Global: The official global death toll passed 225,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with the official toll at 227,644. At least 3,193,961 people have been infected worldwide.
Doctors around the world have reported more cases of a rare but potentially lethal inflammatory syndrome in children that appears to be linked to coronavirus infections. Nearly 100 cases of the unusual illness have emerged in at least six countries, with doctors in Britain, the US, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland now reported to be investigating the condition.
The International Monetary Fund is approving $650m in emergency assistance to the Dominican Republic to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Doctors Without Borders is criticising the US government for threatening trade sanctions against countries it believes are not adequately protecting intellectual property policies in the pharmaceutical sector.
South Korea: South Korea reports no new domestic cases for first time since 29 February. South Korea reported on Thursday no new domestic coronavirus cases for the first time since its 29 February peak, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
US: President Donald Trump has said the federal government will not be extending its coronavirus social distancing guidelines once they expire on Thursday. Meanwhile, the number of Americans who have died of coronavirus surpassed 60,000, a toll far higher than any other country.
China: China’s Forbidden City will reopen on Friday, three months after it closed due to the coronavirus crisis – the latest signal that the country has brought the disease under control. The sprawling imperial palace was shut down on January 25.
Japan: Japan expected to extend the state of emergency by a month. Japan’s government is expected to extend a nationwide state of emergency for another month, after prime minister, Shinzo Abe, described the coronavirus outbreak as “severe”.
South Africa: South Africa’s virus cases jump past 5,000 after its highest daily rise. The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa surged past the 5,000 mark on Thursday after it saw the largest single-day jump to date, health ministry figures showed. A total of 354 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, bringing the overall total to 5,350, and the number of fatalities spiked by 10 to 103.
Ireland: Ireland looks set to extend its lockdown, despite growing calls to ease restrictions and salvage the economy. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said on Wednesday that new cases of Covid-19 infections, deaths and intensive care admissions appeared too high to start relaxing rules that are to expire on 5 May.
Switzerland: The Swiss government has extended its ban on public events exceeding 1,000 people until the end of August, even as it announced the easing of some other restrictions on sporting events, shops, restaurants and museums.
UK: The UK government is still aiming for 100,000 daily tests by tomorrow (1 May), according to the environment secretary, George Eustice. He said the search for an effective antibody test was still under way and denied that earlier introduction of testing at care homes would have saved lives.
Air passenger numbers are down 99% in the UK, the home secretary told MPs, as she defended the government’s decision not to test individuals entering the country. On Friday, a total of 9,906 people entered the country.
France: Societe Generale SA posted a first-quarter loss as the bank set aside 820 million euros ($890 million) for bad loans and its stock traders were wiped out by the market volatility in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Thailand: Thailand will begin easing its emergency virus lockdown curbs on May 3 to allow some businesses to restart operations, according to Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for Thailand’s COVID-19 center.
Australia: The cost of Australia’s economic lockdown to the nation’s major banks has topped A$5 billion ($3.3 billion) as bad-debt provisions blow out to levels not seen since the global financial crisis.
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