Confirmed cases of the coronavirus crossed 2,082,372 globally at 0800 GMT on Thursday. More than 134,000 people have also died.
Here is the news from various regions across the globe:
*South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, Africa’s worst hit countries reported more infections on Wednesday. South Africa now has 2,506 confirmed cases after 91 new ones were added.
*Egypt in grim neck and neck race with South Africa has 2,505 cases. It recorded 155 new infections.
*Algeria, Africa’s No.3 has 2,160 cases, with 90 new infections while Morocco has 2,024 cases with new 136 infections.
The coronavirus standing of other African countries: Cameroon 848, Tunisia 780, Ivory Coast 654, Ghana 641, Niger 584, Burkina Faso 542, Djibouti 435, Nigeria 407, Guinea 404, Senegal 314.
* Iran’s president said the outbreak had not hit the farm sector and citizens did not need to worry about food supplies.
* Yemen’s war-scarred hospitals are marshalling resources to face the outbreak which has yet to make clear inroads in the country, with the little testing that has been done uncovering just one case.
* Total confirmed cases in the United States stood at 636,604 and deaths at 30,885, according to the latest Reuters tally.
* Hospitalisations fell for a second day in New York, showing signs that the hardest-hit U.S. state is gaining some control over the outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
* U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to halt funding to the WHO over its handling of the pandemic prompted condemnation from world leaders.
* U.S. Senate Democrats unveiled a $30 billion plan to vastly increase nationwide testing for the coronavirus.
* Mexico reported 448 new cases and 43 new deaths, bringing the total to 5,847 cases and 449 deaths.
* Haiti has decided to reopen its key textile industry next week, suggesting the nation had escaped the worst of the pandemic by imposing early on a state of emergency.
* A two-month-old baby born to Warao indigenous refugees from Venezuela has tested positive, the mayor’s office in the Brazilian city of Manaus said on Wednesday.
* WHO said countries that ease restrictions should wait at least two weeks to evaluate the impact, as some European countries including Spain and Austria have begun small-scale steps to reduce severe lockdowns.
* Nearly 700 sailors assigned to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle’s naval group have tested positive for the coronavirus, the armed forces ministry said.
* Britain’s virus outbreak is probably peaking, but it is too early to start relaxing restrictions, officials said.
* Northern Ireland will keep coronavirus restrictions in place for another three weeks, First Minister Arlene Foster said.
* Spain’s prime minister promised more testing to try to build on a decline in daily deaths.
* Belgium has extended measures to control the spread of the coronavirus to May 3, with a slight easing of restrictions to allow home improvement stores and garden centres to open.
* A 106-year-old great-grandmother, thought to be the oldest patient in Britain to beat the novel coronavirus, was discharged from hospital to applause from nurses and health workers.Valentine’s Day: 6 States Where Free Condoms Will Be Distributed
* Portugal’s virus curve has flattened but the good news is not enough for the country to lift lockdown measures and reopen its economy, government ministers said.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC:
* China reported 46 new cases in the mainland, the same as a day earlier. Total cases stand at 82,341 as of Wednesday.
* U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed China’s top diplomat on the need for full transparency and information sharing regarding the coronavirus outbreak.3 New Deaths, 13 Fresh Cases As Coronavirus Spreads To 19 States With 318 Confirmed Cases
* Japan urged its citizens to stay home, as media reports warned that as many as 400,000 could die without urgent action, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under pressure to hand out more cash.
* Australian prime minister urged schools to reopen after Easter holidays so students do not lose a year of education and parents can work.
* India has agreed to sell hydroxychloroquine tablets to Malaysia, with New Delhi partially lifting its ban on exports of the anti-malarial drug.
* South Korea proposed a second supplementary budget for this year worth 7.6 trillion won ($6.2 billion) to fund cash payments promised to low- and middle-income families to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
* Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd said it has stood down about 95% of its employees due to the suspension of gaming and other non-essential services at its Melbourne and Perth resorts.
* World stock markets fell, while bonds and the dollar held on to hefty gains, after a coronavirus-driven plunge in U.S. retail sales and factory production and increasing gloomy economic outlooks for Asia.
* Economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak will cost Illinois $7.3 billion in revenue for the current and next fiscal year, Governor J.B. Pritzker said on Wednesday.
* Japanese business confidence plunged to fresh decade lows in April as firms reported widespread damage from the pandemic, the Reuters Tankan survey showed.
* Finance officials from the G20 major economies are set to finalise an agreement for some 76 countries to have debt payments worth a combined $20 billion suspended.
* Canada’s economy shrank a record 9% in March from February, Statistics Canada said in a flash estimate.
* The Bank of Canada on Wednesday said the outbreak was set to trigger the biggest ever near-term domestic slump but expressed optimism the economy might be able to start reopening by June.
* U.S. electricity demand last week plunged to a near 17-year low as government travel and work restrictions caused businesses to shut, according to analysts and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) trade group.
* Harley-Davidson Inc said it had temporarily laid off most of its global production employees and implemented salary cuts in a bid to lower costs.
* Countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region will see a contraction this year bigger than the one seen during the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2015 oil price shock, the International Monetary Fund said.
* Africa is expected to reverse an economic contraction next year as containment measures are eased, the IMF said, but the impact will be felt for years to come.