March, 28 2020 - 09:10 PM
UK coronavirus death toll rises to 1,019, up 260 in one day
Britain said 1,019 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus by 1700 GMT on Friday, a rise of 260 on the total 24 hours earlier.
The number of people testing positive for the virus was 17,089 as of 0900 GMT on Saturday, compared with an officially corrected number of 14,543 on Friday reports Reuters.
March, 28 2020 - 09:00 PM
Singapore reports 70 new coronavirus cases, taking tally to 802
Singapore reported 70 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the health ministry said, taking the city-state’s total infections to 802, reports Reuters.
March, 28 2020 - 08:45 PM
Vietnam reports rise of 11 coronavirus cases to 174: health ministry
Vietnam’s health ministry reported an additional 11 coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total number in the Southeast Asian country to 174.
Vietnam had said in mid-February that all its then-16 confirmed coronavirus cases had recovered, but it has since been battling an influx of imported cases from overseas citizens and Vietnamese citizens escaping outbreaks elsewhere.
There are 1,729 suspected cases in the country, it said, and 35,808 tests have been carried out in Vietnam. The health ministry has not reported any coronavirus deaths in the country, reports Reuters.
March, 28 2020 - 08:40 PM
Netherlands' coronavirus deaths rise 93 to 639, infections up by 1,159
The Netherlands reported 93 deaths from the new coronavirus to take its total to 639 while another 1,159 cases of the virus were confirmed, both smaller rises than a day earlier.
"If this line continues, it will be possible to conclude in a few days whether the (social distancing) measures taken are working," the Netherlands National Institute for Health (RIVM) said on Saturday in its daily update, reports Reuters.
March, 28 2020 - 08:36 PM
Swiss coronavirus deaths reach 235, confirmed cases top 13,000
Switzerland's death toll from the new coronavirus has increased to 235 people from 197 on Friday, the health ministry said on Saturday, with the number of cases also increasing to 13,213 from 12,161.
The Alpine country of 8.6 million is deploying army medical units at hospitals to help in crisis regions like Ticino, which borders hard-hit Italy, and has began tapping its strategic stockpile of pharmaceuticals to cover rising demand, reports Reuters.
March, 28 2020 - 07:37 PM
India needs at least 38 million masks to fight coronavirus: Report
India needs at least 38 million masks and 6.2 million pieces of personal protective equipment as it confronts the spread of coronavirus, and has approached hundreds of companies to secure supplies quickly, according to a report by the country’s investment agency seen by Reuters.
As cases of the illness have risen, so has demand for protective equipment and masks, as well as complaints from healthcare workers about shortages, reports Reuters.
March, 28 2020 - 05:03 PM
Trump orders GM to produce ventilators under DPA
US President Donald Trump said Friday he ordered General Motors (GM) to produce ventilators under the Defense Production Act, a wartime law he recently invoked to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Reuters.
"Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize federal contracts for ventilators," Trump said in a statement.
March, 28 2020 - 04:50 PM
South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win US FDA pre-approval
Three Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus in the world.
South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorisation will allow the products to be sold in the United States.
The ministry did not name the manufacturers or give a time frame in its statement.
March, 28 2020 - 04:45 PM
Germany will not ease shutdown until at least April 20
Germany will not ease measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus before at least April 20, Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff told a German newspaper.
"We are not talking about any easing before April 20," Helge Braun told Tagesspiegel's online edition on Saturday, adding that well before April 20 Germany would decide on which restrictions might be relaxed from that date.
Germany in mid March closed schools, shops, restaurants, playgrounds and sports facilities and many companies have stopped production to help slow the spread of the disease.
March, 28 2020 - 04:41 PM
Saudi Arabian Airlines to start UK repatriation flights
Saudi Arabian Airlines has agreed to operate exceptional commercial flights to allow British nationals and their families to return to the United Kingdom, reports Reuters quoting a British embassy message sent by e-mail late on Friday.
The airline will operate flights in the week starting March 29 from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam to London's Heathrow Airport and additional flights if required, it said.
March, 28 2020 - 04:05 PM
US pressures countries to reject Cuban aid during coronavirus pandemic
The USA has launched a stunning attack on Cuba's medical-aid missions, with the Trump administration pressing countries to reject them during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuba has played a leading role in the global fight against the outbreak, sending medical teams and aid to some of the worst-affected countries, including Italy, reports Morning Star.
It has also provided supplies of the interferon alfa-2b, which has proved effective when used to treat more than 1,500 coronavirus patients and is one of the thirty drugs chosen by the Chinese National Health Commission to combat respiratory disease.
March, 28 2020 - 03:28 PM
WHO to provide 2mn protective gear for 74 countries healthcare workers
At least two million items of protective gear have been sent to 74 countries, which need it the most in the fight against the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed.
He also said that the WHO is preparing to send similar number of protective gear to 60 other countries, Al Jazeera reported.
March, 28 2020 - 03:15 PM
Airport blunder allows 92 on Chicago flight into Japan without quarantine request
More than 90 passengers and crew members on a flight to Japan's Narita airport from Chicago were given entry to the country without being requested to self-quarantine for 14 days and not use public transport, the health ministry here said Friday.
The self-quarantine measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus came into effect for passengers departing from the United States after midnight on Wednesday in Japan.
The 92 passengers and crew members departing Chicago, however, were granted unconditional entry to Japan at the airport near Tokyo, owing to the quarantine station miscalculating the time difference, the health ministry said.
March, 28 2020 - 02:53 PM
Canada pumps Can$200 billion into virus-stricken economy
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a series of measures to boost the Canadian economy, almost doubling the amount of the aid pledged just two days ago to more than Can$200 billion.
The measures include a 75 percent wage subsidy for small and medium business employees affected by the coronavirus crisis, and a series of grants, tax deferrals, lines of credit and low-interest loans to Canadian businesses, AFP reported.
March, 28 2020 - 02:00 PM
Turkey's COVID-19 cases surge by 2,069 to 5,698
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced 2,069 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infections to 5,698 in the country.
In addition, 17 deaths from the coronavirus were reported on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths to 92, Koca said at a press conference, Xinhua reported.
A total of 7,533 tests were conducted on Friday on suspected cases, he added, highlighting the need for further measures against the pandemic.
March, 28 2020 - 01:15 PM
'Iran's health system strong, ready for possible escalation in coronavirus cases'
Iran's health infrastructure is strong and ready to cope with a possible escalation in coronavirus cases, President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday on state TV.
Iran is among the few countries worldwide severely affected by the pandemic. On Friday, the health ministry reported a death toll of 2,378 and total confirmed infections at 32,332, Reuters reported.
March, 28 2020 - 12:50 PM
Thailand reports 109 new coronavirus cases and one death
Thailand reported 109 new coronavirus cases and one death, bringing the total to 1,245 infections and 6 deaths, the spokesman of the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Saturday.
The latest death is of a patient with some prior health complication, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, the CCSA spokesman said, Reuters reported.
The Thai government on Friday ordered the closing down of more public facilities and businesses to curb the spread of coronavirus, and has extended existing closures until the end of April.
The provinces of Narathiwat and Pattani in southern Thailand are in lockdown while several other provinces have issued orders to restrict the opening and closing times of 24-hour convenience stores.
March, 28 2020 - 11:45 AM
Trump signs $2 trillion recovery plan as US virus cases skyrocket
President Donald Trump signed into law Friday the $2 trillion rescue plan to salvage a US economy crippled by the novel coronavirus, on a day the nation recorded more than 100,000 confirmed cases of virus infections.
Hours earlier, the House of Representatives passed the package, with lawmakers uniting to greenlight the mega-plan as the world-topping number of US COVID-19 infections surged past 104,000, including 1,693 deaths, AFP reported.
Trump's signature brings an end to the dramatic, weeklong legislative saga on Capitol Hill, and triggers the distribution of millions of relief checks of up to $3,400 for an average American family of four.
March, 28 2020 - 11:30 AM
Google offers $800mn to pandemic-hit businesses, health agencies
Google on Friday pledged $800 million worth of support in response to the coronavirus pandemic for health organizations, researchers and businesses impacted by the crisis.The aid will come in the form of cash, ad credits, and cloud services from the California-based internet colossus
The aid will come in the form of cash, ad credits, and cloud services from the California-based internet colossus, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai, AFP reported.
Google will provide $250 million in ad grants to the World Health Organization and more than 100 other public agencies around the world providing information to stem the spread of the coronavirus, according to Pichai.
March, 28 2020 - 11:15 AM
US lab unveils portable 5-minute COVID-19 test kits
Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as 5 minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.
The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, said John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics. The molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can be detected in as little as five minutes when it's present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can take up to 13 minutes, he said, Hindustan Times reported.
March, 28 2020 - 10:49 AM
Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths
Italy on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day.
Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package, AFP reported.
In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.
March, 28 2020 - 10:24 AM
‘Chronic’ global shortage of virus protective gear ‘urgent threat’: WHO
The dire lack of protective gear for health workers is proving an dire threat to attempts to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization warned Friday.
The WHO urged industrial powerhouse countries to ramp up production of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the global body warned that the battle against the new coronavirus was only just beginning, AFP reported.
“The chronic global shortage of personal protective equipment is now one of the most urgent threats to our collective ability to save lives,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva.
March, 28 2020 - 10:01 AM
Jordan reports first coronavirus death
Jordan reported the first death from coronavirus, a woman in her 80s, state news agency announced on Twitter early on Saturday.
Jordan registered 23 new cases on Friday, bringing the total in the country to 235, the health minister announced, Reuters reported.
March, 28 2020 - 10:00 AM
Mexico registers 717 coronavirus cases, and 12 total deaths
Mexico's health ministry on Friday said it had registered 717 cases of coronavirus in the country, up from 585 the day before.
The ministry also said there had been 12 deaths overall from the virus in Mexico, up from eight a day earlier, Reuters reported.
March, 28 2020 - 09:48 AM
Italy reports record 919 deaths from Covid-19 in a day
Italy has reported 919 new deaths from coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities any country has reported in the space of 24 hours since the outbreak began late last year.
The total number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Italy now stands at 9,134, Aljazeera reported.
March, 28 2020 - 09:23 AM
As US virus cases exceed 100,000, doctors decry scarcity of drugs and equipment
Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the US coronavirus crisis pleaded on Friday for more protective gear and equipment to treat waves of patients expected to overwhelm hospitals as the sum of known US infections climbed well past 100,000, with more than 1,600 dead.
Physicians have called particular attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators, machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious novel coronavirus, Reuters reported.
March, 28 2020 - 09:00 AM
Brunei reports first coronavirus death
Brunei reported its first coronavirus death on Saturday, that of a 64-year-old man.
Brunei has reported 115 cases of the virus so far, some of which were linked to a religious gathering in Malaysia that authorities said had been attended by about 16,000 people, Reuters reported.
The man who died had not attended the gathering but had a history of travel to Malaysia and Cambodia.
March, 28 2020 - 12:00 AM
Malaysia's King and Queen quarantined after staff test positive for corona
The Malaysian king and queen have gone into self-quarantine after seven members of the palace tested positive for the nivel coronavirus, according to a statement.
King Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin and Queen Azizah Aminah Maimunah tested negative for the virus but started observing a 14-day quarantine out of caution, The Straits Times reported.