(Reuters) – Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.7 million globally and 189,970 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0200 GMT on Friday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill on Thursday.
* An array of U.S. merchants in Georgia and other states prepared to reopen for the first time in a month.
* A preliminary survey of New York state residents found that nearly 14% of those tested had antibodies against the coronavirus.
* California recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.
* Drugmaker Gilead disputed a report that said its experimental coronavirus drug failed a trial in China, saying results were inconclusive as the study was terminated early.
* Canada pledged new money to develop and eventually mass-produce vaccines.
* Costa Rica has for the past week reported a steady fall in the number of people currently infected.
* Ecuador’s authorities added 11,000 new infections that resulted from delayed testing.
* Cuba’s decades-old rationing system is staging a comeback in a bid to prevent virus transmission during frantic shopping hunts.
* France offered retailers some relief on Thursday, saying it wanted them to reopen when a nationwide lockdown ends on May 11.
* Spain’s daily increase in fatalities further steadied at around 2%, as the government apologised for confusion over lockdown rules for children.
* Germany has chosen a home-grown technology for smartphone-based tracing of infections, putting it at odds with Apple Inc.
* Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock promised to expand testing to all those considered key workers.
* Greece extended its general lockdown by a week to May 4.
* Irish hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients have fallen from an average of around 100 per day at the start of April to around 40 now.
* South Asia’s infections have crossed 37,000, with more than half in India.
* China is preparing to buy more than 30 million tonnes of crops for state stockpiles to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions.
* Thousands of Hong Kong students were among the first in the world to take their final secondary school exams on Friday, all wearing face masks and having their temperatures checked.
* As many as 91 crew of an Italian cruise ship docked in Japan’s southwestern port of Nagasaki are infected with coronavirus. Tokyo’s first drive-through coronavirus test centre was launched this week.
* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has extended a strict lockdown in the capital Manila until May 15.
* Indonesia will temporarily ban domestic air and sea travel starting Friday, barring a few exceptions.
* Malaysia will extend travel and other curbs by two weeks to May 12.
* Australia will push for an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic at next month’s annual meeting of the World Health Assembly.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will allow a partial reopening of the economy on May 1.
* The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states agreed to ban interstate movement for two weeks.
* Algeria will ease confinement measures from the first day of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday.
* Israel’s religiously devout Jews, who traditionally shun the use of internet or smartphones, are increasingly going online to shop, study and video chat.
* Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell on Friday, spurred by doubts about progress in the development of drugs to treat COVID-19 and new evidence of U.S. economic damage. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The UK’s government borrowing is soaring to the highest levels in peacetime history.
* The closure of bars and restaurants may have slashed global wine sales and winemakers’ revenues in Europe by half.
* Japan’s core consumer inflation eased in March for the second straight month.
* Half of German companies are using the government’s short-time work facility as most see a decline in revenues.
* Italian government debt yields fell after EU leaders agreed to move towards joint financing of a recovery.
* Latin America’s biggest economies, Brazil and Mexico, will likely struggle with increasing deficits this year.
(Compiled by Milla Nissi, Devika Syamnath and Ramakrishnan M.; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila)