With 2,388 Covid-19 fatalities reported on Wednesday (March 25), the global coronavirus death toll has exceeded 21,000. As on Thursday, 471,304 people from over 195 countries have been infected, and 21,291 have died. While Italy accounts for the highest number of deaths, USA presently has the highest number of active coronavirus cases, pegged at 67,973.

COVID-19: Updates

Coronavirus update: 26 March
John Hopkins University

On Wednesday, Italy recorded the highest number of 683 deaths. Its number of cases and fatalities now stands at 74,386 and 7,503, respectively. The highest number of new cases were reported in USA. With 13,355 new cases and 247 fatalities, its number of cases and fatalities are 68,211 and 1,027, respectively.

With 656 new deaths, Spain became the second nation, with more number of deaths than China, where the disease first originated. The European nation has reported 49,515 cases and 3,647 fatalities. France reported 231 deaths and 2,929 new cases. As on Wednesday, the country has reported 25,233 cases and 1,331 deaths.

Iran, the worst-hit Asian nation after China, reported 143 deaths and 2,206 cases, bringing its total to 27,017 cases and 2,077 fatalities.

Fresh steps taken by governments

On Wednesday, the US senate passed a historic $2 trillion relief package. The bill was passed with a vote of 96-0 and will now go to the House of Representatives, CBS reported.

Although the country's death toll has surpassed 1,000 and the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it could be the next epicenter of the pandemic, US President Donald Trump has yet again hinted at his plan to re-open the economy.

"We want to get our country going again", septuagenarian President who's seeking a re-election later this year, said on Wednesday, AFP reported. "I'm not going to do anything rash or hastily". "By Easter we'll have a recommendation and maybe before Easter", he added.

India, the country of 1.3 billion has been put under complete lock-down for three weeks, starting on Wednesday. The country has reported 657 cases and 12 fatalities.

With two more deaths reported in Russia, the Eurasian nation is also planning for a lock-down. President Vladimir Putin has declared a public holiday the next week and has urged people to follow instructions given by authorities.

Spain has announced a $467 million deal with China, to buy medical supplies. Meanwhile, China has begun to relax the widespread restrictions imposed, since January, after a significant drop in the number of cases and fatalities.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged global effort to combat the pandemic. "COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity, and the whole of humanity must fight back", he said.