France and the UK are preparing to extend their lockdown deadlines beyond next week as the deaths to coronavirus continue to mount.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron is expected to discuss the extension in a television address on Monday, the Elysée Palace has said.
It comes after authorities recorded another 541 deaths over a 24-hour period on Wednesday, bringing the total to 10,869 deaths since the outbreak.
Another 7,000 people are currently being treated in intensive care units in hospital.
Meanwhile, the UK reached a grim milestone as it recorded an increase of 938 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day on Wednesday.
It brings the countryís total to 7,097 deaths, while a further 60,733 people have been confirmed to have contracted the illness.
Like France, the British government is also expected to extend its three-week lockdown past Monday; however, little is known how long this extension will be - or when it will be announced - as Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in an intensive care unit being treated for COVID-19.
He has spent three nights in the critical care unit at St Thomasí Hospital in London and his condition is said to be "improving".
At the daily televised conference from Downing Street on Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Johnson had been sitting up in bed and "engaging positively" with doctors.
Half a billion people could be pushed into poverty, says UN study
Half a billion people worldwide could be pushed into poverty amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic unless developing countries receive urgent help, says a United Nations study and Oxfam International.
The figure represents eight percent of the worldís population, the report says.
A setback on this scale would be the first time that global poverty had increased in 30 years.
The analysis, carried out by researchers from Kings College London and the Australian National University, has brought immediate calls for a monumental effort to address the worldís most vulnerable.
Luxembourg task force launches study of asymptomatic individuals
Luxembourgís COVID-19 task force has launched a study that will look at asymptomatic individuals with coronavirus.
Researchers from several Luxembourgish institutes will test 1,500 individuals for the virus that causes COVID-19 in order to better understand transmission.
The researchers plan to follow up on individuals with mild or no symptoms of the virus.
"To the best of our knowledge, asymptomatic carriers are not systematically monitored in any of the countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, at present, no comprehensive data on the epidemiology and dynamics of the disease exist," said Prof Rejko Krüger at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, who is coordinating the study.
There have been myriad estimates for what percentage of people could have the new coronavirus and not know about it. Testing of individuals on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan found that 18% of individuals were asymptomatic.
The director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 25% of people could be asymptomatic.
UK police arrest two people for deliberately contaminating supermarket food with saliva
Police in Lancashire have arrested two people after they were spotted licking their hands and wiping them across a number of food items in a supermarket in Morecambe.
According to the department, meat, fresh produce and fridge handles were contaminated in the incident.
Inspector James Martin said the behaviour was "flabbergasting" as he launched the appeal to find the culprits.
He said: "That anyone could think this sort of behaviour is appropriate or amusing even in normal times is beyond me, but at this time of crisis when many people have been faced with empty shelves in some shops is flabbergasting."
Boris Johnsonís plight echoes Lloyd Georgeís Spanish flu in WWI
Boris Johnson is the first serving British prime minister to become indisposed for decades - but some of his most prominent predecessors were also taken ill while in office.
In the early 20th Century, David Lloyd George fell victim to an illness that killed tens of millions of people worldwide - the Spanish flu.
Italian centenarian who beat coronavirus said she did so with ícourage, strength and faithí
A 103-year-old woman from Italy who has recovered from coronavirus has advised others who catch the illness to "give yourself courage, have faith".
Ada Zanusso from Lessona, Piedmont, was not expected to make it after she stopped eating and became drowsy and "not reacting," her doctor Furno Marches said.
But, he added: "One day she opened her eyes again and resumed doing what she used to before," and was later able to sit up and get out of bed.
In total, Zanusso spent a week in bed with "a fever", and is now looking forward to getting back outside.
"Iíd like to take a lovely walk," she said, adding that she also wanted to see her great-grandchildren play together.
U2 donates €10m to coronavirus relief effort
The Irish rock band have donated the large sum of money to help procure and purchase personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in Ireland, according to RTE.
It added that the first shipment of supplies arrived in Dublin earlier this week.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says face masks may help to reduce the spread of coronavirus
A report from the organisation on Wednesday said facial masks could "serve as a means of source control to reduce the spread of the infection" and could be considered for use in public spaces.
It added that the masks could work to minimise "excretion of respiratory droplets from infected individuals who have not yet developed symptoms or who remain asymptomatic."
But, it warned, healthcare workers should be given priority to face masks before the wider community, and said: "It is not known how much the use of masks in the community can contribute to a decrease in transmission in addition to the other countermeasures."
George and Amal Clooney donate $1m (€921,000) to coronavirus fight
The Hollywood couple have donated the cash to several US and European institutions to help with the fight against COVID-19, according to Deadline.
It said at least $300,000 (€276,000) had been donated to Europe, including the Lombardy region in Italy, and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
The couple are the latest celebrities to donate to the virus relief effort, following the likes of Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.