Coronavirus: Latest global developments

PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

China imported cases rise 

China records its highest daily toll of imported virus cases, confirming 97 new infections.

US deaths top 20,000

At least 20,608 people in the United States have died, making the US the hardest-hit country. It also has the highest number of reported infections (530,006), according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

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More than 75,000 dead in Europe

At least 109,300 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus in 193 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally around 1000 GMT Sunday based on official sources.

There have been more than 1,780,640 million reported infections since the virus emerged in China in December.

With 75,011 deaths out of 909,700 diagnosed cases, Europe is the hardest-hit continent. Italy has 19,468 deaths, Spain 16,972, France 13,832 and Britain 9,875. 

After falling for three straight days, Spain’s daily death toll rises to 619.

Spectre of recession

The World Bank warns South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years, with decades of progress in the battle against poverty at risk.

It slashes its growth forecast for the region this year to 1.8-2.8 percent from its pre-pandemic projection of 6.3 percent, with at least half the countries falling into “deep recession“.

Easter of solitude

Pope Francis livestreams Easter Sunday mass to the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, from an empty Saint Paul’s Cathedral at the Vatican.

“For many, this is an Easter of solitude lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties,” the pope says.

He calls for a reduction or forgiveness of poor nation’s debts and an “immediate” ceasefire in global conflicts.

In Jerusalem, a handful of priests celebrate Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site in Christianity, closed this Easter for the first time in at least a century. 

Confinement goes on

Lebanon extends its lockdown until April 26. 

Syria extends the closure of schools and universities until May 2.

Argentina extends its obligatory confinement until April 26 in big cities, but considers relaxing the measures in rural areas.

UK PM out of hospital

Britain’s virus-stricken Prime Minister Boris Johnson is discharged from hospital after spending three days in intensive care. 

Downing Street says that on the advice of his medical team, he will not immediately return to work.

Johnson had earlier praised staff treating him in a state-run hospital.

“I can’t thank them enough. I owe them my life,” he said.

Aid

Canadian lawmakers pass a wage subsidy program heralded as the largest economic measure in the country since World War II, to help businesses and their employees.

The British government says £200 million (228 million euros) additional aid will go to British charities and international organisations to assist developing countries fight COVID-19 and help prevent a second wave. 

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