(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
The spread: 100,000 deaths
In all likelihood the COVID-19 illness associated with the new coronavirus will claim its 100,000th death during the next 24 hours. From the report of the first fatality in early January, it took a month to record 1,000 deaths and a further month to hit 10,000. That was just three weeks ago.
The death toll now compares with that of London’s Great Plague in the mid-1660s, which killed an estimated 100,000 people, about a third of the city’s population at the time.
But it is still far short of the so-called Spanish flu, which began in 1918 and is estimated to have killed more than 20 million people by the time it ended in 1920.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in a separate browser for an interactive graphic to track the global spread.)
A very European compromise
Europe’s finance ministers put the phone down on each other last night having achieved a compromise agreement on half a trillion euros’ worth of support for their coronavirus-battered economies – but left open the question of how to finance recovery in the bloc headed for a steep recession.
The controversy over whether – as countries in southern Europe had sought – members of the eurozone could issue joint debt has also been left until another day.
U.S. state and public health officials are doubling down on their message that Americans must resist the impulse to ease social separation measures at the first glimpse of progress now being seen in the coronavirus battle.
Calls for heightened vigilance, countering talk from the Trump administration of reopening the economy next month, came as new evidence emerged that stay-at-home restrictions were working to flatten the arc of infections in New York state, the U.S. epicentre of the pandemic.
This Easter weekend, chocolate-makers of the world will miss out on what is one of their biggest sales bonanzas of the year.
With big family gatherings off limits, friends and relatives are unable to meet and hand over Easter egg treats, and chocolate makers’ online sites are struggling to keep up with demand for deliveries.
Easter eggs are on sale in shops but those customers who do venture out have been focused more on stocking up on basics such as pasta and tinned food.
(Compiled by Mark John; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)