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.
* 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, refueling 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.