COVID-19: 5 mins. Test Kits Approved; Italy Deaths 969...& more

Source: People's Daily, Xinhua, CGTN, China Daily, Global Times, CBS, iFeng, Baidu, Global  News Agencies, Majdi


Italy Records Highest Daily Jump in Coronavirus Deaths

The number of people who died of coronavirus in Italy has risen by 969, the biggest daily jump since the crisis began. 

The total number of deaths now stands at 9,134, according to Italy's Civil Protection Agency. 

There has been an increase of 4,401 cases of coronavirus in the past day, the Civil Protection Agency said. 

The total number of recorded coronavirus cases in Italy, including deaths and those who recovered, now stands at 86,498.

Meanwhile in Rimini, Italy, A 101-year-old man who tested positive for coronavirus has been released from hospital, Gloria Lisi, the deputy mayor of Rimini, said in a statement Thursday.

COVID-19 Global List: Remove Continents Poll 

About the global chart for COVID-19 cases (at the top of this article); we received requests asking to delete the continents and only show a list of countries sorted by the number of cases; please help us understand your view using the below poll: 

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5-Minutes to Detect Virus, Test Kits Approved

The US Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new rapid test from Abbott Laboratories, which the company says can detect the coronavirus in about five minutes.

Medical device maker Abbott announced the emergency clearance of its cartridge-based test in a release Friday night. The company says that its test delivers a negative result in 13 minutes when the virus is not detected.

The tests, which are serological, meaning they identify the presence of antibodies in a persons blood, differ considerably from the molecular testing that is currently in use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by FDA-approved labs and drive-through testing sites in the US. The serological tests show that a person has developed antibodies, which means they very likely came into contact with it (and either have it, or have already recovered from having it). The molecular tests actually detect the presence of viral DNA in the blood stream, which is a much more definitive indicator that they currently have an active infection (at least at the time the swab was taken).

The Abbott approval follows two other rapid tests cleared by regulators in the past week. Older laboratory-developed tests can take between 4 to 8 hours to deliver results.

Spain Death Toll Rises by 769 in Single Day

Volunteer workers from a regional search and rescue crew disinfect a stretcher in Pamplona, Spain, on March 26. Alvaro Barrientos/AP

At least 4,858 people have died from coronavirus in Spain, with 64,059 cases recorded, according to Spanish Health Ministry data released Friday. The country's rise in deaths -- up 769 -- was a new record in Spain.

Lower increase in cases: The increase in new cases -- 7,871 -- was lower than in the past two days.

COVID-19: China data in perspective

A Rush of Local News

A total of 54 new COVID-19 cases, all from overseas, and three more deaths were confirmed on the Chinese mainland as of Friday midnight, according to China's National Health Commission.

The total number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland stands at 81,394, with the cumulative death toll of 3,295.

On the same day, Chinese health authorities said 383 patients were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 74,971.

All international arrivals to China's Shanghai will be put into centralized isolation for 14 days starting Saturday midnight, according to the municipal government. This includes passengers transiting to other regions through Shanghai; However, arriving passengers whose final destinations are Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui will be excluded and picked up by authorities from the three provinces at the citys airports and directly taken to their destinations, authorities said.

China's capital Beijing has already taken similar measures earlier this week, requiring all international arrivals in the city be subject to quarantine in designated places and receive a nucleic acid test.

A Rush of News

The Republic of Ireland will enter a nationwide period of lockdown with immediate effect and until April 12. Everybody must stay at home under all circumstances, the lockdown announcement said.

Italy: Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in Italy, 51 doctors who tested positive for the disease have died, the Italian Association of Doctors said Friday. 

Trump invokes the Defense Production Act on General Motors to supply ventilators.

Italian conglomerate the Armani Group's production plants have now switched to manufacturing single-use overalls for health care workers battling coronavirus. 

The French government has extended measures to confine citizens to their homes during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Friday.

Philippines Armed Forces Chief Felimon Santos Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to CNN Philippines.

Argentina closes all borders to foreign nationals.

US Representative Joe Cunningham, a Democrat from South Carolina, has said he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Zimbabwe will impose a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Monday.

Turkey has limited intercity bus travel and banned walks and fishing along the seashore and beaches, as well as jogging in forests and parks on weekends.

Lebanon: Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut has it would extend a suspension of all commercial and private flights until April 12.

Indonesia's chief security minister said that the government was preparing to issue a regulation soon to allow for the "quarantine" or lockdown of regions affected by the coronavirus.

NBA stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell cleared of coronavirus

Countries Confirming First Case/death

South Africa reported its first two coronavirus deaths and over 1,000 cases Friday, as the country begins a 21-day lockdown.

Nicaragua announces first coronavirus death in the country.

Jordan's state-run news agency, Petra, has reported that a woman in her 80s died from COVID-19 - the first fatality in the country. Jordan TV reported the woman had underlying medical conditions.

Iran: 144 new COVID-19 Deaths

Iran has reported 144 more coronavirus-related deaths since Thursday, raising the overall death toll to 2,378, Iranian health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on state television on Friday.

Cases surpass 30,000: 2,926 additional cases were recorded, bringing the total number of infected people to 32,332, Jahanpour added.

US Cases Top 104,000

The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States hit almost 104,000 early on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities close to 1,700, pushing the global death toll up to 27,324.

Boris Johnson, and two UK Health Officials, Test Positive

England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating at home, he tweeted on Friday.

Matt Hancock, the UK's Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has tested positive for coronavirus, he confirmed in a video posted to Twitter on Friday.

Cruise ship with Coronavirus Outbreak Blocked

Panamanian health officials have blocked Holland America Line's MS Zaandam from transiting the Panama Canal, citing sanitary conditions after a coronavirus outbreak on board the cruise ship. 

Four passengers have died aboard with over 130 others suffering from influenza-like symptoms, at least two of whom have coronavirus, the vessel's operator said.

The ship has 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board, as well as four doctors and four nurses, the cruise operator said in statement.

Trump Signs $2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Bill

President Trump just tweeted that he has signed the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, which just hours earlier passed in the House of Representatives.

In Singapore, you can be fined and jailed if you don't stay 3 feet away from others

Countries worldwide are implementing movement restrictions and emergency measures to ensure people practice social distancing. But few are as strict as Singapore, where new regulations went into force today.

People who fail to keep one meter (about 3.3 feet) of distance from others in public areas will be punishable by a fine of up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (about $7,004) or up to six months in prison, or both, according to a statement from the Singapore Ministry of Health.

The measures went into effect just before midnight. They are aimed at limiting non-essential gatherings to 10 people or fewer, said the statement.

Expert Says: China Unlikely to Have Second Coronavirus Outbreak 

Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan has told a CCTV reporter that he doesn't think there'll be a second outbreak of the coronavirus in China under the current measures.

"Based on China's prevention and control measures, new cases may be confined to a very small population," Zhong said. "I don't believe there will be a big outbreak under such strong measures."

China has increased its containment measures in an attempt to prevent further spread from imported cases as the domestic situation has gradually cooled down. 

And in its latest move, China has announced a temporary suspension of foreigners' entry to the country.


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