The United Kingdom Saturday recorded 708 more COVID-19 deaths, its fourth successive daily high, as the number of confirmed cases rose to nearly 42,000. The United States, meanwhile, reported nearly 1,500 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the highest 24-hour death toll globally since the pandemic began, according to the John Hopkins tally. The total number of people who have died of the outbreak in the country is now 7,406. Meanwhile,
The total number of cases crossed one million across the world, with the US reporting the maximum number at 2,78,458. On the other hand, Italy reported the most deaths in the world at 14,681. A total of 2,33,689 patients have recovered from the virus globally.
China came to a standstill Saturday to mourn the patients and the medical staff who died by the virus, with the world’s most populous country observing a nationwide three-minute silence. China reported one new case on Saturday in Wuhan, apart from 18 infections from people who arrived from abroad. The country counted four new deaths, all in Wuhan.
Chinese man jailed after not reporting travel
A Chinese court on Saturday sentenced a man to 18 months in jail for failing to report traveling abroad from March 1-6, refusing to answer phone calls from authorities, and having his mother lie about his whereabouts, according to a joint statement from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security.
The statement said the man, identified only by his surname Guo, went to work by subway in the central city of Zhengzhou on March 8-9. After developing a fever and sore throat, he was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. Authorities then placed more than 40 people who had been in close contact with him under quarantine.
Over 37,000 Americans stranded overseas repatriated till now, says official
The US has so far repatriated around 37,000 Americans stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic and is planning to bring home another 22,000 of its citizens, many of whom are in South Asia, especially India, a senior official has said.
“We have repatriated roughly 37,000 US citizens from over 60 countries on more than 400 flights. It includes over 20,000 Americans repatriated in the past week alone,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee told reporters during a conference call on Saturday.
He said the US State Department has approximately 70 flights scheduled in the coming days which should bring back several thousand more US citizens. “South Asia now has the most US citizens wishing to return. So far the US has brought home almost 1,000 Americans from South Asia and are working aggressively to assist thousands more who have expressed an interest in returning,” Brownlee said.
“The total number we’re looking at overseas at this point is about 22,000. The greatest number of those certainly the plurality of those are in South and Central Asia, many of them in India, he added.
Trump asks Americans to wear masks outside as public health measure
US President Donald Trump has recommended all Americans to voluntary use non-medical masks as an additional public health measure to fight the coronavirus.
Citing the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Trump urged people to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks, but to keep medical-grade masks available for the health workers.
The CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure, Trump told reporters during a press briefing at the White House on Friday.
“The CDC is not recommending the use of medical-grade or surgical-grade masks. Those needs to be used for medical people working to save lives of Americans. Medical protective gear must be reserved for the front-line healthcare workers who are performing those vital services,” he said.
CDC has recommended that Americans were a basic cloth or fabric masks that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.
Virus patients in Spain get five-star hotel quarantine
A trio of discharged coronavirus patients in Spain were given a five-star hotel for their quarantine period. The hotel, which features contemporary decor and bathrooms with marble finishing, was converted into a clinic in three days.
“Some patients arrive thinking that they were taken out of hospital to be left to die, many people are frightened. I try to make them forget all that,” said Enrique Aranda, a worker, wearing mask and gloves. “I don’t let them out of the ambulance until I get a smile out of them. I want them to enter in another way, that they see that they aren’t in a hospital anymore, it is a hotel.”
Instead of arriving with a suitcase, the hotel’s new clients carry bags containing just a few personal belongings and their medical report. They are not welcomed by bellhops, but by a team of nurses wearing green or blue gowns, gloves and face masks.
Hotels across the country have been converted into medical care centres to free up beds in hospitals which have been flooded with COVID-19 cases.
FIFA postpones U-17 Women’s World Cup in India due to COVID-19
The FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in India in November was on Saturday postponed by football’s governing body due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. The women’s age group showpiece was to be held at five venues in the country –Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai — from November 2-21.
The tournament was to be competed among 16 teams, with hosts India being automatic qualifiers. It was to be India’s maiden appearance in the U-17 Women’s World Cup.
The decision was taken by the FIFA-Confederations working group which was recently established by the Bureau of the FIFA Council to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. “New dates will be identified,” FIFA said in a statement.
The working group recommended the Bureau of FIFA Council to “postpone the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Panama/Costa Rica 2020 – originally scheduled for August/September 2020 – and the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 – originally scheduled for November 2020.”
It was also decided “to create a sub-working group on the women’s international match calendar to consider potential changes to the calendar and dates of postponed FIFA final tournaments”.
(With inputs from agencies)
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