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UK, Spain, India and more Live Coronavirus worldwide coverage

People must abide by restrictions, Merkel warns.

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “cautious hope” that the Germans prevented the spread of the corona virus from straining the health system and slowing the rate of infection, but warned that the number was no reason to abandon serious restrictions on social contact and personal freedoms.

“The latest developments give us cause for cautious hope,” Merkel said. “The numbers are an indication that measures are working.”

But as the long Easter weekend approaches and summer-like temperature forecasts, she warned the Germans not to give in to the temptation to roam outside and gather.

“We cannot be ruthless, we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security,” she warned at a news conference. “I know this from personal experience: you have some hope, then you get confidence, then you are a little more relaxed inside and then you are a little ruthless.”

The daily number of new infections in Germany has dropped from as many as 7,000 to an average of about 4,000 in the past week. Other hard-hit countries in Europe have seen comparable declines.

German authorities have credited early planning, extensive testing and a robust health system that resulted in a low death rate compared to neighboring countries. In Germany, more than 2,000 people died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, compared with about 7,000 in the UK, 11,000 in France, 15,000 in Spain and almost 18,000 in Italy, according to a database from the New York Times.

The chancellor said her government was working to procure more masks and protective equipment from overseas, as well as exploring ways to increase domestic production, to meet domestic and European needs.

Returning workers accounted for at least a third of the known cases in the West Bank, including its single death, Palestinian officials say. Only a few hundred infections have been confirmed there, although testing has been very limited compared to about 10,000 in Israel.

Initially, Palestinian officials expected Israel to take care of all workers affected by the virus. But after a vulnerable worker was unduly dumped at a checkpoint by the Israeli police (he later tested negative), the Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh turned himself in and urged the workers to return to the West Bank for their own safety.

Now, however, the fear is that many will take his advice – and that a large number of returning workers may turn out to be unknown carriers of the virus. It would quickly overwhelm the West Bank’s undervalued hospital.

The stress on the Palestinian side is reflected in a rhetoric of rhetoric that believes in the close cooperation between Israeli and West Bank officials behind the scenes – cooperation that the UN has publicly praised.

About 13 percent of the revenue earned by the West Bank comes from jobs in Israel or Israeli settlements.

European finance ministers meet for the second time this week on Thursday afternoon to take a new knife in potential joint action to curb the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the region’s economy, after their previous attempts collapsed in crime without results.

At stake is the recovery of the world’s richest bloc of nations, of which 19 members also share one of the most important currencies in the world, the euro. The recession ahead will be brutal: the bloc is likely to shrink by about 10 percent, economists predict. In the worst year, 2009, the downturn that followed the global financial crisis was 4.5 percent.

But the meeting will also determine whether the European countries affected by the virus unevenly, with Spain and Italy suffering the most losses, will be able to leave their usual battles aside – north to south, richer than poorer – and address the issue as a .

Some of the proposed measures have largely been controversial, such as a joint scheme to finance unemployment benefits and investments to support small businesses, but larger and more courageous proposals have been fragmented.

Particularly tough agreement has been reached on whether reform conditions should be linked to loans that a disbursement fund can provide to Italy and others. Italy, the bloc’s third largest economy, is keen to secure funding without strings, but the Netherlands is pressing conditions.

The ultimate stumbling block is whether ministers can agree on the possibility of issuing joint bonds in the future. This is no way for some Northern European countries like Germany and the Netherlands: They do not want to subsidize cheap debt for their southern counterparts and claim that the move would be legal and practically time consuming and politically unsustainable at home.

For those who have spent months preparing for the procession, “no doubt there are some inner feelings of nostalgia and sadness,” López said. “But we are all mature Christians.”

Not everyone has followed the closure measures, and last Sunday, officers broke up a roof on Seville with a dozen people. The police have intervened to stop any religious events that may violate the national lockdown rules.

Spain still faces a major outbreak: On Thursday, the country passed the dismal milestone of 15,000 dead, with 683 more deaths reported overnight.

Australian authorities on Wednesday boarded the cruise ship Ruby Princess, which is docked off the country’s east coast, and seized the ship’s “black box” as part of an assassination investigation into how infected passengers were allowed to leave last month.

Police in a southwestern corner of Germany will monitor who is following the social-ordering orders outdoors during the Easter weekend using an unusual means of transport – a zeppelin.

The city of Friedrichshafen got the aircraft – emblazoned with the slogan “Alle fur Alle” or “Alle together” – to make a daily loop through the sky over the shores of Lake Constance to motivate the Germans to follow regulations to stay indoors.

Officials reached out to police and offered a ride, said Markus Sauter, spokesperson for regional police in Ravensburg. The authorities readily accepted.

“Our focus will be the Bodensjö region, because from zeppelin it is easier for us to see where large groups of people can form than it is on the ground,” Sauter said in a telephone interview. The lake, which forms Germany’s southern border with Switzerland and a corner of Austria, is a popular destination for cyclists, hikers and other day tourists.

While some of the governors want companies to close now, the central government wants them to wait to see if individual citizens will flatten the infection curve by refraining from going outside and working from home. On Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced 511 newly confirmed cases – a jump of 46 percent over a day earlier.

A municipality takes matters into its own hands. Gotemba, a city of approximately 88,000 feet at the foot of Mount Fuji, offers owners of businesses such as bars and nightclubs a maximum of 1 million yen (about $ 9,200) in compensation for closing between April 16 and 30.

The pandemic has played a crucial role in this drama, but there is also a lot of jockeying among the three oil superpowers: Saudi Arabia and Russia, two longtime petro-rivals, and the United States, whose rising prominence as an oil exporter has disturbed the industry.

How to Celebrate in Coronavirus Times |

Every home order does not have to put a damper on your special days. Here are some ways to celebrate birthdays, weddings and the upcoming spring weekend.

In Dubai, the largest and most cosmopolitan in the United Arab Emirates, the large foreign population can now have alcohol delivered to the home even when the city has frozen in place to stop the spread of a coronavirus outbreak.

Allowing alcohol deliveries in Dubai during the pandemic may be surprising to some, as drinking is illegal in the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah and the nations of Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

But in normal times, Dubai residents can sip cocktail lounges or indulge in Champagne brunch, perhaps the most visible compromise the emirate has made between its Muslim identity and its many foreign workers and tourists. Foreigners drive cabins, pick up garbage, run restaurants and run the other industries that make Dubai a global business area and tourist destination, leading to looser restrictions on behavior than in many of its neighbors.

But allowing home delivery of liquor is new.

Alcohol delivery, now offered through Online ordering of the city’s major alcohol distributors is a nod to another reality – the one for a city-wide lockdown, where only one member of each household is allowed outside at a time for essential travel. Only tourists who can show a foreign passport and residents with an alcohol license, available to non-Muslims over 21, can order the alcohol, ranging from a $ 4.36 bottle of Indian blended whiskey to a $ 780 bottle of California red wine.

The closure is strictly enforced and blends the highly effective efficiency that has streamlined Dubai’s economy and the authority’s authoritarianism which raises little inequality. People have to obtain police permission online every time they leave home. Everyone must wear masks and gloves outside.

Dubai police have said they will not hesitate to “name shame”, arrest and even jail people who mock at home on social media.

But it was a striking contrast to the policy in Bangkok, where authorities announced on Thursday that the sale of alcohol would be banned from Friday to April 20 to thwart collections next week during Songkran, the Thai New Year. The Songkran celebration, which can attract large crowds, was interrupted earlier.

Bangkok, which is under partial closure, is one of more than 10 jurisdictions in Thailand that have adopted some form of alcohol ban in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Reporting was contributed by Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Jane Bradley, Stephen Castle, Abdi Latif Dahir, Vivian Yee, Melissa Eddy, Raphael Minder, Ceylan Yeginsu, Iliana Magra, Richard C. Paddock, Mike Ives, Megan Specia, Yonette Joseph, Kai Schultz, Elaine Yu, Motoko Rich, Hisako Ueno, Makiko Inoue, Rory Smith, Tariq Panja, Livia Albeck-Ripka, Carl Zimmer, James Gorman, Michael Levenson, Dan Barry, Ben Hubbard, Stanley Reed, Clifford Krauss, Andrew E. Kramer, Dionne Searcey, Ruth Maclean, Denise Grady, Katie Thomas, Patrick J. Lyons, Karen Zraick, Richard Pérez-Peña, Mohammed Najib, David M. Halbfinger, Melissa Eddy and Christopher F. Schuetze.

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