Paris, France | AFP | Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– More than one million cases –
At least 1,082,470 cases of infection, including 57,474 deaths have been reported in 188 countries and territories around the world since the epidemic started in December, according to an AFP tally compiled around 1900 GMT Friday based on official sources.
Italy has the highest official death toll with 14,681 fatalities. Spain follows with 10,935, the United States with 6,699 and France 6,507.
– Economic cost –
The pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion, equivalent to 4.8 percent of worldwide output, as it ravages major economies, the Asian Development Bank warns.
In the United States employment plunged by 701,000 in March and the jobless rate surged to 4.4 percent, the Labor Department reports.
Latin America is heading into “a deep recession” in 2020, the UN says.
– Food shortages –
The pandemic threatens to cause food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, especially in Africa, who depend on imports of foodstuffs paid for by exports, the World Food Programme says.
– Half of humanity confined –
More than 3.9 billion people — half of the world’s population — have been called on or obliged by their authorities to stay at home in more than 90 countries or territories, according to an AFP database.
Thailand becomes the latest nation to join the group on Friday introducing a night curfew.
Singapore will close schools and workplaces and tells people to stay home.
Turkey issues a mandatory confinement order for everyone aged under 20, a measure already applied to the over-65s and those with chronic medical conditions.
– Airborne transmission? –
Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health and aide to US President Donald Trump, says the new coronavirus might spread through the air via normal breathing and speaking, “as opposed to coughing and sneezing.”
– Field hospitals –
A new temporary hospital is opened in a London conference centre, built in just nine days. It has an initial capacity of 500 beds, which could go up to 4,000.
In the United States convention centres, sports arenas, and parking lots are being urgently converted into makeshift hospitals.
– Masks ‘confiscated’ –
A top Berlin official accuses the United States of having “confiscated” a delivery of 200,000 Chinese-made FFP2 masks, bound for Germany at a Bangkok airport, as competition for protective gear against the coronavirus heats up.
– ‘Hope’ or ‘worst yet to come’ –
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the latest figures which show the spread of the coronavirus is slowing in Germany are a cause for “hope”, but that it is too early to relax restrictions on public life.
However UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says “the worst is yet to come,” and COVID-19 is just arriving in theatres of conflict like Syria, Libya and Yemen, repeating his call for a global ceasefire.
– Queen Elizabeth to speak –
Queen Elizabeth II will make a rare special broadcast on Sunday to Britain and the Commonwealth on the coronavirus pandemic.