While the US Senate was approving the nation's largest-ever rescue package, across in Russia a decision was made to ground all international flights from tomorrow.

Here are the latest global developments in the coronavirus crisis.

US Senate passes huge rescue package

The US Senate unanimously approves the nation's largest-ever rescue package, a $2 trillion lifeline to suffering Americans, depleted hospitals and an economy ravaged by the pandemic.

The measure must be approved tomorrow by the House of Representatives before it goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

France calls on its army

The French military joins the virus fight as President Emmanuel Macron launches "Operation Resilience", focused on helping people and public services in France and its overseas territories.

Russia grounds flights, Muscovites stay home

Russia will halt all international flights from Friday, with the exception of special flights evacuating Russian citizens from abroad.

Moscow will close cafes, shops, parks and other non-essential services for one week starting Saturday. Muscovites aged over 65 are ordered to stay home starting Thursday.

Officers preparing to disinfect a nursing home in Madrid

More than 250,000 cases in Europe

There have been 23,293 deaths recorded since the virus first emerged in December, according to official sources.

There are now 501,556 people around the world who have contracted the new coronavirus, according to the Associated Press, overwhelming healthcare systems even in wealthy nations and triggering an avalanche of government-ordered lockdowns that have disrupted life for billions. At least 258,068 of those have been in Europe, the worst-hit continent.

The World Health Organization's European office says it sees "encouraging signs" on the continent but cautions it is too soon to say whether the worst had passed.

The countries with the most deaths are Italy with 8,165 out of 80,539 declared infections, Spain with 4,089 deaths out of 56,188 cases, mainland China with 3,287 deaths out of 81,285 cases, Iran with 2,234 deaths out of 29,406 cases, and France with 1,696 fatalities out of 29,155 cases.

Looming recessions

International ratings agency S&P Global warns the Covid-19 pandemic will push Britain and the euro area into recession this year, with their economies expected to shrink by as much as 2%.

Austria's economy is predicted to shrink at least 2.5% in 2020.

Singapore's economy shrinks 2.2% year-on-year in January-March, its biggest contraction since 2008 during the first quarter.


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Bolivia on alert

Bolivia declares a state of "sanitary emergency" until 15 April. It closed its borders and ordered a strict lockdown at midnight Wednesday.

Mali curfew

Mali, which has now recorded its first infections in two nationals who had recently arrived from France, will enforce a night-time curfew from today and close land borders. A parliamentary vote planned for Sunday will go ahead.

Helsinki confined

Finland will impose tough new restrictions on its capital and Uusimaa province. Travel into and out of the country will be banned from Friday to 19 April.

Virus case at Vatican

An Italian employee of the Holy See who lives in the same residence as Pope Francis is reported to have tested positive and has been hospitalised.

Cases rising In Pakistan's most populous province

The number of cases in Pakistan have risen to 1,102, with eight deaths, with most cases in Sindh province, which is under a lockdown. But infections in Punjab, the most populous province, are now rising.

Pakistan said it was seeking a fresh $1.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it deal with the economic slowdown from the coronavirus.

A coffin in the middle of a road warning residents to stay home (Pampanga province, Philippines)

Stranded tourists in Nepal

In Nepal, authorities were trying to evacuate tourists stranded in different parts of the country due to a nationwide lockdown, bring them to Kathmandu and arrange to send them home, the government said.  

Shyam Thapa of the Himalayan Expedition company said about 125 foreign hikers were stranded at Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest.

Nine doctors die in the Philippines 

Nine doctors have died in the Philippines from the coronavirus heightening fears that the scale of the health crisis in the country is much worse than is being officially reported, with the confirmed virus death toll at just 38.

The main island of Luzon, home to 55 million people, is in the second week of a lockdown to contain the spread of the disease, however medics are warning there is a surge in cases.

Just under 2,000 people had been tested in the Philippines as of Tuesday.