Elderly hosts of the retirement home Giovanni XIII affected by coronavirus, are being evacuated to hospital, in Rome, on Wednesday. (AP)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest global updates: The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the globe surpassed 6,67,090 on Sunday, with fresh cases being reported from Europe. So far more than 31,412 people died due to the disease. While the US tops the world in the number of positive cases reported, five European countries -- Italy, Spain, China, Iran, and France -- recorded the highest number of deaths.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, has recovered. Sophie said she felt much better than before. In a statement, Mrs Trudeau said that she received clearance from her doctor and Ottawa Public Health.
Coronavirus global death toll crosses 31,000
The total number of confirmed fatalities from the novel coronavirus in the world rose to 31,412 on Sunday, according to a tally compiled by AFP. More than two-thirds of the deaths from coronavirus have now been recorded in Europe.
Iran defends virus response as Syria reports first death
Iran's president on Sunday lashed out at criticism of authorities' lagging response to the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, saying the government has to weigh economic concerns as it takes measures to contain the pandemic.
Syria meanwhile reported the first fatality from the virus in the war-torn country, which has five confirmed infections. State news agency SANA said a woman died upon reaching an emergency room and tested positive for the virus, without saying where it happened.
Syria has closed schools, restaurants and nightclubs, and imposed a nighttime curfew last week aimed at preventing the virus' spread. Its health care system has been battered by nearly a decade of civil war, leaving the country particularly vulnerable.
Confirmed cases in Netherlands passes 10,000 mark
The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the Netherlands passed the 10,000 mark on Sunday, according to AFP. A total of 771 people have died from the COVID-19 epidemic in the Netherlands.
The body of a man identified as Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of the German state of Hesse, was found on a high-speed train line in the town of Hochheim between Frankfurt and Mainz, police confirmed Saturday.
The presence of a body on the tracks was first reported by witnesses to paramedics, who were unable to initially identify the remains due to the extent of the injuries.
Investigators said an investigation on the scene confirmed the identity of the man as Schäfer and that the death was likely a suicide. Police did not immediately release further details of the case.
Spain records 838 deaths in 24 hours; Iran's toll touches 2,640
Spain announced 838 virus deaths in past 24 hours, a new record, according to news agency AFP. Meanwhile, Iran on Sunday said 123 more people had died of coronavirus, thus taking the death toll in the country to 2,640. "Fortunately 12,391 of those who have been hospitalised have now recovered and returned to their families," a health ministry official said.
Italy on Sunday saw a downfall in its total death toll. (File Photo)
Spain, Italy demand EU virus help; New Yorkers avoid travel
Spain and Italy demanded more European help as they fight still-surging coronavirus infections amid the continent's worst crisis since World War II. In the US, authorities urged millions in the hard-hit New York City region to stop traveling to keep the virus contained.
From Milan to Madrid to Michigan, medics are making tough choices about which patients to save with the limited breathing machines they have. The confirmed global death surpassed 30,000 and new virus epicenters emerged in key U.S. cities like Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago. Even rural American has not been immune, as virus hotspots erupt in Midwestern towns and in Rocky Mountain ski havens.
Spain and Italy alone account for more than half of the world's death toll and are still seeing over 800 deaths a day each.
Things will get worse before they get better: says Boris Johnson in letters to Britons
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, has written to every UK household to ask people to stay at home and follow the social distancing rules to fight the pandemic, warning them things will get worse before they get better.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears on a monitor for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) meeting in London, Britain March 28, 2020. (Reuters)
In letters which will arrive through the post for nearly 30 million homes along with a leaflet outlining the UK government's advice, at an estimated cost of 5.8 million pound, Johnson says he will not hesitate to impose stricter measures.
The British Prime Minister, who has been working from home with mild symptoms, warned that things are set to get worse before they start getting better as the UK's death toll from the outbreak crossed the 1,000 mark to hit 1,019, with a further 260 deaths and 17,089 confirmed cases logged on Saturday.
Australia’s health minister said on Sunday there were “early, positive signs” of a slowdown in the growth rate in new coronavirus infections in the country, with the growth rate approximately halving over the past week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media. AAP/Chris Pavlich/via REUTERS
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the slower growth in new inflections showed social distancing measures were working.
“This time last week the rate of increase on cases was up around 25% to 30% a day,” Morrison told a press conference.
Students have flooded social media to organize donations for Chinese doctors battling the coronavirus epidemic. Workers have marched in the streets to demand compensation for weeks of unemployment during citywide lockdowns. Young citizen journalists have taken to YouTube to call for free speech.
The coronavirus outbreak has mobilized young people in China, sounding a call to action for a generation that had shown little resistance to the ruling Communist Party’s agenda.
A 57-year-old female shrimp seller in China’s Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, has been identified as one of the first victims of COVID-19, which has claimed nearly 28,000 lives around the world so far, according to media reports. The coronavirus ‘patient zero’, who made a full recovery in January after month-long treatment, believes the Chinese government could have checked the spread of the disease had it acted sooner.
The coronavirus pandemic caused factories to spring up and campanies to retool to make equipment, but complaints in Spain over Chinese-made tests highlight the difficulties of regulating quality. (NYT/Lam Yik Fei)
Wei Guixian, as identified by The Wall Street Journal, was selling shrimps at the Huanan Seafood Market on December 10 when she developed a cold. Believing she had the common flu, Wei went to a local clinic for treatment where she was given an injection, the Mirror UK reported. However, Wei continued to feel weak and visited Eleventh Hospital in Wuhan a day later.
At the end of December, Wei was quarantined when doctors related the emergence of the coronavirus with the seafood market, the Mirror quoted Chinese news outlet The Paper. The article in The Paper concluded that the new coronavirus is likely to become the fifth endemic coronavirus in humans. “Coronaviruses clearly have the ability to cross species boundaries and adapt to new hosts, which allows us to more directly predict more coronaviruses in the future.”
Volunteers wait to check temperatures at the entrance of a street in Beijing. (Giulia Marchi/The New York Times)
An infant who had tested positive for COVID-19 has died, the first known death of a child younger than a year old infected with the virus in the United States. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported Saturday the death of the infant in Chicago who tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
"There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death," IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said. Illinois Governor J B Pritzker told reporters, "I know how difficult this news can be, especially about this very young child. Upon hearing it, I admit I was immediately shaken, and it's appropriate for any of us to grieve today."
FILE - In this photo taken Monday March 23, 2020, a victim of the Covid-19 virus is evacuated from the Mulhouse civil hospital, eastern France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)
"We should grieve. We should grieve with our family of state employees. With the many people who we've already lost to this virus, young and old. We should grieve for the loss of a sense of normalcy that we left behind just a few weeks ago. It's okay, today, to grieve," he added.
Five countries — namely Italy, Spain, China, Iran, and France — have the highest death toll. (File Photo)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife said Saturday that she has recovered from being ill from COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus. Trudeau's office announced on March 12 that she had tested positive for the coronavirus after she fell ill upon returning from a trip to London.
"I am feeling so much better," Sophie Gregoire Trudeau said in a statement on social media. She said she received the clearance from her doctor and Ottawa Public Health. "From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me with their well wishes. And to everyone who is suffering right now, I send you all my love," she said.
The prime minister and his family have been in self isolation at home since then. He and their three children didn't show symptoms.
Time out: The streets of Shanghai, China, wear a deserted look (Source: REUTERS/Aly Song)
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Trudeau Sunday said any Canadian showing possible symptoms of having the novel coronavirus will not be allowed to board trains or planes for domestic travel.
US President Donald Trump, who had announced that he was thinking to quarantine New York region, Connecticut, and New Jersey, decided against New York's quarantine and its neighbours after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could spark.
"A quarantine will not be necessary," Trump tweeted, some eight hours after he stunned the New York metropolitan region, hit heavily by the coronavirus epidemic, with a proposal to place it under quarantine to prevent residents from leaving. Instead of quarantine, he directed that a "strong Travel Advisory" will be issued to stem the spread of the outbreak.
Sun Shuopeng, Vice President of China's Red Cross leaves after a press conference with Italian Foreign minister Luigi Di Maio at the Red Cross headquarters in Rome. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
The US leads the world in reported cases with more than 1,21,000. There were roughly 2,000 deaths recorded on Sunday, according to John Hopkins University.
Bolsonaro calls coronavirus pandemic 'small,' says strong measures unnecessary
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday called the coronavirus pandemic a momentary, minor problem and added that strong measures to contain it are unnecessary. Bolsonaro said his response to the disease matches that of President Donald Trump in the US, but labelled the virus as "a little flu" and said that state governors' aggressive measures to halt the disease were crimes.
"The Brazilian needs to be studied. He doesn't catch anything. You see a guy jumping into sewage, diving in, right? Nothing happens to him. I think a lot of people were already infected in Brazil, weeks or months ago, and they already have the antibodies that help it not proliferate," Bolsonaro said. "I'm hopeful that's really a reality".
Sri Lanka records first coronavirus death
Sri Lanka on Sunday recorded its first death due to coronavirus, a 65-year-old diabetic man. The man, who was being treated for the viral infection at Colombo's Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), died on Saturday, said Anil Jasinghe, Director General of the Health Services.
The patient had a history of high blood pressure and blood sugar, he said. According to Health Ministry officials, the man had contracted the virus from Lanka's second coronavirus patient who was in contact with a group of Italian tourists.