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COVID-19 Latest Updates, April 21: Global deaths top 170,000; Singapore extends partial lockdown till June 1

The death toll in the US stood at more than 40,000, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. Massachusetts has emerged as a hotspot in the last few weeks, with over 1,700 fatalities.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: April 21, 2020 2:10:21 pm
New Zealand has set itself an ambitious goal of not just containing the coronavirus, but eliminating it altogether Worldwide COVID-19 cases stand at 2,475,871. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Coronavirus Global Latest Updates: The coronavirus pandemic, which emerged from China’s Wuhan in December,  has so far infected 2,475,871 people till now, with the US reporting the highest number of cases at 786,638 followed by Spain (200,210), Italy (181,228), France (156,480) and Germany (147,065).

The death toll in the US stood at more than 40,000, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. Massachusetts has emerged as a hotspot in the last few weeks, with over 1,700 fatalities. New York, with the worst outbreak in the nation, reported that hospitalisations in the state had leveled off and the day’s death toll, at 478, was the lowest in three weeks, down from a peak of nearly 800.

China reported another 11 coronavirus cases Tuesday, including six in the province of Heilongjiang that borders Russia. No new deaths were reported, with the total remaining at 4,632 among 82,758 cases. South Korea has reported nine new infections of the coronavirus and one more death. Its case count stands at 10683 and fatalities at 237.

The World Health Organization has advised that governments and societies around the world remain vigilant in order to stop the transmission of coronavirus, saying the lifting of lockdowns and other measures needs to be done gradually.

Nine new coronavirus cases in Nepal, total positive cases rise to 40

Coronavirus cases in Nepal on Tuesday rose to 40 after nine more people tested positive for COVID-19 in eastern Udayapur district, according to a media report. All the nine new cases are from Udayapur where recently eleven Indian nationals and two Nepalis tested positive for the infection, PTI reported. The Indian nationals were staying at a mosque in Triyuga area of Udaypur district.

The nine new cases recorded in a single day have taken Nepal’s tally of the coronavirus infection to 40. The District Administration Office has decided to seal the district from Wednesday.

Nepal is under lockdown till April 27.

25 more doctors tested COVID-19 positive in Pakistan’s Punjab province

Twenty five more doctors and nurses were tested coronavirus positive on Tuesday in Pakistan’s worst-hit Punjab province, bringing the number of the medical staff infected by the deadly virus in the country to 140.

According to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) Lahore Chief Executive Officer Dr Saqib Shafi, the samples of 450 medics, including doctors and nurses, working at the PIC were sent for lab tests after a surgeon was infected with the deadly virus. “On Tuesday, 25 of them (six doctors, 12 nurses and seven paramedics) were tested coronavirus positive. They are quarantined in the hospital,” Dr Shafi said.

According to officials, so far 140 doctors, nurses and paramedics have been infected across the country mostly in Punjab province.

Singapore prolongs virus lockdown until at least June 1

Singapore will extend its partial lockdown by another four weeks after reporting thousands of new coronavirus cases in recent days, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Tuesday.

The tiny city-state reported 1,111 new cases earlier Tuesday to increase its total to 9,125, the most in Southeast Asia. It marked the second straight day of over 1,000 new cases after a single-day high of 1,426 were announced on Monday. Foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories account for nearly 80% of infections.

Lee said the sharp upsurge in cases was due to aggressive testing of workers in the dorms, including those who are asymptomatic.

Global coronavirus deaths top 170,000

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 170,000 people globally, close to two thirds of them in hardest-hit Europe, according to AFP. In total, 170,226 people have died from the virus around the world, including 106,737 in Europe. With 42,364 deaths, the United States has the highest mortality rate, followed by Italy with 24,114 fatalities and Spain’s 21,282. France has 20,265 deaths and Britain 16,509.

Pakistan PM may get tested for COVID-19

Imran Khan may be tested for the coronavirus or asked to go into isolation after a well-known philanthropist was tested positive for the COVID-19, days after meeting the Pakistan prime minister, his doctor said on Tuesday. Faisal Edhi, the son of late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi and chairman of the Edhi Foundation, met Khan last week.

Khan’s personal physician and CEO of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Faisal Sultan, told the media that would meet Khan on Tuesday.

After denial, Indonesia sees mounting coronavirus deaths

While Indonesia’s neighbors scrambled early this year to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the government of the world’s fourth most populous nation insisted that everything was fine.

In speeches, Indonesia’s health minister, Terawan Agus Putranto, told his country’s people that they shouldn’t fear the virus, even as tens of thousands around the world were being infected.

Rather than focus on creating social distancing guidelines or ramping up testing, Putranto credited Indonesian “immunity” and the strength of prayer for the country’s lack of any infections. He dismissed as “insulting” a report by Harvard University researchers that said Indonesia must have elected not to report its cases.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s southern neighbor Australia and some fellow Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore were quick out of the gate to address the crisis, taking actions as early as the end of January that included containment and tracing measures.

Indonesia, on the other hand, did not even confirm its first case of the virus until early March. As of Tuesday, the nation had reported at least 7,135 infections — including 616 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, more fatalities than any Asian country other than China.

US to ‘temporarily suspend’ immigration amid coronavirus crisis

Trump economy, US coronavirus, US three phased economy, donald trump, indian express President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus at the White House, Monday, April 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon/File)

US President Donald Trump Monday said he will temporarily suspend all immigration to the US in response to the coronavirus pandemic and in order to protect US jobs.

Trump announced the decision on Twitter saying that the decision has been taken to “protect the US workforce” as millions of Americans are suffering from unemployment due to the nationwide lockdown to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

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Read| Some US producers, states reopening amid political pressure

Sri Lanka postpones its parliamentary elections amid COVID-19 outbreak

On 2 March, President Gotabaya Rajapaksha dissolved the parliament 6 months ahead of its schedule. (Reuters)

The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has postponed the parliamentary elections for nearly two months in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. On 2 March, President Gotabaya Rajapaksha dissolved the parliament 6 months ahead of its schedule and called a snap election on 24 April.
Earlier, the election commission met with the government officials and reviewed the pandemic situation affecting the election machinery.

On Monday, the government dropped its decision to relax the nationwide curfew and extended it to 27 April following a sudden spike of 41 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The country has been under a 24-hour curfew since March 20 and has so far reported 295 COVID-19 cases, including seven deaths, and 96 recoveries.

Read| New Zealand has set itself an ambitious goal of not just containing the coronavirus, but eliminating it altogether

UN passes coronavirus resolution for a more coordinated response

The United Nations General Assembly has approved a resolution calling for global action for the manufacturing, development and access to medical vaccines and equipment in order to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

The resolution requests Secretary General Antonio Guterres to work with the World Health Organization and recommend options to ensure timely and equitable access to testing, medical supplies, drugs and future coronavirus vaccines for all in need especially in developing countries.
It reaffirms the fundamental role of the United Nations system in coordinating the global response to control and contain the spread of COVID-19.

Japanese PM asks people to follow social distancing more diligently

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed concerns Tuesday that Japanese people haven’t been following social distancing measures as much as they are supposed to under a state of emergency which he declared two weeks ago to fight the spread of the coronavirus. In order to prevent Japanese health care systems from collapsing, he asked the citizens to do more. A stay at home request was made by the PM on 7 April to limit the social interactions which according to surveys conducted is still happening.

The government expanded a state of emergency that was initially limited to Tokyo and six urban areas to all of Japan last week as the number of cases in Japan has topped 11000 and Tokyo is still reporting more than 100 daily

South Asian nations seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases

coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus news, coronavirus live update, coronavirus news update, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus infection, coronavirus in india, coronavirus in india news, coronavirus death toll, coronavirus death toll news, coronavirus death toll in india, coronavirus death toll in india, coronavirus in india latest news The world’s fourth most populous country, Indonesia has recorded 6,760 virus infections for southeast Asia’s second highest tally after the neighbouring city state of Singapore. (Antara Foto/Reuters)

Despite taking serious preventive measures, the number of cases in Southeast Asian nations are climbing. Their limited capacity to do widespread testing also indicates that the official coronavirus numbers are less than the real ones.*Singapore- 8014 cases, 11 deaths, 801 recoveries

*Indonesia- 6760 cases, 590 deaths, 747 recoveries

*Malaysia- 5425 cases, 89 deaths, 3295 recoveries

*Thailand- 2792 cases, 47 deaths, 1999 recoveries

*Vietnam-268 cases, no deaths, 214 recoveries

Read| Exporting coronavirus? Infections among US deportees reach Haiti, Mexico

NYC to form anti-Asian harassment response team

The New York Commission on Human Rights anounced the formation of a COVID-19 response team any reports of harrasament and discrimination against Asian Americans related to the coronavirus pandemic. The agency has come across more than 200 reports of harassment since February. 1O5 cases out of these were of anti-Asian nature.
The coronavirus epicentre in the US has more than 14,000 fatalities and over 200,000 infections.

Read| Trump says he is working with governors on coronavirus testing, Cuomo to visit White House 

We need to ready ourselves for a new way of living :WHO

The World Health Organization has advised that governments and societies must remain vigilant to stop transmission of the coronavirus saying the lifting of lockdowns and other measures needs to be done gradually.

“This is not the time to be lax” said Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director of Western Pacific. “We need to ready ourselves for a new way of living for the foreseeable future” he added. Takeshi also said that rushing to ease or lift restrictions would likely lead to a resurgence of diseases and that individuals and societies.

China reports 11 new coronavirus cases, no fatalities so far

China reported another 11 coronavirus cases Tuesday including six in the province of Heilongjiang that borders Russia. No new deaths were reported with the total remaining at 4,632 among 82,758 cases. Nearly another 1000 people were under quarantine and monitoring as suspected cases or people who had tested positive for the virus but were showing no symptoms. Despite the dramatic drop in cases China has maintained strict social distancing rules including a ban on foreign travelers.

Read| China may be keeping coronavirus data for commercial gain: Trump adviser

Coronavirus to impoverish millions of children in the Middle East

About 110 million children are now at home and not in schools in the region. (Reuters/Amman, File)

According to UNICEF, millions of Middle Eastern children will become poorer as their caregivers lose jobs from lockdowns that are imposed to urb the spread of coronavirus.

About 110 million children are now at home and not in schools in the region, UNICEF said. Humanitarian agencies and NGOs say curfews and lockdowns are already making it difficult or impossible for many to provide for their families.It further estimates t 25 million children in need, including refugees and internally displaced people from conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Sudan Palestinian territories, Iraq and Libya.

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