Cyprus Mail

Friday, April 3: Coronavirus global update

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

As of 20.20 today more than 1,072,860 people have been infected across the world and over 56,900 have died but at the same time 226,050 people have recovered.

The USA is now the country with the most infected cases (257,357) ahead of Spain (117,710) who overtook Italy (115,242) in the last couple of hours. Germany follows with 89,126 cases who overtook China (81,620) late last night.

Italy though has the most deaths, 13,915, with Spain moving second with 10,935 deaths with USA overtaking China (3,322) into third with 6,558




All the latest news in brief as it happens

20.04 Canada’s Ontario projects 80,000 coronavirus cases by April 30 under current measures

Ontario health officials on Friday projected 80,000 coronavirus cases in the province, Canada’s most heavily populated region, by April 30 under current public health measures and urged people to restrict their movements.

The officials said the new coronavirus would kill 1,600 people by the end of the month, under current policies. With “full future intervention,” that figure would be 200, they said at a briefing. Ontario has reported 3,255 confirmed cases and 67 deaths.

19.43 Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises to 425, total cases 20,921 – health minister

Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak increased by 69 to 425 on Friday, while the number of confirmed cases from the disease rose by 2,786 to 20,921, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Koca said 16,160 tests had been carried out in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of tests carried out in Turkey to 141,716 since the outbreak began.

19.22 UK has 2,000 critical care beds free for coronavirus – minister

Britain has more than 2,000 critical care beds still free for use in the fight against the new coronavirus, health minister Matt Hancock said on Friday.

The Nightingale Hospital, a new hospital in London erected in a conference centre to provide thousands of extra beds for patients with the coronavirus, opened on Friday.

19.18 Italy’s daily tally of coronavirus deaths and cases steady, with 766 new deaths

The death toll from an outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 766 to 14,681, the Civil Protection Agency said on Friday, marginally higher than the daily tally of 760 fatalities registered a day earlier.

The number of new cases was slightly lower, growing by 4,585 from a previous 4,668, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 to 119,827.

18.38 New York reports deadliest day from virus, makes plea for help

New York suffered its deadliest single day from the novel coronavirus, with 562 additional deaths across the state for a total of 2,935 fatalities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.

Cuomo warned that people were going to die in the near term due to a lack of ventilators of hospital beds and called for resources from across the United States to be deployed to New York to help it deal with the growing crisis in the state.

17:41 Spain overtakes Italy in coronavirus cases, death rate slows

Spain overtook Italy for the first time on Friday for the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, but the overnight death toll fell from the previous day, providing a small glimmer of hope.

With a total 117,710 confirmed cases, Spain is now second in the number of infections only to the United States, which has a population some seven times larger. Spain’s total death toll now stands at 10,935, second only to Italy, with 13,915 fatalities.

On a happier note, Friday marked the first time in more than a week that the number of deaths fell from the previous day, to 932 fatalities from 950.

17:12 Police get tough on French holidaymakers trying to break virus lockdown

French police ramped up checks at train stations and motorways on Friday to stop people breaking a national lockdown ahead of school holidays this weekend, as doctors said they hoped to see a plateau in coronavirus cases in the coming days. The pandemic has claimed the lives of 5,307 in France. Almost 60,000 people there been diagnosed with the illness, including almost 6,400 on life-support machines, which has put the health system under pressure and overwhelmed hospitals in the Paris and eastern regions.

17:10 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth to make rare address to nation over coronavirus

Queen Elizabeth will make an extremely rare address to the nation on Sunday as Britain grapples with the increasingly deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The government has put Britain into a virtual lockdown, closing pubs, restaurants and nearly all shops, while banning social gatherings and ordering Britons to stay at home unless it is absolutely essential to venture out.

16:09 UK death toll rises to 3,605, up 23 per cent in a day

The United Kingdom’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 684 to 3,605 as of 1600 GMT on April 2, up 23 percent on the previous day.

As of 9am 3 April, a total of 173,784 people have been tested of which 38,168 tested positive.

16:03 Czech team use easily available parts to build prototype ventilator

A Czech team have built a ventilator using readily available parts and are planning to produce hundreds of the devices to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients.

The volunteer scientists, engineers and designers of the Covid19.CZ group – who say their device costs about one fifth of the current market price – collected more than $500,000 in a 24-hour crowd-funding campaign to “help save the lives of moms, dads, grandmothers and grandfathers”.

Their goal is to supply hospitals with 500 certified ve

15:55 British PM Johnson stays in coronavirus isolation with mild symptoms

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday he was remaining in isolation with mild symptoms of COVID-19, including a high temperature, seven days after he first tested positive for the new coronavirus which causes the respiratory disease.

“Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature,” a weary-looking Johnson, sitting in a chair with his shirt open at the neck, said in a Twitter video message.

“So in accordance with government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes,” he said. “We’re working clearly the whole time on our programme to defeat the virus.”

15:00 Coronavirus has cost 2 million jobs in Turkey, opposition says

More than two million workers in Turkey have lost their jobs due to measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the main opposition party said on Friday, as the government moved closer to enforcing stricter curbs on movement to slow its spread.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has ordered retailers, restaurants and other businesses to close but has yet to impose a full lockdown anywhere in the country.

14:59 No quick deliveries of COVID-19 ventilators, EU says

The European Union will struggle to get hold of large numbers of ventilators quickly to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 due to the complexity of the machines and high demand for them, the executive European Commission said on Friday.

With medical equipment in short supply as Europe battles the pandemic, the Commission launched a joint procurement procedure on March 17 to buy ventilators on behalf of the bloc’s 26 member states, in a bid to cut prices and reduce competition among states seeking the machines.

14:09 Singapore closes workplaces, schools as coronavirus cases jump

Singapore will close schools and most workplaces for a month as part of stricter measures to curb a recent jump in coronavirus infections, it said on Friday, an announcement that sent locals racing to supermarkets to stock up on staples.

The city-state has won international praise for its two-month long battle against a virus that has infected over a million people globally, avoiding lockdown measures increasingly common around the world.

But authorities said record jumps in new infections this week, taking its total to 1,114 cases, pointed to the need for a tougher approach.

14:00 EU says will provide Armenia with 51 mln euros to fight coronavirus

The European Union is ready to provide 51 million euros to help support Armenia’s economy and healthcare system as it battles to curb the South Caucasus’ worst outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The ex-Soviet country of around 3 million had reported 736 cases of the virus by Friday. Seven people have died.

The EU’s mission in Armenia said on its Facebook page that the bloc would provide 18 million euros of new funding, with 33 million euros to be redirected from existing projects.

13.39 Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 484, cases jump by more than 1,000

The Swiss death toll from coronavirus has reached 484, the country’s public health ministry said on Friday, rising from 432 people on Thursday.

The number of people who have tested positive for infections also increased to 19,303 from 18,267 on Thursday, it said.

13.28 German minister plans further tightening of border controls – Spiegel

Germany Interior Minister Horst Seehofer wants to extend to another four countries stricter border controls designed to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus and oblige passengers arriving by air to enter quarantine, Der Spiegel reported.

According to the magazine, the federal cabinet is due to discuss on Monday the new proposals, which would allow only those with a good reasons – such as cross-borders commuters – to enter from Poland, Czechia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

13.25 Sharp rise in Japan’s coronavirus cases concerning – Nishimura

Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday he remained deeply concerned about the sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Speaking at a news conference, he also said Japan was not yet at a stage to declare a state of emergency.

13.09 Iran’s coronavirus death toll rises to 3,294 – Health Ministry

Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus rose on Friday to 3,294 as it claimed 134 lives in the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur.

The total number of people confirmed to be infected is 53,183, he said on state television, adding that 4,035 ware “under observation”, a term that may mean they are in critical condition.

Of the total number of people who were diagnosed with the disease, 17,935 have recovered, he said.

Iran is the country most affected in the Middle East by the pandemic.

12.48 Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll falls for first time since March 26

Spain’s coronavirus death toll rose to a total of 10,935 from 10,003 on the previous day, the Health Ministry said on Friday, but showed the first fall in a daily death toll since March 26.

A total of 932 people died from the disease in 24 hours, down from 950 people in the previous daily toll, the figures showed.

The number of registered cases rose to 117,710 on Friday up from 110,238 on Thursday, the ministry said.

12.28 Firms signed up to Irish wage subsidy scheme hits 50,000 – minister

Some 50,000 companies have signed up for Ireland’s coronavirus wage subsidy scheme in its first week in operation, acting Employment Affairs Minister Regina Doherty said on Friday.

The state has pledged to pay 70% of wages for workers in struggling firms for the next 12 weeks, up to a weekly maximum of 410 euros per week. Data showed on Thursday that 25,000 workers claimed the subsidy by the end of March.

12.23 Coronavirus has cost 2 million jobs in Turkey, opposition says

More than two million workers in Turkey have lost their jobs due to measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak and the government needs to do more to support them, the main opposition party said on Friday.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has ordered retailers, restaurants and other businesses to close but has not imposed a full lockdown, as the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has requested.

CHP Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu said around 400,000 businesses had closed over the measures, which had also left many workers paid wages day by day, such as school bus drivers and barbers, unemployed.

12.19 France to re-format 2020 high-school ‘Bac’ exam on coronavirus concerns

France will change the format of this year’s high-school ‘Bac’ exam as a result of concerns over the coronavirus, said the country’s Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer on Friday.

Blanquer said in a televised address that the traditional exam would be replaced by other means such as regular progress checks in areas such as coursework and homework, and that France would ramp up classes in June to make up for lost time.

12.13 Saudi king orders $2.4 bln coronavirus support for citizens – state news agency

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered the disbursement of up to 9 billion riyals ($2.39 billion) in financial support to more than 1.2 million citizens who work in private sector companies affected by the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

12.07 Malaysia reports 217 new coronavirus cases, taking total to 3,333

Malaysia reported 217 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total to 3,333, the highest in Southeast Asia.

The health ministry recorded a total of 53 deaths, with three reported on Friday

12.02 Austria introducing debt moratorium for consumer, small firm loans

Austria is introducing a compulsory moratorium on loans to consumers and small companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said on Friday, adding that the measure covers roughly three million loans.

Bluemel also outlined a programme under which the state will guarantee 90% of companies’ loans of up to 120 million euros or three months’ turnover, though that help comes with a ban on dividend payments for a year and a requirement that bonus payments to board members be “strictly limited”.

12.00 Russian army to send coronavirus help to Serbia

Russia will send 11 military planes carrying medical equipment to Serbia to help it fight the coronavirus outbreak, the Russian Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

Russia, which has so far recorded more than 3,500 cases of the virus, has already sent similar shipments to Italy and the United States.

11.56 Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections

Indonesia confirmed on Friday 196 new coronavirus infections, marking the biggest daily rise since the first cases were announced a month ago, said a health ministry official.

Achmad Yurianto, the official, said that the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country was 1,986. Eleven new deaths were reported, taking the total to 181, while 134 patients had recovered.

11.38 Philippines reports 29 new coronavirus deaths, highest in a single day

The Philippines’ health ministry on Friday reported 29 new coronavirus deaths, marking the single largest daily increase in casualties. The latest figures brought total deaths in the country to 136, while 385 new cases were reported, increasing the tally to 3,018, the health ministry said in a bulletin.

11.37 Latvia reports its first coronavirus death – health ministry

Latvia reported its first coronavirus death on Friday, when a 99-year-old woman died in a hospital in Riga, the Latvian health ministry said.

“The Ministry of Health confirms that the first patient diagnosed with COVID-19 has died in Latvia today,” the ministry said in a statement.

11.19 Swedish ready to do more to fight coronavirus crisis – Ingves

Sweden’s central bank is prepared to take further measures if needed to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said in a speech on Friday.

“We may need to do even more if necessary, and do it again and again until we all see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ingves said in the text of the speech, published by the central bank. “And this we are prepared to do.”

11.18  Singapore to shut schools, workplaces in new coronavirus measures

Singapore will close most of its workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, and will shut schools, its prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday, as part of tighter measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

He said people should avoid socialising with others beyond their own households and go out only to do essential things, such as buy food at markets

11.14 Norway’s unemployment soars to record 14.7% of work force

Norway’s rate of unemployment rose sixfold in March to 14.7%, the Labour and Welfare Agency (NAV) said on Friday, the highest level on record as the economy ground to a halt amid efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

As many as 10.7% were fully unemployed, while the remaining 3% were registered as partially unemployed, NAV added.

11.10 Israel seals off ultra-Orthodox town hit hard by coronavirus

Israeli police threw up metal barricades and roadblocks on Friday to enforce a lockdown of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town badly affected by coronavirus.

Emergency regulations approved by the cabinet late Thursday declared Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, a “restricted zone” due to its high rate of infections. The new designation allows authorities to tighten curbs on public movement.

11.05 ‘No idea’ if PM Johnson will end isolation on Friday, health minister says

Britain’s health minister said on Friday he had “no idea” if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s week-long isolation after testing positive for coronavirus would end on Friday.

“I don’t know about his own personal medical condition. What I do know is I’ve been working with him every single day through this crisis,” Health Minister Matt Hancock told ITV. “He’s been working incredibly hard.”

Asked if Johnson would be out of isolation on Friday, Hancock said: “I’ve absolutely no idea but what I do know is he’s still working.”

10.39 Kazakhstan extends business shutdown in major cities

Non-essential businesses in Kazakhstan’s biggest cities will remain closed until April 13, the Central Asian nation’a government said on Friday, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The shutdown which began on March 30 in the capital, Nur-Sultan, and Almaty, the biggest city, will now also extend to Shymkent, the third-largest city. Kazakhstan has reported 448 cases of the virus and three deaths.

10.29 Britain’s coronavirus peak will be in next few weeks, health minister says

The peak of the United Kingdom’s coronavirus outbreak will be slightly sooner than previously thought and will come in the next few weeks, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday.

“The modelling suggests that that peak will be slightly sooner than previous, in the next few weeks but it is very, very sensitive to how many people follow the social distancing guidelines,” Hancock told BBC radio.

10.25 European shares dip as corporate pain from coronavirus outbreak grows

European stock markets headed lower on Friday, erasing meagre gains for the week, as more companies flagged a hit to business from the coronavirus pandemic, foreshadowing a deeper earnings recession ahead of the reporting season.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2% at 0705 GMT, with energy stocks tracking a slide in oil prices as investors grew doubtful about a Saudi-Russia deal that U.S. President Donald Trump said he had brokered.

Zurich Insurance Group AG, AXA SA, Munich Re and Prudential fell between 1.9% and 4.2% after the European Union’s insurance regulator asked insurers and reinsurers to temporarily suspend dividends and share buybacks.

10.05 China advises foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing

China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.

09.35 EU’s von der Leyen: talks underway over possible border closure extension

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that talks were underway among European Union member states over whether or not to extend border closures beyond Easter.

“We are in consultation with member states on how to proceed beyond Easter,” she told Europe 1 radio.

Von Der Leyen also reiterated that the next EU budget should take the form of a new “Marshall Plan” to drive Europe’s recovery and that she felt Europe would emerge from the crisis in a stronger state.

09.18 British supermarket Sainsbury’s to remove most customer purchasing limits

British supermarket group Sainsbury’s said on Friday it would start to remove the customer purchasing limits it imposed as a response to increased demand during the coronavirus emergency.

“As stock continues to build, we have been reviewing whether we still need to limit the number of items people buy. I am pleased to tell you that we will start to remove limits from Sunday,” Chief Executive Mike Coupe said in a letter to customers.

Limits will remain in place on the most popular items which include UHT milk, pasta and tinned tomatoes, he said.

09.09 Poland’s national airline LOT will need state aid

Kazakhstan may call up thousands of reservists for up to three months to help combat the coronavirus outbreak and also provide temporary employment to those who have lost jobs in lockdowns and business closures, the government said on Friday.

Defence Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev said it was up to the governor of each province to decide how many reservists, men with the rank of sergeant or lower, aged up to 50 and officers aged up to 60, to call up to the so-called territorial forces.

09.06 Hungary to unveil pandemic fund on Saturday, detailed plans on Tuesday -PM

Hungary will introduce a new pandemic fund on Saturday and work out the details of the country’s biggest economic stimulus package by Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday, adding that the plans focus primarily on employment.

Healthcare workers will receive a 500,000 forint ($1,500) bonus this year to compensate them for the extra workload and risk that fighting the coronavirus entails, he added.

08.52 Kazakhstan to call up reservists to fight coronavirus, unemployment

Kazakhstan may call up thousands of reservists for up to three months to help combat the coronavirus outbreak and also provide temporary employment to those who have lost jobs in lockdowns and business closures, the government said on Friday.

Defence Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev said it was up to the governor of each province to decide how many reservists, men with the rank of sergeant or lower, aged up to 50 and officers aged up to 60, to call up to the so-called territorial forces.

08.07 Australia closes internal borders to capitalise on fall in new cases

Australian officials closed internal borders on Friday and warned people to stay home over the upcoming Easter holiday as the country seeks to capitalise on a further fall in the rate of new coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was shifting to a “suppression” phase in its fight against the highly contagious illness, but stressed that people had to continue to follow orders restricting socialising in public.

08.04 Saudi Arabia advances curfew in three areas 

Saudi Arabia has advanced to 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) its curfew in three areas, starting from Friday until further notice, state news agency SPA said, citing a senior official of the interior ministry.

The measure in the city of Dammam, and the governorates of Taif and al-Qatif, aims to rein in the virus, as the kingdom has recorded 1,885 infections and 21 deaths, the most among any of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

07.56 Thailand reports 103 new coronavirus and 4 new deaths; total cases at 1,978

Thailand on Friday reported 103 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths, bringing its total number cases to 1,978, a health official said.

There were four new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 19, said a spokesman for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, Taweesin Wisanuyothin.

07.36 Germany’s coronavirus infections rise to 79,696 -RKI

Germany’s coronavirus infections have risen to 79,696, with 1,017 deaths, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

Cases rose 6,174 from the previous day, while the death toll climbed by 145, the tally showed.

07.31 Nissan Vietnam to close plant due to coronavirus containment measures

Nissan Vietnam will shut down its plant for two weeks amid a nationwide social distancing campaign to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the company said on Friday.

“Our plant in central province Danang will close from April 5 for 15 days, in line with the government’s order of social distancing,” Nissan Vietnam’s spokeswoman said.

07.03 Malaysia’s indigenous people flee into forests to escape coronavirus

After blocking the entrance to their village with logs, half the people of Jemeri fled into the surrounding forest in fear as the coronavirus spread in Malaysia, infecting the first indigenous ‘Orang Asli’ person.

“We are going back into the forest, to isolate ourselves and find food for ourselves,” villager and activist Bedul Chemai told Reuters by phone from Jemeri, in Malaysia’s Pahang State.

06.49 Mexico’s Grupo Modelo to suspend beer production amid coronavirus

Mexico’s Grupo Modelo said on Thursday that it will temporarily suspend the production of its beer brands after the country’s government declared a health emergency over coronavirus and ordered the suspension of non-essential activities.

06.45 Kyrgyzstan reports first coronavirus death

A 61-year-old coronavirus victim has died in Kyrgyzstan, the government said on Friday, the first virus fatality in the central Asian nation.

The patient, treated in a hospital in the southern province of Osh, had suffered from other serious diseases, the authorities said.

06.26 Australia’s health system capable of managing coronavirus pandemic – prime minister

Australia’s healthcare system should be able to cope with the coronavirus pandemic based on its current trajectory, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

Australia has more than 5,200 cases of coronavirus, though the growth in new infections has fallen to single digits in recent days from spikes of between 25% and 30% two weeks ago. The country has confirmed 28 deaths from the virus so far.

06.08 Singapore reports fifth person has died from coronavirus

Singapore reported another coronavirus-related death on Friday, raising the city-state’s total fatalities from the disease to five.

The latest death was of an 86-year-old female Singapore citizen, the health ministry said in a statement.

The country has reported 1,049 coronavirus cases in total.

05.39 New Zealand to introduce measures to help companies facing insolvency

New Zealand said on Friday that it would introduce new legislation to help companies facing insolvency due to the coronavirus pandemic to remain viable and keep people employed.

The new legislation gives directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems a “safe harbour” from insolvency under the Companies Act, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in a news conference.

05.38 Fujifilm says new coronavirus test can produce results in two hours

Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it has developed a new test for the novel coronavirus that reduces the results time to about two hours.

The test was developed by subsidiary Fujifilm Wako Pure Chemical Corp and will be released on April 15, the company said in a release on Friday.

05.08 China’s Hubei province reports 4 new coronavirus deaths as of April 2

Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, including two locally transmitted infections, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

Mainland China also reported four new deaths as of Thursday, all in Wuhan, the city where the outbreak began, the commission said in a statement. The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date.

04.15 Mexico registers 1,510 coronavirus cases, 50 deaths – health official

The death toll in Mexico from coronavirus jumped to 50 on Thursday from 37 a day earlier, the health ministry said. The number of coronavirus cases was 1,510, up by 132 cases.

04.11 Trump says 3M ‘will have a big price to pay’ over face masks

U.S. President Donald Trump slammed 3M Co in a tweet late on Thursday after earlier announcing he was invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce face masks.

“We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. ‘P Act’ all the way.’ Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!” Trump said on Twitter.

02.48  Panama registers 1,475 coronavirus cases, 37 deaths

Panama’s health ministry said on Thursday it had registered 1,475 coronavirus cases in the Central American country, an increase of 158 from a day earlier.

It also registered five more deaths, bringing the total number to 37.

What happened yesterday


  • The death toll in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, as the head of the European Commission apologised to the country for a lack of solidarity from Europe in tackling its coronavirus crisis.
  • Britain’s health minister promised a tenfold increase in the number of daily tests, as a poll said more than a half of Britons think the government was too slow to order a lockdown.
  • 570 people have died in nursing homes in France’s eastern region, suggesting the national death toll could be far higher than thought.
  • Switzerland’s government said it was still far too early to relax measures.
  • Spain’s death toll exceeded 10,000 after a record 950 people died overnight, but health officials noted a slowdown in proportional daily increases in infections and deaths.
  • The separatist government of Spain’s Catalonia region asked the national military for assistance.
  • Portugal extended its state of emergency by another 15 days.
  • Greece has quarantined a migrant camp after 20 asylum seekers tested positive, its first such facility hit since the outbreak.
  • President Vladimir Putin prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across Russia, which has reported 3,548 cases and 30 deaths.
  • Russia’s medical equipment delivery to the United States drew anger from critics at home who pointed out severe shortages at home.


  • A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, and another four states told residents to stay at home – orders which now affect more than 80% of Americans in 39 states as cases in the country rose to 213,144, with the death count at 4,513.
  • The pandemic’s mounting death toll besieged New York City morgues and hospitals struggled to treat thousands of infected patients.
  • Canada faces “a critical week” in fighting the coronavirus, a senior official said, as the death toll jumped 21% to 127.


  • Mainland China logged fewer new infections, but measures restricting movement were tightened in some areas due to a fear of more imported cases.
  • India will pull out of a three-week lockdown in phases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as officials battle to contain the country’s biggest cluster of infections in New Delhi.
  • Facing calls to declare a state of emergency, Japan’s prime minister was derided on social media for instead offering people cloth masks.
  • Indonesia’s coronavirus death toll rose to 170, passing South Korea as the country with the highest number of recorded fatalities in Asia after China.
  • WHO expects the number of cases in Malaysia to peak in mid-April, saying there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve.
  • Singapore suffered its fourth death, a day after it reported a record number of new cases that took its total to 1,000.


  • Saudi Arabia imposed a 24-hour curfew in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, while other Gulf Arab states locked down districts with large migrant worker populations.
  • Iraq has thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases, many times more than the 772 it is has publicly reported, according to three doctors closely involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official.
  • Hackers linked to the Iranian government have attempted to break into the personal email accounts of staff at the World Health Organization, sources told Reuters.
  • Turkey’s tourism minister said he expected flights to return to normal by the end of June, as the country planned to step up measures if the virus keeps spreading and people ignore “voluntary” quarantine rules.
  • A United Nations agency has negotiated a humanitarian corridor to keep food aid flowing in southern Africa after most countries shut borders.


  • World equity markets climbed on Thursday on the back of a surge in risky assets like oil, offsetting concerns over an increasing death toll from the pandemic.
  • The Trump administration said it was allocating $25 billion in emergency funding grants to public transportation systems.
  • The World Bank said its board of executive directors approved an initial $1.9 billion in emergency funds for coronavirus response operations in 25 countries, and said it was moving quickly on projects in 40 additional countries.
  • Years after Japan made a cautious recovery from its long deflationary spell, the world’s third-largest economy may be headed back into a cycle of falling prices.
  • Global financial regulators said they are in talks with governments to allow key staff at financial firms to work on site to keep markets open.
  • The European Commission proposed measures to protect the EU economy, including a short-time work scheme and easier access to funds for farmers and fishermen.


Related posts

Weather delays SpaceX’s first astronaut launch from Florida

Reuters News Service

‘Move on’ – British PM tries to draw line under adviser row

Turkish lira set for further fall

Andrew Rosenbaum

Collision of galaxies may have spurred our solar system’s formation

Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets to disperse protests over security bill

Six killed in Saudi Arabia in shooting incident