Coronavirus live news: Christians adapt to Easter without ceremonies as lockdowns tighten worldwide

Italy, India, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico extend lockdown; Britain pledges £200m to WHO; partner of Julian Assange calls for prison release

11.08am BST

Thank you to everyone getting in touch from around the world. In the past couple of hours I’ve had emails and tweets from Cameroon, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Sweden, Turkey, Thailand, Brazil, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Ireland and more.

I try to read every message but I can’t always respond – so apologies if you’ve not heard back from me. Your insights are greatly appreciated in helping us understand how the epidemic is affecting people across the globe.

10.59am BST

Despite the rise in the number of deaths and new cases in Spain, the country’s strict lockdown seems to be paying off. The overnight rise in new cases was 2.6% compared with a daily average of 12% at the end of March and 20% in mid-March.

The prime minister, who recently extended the lockdown until 26 April, is meeting the presidents of Spain’s autonomous regions by videoconference today to coordinate the country’s response.

“Spain had an advantage at the beginning of the crisis because it was growing more on average than its partners in the eurozone.

“But it also has a problem: its economic structure leaves it more exposed to the crisis because it is more dependent on services such as tourism, which will be very deeply affected by the pandemic. That fact probably means it will suffer a deeper recession.”

Continue reading…