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Coronavirus updates: cases worldwide near 2 million as Trump repeats WHO funding threat

  • Coronavirus updates: cases worldwide near 2 million as Trump repeats WHO funding threat
    The global death toll neared 120,000 as cases passed 1.92 million. Coronavirus updates: cases worldwide near 2 million as Trump repeats WHO funding threat
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The global death toll neared 120,000 as cases passed 1.92 million. According to Johns Hopkins University figures, 1,920,985 people worldwide are known to have been infected with coronavirus, though the total number of infections is likely higher. So far, 119,687 people have died in the pandemic.

 Trump threatens to withdraw funding from WHO again. In a bizarre and antagonistic press briefing that included the airing of a campaign-style video attacking the press and Trump announcing his authority over lockdown rules is “total”, the US president said he will also decide this week whether he plans to reopen the US by 1 May. Payments to individuals as part of the US economic stimulus package will be made by Wednesday, US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said.

 France restrictions to ease in May. In a televised address, the French president said France would start returning to normal life on 11 May, if citizens were “civic, responsible and respected the rules” – and if the number of cases of coronavirus continued to drop. He said that only by respecting the confinement rules would the battle against Covid-19 be won. The country’s budget minister said its budget deficit was set to hit a post-war record of 9% of economic output this year.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was praised as one of the world's female leaders to have shown "true leadership" during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a Forbes magazine article published Monday.

 Brace for ‘extraordinary’ crisis, says Vladimir Putin. As Moscow tightened its lockdown measures, Russia reported its highest daily infection figures yet. In a video conference with officials on Monday, the country’s president said the next weeks would be “decisive” for Russia’s fight against the virus as the situation “is changing practically every day, and unfortunately not for the better.”

 China cases emerge on Russia border. China reported 89 new coronavirus cases on 13 April, down from 108 the previous day. China’s state broadcaster had reported earlier that 79 of the day’s imported cases were in the northeast province of Heilongjiang, which shares a border with Russia. Hubei province reported 0 new deaths and cases.

Hospitalisations in New York start to plateau. A glimmer of hope. Deaths and hospitalisations are falling in New York. “Yes, I think you can say the worst is over,” said the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, announcing an alliance with six other governors in the region to explore how to lift restrictions. “If you do it wrong, it can backfire, and we’ve seen that with other places in the globe,” Cuomo said.

England’s death toll at record levels. Coronavirus has pushed the death toll in England to its highest level since official weekly statistics began in 2005, with fatalities running at almost 40% above the average. The Office for National Statistics said that in the week to 3 April, 16,387 people died in England and Wales, an increase of 5,246 deaths compared with the previous week and 6,082 more than the five-year average.

 IMF to provide immediate debt relief to 25 countries. The debt relief will be made available under the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. About $215m of the total will be used for grants to the first 25 countries over the next six months, with extensions possible up to two years.

Heathrow passenger demand down 90% in April. Usually the busiest in Europe, the airport has forecast a huge fall in demand this month. The company said on Tuesday that passenger numbers were down 52% in March compared with the same period last year, with many of those journeys being made by Britons returning home from abroad.

India extends nationwide lockdown to 3 May.
In a televised address on Tuesday morning, prime minister Narendra Modi announced that India’s nationwide lockdown is to be extended till 3 May.