Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.64 million globally and 184,910 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 1400 GMT on Thursday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, opentmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, opentmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9Tin an external browser.
* U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a fundamental reform of the World Health Organization was needed following its handling of the pandemic and that the United States, the WHO’s biggest donor, may never restore funding to the U.N. body.
* The U.S. House of Representatives returned to Washington on Thursday to pass a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill, funding small businesses and hospitals.
* Former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother, Donald Reed Herring, died on Tuesday night after contracting the novel coronavirus.
* Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental coronavirus drug failed its first randomized clinical trial, the Financial Times reported, but the drugmaker said the results from the study in China were inconclusive as it was terminated early.
* Peru’s reported coronavirus cases rapidly increased this week and topped 20,000 on Thursday, doubling in nine days, as President Martin Vizcarra extended a national quarantine in the world’s No. 2 copper producer.
* Canada pledged new money to develop and eventually mass-produce vaccines in its fight against the coronavirus.
* France has expanded its list of drugs that face export restrictions through the coronavirus crisis despite repeated calls from the European Union to lift curbs that could cause shortages in other countries, documents show.
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled she was open to offering major financial support for a coronavirus recovery package worth as much as 2 trillion euros, but wanted to see how it would be used before committing.
* Spain’s daily increase in fatalities further steadied at around 2% on Thursday, as the government apologised for confusion over lockdown rules for children.
* Greece extended its general lockdown by a week to May 4, saying any relaxation would be staggered over May and June.
* Two British doctors who have been exposed to COVID-19 patients have launched a legal challenge against the government over what they say is a lack of protective kits and unclear guidance on when and how it should be used.
* South Asia’s infections have crossed 37,000, with more than half in India, complicating the task of governments looking to ease lockdowns.
* Around $1 trillion of debt owed by developing countries would be cancelled under a global deal proposed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
* Indonesia will temporarily ban domestic air and sea travel starting Friday, barring a few exceptions.
* Malaysia will extend travel and other curbs by two weeks to May 12, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said, but more sectors may be allowed to resume operations.
* Spooked by a sharp increase in cases in the navy, Taiwan is debating whether to consider a broad lockdown.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* African nations that lack ventilators will receive some from a donation of 300 supplied by the Jack Ma Foundation.
* The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states agreed to ban interstate movement for two weeks.
* Botswana’s president and lawmakers were released from two weeks in quarantine after testing negative.
* Egypt will keep a night-time curfew for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan to combat the coronavirus spread but make it one hour shorter.
* World stock markets climbed as investors weighed a rebound in oil prices and prospects for further government stimulus against stark economic data showing the toll of the pandemic.
* Global economic activity all but ground to a halt this month as government-imposed lockdowns took a particularly heavy toll on the world’s service industry, surveys showed.
* A record 26 million Americans likely sought unemployment benefits over the last five weeks, meaning all the jobs created during the longest employment boom in U.S. history were wiped out in about a month.
* Japan offered its bleakest assessment of the economy in over a decade as the pandemic threatens to tip the world’s third-largest economy into a deep recession.
* South Korea’s ruling party and the government agreed to provide cash handouts to every household, not just to families below the top 30 percentile of income as previously announced.
* Italy will target a budget deficit of around 10% of national output in 2020, and the gap will remain above 3% in 2021, as it readies a new stimulus package to soften the economic hit from the virus.
* German consumer morale was driven to a record low heading into May, a survey showed, with the pandemic having a far more severe impact on household spending intentions than forecasters had estimated.