Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

A woman walks past graffiti on a wall in Brentford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Global cases of the new coronavirus have shot past 1 million with more than 54,000 fatalities, a Reuters tally showed on Friday, as the world economy nosedived.

Deaths and Infections

  • Reported cases have surpassed 1.03 million globally and nearly 54,500 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.
  • For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

Asia

  • China mourned the thousands of “martyrs” who have died in the outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast throughout the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.
  • Australia reported a sustained fall in new infections and conducted the biggest peacetime maritime operation on Sydney Harbour, refuelling foreign cruise ships before expelling them from local waters.
  • The number of confirmed new cases in South Asia neared 6,000, even as authorities in some cities tightened restrictions on movement and warned lockdowns could be extended in a bid to rein in the pandemic.

Europe

  • Britain is unlikely to relax its stringent lockdown rules until the end of May, a leading government adviser said on Saturday, warning that first the spread of the coronavirus must slow and intense testing must be introduced.
  • Spain overtook Italy for the first time for the number of confirmed cases, but the overnight death toll fell from the previous day.
  • Scientific advisers to the Italian government said a reliable antibody blood test to find out who has already had the virus would give a better picture of Italy’s epidemic and could possibly be identified within days.
  • It is too early for Germany to lift restrictions on people’s movement despite signs that the virus may be spreading at a slightly slower pace, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Americas

  • Two of the principal U.S. coronavirus hot spots – New York and Louisiana – reported their biggest jumps in COVID-19 deaths yet on Friday, as the White House sent mixed messages on whether Americans should cover their face if they venture outdoors.
  • New York City alone accounted for more than a quarter of the 7,077 U.S. coronavirus deaths tallied by Johns Hopkins University on Friday. Known U.S. infections, approaching 275,000 cases, made up about 25% of the more than 1 million cases reported worldwide.
  • Canadian officials blasted a move by President Donald Trump to block 3M Co’s export of N95 respirator masks for use by doctors and nurses as the daily death toll jumped by almost 20%, with total infections nearing 12,000.
  • Brazilians increasingly disapprove of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the outbreak and overwhelmingly support officials he has attacked for advocating social distancing measures, two polls showed.

Middle East and Africa

  • More than 2 million workers in Turkey have lost their jobs due to containment measures, the main opposition party said, as the government moved towards tightening curbs on movement.
  • A United Nations official voiced concern over prisoners after reports of unrest in jails in countries including Iran, one of the worst hit in the world.
  • The coronavirus has infected more than 3,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa and killed about 100, prompting some of the world’s poorest countries to shut land and sea borders.

Economic fallout

  • The pandemic has brought the global economy to a standstill and plunged the world into a recession that will be “way worse” than the global financial crisis a decade ago, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.
  • Global stock markets sank on Friday following more signs that the pandemic would take a massive toll on economic growth.
  • The impact of the coronavirus, and for some the oil market crash, are putting at least half a dozen countries at risk of having their debt downgraded to a ‘junk’ rating.
  • The U.S. economy shed 701,000 jobs in March, ending a historic 113 straight months of employment growth, while U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress will work on another relief bill, with healthcare topping the list of priorities.

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