Coronavirus latest: Global death toll exceeds quarter-of-a-million

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The global death toll from COVID-19 has risen to more than a quarter-of-a-million. The US government reportedly predicting a rise in deaths as Washington pushes for states to reopen.

Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

02:20 Germany could soon see all stores reopen and soccer matches return after Chancellor Angela Merkel holds talks with state leaders this week, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Merkel is due to hold a teleconference with the heads of Germany’s 16 states on Wednesday to discuss further measures to reopen the country.

According to the two sources, state leaders and the federal government are due to sign off on reopening large shops next week — meaning that all stores in Germany would be allowed to reopen. Smaller stores were previously given the greenlight, provided that customers wear masks and stores kept to social distancing measures.

Germany’s Bundesliga soccer competition is also expected to receive the green light to resume football matches as early as May 15, but only if teams play without fans in stadiums. Outdoor sports for children and non-professional leagues would also be allowed to take place under the new measures.

The German Football League (DFL) previously said it wants to restart matches in mid-May, but has been waiting on the green light from the German government

The states also reportedly agreed to reopen schools for students in all grade levels, although children will likely only be allowed to go to class on a rotating schedule and not all at once, the sources told Reuters.

01:10 In the United States, the number of deaths over the past 24 hours rose by 1,015 — making it the lowest daily death figure in a month, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

On Monday, the Senate convened for the first time since March, despite concerns the move could put lawmakers and staff at risk of contracting COVID-19. Although back in session, lawmakers dampened hopes for quick action passing any new relief legislation.

Democrats are hoping to approve a new coronavirus aid package as virus-stricken states and cities are struggling to pay nurses, firefighters and other workers on the frontlines. Republicans are wary of approving more federal funds and hope the pressure on states to re-open will reduce the aid needed.

Meanwhile, the US Treasury announced it will have to borrow a record $2.99 trillion in the current quarter to cover the cost of current coronavirus relief measures.

President Donald Trump’s administration is projecting a steady rise in the number of deaths in the country over the next few weeks, reaching up to 3,000 daily deaths in June, the New York Times reported. The projections come as Trump pushes states to loosen their stay-at-home orders and reopen businesses. The White House projects that 100,000 to 240,000 people in the US will die from COVID-19. Several scientific models predict Trump’s worst-case scenario of 100,000 deaths could be reached already by Jun

00:45 India is preparing to repatriate up to a million stranded nationals who were told to remain where they were when Delhi first imposed a lockdown. Many of the distressed Indians are migrant workers in the Gulf countries. Read more about it here.  

00:01 Here are some of the major developments on the spread of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Over a quarter million people have died around the world due to the novel coronavirus, according to the latest tallies of government data, while the number of active cases has risen to over 3.5 million. Most of the new deaths were logged in North America and Europe, although numbers also rose in Latin America, Russia and some African countries.

An EU-led fundraiser to support efforts to create a vaccine raised billions. World leaders pledged €7.4 billion ($8.07 billion) to raise money for developing a coronavirus vaccine and treatments. The European Commission and Norway led the field of donors, while Germany pledged over €500,000 million.

Many European countries continued ease coronavirus restrictions, with students returning to class in Austria, hair salons reopening in Germany, and restaurants offering take-out services re-opening for business in Rome, Italy.

00:00 Catch up on yesterday’s coronavirus news here: Italy’s mortality rate rises nearly 40%

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