March, 24 2020 - 05:25 PM
US has potential of becoming coronavirus epicentre, says WHO
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was seeing a "very large acceleration" in coronavirus infections in the United States which had the potential of becoming the new epicentre.
Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States.
March, 24 2020 - 05:03 PM
As Bolsonaro flouts warnings, coronavirus spreads in Brazil
Augusto Heleno, a national security advisor to Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, treated Tuesday, March 17 much like any other workday.
The 72-year-old former Army general attended cabinet meetings in the capital of Brasília, embraced colleagues and visited the cafeteria in the presidential palace, according to people familiar with his activities. But there was an unusual piece of business pending: He was awaiting the results of a coronavirus test.
The following day, the test came back positive. Heleno announced it on Twitter. "I am in isolation at home and will not take telephone calls," he posted. He said he had no fever or symptoms.
March, 24 2020 - 04:50 PM
White House coronavirus task force expert disagrees with calling Covid-19 'China virus'
White House coronavirus task force member and the leading infectious diseases expert in the United States, Anthony Fauci, told Science magazine Sunday that he has never called and would never call Covid-19 a "China virus."
During a recent press conference, US President Donald Trump suggested China should have revealed the discovery of the novel coronavirus much earlier.
"I told the appropriate people it doesn't comport, because two or three months earlier would have been September," said Fauci, who is also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
March, 24 2020 - 04:23 PM
Tesla CEO says bought ventilators in China for US
Tesla bought hospital ventilators in China and shipped them to the United States, CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday.
Tesla's purchase comes as governments across the globe appeal to automakers and aerospace companies help procure or make ventilators and other medical equipment.
"China had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & airshipped them to LA," Musk said on Twitter.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said the state would receive 1,000 ventilators from Tesla as the United States braces to deal with an influx of patients infected by the coronavirus.
March, 24 2020 - 04:20 PM
ADB adjusts annual meeting arrangements amid Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to adjust the structure of the 53rd annual meeting of its Board of Governors this year, the bank said on Friday.
The ADB Board of Directors approved a proposal that the annual meeting, originally scheduled for May 2 to 5 in Incheon, South Korea, will be conducted in two stages, reports Xinhua.
The first stage will comprise a reduced-scale meeting of the Board of Governors, predominantly through their appointed representatives, in Manila on May 22.
March, 24 2020 - 03:44 PM
Singapore scientists study genes to fast-track coronavirus vaccine
Scientists in Singapore say they have developed a way to track genetic changes that speeds testing of vaccines against a coronavirus that has killed more than 16,000 people worldwide.
The scientists, at the city-state's Duke-NUS Medical School, say their technique needs just days to evaluate potential vaccines provided by Arcturus Therapeutics, an American biotech firm the school has partnered with for the trials, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 03:32 PM
Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases
Indonesia today confirmed 107 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily increase to date in the Southeast Asian country, bringing the total number of cases to 686, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said today.
Seven more people had died of the disease as of Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 55, he said, adding 30 people had recovered from the virus, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 03:27 PM
For Moscow’s quarantined, 100,000 cameras are watching
A vast and contentious network of facial recognition cameras keeping watch over Moscow is now playing a key role in the battle against the spread of the coronavirus in Russia.
The city rolled out the technology just before the epidemic reached Russia, ignoring protests and legal complaints over sophisticated state surveillance, AFP reported.
Since last month, thousands of Muscovites have been confined to their homes for 14 days of compulsory quarantine after returning from virus-hit countries, being in contact with those infected or diagnosed with mild symptoms.
March, 24 2020 - 03:13 PM
Cruise ship responsible for jump in Australia coronavirus cases
Australia reported a jump in coronavirus cases today that was almost entirely due to passengers who disembarked a cruise ship in Sydney several days ago, prompting widespread criticism of the official response to the pandemic.
The ship, Carnival Corp's Ruby Princess, became the country's largest source of coronavirus infections as one of its passengers also became the eighth fatality nationally, Reuters reported.
In a chain of events described by New South Wales state Police Minister David Elliott as a "monumental stuff-up", about 2,700 passengers were allowed to leave the ship when it docked in Sydney on March 19.
March, 24 2020 - 02:55 PM
US states, cities desperate for coronavirus help, military prepares
Several more US governors on Monday joined the procession of states ordering millions of Americans to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, while President Trump signaled he's considering a move in the opposite direction.
Public health authorities have pushed for the stay-at-home restrictions as essential to curb widespread transmission of a highly contagious respiratory virus that has infected more than 42,000 people in the United States, killing at least 559, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 02:32 PM
Veteran Afro-jazz star Manu Dibango dies after contracting coronavirus
Veteran Afro jazz star Manu Dibango died today after contracting the new coronavirus, his music publisher confirmed.
The 86-year-old Cameroonian, best known for the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa”, is one of the first worldwide stars to die as a result of COVID-19, AFP reported.
“He died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region,” his music publisher Thierry Durepaire said.
March, 24 2020 - 02:10 PM
About half of Iran's state workers are staying home: President
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said today about half of all government employees were staying at home as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, state TV reported.
Iran is one of the hardest hit countries outside China, with more than 23,000 confirmed infections and more than 1,800 dead, according to the latest figures issued on Monday, Reuters reported.
Another measure to contain the outbreak, the temporary release of prisoners, will be extended until the end of the current Iranian month of Farvardin, about April 18, he said.
March, 24 2020 - 01:57 PM
Thailand to declare one-month emergency on March 26
Thailand will be in an emergency mode from March 26 for a month to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told a news conference today.
The emergency decree will mean the prime minister will have the executive power to declare further measures to contain the virus, including giving extra authority to officials and allowing the setting up of checkpoints to reduce people movements, Prayuth said, Reuters reported.
He said details of the measures will be announced later.
Thailand reported three deaths and 106 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The country now has 827 cases and four fatalities since the outbreak began.
March, 24 2020 - 01:50 PM
Turkey sets shop, bus restrictions as coronavirus death toll rises to 37
Turkey imposed restrictions today on grocery store opening hours and numbers of shop customers and bus passengers, adding to steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus after the country's death toll from the illness rose to 37.
Ankara has already closed schools, cafes and bars, banned mass prayers and indefinitely postponed matches in its main sports leagues, as well suspending flights to many countries as it looks to limit the spread of the virus, Reuters reported.
In the latest moves, the Interior Ministry said grocery stores and supermarkets' opening hours will be limited to between 9am (0600 GMT) and 9pm (2100 GMT), with a maximum of one customer for every 10 square metres of shop space.
Buses within towns and between cities will not be allowed to exceed 50% of the vehicle's capacity, with space to be kept between the passengers, the ministry statement said.
March, 24 2020 - 01:30 PM
Unproven coronavirus drugs could be ‘gift from God’: Trump
US President Donald Trump on Monday said antimalarial drugs that are under investigation to treat the new coronavirus could be a "gift from God" despite scientists warning against the dangers of overhyping unproven medicines.
Trump announced last week his administration was working to dramatically expand access to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related compound, following promising early studies in France and China that found the drugs helped patients suffering from the COVID-19 illness, AFP reported.
Many scientists including Anthony Fauci, the United States' leading infectious disease expert, have urged the public to remain cautious until larger clinical trials validate the smaller tudies.
March, 24 2020 - 01:04 PM
Coronavirus can be transmitted through poop, study confirms
A recent study has revealed that if deep throat saliva test doesn't work for the novel coronavirus test, it can be done by testing the poop or face of the suspected person.
"Covid-19 can be transmitted through faeces", this revealing study has been done by experts of Chinese University of Hong Kong saying, reports South China Morning Post.
It found that, for three patients, some specimens from their respiratory system – sputum, nasopharyngeal swab and deep throat saliva – tested negative for the coronavirus. But all of the test came back positive when their faeces were tested.
March, 24 2020 - 12:54 PM
Malaysia steps up coronavirus tests as it braces for 'worst scenario'
Malaysia is ramping up coronavirus tests in preparation for the "worst scenario", as it grapples with Southeast Asia's highest number of infections, a health ministry official told Reuters.
The World Health Organisation has urged countries to widen testing to contain the virus. Malaysia's tally of infections has jumped six-fold in just ten days to more than 1,500, exceeded only by China, South Korea and Japan in Asia, Reuters reported.
By the end of the week, Malaysia will double daily testing capacity to 7,000, before stepping that up to 16,500 by the first week of April, the official, Noor Hisham Abdullah, said.
March, 24 2020 - 12:29 PM
Taiwan's coronavirus cases top 200 for first time
Taiwan's government on Tuesday announced 20 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 215.
All new cases were imported, with the patients having travelled to countries including Britain, Ireland, Turkey and Indonesia, the government said in a statement, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 12:06 PM
China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan
China’s central Hubei province, where the deadly coronavirus first emerged late last year, is to lift travel curbs after two months under lockdown, local officials said today.
Healthy residents will be allowed to leave the province from midnight Tuesday, while Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the outbreak, will lift restrictions from April 8, AFP reported.
March, 24 2020 - 12:03 PM
German coronavirus cases rise by 4,764 cases to 27,436
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen by 4,764 within a day to reach to 27,436, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said on Tuesday.
It said a total of 114 people had died, an increase of 28 from 86 published on March 23, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 11:56 AM
India's poor, hammered by coronavirus lockdown, fear for future
Shaikh Bahaduresha, 31, lived on Mumbai's streets for two months last year, unable to make ends meet on his meagre taxi-driving profits of roughly $5 a day. After he got married in December, his wife put some money towards renting a small apartment, and they moved in together.
But with much of India now under lockdown to fight the coronavirus, Bahaduresha's newfound stability could come crashing down, Reuters reported.
He has no more taxi customers, which means he cannot afford food beyond rice and lentils, and will not be able to pay his rent, due on Tuesday.
"I have no savings. My wife and I will be on the street again," said Bahaduresha as he waited in vain next to shuttered stores for a cab owner who he said owed him a deposit.
March, 24 2020 - 11:38 AM
Kyrgyzstan moves to lock down major cities
Kyrgyzstan declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in its three biggest cities including the capital Bishkek, a move that will allow authorities to lock them down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In addition to the cities of Bishkek, Osh and Jalal-Abad, local emergencies were also declared in three provincial districts, which will open the way for measures from banning layoffs to imposing curfews, Reuters reported.
The Central Asian nation bordering China has reported 16 cases of coronavirus infections so far.
March, 24 2020 - 11:31 AM
Myanmar reports first cases of coronavirus
Myanmar reported its first confirmed cases of coronavirus in two men who had recently traveled to the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Southeast Asian nation had been the most populous country in the world to say it had no cases, despite sharing a long and porous border with China, where the virus originated in the city of Wuhan, Reuters reported.
The health ministry said a 36-year-old traveling from the United States and 26-year-old returning from Britain, both Myanmar nationals, had tested positive.
March, 24 2020 - 11:15 AM
Cuba to quarantine tourists, close borders for month
Cuba will quarantine foreign tourists from today when it seals its borders to guard against the spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister said on March 23, in a move cutting one of the communist country’s few revenue sources.
“All tourists still in hotels will be placed in quarantine… They cannot leave the hotel” until they find a flight home, Manuel Marrero said on state TV, adding that there were 32,500 holidaymakers from overseas on the Caribbean island on Monday, AFP reported.
March, 24 2020 - 10:20 AM
New Zealand confirms 40 new coronavirus cases
New Zealand on Tuesday confirmed that it has 40 new cases of coronavirus, taking the number of confirmed and probable cases infected with the virus to 155.
Six people are now in hospital and in stable condition, the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a news conference, Reuters reported.
Four of the total number of cases have been treated as community transmission, he said. There have been no deaths in the country so far.
March, 24 2020 - 10:00 AM
Nepal under lockdown till March 31 to curb virus
Nepal will go on a lockdown for a week starting from today amid concerns over the spread of novel coronavirus.
The lockdown will remain in force till March 31, The Nepali Times reported.
This would be a much stricter stay-at-home order that would bring all movement to a halt and also close all government offices, businesses and shops. All remaining domestic flights and public transport will also stop, and it will bar people from moving about unless it is for medical reasons or to buy essentials.
March, 24 2020 - 09:30 AM
WHO, FIFA launch awareness campaign over coronavirus
FIFA, the international governing body of football, and the World Health Organization (WHO) are jointly launching an awareness campaign led by world-renowned footballers, to combat the coronavirus.
The "Pass the message to kick out coronavirus" campaign promotes five key steps for people to follow to protect their health in line with WHO guidance, focused on hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell, said a media release.
March, 24 2020 - 09:00 AM
Coronavirus: Spanish army finds elderly patients 'dead and abandoned'
Spanish soldiers - deployed to help battle the new virus outbreak - have found elderly patients abandoned in retirement homes, and sometimes even dead in their beds, Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles has said.
The defence ministry said that staff at some care homes had left after the coronavirus was detected, BBC reported.
"The government was going to be strict and inflexible when dealing with the way older people are treated" in retirement homes," the minister added.
March, 24 2020 - 08:30 AM
Asian-Americans not responsible for virus: Trump
US President Donald Trump, who has been accused of racism in labeling the coronavirus pandemic the "Chinese virus," said on Monday that Asian-Americans were not responsible for spreading the disease and needed to be protected.
Earlier on Monday, the New York Times cited advocacy groups and researchers as saying there had been a surge of verbal and physical assaults on Asian-Americans reported in newspapers and to tip lines as the virus has taken hold in the United States, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 08:29 AM
You must stay at home, Johnson orders Britons
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Britons on Monday to stay at home to halt the spread of coronavirus, imposing curbs on everyday life without precedent in peacetime.
All but essential shops must close immediately and people should no longer meet family or friends or risk being fined, Johnson said in a televised address to the nation, Reuters reported.
Johnson had resisted pressure to impose a full lockdown even as other European countries had done so, but was forced to change tack as projections showed the health system could become overwhelmed.
March, 24 2020 - 08:28 AM
WHO warns of 'accelerating' coronavirus pandemic
The pandemic of disease caused by the coronavirus is accelerating, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, with more than 300,000 cases now recorded and infections reported from nearly every country worldwide.
While it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases of COVID-19, it took only 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
"But we are not prisoners to statistics. We're not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of this pandemic," Tedros said, Reuters reported.
March, 24 2020 - 08:20 AM
China's new coronavirus infections double due to imported cases
Mainland China saw a doubling in new coronavirus cases driven by a jump in infected travelers returning home from overseas, raising the risk of transmissions in Chinese cities and provinces that had seen no new infections in recent days.
China had 78 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said, a two-fold increase from Sunday. Of the new cases, 74 were imported infections, up from 39 imported cases a day earlier, Reuters reported.
The Chinese capital was the hardest-hit, with a record 31 new imported cases, followed by the southern Guangdong province with 14 and the financial hub of Shanghai with nine. The total number of imported cases in China stood at 427 as of Monday.
Beijing has imposed tough screening and quarantine protocols, and has diverted all incoming international flights to other Chinese cities, but that has not stemmed the influx of Chinese nationals, many of whom are students returning home from virus-hit countries.
Of the four new local infections, one was in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday. This follows five days of no new infections in the city, the epicenter of the outbreak in China.
The total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 81,171. The death toll was 3,277 as of the end of Monday, up by seven from the previous day.
Fiat Chrysler to make face masks for North America
Italian-US car giant Fiat Chrysler has confirmed plans to produce a million face masks a month and said it will distribute them to emergency services in North America to help the fight against coronavirus.
FCA, which is also trying to help produce badly needed respirators for patients in intensive care in Italy, is one of a number of large manufacturers adapting production lines to make products in desperately short supply.
Thailand to declare one-month emergency on March 26: prime minister
Thailand will be in an emergency mode from March 26 for a month to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told a news conference on Tuesday.
Egypt declares two-week curfew from 7 pm to 6 am to counter coronavirus
Egypt has declared a curfew from 7 pm to 6 am for two weeks starting Wednesday to counter spread of coronavirus, the prime minister said.
Most public service providers will shut their doors during the curfew period and those who violate the curfew will be subject to measures under Egypt’s emergency laws, Prime Minster Moustafa Madbouly said.
Spain reports 6,600 new coronavirus cases overnight, over 500 dead
The number of new coronavirus cases in Spain jumped on Tuesday to 39,673 from 33,089 cases registered on Monday, the health ministry reported on Tuesday.
The number of fatalities rose to 2,696 overnight from 2,182, the ministry said.