Coronavirus live news: cases worldwide near 2 million as leader of Ireland’s Sinn Féin tests positive


Mary Lou McDonald says she is recovering; confirmed cases in Africa pass 15,000; Trump repeats WHO funding threat

Romania has extended its nationwide coronavirus lockdown for another month, with the crisis in the country not expected to peak until after next week’s Orthodox Easter, AFP reports.

One of the EU’s poorest nations, with a population of almost 20 million people, Romania has so far reported more than 6,800 confirmed cases of the virus, with 346 deaths. About 800 healthcare workers have tested positive.

The danger hasn’t passed. Relaxing restrictions … would lead to a drastic increase in new cases and pressure on the healthcare system … It’s clear we are facing an epidemic, which is very hard to control.

The International Monetary Fund has slashed its forecasts for global growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and warned of a slump in output this year unparalleled since the Great Depression of the 30s, writes Larry Elliott, the Guardian’s economics editor.

In its half-yearly forecasts, the IMF said the “Great Lockdown” would cause a dramatic drop in activity that would be far more painful than the recession that followed the banking meltdown of the late 00s.

Related: ‘Great Lockdown’ to rival Great Depression with 3% hit to global economy, says IMF

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