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01/04/20 COVID-19 Global News Update

01 April 2020
Overview of the latest developments on Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Trump calls for $2 trillion infrastructure bill to help economy during coronavirus crisis

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the U.S. Congress should pass a $2 trillion (1.6 trillion pounds) spending plan to update the country’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure, calling for it to be included in the next bill lawmakers are currently drafting to respond to the coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Stock markets suffer worst quarter since 1987

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Stock markets around the world suffered historic losses in the first three months of the year amid a massive sell-off tied to the coronavirus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and London's FTSE 100 saw their biggest quarterly drops since 1987, plunging 23% and 25% respectively.

U.S. small-business coronavirus loans could see millions of applications -officials

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States’ new $350 billion small-business coronavirus rescue loan program could see millions of applications when it launches on Friday, with funds allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, senior Trump administration officials said on Tuesday.

Spain extends deadline for ex-savings banks' IPOs due to coronavirus

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government on Tuesday agreed to extend this year’s deadline for former savings banks such as Ibercaja to go public, as part of a set of coronavirus relief measures, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said. She would not provide further details, but a government source said that ...


Coronavirus: A fifth of smaller UK firms 'will run out of cash'

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Nearly a fifth of all small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are unlikely to get the cash they need to survive the next four weeks, in spite of unprecedented government support.

UK banks scrap dividends on coronavirus fears, pressure on bonuses

Apr 1st, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Britain’s top banks said on Tuesday they would suspend dividend payments after pressure from the regulator, saving their capital as a buffer against expected losses from the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Regulators urge savers to avoid rash decisions on pensions

Mar 31st, 2020viaCity AM - News

Regulators today urged savers to not make any rash decisions in relation to their pensions during the coronavirus epidemic. The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), said fears over the impact of the pandemic on markets and personal finances may make ...

General UK News

Call for UK domestic violence refuges to get coronavirus funding

Mar 31st, 2020viaThe Guardian News

Domestic abuse experts are calling on the government to provide emergency funds as refuges prepare for an influx of referrals amid fears the Covid-19 outbreak will fuel violence in the home.

Coronavirus: 3D-printer owners rally to create NHS face masks

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Some 1,400 3D-printer owners have pledged to use their machines to help make face shields for the NHS. Started by palliative-medicine doctor James Coxon, the 3DCrowd UK group is now looking to recruit more volunteers.

Coronavirus: No wake, no funeral, just prayers in a cemetery

Apr 1st, 2020viaBBC News - UK

Death is no hushed whisper in Ireland. It's a rallying cry to a whole community. The dead person is brought home and laid out in an open coffin in the "good room". Blinds are drawn. A fresh white linen cloth will be spread across a table - a lighted candle, ...

Day-to-Day Impact

Coronavirus briefing: UK testing criticised and Trump warns of 'painful weeks'

Apr 1st, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

If you want to get this briefing by email, sign up here UK testing in the spotlight Criticism has been mounting in the UK over a lack of testing for frontline NHS staff. Up to a quarter of doctors and a fifth of nurses are off work because they are ...

UK police reissued with guidance on enforcing coronavirus lockdown

Mar 31st, 2020viaThe Guardian – Law

Police chiefs have told officers that people should not be punished for driving a reasonable distance to exercise, and that blanket checks were disproportionate, in a bid to quell a row about heavy-handed enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown.

Coronavirus: Hospitals urged to use lab space to test NHS staff

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Hospitals should use spare laboratory space to test NHS staff in England for coronavirus who are self isolating, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Coronavirus: MPs call for digital parliament to be set up

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC News - UK Politics

More than 100 MPs have signed an open letter calling for the creation a digital Parliament. The group of MPs from Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP say that during the "exceptional circumstances" of the coronavirus outbreak "Parliament must work exceptionally".

Coronavirus: Racist 'zoombombing' at virtual synagogue

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC News - Technology

A synagogue service being held online has been hijacked by racist accounts which posted anti-Semitic abuse to congregants, the BBC has learned. The meeting was being held on video chat app Zoom.

Global Situation

UPDATE 2-Divisions over Brazil's coronavirus response grow

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

BRASILIA, March 31 (Reuters) - Brazil’s economy minister on Tuesday said the country needed to strike a balance between social isolation policies and protecting the economy, hours after President Jair Bolsonaro said hunger was just as big a threat as the coronavirus itself. Paulo Guedes’s comments underscored the divisions at ...

China starts to report asymptomatic coronavirus cases

Apr 1st, 2020viaReuters UK - Health News

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese health authorities began on Wednesday reporting on asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus as part of an effort to allay public fears that people could be spreading the virus without knowing they are infected with it. China, where the coronavirus emerged late last year, has managed to ...

European stock index futures slide as coronavirus damage grows

Apr 1st, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

(Reuters) - European stock index futures fell more than 3% on Wednesday as dismal economic data from Asia underlined the damage to the economy from the coronavirus pandemic and fanned fears of a deep global recession. Figures on Wednesday showed factory activity contracting across most of Asia in March as ...

Asia's factory activity plunges as coronavirus shock deepens

Apr 1st, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

TOKYO (Reuters) - Factory activity contracted sharply across most of Asia in March as the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed economic activity across the globe, with sharp falls in export power-houses Japan and South Korea overshadowing a modest improvement in China.

U.S. could rethink Iran sanctions in light of coronavirus - Pompeo

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held out the possibility on Tuesday that the United States may consider easing sanctions on Iran and other nations to help fight the coronavirus epidemic but gave no concrete sign it plans to do so.

With Japan on brink of coronavirus emergency, Tokyo could keep schools closed until May

Apr 1st, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

Japan remains on the brink of a state of emergency as the rate of new coronavirus cases accelerates across the country, its top government spokesman said on Wednesday, amid reports the capital may order public schools to stay closed for a second month.

Coronavirus: Bernie Sanders and AOC call on US to lift Iran sanctions as nation reels from Covid-19

Mar 31st, 2020viaIndependent UK - Middle East News

Iran has been one of the countries worst hit by the virus and one of those least able to respond. The number of infections there has hit 41,000, with at least 2,700 deaths.

Legal Developments

Coronavirus: MSPs to agree emergency laws

Mar 31st, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

MSPs are set to push through emergency powers to tackle the coronavirus crisis in a single day at Holyrood. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill sets out new rules to prevent tenants from being evicted and to keep the judicial system running during the lockdown. Constitution Secretary Mike Russell said the "exceptional ...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to the Care Act 2014

Mar 31st, 2020viaDepartment of Health & Social Care (gov.uk) - All Content

Changes to the Care Act 2014 to help local authorities prioritise care and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


NHS staff 'gagged' over coronavirus shortages

Mar 31st, 2020viaThe Guardian - Doctors

NHS staff are being gagged from speaking out about widespread shortages of personal protective equipment that they fear could risk their lives from the coronavirus, frontline medics claim. Protective equipment being diverted from care homes to hospitals, say bosses Read more Doctors and nurses are being warned by hospitals and ...


Dubai to support Emirates airline, halts tourist market to fight coronavirus

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - Health News

Dubai said on Tuesday it would help its state-run Emirates airline mitigate the financial blow from the coronavirus outbreak as authorities enforced a full lockdown on a district famous for gold and spice markets.

Coronavirus resurgence could scupper hopes of airline recovery - IATA economist

Mar 31st, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

A resurgence of the coronavirus may scupper forecasts of a recovery in air passenger demand by the end of the year and strong growth in 2021, the chief economist of a global airline trade body warned on Tuesday.

Further Reading