President Donald Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion aid package to help the United States cope with the economic downturn inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised a huge package of steps to cushion Japan’s economy. The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged, began lifting a two-month lockdown.
* More than 551,800 people have been infected globally and nearly 24,900 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, opentmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7in an external browser.
* U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, opentmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T
* Germans have been largely compliant with rules to prevent the coronavirus spread, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, as her chief of staff said the shutdown would not be eased before April 20.
* The number of confirmed cases in Germany has risen to 48,582 and 325 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
* Italy recorded 919 deaths from coronavirus, the highest daily toll anywhere in the world, while the number of confirmed cases eclipsed the total in China.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health minister tested positive for the coronavirus and said they were self-isolating.
* Latest data from Spain’s health ministry show the death toll stabilizing.
* French health authorities reported 299 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total to 1,995.
* The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2.2 trillion aid package and Trump quickly signed it into law.
* Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States reached 100,040 on Friday, the highest number in the world, a Reuters tally showed.
* Trump on Friday invoked emergency powers to require General Motors Co to build much-needed ventilators for coronavirus patients after he accused the largest U.S. automaker of “wasting time” during negotiations.
* Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro cast doubt on Sao Paulo’s death toll from coronavirus and accused the state governor of manipulating the numbers for political ends, without giving evidence for his claims.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
* Japan’s Abe on Saturday promised a massive unprecedented package of steps to cushion the economy, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged in Tokyo.
* The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak first emerged, began lifting a two-month lockdown on Saturday by restarting some metro services and reopening borders, allowing some semblance of normality to return and families to reunite.
* China’s authorities plan stronger steps to revive an economy hit by the spread of coronavirus, as the nation on Saturday reported no new locally transmitted infections for the previous day.
* Australia stepped up enforcement of social distancing rules on Saturday, implementing fines, closing beaches and threatening stricter measures if people defy pleas to stay at home.
* Vietnam will limit domestic flights and stop public gatherings for two weeks from Saturday, as it aims to keep the number of cases under 1,000.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkey halted all intercity trains and limited domestic flights on Saturday, as the number of coronavirus cases jumped by a third in a day to 5,698, with 92 dead.
* Iraqi doctors say the country may be singularly unprepared for the coronavirus, with the number of cases at 450 and deaths at 40.
* Iran started an intercity travel ban, as its death toll rose to 2,378 on Friday.
* South Africans struggled to adapt to confinement rules, with many city streets no less crowded than normal as a strict lockdown begun.
* Algeria extended its curfew to nine more provinces.
* Stocks across the globe fell on Friday after a historic three-day run-up, as skittish investors kept indices on track for their worst monthly and quarterly performances since 2008, while the dollar fell by the most in any week since 2009.
* Canada said on Friday it will cover 75% of wages for small businesses and the central bank cut its key interest rate to the lowest level in a decade.
* The European Central Bank chief urged EU leaders to act more decisively as the bloc feuds over how far to go to cushion the economic hit of the pandemic.
* Investors rushed into cash and out of bonds at a record pace over the past week, BofA’s weekly fund flow data showed on Friday.
* Mexico will likely take the longest in Latin America to recover, S&P said on Friday, a day after it cut ratings of Mexico and national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.
* The Reserve Bank of India slashed interest rates.
* Japan is planning a stimulus that could be worth 10% of its economic output. EVENTS
* The U.S. Open originally scheduled for June 18-21 has become the third of golf’s four major championships to get postponed, the New York Post reported.
* Italy’s fashion industry body said the men’s fashion shows scheduled for June 19-23 would be held in September.