International Covid-19 wrap: Over 160 000 deaths, Zim extends lockdown, and big drop in Spain daily deaths

2020-04-19 21:25
Health workers fill out documents before performing tests for Covid-19 coronavirus on other health workers at the screening and testing tents set up at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg.

Health workers fill out documents before performing tests for Covid-19 coronavirus on other health workers at the screening and testing tents set up at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. (Michele Spatari / AFP)

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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis from around the world:

FOLLOW THE LIVE UPDATE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

More than 160 000 dead worldwide

There have been 2 334 139 reported Covid-19 infections around the world, from which 160 685 people have died, according to an AFP tally at 11:00 (GMT) on Sunday based on official sources.

The United States has the most deaths of any country with over 40 000 fatalities.

Italy is the second hardest-hit country, with 23 227 dead. Spain follows with 20 453, then France with 19 323 and Britain with 15 464.

With 101 493 deaths, Europe is the hardest-hit continent.

Spain sees sharp drop in daily virus death toll

Spain registered a sharp drop in its daily death toll from the new coronavirus on Sunday, with the number falling to 410 from 565.

The total number of fatalities in Spain, the third hardest-hit country in the world after the US and Italy, has reached 20 453, the health ministry said.

Wuhan lab refutes blame

The director of a maximum-security laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan rejects US theories that it spawned the pandemic, calling it "impossible".

Chinese scientists say the virus was probably first transmitted to humans at a Wuhan market that sold wildlife, but conspiracy theories that it came from a virology lab have been brought into the mainstream by US government officials.

"There's no way this virus came from us," Yuan Zhiming, the head of the P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, says in an interview with Chinese state media.

Zim extends lockdown by two weeks, allows mining to fully resume

Zimbabwe has extended its lockdown period by another 2 weeks to the 3rd of May but has allowed the mining sector to resume operations.

The first 21-day lockdown for the southern African country was set to end midnight Sunday 19 of April, but has been extended with President Mnangagwa saying the country is yet to meet conditions of lifting the sanctions set by the World Health Organisation.

Star-studded online concert

The world's top musicians - including Lady Gaga, the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder and teen superstar Billie Eilish - join forces for a virtual mega-concert on Saturday in a bid to forge a sense of community during the pandemic and celebrate healthcare workers.

Australia calls for investigation

Australia calls for an independent investigation into the global response to the pandemic, including the World Health Organization's handling of the crisis.

Mali elections held in turmoil

Mali votes in the final round of a legislative election despite the coronavirus crisis and a bloody jihadist conflict that disrupted the first round of voting at the end of March.

Panama holds 1700 migrants in jungle

Around 1700 illegal migrants heading to the US are being held in a jungle camp by Panama authorities after several cases of the virus were detected among them. They are being kept in facilities close to the Colombian border designed to accommodate around 200 people.

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