Latest on the coronavirus: Global cases near 1.5 million
Dressed in protective gear, university student working on her master's degree Jacquelyn Augustine displays information for arranging COVID-19 testing amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 8, 2020, on the first day of testing at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine in south Los Angeles. (AFP Photo)
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide reached roughly 1.5 million on April 9 as the pandemic swept across the globe.
Johns Hopkins University's website showed over 88,538 people have died from the virus. The total number of people recovered from COVID-19 neared 330,000 according to the data.
- Total cases in Germany rose by 4,974 in the past 24 hours to 108,202 on April 9. The death toll rose by 246 to 2,107.
- The increase of hospital death fatalities in France slowed again, but the presidential palace said the national lockdown aimed at containing the disease would be extended.
- Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the country must stick with its rigid lockdown to try to curb the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Spain's official coronavirus death toll edged higher again, but questions persisted over the veracity of numbers.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was "clinically stable" in intensive care on April 8 and responding to treatment.
- President Vladimir Putin likened Russia's fight against the coronavirus to its battles against medieval invaders and said the next few weeks would be decisive.
- The president of the European Union's main science organisation quit over frustration at the response to the pandemic.
- Switzerland's government, which said its economy could contract by as much 10.4 percent this year, extended the nation's restrictions for another week but said a gradual loosening of measures would begin this month.
- The World Health Organization's regional director described the outbreak in Europe as "very concerning" and urged governments to give "very careful consideration" before relaxing measures to control its spread.
- Pope Francis condemned people he said were exploiting the pandemic to turn a quick profit and decried the "hypocrisy" of how some politicians are dealing with the crisis.
- The European Union is drawing up common rules for using mobile apps to track the spread, aiming to make better use of the technology and address privacy concerns.
- U.S. deaths topped 14,600 on April 8, the second-highest reported number in the world behind Italy, according to a Reuters tally.
- New York state, the epicentre of America's coronavirus crisis, set another single-day record of COVID-19 deaths on April 8, as veteran doctors and nurses voiced astonishment at the speed with which patients were deteriorating and dying.
- Some 60,000 Americans could die in the pandemic, a university model often cited by U.S. and state policymakers projected, a 26 percent reduction in its most recent forecast, as total cases in the country reached 395,011, with the death toll at 12,754.
- The head of the World Health Organization gave a strident defense of his agency's handling of the pandemic, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's criticism.
- U.S. immigration officials have rapidly deported nearly 400 migrant children intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border in the past two weeks under new rules.
- Starbucks Corp on April 8 forecast a 47 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, scrapped its full-year forecast and warned that the financial hit from the pandemic would extend into the final quarter of the fiscal year 2020.
- Mexico registered 396 new cases, bringing the country's total to 3,181 cases as well as 174 deaths. It's deputy health minister said the country might have 26,500 people infected with the virus.
- Mexican financial authorities agreed on April 8 to apply looser liquidity rules on banks to help them weather the economic and financial turmoil caused by the coronavirus, the central bank said.
- Honduras will extend its national curfew to April 19. The country registered 31 new cases, bringing its total to 343 cases and 23 deaths.
- Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra extended the country's state of emergency for two more weeks to April 26.
- Mainland China reported 63 new cases, up from 62 a day earlier. Total number of confirmed cases in mainland China stood at 81,865 as of April 8.
- Total infections in Japan hit 5,002 on April 9, showing no signs of slowing despite Japan's move this week to impose a state of emergency on Tokyo and six other areas.
- India is considering plans to seal off hotspots in Delhi, Mumbai and parts of the south while easing restrictions elsewhere as a way out of a three-week lockdown that has caused deep economic distress.
- Expatriates in Hong Kong are buying up masks to send to family and friends back home as supplies return to shops.
- Thailand automatically extends visas for all foreigners who entered legally, to prevent long queues at immigration centers and stem the spread, a senior immigration official said.
- East Timor's prime minister withdrew his resignation as the government approved a $250-million fund.
Middle East and Africa
- Ethiopia and Liberia declared states of emergency, a day after cases on the continent surged past 10,000.
- Lebanon's food importers, already hit by a dollar crunch, have struggled to book new cargoes as the pandemic threatens supplies and sparks fears of more painful price hikes.
- Egypt will extend a nationwide night-time curfew by 15 days until April 23.
- Ethiopia declared a state of emergency.
- A coronavirus lockdown kept the streets of Jerusalem and other Israeli cities nearly empty on the Jewish Passover holiday, which typically draws crowds of people.
- The Gaza Strip has no more coronavirus test kits, Palestinian health officials said.
- Somalia has registered its first death from coronavirus.
- Asian shares rose on hopes the COVID-19 pandemic is nearing a peak and that governments would roll out more stimulus measures, while expectations of an oil production cut agreement bolstered crude prices.
- Uncertainty over Japan's economic outlook is "extremely high" as the pandemic hits output and consumption, central bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said.
- The pandemic's economic impact on Canada will be broader and more challenging than the 2008-09 financial crisis, with the recovery likely to take longer than expected, chief executives of the country's two major banks said on April 8.
- Britain's housing market has been thrown into the deep freeze by measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus and is unlikely to have recovered a year from now, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
- UK-listed companies could cancel about $60 billion in dividend payments this year following Britain's lockdown and calls from regulators to preserve cash, according to a report by analytics company Link Group.
- The fallout from the coronavirus could push around half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam said on April 9.
- Dubai's non-oil private sector was hit hard last month as key sectors of the Middle East's trade and tourism hub were impacted by virus-containment measures, a survey showed.
- Faced with an accelerating global health crisis, Federal Reserve officials agreed last month they needed a pull-out-all-the-stops response.
- Canada said it would temporarily loosen rules for an emergency wage subsidy program to ensure more businesses qualify, while jobless claims triggered by the outbreak soared beyond 4 million.
- European Union finance ministers failed in all-night talks to agree on more economic support, spurring Spain to warn the bloc's future was on the line without a joint response to the crisis.
- The European Central Bank told euro zone finance ministers the area could need fiscal measures worth up to 1.5 trillion euros this year.
- Germany's economy will probably shrink by 9.8 percent in the second quarter, its biggest decline since records began, the country's leading think tanks said.
- The pandemic has cost Austria $12 billion so far, or 2.8 percent of its annual gross domestic product, according to its central bank.
- A second stimulus package India is poised to announce in coming days will be worth around $13 billion and focus on helping small and medium businesses, senior officials said.
- Hong Kong announced relief measures worth $17.7 billion to help businesses and people crippled by the outbreak to stay afloat.
- Nearly 140 campaign groups and charities urged the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, G20 governments and private creditors to help the world's poorest countries by cancelling debt payments.