Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
China has fewer new coronavirus infections, starts posting tally of symptom-free cases
China reported dwindling new infections on Wednesday in the global coronavirus pandemic and started to publish the daily change in cases that are free of symptoms, although the latter could complicate the picture of trends in the disease. Almost all of Tuesday's 36 new cases involved arrivals from overseas, the National Health Commission said, down from 48 a day earlier, and taking total infections to 81,554.
Somali doctor, veteran of many battles, girds for war with coronavirus
Somali doctor Abdirizak Yusuf Ahmed has escaped an execution, battled deadly diseases and treated war victims. Now - at 35 years old - he's been tapped to lead his nation's response to the coronavirus. So far, Somalia has reported only three cases. But if the disease is unleashed, it could spread like wildfire through camps housing malnourished families who huddle under makeshift domes built from sticks and rags.
Tokyo may keep city-run schools closed through early May: media
Tokyo is considering keeping city-operated schools closed through early May, public broadcaster NHK and other local media reported on Wednesday, a day after coronavirus infections in the Japanese capital hit a daily record of 78. The metropolitan government had previously said it was planning to reopen at least some schools in the new academic year next week. Most of the nations' schools have been shut since the beginning of March, heeding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's request.
Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 378, positive tests hit 17,139
The Swiss death toll from the coronavirus has reached 378, the country's public health ministry said on Wednesday, rising from 373 people a day earlier as Switzerland prepares additional measures to mitigate the epidemic's economic hit. The number of positive tests also increased to 17,139 from 16,176 on Tuesday, the ministry added.
Fractures grow among Iraq militias, spell political retreat
In February, an Iraqi militia commander trained by Iran took over the empty office of his slain superior, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed weeks before alongside Iranian military mastermind Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike. Many pro-Iran militiamen hoped this was the answer to their problems: the experienced commander Abdul Aziz al-Mohammedawi might replace Muhandis as overall leader of Iraq's paramilitary groups, scattered after the killing of their two mentors.
Spain's coronavirus cases top 100,000 as masks, sanitizer flown in
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain rose beyond 100,000 as it recorded its biggest one-day death toll from the outbreak on Wednesday, and two planes packed with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system. Barring Italy, the virus has killed more people in Spain than anywhere else, triggering a lockdown that has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill. A survey showed Spain's manufacturing sector is heading for slump after shrinking in March at its steepest pace since 2013.
Rouhani: U.S. has lost opportunity to lift Iran sanctions amid coronavirus
Iran's president said on Wednesday that, with the advent of the coronavirus, the United States had missed a historic opportunity to lift sanctions on his country, though the penalties had not hampered its fight against the infection. On Tuesday, U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the possibility that Washington might consider easing sanctions on Iran and other nations to help fight the epidemic, but gave no concrete sign it plans to do so.
UK's Prince Charles, recovered from virus, says it is distressing time for nation
Britain's Prince Charles, who has recovered after testing positive for coronavirus, praised the selfless devotion of healthcare workers on Wednesday and said it was a strange and distressing time for the nation. Heir-to-the-throne Charles, 71, came out of self-isolation on Monday after suffering what he said were "luckily ... relatively mild symptoms" and his office said he was now in good health.
NATO seeks to speed up medical aid deliveries, wary of Russian drills
NATO will speed up deliveries of medical aid to allies suffering the most from the coronavirus but must focus on defending Europe, the alliance's chief said, after large Russian war games that were seen by allies as a signal from Moscow. NATO foreign ministers are set to discuss aid measures on Thursday via video conference, a first for an alliance ministerial, after countries such as Turkey and the Czech Republic began delivering supplies to Italy and Spain.
'Some of us will die': India's homeless stranded by coronavirus lockdown
In a densely packed neighborhood of Delhi, hundreds of homeless people queued up this week as volunteers doled out rice and peas from a vat in the back of a van. Only a handful of the people in the crowd wore masks. There were no hand sanitizers or wash basins in sight and no social distancing.