Two men test a newly made booth that will help health workers to test coronavirus infected patients at Bhaktapur hospital in Bhaktapur, Nepal, April 7, 2020. (Photo by Sulav Shrestha/Xinhua)

- Global caseload exceeds 1.6 million

- 465,329 cases in the U.S. 

- U.S. begins clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine

- British PM Boris Johnson out of intensive care

(Data from Johns Hopkins University)

BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The world is now in a battle against COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 200 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the pandemic.

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WASHINGTON -- A clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, for the treatment of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 has begun in the United States, according to a release of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Thursday.

The first participants have enrolled in the trial at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee.

The blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial aims to enroll more than 500 adults who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 or in an emergency department with anticipated hospitalization.

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BRUSSELS -- Eurogroup finance ministers agreed Thursday night on a financial package worth half a trillion euros to combat the fallouts from coronavirus, but without the so-called Eurobonds.

The ministers' meeting endorsed a proposal from the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), which is called Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE).

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UNITED NATIONS -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for unity of the Security Council over the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The engagement of the Security Council will be critical to mitigate the peace and security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic," he told the council in a virtual briefing. "Indeed, a signal of unity and resolve from the council would count for a lot at this anxious time."

A worker disinfects a street in Mexico City, Mexico, April 6, 2020. (Photo by Francisco Canedo/Xinhua)

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GENEVA -- The fatality rate of COVID-19 is estimated to be 10 times higher than influenza, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said here on Thursday.

Speaking at a Mission briefing on COVID-19 from Geneva, the WHO chief said that so far, more than 1.3 million people have been infected, and almost 80,000 people have lost their lives.

"This pandemic is much more than a health crisis. It requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response," he said.

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LONDON -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Thursday moved from intensive care back to the ward days after he was admitted to hospital with coronavirus infection.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a morning COVID-19 update meeting remotely during his self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, in London, Britain, on March 28, 2020. (Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street/Handout via Xinhua) 

A No. 10 spokesman said the prime minister will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery.

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NEW YORK -- The death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 90,000 worldwide on Thursday afternoon local time, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The fresh figure reached 90,057 as of 12:25 p.m. (1625 GMT), an interactive map maintained by the university's Center for Systems Science and Engineering showed.  ■

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