Here’s a summary of the latest news:
- The global number of cases passed 460,000. The number of people known to have been infected with the virus increases to at least 466,955, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In addition, 21,162 people have died and 113,770 people have recovered since the outbreak began.
- The UK’s death toll reached 465. In England, 414 people have died, while 22 people died in Scotland and the same number in Wales. Seven more lives were lost in Northern Ireland.
- Almost 1,500 more UK cases were identified. The country’s Department of Health and Social Care said that, as of 9am on Wednesday (GMT), 9,529 people have tested positive; an increase of 1,452 on the same time on Tuesday.
- France recorded at least 231 more deaths. The director general of the country’s health service, Jér?me Salomon, said there are now 25,233 confirmed cases, while 1,331 people have died, meaning the known death rate rose by 231 in 24 hours. But those were hospital deaths only and did not include those in retirement homes or outside hospitals.
- Greece reported 78 new cases. The country’s health authorities reported a rise in the death toll, saying 22 people – the vast majority men – have succumbed to the virus. The health ministry announced that the total number of confirmed cases had risen to 821.
- The economic hit that results from the pandemic is likely to be worse than the 2008 crisis, the WTO said. Its director general, Roberto Azevêdo, said concrete forecasts were not yet available but its in-house economists expect “a very sharp decline in trade”.
- The US authorities prepared to bring home tens of thousands of people more than they had expected. As many as 50,000 Americans may need their government’s help in getting home, the US State Department said.
Assange loses bid to be bailed over coronavirus
UK identifies nearly 1,500 new cases
New research suggests that “off label” repurposing of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine could lead to “drug-induced sudden cardiac death”.
A paper by the nonprofit medical organisation the Mayo Clinic found that chloroquine and Kaletra, an HIV drug also being used against coronavirus, can cause the heart muscle to take longer than normal to recharge between beats.