An additional 5,974 infections brought to 92,472 the number of people who have officially tested positive for Covid-19 in Italy since the crisis began last month.

The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam is pictured, where passengers have died onboard, as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak continues, in Panama City, Panama on March 28, 2020
The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam is pictured, where passengers have died onboard, as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak continues, in Panama City, Panama on March 28, 2020 (Reuters)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

US death toll tops 2,000

The death toll from the new coronavirus in the US pushed past the 2,000 mark, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.

The number of infected cases rose to 121,117 as 961 have recovered from the virus.

Most of the deaths were reported in New York state that had 626, with New York City the epicentre where 517 have been recorded.

Panama allows virus-affected cruise ship to pass through canal

Panama's government said that it will allow Holland America Line's MS Zaandam cruise ship to pass through the Panama Canal, but that no passengers or crew members would be allowed to disembark in Panama.

There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew onboard the Zaandam, as well as four doctors and four nurses, the cruise operator has said.

Italy reports 889 new deaths

Italy's death toll from the novel coronavirus shot past 10,000 on Saturday with 889 new deaths, the country's civil protection service said.

The toll in Italy, which has suffered more deaths than any other country, now stands at 10,023. 

An additional 5,974 infections brought to 92,472 the number of people who have officially tested positive for Covid-19 in Italy since the crisis began last month.

Worldwide toll hits 30,000

More than 30,000 people have died worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic, two-thirds of them in Europe, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT on Saturday.

In total, 30,003 lives have been lost with 21,334 of those in Europe where Italy has the highest number of fatalities with 10,023 deaths, followed by Spain with 5,690, the tally based on official information sources found.

France reports 319 more deaths

France on Saturday reported 319 more deaths in hospital caused by the coronavirus, bringing the total toll of the epidemic in the country to 2,314.

There are now 37,575 cases of coronavirus infection in France, up 4,611 on the day before, according to a daily update published by the government. There are now 17,620 people in hospital, with 4,273 of them in intensive care, it added.

Death toll from coronavirus rises to 108 in Turkey

Sixteen more people died of coronavirus in Turkey in the past 24 hours, the Turkish health minister said on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 108.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 7,402, as 1,704 more people tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, Fahrettin Koca announced on Twitter.

A total of 70 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals since the beginning of the outbreak, according to the announced data, which said 445 patients were being treated at intensive care units.

Also, 7,641 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours and the number of overall tests carried out so far stood at 55,464. 

Trump raises idea of quarantines affecting NY, NJ and Conn.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he had spoken with some governors and was considering some type of an enforceable quarantine to prevent people in New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut from travelling.

Trump told reporters at the White House that it would be for a “short period of time, if we do it at all.” He said he had spoken with Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., the country's epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Cuomo said he did not talk about any quarantine with Trump.

“I don’t even know what that means,'' Cuomo said during a briefing in New York.
"I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable, and from a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing. ... I don’t like the sound of it.”

Spain counts 832 more deaths, as toll surges to 5,690

The death toll in Spain surged over 5,600 after a record 832 people died in 24 hours, and the number of infections soared over 72,000, the government said. 

Spain has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll after Italy with 5,690 fatalities. 

The number of cases have jumped to 72,248 as the country moves to significantly increase testing.

UK coronavirus deaths pass 1,000

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Britain has risen to 1,019 up from 759 the day before, according to government figures released on Saturday.

"As of 5:00pm on March 27, 2020, 1,019 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died," the health ministry said, while more than 17,000 people have been infected.

Netherlands' coronavirus deaths rise by 93

The Netherlands reported 93 deaths from the new coronavirus to take its total to 639 while another 1,159 cases of the virus were confirmed, both smaller rises than a day earlier. 

"If this line continues, it will be possible to conclude in a few days whether the (social distancing) measures taken are working," the Netherlands National Institute for Health (RIVM)said on Saturday in its daily update. 

The country has confirmed a total of 9,762 cases of the virus, the RIVM said.

Swiss death toll rises to 235

The Swiss death toll from coronavirus has reached 235, the country's public health ministry said on Saturday, rising from 197 people on Friday.

The number of confirmed cases also increased to 13,213 from12,161 on Friday, it said. The government is due to give an update later on Saturday on the epidemic situation.

Russia confirms 228 new cases, 1 more death

Russia announced 228 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country's total to 1,264 with an additional death.

According to official figures, Moscow continues to be the epicentre of the epidemic in the country with half of the new cases.

Covid-19 is now officially present in 62 of 86 Russian regions, with 49 people having recovered so far.

Turkish Cyprus reports first death

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) confirmed the first death in the country due to the novel coronavirus.

A 67-year-old German male patient succumbed to the virus in Lefkosa, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The patient suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension. On March 10, the first coronavirus case in the TRNC was diagnosed in a German female tourist.

Iran reports 139 new deaths

Iran announced that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world's worst-affected countries.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that 3,076 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 35,408.

Philippines reports 14 new coronavirus deaths

The Philippine health ministry reported 14 new coronavirus deaths and 272 additional cases, marking the country's single largest daily increase in fatalities and infections.

 The latest information brought total infections in the Philippines to 1,075 and deaths to 68, the health ministry said, adding that four patients have recovered, bringing the total to 35.

More than 600,000 cases recorded globally

More than 600,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been officially recorded around the world since the outbreak of the epidemic, according to an AFP tally at 1045 GMT on Saturday.

There were 605,010 cases of infection with 27,982 deaths in 183 countries and territories.

The United States had 104,837 cases of which 1,711 were fatal. Italy had the highest number of deaths at 9,134 and a total of 86,498 cases.

China, the epicentre of the outbreak, had 81,394 cases and 3,295 deaths.

The figures represent only a fraction of the number of infections as many countries only carry out tests on suspected cases if they are hospitalised.

Malaysia reports 159 new cases

Malaysia reported 159 new coronavirus cases on, taking the total to 2,320, the highest in Southeast Asia.

The number of deaths from the virus outbreak rose by one to 27, the health ministry said.

Germany's total infections now at 48,582

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 48,582 and 325 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

Cases rose by 6,294 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 55, the tally showed. 

Indonesia reports 109 new cases, total at 1,155

Indonesia confirmed 109 new coronavirus infections, taking the total cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,155, a health ministry official said.

Achmad Yurianto, the ministry official, confirmed 15 additional deaths, taking the total to 102, while 59 had recovered since the outbreak was detected weeks ago.

The latest numbers were counted over a 24-hour cycle ending at 0500GMT daily.

Sri Lanka arrests thousands for violating curfew

Sri Lanka police say they have arrested thousands, including many who were praying in a mosque, for violating a countrywide curfew imposed as a part of stringent measures designed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The number of positive cases has risen to 106 and the government has ordered police to strictly impose the curfew to ensure social distancing across the country.

The government has banned nonessential travel.

Police have arrested 4,600 and seized 1,125 vehicles for violating curfew since March 20.

86 UN staffers around world infected

The UN says 86 staff members around the world have reported cases of Covid-19.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said most of the infected staff members are in Europe, but there are also staffers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the United States that have the coronavirus.

To try to reduce transmission, he said the vast majority of UN staffers are working from home.

At UN headquarters in New York, where a normal day would see staffers’ passes swiped 11,000 times, the number of swipes Friday morning stood at 140, Dujarric said.

In Geneva, he said, the number of staff at the UN office has dropped from around 4,000 people on a regular day to just about 70 on Thursday.

In Vienna, more than 97 percent of UN staff are now working remotely, he said. And in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 99 percent of staff are working from home.

Tokyo confirms more than 60 new cases

Tokyo has confirmed more than 60 new coronavirus cases, which is a record daily increase, national broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has requested that tens of millions of people in the capital and surrounding regions should avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12, following a surge in coronavirus infections this week that she said put Tokyo on the brink of an emergency.

Australia tightens social distancing rules

Australia stepped up enforcement of social distancing rules on Saturday to contain community transmission of the novel coronavirus, implementing fines, closing beaches and threatening stricter measures if people defy pleas to stay at home.

The death toll from the virus rose to 14 after an elderly woman died in an aged-care facility in New South Wales (NSW) state where several residents and employees have tested positive for the virus, according to NSW health officials.

The country's total number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 212 to 3,378 early on Saturday, two-thirds of them in NSW and Victoria states, according to the federal health ministry.

Four dead aboard cruise ship off Panama

Four passengers have died aboard a cruise ship now anchored off the coast of Panama and two people aboard the ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, with hundreds of passengers unsure how long they will remain at sea.

Holland America Line said in a post on its Facebook page that more than 130 people aboard the Zaandam had reported flu-like symptoms.

The ship, which had been turned away from other ports and now is being denied passage through the Panama Canal, was receiving medical supplies and medical personnel from another Holland America ship, the Rotterdam, and the company planned to begin transferring healthy passengers to that ship.

There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board the Zaandam.

Brunei reports first coronavirus-related death

Brunei says a 64-year-old citizen has become the tiny oil-rich kingdom's first death from the new coronavirus.

The health ministry said in a statement that the man started showing symptoms four days after he returned March 4 from a trip to Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia. It said he was hospitalized March 12, but died Friday night.

Brunei has reported 115 cases since dozens of its citizens returned from a mass religious gathering in Malaysia that has sickened hundreds in the region.

Thailand reports 109 new cases, one death

Thailand reported 109 new coronavirus cases and one death, bringing the total to 1,245 infections and 6 deaths, the spokesman of the government's Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said.

The latest death is of a patient with some prior health complication, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, the CCSA spokesman said.

The Thai government on Friday ordered the closing down of more public facilities and businesses to curb the spread of coronavirus, and has extended existing closures until the end of April.

The provinces of Narathiwat and Pattani in southern Thailandare in lockdown while several other provinces have issued ordersto restrict the opening and closing times of 24-hour conveniencestores.

South Korea reports 146 new coronavirus cases

South Korea reported 146 new coronavirus cases, taking the national tally to 9,478, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

China reports 54 new coronavirus cases

China's National Health Commission said that 54 new coronavirus cases were reported on the mainland on Friday, all involving so-called imported cases. There were 55 new cases a day earlier.

The total number of infections for mainland China now stands at 81,394, with the death toll rising by 3 to 3,295, it said.

Brunei reports first coronavirus death

Brunei reported its first coronavirus death, that of a 64-year-old man.

Brunei has reported 115 cases of the virus so far, some of which were linked to a religious gathering in Malaysia that authorities said had been attended by about 16,000 people.

The man who died had not attended the gathering but had a history of travel to Malaysia and Cambodia.

Mexico registers 717 coronavirus cases and 12 total deaths

Mexico's health ministry said it had registered 717 cases of coronavirus in the country, up from 585 the day before.

The ministry also said there had been 12 deaths overall from the virus in Mexico, up from eight a day earlier.

Australia tightens quarantine rules to combat coronavirus

Australian troops will begin taking citizens returning from overseas to compulsory quarantine places to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as Victoria officials closed beaches on a warm autumn day amid public resistance, warning of fines.

With temperatures reaching 28 Celsius on Friday, hundreds of people in the state of Victoria defied pleas to stay home and flocked to the beaches, forcing the police to close them on Saturday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies