Latest update: 08/05/2020 23:41
More than 3.9 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 271,030 have died, according to a Reuters tally, as of 1704 GMT on Friday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click here.
* Euro zone governments gave their final approval on Friday to the first part of a 540 billion-euro rescue plan for states hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
* The European Union (EU) executive on Friday backed keeping curbs on travel to the continent in place for another 30 days.
* France’s daily coronavirus death toll rebounded on Friday, with 253 deaths, three days before it starts lifting its almost two-month-old national lockdown.
* Italy on Friday became the third country in the world to record 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus, reporting 243 new fatalities.
* Russia’s cases rose by over 10,000 for the sixth straight day, bringing the nationwide tally to 187,859. Around 100 central bank employees have been diagnosed, most of them in Moscow.
* A cat belonging to a family in the Spanish region of Catalonia tested positive for the coronavirus, the professor who conducted an autopsy on the pet said on Friday.
* Ireland’s unemployment rate shot up to 28.2% at the end of April including those receiving emergency assistance, the highest rate on record.
* Switzerland said it will further ease curbs on migration from Europe.
* Danish museums, amusement parks and cinemas will be allowed to reopen from June 8, the government said.
* The White House on Friday defended measures it has taken to protect President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as another staffer tested positive for the coronavirus, raising questions about the safety of the U.S. top leaders.
* The U.S. economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression.
* Canada’s amateur sport system will receive C$72 million ($51.72 million) in coronavirus relief funding from the federal government, the country’s Heritage Minister said on Friday.
* Brazil’s Health Ministry on Thursday registered 9,888 new cases, bringing its total to 135,106 with 9,146 deaths. Death toll in Brazil’s remote Amazon region may be three times the official count.
* Peru has extended a nationwide lockdown by two weeks until May 24, President Martin Vizcarra said on Friday, as cases rose sharply.
* Argentina will get $1.8 billion in loans from the Inter-American Development Bank this year to help create jobs and provide medical care to coronavirus victims, the government said. An IMF spokesman said it is hopeful Argentina can restore debt sustainability.
* The World Bank approved $506 million in emergency loans and grants for Ecuador to help it grapple with one of the worst outbreaks in Latin America.
* China is open to an independent investigation to determine the origins of the coronavirus, its ambassador to Berlin said amid U.S. allegations that it came from a laboratory.
* Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to cooperate on measures including the development of drugs and vaccines, Japan’s government spokesman said.
* An Indian train killed 16 migrant workers who had fallen asleep on the track while heading back to their home village after losing their jobs during the lockdown, police said.
* Cases in Pakistan surged past 25,000 on Friday, just hours before the government was due to lift lockdown steps.
* Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will face a confidence vote on May 18.
* Two weeks after Indonesia banned air and sea travel, the transport ministry has confirmed that flights and public transport will conditionally resume.
* Australia will ease social distancing restrictions in a three-step process, its prime minister said as Canberra aims to remove most curbs by July and get nearly 1 million people back to work.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The coronavirus could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 people in Africa in the first year and infect between 29 million and 44 million in the first year if it is not contained, said the World Health Organization.
* Kuwait will enact a “total curfew” from 4pm (1300 GMT) on Sunday through to May 30 to help to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the Information Ministry said on Twitter on Friday.
* Yemen on Friday reported nine new coronavirus cases in Aden, the interim headquarters of the government, including one death, and said a second person infected in the southern province of Lahaj had died.
* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday thousands of low-risk prisoners would be granted parole to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities.
* Madagascar is putting its self-proclaimed, plant-based COVID-19 “cure” on sale and several African countries have already put in orders, despite WHO warning that its efficacy is unproven.
* Global shares rallied on Friday, hitting weekly highs, on signs of improving Sino-American relations and the prospect of more governments gradually reopening their economies.
* Euro zone governments may need to borrow an additional 1.5 trillion euros this year to keep their economies afloat, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said.
* Inflows into India’s equity mutual funds nearly halved in April, industry data showed.
* Auto production in Mexico and Brazil, Latin America’s top producers, plunged by an unprecedented 99% in April, with the two countries building a total of just 5,569 units.
* The ECB asked staff to study whether it should buy “junk” corporate bonds to fight the pandemic fallout, sources told Reuters.
* Japan will look into additional steps to cushion the economic blow, its economy minister said on Friday, signalling that more stimulus measures could be forthcoming.
* German exports fell by 11.8% in March, their steepest drop since current records began in 1990, the Federal Statistics Office said.
Pictured: A woman wears a protective face shield during food distribution, as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, in Diepsloot near Johannesburg, South Africa, May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko