DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* The U.S. coronavirus crisis took a sharp political turn as President Donald Trump lashed out at four Democratic governors over their handling of the pandemic after having conceded that states bear ultimate control of restrictions to contain the outbreak.
* U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 35,400 on Friday, rising by more than 2,000 for the fourth day in a row, according to a Reuters tally, as some states announced timetables for lifting restrictions aimed at blunting the pandemic.
* Better-than-expected social distancing practices have led an influential research model to lower its projected U.S. coronavirus death toll by 12%, while predicting some states may be able to safely begin easing restrictions as early as May 4.
* Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said a large number of migrants on a deportation flight to Guatemala from the United States this week were infected with the coronavirus, adding that U.S. authorities had confirmed a dozen cases.
* The United States has asked China to revise new export quality control rules for protective equipment needed in the outbreak so they are not an obstacle to timely supplies, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department said.
* New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a blistering attack on President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis, accusing him of “passing the buck” to the states and favoring big business over communities hardest hit.
* Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 575 on Friday, up from 525 the day before, while the number of new cases declined slightly and scientists warned that infections were now mainly happening among family members.
* Doctors and health workers criticised the British government for suggesting that gowns used to protect them while treating coronavirus patients could be re-used, as supplies run low across the country.
* Russia said its death toll from the novel coronavirus had risen to 313, an overnight increase of 40, as it posted a new record daily jump in new cases.
* Japan, alarmed by rising coronavirus deaths and the spectre of the collapse of the medical system, is scrambling to expand testing with drive-through facilities and general practitioners helping to collect samples.
* Singapore’s health ministry confirmed 942 more coronavirus infections, a new daily record, the vast majority of which are among migrant workers living in dormitories.
* China’s National Health Commission reported 27 new confirmed coronavirus cases on April 17, up from 26 the day earlier, according to data published on Saturday.
* Taiwan will put 700 navy sailors into quarantine after three cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed among sailors who had been on a goodwill mission to the Pacific island state of Palau, the government said on Saturday.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The Nigerian president’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, died on Friday after contracting the new coronavirus, two presidency spokesmen said on Twitter.
* Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus rose by 73 in the previous 24 hours to reach 5,031 on Saturday, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said on state TV.
* Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti said Muslim prayers during Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr feast should be performed at home if the outbreak continues.
* African leaders, the IMF and the World Bank appealed for rapid international action to help African countries respond to the coronavirus pandemic that will cause the continent’s economy to shrink by 1.25% in 2020, the worst reading on record.
* Dubai has extended by one week a 24-hour-a-day curfew imposed as part of a sterilisation drive to control the spread of the coronavirus, the government said in a Twitter post.
* Canada will invest C$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) in measures to help the hard-hit oil and gas industry during the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed 1,250 people in the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
* Global stocks rallied on President Donald Trump’s plans to revive the coronavirus-hit U.S. economy and a report about a clinical trial for a potential drug to treat COVID-19.
* Gold dropped about 2% on Friday after President Donald Trump’s new guidelines to re-open the U.S. economy and encouraging early data related to a potential COVID-19 treatment drove investors towards riskier assets.
* Some moderate Democrats key to their party’s control of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move quickly to replenish a fund to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, saying other party priorities can wait.
* China’s economy contracted for the first time on record in the first quarter as the coronavirus shut down factories and shopping malls and put millions out of work.