(Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic continues to explode in the United States and the death toll climbs in Italy and Spain, with data on Thursday showing deepening economic pain as U.S. weekly jobless claims rose to another record.
– More than 954,000 people have been infected across the world and over 48,300 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 in an external browser.
– The death toll in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, as the head of the European Commission apologised to the country for a lack of solidarity from Europe in tackling its coronavirus crisis.
– Britain’s health minister promised a tenfold increase in the number of daily tests, as a poll said more than a half of Britons think the government was too slow to order a lockdown.
* 570 people have died in nursing homes in France’s eastern region, suggesting the national death toll could be far higher than thought.
– Switzerland’s government said it was still far too early to relax measures.
– Spain’s death toll exceeded 10,000 after a record 950 people died overnight, but health officials noted a slowdown in proportional daily increases in infections and deaths.
– The separatist government of Spain’s Catalonia region asked the national military for assistance.
– Portugal extended its state of emergency by another 15 days.
– Greece has quarantined a migrant camp after 20 asylum seekers tested positive, its first such facility hit since the outbreak.
– President Vladimir Putin prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across Russia, which has reported 3,548 cases and 30 deaths.
– Russia’s medical equipment delivery to the United States drew anger from critics at home who pointed out severe shortages at home.
– A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, and another four states told residents to stay at home – orders which now affect more than 80% of Americans in 39 states as cases in the country rose to 213,144, with the death count at 4,513.
– The pandemic’s mounting death toll besieged New York City morgues and hospitals struggled to treat thousands of infected patients.
– Canada faces “a critical week” in fighting the coronavirus, a senior official said, as the death toll jumped 21% to 127.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
– Mainland China logged fewer new infections, but measures restricting movement were tightened in some areas due to a fear of more imported cases.
– India will pull out of a three-week lockdown in phases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as officials battle to contain the country’s biggest cluster of infections in New Delhi.
– Facing calls to declare a state of emergency, Japan’s prime minister was derided on social media for instead offering people cloth masks.
– Indonesia’s coronavirus death toll rose to 170, passing South Korea as the country with the highest number of recorded fatalities in Asia after China.
– WHO expects the number of cases in Malaysia to peak in mid-April, saying there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve.
– Singapore suffered its fourth death, a day after it reported a record number of new cases that took its total to 1,000.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
– Saudi Arabia imposed a 24-hour curfew in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, while other Gulf Arab states locked down districts with large migrant worker populations.
– Iraq has thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases, many times more than the 772 it is has publicly reported, according to three doctors closely involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official.
– Hackers linked to the Iranian government have attempted to break into the personal email accounts of staff at the World Health Organization, sources told Reuters.
– Turkey’s tourism minister said he expected flights to return to normal by the end of June, as the country planned to step up measures if the virus keeps spreading and people ignore “voluntary” quarantine rules.
– A United Nations agency has negotiated a humanitarian corridor to keep food aid flowing in southern Africa after most countries shut borders.
– World equity markets climbed on Thursday on the back of a surge in risky assets like oil, offsetting concerns over an increasing death toll from the pandemic.
– The Trump administration said it was allocating $25 billion in emergency funding grants to public transportation systems.
– The World Bank said its board of executive directors approved an initial $1.9 billion in emergency funds for coronavirus response operations in 25 countries, and said it was moving quickly on projects in 40 additional countries.
– Years after Japan made a cautious recovery from its long deflationary spell, the world’s third-largest economy may be headed back into a cycle of falling prices.
– Global financial regulators said they are in talks with governments to allow key staff at financial firms to work on site to keep markets open.
– The European Commission proposed measures to protect the EU economy, including a short-time work scheme and easier access to funds for farmers and fishermen.
(Compiled by Sarah Morland, Milla Nissi, Aditya Soni and Uttaresh.V; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, William Maclean, Sriraj Kalluvila)