CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL UPDATES
NUMBER OF FATALITIES IN THE US SURPASSES 1,700, PUSHING THE GLOBAL DEATH TOLL TO MORE THAN 27,000 AS INFECTIONS SURGE.
By Ted Regencia
The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States hit more than 104,000 early on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities surpassing 1,700, pushing the global death toll up to 27,360.
SOUTH AFRICA POLICE FIRE RUBBER BULLETS:
South African police fired rubber bullets towards hundreds of shoppers queueing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg as people were not respecting social distancing measures, an AFP photographer said.
Between 200 and 300 people gathered outside a popular grocery store in Yeoville, in Johannesburg’s central business district on day two of a nationwide lockdown.
IRAN’S DEATH TOLL RISES TO 2,517:
Number of fatalities in Iran surges to 2,517 as health officials announced 139 new deaths over the last 24 hours.
Health Ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said that 3,076 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, bringing the total to 35,408. He added that over 3,200 patients were in critical condition.
However, there are also 546 people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 11,679, according to Jahanpour.
PHILIPPINES AND MALAYSIA REPORT NEW CASES:
The Philippine health ministry recorded 14 new coronavirus deaths and 272 additional cases, marking the country’s single largest daily increase in fatalities and infections.
The latest count brought total infections in the Philippines to 1,075 and deaths to 68.
Meanwhile Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s worst hit country to date, reported 159 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 2,320, including 27 deaths.
IRELAND MAY EASE CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS ON APRIL 12:
Health Minister Simon Harris said Ireland hopes to remove some of its highly restrictive measures, if it can slow down the rate of admission to intensive care units.
“Will we be in a position on April 12 where life in Ireland can return to normal? Absolutely not. Let’s be honest with each other, these are measures that we are going to need continue to work at,” Harris told national broadcaster RTE.
“Do we hope to be in a position in two weeks’ time to say that we’ve made progress and some of the measures can be tweaked, removed, changed? Absolutely.”
Ireland is in full lockdown with non-essential trips banned for two weeks. People are allowed out for brief exercise, as well as for farming purposes and food production. All public gatherings outside a family household or single unit have also now been prohibited.
NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN GERMANY RISES TO 48,582:
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany rose by 6,294 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 55, the Robert Koch Institute reported.
In total, Germany has reported 48,582 infections and 325 deaths.
AUSTRALIA TIGHTENS SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES:
Australia imposed stricter rules on social distancing as the number of confirmed cases jumped by 469 to 3,635, with a death toll of 14.
The new measures include implementing fines, closing beaches and threatening stricter measures if people defy pleas to stay at home.
As of midnight on Saturday, all returning citizens from abroad will be put into compulsory quarantine in hotels for two weeks at the government’s expense. Military personnel will help ensure travellers comply with the new rules.
GHANA ANNOUNCES LOCKDOWN IN TWO KEY REGIONS:
In its latest effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, Ghana will put under lockdown starting on Monday people living in the country’s two main regions: Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area, including contiguous districts for a period of two weeks, said President Nana Akufo-Ado.
Sweeping measures were announced as the country reported 137 confirmed cases, including four deaths.
Ghana has already closed schools, suspended public events and banned large gatherings.
THAILAND REPORTS NEW DEATH, TOTAL CASES REACH 1,245:
The new infections include 39 patients linked to previous cases, 17 new cases deemed to be imported ones and 53 awaiting investigation, Anupong Sujariyakul, an expert in preventive medicine at the Disease Control Department, told reporters.Thailand confirmed 109 new coronavirus cases and one additional death, bringing the total to 1,245 infections and six fatalities.
The government urged people to stay home and introduced a state of emergency earlier this week, banning foreigners and closing public facilities and businesses in major cities until April 30.
TOKYO REPORTS RECORD DAILY INCREASE IN NEW CASES:
Sixty new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, according to national broadcaster NHK.
The figure marks a record daily increase and comes amid a week-long risein the number of infections, which has prompted the country to step up efforts to contain the outbreak.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has requested residents in the capital and surrounding regions to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12.
IRAN’S HEALTH SYSTEM READY FOR POSSIBLE ESCALATION IN INFECTIONS:
Iran’s health infrastructure is strong and ready to cope with a possible escalation in coronavirus cases, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday in comments carried by state TV.
The Islamic Republic is among the countries worldwide severely affected by the pandemic.
In its latest tally, the country reported a death toll of 2,378 amid 32,332 infections.
DOZENS OF UN STAFF INFECTED WITH CORONAVIRUS:
The United Nations says 86 staff members around the world have reported cases of COVID-19.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said most of the infected staff members were in Europe, but there are also staffers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the United States that have the coronavirus.
May 20, 2020