Half-million infected worldwide as deaths surge: Live updates

The United States now has more coronavirus cases than any other country with more than 85,500 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University, pushing the total numbers worldwide to more than 531,000, as the global death toll surged past 24,000 as of early Friday. 

There were more than 81,700 known cases in China and 80,500 in Italy.

Over 122,000 people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19, while more than 24,054 people have died, including 1,288 in the US.

Italy reported the highest death toll with more than 8,200 deaths.

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In India, where the country’s 1.3 billion people were under orders to stay home, legions of poor were suddenly thrown out of work and many families were left struggling for something to eat.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, March 27

02:24 GMT – Health supplies from China arrive in Indonesia

Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda has returned from China on Friday carrying 40 tonnes of health supplies, which will be distributed immediately across the country where new coronavirus patients have surged in the past week.

Jodi Mahardi, the maritime and investment coordinating ministry’s spokesman, said the supplies included personal protective equipment and rapid test kits and masks.

They were donations from several Chinese investors in Indonesia to help the country in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak which could overwhelm the government’s health care system, as 78 people have died in the past three weeks and nearly 900 others tested positive.

The Indonesian government has planned to distribute about a half million test kits across the archipelago nation, home for nearly 270 million.

02:19 GMT – Trump against cancellation of Republican Convention in August

US President Donald Trump has said that he would not cancel the Republican National Convention in August in Charlotte, North Carolina, because of the coronavirus.

In an interview on Fox News, Trump said he believed the country will have rebounded from the coronavirus outbreak by then.

“We’re not going to cancel,” Trump said. “I think we’re going to be in great shape long before then.”

02:05 GMT – ‘Don’t stand or sit too close’: Singapore imposes stiff penalties for physical distancing violations 

Singapore imposed stiff penalties beginning on Friday against individuals who are violating new rules on physical distancing, as part of its new policy to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Violators can be fined up to $10,000 (US$7,000), jailed for up to six months, or face both penalties, if they are found guilty of not keeping at least one metre distance from another individual in a public place. 

The new rules, based on the updated Infectious Diseases Act took effect, at 11:59PM local time on Thusday.

Singapore - coronavirus

01:53 GMT – Canada denounces Trump plan to deploy troops at the border 

Canada has denounced a proposal of the Trump administration to deploy troops along their undefended border to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, saying the idea was unnecessary and would damage relations.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland had made clear the Liberal government had no time for a plan to send hundreds of troops to the border to boost security.

“Canada is strongly opposed to this US proposal and we have made that opposition very, very clear … this is an entirely unnecessary step which we would view as damaging to our relationship,” Freeland told a news conference.

“The public health situation does not require such action,” she said, noting Washington had yet to take a final decision.

01:30 GMT – South Korea reports 91 new cases 

South Korea has reported 91 new coronavirus cases on Friday.

The total number of cases in the country has now reached 9,332, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Korea

01:12 GMT – New Zealand confirms 85 new cases of coronavirus 

New Zealand confirmed on Friday at least 85 new cases of coronavirus.

The total number of cases in the country has now reached 368 of which 37 have recovered.

Most of the cases in New Zealand have links to overseas travel, according to health authorities.

00:56 GMT – Study: Coronavirus could kill more than 81,000 in the US 

The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis conducted by University of Washington School of Medicine.

The number of hospitalised patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.

The analysis, using data from governments, hospitals and other sources, predicts that the number of US deaths could vary widely, ranging from as low as around 38,000 to as high as around 162,000.

00:38 GMT – 3.3 million Americans apply for unemployment

Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week – almost five times the previous record set in 1982 – amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.

As job losses mount, some economists say the nation’s unemployment rate could approach 13 percent by May. By comparison, the highest jobless rate during the Great Recession, which ended in 2009, was 10 percent. 

00:25 GMT – China reports 54 new imported cases, five new deaths in Wuhan

China’s National Health Commission reported on Friday at least 54 new imported cases of coronavirus as of thh end of March 26 – slightly lower than the 67 cases the previous day.

The health agency also reported five new deaths with no new cases in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. Nationwide, the death toll has reached 3,292 as of the end of Thursday. 

Late on Thursday, Beijing announced a temporary ban on foreigners arriving in the country with a few exceptions, including diplomats.

23:27 GMT Thursday – Brazil’s governors press Bolsonaro for more coronavirus support

Brazil’s governors pressed President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for more federal support in the coronavirus battle after he blasted them as job-killers and undermined their orders with a decree keeping churches open at the evangelical preachers’ request, the Associated Press news agency reported.

In a public letter, Brazil’s governors argued that the federal government had not done enough to fund the fight against the virus that has infected about half a million people globally.

Bolsonaro has increasingly echoed the view of US President Donald Trump that jobs should be prioritised over restrictive measures to slow the outbreak, as world health experts suggest.

“Tourism has plummeted to zero,” he said on a Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday night. “Nothing is working. This wave of panic and hysteria is bigger than the virus itself.” 

22:00 GMT Thursday – US overtakes Italy, China in number of virus cases

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the US reached 83,500 as of late Thursday, more than any other country, overtaking Italy and China, the Johns Hopkins University tally showed. 

China had 81,782 cases, and Italy had 80,589 cases.

I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read all the updates from yesterday (March 26) here.

Article source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/million-infected-worldwide-deaths-surge-live-updates-200326230320792.html