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Global situation: US overtakes China, Italy as Global infection hits 575,767

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BREAKING: COVID-19: Enugu govt closes all borders, markets…UK PM, Boris Johnson, Health Sec test positive
…Death toll passes 25,000; 129,988 recovers

By Henry Ojelu with agency report

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has passed 25,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide, there have been over 575,767 cases reported. Over 129,988 people have recovered

The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 86,000 positive tests.

According to the latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has overtaken China (81,897 cases) and Italy (80,589).

But with over 1,300 Covid-19-related fatalities, the US death toll lags behind China (3,296) and Italy (8,215).

The grim milestone came as President Donald Trump predicted the nation would get back to work “pretty quickly”.

UK’s Boris Johnson, Health Secretary   tests positive

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that he tested positive for coronavirus and is self isolating but will still lead the government’s response to the outbreak. “I’ll be working from home,’ he said.

“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” Johnson said. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’ s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.”

British health minister Matt Hancock also said on Twitter that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolation.

Spain’s  death toll reaches 4,858

Spain has seen a sharp rise in the number of deaths caused by coronavirus but the rate of new infections is stabilising, officials say.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, rose to 64,059, a 14% increase compared with 18% a day earlier and 20% on Wednesday.

In 24 hours, 769 people died, a daily record, taking the total to 4,858. Nursing home residents are particularly affected. Spain is Europe’s second-worst-hit country after Italy.

The Spanish government has extended the state of emergency until at least 12 April. People’s movement are severely restricted and most shops and businesses closed.

Global death toll passes 25,000

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has passed 25,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide, there have been over 553,000Ly Star publication.

The airport had initially suspended flights for two weeks on March 18.

Chile cases rise by 304 to 1,610

Chile has confirmed 304 more cases of coronavirus in the country, the largest increase in one day, bringing the country’s total to 1,610, according to the health ministry.

Five people have died in the country from the outbreak. The majority of the cases have been reported in the metropolitan area of Santiago.

Chaos and hunger amid India coronavirus lockdown

India’s strict 21-day lockdown of 1.3 billion people, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, has disrupted lives and left some migrant workers and poor individuals facing hunger, experts tell Al Jazeera.

While India has an existing welfare programme for the poor, which the government appears to be using to provide direct cash transfers and food grains, nearly 85 percent of India’s population works in the informal sector. Migrants, in particular, do not have access to these resources.

Dutch cases rise by 16 percent with 112 new deaths

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands has risen by 1,172, or 16 percent, to 8,603, health authorities have said, with 112 new deaths.The country’s death total is now 546.

The Netherlands National Institute for Health (RIVM) said in its daily update that the increase in rate of spread of the virus appears to be slowing. It said it hoped to be able to say “within several days” whether social distancing and other measures taken mid-month were working to slow the outbreak spread.

France PM warns ‘difficult’ days ahead

France’s prime minister raised the alarm over an “extremely high” surge in coronavirus cases in the country and warned that the situation would be “difficult in the days to come.”

“We find ourselves in a crisis that will last, in a health situation that will not improve any time soon,” Edouard Philippe said after a cabinet meeting held by videoconference.

China bans foreign visitors

China will ban entry to all foreigners, including non-nationals with valid visas and residence permits, from midnight on Friday in a move to curb the numbers of imported coronavirus cases.

South Africa records 1,170 cases, goes into   lockdown

South Africa  has started a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown, joining other African countries which have imposed strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Some 57 million people are restricted to their homes during South Africa’s three-week  total lockdown  which began on Friday.

During the shutdown, there will be no jogging, dog-walking or sale of alcohol across the country, which so far has the highest number of detected infections in sub-Saharan Africa at more than 1,000, with two deaths, announced early on Friday by the health ministry.

Germany sends flight to rescue tourists in Nepal

A rescue flight arranged by the German government picked up hundreds of tourists who had been stranded in Nepal since the Himalayan nation went on lockdown earlier this week, officials said.

The Qatar Airways charter flight took off with 305 people on board, said Deo Chandra Lal Karna, an official at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.

Immigration official Sagar Acharya said most of the passengers were German nationals or had some connection to the country.

France, Malaysia charter flights from Cambodia

France and Malaysia have organised chartered flights to fly out hundreds of their citizens stranded in Cambodia after the country sealed its borders and cancelled flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ ALSO: Prince Charles has tested positive for COVID-19

Malaysia also sent a special plane to take home 111 stranded Malaysian nationals on Wednesday, said Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

At the same time, Cambodia coordinated with Malaysia to repatriate six Cambodians stranded in Malaysia, Sokhonn said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Singapore imposes stiff penalties for violations

Singapore imposed stiff penalties beginning on Friday against individuals who are violating new rules on physical distancing, as part of its new policy to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Violators can be fined up to $10,000 (US$7,000), jailed for up to six months, or face both penalties, if they are found guilty of not keeping at least a one-metre (3.2 feet) distance from another individual in a public place.

The new rules, based on the updated Infectious Diseases Act took effect, at 11:59pm local time (15:59 GMT) on Thursday.

Deaths in Italy almost triple China

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is seeking “a strong and sufficient” financial response that deploys “innovative financial instruments truly adapted to a war”.  Italy continues to see more deaths and has a total that is almost triple that of China (8,215 versus   3,292)    since the outbreak began. The government has increased punishments for breaking virus control measures, including fines of thousands of euros and five-year prison terms for anyone who tests positive and breaks their quarantine.

Spain overtakes China

On Wednesday 25th March, the number of deaths in Spain rose by 738 in 24 hours to 3,434, higher than the 683 announced in Italy. It was a daily record. By comparison, China officially reported 3,285 deaths, while Italy – the worst affected country – had 6,820. Spain’s rate of infection increased by one fifth and almost 27,000 people are being treated in hospital. Madrid is the country’s worst affected region but Catalonia in the north-east has seen a rapid increase in cases.

France locked down

France has seen more than1,690 deaths out of over 29,150 confirmed cases. There is a rise in the number of people requiring life support and the epidemic continues to worsen.  France is aggressively stemming the action to stem the virus by going under lockdown even as it recorded 365 deaths on Thursday was its highest in a one-day period and, alarmingly, included a 16-year-old girl — a rare case of a young person succumbing to a virus that has devastated the elderly.

Most of the people who are ill now were infected before the confinement.

South Korea:  Has demonstrated that containing the coronavirus, while difficult, can be done and has flattened the curve of new infection, without China’s draconian restrictions on speech and movement, or economically damaging lock downs like those in Europe and the United States.

Chile cases rise to 1,610

Chile confirmed 304 more cases of coronavirus in the country, the largest increase in one day, bringing the country’s total to 1,610. Five people have died in the country from the outbreak. The majority of the cases have been reported in the metropolitan area of Santiago.

Russians urged to stay at home

Russia urged its citizens to refrain from travelling, with the exception of essential trips, asking people to stay at home, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

President Vladimir Putin postponed a vote on constitutional change that would allow him to stay in power, because  of coronavirus concerns. The official number of people infected in Russia is over 1,030 with 3 deaths.

Algeria extends curfew

Algeria will impose a night curfew in nine more provinces to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the prime minister’s office said. Earlier the government imposed a night curfew in the capital and a full lockdown in the neighbouring province of Blida.

The curfew extension, to be enforced from 7pm to 7am will include central, eastern and western provinces where coronavirus cases have been rising.

The country has so far reported 367 cases of the disease, with 25 deaths. Most cases have been in Blida, south of Algiers.

China bans foreign visitors

China will ban entry to all foreigners, including non-nationals with valid visas and residence permits, from midnight on Friday in a move to curb the numbers of imported coronavirus cases.

Iran reports more than 140 deaths

Iran announced 144 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the official number of fatalities to 2,378 in one of the world’s worst-hit countries.

There were 2,926 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections across the country in 24 hours. This brings the overall confirmed cases to at least 32,332, 11,133 of those hospitalised so far have recovered.

Vanguard

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