Coronavirus: latest global developments

Italy is ready to extend confinement measures due to expire on April 13 to May 3, newspapers report.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:


- More than 96,000 deaths -

Officials have recorded more than 1.6 million cases and more than 96,344 deaths in 193 countries since the virus emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT Friday based on official sources.

The United States with 466,299 is the hardest-hit country in terms of cases, of whom 16,686 have died.

Europe remains the hardest-hit continent in terms of cases with 826,389 and 67,247 deaths. Italy has the highest death toll at 18,279 followed by Spain with 15,843. France has 12,210 deaths and Britain 7,978.

Latin America and the Caribbean have passed the 50,000 case mark, with 2,090 deaths.

Belgium's death toll from the pandemic has topped 3,000 after the country recorded 496 more deaths in the past 24 hours. Spain has recorded its lowest daily death toll in 17 days, with 605 people dying.


- EU agrees on response -

The European Union agrees to a 500 billion-euro ($550 billion) rescue package aimed at reducing pain across the 27-nation bloc, especially hardest-hit Italy and Spain. However, they do not agree on proposals for pooled borrowing, which divide north and south.


- Oil production cut accord -

Top oil producers except Mexico agree to cut output in May and June by 10 million barrels per day, OPEC says, after marathon talks at a videoconference, as they seek to deal with a collapse in demand due to the coronavirus and a Saudi-Russian price war.


- 'Great Depression': IMF -

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva anticipates "the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression" from the pandemic.


- Fed steps in again -

The US central bank announces another series of financing facilities to provide $2.3 trillion to support the US economy amid the pandemic.


- Johnson out of intensive care -

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is recovering in hospital after ending three days in intensive care for COVID-19. "I do not believe you can walk away from this and get straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment," his father Stanley Johnson says.


- Divided UN seeks consensus -

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urges the Security Council to display unity as it meets to discuss what he called the "fight of a generation" -- the global coronavirus pandemic. The body limits itself to giving its support to Guterres.


- Italy planning lockdown extension - 

Italy is ready to extend confinement measures due to expire on April 13 to May 3, newspapers report.


- Hydroxychloroquine offer -

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi says it will offer 100 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, to governments worldwide if studies show it can safely to be used to treat COVID-19 patients.