Coronavirus: Global cases double to two million in less than two weeks

A voter has her temperature checked upon her arrival at a polling station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
A voter has her temperature checked upon her arrival at a polling station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Copyright AP/Lee Jin-man
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic from across Europe and the world.


The number of confirmed global cases passed two million on Wednesday, after doubling in less than two weeks.

More than 130,000 people have died due to COVID-19, though the number is likely higher due to underreported cases and testing differences.

The US is the most impacted country in the world with more than 600,000 cases and 25,000 deaths.

Amid mounting criticism over his reaction to the outbreak, Donald Trump lashed out against the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday, saying it "failed in its basic duty" regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and announced plans to halt US payments. 

The US is the world's largest contributor to the WHO, and cutting off payments will disproportionally impact emerging nations.

The organisation's director general said he regretted Trump's decision and defended their work.

"Our commitment to public health, science and to serving all the people of the world without fear or favour remains absolute," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.

"Our mission and mandate are to work with all nations equally, without regard to the size of their populations or economies.

Watch the WHO press conference in the video player above.

More on this:

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Live updates:

That's a wrap for our daily live blog. We will see you tomorrow at 6:00 am CET for more coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least 668 crew members of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier tested positive for COVID-19

The French defence ministry announced that 668 members of the crew of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle tested positive for coronavirus.

The carrier returned to Toulon after the outbreak started on board.

At least 1,767 naval troops have been tested, the defence ministry said. Thirty-one of them are in hospital.


Global cases of COVID-19 doubles in less than two weeks

There are now more than 2 million global cases of COVID-19 and more than 130,000 deaths from the virus, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University.


Masks recommended in Germany, compulsory in Luxembourg

Germany will recommend that citizens wear masks on public transport and in stores, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Luxembourg's prime minister Xavier Bettel said that wearing masks would be mandatory starting next week.

"From Monday, oral protection is mandatory whether it is a scarf or a mask," Bettel said during a press conference briefing, following advice from the government.

Death toll in France rises as more nursing home numbers reported

The total death toll in France is now 17,167, more than 1,400 more people than what was reported on Tuesday.

A reporting lag for deaths in retirement and care homes was responsible for the new high numbers.

There were also an additional 514 deaths in hospital in 24 hours.

Hospitalisations in Italy decreasing

Hospitalisations in Italy are decreasing, with 107 fewer people in intensive care than the day previously and 368 fewer hospitalised than yesterday.

There are a total of 27,643 people who are hospitalised in the country.

Meanwhile, another 578 people died in the country, ANSA reports.


Belgium extends lockdown to May 3

Belgium's prime minister announced that the country's lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic would be extended until May 3 that and no "mass event" could be organised before August 31.

Belgium recorded Wednesday 33,573 confirmed cases of Covid-19 patients, and 4,440 deaths.


New procedures in UK for families to say goodbye to loved ones dying from COVID-19

UK health minister Matt Hancock says he is introducing new procedures to help families say goodbye to loved ones who are dying from COVID-19.

He said he was moved by the story of a 13-year-old boy dying without his parents at his side.

Relatives are being kept apart from COVID-19 sufferers to slow the transmission of coronavirus.

It is unclear at this stage what the new procedures are.

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