As of Saturday, April 18, the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded globally is more than 2.1 million, with more than 153,000 deaths.
Europe has had more than 980,000 cases, with more than 95,000 deaths occurred.
Today, some good news came from France, where the number of patients in intensive care kept dropping as well as the number of overall virus hospitalisations.
The UK has announced is due to receive 84 tons of PPE from Turkey, amid a reported shortage in basic protective equipment. The country has also pledged another £1.6 billion of funds to local councils to fight the COVID-19 emergency.
Spain has ruled out it will end lockdown anytime soon. Prime minister Pedro Sanchez has demanded an extension until May 9. New infections rose by nearly 4,500 and the death toll rose by 565 in the past 24 hours.
Italy has reported almost 3,500 new cases today. The country – which has suffered the highest number of deaths in Europe so far – is approaching the beginning of its seventh week of nationwide lockdown, with people allowed out of their homes only for essential work or buying food and tending to family members.
Other key developments:
- The US unveiled guidelines to reopen the economy in areas where there is low transmission.
- Air pollution in European cities has plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The United Kingdom has extended its lockdown measures for at least three more weeks.
Brazil’s health minister says he has been fired by President Jair Bolsonaro.
Research in five EU countries shows that up to 57% of deaths due to coronavirus are in care homes.
There has been global alarm at Donald Trump’s decision to stop funding the WHO.
French president Macron calls for testing of controversial malaria drug therapy, hailing scientist behind the idea.
Follow all the day’s coronavirus updates in our live blog below.