Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing

(Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives began a debate on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid bill on Friday as virus cases in the country rose to the highest in the world. Mainland China reported its first locally transmitted case in three days, while India slashed interest rates.


DEATHS, INFECTIONS

* More than 551,800 people have been infected globally and nearly 24,900 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.


EUROPE

* Infections in Italy have not peaked yet, its national health institute said on Friday, the day after more than 6,150 people tested positive and 712 died in 24 hours.

* Britain's health minister and prime minister both said they have tested positive and are self-isolating. Boris Johnson said he would still lead the government's response to the outbreak.

* Britain's death toll rose to 759 on Thursday, up 31% in one day.

* Latest data from Spain's health ministry show the death toll stabilising, said the health emergency chief.

* Germany has proposed using big data and location tracking to isolate people with coronavirus once social distancing measures now in force have slowed its spread, media reported on Friday.

* A spike in cases will put France under huge pressure in coming days, its prime minister said, after reporting a record daily death toll.

* Switzerland's government has allowed regional authorities to shut down or restrict economic sectors temporarily if needed.

* Hungary, where the epidemic is expected to peak in June or July, is imposing a two-week lockdown.

* The street price of cannabis in French cities has surged after tight border controls disrupted the flow of illegal narcotics and drug gangs hiked their rates.


AMERICAS

* The House of Representatives will approve the coronavirus economic relief bill on Friday, likely after a three hour debate, said U.S. House Speaker Pelosi.

* Some lower-paid U.S. workers could effectively get raises if they lose their jobs during the crisis, thanks to aging government computer systems.

* Support for Mexico's president hit a record low amid criticism of his response to the crisis, public security concerns and a struggling economy.

* Brazil will reduce environmental enforcement during the outbreak, despite concerns that it could lead to a spike in deforestation.

* Brazil's governors pressed President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for more federal support after he blasted them as job-killers and undermined their orders with a decree keeping churches open.

* Venezuela and Nicaragua reported their first deaths on Thursday.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

* Mainland China reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in three days and 54 new imported cases, as Beijing ordered airlines to slash international flights.

* Tokyo's governor's plea to avoid non-essential outings until April 12 prompted a rush for supplies despite warnings against hoarding.

* Australia is introducing enforced quarantine by midnight on Saturday for returning citizens and will deploy the armed forces to ensure compliance with self-isolation measures.

* Vietnam will limit domestic flights and stop public gatherings for two weeks from Saturday, as it aims to keep the number of cases under 1,000.

* Uzbekistan reported its first death on Friday, as it locked down more cities and districts and declared large bonuses for medical workers.


MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* About half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa still have a "narrowing" opportunity to curb the spread, the regional head of the World Health Organisation said.

* South Africans struggled to adapt to confinement rules on Friday, with many city streets no less crowded than normal as a strict lockdown begun and it recorded its first deaths.

* Iran started an intercity travel ban, as its death toll rose to 2,378 on Friday.

* Israeli army will assist police on street patrols to enforce lockdown, the military said on Friday.

* Serious warfare resumed this week in Libya, defying international calls to allow its health system to prepare for the spread.

* Algeria extended its curfew to nine more provinces.


ECONOMIC FALLOUT

* European stocks fell on Friday, snapping their biggest ever three-day rally in a sign investors were focusing once more on the spread of the pandemic despite hopes for further stimulus measures to ease its economic impact. [MKTS/GLOB]

* The European Central Bank chief urged EU leaders to act more decisively as the bloc feuds over how far to go to cushion the economic hit of the pandemic.

* Investors rushed into cash and out of bonds at a record pace over the past week, BofA's weekly fund flow data showed on Friday.

* Mexico will likely take the longest in Latin America to recover, S&P said on Friday, a day after it cut ratings of Mexico and national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.

* The Reserve Bank of India slashed interest rates on Friday.

* Pakistan has requested an emergency loan disbursement from the International Monetary Fund.

* Malaysia will launch a $58.3 billion stimulus package, its prime minister said on Friday.

* Japan is planning a stimulus that could be worth 10% of its economic output. EVENTS

* The U.S. Open originally scheduled for June 18-21 has become the third of golf's four major championships to get postponed, the New York Post reported.

* South Korea's boy band BTS will postpone its North America tour due to kick off in April.





(Compiled by Sarah Morland and Aditya Soni; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Maju Samuel)