Six million workers to be paid under govt's $130 billion JobKeeper scheme
Up to six million workers will receive fortnightly payments under the government's $130 billion JobKeeper scheme. Within an hour of the announcement, 8000 businesses signed up for the JobKeeper allowance which will see them paid $1500 a fortnight for each worker they keep on the books for the next six months. The prime minister stressed the importance of keeping business running amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “we want to keep the engine of our economy running through this crisis”.
World powers scrambled on Thursday to build a global response to the human tragedy and once-in-a-century economic collapse caused by the coronavirus epidemic, as the worldwide death toll topped 90,000.
In a locked-down New York, the UN Security Council was to meet on the pandemic for the first time. And, by video conference, EU finance ministers are wrangling over how to bail out their worst hit members Italy and Spain.
The US coronavirus death toll jumped to over 15,774, according to the Johns Hopkins University, with more than 430,000 cases.
U.S. stock futures rise as virus deaths ease: Markets Wrap
U.S. stocks futures advanced after the daily reported death toll in some of the world’s coronavirus epicenters was lower on Sunday. Oil tumbled. The latest fatality figures provided some respite to the onslaught of recent negative virus headlines, though the economic impact will continue to bite for some time. S&P 500 futures opened more than 1% higher, and contracts in Japan also climbed. The pound dipped as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests after suffering from the coronavirus for 10 days.
Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world
A girl puts her completed drawing of an Easter egg on the window of her home in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 8. New Zealanders are being encouraged to draw and display Easter eggs on their windows to create an Easter egg hunt that children can participate in during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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A member of the palace guard wears a face mask along with his traditional Korean dress, at the Deoksugung palace in Seoul, South Korea, on April 8.
A resident of a nursing home waves at an elderly woman as the MAV Symphony Orchestra plays classical music recordings on the loudspeakers of a car going around the city to cheer up people under lockdown in Budapest, Hungary, on April 7.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, departs after the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on April 6.
A resident picks up a box with food given to them by the army, at the Santa Rosita neighborhood on the outskirts of Guatemala City, Gautemala, on April 6, during a stay-at-home curfew designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
German tourists queue up to enter Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand, on April 6. Air New Zealand is operating a number of special charter flights on behalf of the German government to repatriate German travelers stranded in New Zealand due the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Death rate will increase" - the head of the Robert Koch Institute speaks plain text
Staff members of a hospital carry candles and oil lamps to show solidarity with people who are affected by the coronavirus disease, and with doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers from all over the world during a 21-day nationwide lockdown, in Kolkata, India, on April 5.
Members of Local Defence Unit (LDU) offload relief food during a distribution exercise to civilians affected by the lockdown, implemented to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, in Kampala, Uganda, on April 4.
The One World Trade Center is illuminated in red, white and blue in recognition of the ongoing nationwide effort to combat coronavirus in New York City, as it is seen from Exchange Place, New Jersey, U.S., on March 30.
A bird flies past a drone spraying disinfectant during a demonstration during the Movement Control Order, limiting the activities of people in Malaysia as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus, in Kuala Lumpur on March 31.
Environmental activists wearing masks symbolizing the coronavirus attend a prevention campaign as people take measures to protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19 in Seoul, South Korea, on March 30.
A man walks past on a nearly empty Tokyo street amid snowfall during the first weekend after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged Tokyo residents to stay indoors in a bid to keep the COVID-19 from spreading, on March 29.
Migrant workers crowd up outside a bus station as they wait to board buses to return to their villages during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of COVID-19, in Ghaziabad, India, on March 28.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference at the CenturyLink Field Event Center, where a field a hospital for non-COVID-19 cases will be built, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease, in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on March 28.
Medical and physician assistant students in personal protective equipment listen during a meeting before screening for possible coronavirus cases at a makeshift camp for the homeless in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on March 28.
China's ambassador in Venezuela Li Baorong (L) and Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodríguez are seen after the arrival of humanitarian aid from China at Simón Bolívar International Airport during the national quarantine, in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 28.
A violinist plays on her balcony to support health workers in Mulhouse, France, on March 28, 2020.
SA Ruby Princess passenger dies from virus
South Australia has recorded its fourth coronavirus death after a 74-year-old man died in hospital after contracting the virus on the Ruby Princess cruise ship. The 74-year-old man succumbed to the infection in the Royal Adelaide Hospital overnight, SA Health confirmed on Sunday.It is the state's fourth coronavirus death, with the national toll now standing at 57."Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man," SA Health said.More than a dozen Ruby Princess passengers have died from the virus, and more than 500 people have been infected, either onboard or from contact with people who were.
A man plays his accordion to lift his parents' spirits after they started practicing social isolation in their house to prevent themselves from catching the coronavirus disease, in Concepción, Chile on March 26.
A policeman checks motorists at a roadblock during the first day of a 21 day government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Delhi, India on March 25.
An aerial view of empty Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge, a cable-stayed bridge, on the first day of a lockdown imposed by state government because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 24.
American Airlines passenger planes crowd a runway where they are parked due to flight reductions to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), at Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. on March 23.
People wearing facemasks queue outside a shop at Pugoda on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo on March 24, as the authorities briefly lifted a curfew to allow residents to stock up on essentials amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive Officer James Johnson speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Australia, on March 24. Johnson said that the rest of the A-League soccer season has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A man plays guitar and sings to his neighbors from his balcony two days after California’s Governor Gavin Newsom implemented a state wide "stay at home order" in Oakland, California, U.S., on March 21.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with G7 leaders during a teleconference while under self-isolation, due to his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau testing positive for COVID-19, in his home at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Canada, on March 16.
Peru's Alianza Lima and Argentina's Racing Club play the Copa Libertadores match at the Presidente Perón Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 12. The match was played in an empty, closed-door stadium as part of the government's measures to contain transmission of coronavirus.
People coming from Venezuela with protective face masks as a precautionary measure to avoid contracting the virus, show their documents on the border at Simon Bolivar International Bridge, in Cucuta, Colombia, on March 12.
Chinese President Xi Jinping learns about the hospital's operations, treatment of patients, protection for medical workers and scientific research at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on March 10.
New York State recorded its single-day record for COVID-19 deaths, with 799, although the rate of new hospitalisations fell, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
"We anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression," said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, warning that all but a handful of countries will see incomes fall and urging governments to provide "lifelines" to businesses and households alike.
The US Federal Reserve threw out just such a lifeline to Americans, with chairman Jerome Powell announcing financing facilities of $2.3 trillion "to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity."
He warned, however, that the US economy is moving "with alarming speed" towards "very high unemployment". Nearly 17 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March.
The official number of deaths linked to the coronavirus around the world, as of April 9 at 1100 GMT
It is a similar picture in Europe, where French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he expected GDP to fall by six percent over the year, despite a planned 100-billion-euro ($AUD 172 billion) relief plan.
The number of worldwide cases of the novel coronavirus since it spread from China earlier this year topped 1.5 million, according to an AFP tally. More than 90,938 people have died.
- Italy's nun-doctor -
Alongside the personal tragedies and the pressure on overburdened hospitals, there has been a stark economic toll, with the World Trade Organization warning of the "worst recession of our lifetimes."
The worst-hit countries in Europe -- the worst-hit continent -- are Italy and Spain, where daily death tolls are now down from their peaks but still running high, despite strict lockdowns.
France reported its first fall in the number of patients in intensive care suffering from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Spain's daily fatalities fell to 683 on Thursday, down from 757 the day before, while its total passed 15,000.
In Italy, the country's youngest COVID-19 patient, a two-month-old baby girl, was reportedly released from hospital, a moment of hope amid 18,279 deaths.
Italy's epidemic has turned life in the country upside down, but also brought out acts of generosity from the likes of Sister Angel Bipendu, a nun and a doctor who distributes medical care alongside spiritual succour.
She tries to remain optimistic, despite the ravages of the coronavirus reminding her of earlier epidemics in her former central African homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"I think of my Congo, where sick people will also die of hunger," the 47-year-old told AFP as she made home visits in Bergamo province, epicentre of Italy's outbreak. "I'm afraid of not being able to do everything I have to do. Fear of being infected? Absolutely not."
One hundred Italian doctors, Sister Bipendu's colleagues, have died in the outbreak, according to their health association.
Rows of beds separated by black fabric are set up as a temporary field hospital for COVID-19 patients at the USTA Billie Jean King tennis center in New York
- European project at stake -
Madrid and Rome are seeking assistance from EU partners to rebuild their economies, but Berlin has rejected the idea of joint borrowing and the Netherlands is blocking a compromise solution.
EU finance ministers were to meet later Thursday by videoconference for the second late-night crisis talks of the week to try to agree terms to allow hard-hit members to access funds.
"If we do not seize the opportunity to put new life into the European project, the risk of failure is real," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the BBC, suggesting the very future of the EU was at stake.
Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank, said it was vital ministers hatch a plan big enough to meet the challenge, warning: "If not all countries are cured, the others will suffer."
European companies are also suffering under a public lockdown, which health experts say is vital to slow the virus' spread but has effectively frozen economic life.
In one example, German airline Lufthansa warned it was losing one million euros an hour and would need state aid.
The coronavirus slump has also fed the instability in world energy markets, and on Thursday top oil producers from OPEC like Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ partners, including Russia, met to discuss cutting production to boost prices.
Oil prices rose sharply as the meeting opened, extending earlier big gains, but then fell back to post more modest gains as nervous traders took profits in a volatile market.
The world's coronavirus death toll has now topped 90,000
- UK PM's condition 'improving' -
The virus has travelled around the whole world, and confined more than a third of humanity to their homes, but there has been a marked lack of international solidarity. Thursday's videoconference meeting of the UN Security Council will be the first on the crisis since it began.
Led by Germany, nine of the council's 10 non-permanent members requested the closed-door meeting last week, fed up with the body's inaction over the unprecedented global crisis.
It has also been a difficult week in Britain, where 881 new deaths were recorded on Thursday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday left intensive care where he had spent three nights after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms on Sunday.
The British government -- which has already pledged a stimulus of billions of pounds -- expanded its overdraft with the Bank of England by an undisclosed amount, to temporarily cover the cost of emergency measures.
And the pandemic is marching into areas previously only lightly affected. Africa faces vast economic damage, with the World Bank warning that sub-Saharan Africa could slip into its first recession in a quarter of a century.
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