Coronavirus: A quick take on the latest news from around the world
Coronavirus cases across the globe jumped on Thursday as Japan planned to a special task force and New Zealand went under lockdown. The U.S. Senate unanimously backed a $2-trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the epidemic.
** More than 470,800 people have been infected across the world and over 21,200 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
** Italy has seen more fatalities than any other country, with latest count at 7,503 in barely a month.
** A person who lives in the same Vatican residence as Pope Francis has tested positive.
** Spain's death toll exceeded China's on Wednesday.
** French health authorities reported 231 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,331.
** Germany's relatively low death rate is largely due to the high number of tests being carried out in the country, a senior virologist said.
** Turkey limited exports of respiratory support gear on Thursday to meet domestic demand as cases surged.
** Russia will suspend international flights from Friday, and Moscow will close all shops except for pharmacies and grocery stores from Saturday.
** Britain on Thursday said Prince Charles did not jump the queue for a test because his symptoms and condition met the criteria.
** New York, experiencing more deaths and infections than any other U.S. state, is showing tentative signs of slowing the spread of the virus, while New Orleans is on track to become the country's next epicenter.
** Defense Secretary Mark Esper issued a stop movement order to the U.S. military, halting all travel and movement abroad for up to 60 days.
** The U.S. ambassador to London has blamed China for endangering the world by suppressing information about the outbreak.
** Canada has almost doubled the value of its aid package to C$52 billion.
** Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro faced a political backlash for calling the coronavirus lockdown a crime.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
** Japan banned entry from Europe and warned of a high risk the virus would become rampant after a surge in Tokyo, setting up a task force - a step towards a possible state of emergency - though the government said none was yet planned.
** Mainland China reported a second consecutive day of no new local infections as the Hubei province opened its borders, but imported cases rose.
** Three more people died overnight in India as the government sought on Thursday to improve basic services to 1.3 billion people locked indoors.
** South Korea warned that it will deport foreigners while its citizens could face jail if they violate self-quarantine rules after a surge in imported cases.
** Two cruise ships off the coast of Western Australia were told to leave Australian waters.
** New Zealand started a one-month compulsory lockdown, with warnings from authorities to stay at home or face big fines and even jail.
** Indonesia has a significant deficit in hospital beds, medical staff and intensive care facilities as health experts warn that it is primed to become a new epicenter of the pandemic.
** Vietnam, which has sent tens of thousands of people to quarantine camps as waves of overseas citizens return home, will ban gatherings of more than 20 people for the next two weeks.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
** Iran started an intercity travel ban, a day after Tehran warned the country might face a second outbreak. Iran has reported 2,234 deaths and 29,406 infections so far.
** Lebanon is set to extend a countrywide lockdown by two weeks until April 12.
** Palestinian territories reported their first death on Wednesday, a woman in her 60s who lived in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
** The United Arab Emirates will halt all public transport and restrict people's movements in the evening for a weekend nationwide disinfection campaign starting Thursday.
** Saudi Arabia reported its second death and tightened a nationwide curfew.
** The Nigerian Army is preparing to forcibly transfer the sick to hospital and enforce restrictions, and is leasing equipment for "possible mass burial", according to a memo seen by Reuters.
** Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered in Christian tradition as the site of Jesus's crucifixion and burial, was closed on Wednesday.
** World share markets fell on Thursday as nerves over upcoming jobs data outweighed the boost from U.S. stimulus package.
** European Union leaders will back plans to defend healthcare, infrastructure and other firms considered strategic from hostile foreign takeovers, draft EU summit conclusions show.
* The U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives hope to pass the $2 trillion relief bill on Friday.
** India announced a 1.7-trillion-rupee ($22.6-billion) economic stimulus plan providing direct cash transfers and food security measures to give relief to millions of poor people.
** Japan's government offered its bleakest assessment on the economy in nearly seven years, saying conditions in March were "severe."
** Singapore's economy suffered its biggest contraction in a decade in the first quarter.
* German consumer morale deteriorated sharply to hit its lowest level since 2009, a survey showed on Thursday.
** The International Monetary Fund said its board had approved a four-year, $1.3 billion loan program for Jordan.
** It is too soon to decide whether the Tour de France can go ahead, a French Sports Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters.
** This year's Wimbledon Championships could be postponed or canceled.
** The annual Tony Awards ceremony celebrating the best in Broadway theater was postponed indefinitely.