WHO to publish criteria on lifting restrictions

The World Health Organisation has said it will publish updated strategic advice tomorrow with 6 criteria for countries considering lifting control measures introduced due to coronavirus. 

The WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said while Covid-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates more slowly and therefore control measures must be lifted slowly. 

He said decisions on lifting or imposing restrictions must be based first and foremost on protecting human health and guided by what is known about the virus.

Italy's virus death toll surpasses 20,000

Italy's death toll from the novel coronavirus has topped 20,000 but its number of critically ill patients dropped for the tenth successive day as its rate of infections slowed.

The 566 new deaths reported by the civil protection service takes Italy's fatalities total to 20,465 - officially second in the world behind the United States.

New York governor says worst of pandemic 'over'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared that the "worst is over" in the state's coronavirus pandemic, telling reporters he was working on a plan to gradually reopen the economy.

"I believe we can now start on the path to normalcy," Mr Cuomo told reporters, after announcing that the death toll in the state, America's Covid-19 epicenter, had passed 10,000.

Spain eases lockdown

Spain has reopened parts of its economy, with some factory and construction staff returning to work within strict safety guidelines.

But Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has warned his country is "far from victory", and lockdown restrictions imposed on 14 March will remain in place for much of the nation's 47 million people.

Over 114,000 dead worldwide

At least 114,539 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus in 193 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally around midday today based on official sources.

There have been more than 1,853,300 reported infections since the virus emerged in China in December.

The United States has 22,109 deaths, making it the hardest-hit country. It also has the highest number of reported infections with 557,590 cases.

Italy has 19,899 deaths, Spain 17,489, France 14,393 and Britain 10,612. 

The tourism sector in Spain will continue to suffer despite the partial easing of restrictions

New rise of infections in China

Officials in China have reported 108 new cases, 98 of which were imported from overseas, the highest number of confirmed infections in a single day in over a month.

Oil rally fizzles

An oil price rally sparked by an international deal to slash production fizzles out, with traders doubtful the agreement will provide much support to steady energy markets.

Moscow's digital travel passes 

Moscow authorities launch a digital permit system to control people's movements. 

A website to apply for the passes was launched this morning for people travelling by car or public transport and the permit system will be operational from Wednesday. 

US eyes May gradual reopening

The US government's top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci says parts of the country could begin easing restrictions in May, but remains cautious.

South Korean firms will make their first shipment of tests to the US this week after a request by US President Donald Trump.

A new cemetery in Guayaquil – the epicenter of the outbreak in Ecuador

Macron to address nation

French President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation later today in a prime-time televised address in which he is expected to warn that a lockdown in place since 17 March must go on for several more weeks at least, while also outlining how the country will take steps to recover.

India lockdown

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to extend a national lockdown, due to end Tuesday, for another two weeks, state ministers say after talks at the weekend.

Turkey rejects minister resignation

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuses to accept the resignation of his interior minister over his handling of an abrupt nationwide lockdown that led to panic buying.

Ecuador chaos

Ecuador says police have removed some 800 bodies in recent weeks from homes in the port city of Guayaquil, epicentre of the country's outbreak, after the disease overwhelmed emergency services, hospitals and funeral parlours.

Hidden victims

Pope Francis, in his livestreamed Easter Monday prayer, expresses concern for the growing number of women subjected to domestic abuse while living under lockdown.