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Covid toll rising globally, control not yet in sight

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DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

AMERICAS

* The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to more than 40,000, the highest in the world and almost double the number of deaths in the next highest country Italy, according to a Reuters tally.

* Protests flared in U.S. states on Sunday over stay-at-home orders while governors disputed President Donald Trump’s claims they have enough tests.

* The number of people with the new coronavirus in Canada is trending in the right direction but strict physical distancing will need to stay in place, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday.

* Mexico has registered a total of 8,261 confirmed coronavirus cases and 686 deaths as of Sunday.

* Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro again attended a public rally and attacked lockdown measures.

* Chile reported on Sunday that there were more than 10,000 people in the country with the coronavirus, as the disease ravages the economy of the world’s top copper producer.

* Peru reported over 15,000 cases on Sunday, the second-highest tally in Latin America, as the disease continues to ravage the economy of the world’s No. 2 copper producer.

* Guatemala said a total of 50 migrants deported by the United States to the country have tested positive for coronavirus.

EUROPE

* President Vladimir Putin said that Russian authorities had the coronavirus crisis under full control and that everything would work out with God’s help, even as the country on Sunday registered a record daily rise in cases of the new virus.

* Italy said on Sunday that deaths from the coronavirus pandemic rose by 433, the lowest daily tally in a week, and the number of new cases slowed to 3,047 from a previous 3,491.

* Spain’s death toll rose by 410 on Sunday, down from 565 on Saturday, bringing the total to 20,453 deaths in one of the world’s hardest hit countries.

* The coronavirus situation in France is improving “slowly but surely” and shortages of protective gear such as face masks are easing, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Sunday.

* Ireland is highly unlikely to allow large gatherings this year and the “cocooning” of people over 70 years old in their homes may persist for quite a while, Health Minister Simon Harris said.

* Britain is not considering lifting the lockdown imposed almost four weeks ago to control the coronavirus outbreak given “deeply worrying” increases in the death toll, a senior minister said.

* Poland saw its biggest spike in coronavirus cases on Sunday with 545 new infections recorded, according to health ministry data.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* China reported 12 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, down from 16 a day earlier, with no new deaths.

* More than 150 Australian economists on Monday warned the government against easing social distancing rules.

* New Zealand will extend lockdown measures by a week and move to a lower level of restriction from April 27.

* South Korea extended its social distancing policy for another 15 days but offered some relief for churches and sporting fixtures.

* Thailand’s king approved laws to implement spending measures worth 1.9 trillion baht ($58.44 billion) to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.

* Pakistan has started repatriating some of its citizens from the United Arab Emirates, which had threatened to review labour ties with countries refusing to take back their nationals during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Health ministers from the Group of 20 major economies began a virtual meeting on Sunday to work on a joint response to the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabian state television reported.

* Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, urged Muslims worldwide to pray at home during Ramadan if their countries require social distancing.

* Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 86,306, the highest total for any country outside Europe or the United States.

* Iran has extended furloughs for prisoners for another month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, as the Islamic Republic endeavours to stem the spread of the new coronavirus in its crowded jails.

* Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Sunday extended a lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus by two weeks, but will allow mining companies to get back to work.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

* Caution gripped Asian share markets on expectations a busy week of corporate earnings reports and economic data will drive home the damage done by the global virus lockdown, while a glut of supply sent U.S. crude spiralling to 20-year lows.[MKTS/GLOB]

* Neiman Marcus Group is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, becoming the first major U.S. department store operator to succumb to the economic fallout from the outbreak, people familiar with the matter said.

* China cut its benchmark lending rate as expected on Monday to reduce borrowing costs for companies and prop up the coronavirus-hit economy.

* Japan’s exports slumped the most in nearly four years in March.

* The number of UK finance professionals seeking new jobs rose by more than 40% in the first quarter, compared with the last three months of 2019.

* Canada will invest C$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) in measures to help the hard-hit oil and gas industry during the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

* With shuttered mosques, coronavirus curfews and bans on mass prayers from Senegal to Southeast Asia, some 1.8 billion Muslims are facing a Ramadan like never before.

* Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market, one of the Middle East’s biggest travel and tourism fairs, has been cancelled this year.

Courtesy – Reuters

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