Trump cuts WHO funding over coronavirus pandemic
- US President Donald Trump is cutting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the pandemic. The US is the biggest contributor to the WHO budget.
- The number of people dying from coronavirus in the US rose by at least 2,228 – the highest in a single day – on Tuesday to exceed 28,300. The country also has more than 600,000 reported cases, three times more than any other country
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the global economy is expected to shrink by 3 percent this year – the biggest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
- Some 1.98 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have the new coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 126,500 have died, while nearly 486,500 have recovered.
India to ease restrictions next week in rural areas
India will permit several activities in rural areas starting next week, including manufacturing and infrastructure building, to provide relief to workers impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown, the government said.
The Home Ministry guidelines came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a nationwide lockdown to May 3.
The easing of the lockdown would start next Monday and take place only in those rural areas where there were no Covid-19 containment zones or hotspots, a Home Ministry release said.
Danish schools begin reopening after month-long closure
Denmark began reopening schools on Wednesday after a month-long closure over the novel coronavirus, becoming the first country in Europe to do so.
Nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools were reopening, according to an AFP correspondent, after they were closed on March 12 in an effort to curb the COVID-19 epidemic.
However classes are only resuming in about half of Denmark’s municipalities and in about 35 percent of Copenhagen’s schools, as other have requested more time to adjust to health protocols still in place.
All are expected to reopen by April 20.
China urges United States to fulfill its obligations to WHO
China urged the United States to fulfill its obligations to the World Health Organization (WHO), after US President Donald Trump halted funding to the body over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing the situation with the pandemic, which has infected nearly 2 million people globally, was at a critical stage and that the US’ decision would affect all countries of the world.
MF board approves emergency support for Burkina Faso, Niger – statements
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board has approved support for Burkina Faso and Niger under its Rapid Credit Facility to help the West African nations confront the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund said.
The IMF said the board had approved a $115 million disbursement for Burkina Faso and another $114 million for Niger.
Pakistan to ease some lockdown restrictions
Pakistan is easing restrictions on several areas of its economy, including the construction and cement industries, to address rising unemployment and economic stagnation.
Senior Muslim community leaders have also promised to resume prayers in mosques on Friday, defying government orders to limit congregations.
Mufti Taqi Usmani, a prominent Sunni Muslim leader, said mosques would also hold daily congregational prayers at each of the five prescribed Muslim prayer times.