More than 3.13 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 218,169 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 1400 GMT on Wednesday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* Britain’s death toll is probably above 27,241, making it one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, the opposition Labour Party leader said.
* The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France rose by 427 to 24,087, while hospitalizations and people in ICU units continued to decline.
* Spain recorded 325 deaths overnight, against 301 the previous day, but health officials said the epidemic was evolving favourably ahead of a gradual easing of its lockdown next week.
* Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 323 on Wednesday, against 382 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections stood at 2,086, broadly stable from 2,091.
* Big insurers face fresh coronavirus claim threat from the UK hospitality sector.
* Italy’s crime rate slumped 66.6% in March, thanks to a government lockdown introduced to halt the coronavirus, the interior ministry said.
* The coronavirus pandemic will plunge Germany’s economy into its deepest recession since World War Two, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.
* Russia’s confirmed cases neared 100,000 on Wednesday after 5,841 new cases were registered overnight along with a record daily rise in the death toll.
* The total confirmed cases in Sweden topped 20,000 on Wednesday.
* Polish hotels and shopping malls will reopen on May 4 and pre-schools can open on May 6.
* More than 1.01 million people have been infected in the United States and 58,605 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0200 GMT on Wednesday.
* U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is keeping some $259 billion worth of coronavirus aid capital in reserve for new or expanded Federal Reserve lending programs, but is not considering further aid to airlines at the moment.
* U.S. President Donald Trump greeted as good news reports that a Gilead Sciences Inc experimental antiviral drug might help fight the coronavirus, and infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said data shows it appears to help patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
* Florida Governor Ron DeSantis prepared to unveil his plan for easing restrictions on businesses in his state, as data showed the U.S. economy contracted 4.8% in the first quarter.
* The U.S. Navy said it would carry out a broader review into the spread of the coronavirus aboard an aircraft carrier, a move likely to delay a decision on the future of the ship’s fired captain.
* U.S. consumer advocates are urging Congress to resist growing demands by companies for protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits as states start to ease pandemic restrictions and businesses begin to reopen.
* Stress tests conducted by Brazil’s central bank show in the COVID pandemic worst case scenario Brazilian banks would need around 70 billion reais ($13 billion) in additional capital to face higher provisions for losses, according to a Financial Stability report.
* The Japanese government is planning to extend the state of emergency over the new coronavirus pandemic by about one month for the entire country, the Nikkei business daily reported.
* China said its parliament will open a key annual session on May 22, signalling that Beijing sees the country returning to normal.
* Mainland China reported 22 new cases for April 28, against 6 a day earlier, bringing total infections to 82,858.
* The Serum Institute of India said it plans this year to produce up to 60 million doses of a potential vaccine against the new coronavirus that is under clinical trial in Britain.
* Japan’s prime minister said the Tokyo Olympics could not take place next year unless the pandemic is contained, as the city governor requested an extension of Japan’s state of emergency.
* Indonesia confirmed 260 new infections on Wednesday, taking its total to 9,771, while deaths rose by 11 to 784.
* The Philippines’ tally of confirmed cases rose to more than 8,000.
* Australia’s prime minister said bans on international travel and large gatherings would continue even as the government eases lockdowns and moves towards a “COVID-safe” economy and society.
* Azerbaijan will keep borders closed until May 31.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* COVID-19 death toll in Turkey has risen by 89 in the last 24 hours to 3,081, Health Ministry data showed.
* Nigeria will ease new coronavirus lockdowns in three key states over a six-week period from May 4.
* * Yemeni authorities reported multiple coronavirus infections for the first time, after the United Nations said it feared the disease could be spreading undetected in a country where millions are already facing famine.
* Turkey extended the closure of schools until the end of May.
* Iran’s death toll rose by 80 in the past 24 hours to 5,957.
* Sudan has postponed a key economic conference meant to formulate subsidy reforms demanded by foreign donors until after the coronavirus pandemic.
* The Federal Reserve, which has pumped trillions in emergency funding into U.S. financial markets, is expected on Wednesday to reiterate its promise to do whatever it takes to support the world’s largest economy.
* Eurozone economic sentiment suffered its steepest ever decline in April as lockdowns halted much economic activity.
* Germany slashed its economic growth forecast for this year, predicting the pandemic would plunge Europe’s largest economy into its deepest recession since World War Two.
* China will roll out measures including tax, credit and foreign trade policies to support economic development in Hubei province.