Coronavirus news, at a glance
Nearly a third of the world’s population are living under coronavirus-related movement restrictions after more than 487,000 people were infected by the virus and more than 22,000 died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Almost 118,000 people have recovered. Here’s all the latest news:
US stimulus bill: The Senate voted to pass a $2 trillion economic relief package, which will go to the House next. US cases have topped 65,000, with over 930 fatalities. New York is the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, with known cases there doubling every three days. California’s cases are also doubling every few days, while officials have warned that San Francisco could reach New York levels.
Spain reels: The country has now recorded more deaths than China — only Italy has more. The total number of infections in Spain is inching closer to 50,000, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, with more than 3,600 fatalities.
Markets struggling: US stock futures are stumbling, even as the US moves closer toward passing a $2 trillion stimulus bill. The House of Representatives is expected to take up the measure on Friday. Markets in Asia Pacific struggled for direction, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was the only major benchmark in the region to trade firmly in the green.
New imported cases in China: The country reported 67 new imported coronavirus cases on Wednesday, but no new locally transmitted ones. Its rate of new infections has slowed significantly, with 81,285 cases, 3,287 deaths, 74,051 recovered.
Largest 24-hour spike in several nations: Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and Russia saw their largest single-day spike in cases since the outbreak began. Japan had 98 new cases and two more deaths on Wednesday, taking it to 2,003 cases and 55 deaths. Japanese people were urged to avoid all non-essential overseas travel. Singapore reported 73 new cases on Wednesday and New Zealand confirmed 73 new patients and five more probable cases. New Zealand is in its first full day on alert Level 4, the highest category. Most people are required to stay home.
Moscow closes down: All cafes, parks and stores (except grocery stores, delivery kitchens and pharmacies) will shut until April 5 after the spike in Russia took the nation to 840 cases and three deaths. Putin said last week Russia had managed to slow the spread of coronavirus thanks to early and aggressive measures.
India pledges $22.6 billion in support: The government has announced a relief package to assist those most affected by the pandemic and 21-day nationwide lockdown. It includes medical insurance cover of $66,400 per person to those working on the frontlines and 5 kilograms of rice or wheat per month for 800 million people.
Some happy news: Wynn, a service dog in training, is bringing joy and comfort to the medical staff on the front lines of the battle against the virus in Denver, Colorado. A 96-year-old woman is now the oldest South Korean to fully recover from the coronavirus.