UN calls for global ceasefire to fight coronavirus

UN chief Antonio Guterres renewed his call for a global ceasefire, urging all parties to conflict to lay down arms and allow war-torn countries to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“The worst is yet to come,” Guterres said on Friday, referring to countries such as Syria, Libya and Yemen. “The COVID-19 storm is now coming to all these theatres of conflict.”
His comments came after Spain announced another 932 coronavirus deaths as its total toll nears 11,000 and continued to suffer the second-most fatalities in the world behind Italy.

The United States reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far at nearly 1,200.

As New York recorded 562 more deaths – its deadliest single day – Governor Andrew Cuomo made a plea for the US to deploy its resources to New York to help it deal with the growing crisis.

The US now has more than 6,000 fatalities as the contagion rapidly spreads.

More than 1,041,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus globally, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 221,000 people have recovered from the disease, including more than 9,000 in the US.
Friday, April 3
17:50 GMT – Turkey imposes curfew on youth, shuts borders of 31 cities

Turkey imposed a partial curfew for citizens under the age of 20, effective as of midnight, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said.

Ankara also decided to shut down borders of 31 cities for vehicles, excluding essential supplies, to contain the outbreak, Erdogan said, adding that mask usage will be obligatory in crowded places.
17:40 GMT – IMF leader says coronavirus is a ‘crisis like no other’

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic is “way worse” than the 2008 global recession and is “a crisis like no other”.

“Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill,” Kristalina Georgieva said.

“We are now in recession, it is way worse than the global financial crisis and it is a crisis that requires all of us to come together.”

Georgieva says 90 countries have already approached the institution for emergency financing.

She added that the world’s most fragile countries must be protected, noting that “$90bn have flown out”.
17:24 GMT – How is South Africa faring in COVID-19 fight?

One week into a nationwide lockdown, South Africa is scrambling to set in motion an ambitious track-and-trace programme to identify people who may have contracted the new coronavirus as infections begin to proliferate across informal settlements in the world’s most unequal society.

Read about it here.
17:20 GMT – Liberia braces for coronavirus with defunct health system

Healthcare woes limit effect of Ebola learnings during 2014-16 epidemic as Liberia gears up to fight COVID-19 outbreak.

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