Coronavirus: Latest global developments

2020-04-21 22:54

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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

More than 2.5 million cases 

More than 2 525 240 infections have now been reported and at least 174 001 people have died, according to an AFP tally at 19:00 GMT on Tuesday based on official sources.

The United States has the most deaths of any country with 43 200.

Italy is the second hardest-hit country, with 24 648 dead. Spain follows with 21 282, then France with 20 796 and Britain with 17 337.

'Global humanitarian catastrophe' 

The pandemic could nearly double the number of people around the world facing acute hunger to more than 250 million by the end of 2020, the UN's World Food Programme says, its director warning of a looming "global humanitarian catastrophe."

G20 agriculture ministers pledge to ensure "sufficient" global food supplies.

'Devastating' for jobs 

The pandemic is severely impacting jobs and output around the world, having a "devastating effect on workers and employers," the International Labour Organisation says.

Latin America is set for its worst ever recession with a fall in GDP of 5.3% in 2020 due to the pandemic, a UN agency says.

Aid packages 

US President Donald Trump orders his administration to come up with a plan to aid US oil and gas companies struggling with a massive supply glut and record-low crude prices.

US lawmakers and the White House agree on a $480 billion emergency package that replenishes a depleted program to help small businesses devastated by the crisis, the head of the Senate's Republican majority says.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announces a R500 billion ($26.3 billion) "historical" relief package aimed at supporting the economy and the vulnerable during the pandemic.

Slowly easing lockdowns 

The Netherlands says primary schools will start to reopen on May 11.

Spain, which has one of the world's most restrictive lockdowns, will allow under-14s to go out from April 27.

Singapore, which is facing a fast-moving second wave of infections, extends confinement restrictions until early June.

Masks imposed in Germany 

Berlin joins a wave of federal states in Germany in ordering the wearing of protective masks on public transport from April 27. Ten of Germany's 16 regions have now announced similar rules.

Gatherings banned 

Denmark says that gatherings of more than 500 people will be banned until at least September 1. Ireland bans gatherings of more than 5 000 people until the end of August.

Half of lockdown students lack computer 

Half of the world's school and university students affected by class closures because of the coronavirus - some 826 million from pre-primary to university level - do not have access to a computer for home-schooling, Unesco says.

Beer, bull festivals off 

German officials cancel Oktoberfest, a beloved beer-swilling festival in southern Bavaria scheduled for September 19 to October 4 and expecting to draw some six million visitors.

Spain's best-known bull-running festival in the northern city of Pamplona, held each year between July 6 and 14 and attracting hundreds of thousands of people, is cancelled.

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