(Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2.2 trillion aid package – the largest in history – to help cope with the economic downturn inflicted by the intensifying coronavirus pandemic, and President Donald Trump quickly signed it into law.
* More than 551,800 people have been infected globally and nearly 24,900 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T
* Italy recorded 919 deaths from coronavirus, the highest daily toll anywhere in the world, while the number of confirmed cases eclipsed the total in China.
* Latest data from Spain’s health ministry show the death toll stabilising.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health minister tested positive for the coronavirus and said they were self-isolating.
* French health authorities reported 299 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total to 1,995.
* The Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin’s administration.
* Germany has proposed using big data and location tracking to isolate people with coronavirus once social distancing slows its spread.
* Switzerland’s government has allowed regional authorities to shut down or restrict economic sectors temporarily if needed.
* Hungary, where the epidemic is expected to peak in June or July, is imposing a two-week lockdown.
* Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States reached 100,040 on Friday, the highest number in the world, a Reuters tally showed.
* New York plans to build eight temporary hospitals to meet an expected surge in coronavirus patients.
* Brazil’s governors pressed President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for more federal support after he blasted them as job-killers and undermined their orders with a decree keeping churches open.
* Venezuela and Nicaragua reported their first deaths on Thursday.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
* Mainland China reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in three days and 54 new imported cases, as Beijing ordered airlines to slash international flights.
* Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump on Friday that he would have China’s support in fighting the coronavirus.
* Tokyo’s governor’s plea to avoid non-essential outings until April 12 prompted a rush for supplies despite warnings against hoarding.
* Australia is introducing enforced quarantine by midnight on Saturday for returning citizens and will deploy the armed forces to ensure compliance with self-isolation measures.
* Vietnam will limit domestic flights and stop public gatherings for two weeks from Saturday, as it aims to keep the number of cases under 1,000.
* Uzbekistan reported its first death on Friday, as it locked down more cities and districts and declared large bonuses for medical workers.
* Indonesia said it would allow regional authorities to impose lockdowns to control the coronavirus, in a major shift in strategy after previously resisting tougher restrictions.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a “voluntary quarantine” in which Turks stay at home except for shopping or basic needs.
* Iraqi doctors say the country may be singularly unprepared for the coronavirus, with the number of cases at 450 and deaths at 40.
* Iran started an intercity travel ban, as its death toll rose to 2,378 on Friday.
* South Africans struggled to adapt to confinement rules, with many city streets no less crowded than normal as a strict lockdown begun and it recorded its first deaths.
* The Israeli army will assist police on street patrols to enforce lockdown.
* Algeria extended its curfew to nine more provinces.
* Stocks across the globe fell on Friday after a historic three-day run-up, as skittish investors kept indices on track for their worst monthly and quarterly performances since 2008, while the dollar fell by the most in any week since 2009. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Canada said on Friday it will cover 75% of wages for small businesses and the central bank cut its key interest rate to the lowest level in a decade.
* The European Central Bank chief urged EU leaders to act more decisively as the bloc feuds over how far to go to cushion the economic hit of the pandemic.
* Investors rushed into cash and out of bonds at a record pace over the past week, BofA’s weekly fund flow data showed on Friday.
* Mexico will likely take the longest in Latin America to recover, S&P said on Friday, a day after it cut ratings of Mexico and national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.
* The Reserve Bank of India slashed interest rates.
* Pakistan has requested an emergency loan disbursement from the International Monetary Fund.
* Malaysia will launch a $58.3 billion stimulus package, its prime minister said.
* Japan is planning a stimulus that could be worth 10% of its economic output. EVENTS
* The U.S. Open originally scheduled for June 18-21 has become the third of golf’s four major championships to get postponed, the New York Post reported.
* South Korea’s boy band BTS will postpone its North America tour due to kick off in April.
* Italy’s fashion industry body said the men’s fashion shows scheduled for June 19-23 would be held in September.
(Compiled by Sarah Morland, Aditya Soni and Ramakrishnan M.; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Sriraj Kalluvila)