Latest COVID-19 updates from around the world

France coronavirus death toll close to Spain’s, still world’s fourth highest

The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France increased by 544 to 21,340 on Wednesday, the fourth-highest casualty tally in the world, but trailing just a few hundred behind Spain, which has a death toll of 21,717. The toll increased at a rate of 2.6% on Wednesday, the same as Tuesday, and remained well below the four to five percent rates seen a week ago. (From Reuters)

Two cats test postive in New York

Spanish parliament approves State of Emergency extension

As expected, members of the Spanish parliament have approved the extension of the State of Emergency until May 9.

The Spanish government originally declared the State of Emergency on March 13, with the country going into lockdown the next day.

Spain has endured some of the toughest lockdown measures in Europe, an easing of which will not begin until at least mid-May, the president, Pedro Sanchez, has warned.

“This state of alarm will be different from the previous ones,” said Sanchez. “We are going in the right direction towards the de-escalation process. We hope that by mid-May we can start that process, which will be slow and gradual.”