Last updated: 28/05/2020 08:50
A fresh wave of U.S. layoffs are expected due to deepening economic damage from the outbreak that has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, even as lockdowns ease and businesses gradually resume operations.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* More than 5.70 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and 354,892 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0450 GMT on Thursday.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click here.
* France, Italy and Belgium acted to halt the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat patients suffering from COVID-19, amid questions about the safety of the generic anti-malaria drug.
* President Vladimir Putin said Moscow, the epicentre of Russia’s outbreak, had succeeded in preventing what he called the worst-case scenario as the city looked to ease lockdowns soon.
* Switzerland unveiled plans to reopen borders to all its neighbours except Italy and to allow larger public gatherings.
* Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a video message on Wednesday marking the grim milestone of 100,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic, telling the bereaved: “The nation grieves with you.”
* Walt Disney World in Florida announced plans to reopen and MGM Resorts said guests could soon return to Las Vegas casino hotels.
* Colombia will begin easing restrictions put in place to control the virus spread starting from June, President Ivan Duque said.
* Two children who are the first suspected cases in South Korea of a rare, life-threatening syndrome linked with the new coronavirus, are recovering following treatment, health authorities said.
* South Korea reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most since April 5 and the third straight day of rising infections.
* The Philippines’ coronavirus task force has recommended President Rodrigo Duterte ease one of the toughest and longest lockdowns in the world.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The number of coronavirus cases in the six Gulf Arab states doubled in less than a month to surpass 200,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally.
* The number of cases in Zimbabwe has more than doubled to 132 over the past 24 hours, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
* Saudi Arabia will begin easing restrictions on movement and travel this week and aim to lift the curfew completely — with the exception of the holy city of Mecca — from June 21.
* U.S. stocks will end this year around current levels as the pandemic cripples the economy and eats into earnings, according to strategists polled by Reuters.
* The recovery from the financial crash will take time for European stocks which are expected to end 2021 around 10% below this February’s record high, a Reuters poll showed.
* Thailand may lose up to 2 million jobs this year, particularly in the tourist industry, the state planning agency said.
* Japan’s refinery runs fell to the lowest since at least 2005, data showed, as the pandemic reduced fuel demand.
* South Korea’s central bank cut interest rates to a record low as it warned the pandemic would be worse for Asia’s fourth-largest economy than the 2008 global financial crisis.
* The Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp said it would stop printing more than 100 regional newspapers after the coronavirus shutdown gutted advertising revenue.
Pictured: Patients exercise at the balconies of a training center, which has been converted into a quarantine house, in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/WIlly Kurniawan