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Sunday, March 29: Coronavirus global update

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

As of 20.20 today more than 707,310 people have been infected across the world and over 33,520 have died but at the same time 150,732 people have recovered.

The USA is now the country with the most infected cases (133,094) ahead of Italy (97,689) and China (81,439). Italy though has more than 4,100 deaths recorded (10,779) than Spain (6,602) which overtook China into second place since Saturday.

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN NUMBERS (updated continuously)

TRACKING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS


All the latest news in brief as it happens

20.39 Moscow tightens coronavirus rules

Moscow authorities will on Monday impose tighter restrictions on residents in an attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Muscovites will only be allowed to go out to buy food or medicines at their nearest shop, get urgent medical treatment, walk the dog or take out the bins.

Those needing to go to work will also be allowed to leave their flats, and authorities will introduce a system of passes in the coming days.

20.29 France reports 2,606 coronavirus deaths, 292 in the last 24 hours

French health authorities reported 292 new deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, up 13% on the previous day and taking the total to 2,606 since March 1, as the government raced to relieve pressure on overwhelmed hospitals in the east.

The daily government tally only accounts for those dying in hospital but authorities say they will be able to compile data on deaths in retirement homes from next week, which is likely to result in a big increase in registered fatalities.

The number of known cases of infection rose to 40,174 on Sunday from 37,575 a day earlier, Jerome Salomon, the head of the public health agency said.

19.54 Ireland reports 10 more coronavirus deaths to bring total to 46

Ten more patients have died from COVID-19 infections in Ireland to bring the total death toll to 46, the Department of Health said on Sunday.

It confirmed 200 new confirmed cases for a total of 2,615.

19.44 Coronavirus cases in Greece pass 1,000

Greece confirmed 95 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to health authorities, bringing the total to 1,061 since the country’s first recorded infection on Feb. 26.

Health ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras said 32 people have died due to COVID-19.

19.36 New York state coronavirus deaths increase by 237 in past day -governor

The number of deaths from the coronavirus in New York state increased by 237 in the past day, reaching a total of 965 since the outbreak began, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.

The state also reported 7,195 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past day for a total of 59,513, Cuomo told a news conference. Another 1,175 people were hospitalized in the past day, increasing the total to more than 8,500 hospitalizations in the state, including more than 2,000 in intensive care, Cuomo said

19.25 Canada coronavirus cases rise to 5,866 from 5,655 on March 28, and 63 deaths, up from 61

19.23 Turkey’s coronavirus deaths up to 131 with 1,815 new cases

Turkey’s deaths from the coronavirus increased by 23 to 131 on Sunday, as the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,815 to 9,217, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Some 105 patients have recovered so far.

The minister added on Twitter that 9,982 tests had been conducted in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of tests carried out in Turkey to 65,446 since the outbreak began.

19.11 Italy coronavirus deaths rise by 756, lifting total death toll to 10,779

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy climbed by 756 to 10,779, the Civil Protection Agency said on Sunday, the second successive fall in the daily rate.

The number of fatalities, by far the highest of any country in the world, account for more than a third of all deaths from the infectious virus worldwide.

Italy’s largest daily toll was registered on Friday, when 919 people died. There were 889 deaths on Saturday.

18.56 All parts of UK now on emergency footing to fight coronavirus- minister

All parts of Britain are on an emergency footing the likes of which have not been seen since World War Two in the fight against coronavirus, with strategic coordination centres being set up across the country, housing minister Robert Jenrick said.

“All parts of the country are now on an emergency footing,” he said at a news conference on Sunday.

“This is an unprecedented step in peacetime. We haven’t done anything like this since the Second World War.”

18.43 Honduran government extends curfew to fight coronavirus

The government of Honduras said on Sunday that it is extending a curfew through April 12 as the fast-spreading disease has killed three in the Central American nation, where there are 110 confirmed cases.

18.35 Bolivia, Uruguay confirm first coronavirus deaths

Uruguay and Bolivia have confirmed their first deaths related to coronavirus, as many Latin America countries go into lockdown in a bid to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic

18.29 Syria reports first death from coronavirus

Syria’s health ministry said on Sunday that a woman who died after being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment was found to have been infected by coronavirus in the first officially-reported death from the disease.

Syria has so far confirmed only five cases, but medics and witnesses say there are more. Officials deny a cover-up but have imposed a lockdown and draconian measures to stem the pandemic.

17.45 Medevac plane explosion kills eight on takeoff from Manila

A medical evacuation plane exploded in a ball of flames during takeoff in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing all eight passengers and crew on board, officials said.

The Lion Air plane was bound from Manila to Haneda, Japan, and burst into flames at the end of the runway at around 8 p.m. (1200 GMT), Manila’s main airport said.

Vidoe footage showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the night sky as fire crews doused the fuselage with foam.

17.38 Death toll in Italy’s Lombardy rises by around 416 in a day – source

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in the northern region of Lombardy, the epicentre of Italy’s contagion, has risen by around 416 in a day to some 6,360, a source familiar with the data said on Sunday.

The daily deaths were down sharply from Saturday’s tally of 542, which was the second largest since the outbreak first emerged just over 5 weeks ago.

The number of cases in the region, which includes the country’s financial capital Milan, increased by some 1,592 to approximately 41,007, the source said.

17.03 Guatemala extends curfew to avoid spread of coronavirus

Guatemala extended a curfew originally meant to expire on Sunday until April 12 to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the government announced.

Guatemala has so far registered 34 confirmed cases of the virus and one death.

16.17 UK coronavirus death toll rises to 1,228 people

The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose to 1,228, according to figures released on Sunday, an increase of 209.

The figures are accurate up to 1700 local time on Mar. 28.

The previous increase saw the death toll rise by 260 people.

According to Deputy Chief Medical Officer say increase in deaths will continue for the next week or two and that the lockdown may last for another six months in some form.

15.45 Saudi Arabia’s coronavirus death toll doubles to 8 -spokesman

Saudi Arabia recorded four new fatalities from the coronavirus, bringing its death toll to eight, the health ministry spokesman told a news conference on Sunday.

The kingdom has also registered 96 new infections, taking its total to 1,299, the highest among the Gulf Arab states.

15.17 Dutch coronavirus cases pass 10,000 -health authorities

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands passed 10,000 on Sunday, health authorities said, adding that the rise in deaths and hospitalizations continued to show signs of slowing.

In its daily update, the Netherlands’ National Institute for Health (RIVM) said confirmed cases rose by 1,104 to 10,866, an 11% increase. There were 132 new deaths, bringing the number of fatalities to 771.

“Just as in the preceding days, the number of hospitalized patients and the number of deaths are increasing less quickly than would have been expected without measures,” the RIVM said.

14:12 Pope backs UN chief’s call for global ceasefire to focus on coronavirus

Pope Francis on Sunday backed a call by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at his weekly blessing, delivered from the official papal library instead of St. Peter’s Square because of the lockdown in Italy, Francis specifically mentioned the appeal Guterres made in a virtual news conference on Monday.

Saying the disease knows no borders, Francis appealed to everyone to “stop every form of bellicose hostility and to favour the creation of corridors for humanitarian help, diplomatic efforts and attention to those who find themselves in situations of great vulnerability”.

13:15 Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents brave risk

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Sunday that the coronavirus outbreak had entered a new phase as the total number of cases in the Russian capital exceeded 1,000 with many Muscovites going out despite a plea to stay home.

Authorities in Moscow, Russia’s worst-affected area, shut shops and entertainment venues from Saturday and urged Muscovites to stay at home during the non-working week announced by President Vladimir Putin.

But at least 52,000 people took walks in the city parks on Saturday, and many elderly people made long trips on the city’s vast public transportation network, Sobyanin said on his website.

12:05 Modi apologises to India’s poor as lockdown criticism mounts

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the nation’s poor for forgiveness on Sunday, as the economic and human toll from his 21-day nationwide lockdown deepens and criticism mounts about a lack of adequate planning ahead of the decision.

Modi on Tuesday announced a three week-lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. But, the decision has particularly stung millions of India’s poor, leaving many hungry and forcing tens of thousands of jobless migrant labourers to walk hundreds of kilometres from cities to their native villages.

“I would firstly like to seek forgiveness from all my countrymen,” Modi said in a nationwide radio address.

“Steps taken so far… will give India victory over corona,” he added.

10:15 Malaria drug is biggest hope against coronavirus, says Novartis CEO

Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.

Novartis has pledged to donate 130 million doses and is supporting clinical trials needed before the medicine, which U.S. President Donald Trump also has been promoting, can be approved for use against the coronavirus.

Other companies including Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus.

09:47 S.Korea to impose mandatory coronavirus quarantine on all arrivals

Every person arriving in South Korea from overseas will soon be required to undergo two weeks of quarantine to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the country’s prime minister said on Sunday.

South Korea confirmed 105 new coronavirus cases as of Saturday, bringing the country’s total to 9,583, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday.

Of the new cases, 41 were travellers arriving from overseas, including 40 South Korean citizens and one foreigner, the KCDC said.

The new mandatory isolation for all arrivals will go into effect on April 1, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a government meeting.

08.45 World’s largest glove maker sees shortage 

Malaysia’s Top Glove Corporation Bhd, which makes one in every five gloves globally, expects a product shortage as demand from Europe and the United States spikes because of the widening coronavirus outbreak is exceeding its capacity.

The company has extended shipping times to cope with the demand surge.

Orders received in the past few weeks, mainly from Europe and the United States, were almost double the company’s production capacity. Top Glove can produce 200 million natural and synthetic rubber gloves a day.

08.23 Cambodia reports one new virus case, tightens border restrictions
Cambodia reported one new case of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing tally to 103 as the country prepares to tighten entry requirements for foreign nationals to try to curb the spread of the virus.

The new case is a 30-year-old woman who worked in a karaoke club in Cambodia’s northwestern Banteay Meanchey province, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. A total of 21 patients have recovered since January, the ministry said

07.55 Thailand reports 143 new coronavirus cases and one death

Thailand has 143 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total of cases since the outbreak to 1,388, the spokesman of the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Sunday, giving the latest daily update.

The country also recorded one new fatality, bringing the total of death since the outbreak to 7.

05.33 Canada to stop people with symptoms boarding domestic flights, trains

Canada will not allow anyone displaying symptoms of the COVID-19 respiratory illness to board domestic flights or inter-city passenger trains, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday, the latest travel restriction aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak.

Trudeau’s government has long urged Canadians feeling ill to stay at home, but he told reporters at his daily press conference outside his residence that Transport Canada had now formalized travel rules as COVID-19 cases steadily rise.

04.29 Mexico asks residents to stay home for a month to slow coronavirus as cases rise

Mexico’s deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell called on Saturday on all residents in Mexico to stay at home for a month, saying it was the only way to reduce the transmission rate of the coronavirus.

Mexican health authorities said there was a total of 848 confirmed cases in Mexico as of Saturday, 131 more than the previous day, and 16 deaths.

04.27 CDC warns residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut against non-essential travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday warned residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut against non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.

In a travel advisory posted on its website, the agency said the warning did not apply to employees of “critical infrastructure industries” including trucking, public health, financial services, and food supply professionals.

04.21 S.Korea reports 105 new coronavirus cases, total now at 9,583 – KCDC

South Korea had confirmed 105 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Saturday, bringing the country’s total now to 9,583, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday.

03.40 Australia govt says growth rate of coronavirus infection slows

Australia’s health minister said on Sunday there were “early, positive signs” of a slowdown in the growth rate in new coronavirus infections in the country, with the growth rate approximately halving over the past week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the slower growth in new inflections showed social distancing measures were working.

“This time last week the rate of increase on cases was up around 25% to 30% a day,” Morrison told a press conference.

“That rate now over the last few days has fallen to about 13% – 15%. Now, they are still strong rates of increase, no doubt about that.”

03.31 Trump says quarantine ‘not necessary’ for New York area

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that a quarantine of the New York area to curb the spread of the coronavirus would not be necessary, and that he had asked federal health officials to issue a “strong travel advisory” instead.

Trump said on Twitter that the advisory would be administered by the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in consultation with the federal government.

03.05 China reports 45 new coronavirus cases on March 28

China reported 45 new coronavirus cases in the mainland on March 28, down from 54 on the previous day, with all but one involving travellers from overseas, the health authority said on Sunday.

A total of 3,300 people have now died in mainland China from COVID-19, with a reported 81,439 infections.

02.59 Panama confirms 115 new coronavirus cases, three new deaths

Panama’s health ministry said on Saturday that it has confirmed 115 new coronavirus cases and three new deaths, bringing the total in the Central American nation to 901 cases and 17 deaths.

00.52 Northern Ireland brings in tough measures to fight coronavirus

Northern Ireland will introduce “sweeping new powers” to combat the spread of coronavirus from 2300 GMT on Saturday, with many restrictions on businesses tougher than the rest of the United Kingdom.

The British region will prohibit anyone from leaving home without reasonable excuse, compel certain premises to shut and use its power of direction to close or restrict businesses that do not ensure employees’ safety, its devolved government said.

00.22 Saudi Arabia extends suspension of flights, work indefinitely

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it was extending indefinitely the suspension of international passenger flights and workplace attendance in both public and private sectors among efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Domestic flights, trains, buses and taxis also remain suspended, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.


What happened yesterday

EUROPE

  • The number of deaths in the badly hit Italian region of Lombardy rose to close to 6,000 as the national government was reported to be considering plans to extend a country-wide lockdown to mid-April.
  • Spain’s death toll rose overnight to 5,690, the health ministry said on Saturday, marking a new high in the daily rise in fatalities. The total number of those infected rose to 72,248.
  • Britain said 1,019 people had died by Friday afternoon, a rise of 260 on the total 24 hours earlier. The number of confirmed cases was 17,089 as of 0900 GMT on Saturday.
  • A drive-through testing facility for health workers has begun operating in the car park of a popular resort near London as Britain seeks to ramp up testing for those on the frontline of the epidemic.
  • Germans have been largely compliant with rules to prevent the coronavirus spread, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, as her chief of staff said the shutdown would not be eased before April 20.
  • The number of confirmed cases in Germany has risen to 48,582 and 325 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.

AMERICAS

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday he was postponing the state’s April 28 presidential primary to June 23 as its number of coronavirus cases climbed to 52,318 and deaths to 728.
  • The number of confirmed U.S. infections rose by about 18,000 on Friday, the highest jump in a single day, to more than 103,000. By Saturday morning, the total stood at 103,598.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2.2 trillion aid package and Trump quickly signed it into law.
  • Trump on Friday invoked emergency powers to require General Motors Co to build much-needed ventilators for coronavirus patients after he accused the largest U.S. automaker of “wasting time” during negotiations.
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro cast doubt on Sao Paulo’s death toll from coronavirus and accused the state governor of manipulating the numbers for political ends, without giving evidence for his claims.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

  • Japan’s Abe promised an unprecedented package of steps to cushion the world’s third-biggest economy from the pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged.
  • The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak first emerged, began lifting a two-month lockdown on Saturday by restarting some metro services and reopening borders, allowing some semblance of normality to return and families to reunite.
  • India said it was planning to turn some railway coaches into isolation wards for coronavirus patients, as authorities scramble to prepare the country’s health infrastructure for an expected surge in cases.
  • Australia stepped up enforcement of social distancing rules on Saturday, implementing fines, closing beaches and threatening stricter measures if people defy pleas to stay at home.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • Turkey halted all intercity trains and limited domestic flights on Saturday. The number of cases jumped to 7,402, with 108 dead.
  • Palestinian groups in Gaza cancelled mass rallies planned for next week along the border with Israel amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the densely-populated territory, organizers said on Saturday.
  • Iran started an intercity travel ban, as its death toll rose to 2,378 on Friday.
  • South Africans struggled to adapt to confinement rules, with many city streets no less crowded than normal as a strict lockdown begun.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

  • Stocks across the globe fell on Friday after a historic three-day run-up, as skittish investors kept indices on track for their worst monthly and quarterly performances since 2008, while the dollar fell by the most in any week since 2009.
  • Canada said on Friday it will cover 75% of wages for small businesses and the central bank cut its key interest rate to the lowest level in a decade.
  • The European Central Bank chief urged EU leaders to act more decisively as the bloc feuds over how far to go to cushion the economic hit of the pandemic.
  • Investors rushed into cash and out of bonds at a record pace over the past week, BofA’s weekly fund flow data showed on Friday.
  • Mexico will likely take the longest in Latin America to recover, S&P said on Friday, a day after it cut ratings of Mexico and national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.
  • The Reserve Bank of India slashed interest rates.


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