Coronavirus latest global updates March 25: As the death toll due to the pandemic touched 19,648, Spain reported 3,434 deaths over taking China’s toll. Meanwhile, Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday, according to a statement released by Clarence House this morning.
The total number of positive cases spiked to 436,159 across the world on Wednesday. While Italy has reported the maximum number of deaths at 6,820, Spain took over China’s toll with 3,434 deaths as against the latter’s 3,160. In Iran, 1,934 have died, 1,100 in France and 422 in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Netherlands has seen 276 deaths and 192 people have died in New York, according to a report John Hopkins University report.
The International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Wednesday called for governments to put a hold on debt payments from the world’s poorest nations so they can battle the coronavirus pandemic. “The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this moment to provide a global sense of relief for developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets,” the Washington-based development lenders said in a joint statement.
Track all the latest global updates today (March 25) below:
Spain sees steep rise in single-day toll, reports 738 deaths
Surpassing China’s death toll, Spain registered 738 fatalities due to coronavirus over the past 24 hours which marked the steepest increase of the deaths reported since the pandemic hit the country, the health ministry reported on Wednesday. The number of reported deaths from the virus rose to 3,434 from 2,696 on Tuesday, the ministry said. The overall number of cases soared to 47,610 from 39,673 on Tuesday.
As Russia postpones vote on changes, it allows Putin to stay in power until 2036
Russian President Vladimir Putin delayed a public vote on constitutional amendments which allows him to stay in power until 2036, news agency AP reported. Putin’s move comes amid the coronavirus outbreak in Russia. “I believe the voting must be postponed to a later date,” Putin said of the April 22 plebiscite in a rare televised address in which he called on Russians to show solidarity.
The reforms, proposed by the President and approved by lawmakers over the previous months, would reset presidential term limits, which potentially allow him to stay in power for 20 years. He also declared next week as a ‘non-working week’.
Federal officials reach deal on $2 trillion aid package
The White House and Senate leaders of both parties have struck an agreement on a sweeping USD 2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a health care system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak. The agreement came on late Tuesday after days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure and still needed to be finalised in detailed legislative language.
Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,” Ueland said. The unprecedented economic rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a USD 367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
UN Council meets by videoconference— with a few hiccups
The UN Security Council met for the first time in its history via videoconference on Tuesday due to the coronavirus crisis — but diplomats said the meeting was not without technical difficulties. The ambassadors and deputies all logged in from home, and the media had no access.
“It was a bit improvised. We’re going to keep chipping away at it, but we’ll get there,” one diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “It’s better to work in the bare minimum conditions than not at all,” the source added, regretting that the Council — which is presided over by China this month — was not more active since its last meeting at UN headquarters on March 12.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States jumped by nearly 10,000 while about 150 Americans died in a day even as President Donald Trump hoped to reopen the country’s economy by Easter, April 12. With millions of Americans under a lockdown, the National Guard as well as the armed forces were pressed into service in several states such as New York which saw at least 53 deaths and about 5,000 new cases on Tuesday. New York has so far reported more than 25,000 COVID-19 cases and 210 fatalities.
“I want to encourage everyone to keep following our guidelines on social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, hand washing and all the other things that everybody knows they are supposed to be doing. Ultimately, the goal is to ease the guidelines and open things up to very large sections of our country as we near the end of our historic battle with the invisible enemy,” Trump said.
“I hope we can do this by Easter. I think that would be a great thing for our country and we are all working very hard to make that a reality. We will be meeting a lot of people to see if it can be done,” he said and also hoped the Congress would soon vote on a $2 trillion bill that would deliver direct cash payments to struggling Americans.
First known US child virus death was teen ‘in good health’
The first known death of a child due to the novel coronavirus in the United States was a teenager in previously good health, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday. The death of the youth from Lancaster, just north of Los Angeles, was reported hours earlier by public health officials, and comes despite the disease not typically proving severe for juveniles.
“A teenager in good health, succumbed to this virus. To the young people that are out there — this can hit you too. Know that your behavior can save a life, and can take a life. And that life could be yours,” said Garcetti.
Libya sees 1st virus case as more curfews called in
Libya has recorded its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, the UN-backed government announced on Tuesday, stoking concern that an outbreak could overwhelm the war-torn country’s already weakened health care system. As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the Middle East, countries have sought to slow the increase of cases by limiting the movements of hundreds of millions of people. The Arab world’s most populous country, Egypt, as well as Syria, a country ravaged by nine years of war, became the latest countries to impose nightly curfews starting this week.
Greta Thunberg says probably had coronavirus, urges #StayAtHome
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg said on Tuesday that while self-isolating after recent travels in Europe she probably came down with COVID-19, and urged other young people to stay at home too if even just a little unwell, to help stop the coronavirus. Swedish Thunberg said on Instagram she had now recovered from symptoms milder than her latest cold, and may not have suspected COVID-19 had it not been for her father, who had travelled with her, developing more severe symptoms.
Bolsonaro slams ‘scorched-earth’ virus quarantines
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lashed out Tuesday at what he called “scorched-earth” quarantine policies to contain the coronavirus pandemic, saying they risked wrecking the economy. He condemned the containment measures taken by authorities in places such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, saying they risked killing people’s jobs in a misguided effort to save lives.
“Some state and local authorities need to abandon the scorched-earth concept: blocking transport, closing businesses and confining people en masse. We need to preserve jobs and families’ livelihoods,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by AFP.
Malaysia’s key medical glove factories cutting staff 50% amid virus
Malaysia’s medical glove factories, which make most of the world’s critical hand protection, are operating at half capacity just when they’re most needed, AP reported. Health care workers snap gloves on as the first line of protection against catching COVID-19 from patients, and they’re crucial to protecting patients as well. But medical-grade glove supplies are running low globally, even as more feverish, sweating and coughing patients arrive in hospitals by the day. Malaysia is by far the world’s largest medical glove supplier, producing as many as three out of four gloves on market.
US newspapers urge China not to expel their journalists
The publishers of three major American newspapers have written an open letter asking China to reverse its recent decision to expel many of their correspondents working in the country. The letter posted online on Tuesday referred to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying the expulsions threaten access to information at a time when it is needed most. It was signed by the publishers of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Saudi king to chair G20 video talks on coronavirus
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will chair an emergency virtual summit of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies on Thursday to discuss a global response to the coronavirus pandemic. World leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, will take part in the talks which the Kremlin said will take place by videoconference. “King Salman will chair the meeting to advance a coordinated global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications,” said a statement released by Riyadh early Wednesday.
Potential coronavirus treatment granted rare disease status
The pharmaceutical giant that makes a promising coronavirus drug has registered it as a rare disease treatment with US regulators, a status that can potentially be worth millions in tax breaks and competition-free sales.
8 European spacecraft put in hibernation amid virus lockdown
The European Space Agency has said that it was putting eight of its spacecraft into hibernation as it scaled down operations during the coronavirus outbreak. The agency said on Tuesday it was further reducing the already limited number of staff working on site at its mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. As a result, the instruments and data collection on some space probes were being temporarily stopped.The eight spacecraft were among 21 currently flown from Darmstadt. The agency said one staff member there has tested positive for COVID-19.
Italy new virus infections drop to lowest point in crisis
Italy on Tuesday received more reassuring evidence that its coronavirus infection rate was slowing thanks to a painful lockdown that other nations are starting to apply at great economic cost. Health officials across the ravaged Mediterranean country are poring over every new piece of data to see whether two weeks of bans and closures have made a dent in the crisis. The harshest restrictions are theoretically due to expire on Wednesday evening — although the government is all but certain to extend them in some form for weeks or even months. Italy’s 743 new deaths broke two days of successive declines that had taken the number down to 601 on Monday. It set a world record of 793 fatalities on Saturday.
Blessing or Curse: Olympians now have another year to prepare for Tokyo
Steele Johnson, a diver who won a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Games, woke up Tuesday morning to texts from friends saying they were so sorry that the Summer Olympics had been postponed. They knew how hard it had been for Johnson, 23, and his wife, Hilary, to make ends meet as he pursued a gold medal in Tokyo. When he read the news, Johnson said, he felt a pit in his stomach.
Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died Tuesday with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher. He was 86.
The Cameroon-born saxophonist, who gained international fame with his 1972 song “Soul Makossa,” died in a hospital in the Paris region, Thierry Durepaire said. Dibango was hospitalized with an illness “linked to COVID-19,” his official Facebook page said last week.
South Korea to provide testing materials to US in response to President Trump’s request for help
South Korea says it plans to provide coronavirus testing materials to the United States in response to President Donald Trump’s request for help. Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the country is willing to send chemical reagents used to extract genetic material during COVID-19 tests, but at a level that doesn’t affect its own testing capacity. She didn’t provide a detailed estimate on the size of supplies that could be shipped to the United States. The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier said Trump during a telephone conversation between the leaders asked whether South Korea could send medical equipment and supplies to help the United States cope with its outbreaks. South Korea is pushing an aggressive test-and-quarantine program that some experts say possibly contributed to its lower death toll in comparison with mainland China and hard-hit European nations. As of Wednesday, South Korea had tested around 358,000 people while reporting 9,137 infections and 126 deaths.
Pakistan to suspend domestic flights as coronavirus cases near 1,000
Pakistani authorities have decided to suspend all domestic flight operations from Thursday until April 2 as part of efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus. Last weekend, Pakistan banned all international flights. According to civil aviation spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar, the ban will not apply to cargo and special flights. Usually the president, prime minister and other top government officials travel in special planes. The measure comes as overall cases of the new virus in Pakistan jumped to 990, with seven deaths reported. The crisis has prompted the government to enforce a nationwide lockdown for two to three weeks.
Mainland China reports drop in new imported coronavirus cases, no local transmissions
Mainland China reported a drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday as imported infections fell and no locally transmitted infections were reported, including in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak in China. China is ramping up quarantine and screening rules for all international arrivals due to the risks from imported cases.
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk from coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?
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