Coronavirus latest: 26 March, at a glance – The Guardian

Coronavirus latest: 26 March, at a glance – The Guardian

Coronavirus latest: 26 March, at a glance

A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak




Coronavirus daily briefing
Illustration: Guardian Design/EPA/GETTY

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

WHO sees ‘encouraging signs’ in Europe

The World Health Organi​zation says it is encouraged by the lower rate of new infection in Italy. Its regional director, Hans Kluge, said: “While the situation remains very serious, we are starting to see some encouraging signs. Italy, which has the highest number of cases in the region, has just seen a slightly lower rate of increase.”

Slower rise in deaths reported in Spain

Spain has announced ​a further 655 coronavirus fatalities, taking the country’s total to more than 4,000. As the increase is below the daily rise recorded on Wednesday it offers support to government claims that the rise in deaths in Spain is stabilising.

India announces stimulus package

India has announced a 1.7tn-rupee ($22.5bn/£18.9bn) economic stimulus plan to help millions of people ​affected by a nationwide lockdown. “We do not want anyone to remain hungry,” said the finance minister. He said the government aims to distribute 5 kilograms of staple foodgrains wheat or rice for each person free of charge, with a kilogram of pulses for every low-income family, helping to feed about 800 million poor people over the next three months.

Iran posts record rise in cases

The health ministry confirmed another 157 deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours, taking Iran’s total to 2,234 fatalities. A record 2,389 new cases had been recorded over the same period. Five days ago, the numbers being infected daily was below 900.

Moscow shuts down as Russia bans flights

Moscow has announced it will close restaurants, bars, parks, and shops other than grocery stores and pharmacies. It came as Russia posted record growth of confirmed coronavirus cases for the second day in a row. Russia now has 840 cases, a rise ​of 182 in 24 hours. The Kremlin has ​ halted all international air traffic, both for airlines and charter flights, excluding flights repatriating Russian citizens to the country.

US deaths exceed 1,000 as Senate approves $2.2tn package

US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic have topped 1,000. Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 21,000, according to a running count kept by Johns Hopkins University, and the US had 1,046 deaths and nearly 70,000 infections. The US Senate passed a $2.2tn emergency relief package marking the biggest rescue deal of its kind in US history.

Only new imported cases reported in China

China reported no new locally transmitted cases for the second day in a row. Mainland China did, however, report an increase in the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of which involved travellers arriving from abroad. Almost one in five coronavirus cases in Singapore are among people who travelled from London.

WTO warns the economic downturn will be worse than 2008

The economic downturn and job losses caused by the pandemic is likely to be worse than the 2008 recession, according to World Trade Organization projections.


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