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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of Apr. 12 to Apr. 18, Global death tops 150,000

France sees no evidence of pandemic link to Wuhan lab

A man enters a hospital where a special ward has been set up for COVID-19 patients in Mumbai.   © Reuters

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Follow the latest updates.

Global cases have reached 2,078,605, according to the World Health Organization.

The worldwide death toll has hit 139,515.

To see how the disease has spread, click this interactive virus tracker:

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

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UPDATES CLOSED

Saturday, April 18

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks end the week on a high note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing the session 700 points higher, a gain of nearly 3%. The S&P 500 rises about 2.7%.

4:25 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump has doubled down on his criticism of the World Health Organization, suggesting that it wrongly dismissed a year-end alert from Taiwan over the new coronavirus.

4:00 a.m. The global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 150,000, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

3:48 a.m. As a global shortage of masks, test kits and other medical equipment draws a flood of new manufacturers into the field, China has toughened restrictions to weed out unreliable suppliers and products.

12:50 a.m. France has seen no evidence that the novel coronavirus is linked to a research laboratory in Wuhan, Reuters quotes an official in President Emmanuel Macron's office as saying.

Travelers wait at China's Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on April 10, after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan.   © Reuters

12:45 a.m. Airbus says it will furlough around 3,000 French aerospace workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, April 17

11:31 p.m. Japan confirms a daily increase of 529 COVID-19 cases as of 10 p.m., bringing the total to 9,678. Deaths rise by 14 to 205.

11:00 p.m. Japan will begin conducting antibody tests for undetected cases of coronavirus infection as early as this month. The country will also double payments to hospitals to encourage them to accept the worst coronavirus cases.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open sharply higher on hopes for restarting the economy and for an experimental antiviral drug from Gilead Sciences. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs more than 2% at the open, while the S&P 500 advances about 2%.

9:17 p.m. Wuhan raised its official death toll from the coronavirus outbreak by 50%, citing nearly 1,300 uncounted deaths at the start of the contagion.

9:01 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tells a news conference that his government will hand out a total of $130 billion to residents "as soon as possible." That translates to a cash handout of $930 to every resident, regardless of income or age, to lessen the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak.

6:39 p.m. Malaysia's Health Ministry reports 69 new infections Friday, the lowest daily increase since the government imposed curbs on movement and business activity on March 18, bringing the total to 5,251 cases.

6:06 p.m. The Reserve Bank of India pumps cash into the economy, cutting deposit interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.75% and injecting $13 billion to help shadow banks and microfinance companies increase credit to farmers, small businesses and the housing sector.

5:53 p.m. Indonesia announces 407 new cases on Friday, a new daily high, bringing the total to 5,923 and overtaking the Philippines as the country with the most infections in Southeast Asia. That figure includes 520 deaths and 607 recoveries. The virus has spread across all 34 Indonesian provinces, with nearly half recorded in Jakarta.

5:50 p.m. Philippines reports 218 new infections, compared with 207 the previous day, bringing the total to 5,878, with 387 deaths.

4:00 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announces 201 new cases, the highest recorded for a day.

3:29 p.m. Taiwan reports no new cases for the second consecutive day and the third time this week, leaving the total number of cases at 395.

1:45 p.m. Cathay Pacific Airways will close its three cabin crew bases in the U.S. and lay off 286 staff due to the coronavirus pandemic, the airline says.

1:33 p.m. India confirms 1,007 new coronavirus cases, more than the 941 it reported on Thursday morning. That takes the total to 13,387, including 437 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

12:31 p.m. Wuhan, where the pandemic broke out late last year, upwardly revises its virus death toll by 1,290, to 3,869. The central Chinese city also pushes up its number of confirmed infections, by 325, to 50,333. The state-run Xinhua News Agency says Wuhan authorities made the revisions "in accordance with related laws and regulations as well as the principle of being responsible for history, people and the deceased."

11:00 a.m. China's economy in the first quarter contracted for the first time since 1992 as the government's fiscal measures failed to immediately alleviate hardship triggered by the new coronavirus. The 6.8% contraction announced by the National Bureau of Statistics marks a sharp decline from the 6% growth logged in the last quarter of 2019.

10:33 a.m. Kawasaki Heavy Industries says it will suspend production at an aircraft parts factory that supplies Boeing from April 20 to the beginning of May. The move follows Boeing's suspension of commercial aircraft production. Japan is home to many factories in Boeing's supply chain, and they are beginning to feel the squeeze. Subaru will also suspend aircraft component manufacturing, which mainly consists of main wings for Boeing, at a plant in Aichi Prefecture on Monday; production is scheduled to resume on May 11.

10:27 a.m. South Korea confirms 22 new cases, keeping the number under 30 for a fifth consecutive day. The country now has 10,635 cases, and 230 people have died from the virus.

10:09 a.m. The Singapore Enterprise Agency announces that export values in March (excluding oil) increased by 17.6% year-on-year, for the second consecutive month of gains. The March increase is the biggest since October 2017.

8:17 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump unveils federal guidelines for restarting the economy in three phases that some states can adopt later this month by allowing large venues like restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to operate under strict social distancing protocols. The second phase allows nonessential travel to resume, schools to reopen and bars to partially open.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks close to the upside, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.1% and the S&P 500 advancing about 0.6%

4:25 a.m. Brazil's health minister, Henrique Mandetta, says on Twitter that he has been dismissed by President Jair Bolsonaro.

4:06 a.m. Japan's push to triple its stockpile of anti-flu medicine Avigan for coronavirus treatment has proven a challenge as the lack of a key ingredient from China forces Fujifilm Holdings to switch to a domestic supplier.

4:00 a.m. Top Glove -- the surgical gloves maker founded in Malaysia almost three decades ago -- has taken on a crucial global role in helping doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals confront the coronavirus crisis. Read more in this week's Company in focus.

2:01 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extends an order closing businesses and schools by two weeks until at least May 15 in coordination with other states in the region, and added details to mask requirements, saying New Yorkers should wear them on buses, taxis and trains.

12:30 a.m. Singapore reports its biggest daily jump in COVID-19 cases -- 728 -- with 90% of them being migrant workers residing in densely packed dormitories. The total confirmed cases in the city-state reaches 4,427.

12:05 a.m. Group of Seven leaders, meeting in a videoconference, agree their nations should prepare to restart economic activity in a safe way. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expresses support for the WHO a day after U.S. President Donald Trump attacked the organization's initial coronavirus guidance.

Thursday, April 16

11:31 p.m. Japan confirms 573 new COVID-19 cases as of 10 p.m., bringing the total to 9,147.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open higher, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average quickly sinks into negative territory.

7:56 p.m. Japan's government has extended emergency declarations nationwide and plans to distribute 100,000 yen ($930) to every citizen.

6:17 p.m. Japan Airlines expects to book an operating loss of some 20 billion yen ($186 million) for the three months to end-March, down sharply from a profit of 30.6 billion yen in the same period last year. It is the first time that the company has plunged into a quarterly operating loss since it relisted on the stock exchange in 2012.

6 p.m. The Philippines reported that another 207 people have become infected with COVID-19, bringing the total to 5,660, and 362 have died from the disease.

5:55 p.m. The Indonesian government said on Thursday that it expects coronavirus cases in the country to peak at the beginning of May and stay at that level for a month. "During the peak, the cumulative cases will be around 95,000," said Wiku Adisasmito, an epidemiologist who is part of the country's COVID-19 task force. Indonesia announced 380 new cases, bringing the total to 5,516 with 496 deaths.

5 p.m. China's Foreign Ministry says Thursday the World Health Organization found no evidence that the coronavirus that has infected more than 2 million people worldwide was made in a lab. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian's comment came in response to a question about accusations the coronavirus originated in a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at an April 16 briefing in Beijing that the World Health Organization had found no evidence that the coronavirus was artificially created.    © Reuters

4:45 p.m. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has begun the processes of expanding the state of emergency to the entire country -- up from seven prefectures out of 47 at present -- as the new coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, Nikkei has learned.

4:14 p.m. Thailand reported 29 new COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, down from 30 reported on Wednesday. Total confirmed cases have reached 2,672. The kingdom added three deaths, bringing the total to 46.

3:00 p.m. India confirms 941 more coronavirus cases, down from the 1,076 it reported on Wednesday morning. That takes the total to 12,380, including 414 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

2:50 p.m. The Philippine central bank cuts its benchmark interest rate 50 basis points ahead of a May 21 policy meeting to counter the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The cut takes the rate on the bank's overnight reverse repurchase facility to 2.75% with effect from Friday.

2:16 p.m. Fifteen of 24 Philippine senators have called for the immediate resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque as the country records the highest number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia. In a joint resolution, the senators slammed what they called Duque's "failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight" that resulted in "poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency, misguided and flip-flopping measures" in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

12:40 p.m. China for the first time announces the accumulated number of asymptomatic cases of coronavirus infections -- 6,764 as of April 14. China started disclosing the number of people who test positive but show no symptoms of COVID-19 on April 1. Among the 6,764, 1,023 remain under monitoring, according to the government.

A man wearing a face mask walks on an overpass near a residential compound in Beijing.   © Reuters

11:10 a.m. New home prices in China inched up in March after having stalled for the first time in five years the previous month. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics suggests pent-up demand now that the country has largely halted the spread of the new coronavirus. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose a marginal 0.1% in March from the previous month.

10:40 a.m. South Korean President Moon Jae-in's ruling Democratic Party wins Wednesday's general election, claiming the biggest majority in the National Assembly by any party since the country's transition to democracy in 1987. The victory for Moon's party is a vindication of his government's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

10:30 a.m. Asia's economic growth this year will grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years, as the coronavirus crisis takes an "unprecedented" toll on the region's service sector and major export destinations, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

9:20 a.m. Reports out of the U.S. say Washington is trying to determine whether the novel coronavirus emanated from a lab in Wuhan. President Donald Trump during a White House news conference fielded a question from a Fox News reporter who said multiple sources have told the network that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory, though not as a bioweapon. In his reply, Trump meandered before saying, "We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened." Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterates his call for China to be transparent, saying in a TV interview Beijing "needs to come clean."

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks fall as investors become disheartened by data showing a sliding U.S. economy and reports of persistent crude oil oversupply, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 445 points, or 1.8%, and the S&P 500 losing 2.2%.

3:55 a.m. The French Armed Forces Ministry says 668 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle Naval Group, the majority of them on the carrier.

3:45 a.m. Germany will take small steps out of lockdown with partial reopening of shops next week and schools from May 4, Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus finds himself at odds with the U.S., the global health group's main benefactor.   © Reuters

2:00 a.m. The head of the World Health Organization says he regrets U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull funding for the agency and called for global unity to fight the new coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. has been "a long-standing and generous friend of the WHO," says Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

1:44 a.m. Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies agree to suspend debt service payments for the world's poorest countries from May 1 until the end of the year.

12:41 a.m. Hyundai Motor resumes operations at Eurasian plants shut down for weeks as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Wednesday, April 15

11:40 p.m. Global confirmed cases surpass 2 million, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

11:39 p.m. Prudential along with several Hong Kong startups and health care providers starts selling home coronavirus testing kits in Hong Kong.

10:33 p.m. Vietnam extends social distancing measures in 12 cities and provinces to at least April 22 and possibly April 30.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open sharply lower after a report showed retail sales plunged by a record 8.7% last month.

9:44 p.m. The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 19 or 20 U.S. states have had limited impact from the new coronavirus and their governors believe they may be ready to reopen by President Donald Trump's May 1 target date.

8:15 p.m. The Tour de France, world cycling's premier event, has been postponed by the International Cycling Union, Reuters reports. The grueling race is now scheduled for Aug. 29 to Sept. 20, rather than June 27 to July 19.

6:25 p.m. South Korean President Moon Jae-in's ruling Democratic Party is on track to win a majority in the National Assembly, an exit poll by three key broadcasters shows.

6:04 p.m. China blasts U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization. "This decision weakens the WHO's capability and harms international cooperation in guarding against the epidemic," says Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. "We urge the U.S. to earnestly fulfill its duties and obligations."

5:56 p.m. The Philippines reports 230 new infections, bringing the total to 5,453, with 349 deaths.

5:54 p.m. Indonesia reports 297 new cases, a slight increase from yesterday's 282, bringing the total to 5,136. Today's 10 deaths were down from yesterday's record 60. Its death toll now stands at 469.

4:28 p.m. Foreign visitors to Japan declined 93% in March from a year earlier, marking the biggest rate of decline for any month since 1964, government data shows. An estimated 193,700 foreigners visited Japan last month, falling year-on-year for the sixth consecutive month, according to the data from the Japan Tourism Agency.

An employee, wearing a protective mask amid the global coronavirus outbreak, is seen working at a nearly empty Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, on March 14.   © Reuters

4:23 p.m. Hong Kong university entrance exams will be held on April 24 after being postponed a month, as confirmed cases in recent days drop to single digits. The roughly 52,000 examinees must wear masks and tables will be spaced 1.8 m apart.

4:09 p.m. The U.S. military in Japan declares a public health emergency until May 15, covering all American forces in the country as confirmed cases surge.

3:53 p.m. Indonesia postpones elections of governors, mayors and regents in 270 regions, covering nine out of 34 total provinces. Voting will take place on Dec. 9 instead of Sept. 23 as initially scheduled.

3:40 p.m. Chinese aviation companies begin to calculate losses due to the coronavirus, with dire profit warnings from small airlines expected to be followed by similar announcements from larger peers.

3:28 p.m. China launches an epidemiological survey in nine regions, including Hubei Province, to evaluate asymptomatic infections and immunity levels, according to state-run newspaper China Daily.

2:58 p.m. Thailand reports 30 new cases, down from 34 on Tuesday, bringing the country total to 2,643. There were also two deaths, bringing the total 43.

1:38 p.m. Fujifilm says it will significantly boost production capacity for its flu drug Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19.

1:10 p.m. Japan's cluster response team warns that 850,000 people could become seriously ill due to the coronavirus, with half of them possibly dying, if human-to-human contact is not reduced.

12:59 p.m. Sony considers partnering with other Japanese companies to produce ventilators, utilizing its existing know-how in the medical device business.

12:44 p.m. Thailand extends a ban on incoming passenger flights until the end of April. The ban was introduced on April 4, and has already been extended once.

11:57 a.m. Procter & Gamble Japan announces it will begin producing masks in early June to help resolve a shortage due to the pandemic.

11:43 a.m. Subaru extends the suspension of its U.S. plant to May 8. The Japanese automaker had planned to halt operations for 19 days from March 23.

10:30 a.m. New Zealand ministers, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and public service chief executives will take a 20% pay cut for the next six months due to the economic impact of the pandemic. "This is where we can take action," said Ardern.

10:00 a.m. China reported a decline in new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the mainland on Wednesday, but there was an increasing number of local transmissions in its far northeast bordering Russia. China reported 46 new confirmed cases on Tuesday compared with 89 cases a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission. Of the new cases, 36 involved travellers arriving in China from overseas, compared with 86 a day earlier.

9:28 a.m. U.S. airlines agree on a support measure with the U.S. government. The largest carrier, American Airlines, will receive $5.8 billion for employee salaries. The Department of Treasury has indicated that 10 airlines will apply for assistance.

9:15 a.m. Japanese textile maker Teijin will start producing medical gowns this month to help resolve a shortage due to the pandemic, Nikkei learned. It plans to supply 9 million pieces to the government by the end of June.

8:04 a.m. South Koreans begin voting in parliamentary elections in what is seen as a midterm evaluation of President Moon Jae-in's administration amid the fight against the coronavirus.

7:18 a.m. Trump says he is instructing his administration to halt funding to the World Health Organization.

6:57 a.m. General Motors says it is producing ventilators in the volume needed to treat severely ill coronavirus patients and will deliver the first batch to the U.S. government this month.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks close higher, lifting the Dow Jones Industrial over 2% and the S&P 500 3%. Amazon.com shares hit a record high.

4:45 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump will convene a videoconference of Group of Seven leaders on Thursday to discuss their countries' responses to the pandemic, the White House says.

A member of a ground crew walks past American Airlines planes parked at the gate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, U.S., April 5.   © Reuters

4:08 a.m. As N95 masks run out, Japan is turning to a handful of domestic suppliers.

2:50 a.m. Apple releases mobile app data to help track how populations are moving amid the coronavirus pandemic.

1:45 a.m. The U.S. lacks the widespread COVID-19 testing and tracking capabilities to restart the economy right away, says the government's top infectious disease export, Anthony Fauci, in an Associated Press interview.

1:10 a.m. Nintendo restarts shipments of the Switch gaming device in Japan after a roughly weeklong stoppage.

Tuesday, April 14

11:19 p.m. Japan reports 475 new cases of COVID-19 as of 10 p.m., bringing the total to 8,025.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open higher on better-than-expected earnings reports, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both rising almost 2%.

9:30 p.m. The world economy is forecast to shrink 3% in 2020, erasing last year's growth of 2.9%, according to a new IMF report.

8:28 p.m. Malaysia reports 170 new cases, bringing the total to 4,987. The death toll rises by five, to 82.

6:35 p.m. After three straight days of 300 new cases, Indonesia reports 282, for a total of 4,839. But the number of additional deaths -- 60 -- sets a new high. The death toll stands at 459.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati says the crisis could plunge 1.1 million people into poverty and cost 2.9 million their jobs, with economic growth falling to 2.3% in the second quarter. That is the best-case scenario. In the worst case, she says the economy could contract 2.6%, potentially doubling the number of newly unemployed and tripling the new poor.

A man hangs homemade face masks to dry before distributing them in his neighborhood in Tangerang, near Jakarta.   © Reuters

5:17 p.m. The Philippines reports 291 new infections, bringing the total to 5,223, the highest in Southeast Asia. The country, which launched expanded testing today, has logged 335 COVID-19-related deaths.

5:00 p.m. Tokyo has confirmed more than 160 new cases, sources tell Nikkei, up from 91 reported a day earlier.

4:33 p.m. Nomura Holdings says it will postpone its earnings announcement for the year ending March 31 until May 8. The Japanese securities company had planned to publish its earnings April 24, but with many employees forced to work at home it has become difficult to compile the necessary figures in time, it said.

3:55 p.m. Thailand reports 34 new confirmed cases, up from 28 on Monday and pushing the cumulative total to 2,613. One fatality was added bringing the death toll to 41.

1:50 p.m. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extends the nationwide lockdown to May 3. The lockdown was set to end at midnight tonight.

1:10 p.m. Customs data released today shows China's exports fell 6.6% in March from a year earlier, while imports shrank 0.9%, a better than expected outcome as factories restarted production. Yet, the country's trade outlook remains grim as the pandemic looks set to keep trade under pressure.

12:59 p.m. India confirms 10,363 total cases, up 1,211 in the biggest 24-hour rise. The total includes 339 deaths and 1,035 recoveries. The country reported 796 cases on Monday and 909 on Sunday.

12:50 p.m. China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines to combat the new coronavirus, state media Xinhua reports. The vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech, and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group.

12:30 p.m. A total of 111 Africans in the Chinese city of Guangzhou have tested positive for coronavirus as of Monday, state media Xinhua reports. Of these, 19 cases were imported, said the executive vice mayor, adding that 4,553 Africans have been tested since April 4.

11:24 a.m. Sony decides to extend its suspension of two factories in Malaysia that make TVs and audio products until May 28. The Japanese company had planned to restart operations today but was asked by the Malaysian government to hold off, according to Sony.

10:30 a.m. South Korea confirms 27 new cases, keeping the number under 40 for six consecutive days. Its total cases reach 10,564, with 222 deaths.

9:50 a.m. China reports 89 new coronavirus cases, down from 108 the previous day, the National Health Commission says. All but three cases were imported. China's state broadcaster says 79 of the day's imported cases were in the northeast province of Heilongjiang, which shares a border with Russia.

8:40 a.m. It is unclear whether patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune to further infection, the World Health Organization says on Monday, as they may not develop sufficient antibodies to resist the virus the next time it enters their body.

A child receiving a measles vaccination in the Democratic Republic of Congo on March 3, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed health service providers.   © Reuters

8:30 a.m. More than 117 million children could miss out on their measles shots as the coronavirus pandemic forces social distancing and pressures health services, the United Nations says. Twenty-four countries have already delayed measles immunization campaigns and more nations will follow suit. As a result, children in 37 countries could be at risk.

6:45 a.m. French President Emmanuel Macron extends a virtual lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak until May 11, saying that progress has been made but the battle not yet won.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks close lower, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 falling 1%.

4:25 a.m. Health ministers from the Group of 20 countries will hold a virtual meeting on April 19 to discuss the international response to the coronavirus pandemic.

3:51 a.m. Ford says it will make reusable medical gowns out of air bag material in cooperation with supplier Joyson Safety Systems, which acquired bankrupt Japanese air bag maker Takata.

3:27 a.m. Nearly one-quarter of the world's big companies will run out of cash if sales drop 30% year-on-year for six months, Nikkei research shows.

3:10 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is coordinating with the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, local time, that he believed "the worst is over."   © Reuters

3:08 a.m. Thailand will deploy targeted tax cuts to encourage and other crucial items that are in short supply.

2:54 a.m. President Donald Trump was not firing U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci despite his retweet of a supporter's #FireFauci message, the White House says.

1:12 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that he believed "the worst is over" for his state as hospitalizations appeared to be reaching a plateau and the daily increase in deaths came to 671, the lowest total in about a week. U.S. stocks rise.

12:55 a.m. Singapore confirms 386 more cases on Monday in the city-state's biggest daily jump, taking its total to 2,918. It also reported its ninth death from COVID-19.

12:31 a.m. Vietnam Airlines looks to sell its 49% interest in state-run Cambodia Angkor Air as service cuts spurred by the coronavirus outbreak create a cash crunch.

Monday, April 13

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open slightly lower, with the Dow down 20 points and the S&P 500 dipping 7 points.

9:45 p.m. India's domestic automobile sales during March plunged by 61% on the year to 156,041 units, including cars and trucks, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers announces. The country entered a 21-day lockdown on March 25, meaning manufacturers and dealers were still open for about two-thirds of the month's working days. The lockdown is due to end on Tuesday but is expected to be extended for two weeks, meaning April is likely to be even tougher.

8:55 p.m. South Korea says it will send kits for up to 600,000 coronavirus tests to the U.S. on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The shipment comes in response to an appeal U.S. President Donald Trump made to his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, in late March.

6:13 p.m. Indonesia reports 316 new cases, lower than the daily counts over the weekend, which reached a new high. This brings the total number of infections to 4,557, including 399 deaths.

5:31 p.m. The Philippines reports 284 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 4,932 cases, with 315 deaths.

5:02 p.m. Samsung Display Vietnam, one of the South Korean electronics company's main units, is forced to close some areas at its facility in the Yen Phong Industrial Park in Bacninh Province. It was quarantined by local authorities on Monday after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

The closures may put the unit out of action for days, as the area must be disinfected, and other who came into contact with the infected person are checked. Vietnam has confirmed 262 infections as of April 13, but no deaths have been reported.

4:30 p.m. Tokyo confirms 91 new cases, sources tell Nikkei, marking the first time for the capital's daily total to come in under 100 since April 7.

3:56 p.m. Thailand reports 28 new COVID-19 cases, down from 33 on Sunday and a lower increase for the fifth straight day. The kingdom now has 2,579 total confirmed cases. It also added two fatalities, taking that total to 40.

1:30 p.m. India confirms 796 more coronavirus cases, compared to 909 it reported on Sunday morning, taking its total to 9,152, including 308 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

12:30 p.m. South Korea has confirmed that 111 patients who had been thought cleared of the new coronavirus have again tested positive. The World Health Organization is investigating such reports.

10:20 a.m. South Korea confirms 25 new cases, down from 32 on Sunday, raising the total to 10,537 with 217 deaths. The country is considering looser social distancing instructions now that it has the outbreak under relative control.

10:10 a.m. China reports the highest number of new daily coronavirus cases in nearly six weeks as it confirms 108 new cases for Sunday, all but 10 being imported infections. Separately, it counts 61 new asymptomatic patients. The number of new cases is the highest tally since March 5. Confirmed total cases in mainland China stand at 82,160, while the death toll rose by two to 3,341.

5:03 a.m. OPEC+ agrees to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June. The scale of the reduction is equivalent to 10% of global supply, making this the largest-ever cooperative effort among oil-producing countries.

1:00 a.m. New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces another 758 coronavirus deaths, the sixth consecutive day for the state to suffer over 700 deaths.

Sunday, April 12

11:00 p.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says, "It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS (National Health Service) for saving my life," in a video message posted on Twitter after he was discharged from hospital.

5:30 p.m. The Philippines reports 50 additional COVID-19 deaths, the highest daily tally, bringing the country's total number of corona fatalities to 297. Meanwhile, there are now 4,648 cases after 220 new infections were recorded.

5:11 p.m. China's northeastern city of Harbin will implement a 28-day quarantine measure for all arrivals from abroad, its government says in a statement posted online. People entering the capital of Heilongjiang Province, bordering Russia, will first be held at a quarantine center for 14 days, then must stay home for another 14 days.

4:30 p.m. Saudi Arabia's King Salman has extended a nationwide curfew until further notice due to the spread of the new coronavirus, the interior ministry says. Last week Saudi Arabia placed the capital Riyadh and other big cities under a 24-hour curfew, locking down much of the population. The kingdom has reported more than 300 new infections on each of the last four days.

2 p.m. India has confirmed 909 more coronavirus cases, compared to 1,035 it reported on Saturday morning, taking its total to 8,356, including 273 deaths, according to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

11:00 a.m. North Korea calls for tougher and more thorough countermeasures to keep citizens safe from the rapidly spreading coronavirus, state media reports.

1:43 a.m. U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 19,600, the highest reported number in the world, according to a Reuters tally. Italy has the second most, 19,468. The U.S. has five times the population of Italy.

Saturday, April 11

10:49 p.m. SoftBank Group will provide Japan with 300 million protective masks a month at cost, starting next month, President Masayoshi Son announces on Twitter. The masks will be produced by Chinese automaker BYD, which says it has quickly geared up to become one of the world's largest protective gear producers.

6:08 p.m. Malaysian health authorities report 184 additional confirmed coronavirus cases, raising the country's cumulative tally to 4,530, the highest number in Southeast Asia.

6:02 p.m. The Philippines reports 26 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking its total to 247. It also confirms 233 new infections for a tally of 4,428.

5:41 p.m. Indonesia confirms 330 new coronavirus infections, taking its count to 3,842. It also confirms 21 virus-related deaths, taking the total to 327.

5:11 p.m. Tokyo counts more than 190 new coronavirus cases, a record daily increase for the fourth straight day, a metropolitan government official says.

5:08 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for citizens across Japan to avoid evening spots like bars and restaurants.

3:10 p.m. India's confirmed coronavirus cases reach 7,447, up 1,035 from Friday morning and the biggest 24-hour increase. The death toll is at 239, up 40 since Friday morning, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

1:50 p.m. Thailand reports 45 new coronavirus infections and two more deaths. The country has registered a total of 2,518 cases and 35 deaths since its outbreak emerged in January.

10:30 a.m. Mainland China reports 46 new coronavirus cases, including 42 involving overseas travelers, up from 42 a day earlier. Also, 34 new asymptomatic cases were reported, down from 47 the previous day. Mainland China's infections tally stands at 81,953 and the death toll, up three, at 3,339.

4:25 a.m. Turkey is imposing a lockdown on 31 provinces for two days starting Friday midnight, according to the Interior Ministry. The curfew covers Istanbul, Ankara and other major cities.

3:18 a.m. The global death toll from the virus surpasses 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

2:28 a.m. Turkey's death toll reaches 1,006, including 98 in the prior 24 hours, the health minister says Friday evening. The number of confirmed cases totals 47,029.

1:53 a.m. India reports 896 newly confirmed cases on Friday, topping the previous single-day record of 704 on April 6. The daily death toll climbs to a record 37, with the cumulative total reaching 206.

1:30 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the phone and thanks him for his help in repatriating Japanese nationals stranded in India. As of Tuesday, 2,139 Japanese had returned to Japan from India via chartered flights.

1:00 a.m. Major League Baseball is considering a plan that would have all 30 teams play regular-season games at their spring training sites in Florida and Arizona without fans, USA Today reports.

12:36 a.m. Taiwanese authorities say operatives in mainland China attempted to paint Taiwan as the source of online abuse against the World Health Organization.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week's latest updates.

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