Here are the most important developments from the last few hours:
Global confirmed cases exceed 3.65 million. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say at least 3,656,644 people have been infected since the outbreak began, while at least 256,736 are known to have died. The figures, which are based on official and media reports, are likely to significantly underestimate the true scale of the outbreak.
White House wants to wind down Covid-19 task force. Mike Pence has confirmed that the Trump administration is reportedly looking to wind down the coronavirus task force in the coming weeks, even as the rate of new infections continues to rise across most of the US.
Meanwhile at least 70,847 people are now known to have died in the USA, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That represents more than a quarter of all pandemic-linked deaths reported across the world.
Donald Trump says it’s time to reopen businesses. Speaking in Arizona at a factory manufacturing medical masks, Trump said it was time to reopen businesses. “Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.” he said.
New York subway shuts for cleaning. New York City’s subway system went silent in the early morning hours of Wednesday, as part of a plan for the normally round-the-clock system to shut down for train cleaning. The trains, which had been running on a reduced schedule since late March, are now going to be stopped from 1am to 5am each day, AP reports.
Asia Pacific nations push to end lockdown. Several Asia Pacific countries are aiming to ease their lockdowns and kickstart their economies, including South Korea, Australia and Hong Kong. Vietnam is also easing its restrictions but the country’s economy, in which tourism plays a major role, faces a severe test.
Record daily deaths in Brazil. According to the nation’s health ministry, there have been 6,935 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Brazil since Monday evening and 600 new deaths. The previous record of 474 deaths came on 28 April.
Meanwhile the capital of tropical Maranhão state ground largely to a halt Tuesday, becoming the first major Brazilian city to enter a lockdown in the hopes of preventing the coronavirus pandemic from overwhelming the health care system of one of the country’s poorest states.
UK youth unemployment may reach 1 million. Youth unemployment in Britain will reach the 1 million mark over the coming year, a thinktank has warned, saying that Britain faces the risk of a “dole queue” future for young people unless the government provides job guarantees or incentives for school leavers and graduates to stay on in education.
Covid-19 lockdown risks 1.4 million extra TB deaths by 2025: study. The global lockdown caused by Covid-19 risks a “devastating” surge in tuberculosis cases, with nearly 1.4 million additional deaths from the world’s biggest infectious killer by 2025, new research showed on Wednesday.
New Zealand reports one new case after two days with no cases. After two consecutive days of zero new corona cases reported, New Zealand reported one new case of the virus on Wednesday, and one new death.
The pandemic has cost Walt Disney US$1.4bn in the last three months. Walt Disney will kick off its strategy next week to begin restoring its lucrative parks business that has suffered $1bn in lost profits from the coronavirus-led shutdown. Disney said on Tuesday it will reopen its Shanghai Disneyland park on May 11 but severely limit the number of guests and enforce strict social distancing measures on rides and in restaurants.