(Reuters) – Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.5 million globally and 172,927 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 1600 GMT on Tuesday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* U.S. congressional leaders and the White House agreed on nearly $500 billion more in coronavirus relief for the economy.
* President Donald Trump pledged to suspend immigration into the country, while Georgia and other U.S. states began lifting restrictions that stalled their economies.
* Missouri became the first U.S. state to sue the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus.
* The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will contract by a record 5.3% in 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak ravages the region, a United Nations agency said.
* Mexico has entered what the government calls “Phase 3” of the spread of the coronavirus, the most serious stage, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said.* Police in Chile broke up a fresh round of anti-government protests in one of Santiago’s central squares late on Monday, arresting 14 and citing rules against congregations intended to ward off the spread of the coronavirus.
* The true extent of the death toll in Britain was more than 40% higher than the daily figures from the government indicated by April 10, according to data that includes deaths in the community.
* Crowds of youths targeted riot police with fireworks and torched rubbish bins in a third night of unrest on the outskirts of Paris where a heavy police presence to enforce the coronavirus lockdown has exacerbated tensions.
* Italy is likely to start easing its coronavirus lockdown from May 4 though the long-awaited rollback will be cautious and calculated, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.
* Spain’s cabinet approved measures to support workers and businesses struggling under stringent coronavirus restrictions as officials cheered a slowing infection rate.
* The WHO said that all available evidence suggests the novel coronavirus originated in bats in China late last year and it was not manipulated or constructed in a laboratory.
* About 500 people entered self-isolation at the Presidential House in the Indian capital after a worker’s relative tested positive, officials said. * Thailand approved a second automatic visa extension for foreigners to prevent long queues at immigration centres.
* Indonesia will ban the mass exodus tradition, locally known as ‘mudik’, at the end of the Muslim fasting month in May.
* A northwestern province on the frontline of China’s coronavirus battle reported its first cases in nearly three weeks, all involving travellers from overseas.
* Taiwan’s defence minister apologised and said he was willing to resign after a coronavirus outbreak on a navy ship which visited the Pacific last month just as the country celebrated a huge drop in cases.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Millions of children in the Middle East will become poorer as their caregivers lose jobs from lockdowns, according to the U.N. Children’s Fund.
* The coronavirus crisis is stirring anti-Semitism around the world, fuelled by centuries-old lies that Jews are spreading infection, researchers in Israel said.
* South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 500 billion rand rescue package, equivalent to 10% of the GDP of Africa’s most industrialised nation, to try to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic.
* The palm oil market is set to miss out on a key high-demand period in 2020 as coronavirus-driven lockdowns during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan dent demand in key importing countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
* Stock markets around the world fell on Tuesday, as oil prices kept sliding a day after May U.S. crude oil futures turned negative for the first time, underscoring the depth of economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. [MKTS/GLOB]
* U.S. home sales dropped by the most in nearly 4-1/2 years in March as extraordinary measures to control the spread of the coronavirus brought buyer traffic to a virtual standstill.
* The Irish economy will shrink by at least 10% this year and could shrink more than 15% if a second wave of coronavirus forces restrictions on movement to last six months longer than expected, the government said.
* The number of people facing acute food insecurity could nearly double this year to 265 million due to the economic fallout of COVID-19, the United Nations’ World Food Programme said.
* If prolonged, the pandemic could trigger a negative feedback loop in which a worsening economy threatens to destabilise Japan’s financial system, the Bank of Japan warned on Tuesday.
* Black and Hispanic families in the U.S. are taking the biggest income hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they are less prepared to withstand the blow, according to two studies.
(Compiled by Sarah Morland, Aditya Soni, Devika Syamnath, Ramakrishnan M and Uttaresh.V; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)