.7 million globally and 189,970 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0200 GMT on Friday.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS 

AMERICAS 

* The US death toll from the novel coronavirus is expected to reach 50 000 on Friday, doubling in 10 days and the highest in the world, according to a Reuters tally. 

* Doctors and health experts urged people not to drink or inject disinfectant after President Trump suggested scientists should investigate inserting it into the body as a way to cure Covid-19. 

* After passing $3 trillion of coronavirus relief in a rare seven-week run of bipartisanship, the US Congress is headed back to its normal state of conflict, with leading Republicans lining up against aid for cities and states that Democrats say is essential. 

* The United States plans to begin testing some migrants in detention before deporting them, an official said, after infections among deportees in Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico. 

     

* While parts of Latin America enter the toughest phase of the pandemic, Costa Rica has for the past week reported a steady fall in the number of people currently infected. 

* El Salvador will offer more than a half a billion dollars in new loans to businesses, salary subsides and a new food program, officials said. 

* Ecuador's health minister said the country's case total was twice as high as previously confirmed, as authorities added 11,000 new infections that resulted from delayed testing. 

* Cuba's decades-old rationing system is staging a comeback in a bid to prevent virus transmission during frantic shopping hunts.

The initiative 'Empty Chairs' have set up almost 800 chairs in front of the Brandenburg Gate to point out the difficult situation of their industry in Berlin, Germany. Picture: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP

EUROPE 

* France's president and Germany's Chancellor will help launch a global initiative on Friday to accelerate work on drugs, tests and vaccines and to share them around the world, the World Health Organization said, but the United States said it will not take part. 

* The crisis does not change European priorities in the Brexit negotiations, France's European affairs minister said. 

* Hungary plans to replace the current lockdown that imposes a blanket curfew over the population with a more fine-tuned version from early May. 

* The Polish government said schools and kindergartens would remain closed until May 24 and said a second wave of infections could lie ahead. 

Reuters heatmap

     

* The Belgian government has decided not to use apps to trace the path of coronavirus infections, its telecommunications minister said, after initially pushing the idea. Belgium has recorded 42,797 cases and 6,490 deaths. 

* Spain's daily deaths fell to the lowest in more than a month as the government prepared criteria to ease one of Europe's strictest lockdowns from next month.

People wear masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus take a selfie at Tocadero square close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Picture: Michel Euler/AP

ASIA-PACIFIC 

* Thousands of people in overcrowded quarantine centres in government buildings across India are complaining about poor food and sanitation and lack of social distancing, inmates and officials say. Some are trying to escape. 

* Parts of India have recorded dramatic falls in mortality rates after a nationwide lockdown was imposed, suggesting there has not been an undetected surge in virus-related deaths. 

* South Korea outlined guidelines for a two-year return to a post-coronavirus normality including flexible working, bookings on public transport and quick restaurant meals in a country that has been a role model in containing Covid-19. 

* China is preparing to buy more than 30 million tonnes of crops for state stockpiles to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions. 

* Thousands of Hong Kong students were among the first in the world to take their final secondary school exams on Friday, all wearing face masks and having their temperatures checked. 

* Australia will push for an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic at next month's annual meeting of the World Health Assembly. 

A driver gives a sample for Covid-19 coronavirus testing at a drive-through in Osaka, western Japan. Picture: Kyodo News via AP

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA 

* The holy month of Ramadan began on Friday with Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem largely empty. 

* Lebanon's higher defence council advised the government to extend a lockdown until May 10, but to begin gradually easing restrictions in the coming weeks. 

* The governors of Nigeria's 36 states agreed to ban interstate movement for two weeks. 

* Algeria will ease confinement measures from the first day of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday. 

* Israel's religiously devout Jews, who traditionally shun the use of internet or smartphones, are increasingly going online to shop, study and video chat.

Residents of the Malawi village of Tomali wait to have their young children become test subjects for the world's first vaccine against malaria in a pilot program. The World Health Organization is now warning that the battle against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, where it routinely kills hundreds of thousands a year, could be set back 20 years as countries focus almost all their energy and resources on containing the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Jerome Delay/AP

ECONOMIC FALLOUT 

* Global shares fell on Friday, hit by delays to an agreement on details of the European Union's stimulus package and doubts about progress in the development of drugs to treat Covid-19. 

* Latin America's biggest economies, Brazil and Mexico, will likely struggle with increasing deficits this year. 

* German business morale crashed in April in its most dramatic fall on record, hitting its lowest since reunification as Europe's largest economy goes into a deep recession. 

* The Norwegian economy contracted 1.9% in the first quarter, the biggest drop since the 2008 financial crisis, and will shrink even more in the second quarter. 

* Russia's central bank on Friday cut its benchmark rate and said there was scope for more rate cuts this year as the economy faces a plunge in oil prices and fallout from the outbreak. 

* Spanish road fuel consumption fell to its lowest since January 1999, data from national oil and gas agency CORES showed on Friday. 

* The closure of bars and restaurants may have slashed global wine sales and winemakers' revenues in Europe by half.

Reuters