Coronavirus: latest global developments

The United States on Thursday accused the World Health Organization of putting politics first by ignoring early coronavirus warnings by Taiwan, which voiced outrage over criticism from the UN body's chief

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Dispatching medical equipment -

European nations deliver medical goods to Iran in the first transaction under the Instex mechanism set up in January 2019 to bypass United States sanctions on Tehran.

President Donald Trump says the US will send some shipments of excess medical equipment worth around $100 million to hard-hit Italy, and later to France and Spain.

- Temporary lay-offs -

Air Canada announces it will temporarily lay off nearly half of its employees -- affecting some 15,200 staff and about 1,300 managers -- and reduce activity by up to 90 percent.

- Taking turns to go outside -

Panama announces strict quarantine measures that separate citizens by gender. 

From Wednesday for 15 days, men and women will only be able to leave their homes for two hours at a time, and on different days. On Sunday all outings are banned.

Mexico extends its state of emergency to April 30, which also allows it to prolong its suspension of all non-essential activities.

Guinea announces a night-time curfew between 2100-0500 GMT and restrictions on movement out of the capital.

More than 3.6 billion people -- 46.5 percent of the world population -- are now either under orders or have been asked to stay home, according to an AFP database tally on Tuesday.

- Supermarket sales rocket -

Industry data shows Britain's supermarkets experienced their busiest month on record in March, with total grocery sales rocketing by a record 20.6 percent.

- Standstill growth -

The World Bank warns China's growth in 2020 could be brought to a standstill, compared to 6.1 percent growth in 2019, which was already its worst performance since 1990.

The country will postpone its notoriously difficult college entrance tests from June to July.

- More than 790,000 cases -

More than 790,640 cases of infection have been recorded in 185 countries and territories since the epidemic started in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled at 1000 GMT Tuesday based on official sources.

At least 38,464 deaths have been recorded, 27,740 of those in Europe.

Italy has 11,591 deaths, Spain 8,189, mainland China 3,305, the United States 3,170, France 3,024, and Iran 2,898.

- Young victim -

In a rare case of a young person succumbing to the disease, a 12-year-old girl infected with COVID-19 dies in Belgium.

- Hospital ship docks in New York -

The US is the country with the most confirmed infections, now reported at 164,610.

A military hospital ship arrives in New York with 1,000 beds on board and also space for a dozen operating rooms.

- Early prison release -

A US judge grants "compassionate release" from prison to Jose Maria Marin, an 87-year-old former Brazilian Football Confederation president serving a four-year sentence as part of the FIFA corruption scandal, after is lawyers argue he could be vulnerable to the coronavirus.