United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has launched an appeal for $2bn in international humanitarian aid to help poorer countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic, as the death toll in Italy and Spain continued to climb.

Guterres said COVID-19 was a threat to the “whole of humanity and the whole of humanity must fight back.”

As the UN launched the initiative, more deaths were reported in Europe – now the epicentre of the pandemic – with Spain recording more than 700 fatalities in 24 hours. It is now the second-worst affected country in the world after Italy.

In the United States, meanwhile, a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses, and the healthcare system finally passed the Senate after a series of hiccups stalled progress late on Wednesday. It has now gone back to the lower house for approval.

More than 471,400 people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. More than 114,000 have recovered, while about 21,000 people have died.

<<Aljazeera>>

By ogtv