The United States now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country – including China. Almost 86,000 people in the US have become infected and nearly 1,300 have died. The crisis has hit the American economy hard, fuelling a record surge in unemployment claims. Especially New York, the country’s biggest city, is struggling.
The EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has criticised member states for their lack of solidarity as the coronavirus sweeps across the continent. The Coronavirus crisis is hitting the bloc hard: Half of the world’s more than 500-thousand confirmed coronavirus cases are in Europe. The European Central Bank has already announced unprecedented action to support EU members and businesses, but member states can’t agree on how to distribute the financial burden and this is resurrecting old fault-lines between north and south.
South Africa has confirmed its first two coronavirus deaths, as the number of confirmed cases rises to more than a thousand.
The news comes at the start of a three-week nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the virus. The military has been deployed to help enforce measures that include restictions on people leaving their homes for anything but essential trips. Alcohol sales and dog-walking have also been banned.
More of the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic:
– Three months into the outbreak, and the total number of confirmed cases globally has passed half a million – and the death toll is more than 24,000.
– France has reported its fifth-highest death count. It’s jumped by a quarter in just one day and the death toll is still climbing.
– German company Bosch says it’s developed a coronavirus test for use in medical facilities that delivers results in 2.5 hours – twice as fast as other tests.
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