Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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With thousands dying from COVID-19 every day and attempts to limit its economic fallout, drugmakers and healthcare groups are pushing to mass produce vaccines even before they are shown to work in trials. This is creating worries about supplies, with some major equipment manufacturers warning against hoarding by vaccine developers.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* More than 7.54 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus around the world and 420,950 have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 0943 GMT on Friday.

* Eikon users, see MacroVitals (cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098) for a case tracker and a summary of developments.

EUROPE

* The risk of a second wave big enough to require European lockdowns to be reimposed is moderate to high, EU health experts said, and depends on the gradual easing of restrictions and how people stick to them.

* A stimulus package that includes lower VAT, handouts for parents and support for companies is designed to lift Germany out of the crisis promptly and effectively, its finance minister said.

* Britain’s economy shrank by a quarter in the March-April period, reaching what could be the bottom of a “catastrophic” crash before a long and slow recovery.

* British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have launched legal action against the UK government’s quarantine policy.

* Russia rolled out its first approved COVID-19 drug, its state financial backer said, as the number of infections surpassed half a million on Thursday.

* Armenia extended a state of emergency until July 13 as daily infections continue to rise.

 

AMERICAS

* About half a dozen U.S. states are grappling with a rising number of coronavirus patients filling hospital beds, fanning concerns that reopening the economy may spark a second wave, as outbreaks also emerge across fruit and vegetable farms and packing plants.

* Brazil on Thursday surpassed 800,000 cases and 40,000 deaths, as Brazilians critical of their government’s response dug 100 graves and stuck black crosses in Rio’s Copacabana beach.

* Mexico reported 4,790 new infections and 587 additional fatalities on Thursday.

* Latin American countries should renew domestic flights no later than July to avoid more bankruptcies, according to the International Air Transport Association.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* In Mumbai, the onset of the annual monsoon poses a serious threat with diseases expected to soar in coming months amid the coronavirus strain. India reported a record rise in daily cases, becoming the world’s fourth worst-hit country and raising the prospect of returning to lockdown just days after it was lifted.

* Twitter said it removed over 170,000 accounts tied to a Beijing-backed influence operation that deceptively spread messages favourable to the Chinese government, including about the coronavirus. Beijing reported two new cases in the capital on Friday.

* A $94 billion emergency fund that can be tapped without parliamentary oversight has been branded the Japanese prime minister’s “pocket money” by opposition lawmakers.

* Thailand will lift a nationwide curfew and ease more restrictions next week, after reporting no local transmissions for 18 days.

* This year’s Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Formula One Grands Prix have been cancelled.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* The pandemic is accelerating in Africa, spreading to the hinterland from capital cities where it arrived with travellers, said the WHO.

* Many U.N.-supported programmes in Yemen will close in the coming weeks if additional funds are not secured, with only 47% of the $1.35 billion pledged in early June received so far. UNICEF warned it could have shut down its water and sanitation services.

* Ivory Coast farmers say they are leaving cashew crops to rot, with prices at unprofitable lows after border closures stopped major buyers flying to West Africa from Vietnam and India.

* Saudi Arabia will resume sports activities without fans from June 21, state media said.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

* A slump in global shares extended to its fourth day running on Friday and oil tumbled over growing concerns that a resurgence of coronavirus infections could stunt the pace of recovery from lockdowns.

* The economic fallout could plunge an extra 395 million people into extreme poverty and swell the total number of those living on less than $1.90 a day worldwide to more than 1 billion, according to a report.

* Tanzania has begun negotiations with creditors over a G20 nations initiative over debt relief, its finance minister said.

* Denmark plans to create a $1.52 billion fund to support coronavirus-hit companies.

 

Reuters

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