News World Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

Countries affected by the novel coronavirus entered another week of strict quarantine and several nations introduced new economic stimulus to aid citizens and companies hit by the pandemic.

DEATHS, INFECTIONS

More than 777,000 people have been infected across the world and over 37,500 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click here.

EUROPE

Italy’s government said it would extend its nationwide lockdown measures against a coronavirus outbreak at least until the Easter season in April.

Total infections in the Czech Republic has exceeded 3,000.

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

The U.S. death toll climbed past 3,000 on Monday, the deadliest day yet in the country’s mounting crisis, while New York cheered the arrival of a gleaming 1,000-bed U.S. Navy hospital ship as a sign of hope in the city’s desperate fight.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that federal social distancing guidelines might be toughened and travel restrictions with China and Europe would stay in place as he urged Americans to help fight the coronavirus with tough measures through April.

At least six members of the U.S. Congress have announced that they have contracted the novel coronavirus, and more than 30 others are or were self-quarantining in hopes of limiting the spread of the pandemic.

The first U.S. military service member has died from the coronavirus, the Pentagon said on Monday, as it reported another sharp hike in the number of infected troops.

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 said on Monday that there can be no more quarantine measures imposed on the country than those already in place to combat coronavirus because jobs are being destroyed and the poor are suffering disproportionately.

Mexico declared a health emergency on Monday and issued stricter rules to contain coronavirus’ spread after its number of cases surged past 1,000 and the death toll rose sharply. It reported a total of 1,094 cases, up from 993 a day earlier, and eight more deaths, taking its total to 28.

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

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.

Mainland China had 48 new cases on Monday, up from 31 new infections a day earlier. All 48 cases were imported, bringing the total number of imported cases in China to 771 as of Monday.

Factory activity in China unexpectedly expanded in March from a collapse the month before, but analysts caution that a durable near-term recovery is far from assured.

Services activity in China expanded in March after slumping to a record low the previous month, but business is expected to take some time to return to normal as the economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus shock.

South Korea reported 125 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 9,786.

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

Thailand reported 127 new cases and one death. 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.

India, which has said it had no plans to extend the 21-day lockdown that began last week, reported 1,251 confirmed coronavirus cases by Monday evening, up 227 from the previous day, its steepest single-day rise.

Myanmar reported its first coronavirus death, a 69-year-old man who also had cancer and died in a hospital in the commercial capital of Yangon.

Vietnam will begin 15 days of social distancing from Wednesday to curb community transmission of the coronavirus.

Australia reported a sustained fall in the rate of new infections, but officials urged people not to become complacent and stressed the need for further strict social distancing policies.

People in New South Wales, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, could be heavily fined or jailed for leaving their home without a good reason from Tuesday under sweeping new powers designed to slow infection rates.

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.

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

Asian shares were closing out a calamitous quarter with a tentative rally as factory data from China held out the hope of a rebound in activity, even as much of the rest of the world shut down.

Confidence among British companies slumped in the second week of March as the coronavirus crisis gathered pace but before the government shut much of the economy to slow its spread, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

Japan’s industrial output rose in February at a slower pace than the previous month and factories expect production to plunge in March, adding to growing signs the pandemic is hurting an economy already on the cusp of recession.

Hong Kong private home prices in February posted the biggest monthly decline since November 2018, falling 2.1% as the coronavirus spread across the financial centre.

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.

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.

(Reuters)

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