Covid-19: Confirmed cases worldwide almost at two million; 119,000 deaths recorded

The coronavirus pandemic has infected almost 2 million people worldwide and more than 119,000 deaths have been recorded.
Covid-19: Confirmed cases worldwide almost at two million; 119,000 deaths recorded

The coronavirus pandemic has infected almost 2 million people worldwide and more than 119,000 deaths have been recorded.

Here is the latest on the situation from around the world:

Austria

Authorities are beginning to relax strict lockdown measures by allowing small retailers and DIY and gardening supply stores to reopen.

All customers will be required to wear mouth and nose covers and keep a distance of at least a metre from each other. There will also be a limit on the number of people allowed into stores.

European Union

Germany’s foreign minister is calling for a single smartphone app to be used across the European Union to help countries co-ordinate when and how to relax their pandemic lockdown measures.

Heiko Maas said: “It’s important we don’t end up with a patchwork of 27 corona(virus) apps and 27 data protection regimes, but co-ordinate as best as possible.”

Mr Maas told Germany’s Funke media group that this would help roll back travel restrictions and border closures imposed across the bloc in recent weeks to stop the spread of coronavirus.

He said a contact tracing app already being jointly developed by several countries showed that the EU “doesn’t have to copy the Big Brother methods of authoritarian states” but can instead safeguard personal privacy.

Nigeria

Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, has extended its coronavirus lockdown of the continent’s biggest city, Lagos, and the capital, Abuja, for another two weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari said the measures severely disrupt livelihoods but have given authorities time for advances including the raising of testing capacity to 1,500 per day. Nigeria has nearly 350 cases but many new ones are from local spread.

New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country appears to be over the worst of its coronavirus outbreak but it is no time to let up on strict lockdown measures.

The country recorded just 17 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,366. There were also four new deaths, the worst day yet on that measure, bringing the total number of deaths to nine.

New Zealand MPs will decide early next week what will happen after an initial four-week lockdown ends on April 22.

India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the world’s largest coronavirus lockdown to head off the epidemic’s peak, with officials racing to make up for lost time as the caseload crossed 10,000.

Mr Modi ordered India’s 1.3 billion people to continue to largely stay inside until May 3, but said some restrictions away from infection hotspots would be eased on April 20 to help poor people dependent upon daily wages.

Japan

Japan’s health ministry reported 390 new cases of infection for a domestic total of 7,645.

The country was put under a state of emergency last week, but many people were still seen queuing up at supermarkets and crowding shopping centres in parts of Tokyo to stock up on necessities.

South Korea

South Korea has reported 27 fresh cases as infections continued to wane in the worst-hit city of Daegu and nearby towns.

South Korea’s totals are 10,564 infections and 222 virus-related deaths.

China

China has reported 89 new virus cases, 86 of them among travellers arriving from abroad, but no new deaths.

It has confirmed 3,341 deaths out of 82,249 official cases of infections.

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