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Coronavirus latest: Donald Trump halts US payments to World Health Organization

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Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on Tuesday
Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on Tuesday   -   Copyright  Alex Brandon/AP
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President Donald Trump says he has issued a directive to halt US payments to the World Health Organization.

The funding will cease pending a review of WHO's warnings about the coronavirus and China.

Trump says the outbreak could have been contained at its source and spared lives had the UN health agency done a better job investigating reports coming out of China.

Trump claims the organisation failed to carry out its “basic duty” and must be held accountable.

Shrinking of UK economy

Earlier on Tuesday the UK's tax and spending watchdog has said the British economy could shrink by a record 35 percent by June. The bleak report comes from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Commenting on the government's response to the crisis, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said the measures put in place were the "right plan".

View his news conference in the video player above

Official statistics on Tuesday showed that hundreds of deaths in British care homes have not been included in government figures -- which only take account of deaths in hospitals. It has led to criticism that the elderly are being "airbrushed out".

Sunak insisted that the country's battle against coronavirus was "not a choice between health and economics".

Other key developments:

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest forecast that the world economy would suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s -- and shrink by three percent in 2020.
  • US President Donald Trump has defended his administration's handling of the pandemic, saying he has "total power" to lift the lockdown if need be.
  • France and India have joined Italy in extending their nationwide lockdowns to stem the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
  • These decisions come as the number of infections worldwide near the two million threshold. Nearly 120,000 people have now lost their lives to COVID-19.

Follow all the latest updates