A health worker checks a mans temperature during door to door screening in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, April 16, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

As global reported cases cross 2.14 million with 143,744 people dead

Reuters April 17, 2020
Reported cases of the coronavirus crossed 2.14 million globally and 143,744 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0200 GMT on Friday.


* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

* For a US-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.


*US President Donald Trump laid out new guidelines on Thursday for states to emerge from a coronavirus shutdown in a staggered, three-stage approach.

* Sources told Reuters the US FDA may have dropped its quality-control standards too far as it scoured the world for scarce supplies of chloroquine drugs.

* Seven Northeastern states extended a shutdown until May 15 to contain the pandemic.

* The number of people hospitalised for the novel coronavirus and related deaths in New York fell to their lowest levels in more than a week.

* Canada’s border restrictions with the US will remain in place “for a significant time” as the two nations fight the outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

* The US defence secretary said he believed China’s leaders have been misleading and opaque about the outbreak and does not trust that they are being truthful even now.

* Mexico’s president said the country was looking to return to normal beginning June 1, with schools and businesses reopening provided people comply with anti-coronavirus health measures until then.

* A daughter of famed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and several Mexican cartels have been doling out aid packages.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired his health minister after clashing with him over how to fight the new coronavirus, and again called for states to end stay-at-home orders.


* Europe is in eye of the storm, with the number of cases nearing a million, and should move with extreme caution when considering easing lockdowns, the WHO’s regional director said.

* Britain extended its nationwide lockdown as stand-in leader Dominic Raab ordered Britons to stay at home for at least another three weeks.

* Luxury carmaker Ferrari has begun making parts to convert snorkel masks into respirators for treating patients with coronavirus and protecting medical workers.

* Britain’s economy looks set for a widely feared record contraction after figures showed retail spending plunged by more than a quarter and one in four firms stopped trading temporarily.

* Ireland has contained and effectively suppressed the first wave of the outbreak in the population at large but not in nursing homes where its spread remains a concern, the country’s chief medical officer said.


* Mainland China reported on Friday that new confirmed cases of the coronavirus fell to a two-week low, as infections involving travellers arriving from abroad sharply fell.

* Japan’s prime minister expanded a state of emergency to include the entire country and said the government was considering cash payouts for all.

* India charged a Muslim leader with culpable homicide not amounting to murder for holding a gathering last month that authorities say led to a big jump in infections.

* Indonesia expects the number of cases to peak between May and June with around 95,000 infections, a government adviser said.

* Australian public life could be constrained for another year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned.

* Singapore’s health ministry confirmed 728 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, a new daily record, taking the total in the city-state to 4,427.


* Saudi Arabia is facing the global crisis from a position of strength, given its strong financial position and reserves, with relatively low government debt, its finance minister said.

* Coronavirus outbreaks across the Middle East threaten to shatter the lives of millions of already destitute people in conflict zones, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

* Coronavirus cases in Africa could shoot up from thousands now to 10 million within three to six months according to very provisional modelling, a regional World Health Organisation (WHO) official said.

* Six Gulf Arab states approved Kuwait’s proposal for a common network for food supply safety.

* Jordan’s Prime Minister said spending priorities have changed to focus on benefits to alleviate hardships suffered by many people under a tight lockdown.

* Israel’s military said it has begun converting common home-use respirators into ventilators capable of providing potentially life-saving breathing support for COVID-19 patients.


* Asian stocks gained as President Donald Trump’s plans to gradually re-open the US economy offset grim economic data from China.

* China’s economy shrank for the first time in almost three decades of records in the first quarter, a survey showed.

* Most US firms in China currently have no plans to relocate production to other parts of the country or abroad.

* Hedge fund Elliott Management said global stocks could ultimately lose half of their value from February’s high, according to a letter sent to clients.

* The United States opposes creation of liquidity through issuance of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights as part of the response to the pandemic, US treasury secretary said.

* ConocoPhillips said it would slash spending and cut US oil output by about 30% of this year’s target, the largest cut so far by a major shale producer to deal with an unprecedented drop in oil demand.

* Louis Vuitton owner LVMH posted a 17% drop in comparable sales in the first quarter due to the pandemic, as government-imposed lockdowns forced it to close stores and production sites in key markets.


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