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Tuesday, March 31: Coronavirus global update

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

As of 19.15 today more than 828,300 people have been infected across the world and over 40,730 have died and at the same time 174,454 people have recovered.

The USA is now the country with the most infected cases (176,518) ahead of Italy (105,792) and Spain with 94,417, who overtook China (81,518) on Monday.

Italy though has most deaths, 12,428, with Spain moving second with 8,269 deaths with USA overtaking China with 3,431 .

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN NUMBERS (updated continuously)

TRACKING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS


All the latest news in brief as it happens

19.56 Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises to 214, with 13,531 total cases – health ministry

Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak increased by 46 to 214 on Tuesday, while the number of confirmed cases of the disease rose by 2,704 to 13,531, health ministry data showed.

Some 243 patients have recovered from the virus so far.

The ministry also said 15,422 tests had been conducted on Tuesday – the highest since the start of the outbreak – bringing the total number of tests carried out in Turkey to 92,403 since the outbreak began.

19.53 UK coronavirus death toll shocking, not known when peak will be – Gove

The number of people in Britain who have died as a result of the coronavirus outbreak is shocking and it is not possible to predict when the peak of the epidemic will come, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.

“The increase in the number of deaths is deeply shocking, disturbing (and) moving,” Gove said at a news conference after the number of deaths rose 27% to 1,789.

“There’s not a fixed a moment in time, there’s not a fixed date, like Easter, when you know that the peak will come. It depends on the actions of all of us. We can delay that peak, we can flatten the curve through our own particular actions.”

19.37 Social distancing slowing UK coronavirus spread, but can’t relax now – Gove

There are signs that social distancing measures are starting to slow the spread of coronavirus in Britain but that does not mean that the new rules should be relaxed, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.

“There are some signs – as a result of people observing social distancing – that we may be able to flatten the spread of infection but now is absolutely not the time for people to imagine that there can be any relaxation or slackening,” Gove said at a news conference.

19.32 Canada coronavirus deaths jump by 35% in less than a day – official

The Canadian death toll from a worsening coronavirus outbreak has jumped by 35% to 89 in less than a day, chief public health officer Theresa Tam told reporters on Tuesday.

By 9 a.m. eastern time (1300 GMT) the total number of those diagnosed with the coronavirus had risen by 15% to 7,708. The respective figures at 1200 ET on Monday were 66 deaths and 6,671 positive diagnoses.

18.54 New York coronavirus deaths rise to 1,550 -governor

The number of people in New York who have tested positive for the coronavirus increased by more than 9,000 from a day earlier to 75,795, with deaths rising by 27 percent to 1,550, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.

“The virus is more powerful, more dangerous than we expected,” Cuomo told a daily news briefing. “We’re still going up the mountain, the main battle is on top of the mountain.” (

18.40 U.S. coronavirus deaths reach 3,393, exceeding death toll in China – Reuters tally

U.S. coronavirus-related deaths reached 3,393 on Tuesday, exceeding the total number of deaths reported in China and reaching the third highest in the world behind Italy and Spain, according to a Reuters tally.

Health officials urged Americans to follow stay-at-home orders and other measures to contain the spread of the virus, which originated in China in December. Globally, there are now over 800,000 cases of the highly contagious illness caused by the virus and more than 39,000 deaths reported.

Italy has 11,591 reported deaths followed by Spain at 8,189.

17:47 Death toll in Lombardy rises by around 381

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in the northern region of Lombardy, the epicentre of Italy’s contagion, has risen by around 381 in a day to some 7,199, a source familiar with the data said on Tuesday.

The daily deaths were down sharply from Monday’s tally of 458 and marked the lowest daily toll since March 25.

The number of cases in the region, which includes the country’s financial capital Milan, increased by some 1,047 to around 43,208, the source said.

16:49 UK coronavirus deaths rise by 27% to 1,789

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% in the space of a day to 1,789 as of Monday at 1600 GMT, the government said.

The number of confirmed cases rose by 14% to 25,150 as of Tuesday at 0800 GMT, the Department for Health and Social Care said.

16:36 Coronavirus may kill, but so does hunger, says Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday that hunger is just as big a threat as COVID-19, again minimizing the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak during a prickly news conference in which his supporters harangued reporters.

Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, has grown increasingly isolated over his belief that keeping the economy running is more important than strict quarantine measures advocated by state governors, public health ministers and even his health minister.

15:33 Turkish firms will make 5,000 ventilators in two months

A team of Turkish defence and electronics firms aim to jointly produce and deliver 5,000 ventilators to the health ministry in two months, Turkish drone-maker Baykar’s Chief Executive Haluk Bayraktar said on Tuesday.

The initial target is to put 1,000 ventilators in use by mid-April, Bayraktar also said.

13.50 Poland tightens public life restrictions against coronavirus

Poland will impose further curbs on public life, including closing access to parks, beaches, bike rentals, and other public places, to stop the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.

“Whether we will be able to return to semi-normality depends on whether we will obey the rules being introduced today,” Morawiecki told a news conference, adding the new limits will last for at least two weeks.

He also said he cannot rule out that Poland’s economy will shrink this year due to coronavirus-driven crisis.

“For sure GDP growth will not be the same as we had planned before. Will it be below zero? It is not ruled out,” Morawiecki told a news conference

13.41 German minister prioritizes face masks for critical workers

Asked about the possibility of introducing an obligation to wear protective face masks, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday that the masks Germany has are for critical workers such as medical staff.

The city of Jena in eastern Germany has decided to make people wear face masks when shopping or travelling by public transport, stepping up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus and becoming the first city in the country to introduce the measure.

13.27 IKEA starts producing protective gear for health care workers

IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture brand, said on Tuesday it has started making protective gear such as aprons and facemasks for hospitals battling the spread of coronavirus, and aims to step up output further.

Demand for its office furniture is holding up well as many work from home due to the coronavirus, Henrik Elm, global purchase manager at brand owner Inter IKEA Group, which is in charge of supply, told Reuters.

13.26 Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 373, positive tests hit 16,176

The Swiss death toll from the coronavirus epidemic has risen to 373, the country’s public health agency said on Tuesday, from 295 people on Monday.

The number of positive tests increased to 16,176 from 15,575 on Monday, it said.

13.24 Iran’s death toll from coronavirus climbs to 2,898 – health official

Iran’s death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,898, with 141 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Tuesday, adding that the total number of infections has jumped to 44,606.

“In the past 24 hours, there have been 3,111 new cases of infected people. Unfortunately, 3,703 of the infected people are in a critical condition,” Jahanpur said.

At a meeting broadcast live, Rouhani called on Iranians to avoid public places.

12.48 Iran’s death toll from coronavirus climbs to 2,898 – health official

Iran’s death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,898, with 141 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Tuesday, adding that the total number of infected cases has jumped to 44,606.

“In the past 24 hours, there has been 3,111 new cases of infected people. Unfortunately, 3,703 of the infected people are in a critical condition,” Jahanpur said.

12.44 Spain registers overnight death toll of 849, highest so far

Spain registered 849 fatalities related to coronavirus overnight – the highest number in 24 hours since the epidemic started, although the increase in percentage terms was slightly lower than in the previous days, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The death toll rose to 8,189 on Tuesday from 7,340 on Monday, while the number of cases rose to 94,417 on Tuesday from 85,195 on Monday.

12.18 Indonesia confirms 114 new coronavirus infections, taking total to 1,528

Indonesia confirmed 114 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,528, a health ministry official said.

Another 14 people had died, taking the total to 136, the official, Achmad Yurianto, reported

12.12 Russia coronavirus cases jump to 2,337 in record daily rise

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia jumped to 2,337 on Tuesday, an increase of 500, as the country recorded its biggest daily rise for the seventh day in a row.

In Russia, 18 people who contracted the coronavirus have now died, while 121 people have recovered.

12.00 Austrian GDP to fall more than 3% in moderate scenario, cbank says

Austrian economic growth will fall more than 3% this year in a “moderate” coronavirus pandemic response scenario, the country’s central bank said on Tuesday, while emphasising that it is still too soon to give a reliable forecast.

Austria has closed schools, restaurants, bars, theatres and other gathering places, including non-essential shops. People have been told to stay at home and work from there if possible. Most of those measures are in place until Easter Monday, April 13, and are widely expected to be extended for a long time.

11.59 Norwegian Air’s founder sells more shares, cutting stake in half

The founder of Norwegian Air and its ex-CEO, Bjoern Kjos, and its former chairman, Bjoern Kise, have cut their joint stake in the carrier to just 4.64%, they said on Tuesday, down from 9.99% a week ago.

Kjos and Kise, who are no longer involved in the management of Norwegian, have gradually cut their stake in the company, which is now seeking government aid in a bid to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

11.55 Philippines’ reports 10 new coronavirus deaths, 538 more infections

The Philippines’ health ministry on Tuesday recorded its single largest daily increase in coronavirus deaths and infections.

Ten more people died because of the outbreak, bringing the total to 88, while 538 additional infections increased the total number of cases to 2,084, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

11.39 Indonesia to release 30,000 prisoners early amid virus concerns

Indonesia is set to release about 30,000 prisoners early as the Southeast Asian nation seeks to avoid a possible surge in coronavirus infections in its overcrowded prisons.

A document issued by the law and human rights ministry reviewed by Reuters stipulated that adult prisoners would be eligible for parole if they had served two-thirds of their sentences, while children would be eligible if they served half of their jail term.

Ministry spokesman Bambang Wiyono said on Tuesday the parole would encompass around 30,000 prisoners.

11.38 Indonesia declares emergency over coronavirus, expands social welfare

Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared a national public health emergency over the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday and announced measures to help people with lower incomes.

The measures included expanding social welfare, food assistance and giving electricity tariff discounts and waivers, he said.

11.28 Germany’s RKI optimistic about flattening of coronavirus infection curve

The head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Tuesday that his optimism about the flattening of the coronavirus infection curve was justified, adding that this would be clearer after Easter.

Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, told a news conference that the current mortality rate of 0.8% in Germany would rise further.

11.01 Airlines in Philippines ask for govt support over coronavirus, say survival at stake

An association of airlines in the Philippines is requesting government help, saying they face a threat to their survival as the global push to contain the coronavirus spread hampers operations, the airlines said in a letter seen by Reuters.

The letter, dated March 25, was sent by a domestic airlines association that includes Cebu Air Inc, Philippine Airlines and the local unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd as its members.

The airlines said they were not seeking handouts, but emergency credit lines and waiver of navigation and airport fees, due to the “catastrophic impact” of the coronavirus

11.19 Swedish economy seen shrinking 4% in 2020 as pandemic hits – fin min

Sweden’s gross domestic product is seen shrinking 4% this year as the economy slumps due to the coronavirus outbreak, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Tuesday.

“We have a very serious economic situation, both in Sweden and globally,” she told reporters. “This is both a demand and supply shock that is spreading between countries.”

The economy shrank 4.2 percent in 2009 from the previous year as the global financial crisis hit demand, the biggest decline in more than 50 years.

10.18 March was biggest month on record for UK grocery sales – Kantar

British grocery sales soared 20.6% year-on-year in the four weeks to March 22, as shoppers stocked-up before the country went on coronavirus lockdown, making it the biggest month on record for grocery sales, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Market researcher Kantar said growth was driven by people shopping more frequently and buying slightly more, with the average household spending an extra 62.92 pounds ($77.36) over the four weeks.

10.17 Tanzania confirms its first coronavirus death, health minister says

Tanzania confirmed its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, health minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a statement.

The 49-year-old Tanzanian male, who had pre-existing conditions, had been admitted to Mloganzila Hospital in Dar Es Salaam for treatment. Tanzania had 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday.

10.16 European shares inch higher but set for worst quarter since 2002

European stocks inched higher on Tuesday with investors buying into defensive sectors as they awaited further signs that the economy could weather the fallout from a near total global shutdown to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 1.1% at 0706 GMT, with real estate stocks, utilities and telecoms — usually considered stable during heightened volatility — adding between 0.9% and 1.5%.

Still, the benchmark index was set to end its worst quarter since 2002, with investor confidence far from stable amid a rout that erased more than $3 trillion from the value of European firms in just over a month.

09.49 British Airways suspending flights from London’s Gatwick

British Airways said it is temporarily suspending flights from Gatwick Airport in southern England, Britain’s second busiest airport, due to the coronavirus.

BA’s boss warned earlier in March that the airline was in a battle for survival and would have to cut jobs and park planes.

“Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick,” a BA spokesman said.

BA said it will contact affected customers. The airline continues to operate some flights from its main hub at Heathrow.

09.37 Swiss Treasury to tap markets more for virus-fighting effort

Switzerland’s treasury is stepping up its funding plans in response to government measures to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, doubling the volume of outstanding short-term money market instruments.

“Over the course of this year, the Federal Finance Administration (FFA) will increase the outstanding volume of short-term money market instruments from around 6 billion Swiss francs ($6.24 billion) to 12 billion francs,” the treasury said in a statement on Tuesday.

09.08 Spain proposes raising EU budget to tackle coronavirus crisis

Spain’s foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez on Tuesday proposed increasing the budget of the European Union to tackle the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Perhaps we should improve European cashflow, perhaps the European budget should be larger,” Gonzalez said on French radio station Europe1.

She said the European Central Bank and the European Commission have announced efforts, but there is a need for more solidarity between European Union countries.

08.57 Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 61,913 – RKI

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany has risen to 61,913 and 583 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.

Cases rose by 4,615 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 128, the tally showed.

08.54 Line survey finds 7% of users in Tokyo have at least one coronavirus symptom

A survey of Line Corp’s chat app users in Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures in partnership with Japan’s health ministry found 7.1% of respondents in the capital reporting at least one of the symptoms of the coronavirus.

A total of 443 people in Tokyo are infected with coroanvirus according to official figures. Line’s survey found that 7.1% out of 63,843 repondees in Tokyo reported at least one of the symptoms of the virus, including high fever or a bad cough, between March 27-30

08.41 Dubai banks to help customers cope with fallout of coronavirus pandemic

Dubai-based banks will implement measures to help customers cope with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) state news agency WAM reported.

The measures, which include flexible loan reimbursements and fee waivers, will be implemented between April 1 and June 30, it said, citing a decision by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also the prime minister of the UAE.

08.22 Romania places eastern city of Suceava under quarantine

Romania’s government has placed the eastern town of Suceava and eight surrounding villages under quarantine to limit the spread of the coronavirus, with more than a quarter of all cases in the country located in the area, Interior Minister Marcel Vela said late on Monday.

The European Union state, which has recorded 2,109 coronavirus infections and 65 deaths, declared a state of emergency on March 16.

With a population of around 100,000, Suceava has 593 cases and a third of all deaths. More than half of the country’s 285 infected doctors, nurses and other medical staff were in Suceava, officials said.

08.15 Vietnam to implement 15 days of social distancing in coronavirus battle

Vietnam will begin 15 days of social distancing from Wednesday to curb community transmission of the coronavirus, the Southeast Asian country’s prime minister said on Tuesday.

“From midnight April 1, everybody is required to stay at home and can only go out to buy food or in emergency cases and must keep at least two metres from others,” Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a statement.

08.03 Czech Republic’s coronavirus infections top 3,000

The tally of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic has exceeded 3,000, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, after recording 184 new cases the previous day.

The country, which has carried out more than 43,000 tests and is ramping up daily testing, has reported the largest number of cases among central European states, but far fewer than bigger western neighbours, such as Germany.

07.57 Thailand reports 127 new coronavirus cases, one death

Thailand reported 127 new coronavirus cases and one death on Tuesday, a health official said.

The latest number raise the total number of confirmed infections in Thailand to 1,651 cases and 10 deaths since the country’s first case was reported in January.

07.56 Indonesia to suspend all foreign arrivals, barring a few exceptions

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister said on Tuesday the government has decided to ban all arrivals and transits by foreigners in Indonesia to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus.

Foreigners with stay permits and some diplomatic visits will be exempted from the ban, Retno Marsudi said, adding that the government aims to issue the regulations for the ban on Tuesday.

06.52 Coronavirus epidemic ‘far from over’ in Asia – WHO official

The coronavirus epidemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region, and the current measures to curb the spread of the virus are merely buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, a WHO official said on Tuesday.

Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues, said Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the World Health Organization (WHO).

06.31 Mexico declares health emergency as death toll rises

Mexico declared a health emergency on Monday and issued stricter rules aimed at containing the fast-spreading coronavirus after its number of cases surged past 1,000 and the death toll rose sharply.

Health officials reported a total of 1,094 cases of coronavirus, up from 993 a day earlier, and eight more deaths, taking its total to 28. They reiterated warnings that the health system could be overwhelmed if the coronavirus is not contained.

05.49 Japan coronavirus infections top 2,000 cases

Coronavirus infections in Japan topped 2,000 cases on Tuesday, according to a Reuters calculation based on ministry data and media reports.

A centre for disabled people in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, found seven more infections on Tuesday, bringing the total there to 93, Kyodo News reported.

Japan is also urging its citizens not to travel to 73 countries and regions, or a third of all countries in the world, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Tuesday, as the government fights to prevent an explosive surge in coronavirus cases.

04.35 Pandemic to hit growth in Asia, China – World Bank

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to sharply slow growth in developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as well as China, the World Bank said in an economic update on Monday.

The Bank said precise growth forecasts were difficult, given the rapidly changing situation, but its baseline now called for growth in developing economies in the region to slow to 2.1% in 2020, and to -0.5% in a lower case scenario, compared to estimated growth of 5.8% in 2019.

04.17 S.Korea reports 125 new coronavirus cases, total 9,786 -KCDC

South Korea reported 125 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 9,786, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

04.15 Mexican coronavirus cases pass 1,000, health ministry says

Mexico’s health ministry on Monday confirmed 1,094 cases of coronavirus in the country, up from 993 the day before.

It also said 28 people had died from the virus in Mexico, up from 20 a day earlier.

03.34 Mainland China reports 48 new confirmed coronavirus cases

Mainland China reported on Tuesday a rise in new confirmed coronavirus cases, reversing four days of declines, due to an uptick in infections involving travelers arriving from overseas.

Mainland China had 48 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said in a statement, up from 31 new infections a day earlier.

All of the 48 cases were imported, bringing the total number of imported cases in China to 771 as of Monday.

02.36 New Zealand extends state of emergency to stop spread of COVID-19

New Zealand is extending the state of national emergency for a further seven days to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said in a statement.

The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary.

01.08 Trump says guidelines to slow coronavirus spread may get tougher

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he may toughen up current guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 2000 Americans.

“The guidelines will be very much as they are, maybe even toughened up a little bit,” he told reporters in remarks at the White House.

00.31 Pentagon to send mortuary services personnel to New York

The U.S. military said on Monday it was looking to send mortuary affairs personnel to New York as part of the U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We did receive a mission assignment from FEMA for (a) mortuary affairs support team for New York and we’re in the process of sourcing some personnel,” Major General Jeff Taliaferro, vice director for operations at the Joint Staff, told a group of reporters, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


What happened yesterday

EUROPE

  • Italy’s government said it would extend its nationwide lockdown measures against a coronavirus outbreak at least until the Easter season in April.
  • The British prime minister’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, is self-isolating with symptoms just days after the British leader himself tested positive.
  • France recorded its worst daily coronavirus death toll on Monday, exceeding 3,000 for the first time, and army helicopters transported critical patients from the east to hospitals overseas.
  • More than a dozen Russian regions including the city of St Petersburg introduced a partial lockdown.
  • Finland will extend most of its measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak by one month until May 13 from April 13.
  • Denmark may gradually lift a lockdown after Easter if the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths remain stable.
  • Spain overtook China in the number of those infected with coronavirus.
  • Germany hopes to launch a Singapore-style smartphone app within weeks to help trace infections.
  • Hungary’s prime minister has secured open-ended emergency powers to fight the outbreak.

AMERICAS

  • People cheered the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort as it sailed into New York, a beacon of the national effort to stanch the coronavirus outbreak at its U.S. epicenter as the number of cases soared.
  • The U.S. government has cut deals with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc and said it is in talks with at least two other firms to expand manufacturing capacity within the United States for coronavirus vaccines.
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro stepped up his stand-off with state governments by suggesting that democracy could be at risk if the coronavirus crisis leads to social chaos.
  • Colombia’s ELN guerrillas declared a unilateral cease-fire for one month from April 1 in an effort to help stem the spread.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

  • China will step up prevention and control of asymptomatic coronavirus cases, state media reported.
  • Police in India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry.
  • Tokyo’s governor called on residents to avoid outings, but said it was up to Prime Minister to declare a state of emergency.
  • The World Health Organization has not shared with member states information Taiwan provided including details on its cases and prevention methods, its foreign ministry said.
  • Vietnam suspended public transport services.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • Iran had 117 new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, prompting the Middle East’s worst hit country to consider tougher curbs.
  • Saudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country, the health minister said, while the agriculture ministry took steps to boost wheat and livestock supplies.
  • An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tested positive but initial findings indicate she had not posed an infection risk to the 70-year-old leader.
  • Zimbabwe began a 21-day nationwide lockdown, following neighbour South Africa in implementing some of the world’s toughest anti-coronavirus measures likely to hurt an economy already suffering hyperinflation and food shortages.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

  • Global stocks rose on Monday despite a drop in oil prices to their lowest levels since 2002, as central banks and the United States tried to contain damage from the coronavirus that has upended the world economy.
  • Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Monday to keep their markets open and ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies, equipment and other essential goods.
  • The International Monetary Fund said relaxing the euro zone’s fiscal rules and support from the European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism is critical to a strong regional response.
  • Banks across the euro zone are ditching dividends to shore up reserves as the outbreak threatens to tip the world into a deep recession.
  • Israel will spend 80 billion shekels ($22 billion) to help the economy weather the coronavirus crisis.
  • Switzerland may have to expand its emergency fund for companies after banks loaned out $6.89 billion in the first four days of the scheme.
  • Peru is readying a stimulus package worth around 12% of its gross domestic product.
  • The outbreak will push Germany into recession in the first half of this year and could result in its output contracting by up to 5.4% this year.
  • Collapsing oil prices are costing some OPEC members not only lost revenue when they most need it to tackle the coronavirus crisis, but also market share they may never recoup.
  • South Korea will make emergency cash payments to all but the richest families and draw up a second supplementary budget next month.
  • Nigeria’s currency eased to 415 naira per dollar on the black market on Monday after its president ordered a lockdown of two of the country’s biggest cities.
  • Singapore’s central bank aggressively eased its monetary policy, with the city-state’s economy bracing for a deep recession.

Monday, March 30: Coronavirus global update



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