Slowing death rates from the coronavirus epidemic in Italy and France — two of the the worst-affected nations after the United States — have provided some hope in Europe, where millions of people celebrated Easter Sunday under lockdown in their homes.
Here are the world’s key developments related to the pandemic over the past 24 hours:
Italy reports lowest daily death toll in 1 month
Deaths from coronavirus infection in Italy rose by 431 on Sunday, down from 619 the day before, official said. That was the lowest daily rise in deaths since March 19.
The number of new cases also slowed to 4,092, from a previous 4,694.
The total death toll rose to 19,899, the Civil Protection Agency said, also confirming the number of known cases of COVID-19 at 156,363.
Spain’s infection rate falls
Spain’s fatalities increased by 619 in the past 24 hours, from a nearly three-week low of 510 on Saturday.
That brought the total number of deaths in the country to 17,209.
Spanish Health Ministry figures showed that new cases had grown by 2.6 percent over the past 24 hours — the lowest rate since the pandemic took off in the country a month ago.
The number of total infections reached 166,831 on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the country is getting prepared to reopen some sectors of its economy this week.
France reports drop in deaths
France has reported a drop in fatalities from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, with 315 deaths in hospitals on Sunday, compared with 345 the day before.
President Emmanuel Macron is expected to address the nation for a third time over the outbreak later on Monday. Official said he is due to stress the need for the lockdown to continue.
The total death toll, which includes data from hospitals and nursing homes, reached 14,393 in the country, with a total 132,591 infections as of Sunday.
China reports 108 new cases
China recorded 108 new cases of the disease on Sunday, marking the highest number of cases in more than five weeks.
The National Health Commission said 98 cases had been travelers from abroad.
Two deaths were also recorded.
The new figures brought China’s total confirmed cases to 82,160, and the number of deaths to 3,341.
Recent increases in the number of imported cases have sparked fears of a second wave of infections in the mainland. As part of the latest restrictions in the country, cities near the border with Russia are tightening border controls and imposing stricter quarantine after officials reported an influx of infected cases from Russia. The northeast Heilongjiang Province, which borders Russia, has become the new battleground against the coronavirus outbreak.
Jordan extends lockdown till end of April
In the Middle East, Jordan extended its month-long lockdown until the end of this month on Sunday.
The country has reported 389 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths.
Jordan had declared a 24-hour nationwide curfew on March 20.
Turkey’s Erdogan rejects minister’s resignation over hasty curfew
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the resignation of his interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, who had hastily declared a weekend lockdown that led to a surge in panic buying and traffic in Istanbul.
Soylu announced his resignation in a Twitter message on Sunday, saying he was responsible for implementing the lockdown.
Erdogan, however, refused to accept his resignation.
Health officials reported 97 more deaths on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,198.
The country of 80 million has nearly 57,000 confirmed cases of the viral infection.
In Israel, former chief rabbi dies of COVID-19
A former Israeli chief rabbi died of complications caused by the new coronavirus on Sunday.
Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, 79, who had served as Israel’s top chaplain for Sephardim from 1993 to 2003, died of COVID-19 in a hospital in Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israel has reported 11,145 cases of infection and 103 deaths.
Sudan introduces emergency laws
In Africa, Sudan was set to introduce emergency laws, including banning all passenger road transport between cities, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
It has registered 19 cases and two deaths.
Mexico reports 442 new cases
In Mexico, the Health Ministry reported 442 new cases of infection and 23 more deaths on Sunday.