Coronavirus world update: Here's what has happened today
Checkout the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, measures being taken by countries to stem the outbreak and more...
Amid fears that the US could become the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, negotiators in the country on Wednesday reached an agreement on a $2-trillion aid package. On the other hand, India -- the world’s second-most populous country -- announced a nationwide lockdown. In the Middle East, Iran reported a rise in deaths amid the pandemic. Take a look:
Almost 421,000 people have been infected across the world and nearly 20,000 have died.
Fatalities in Italy surged on Tuesday, dashing hopes the epidemic was easing after more encouraging numbers in the previous two days. So far, nearly 7,000 people have died in the country.
In France, authorities reported 240 new deaths from coronavirus on Tuesday for a total of 1,100, making it the fifth country to cross the 1,000-fatalities threshold. The country’s death toll is much higher than the official tally, which only accounts for those dying in hospitals and does not include those dying at home or in retirement homes, the head of the hospitals federation said.
In the UK, more than 170,000 people signed up to help Britain’s National Health Service, and the Parliament is set to suspend sitting for at least four weeks. More than 400 people have died in the country due to Covid-19 but people are still ignoring leaders’ request to stay at home.
Nurses and doctors demanded action after Spain reported its sharpest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Tuesday and said about 14% of the nearly 40,000 infections were among health workers. Deaths in the country almost reached 3,000.
German hospitals with spare capacity welcomed their first coronavirus patients from Italy. So far, over 150 people have died in Germany due to the virus.
Russia’s total number of cases reached 658 on Wednesday with a record daily rise, a day after Moscow’s Mayor warned the outbreak in the capital was much worse than official figures showed.
In the Netherlands, the pandemic has claimed over 250 lives, while in Belgium 122 people have died.
Norway extended its restrictions until April 13. It has confirmed 2,566 virus cases, of whom 12 have died.
The Donald Trump administration sowed confusion over use of a 1950s-era emergency act to procure coronavirus test kits amid severe shortages of equipment for medical workers. The virus has killed more than 700 people in the United States and infected over 53,000.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed virus “hysteria” and urged mayors and state governors to roll back lockdown measures that have brought Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to near standstills.
Mexico temporarily halted the processing of asylum requests from Tuesday, as its cases climbed to 405.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Australia said on Wednesday it would force passengers on a ship into quarantine on a tourist island and refused entry to another vessel, as authorities slapped heavy curbs on movement and officials warned an accelerating number of patients could overwhelm intensive care units. The country has a death toll of eight.
Mainland China reported a drop in new cases on Wednesday as imported infections fell and no locally transmitted infections were reported. The country has recorded over 3,000 deaths.
India woke up to a sweeping lockdown of its 1.3 billion people, but the order did not stop crowds of people thronging to stock up at grocery shops and chemists. The country has so far reported nine deaths.
Tokyo became the center of Japan’s epidemic as it registered a record 17 new cases on Tuesday. The national tally is 1,214, with 43 deaths.
Malaysia will extend a two-week restriction of movement order and unveil a second economic stimulus package.
Thailand recorded 107 new cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 934, while South Korea’s tally rose to 9,137 with 100 new infections.
Singapore’s government said on Wednesday it was not ruling out holding a general election during the outbreak.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
About half of Iran's government employees were staying at home on Tuesday as the country's death toll 2,077 on Wednesday. The total number of people infected with the coronavirus climbed to 27,017.
Turkey imposed restrictions on grocery store opening hours and numbers of shop customers and bus passengers, as its death toll rose to 37.
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reported its first death, while the United Arab Emirates' main airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi said they would temporarily suspend all passenger flights from Thursday.
Egypt has declared a two-week curfew, and those who violate the measure will be penalised under emergency laws, the Prime Minister said.
South African businesses braced for a nationwide lockdown as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 554.
Libya confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus, with years of violence leaving its healthcare system highly vulnerable.