NO NEW DOMESTIC COVID-19 CASES IN CHINA FOR FIRST TIME | Daily News


 

NO NEW DOMESTIC COVID-19 CASES IN CHINA FOR FIRST TIME

CHINA, ITALY, CHILE, UK, POLAND, SWITZERLAND: China on Thursday reported no new domestic cases of the coronavirus for the first time since it started recording them in January, but recorded a spike in infections from abroad.

The lack of domestic infections marks a major milestone in China’s containment efforts, but the rise in imported cases threatens to unravel its progress.

There were 34 cases that were brought in from abroad, the biggest daily increase in two weeks, with 189 in total now, according to the National Health Commission.

But the figures showed that the outbreak is under control in Wuhan, the central city where the virus first emerged in December, and the surrounding Hubei province.

There have been nearly 81,000 infections in China but only 7,263 people remain sick with the COVID-19 disease.

A nurse (L) is being monitored for body temperature on March 18, 2020 at the new COVID 3 level intensive care unit for coronavirus COVID-19 cases at the Casal Palocco hospital near Rome, Italy.- AFP

ITALY’S VIRUS DEATH TOLL HITS RECORD

Italy on Wednesday reported 475 new deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus, the highest one-day official toll of any nation.

Italy has now recorded more than one-third of global deaths and has shut down all businesses and public gatherings -- steps that have spread across the world.

“The main thing is, do not give up,” Italian National Institute of Health chief Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.

“It will take a few days before we see the benefits” of containment measures, said Brusaferro.

CHILE DECLARES “STATE OF CATASTROPHE”

Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera declared a “State of Catastrophe” Wednesday over the coronavirus outbreak, while Cuba recorded its first death and a slew of countries announced nighttime curfews as Latin America’s lockdown widened.

In Brazil a minister in President Jair Bolsonaro’s government tested positive for the virus, while five Venezuelan inmates died in a prison break-out after family visits were banned.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cuba allowed a British cruise ship carrying five infected people and more than 50 others showing flu-like symptoms to dock on the island.

Chile and Brazil are the only countries in Latin America to have more than 200 recorded cases of coronavirus so far. There are more than 1,200 cases in the region.

The total number of deaths rose to 14, with Costa Rica registering its first death late Wednesday.

Peru, Panama and Bolivia began nighttime curfews on Wednesday, with police and troops patrolling the streets.

A man carries a toddler on his shoulders as both wear protective face masks to help prevent the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak walk on a street in Beijing.

BRITAIN CLOSES SCHOOLS, PUT TROOPS ON STANDBY

Britain announced Wednesday it would be closing schools in the coming days and placing 20,000 troops on standby in efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus, as the death toll topped 100.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had held off following the lead of other European countries because of the impact it would have on the workforce.

But as the outbreak spreads and the death toll reached 104, up from 71 in a day, he said schools would be closed indefinitely later this week.

On Wednesday evening the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that 20,000 military personnel were being placed at “higher readiness” to help public services as part of a “COVID Support Force”.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the armed forces “stand ready to protect Britain”.

Lawmakers were earlier told to stay away from Johnson’s weekly question time in parliament amid warnings that Westminster is a particularly infectious area.

Some 25 MPs, including a cabinet minister, are already thought to have isolated themselves.

TRUMP DEPLOYS HOSPITAL SHIPS

The United States is to deploy military hospital ships to fight the coronavirus, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, as he likened himself to a “wartime President” and invoked a Korean War-era law.

As America and Canada announced they were closing their border to non-essential travellers, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said Trump was dispatching the navy’s 1,000-room USNS Comfort to the city’s harbour.

The moves came as the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, reached 150, with confirmed cases soaring to more than 9,300, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

President Trump also signed a $100-billion emergency aid package that ensures sick leave to Americans workers who fall ill from the new coronavirus, in a rare example of Congressional Democrats, Republicans and the Presidency working together.

TWO US CONGRESS MEMBERS TEST POSITIVE

Two US Congressmen, Florida Republican Mario Diaz-Balart and Utah Democrat Ben McAdams, meanwhile became the first known members of Congress to be tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart’s office said in a statement that “just a short while ago, he was notified that he has tested positive for COVID-19.”

Utah Democrat Ben McAdams became the second Congressman to announce he tested positive.

He was tested Tuesday, received a positive diagnosis Wednesday, and remains in isolation at home, he said.

POLES SHOW NEIGHBOURLY LOVE

The USNS Comfort is being deployed to help New York manage the coronavirus outbreak.

From free meals and counselling to online yoga and language classes, initiatives of all kinds have sprung up across Poland thanks to thousands of good samaritans trying to help others in quasi lockdown over the coronavirus epidemic.

The Facebook group Widzialna Reka ( “Visible Hand “) for example started as a way for friends to offer each other psychological support but now boasts 80,000 members and offers any and all kinds of help.

Like other countries around the world, the EU member of 38 million people -- which has registered 251 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including five deaths -- has shut down its borders and closed schools, among other precautionary measures to stem the spread of the virus.

PANDEMIC COULD MAKE ANOTHER 25 MN 

JOBLESS: UN

The COVID-19 pandemic will significantly increase global unemployment, pushing up to nearly 25 million more people out of work, the United Nations said Wednesday.

“The economic and labour crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by almost 25 million,” the International Labour Organization said as it released a fresh study. It added however that an internationally coordinated policy response could “significantly lower” that number.

EUROVISION 2020 SONG CONTEST CANCELLED

The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest scheduled for May in Rotterdam, the Netherlands has been cancelled for the first time in the event’s 64-year history due to the coronavirus outbreak, organisers said Wednesday.

Eurovision is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural and sporting events to be cancelled because of coronavirus, including the Euro 2020 football championships and Britain’s Glastonbury music festival. The Netherlands has itself recorded 58 deaths and 2,051 cases in total.

SPANISH ROYALS CANCEL US VISIT

Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia cancelled Wednesday a planned visit to the United States on April 21 where they were due to meet with US President Donald Trump due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Spain is the fourth hardest-hit nation in the world by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 13,700 confirmed cases as of Wednesday and the number of deaths rising to almost 600.

 

A customized employee checks an individual’s temperature on the border between Chile and Peru.

 

 


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