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Coronavirus global updates today: Iran reports 127 more deaths; toll crosses 15,000 worldwide

The Nepal government has closed its borders with India and China for a week. Singapore on Monday reported 54 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day increase.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 23, 2020 10:25:31 pm
Coronavirus cases, Coronavirus deaths, NOida man tests positive, delhi news, indian epxress news The authorities began relaxing restrictions in Wuhan as it reported no new case for the fifth consecutive day on Monday. (AP)

Latest coronavirus (Covid-19) global update today: As the world battles the fast-paced spared of the coronavirus pandemic, China on Monday said that COVID-19 has effectively been “stemmed” in the country and it started easing severe restrictions imposed on Wuhan’s 11 million people who were under lockdown since January 23. The authorities began relaxing restrictions in Wuhan as it reported no new case for the fifth consecutive day on Monday.

Meanwhile, the total number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic have crossed 15,000 across the globe, with a  majority — 9,197 — from Europe. Italy is the hardest-hit country with 5,476 deaths, followed by China where the virus first emerged last year with 3,270, and Spain with 2,182.

Follow our full coverage on coronavirus pandemic here

No new domestic case in China

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said that no new domestic cases of coronavirus have been reported but confirmed 39 imported infections as the government ramped up measures to strictly quarantine people coming from abroad to prevent a recurrence of the virus outbreak. The death toll in the country has climbed to 3,270 with nine fatalities on Sunday. The overall confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 81,093 by Sunday.

Iran reports 127 more virus deaths; toll now 1,812

Iran reported another 127 coronavirus deaths, bringing its death toll to 1,812 amid 23,049 confirmed cases Monday. Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the Middle East, and has faced widespread criticism for not imposing stricter quarantine measures early on. It is also suffering under severe American sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Explained: What is herd immunity?

Nepal seals borders with India, China

The Nepal government has closed its borders with India and China for a week starting Monday, in a bid to prevent a possible outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the Himalayan nation. Although the cross-border human movement is halted till midnight of March 29, supply of goods from the countries will continue as usual, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada told a press conference on Sunday night. “The government took the decision to seal both the southern and the northern borders as the entire South Asia and South East Asia are heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. There is a greater risk of the disease spreading into Nepal due to cross-border human movement,” Khatiwada said. Nepal, which shares an 1,800-km open border with India, has total 37 motorable land entry points with it, while with China it has four such entry points. The government’s decision to seal the border with India and China came following its decision to suspend all international flights to and from Nepal effective from March 22 to March 31 as a precautionary measure to control the spread of COVID-19.

Singapore reports highest single-day increase, total cases cross 500

Singapore on Monday reported 54 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day increase, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases to 509, health officials said. Out of the 54 new cases, 48 people have travel history to Europe, North America and ASEAN. All Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore are issued a 14-day stay-home notice, the officials said. Most of the 355 people are stable and improving while 15 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A total of 152 people have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospital, the officials added.

READ | Coronavirus outbreak: Some countries are better armoured for epidemics than others

Pakistan’s coronavirus cases rise to 803; Sindh minister tests positive

Pakistan said on Monday that the total number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 803, even as the Army scrambled to put together all resources to tackle the infection which has claimed more than 15,000 lives worldwide. At least six people have died, while six others recovered from COVID-19 so far, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.

Africa sees 'extremely rapid evolution' of COVID-19 pandemic: UN A man wearing a surgical mask and gloves to protect himself from the coronavirus, walks on a street in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Of the total 803 cases, Sindh province accounted for 352 cases, Punjab 246, Balochistan 108, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 32, Islamabad 15 and Gilgit-Baltistan 72 and 1 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani in a video message on Monday confirmed that he had tested positive for coronavirus and was now in isolation at his home.

South Africa infections grow by 402 overnight

South Africa’s coronavirus cases jumped to 402 on Monday. That is an increase of 128 cases from the day before as it is the country with the most cases in Africa. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to speak to the nation about the growing threat and many expect him to announce new restrictive measures to try to slow the spread of the disease. More than half of South Africa’s total cases are in the Gauteng province, which include Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Bangladesh declares 10 days of holiday to curb coronavirus spread

Bangladesh on Monday declared a 10-day nationwide holiday from March 26 and called out the Army to enforce social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 15,000 lives globally. All government and private offices will be closed from March 26 to April 4. Bangladesh has reported 33 coronavirus cases so far. One coronavirus patient, who died of infection, was feared to have infected some others after going to a mosque despite his illness.

‘Little upset with China’ over coronavirus info sharing: Trump

US President Donald Trump has said he is “a little upset” with China over its late sharing of information on the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus and refusing to accept a visit by American medical experts to the country “out of pride”.

“They should have told us about this,” Trump told reporters at a press conference in the White House on Sunday during a briefing on his administration’s coronavirus response.

“I’m a little upset with China. I’ll be honest with you, because as much as I like (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) and as much as I respect and admire the country,” he said.

There are now 31,057 confirmed cases across the US, with 390 deaths. New York state has become the epicentre of the outbreak in the US and accounts for almost half of the country’s cases.

Sri Lanka’s first COVID-19 patient recovers, discharged from hospital

Sri Lanka’s first confirmed coronavirus patient completely recovered and was discharged from the hospital on Monday, authorities said. A 52-year-old tour guide, who provided services to a group of Italian tourists, was the first COVID-19 case in the island nation. He was admitted to the IDH in Angoda on March 11. The patient completely recovered, health officials said.

(With inputs from AP and Reuters)

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