An Indian policeman walks past artwork displayed on road urging people to stay home during lockdown to prevent the spread of new coronavirus in Hyderabad. Picture: /Mahesh Kumar A./AP
An Indian policeman walks past artwork displayed on road urging people to stay home during lockdown to prevent the spread of new coronavirus in Hyderabad. Picture: /Mahesh Kumar A./AP

The latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

By Reuters Time of article published Apr 22, 2020

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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 

AMERICAS 

* 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

relief. 

* 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

safety. 

* Mexico registered a jump of more than 700 confirmed cases on

Tuesday, to reach a total of 9,501, health ministry officials

said. 

* 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

EUROPE 

* 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

data. 

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

11. 

* 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.

ASIA-PACIFIC 

* 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

Beijing's authority. 

* 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

new coronavirus. 

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

said. 

* 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)

ECONOMIC FALLOUT 

* 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.

Reuters

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