Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world – Sunday

An employee prepares a take away order at a fast food restaurant as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affected local business in Roanoke, Virginia U.S., April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(Reuters) – Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.33 million globally and 159,818 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 2000 GMT on Sunday.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7in an external browser.

* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9Tin an external browser.

AMERICAS

* Governors in U.S. states hardest hit by the novel coronavirus sparred with President Donald Trump over his claims they have enough tests and should quickly reopen their economies as more protests are planned over the extension of stay-at-home orders.

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

* U.S. lawmakers are very close to an agreement on approving extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could seal a deal as early as Sunday, congressional and Trump administration officials said.

* 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.

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

* Peru reported over 15,000 cases of coronavirus 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.

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.

* 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.

* A delivery of protective equipment for British health workers that was due on Sunday from Turkey has been delayed, a British government official said, as medics on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak increasingly report shortages of gear.

* 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

* Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen by 2,458 to 139,897, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. That was lower than a 3,609 increase reported on Saturday.

*Pope Francis called for an all-embracing vision of the world after the Covid-19 crisis, saying moving on without global solidarity or excluding sectors of society from the recovery would result in “an even worse virus”.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* China reported 16 new coronavirus cases but no deaths while authorities remained on guard against a major resurgence and monitored the spread of cases in Heilongjiang province.

* Australia added to growing pressure on China over its handling of the novel coronavirus, questioning its transparency and demanding an international investigation into the origins of the virus and how it spread.

* South Korea extended its social distancing policy for another 15 days but offered some relief for churches and sporting fixtures, as it reported just eight new coronavirus infections, the lowest in two months.

* Indonesia’s death toll from the new coronavirus has likely reached 1,000, nearly double the official figure of 535, Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) chairman Daeng Faqih was quoted saying.

* Pakistan has lifted restrictions on congregational prayers at mosques, but put in place a host of safety conditions to avert the further spread of the coronavirus in the country, a statement said.

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 to combat coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported.

* Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 82,329, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, overtaking neighbouring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East.

* 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.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

* 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 coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said.

*Europe will need at least another 500 billion euros from European Union institutions to finance its economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic, on top of the agreed half-a-trillion package, the head of the euro zone bailout fund said.

* 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.

* Global stocks rallied on President Donald Trump’s plans to revive the coronavirus-hit U.S. economy and a report about a clinical trial for a potential drug to treat COVID-19.

* China’s economy contracted for the first time on record in the first quarter as the coronavirus shut down factories and shopping malls and put millions out of work.

(Compiled by Sarah Morland and Devika Syamnath; Editing by William Maclean)

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