(Reuters) – The number of confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus exceeded 1.41 million globally and the death toll crossed 83,400, according to a Reuters tally as of 1400 GMT.
Two people gesture as they lean out of their window after the applause in honour of healthcare workers, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in downtown Ronda, southern Spain, April 7, 2020. Placard reads: “Cheer up! Your efforts are our pride”. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* The increase of hospital death fatalities in France slowed again, but the presidential palace said the national lockdown aimed at containing the disease would be extended.
* Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Italy must stick with its rigid lockdown to try to curb the COVID-19 epidemic.
* Spain’s official coronavirus death toll edged higher again, but questions persisted over the veracity of numbers.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “clinically stable” in intensive care on Wednesday and responding to treatment.
* President Vladimir Putin likened Russia’s fight against the coronavirus to its battles against medieval invaders and said the next few weeks would be decisive.
* The president of the European Union’s main science organisation quit over frustration at the response to the pandemic.
* Switzerland’s government, which said its economy could contract by as much 10.4% this year, extended the nation’s restrictions for another week but said a gradual loosening of measures would begin this month.
* The World Health Organization’s regional director described the outbreak in Europe as “very concerning” and urged governments to give “very careful consideration” before relaxing measures to control its spread.
* Pope Francis condemned people he said were exploiting the pandemic to turn a quick profit and decried the “hypocrisy” of how some politicians are dealing with the crisis.
* The European Union is drawing up common rules for using mobile apps to track the spread, aiming to make better use of the technology and address privacy concerns.
* Refugees in eastern German are sewing face masks for pensioners in a retirement home.
* The number of cases in New York state alone approached 150,000, the most anywhere in the world, even as authorities warned the state’s actual death toll could be higher.
* Some 60,000 Americans could die in the pandemic, a university model often cited by U.S. and state policymakers projected, a 26% reduction in its most recent forecast, as total cases in the country reached 395,011, with the death toll at 12,754.
* The head of the World Health Organization gave a strident defence of his agency’s handling of the pandemic, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism.
* U.S. immigration officials have rapidly deported nearly 400 migrant children intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border in the past two weeks under new rules.
* At least 20 doctors at a public hospital outside Mexico City have tested positive for the coronavirus.
* Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra extended the country’s state of emergency for two more weeks to April 26.
* The Chinese city of Wuhan ended its two-month lockdown, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on its residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
* India is considering plans to seal off hotspots in Delhi, Mumbai and parts of the south while easing restrictions elsewhere as a way out of a three-week lockdown that has caused deep economic distress.
* Tokyo recorded its biggest daily jump on Wednesday since the start of the pandemic, the city’s governor said on the first day of a state of emergency.
* Expatriates in Hong Kong are buying up masks to send to family and friends back home as supplies return to shops.
* Thailand automatically extends visas for all foreigners who entered legally, to prevent long queues at immigration centres and stem the spread, a senior immigration official said.
* East Timor’s prime minister withdrew his resignation as the government approved a $250-million fund.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Ethiopia and Liberia declared states of emergency, a day after cases on the continent surged past 10,000.
* Lebanon’s food importers, already hit by a dollar crunch, have struggled to book new cargoes as the pandemic threatens supplies and sparks fears of more painful price hikes.
* Egypt will extend a nationwide night-time curfew by 15 days until April 23.
* Ethiopia declared a state of emergency.
* A coronavirus lockdown kept the streets of Jerusalem and other Israeli cities nearly empty on the Jewish Passover holiday, which typically draws crowds of people.
* The Gaza Strip has no more coronavirus test kits, Palestinian health officials said.
* Somalia has registered its first death from coronavirus. ECONOMIC FALLOUT
* World equity markets surged and oil prices jumped on Wednesday on hopes the coronavirus pandemic is getting close to peaking and that more government stimulus measures could be on the way. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Democratic congressional leaders said they would back the Trump administration’s request for another $250 billion for small businesses if the bill includes more funding for hospitals, local governments and food assistance.
* Faced with an accelerating global health crisis, Federal Reserve officials agreed last month they needed a pull-out-all-the-stops response.
* Canada said it would temporarily loosen rules for an emergency wage subsidy program to ensure more businesses qualify, while jobless claims triggered by the outbreak soared beyond 4 million.
* European Union finance ministers failed in all-night talks to agree on more economic support, spurring Spain to warn the bloc’s future was on the line without a joint response to the crisis.
* The European Central Bank told euro zone finance ministers the area could need fiscal measures worth up to 1.5 trillion euros this year.
* Germany’s economy will probably shrink by 9.8% in the second quarter, its biggest decline since records began, the country’s leading think tanks said.
* The pandemic has cost Austria $12 billion so far, or 2.8% of its annual gross domestic product, according to its central bank.
* A second stimulus package India is poised to announce in coming days will be worth around $13 billion and focus on helping small and medium businesses, senior officials said.
* Hong Kong announced relief measures worth $17.7 billion to help businesses and people crippled by the outbreak to stay afloat.
* Nearly 140 campaign groups and charities urged the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, G20 governments and private creditors to help the world’s poorest countries by cancelling debt payments.
Compiled by Sarah Morland, Milla Nissi and Aditya Soni; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva