COVID-19 March 23, 2020 Global News Updates

KEY POINTS:

  • Total Global Cases: 338,971
  • Total Global Deaths: 14,689
  • Total Global Recoveries: 99,011
  • Active Cases: 225,271 (214,718 in mild condition; 10,553 in critical condition)
  • Closed Cases: 113,700 (99,011 recovered; 14,689 deaths)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting 192 countries and territories around the world, as well as 1 international conveyance – the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan.

  • The Italian health ministry reveals that at least 5,476 people have died due to COVID-19.
  • South Korea reported 64 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total to 8,961.
  • China’s National Health Commission reveals that they have 39 new cases, all of them imported, as well as 9 additional deaths.
  • The Philippine Department of Health reported that the COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 380 and the death toll is now at 25.

Below are some of the latest news and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic happening across the world.

Japan. According to multiple local media reports, Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, hinted that the Tokyo Olympics may be postponed; however, he ruled out the possibility of canceling the global sporting event. These reports come after the International Olympic Committee declared that it will step up its scenario-planning for the event to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of those involved. 

South Korea. According to the latest data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country has 64 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total to 8,961. Another 7 people have died, raising the country’s number of fatalities to 111. Despite its increasing numbers, South Korea has been globally praised for its efforts to contain the virus’ spread following the initial spike in new cases, many of which were reported in the city of Daegu. In recent weeks, mass testing of individuals and other strict measures undertaken by Seoul brought down the number of new cases reported daily. 

Philippines. Philippine authorities seeks 215 individuals who attended a religious gathering in Malaysia. The Tablighi Jamaat congregation held from February 27 to March 1 at the Sri Petaling Mosque, Kuala Lumpur drew an estimated 16,000 devotees from around 30 countries. During the event, the attendees slept alongside one another inside a mosque and prayed together, with several others camping in tents outside.

Due to the limited personal information available, local authorities are depending on those who went to the religious gathering to step forward or for communities to identify them. However, said BARRM’s Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo states, “Some fear they will be rejected by their communities or are afraid of being isolated from their families if they are suspected of having the virus. The current messaging of ‘identify and isolate’ is scary for many. Moreover, some attendees may have left undetected through the country’s “southern backdoor.” On March 13, a Filipino man died after he tested positive for COVID 19 – he had traveled to Malaysia but it was not confirmed if he attended the Tablighi Jamaat event. On Thursfay, another man died in the BARMM province of Lanao del Sur – he was positive for COVID-19 and was confirmed to have attended the gathering.

The Philippines has also reported 73 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total now to 380, with fatalities now at 25 and recoveries at 17.

China. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic’s shock to global financial markets, China seeks to be a stabilizing force, starting with its own markets. As calls from global leaders for more international cooperation continue to grow, it is still unclear to what extent it’s possible at this point for China to become a force of stability. And when it comes to the world’s second-largest economy, there are important domestic issues that local authorities need to think about, such as need for foreign capital, slowing economic growth, and high debt levels. Still, China was the first to deal with COVID-19 and in recent days have largely reported new imported cases; on the other hand, other countries are still grappling with the rapidly spreading virus within their own borders.

China also reports 39 new cases, all of which are imported. They have also reported 9 additional fatalities, all happened in the Hubei province where the virus was first detected. However, it’s important to note that Hubei didn’t report any new COVID-19 cases. Overall, China has 81,093 reported cases, of which 72,703 have been cured.

Singapore. Singapore Airlines has announced more capacity cuts due to growing border restrictions throughout the world. Singapore Airlines announced that it will cut about 96% of the capacity that had been originally scheduled through April, citing stricter border restrictions throughout the world. Countries have increased travel restrictions in recent days, with many of them barring non-resident foreigners from entering their borders. As a result, Singapore Airlines will ground about 138 aircrafts out of a total fleet of 147. Moreover, its low-cost unit, Scoot, will suspend most of its network and ground 47 aircrafts out of 49.

United States. According to a statement from the agency, a United States Secret Service employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in quarantine. The agency said that it has carried out a wide-ranging contact tracing, and found that the infected employee hasn’t had any contact with those who they are assigned to protect or other staff, for around three weeks.

United Arab Emirates. UAE urges people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. UAE officials urge the public to stay at home and limit social interaction, unless hen out purchasing necessary supplies like medicine and food or performing vital jobs. People were also encouraged to avoid visiting hospitals, except for emergencies and to always use face masks. Instructions on the use of taxis, public transport, and other modes of transportation will be issued later. Violations are punishable, including fines and jail time. As part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, outbound and inbound passenger flights and the transit of airlines passengers in the United Arab Emirates will also be suspended for two weeks. Emergency evacuation flights are exempted.

Canada. After his wife tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is working from home. He and his children 14 days of self-isolation together after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for Covid-19.  Prime Minister Trudeau insists that he is fine and says his wife, who is quarantined in one part of their house, is feeling better despite mild flu-like symptoms.

According to Canada’s Olympic Committee, they will not be sending teams to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. The committee further encouraged the International Paralympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the events for a year.

Italy. Italy’s death toll has risen to 5,476. Overall, there are 59,138 cases, where around 7,024 people have recovered. In an attempt to try and contain the COVID-19 outbreak, Rome has now ordered that all businesses not providing essential services or supplies must close until April 3. Italy is currently under heavy lockdown where many establishments are closed and public movement is restricted.

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