Italy’s civil protection agency said 5,217 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours — the lowest number in four days.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 29, 2020
US President Donald Trump speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 29, 2020 (Reuters)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Peak US death rate likely in two weeks – Trump

President Donald Trump said that the peak death rate in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic was likely to hit in two weeks and extended "social distancing" guidelines until April 30.

"Easter should be the peak number," Trump said of the Christian holiday which falls on April 12.

Trump said that he was extending the government's "social distancing" guidelines until April 30 to "slow the spread" of the virus.

US records 518 more deaths

The US recorded 518 new coronavirus-linked deaths in the span of 24 hours, according to data published by Johns Hopkins University.

The record toll, higher than the previous day's increase of 453, brings the country's total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 2,409.

The number of cases shot up 21,333 in one day, the data showed.

That is about the same as Saturday's increase of 21,309 but the numbers are counted in real time by Johns Hopkins and should be taken with caution.

With 136,880 total cases, the US has the highest number in the world, ahead of Italy, China and Spain.

South Africa records second death

South Africa's confirmed cases of the coronavirus increased by 93 to 1,280 people and the death toll doubled to two, the Health Ministry said, as the country entered the third day of a national lockdown and officials announced new measures to deal with the economic fallout.

South African health officials said the 74-year-old man in the southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province had been diagnosed two days ago after showing flu-like symptoms and already had skin cancer.

Costa Rica confirms 19 new cases 

 Costa Rica's health ministry said it has confirmed 19 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in the Central American nation to 314.

Italy coronavirus deaths rise by 756

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy showed signs of narrowing again, with officials expressing cautious optimism that the most severe shutdown in the industrialised west is showing results.

Italy’s civil protection agency said 5,217 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours — the lowest number in four days and an increase of just 5.6 percent — bringing the total number to 97,689. In that period, another 756 people with the virus died, bringing Italy’s total deaths in the crisis to 10,779.

Global coronavirus cases top 700,000 

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide exceeds surpassed 704,000 on Sunday, according to data compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. 

The virus known as Covid-19, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 177 countries and regions around the globe, with over 33,500 deaths worldwide. 

A total of 148,824 people diagnosed with the virus have so far recovered globally. 

Italy, Spain, China and Iran continue to be the most affected countries in terms of deaths, but the US tops the list of the highest number of confirmed cases — 132,637. 

France reports 292 more fatalities

French health authorities reported 292 new deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, up 13 percent on the previous day and taking the total to 2,606 since March 1, as the government raced to relieve pressure on overwhelmed hospitals in the east. 

The daily government tally only accounts for those dying in hospital but authorities say they will be able to compile data on deaths in retirement homes from next week, which is likely to result in a big increase in registered fatalities.

The number of known cases of infection rose to 40,174 on Sunday from 37,575 a day earlier, Jerome Salomon, the head of the public health agency said.

Turkey's coronavirus deaths rise to 131 

Turkey's deaths from the coronavirus increased by 23 to 131 on Sunday, as the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,815 to 9,217, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Some 105 patients have recovered so far.

The minister added on Twitter that 9,982 tests had been conducted in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of tests carried out in Turkey to 65,446 since the outbreak began.

Ireland reports 10 more coronavirus deaths

Ten more patients have died from COVID-19 infections in Ireland to bring the total death toll to 46, the Department of Health said on Sunday.

It confirmed 200 new confirmed cases for a total of 2,615.

UK warned to expect months of virus measures

Life in locked-down Britain may not return to normal for six months or longer as it battles the coronavirus outbreak, a top health official warned on Sunday, as the death toll reached more than 1,200.

Deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said it would take two or three weeks to assess the impact of the current rules for people to stay at home wherever possible to limit the spread of Covid-19.

"If we are successful, we will have squashed the top of that (infection) curve, which is brilliant," she told the government's daily news conference.

"But we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living — that would be quite dangerous.

Spain's death toll rises by 838 overnight to 6,528

Spain's coronavirus death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528, the health ministry said, marking the highest single-day rise in fatalities.

The total number of those infected rose to 78,797 from 72,248 on Saturday.

Syria reports first death from coronavirus 

Syrian regime's health ministry said on Sunday that a woman who died after being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment was found to have been infected by coronavirus in the first officially-reported death from the disease. 

Syria has so far confirmed only five cases, but medics and witnesses say there are more. Regime officials deny a cover-up but have imposed a lockdown and draconian measures to stem the pandemic. 

UK reports over 200 more fatalities

The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose to 1,228, according to figures released on Sunday, an increase of 209.

The previous increase saw the death toll rise by 260 people.

Saudi Arabia's toll doubles to eight

Saudi Arabia recorded four new fatalities from the coronavirus, bringing its death toll to eight, the health ministry spokesman told a news conference on Sunday.

The kingdom has also registered 96 new infections, taking its total to 1,299, the highest among the Gulf Arab states.

Dutch coronavirus cases pass 10,000 

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands passed 10,000 on Sunday, health authorities said, adding that the rise in deaths and hospitalisations continued to show signs of slowing.

In its daily update, the Netherlands' National Institute forHealth (RIVM) said confirmed cases rose by 1,104 to 10,866, an 11 percent increase. There were 132 new deaths, bringing the number of fatalities to 771.

"Just as in the preceding days, the number of hospitalised patients and the number of deaths are increasing less quickly than would have been expected without measures," the RIVM said.

Switzerland reports 257 deaths

Swiss government said the virus pandemic has killed a total of 257 people so far in the country.

It said a total of 14,336 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the country.
Iran reports 123 more deaths, toll at 2,640

Iran said that 123 more people had died of the novel coronavirus, raising the country's official death toll to 2,640.

A health ministry spokesman told a news conference that 2,901 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing total infections to 38,309.

"Fortunately 12,391 of those who had been hospitalised have now recovered and returned to their families," he added, while 3,467 were in a "critical" condition.

Malaysia reports 150 new cases, 7 deaths

Malaysia reported 150 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 2,470, the highest in Southeast Asia.

The number of deaths from the virus outbreak rose by seven to 34, the health ministry said.

Israel's cases surpass 3,800

The number of coronavirus cases in Israel has risen to 3,865 after 249 new cases were recorded over the past 24 hours, the country’s Health Ministry said.

A ministry statement said 65 of the patients are in critical condition and 89 have recovered.

Until now, Covid-19 claimed the lives of 12 people in the country.

Indonesia confirms 130 new infections

Indonesia confirmed 130 new coronavirus infections, taking the total in the Southeast Asian country to 1,285, a health ministry official said.

Twelve more people had died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 144, Achmad Yurianto, the official, said. Sixty-four people had recovered, he added.

Yurianto added that the country had tested more than 6,500 people across the country.

Saudi Arabia shuts entry, exit into Jeddah

Saudi Arabia shut down entry and exit into the Jeddah governorate and brought forward a curfew there to begin at 1500 local time (1200 GMT), state news agency SPA said on Sunday.

The curfew in Jeddah previously began at 1900 local time Saudi Arabia applied the same measures to Riyadh, Mecca and Medina last week.

UK govt 'very concerned' as death toll surpasses 1,000

The British government is "very concerned" following the latest figures which show more than 1,000 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus, senior minister Michael Gove said.

"Naturally we are very concerned and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who have lost loved-ones in the last few days," he told Sky News.

Germany's number of infections rises to 52,547

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany has risen to 52,547 and 389 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert KochInstitute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

Cases rose by 3,965 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 64, the tally showed.

RKI said that the data did not show the complete picture as it did not receive any readings from the regional states Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse and Saarland.

Australian PM tightens restrictions

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that public gatherings should not exceed two people and Australians should go out only when necessary, while those over 70 should self-isolate to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus.

Morrison said that people "must stay home" unless going out to do essential shopping, exercises, for medical appointments or to work and education if they cannot work or learn remotely.

He also said that there would be a six-month moratorium on evicting people who find themselves in financial distress. 

Palestine confirms six new cases 

Palestinian government confirmed six new coronavirus cases in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, a government spokesman said the new patients included five members of the same family in the town of Qatanna.

The new infections bring the number of coronavirus cases in Palestine to 104, including nine cases in the Gaza Strip.

Pakistan's virus cases tally crosses 1,500 

Federal health authorities in Pakistan report the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 is increasing, raising the country's total number of patients to more then 1,500. 

They also report another death of a man in the country's commercial hub, Karachi, increasing the death toll to 12.

New Yorkers urged to avoid travel

US health authorities urged millions of residents of the New York City region to avoid non-essential travel due to surging coronavirus infections there as deaths in the United States rose.

The advisory came after the number of confirmed American deaths passed 2,000, more than double the level two days earlier. 

It applies to New York City, the hardest-hit US municipality, and the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. 

The advisory cited “extensive community transmission” in the area and urged residents to avoid travel for 14 days.

New York has more than 52,000 cases and at least 725 deaths. New Jersey reported 86 deaths and Connecticut recorded 20. The United States leads the world with more than 120,000 reported cases. 

Thailand reports 143 new cases, one death

Thailand has 143 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total of cases since the outbreak to 1,388, the spokesman of the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said, giving the latest daily update.

The country also recorded one new fatality, bringing the total of death since the outbreak to 7.

First US Federal prisoner dies of Covid-19

Patrick Jones, a 49-year-old prisoner in Louisiana who was serving a 27-year prison term for a drug charge, became the first federal inmate to die from Covid-19, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced.

A total of 14 inmates and 13 staff in federal prisons across the United States have fallen ill with the virus, according to the BOP's website. 

Jones was serving his prison sentence at a low security facility in Oakdale, Louisiana, and first developed symptoms on March 19, the BOP said.

New Zealand reports first death

New Zealand recorded its first death related to the new coronavirus, and the number of people infected with the virus rose by 63 cases to a total of 514, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.

Bloomfield said the woman who died was in her 70s and was initially diagnosed with influenza.

South Korea reports 105 new cases

South Korea had confirmed 105 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Saturday, bringing the country's total now to 9,583, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Mexico asks residents to stay home for a month to slow virus as cases rise

Mexico's deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell called on Saturday on all residents in Mexico to stay at home for a month, saying it was the only way to reduce the transmission rate of the coronavirus.

Mexican health authorities said there was a total of 848 confirmed cases in Mexico as of Saturday, 131 more than the previous day, and 16 deaths.

China reports 45 new cases

China reported 45 new coronavirus cases in the mainland on March 28, down from 54 on the previous day, with all but one involving travellers from overseas, the health authority said.

A total of 3,300 people have now died in mainland China from Covid-19, with reported 81,439 infections.

Trump says quarantine 'not necessary' for New York area

President Donald Trump said that a quarantine of the New York area to curb the spread of the coronavirus would not be necessary and that he had asked federal health officials to issue a "strong travel advisory" instead.

Trump said on Twitter that the advisory would be administered by the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in consultation with the federal government.

"A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) tonight," Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut against non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.

In a travel advisory posted on its website, the agency said the warning did not apply to employees of "critical infrastructure industries" including trucking, public health, financial services, and food supply professionals.

Australia government says growth rate of coronavirus infection slows

Australia's health minister said 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 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 percent to 30 percent a day," Morrison told a press conference.

"That rate now over the last few days has fallen to about 13 percent - 15 percent.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies