US House votes on $2tn coronavirus stimulus / Kenya enforces Covid-19 curfew / Malaysia announces coronavirus economic stimulus package

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

US House votes on $2tn coronavirus stimulus

The House of Representatives is widely expected to approve a $2tn relief package for the US today.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as it is formally known, would see cheques sent to some 150 million American households and a cash injection into small businesses, hospitals and more.

Senators passed the package – the largest of its kind in US history – yesterday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking to hold a voice vote today so that the House’s 429 sitting members do not need to reconvene in Washington.

While there is strong bipartisan support for the bill, it could face lone opposition from Republican politician Thomas Massie, who said on Thursday he was against it.

Kenya enforces Covid-19 curfew

From today some 50 million Kenyans will not be allowed to leave the house during night hours as the African country enforces a coronavirus curfew.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the curfew on Wednesday. It will restrict the movement of citizens between 7:00 pm and 5:00 am the following day.

There are at least 2,400 cases of Covid-19 across Africa, but just 16 reported in Kenya. However, the World Health Organization said statistics for the continent are likely a significant underestimation.

Kenya’s approach differs from those taken by many other countries, with most opting for a complete lockdown. Yesterday South Africa entered into lockdown.

Malaysia announces coronavirus economic stimulus package

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to outline an economic stimulus package today to fend off the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The package is expected to be in addition to the 20 billion ringgit ($4.56bn) stimulus announced in February.

Like many countries, Malaysia has closed its borders and limited internal movement as it seeks to minimise the spread of the virus.

As of Wednesday Malaysia had 1,796 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia.

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