COVID-19: >460,000 cases, Spain Deaths Toll Surpasses China's

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


Spain Surpasses China in Coronavirus Deaths

Spain recorded 738 more deaths over the past 24 hours, the largest death toll increase since the outbreak hit the country, the health ministry reported. 

The number of deaths from the virus rose to 3,434 from 2,696 on Tuesday, the ministry said. The number of cases rose to 47,610 from 39,673 on Tuesday.

In China, 81,661 people have been infected, while 3,285 people have died from the COVID-19 disease.

Note. The data numbers mentioned in this article are based on Spain 24 hrs official data count. While the global list table in the article top is vs. yesterday's table with more recent numbers.  

A patient is transferred to a medicalised hotel in Madrid, Spain [Bernat Armangue/AP]

Chinese CoronaVirus Experts Shares Experience with Europe

Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan joined a video conference with several European experts on Thursday afternoon, sharing China's experience in fighting the novel coronavirus. Experts from countries including Germany, Italy, the UK and Romania also exchanged views on measures and strategies that have been taken in their countries to contain the virus.

They also discussed virus diagnosis and medical treatment plans as well as the protection experience of medical staff.

At the meeting, Zhong warned foreign experts that COVID-19 has a high fatality rate and is highly contagious, even for asymptomatic virus-carriers. And patients who are in the early stage are likely to infect more people. 

Zhong also noted the importance of keeping waste pipes unobstructed as the novel coronavirus may spread through drainage systems.

A Rush of Local News

Hubei Province reported zero new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, while six more deaths were registered on Wednesday, 391 patients were discharged from hospitals after full recovery the same day.

A total of 67 new COVID-19 cases, all of which imported, and six more deaths were confirmed on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, according to China's National Health Commission.

A Rush of News

Threat to Whole Humanity: United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has launched an appeal for $2bn in international humanitarian aid to help poorer countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Guterres said COVID-19 was a threat to the "whole of humanity and the whole of humanity must fight back."

Switzerland extends border controls to all Schengen countries. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on all residents to stay home next week, while announcing that vote on constitutional reforms set to take place on April 22 would be postponed.

Japan: More than 40 cases of coronavirus infections were reported in Tokyo, Japanese media reported, the biggest single-day increase in Japan's capital which has overtaken smaller cities to become the country's epicentre of the virus.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says a two-week lockdown that began on March 18 will be extended until April 14. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared a state of national emergency as the country prepared to go into a month-long lockdown at midnight (11:00 GMT).

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered on Wednesday a complete closure of three cities Riyadh, Mecca and Medina, no one can leave or enter them starting from Thursday. 

Thailand announces state of emergency until April 30. 

South Korea will require passengers arriving from the United States to undergo a 14-day quarantine starting from Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a potential "complete lockdown" if coronavirus continued to spread throughout the country.

Spain's deputy prime minister, Carmen Calvo, has tested positive for Covid-19, the prime minister's office said in a statement.

All travelers returning to Canada will have to enter a 14-day mandatory quarantine as of midnight Wednesday.

The Finnish government has issued a three-week blockade of the Uusimaa region around Helsinki, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Finland, to prevent people from travelling and spreading the virus to other parts of the country.

Panama has suspended domestic air travel to curb the spread of coronavirus, suspending all passenger flights from both local and international airports, the country's civil aviation authority said.

Ukraine will suspend all air and rail links with other countries from March 27. 

US Representative Ayanna Pressley was tested for coronavirus "after experiencing flu-like symptoms," her spokesperson said in a statement

Countries Confirming First Case/death

Mali confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus. The two patients are Malian nationals, a 49 year-old woman from Bamako and a 62 year-old man living in Kayes. They arrived in the country from France on March 12 and 16, respectively.

Guinea-Bissau confirmed the country's first two confirmed cases.

Libya has also confirmed the country's first case of the coronavirus.

First Palestinian fatality from coronavirus reported.

Estonia has recorded its first coronavirus death, when an 83-year-old patient died in Tallinn,

Italy: Up to 5 Years Prison for quarantine violators

Italy has announced strict new punishments to clamp down on the spread of the coronavirus in the country, the new orders, published late Tuesday night, include:

  • Those who have tested positive and do not stay home could face one to five years in prison.

  • Fines for violating quarantine rise from 400 euros ($430) to 3,000 euros ($3,245).

  • Businesses that break rules designed to keep the virus from spreading could be closed from five to 30 days.

France Reports 231 More Deaths, Total 1,331 

French health authorities have reported 231 new deaths from coronavirus, taking the total to 1,331. 

The rise in the number of deaths represents a daily increase of 21 percent, a slight slowing from the previous two days with the country now in its second week of lockdown.

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

There have been 25,233 cases confirmed in the country, a rise of about 13 percent in 24 hours.

A medical staff walks by the civil hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France on March 24 [Jean-Francois Badias/The Associated Press]

Italy Death Toll Rises by 683 to 7,503

Italy has reported 683 new coronavirus deaths in the last day, bringing the total to 7,503 in the country, which has become an epicentre of the pandemic. 

The number of confirmed cases in the hard-hit country rose to 74,386 from the 69,176 reported on Tuesday, according to health officials. 

On Tuesday the country reported 743 deaths. That followed 602 deaths on Monday, 650 on Sunday and a record of 793 on Saturday - the highest daily figure since the contagion came to light on February 21.

US to Inject $2 trillion Stimulus Package into Economy

The White House and Senate leaders from both parties have struck an agreement on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a healthcare system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The unprecedented economic rescue package would give most Americans direct payments, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367bn programme for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.

The plan includes direct deposits to many Americans. Here's how they work:

  • Individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each

  • Married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400

  • Families will get an additional $500 per each child

  • Payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children

  • $130 billion for hospitals, nursing homes, community health centers and other similar facilities, to help with the shortage of ventilators and equipment.

  • There's $150 billion in assistance for state and local governments.

  • $350 billion interest-free loans for small businesses.

The final text for the stimulus package distribution is yet to be made. At the time of this report, a standoff emerged late that threatened to delay its speedy passage. 

Britain's Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The 71-year-old is displaying mild symptoms "but otherwise remains in good health", a Clarence House spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that he was self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has also been tested but does not have the virus.


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