Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S. could be next 'virus epicenter' as India locks down, global recession looms

The United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as India announced a full 24-hour, nationwide lockdown in the world's second-most populous country. India joined the ranks of Britain and other countries clamping down to hold back the virus as business activity collapsed from Japan to the United States at a record pace in March.

Canada coronavirus aid stalled over concerns about Trudeau bid for more spending powers

An emergency aid package for Canadians facing economic harm from the coronavirus outbreak was stalled on Tuesday as a related move by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to gain new spending powers raised opposition concerns. Legislators were meeting in Ottawa to approve a C$27 billion ($18.6 billion) cash injection.

An online lifeline in Portugal for old ventilators amid coronavirus crisis

As hospitals struggle to cope with a shortage of life-saving ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, a group of volunteers from Portugal launched on Tuesday evening a unique platform hoping to bring old, unused medical equipment back to life. On the online platform Vent2Life, Portuguese hospitals can create free accounts and report malfunctioning equipment stored at their facilities. The platform will then link the hospital with a skilled technician who can fix the problem.

Gangs call curfews as coronavirus hits Rio favelas

The "baile funk" dance parties have been called off. Some open-air drug markets are closed for business. Gangs and militias have imposed strict curfews. Coronavirus is coming, and Rio de Janeiro's lawless favelas are gearing up for the onslaught. City of God, a sprawling complex of slums made famous in a hit 2002 movie of the same name, registered the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Rio's favelas over the weekend.

Mexican government officials send mixed virus social distancing signals

Mexico's deputy health minister unveiled public social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus on Tuesday, even as some top government officials seemed to shrug off his appeal for people to keep a distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. The defense minister and finance minister were among about a dozen senior officials who gathered for a news conference where the measures were announced. They stood on a cramped stage, with little space evident between them, as a slide showed a cartoon figure with outstretched arms to indicate safe distances.

Britain wakes up to coronavirus lockdown, confusion continues

Britain awoke to a virtual lockdown on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people to stay at home, shops to close and an end to all social gatherings to halt the spread of coronavirus. The unprecedented peacetime restrictions, which will last for at least three weeks, were brought in to prevent the state-run National Health Service (NHS) from being overwhelmed as the number of deaths in Britain rose to 335.

Colombians scramble to get ready for coronavirus quarantine

Thousands of Colombians were rushing to return to their home cities on Tuesday while others hurried to banks, supermarkets and other shops before the late-night start of a mandatory 19-day national quarantine meant to curb the spread of coronavirus. Distressed travelers who were trapped in capital Bogota during an obligatory isolation drill over the long weekend were unsuccessfully looking for seats on buses out of the city so they could spend the quarantine at home.

Deny, delay, dodge: LatAm mavericks caught cold by coronavirus

The presidents of Mexico and Brazil scored stunning election victories in 2018 in defiance of the political establishment, but their unwillingness to follow consensus on the coronavirus pandemic has left the two increasingly exposed. Mexican leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his right-wing Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro have swum against the tide of scientific opinion, talking down the risks, delegating responsibility to others, and flouting advice to the public.

Panama extends curfew due to coronavirus, requires full-day quarantine

Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo said on Tuesday he would extend a curfew aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus and require people to be in quarantine at all hours beginning on Wednesday. He did not specify how long the measure would be in place, but added there would be "logical exceptions" including for health workers and certain businesses such as banks and supermarkets.

Pompeo says China still withholding coronavirus information

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday sharpened his criticism of China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, saying its ruling Communist Party was still denying the world information it needs to prevent further cases. In an interview with the Washington Watch radio program, Pompeo repeated previous charges that Beijing's delay in sharing information about the virus had created risks to people worldwide and said this had "truly put thousands of lives at risk."