The US death toll from Covid-19 has passed 50,000 as the nation said it won't take part in a "landmark" plan launched by leaders and the World Health Organisation.
The WHO has announced a "landmark collaboration" to develop safe drugs, tests and vaccines for the virus with Germany, French, British and UN leaders as well as Bill and Melinda Gates.
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"Today is a kind of political commitment from all these partners to make sure that when we have all these new tools no one is left behind, that those who can afford vaccines or therapeutics can buy them and (put) them at the disposal of the population," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said.
But there won't be any US involvement as President Trump has been highly critical of the organisation. The US has now recorded more than 50,000 deaths because of the virus, from a population of 330 million. More than 16,000 of the fatalities are in New York.
Businesses in a number of US states re-opened their doors after similar moves in some European countries.
Hairdressers, massage clinics, nail salons, bowling alleys, tattoo parlours and gyms were among businesses given the green light to get back to work, although reports indicated business was light. Some business owners said the lack of demand made it unviable to reopen.
It has been a similar story in Germany where some business lockdown measures were eased this week.
Germany allowed smaller retailers of under 800sq m to re-open, as long as they abided by social distancing and hygiene measures.
Larger businesses, such as car dealerships, bike and book shops were also allowed to re-open as well as Ikea.
In Italy, where the strict stay-at-home order has been credited with finally getting that nation's crisis under some semblance of control, authorities are now warning that home has become a dangerous place for many Italians.
Italian households represent "the biggest reservoir of infections," said Massimo Galli, the director of the infectious diseases department at Luigi Sacco University Hospital in Milan. He called the cases "the possible restarting point of the epidemic in case of a reopening".
The family acts as a multiplier, said Andrea Crisanti, the top scientific consultant on the virus in the Veneto region.
"This is a ticking time bomb," he told the New York Times.
The predicament of home infections is emerging not just in Italy but in hot spots like the suburbs of New York and Paris and areas of Rome and Milan.
Australia has recorded 6675 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 2982 in New South Wales, 1343 in Victoria, 1026 in Queensland, 438 in South Australia, 548 in Western Australia, 207 in Tasmania, 105 in the Australian Capital Territory and 27 in the Northern Territory. Seventy nine people have died of the disease, but thousands have recovered, ensuring the nation is not just flattening the curve but crushing it.
Meanwhile, a new study in Hong Kong says more than 232,000 people may have been infected in the first wave of Covid-19 in mainland China - four times the official figures.
The researchers at Hong Kong University's school of public health said China's initial approach to diagnosing cases was too narrow.
China reported more than 55,000 cases as of February 20 but, according to the Hong Kong research published in the Lancet, the actual number would have been far greater if the definition of a Covid-19 case that was later used had been applied from the outset.
To date, after coming out several times to adjust death tolls, China has now reported more than 83,000 cases.