(Reuters) – Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.18 million globally and 147,265 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 1400 GMT on Friday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
– For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
– For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
– The U.S. Secretary of State said nations should rethink adopting Huawei’s 5G networks in their telecommunications infrastructure, due to China’s role in the pandemic.
– Some Venezuelan public health workers told Reuters the nation’s rickety health care system is ill-prepared to confront the pandemic, with a nationwide testing program dependent on a single, overstretched Caracas lab.
– Honduras’ health minister said that a Cuban medical brigade would join local medics to fight the coronavirus.
– Mexico’s deputy health minister, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said the country might have as many as 55,951 people infected, twice the estimated number reported last week.
– Brazilian President Bolsonaro fired his health minister and again called for states to end stay-at-home orders. He also accused a house speaker of turning state governors against him and seeking to remove him from office.
– Britain was too slow to react on a number of fronts to the outbreak and 40,000 people could die, a leading public health professor told lawmakers on Friday, a day after the UK’s hospital death toll rose to 14,576.
– Switzerland urged residents against complacency as the country’s infection rate slows and lawmakers start relaxing restrictions.
– Germany’s health minister said the outbreak has become manageable again as the number of recovered patients has exceeded new infections every day this week.
– Moscow has more cases than state testing shows, private testing results among people without symptoms suggest.
– Nearly 1,300 people who died in the Chinese city of Wuhan, or half the total, were not counted in death tolls because of lapses, state media said on Friday, but Beijing dismissed claims that there had been any kind of cover-up.
– Singapore is assessing whether to place recovered migrant workers on cruise ships rather than back in dormitories that have become infection hotbeds, despite problems controlling onboard outbreaks encountered elsewhere.
– Japan said it hoped to start distributing relief payments next month, after extending a state of emergency nationwide.
– The number of infections in South Asia crossed 22,000 on Friday, driven by a rise in cases in India as the Maldives locked down its capital.
– Indonesia surpassed the Philippines on Friday as the country reporting the most infections in Southeast Asia.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
– The pandemic will likely kill at least 300,000 Africans and risks pushing 29 million into extreme poverty, the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa said, calling for a $100 billion safety net for the continent.
– Iran paraded medical gear to mark its national Army Day as the country’s death toll rose to 4,958. A parliamentary report released earlier this week said the death toll might be almost double the figures announced by the health ministry, and the number of infections eight to 10 times more.
– Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti said that Muslim prayers during Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr feast should be performed at home if the outbreak continues.
– Israel is heading off shortages of disposable surgical masks by mass-producing washable versions sized to fit everyone from children to bearded men.
– World stock markets made a super-charged sprint towards a second straight week of gains on Friday after President Donald Trump laid out plans to gradually reopen the coronavirus-hit U.S. economy following similar moves elsewhere. [MKTS/GLOB]
– Oil prices were mixed on Friday as news of Trump’s plans was quickly overshadowed by China’s worst quarterly economic contraction on record.
– The International Monetary Fund said the economic fallout of the pandemic, combined with other problems, meant Latin America and the Caribbean would likely see “no growth” in the decade from 2015 to 2025.
– Chile´s export-driven economy will see a painfully slow recovery after being battered by mass protests and the coronavirus crisis, market watchers said.
– It is unclear whether measures designed to support the euro zone economy will be sufficient, Germany’s Bundesbank head told Bloomberg, adding that expansionary monetary and fiscal policies would remain necessary for some time.
– The outbreak will not affect China’s current account in the medium-to-long term, the foreign exchange regulator said on Friday.
– Saudi Arabia is facing the crisis with strong financial reserves and relatively low government debt, its finance minister said.
– Fourteen Japanese companies have scrapped plans for initial public offerings this month, more than in the aftermath of the Sept 2001 attacks on the United States.
– Britain’s financial watchdog has proposed a repayment freeze for millions of consumers with auto finance contracts, goods bought on high-cost credit, and pawned belongings.
(Compiled by Sarah Morland; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Arun Koyyur and Nick Macfie)