The latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world
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Reported cases of the coronavirus have
crossed 2.57 million globally and 178,574 people have died,
according to a Reuters tally as of 1400 GMT on Wednesday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* The US House of Representatives will pass Congress' latest
coronavirus aid bill on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
said, paving the way for additional $500 billion in economic
* An old malaria drug touted by President Trump as a "game
changer" provided no benefit and potentially higher risk of
death for patients at US veterans hospitals, according to an
analysis submitted for expert review.
Passengers leave the Staten Island Ferry in New York. Picture: Mark Lennihan/AP
* Ecuador is preparing a plan to reactivate its economy and
allow flights home for citizens stranded abroad, the government
said following a month of strict quarantine.
* Peru's hospitals are struggling with a rapid rise in
infections, with bodies being kept in hallways, masks repeatedly
reused, and protests of medical workers concerned over their
* Mexico registered a jump of more than 700 confirmed cases on
Tuesday, to reach a total of 9,501, health ministry officials
* Allies of both Venezuela's president and its opposition leader
have begun secret talks as concerns grow about the possible
impact of the pandemic, according to sources on both sides.
* Hundreds of Brazilians stranded in Southeast Asia during an
emergency lockdown are headed home after the Brazilian embassy
in Bangkok chartered a flight for them.
Police officers are standing at Neumarkt during a press appointment and wear mouthguards in Dresden, Germany. Picture: Robert Michael/dpa via AP
* Germany approved live human testing of a potential vaccine
developed by German biotech company BioNTech.
* It may take European Union countries until the summer or
longer to agree on how to finance an economic recovery as major
disagreements persist, an official said on Wednesday.
* The outbreak has caused as many as 41,000 deaths in the United
Kingdom, according to a Financial Times analysis of official
A woman wearing a protective mask walks over Westminster Bridge in London during the Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: Frank Augstein/AP
* Britain's prime minister faced a call for an inquiry into his
government's handling of the crisis after failing to fully
explain partial death data, limited testing or the lack of
equipment for hospitals.
* Spain's prime minister said he plans to begin phasing out
lockdown measures in the second half of May.
* Confirmed infections surpassed 10,000 in Poland on Wednesday,
the highest number in post-communist central Europe, as it
slowly eases restrictions ahead of a presidential election.
Laundry hangs on clotheslines strung above the street between apartment buildings in Venice as Italy's lockdown measures continue to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Picture: Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
* Ukraine extended strong quarantine measures till May
* The Kremlin called allegations about artificial origin of the
new coronavirus groundless and unacceptable.
* The Berlin Marathon will not go ahead in September after
Germany banned public gatherings of over 5,000 until October 24.
* Hackers working in support of the Vietnamese government have
attempted to break into Chinese state organisations at the
centre of Beijing's effort to contain the outbreak, a US cybersecurity firm said.
* A northeastern city of 10 million people grappling with what
is now China's biggest outbreak further restricted inbound
traffic on Wednesday.
* Japan's effort to distribute protective masks has been marred
by complaints about mould, insects, and stains.
A boy wearing a face mask plays badminton in an alley in Hanoi. Vietnam will loosen travel restrictions as the country lifts a nationwide shutdown starting Thursday, April 23, 2020, after no new Covid-19 cases were reported the past week. Picture: Hau Dinh/AP
* More than 30 crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked in
Japan's Nagasaki prefecture have tested positive.
* India suspended antibody tests because of concerns over
reliability, health officials said on Wednesday.
* Hong Kong's leader said the replacement of several ministers
was aimed at reviving the coronavirus-hit economy and was
unrelated to recent remarks from mainland China reaffirming
* Australia's prime minister called for an international
investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, but France
beating pandemic came before looking for who was at fault.
* The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Organising Committee
said a member of the organisation has tested positive for the
Passengers on a motorized boat at the Saen Saeb canal in Bangkok, Thailand, practice social distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture: Sakchai Lali/AP
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Sixty-eight people, mostly staff, have come down with the
coronavirus at a prison in the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate,
prison authorities said, without reporting any deaths.
* A Lebanese university hospital team will test for the
coronavirus at a refugee camp on Wednesday after a resident was
found to be infected, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
* Air Mauritius has entered voluntary administration
after the disruptions made it impossible to meet its financial
obligations for the foreseeable future, its board said.
* Zambia's Chamber of Mines has urged the government to urgently
engage with the sector and agree relief measures.
Woodlane Village Clinic caters for residents of Plastic View informal settlement. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
* Oil took markets on another rollercoaster ride on Wednesday as
Brent somehow managed to reverse an early 12% crash to 1999 lows
and give battered petrocurrencies and stock markets something to
cheer, with coronavirus lockdowns slashing demand.
* As the world marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on
Wednesday, calls were growing for "green recovery" packages to
spur a shift to a low-carbon future.
* A possible drop in emissions due to the pandemic will not be
enough to stop climate change, the World Meteorological
Organization said, urging governments to integrate climate
action into recovery plans.
* The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will shrink
by a record 5.3% in 2020, a United Nations agency said.
* The collapse in China's economic activity has fanned calls for
the government to hasten the rollout of fiscal stimulus, as
ballooning unemployment threatens social stability.
* Turkey's central bank slashed its key interest rate by 100
basis points to 8.75% on Wednesday, more than expected.