Together but apart in New York's Central Park this weekend. Image: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
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- This daily roundup brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
- Today's big stories: Confirmed coronavirus cases globally surpass 3.5 million; world leaders to hold a pledging conference for vaccine research funding; and Italy eases its long lockdown.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?
1. How COVID-19 is impacting the globe
- Confirmed cases pass 3.5 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Almost 250,000 people have died and 1.1 million have recovered.
2. Global vaccine pledging conference
World leaders will hold an international pledging “marathon” on Monday with the goal of raising at least 7.5 billion euros ($8.2 billion) for research into a possible COVID-19 vaccine and treatments.
Organised by the European Union, along with Britain, Norway, Japan, Canada and Saudi Arabia, leaders aim to raise funds over several weeks or months, building on efforts by the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and wealthy individuals.
3. US death estimate revised up
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he now believes as many as 100,000 Americans could die in the coronavirus pandemic, after the death toll passed his earlier estimates, but said he was confident a vaccine would be developed by the year’s end.
4. Italy eases long lockdown, but fears resurgence of coronavirus
Italy starts to unwind Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown, letting some 4.5 million people return to work on Monday after nearly two months at home, while finally allowing families to reunite.
However, friends have been told to keep apart and most shops must stay shut until 18 May. Restaurants and bars can only offer takeaway, while schools, cinemas and theatres will remain shut for the indefinite future.
With almost 29,000 deaths from COVID-19 since, Italy has the world’s second highest toll after the United States.
5. Australia and New Zealand discuss possible trans-Tasman "travel bubble"
New Zealand and Australia are discussing the potential creation of a “travel bubble” between the two countries.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she has accepted an invite from Australian Premier Scott Morrison to take part in a meeting of Australia’s emergency coronavirus cabinet on Tuesday, stoking anticipation of a travel deal.
Ardern said more health measures needed to be put in place, adding: “I wouldn’t say it would be in the very, very near short term.”
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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