Latest on the coronavirus: Global cases near million mark
A healthcare worker wearing a protective face mask and suit transports a patient from an ambulance to the emergency unit at 12 de Octubre hospital during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, on March 28, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide reached 938,373 on April 2, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The virus, also known as COVID-19, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to 180 countries and regions around the globe, with over 47,273 deaths worldwide.
Nevertheless, the total number of people recovered from the COVID-19 hit 194,405.
- Authorities have placed a refugee camp north of the Greek capital under quarantine after 20 of its residents tested positive for the new coronavirus. The Migration and Asylum Ministry said the Ritsona camp would be quarantined from April 2 for 14 days, during which nobody would be allowed into or out of the facility.
- The ministry said 63 people were tested in the camp, and 20 were found to be positive for the virus. None of those found positive were showing any symptoms, it said, adding that none of the camp's staff had tested positive. Authorities would continue testing in the camp on April 2.
- Separately, an asylum seeker living in an apartment in Kilkis in northern Greece was also found to be positive for the coronavirus while in a local maternity hospital. The woman and her family had been placed in quarantine at home for 14 days, and authorities were tracking down the woman's contacts.
- Confirmed cases in Germany have risen to 73,522, while 872 people have died of the disease. Cases rose by 6,156, compared with the previous day and the death toll climbed by 140.
- Italy will extend lockdown restrictions to April 13, as data from this week suggests a slowdown of growth in total cases, though its national health institute says official death toll could be underestimated.
- Cases in Spain topped 100,000 on April 1, and two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system.
- France became the fourth country to pass the 4,000 coronavirus deaths threshold.
- Britain said it would ramp up the number of tests amid widespread criticism that it was doing far too few.
- Switzerland no longer faces shortages in coronavirus testing, its top health official dealing with the pandemic said on April 1.
- Measures to limit the outbreak in the Netherlands appear to have halved the rate of infection but need to be continued to be really effective, a top health official said.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking precautions to protect himself, as Moscow launched a smartphone app designed to track people who have been ordered to stay home.
- Russia sent the United States medical equipment on April 1 to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, a public relations coup for Putin.
- European scientists and engineers will launch an initiative to support the use of digital contact tracing applications.
- A six-week-old infant has died of complications relating to COVID-19, the governor of the US state of Connecticut said on April 1, in one of the youngest recorded deaths from the virus.
- U.S. President Donald Trump said he was considering a plan to halt domestic flights to coronavirus hot spots inside the United States.
- The Pentagon is looking to provide up to 100,000 body bags for use by civilian authorities.
- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants to virus-proof the November election by including funding to boost voting by mail in the next pandemic response plan, as confirmed cases in the country climbed to 186,101 and while deaths rose to 3,603.
- The governor of New York cracked down even harder on public gatherings, calling residents who disregarded stay-at-home rules "selfish" as California's governor warned his state will run out of hospital beds by next month.
- Canada's death toll jumped by 35 percent in less than a day and Quebec said it was running low on key medical equipment.
- An indigenous woman in a village deep in the Amazon rainforest has contracted the coronavirus.
- Mexico said on April 1 it had registered 37 deaths, up from 29 a day earlier. It also said the total tally of cases rose to 1,378 from 1,215 the previous day.
- Panama on April 1 reported 1,317 coronavirus cases, an increase of 136 cases, and 32 deaths.
- Cuba suspended arriving international flights and asked all foreign boats to withdraw from its waters.
- Nearly 30 medical workers at a hospital in northern Mexico have been infected.
Asia and the Pacific
- Singapore suffered its fourth coronavirus-related death on April 2, a day after the city-state reported a record number of new cases that took its total infections to 1,000.
- Australia's most populous state said police enforcement of restrictions on personal movement would last three months, as the number of new cases continued to slow.
- Israel's health minister and his wife were diagnosed with the coronavirus and are in isolation following guidelines.
- Mainland China reported dwindling new infections on April 1 and for the first time disclosed the number of asymptomatic cases, which could complicate how trends in the outbreak are read.
- Japan will ban entry to foreigners from 73 countries and ask everyone arriving from abroad to begin quarantine.
- India scoured mosques to trace people who attended a Muslim gathering in New Delhi that later emerged as a hotspot.
- The rate of new infections in Malaysia appears to be slowing amid month-long curbs on movement, a senior health official said.
- A team of Chinese scientists has isolated several antibodies that it says are "extremely effective" at blocking the ability of the virus to enter cells.
Middle East and Africa
- Iran's death toll from the coronavirus has reached 3,136, with 124 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on April 2, adding that the country had 50,468 cases of infection. "We have 3,956 infected people in critical condition ... There was 2,875 new cases of infected people in the past 24 hours... 16,711 people have recovered from the disease," Jahanpur said.
- Iran's president said the U.S. had missed an opportunity to lift sanctions on his country, though he said the penalties had not hampered Tehran's fight against the virus.
- Israel's health minister, who has had frequent contact in recent weeks with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other top officials, was diagnosed with the new coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced on April 2.
- Ugandan doctors accused the government of endangering the lives of those in medical emergencies by requiring that all seek permission to secure transportation to hospitals.
- Egypt has ramped up efforts to fight the coronavirus, ordering manufacturers to channel medical protective equipment to public hospitals.
- The first country in sub-Saharan Africa to impose a coronavirus lockdown has now extended it by two weeks. Rwanda's announcement is a likely sign of what's to come as more African nations tell almost all citizens to stay home or lock down major cities.
- Cases in Africa are now above 6,000.
- The lockdowns in places like South Africa, Uganda and now Eritrea have led to concerns that millions of people who live hand-to-mouth could go hungry or lose access to other emergency healthcare.
- Asian shares were pinned down, haunted by the rising U.S. coronavirus death toll, and with investors braced for more signs of economic pain in the world's largest economy ahead of another likely record week of jobless claims.
- Light vehicle sales in the United States fell nearly 27 percent in March, compared with a month earlier, data released by an automotive research group showed on April 1.
- Ratings agency Moody's downgraded its outlook for Australia's banking system to 'negative' from 'stable' as the coronavirus is expected to hit profitability.
- Mexico's economy is forecast to contract by as much as 3.9 percent in 2020, the finance ministry said on April 1, in an annual economic report used to guide the budget, adding that the numbers incorporated a "drastic" impact from coronavirus.
- India's manufacturing activity expanded at its slowest pace in four months in March and is likely to get worse as demand and output take a hit from the coronavirus outbreak, a private survey found.
- Factories fell quiet across much of the world in March as the coronavirus pandemic paralysed economic activity, with evidence mounting that the world is sliding into deep recession.
- China's ports and shipping firms are bracing for a second wave of supply chain disruptions that may be deeper and more prolonged than during the country's lockdown.
- The European Commision proposed a short-time work scheme modelled on Germany's Kurzarbeit programme to help people keep their jobs.
- Italy plans to spend another $11 billion to guarantee debt and liquidity for professionals and companies hit by the crisis.Switzerland is preparing to expand an emergency liquidity programme for businesses, as banks have already lent out more than half of the $20.70 billion set aside for state-backed loans.
- U.S. restaurants asked the White House and congressional leaders for at least $325 billion in aid.