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COVID19 Global Updates: Top Cases as at March 21

SUMMARY OF CASES — By Statisense

  • China: 81,008

  • Italy: 53,578

  • Spain: 25,374

  • United States: 22,213

A Covid-19 test that can deliver results in less than an hour has been approved under an FDA emergency authorization, marking the first test that clinicians can use at the bedside

  • Germany: 21,854

  • Iran: 20,610

  • France: 12,612

  • South Korea: 8,799

  • Switzerland: 6,373

In Switzerland, health authorities say 6,373 infections have been confirmed – a 25% increase on the previous day – with 56 deaths

  • United Kingdom: 4,094

Tougher social distancing measures – including school closures – roll out across the country.

  • Netherlands: 3,631

The number of confirmed cases in the Netherlands has risen by 637 to a total of 3,631, health officials say, while the death toll has risen by 30 to 136

  • Bosnia has recorded its first coronavirus death – the manager of a hospital in the northwestern town of Bihac

  • Portugal says the death toll has doubled overnight to 12, with 1,280 infected

[UPDATES — By BBC]

Japan to announce decision over Olympics soon

President Trump talked about the 2020 Olympic Games set to begin in Tokyo in late July.

He says a decision about whether to postpone the games will be made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe soon.

“Prime Minister Abe has a big decision to make. They’ve built one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever seen…

“It’s his decision and I know he is going to make it soon, I don’t know what it’s going to be and I didn’t think I should be influencing it.

“The job that Japan has done on that venue is incredible,” he adds, calling the stadium “flawless”, “beautiful” and “on-budget”.

Singapore deaths — big blow for country with sophisticated operation

The confirmation that Singapore has had its first two deaths is a huge blow to this country. Singapore prides itself on its excellent healthcare system – 131 of its 385 cases have been discharged already.

But it ultimately wasn’t enough to save the lives of these two – a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man, both with underlying health conditions.

The first diagnosed case in Singapore was on 23 January, but a sophisticated operation kicked into gear to test any suspected cases quickly then forensically trace their last seven days of movements to identify anyone they had come into close contact with.

Those people were then ordered to stay at home for 14 days – and if they fell ill, the cycle started again

NHS confirms 53 more deaths in England

Another 53 people with coronavirus have died in England, bringing the total of deaths in the country to 220.

The patients who died in England were aged between 41 and 94 years old and all had underlying health conditions.

Earlier, two more deaths were recorded in Wales, bringing its total to five, and another death in Scotland, taking the number to seven

Northern Ireland has recorded one death.

Across the UK, Britons are spending their weekends away from most public spaces after the PM ordered cafes, pubs and restaurants to close (except for takeaway food).

Nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres are also shut.

Almost 800 more dead in Italy

Deaths continue to spiral in Italy. Official figures show 793 have died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours – another daily record.

In total 4,825 people have now died across the country.

More than 53,500 have been diagnosed with the virus nationally, up more than 6,500 since yesterday.

France chides ‘irresponsible’ citizens, reports 112 more deaths

France’s health minister echoed recent remarks by the head of the World Health Organization and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo about people who flout directives on social distancing.

“In these circumstances,” Olivier Véran told a news conference, “a casual attitude is unfortunately not just irresponsible. It is dangerous – for oneself and for other people.”

France has reported 112 more deaths from coronavirus, bringing the country’s death toll to 562, according to the health ministry.

NHS England to get extra 8,000 hospital beds

The National Health Service (NHS) England has said it struck a major deal with independent hospitals to boost the organisation’s capacities in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

“Nearly 20,000 fully qualified staff will be joining the NHS response to the pandemic, helping manage the expected surge in cases,” it said in a statement.

“The extra resources now secured by the health service will not only be available to treat coronavirus patients, but will also help the NHS deliver other urgent operations and cancer treatments.

“The deal – the first of its kind ever – includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England, nearly 1,200 more ventilators, more than 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff.”

It said that in London, the deal includes over 2,000 hospital beds, and over 250 operating theatres and critical beds.

Reacting to the announcement, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is great news for the hospitals and staff doing everything they can to combat coronavirus.”

US stimulus plan to top $2 trillion

The US coronavirus economic stabilisation bill will be worth over $2 trillion (£1.7 tn), White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow says.

“The package is coming in at about 10% of GDP. It’s a very large package,” Mr Kudlow said about the stimulus bill, which is still being worked out by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

That’s twice the sum that the White House requested days ago.

The spending bill being worked out by Congress is going to be “really something very special,” says President Donald Trump.

“It’s gonna help people,” he said about the stimulus bill that is forecast to be worth over $2 trillion (£1.7tn).

“We had the greatest economy in the history of the world and then we hit this problem,” he says.

Stock markets have shed all of the gains earned in the three years of the Trump presidency, economists said on Friday.

“We’re doing this package, the likes of which nobody has ever done before,” Mr Trump adds.

New Slovakia’s prime minister appointed in a face mask

OK, they aren’t quite two metres away from each other but you can’t say they aren’t being cautious.

This is a picture of Slovakia’s new prime minister, Igor Matovic, shaking hands with the country’s president, Zuzana Caputova, at the inauguration of his cabinet.

Matovic, an anti-corruption activist with the reputation of being a maverick, won a surprise victory in February’s elections, the first since the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak two years ago which shook Slovakia.

He and his cabinet colleagues all wore face masks and white gloves for the ceremony at the presidential palace in Bratislava, our correspondent Rob Cameron has written in to tell us.

Slovakia has so far registered 137 cases of Coronavirus and no deaths.

Defiant Russians still shaking hands

Many Russians are still shaking hands, perhaps taking their signal from the top: state TV keeps showing President Vladimir Putin doing the same, only the Kremlin has everyone tested for coronavirus first.

But crowds on the streets are thinning as galleries and other venues are shut. On Saturday, gyms, pools and sports clubs finally joined the list.

Meanwhile, it’s emerged that an infectious diseases doctor down in Stavropol who failed to self-isolate after a trip to Spain is being treated for coronavirus.

Local reports say hundreds of people she came into contact with on returning to work are now being tested.

Hotels to house the homeless in London

Hotels in central London will open their doors to rough sleepers to help protect them against the coronavirus, according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The mayor’s office is in talks with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) about block booking rooms at a discounted rate for the next 12 weeks.

It comes as rough sleepers are deemed more at risk, as they are considered significantly more likely to have underlying health conditions – including respiratory problems – than the wider population.

Mr Khan said rooms would provide “vital protection” for rough sleepers, who are less likely to be able to follow Public Health England advice on self-isolation, social distancing and hand-washing.

NY governor: Young people ignoring orders

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says there has been “a significant amount of non-compliance” regarding the state’s social-distancing directives.

At a news conference on Saturday he said that young people in particular have been ignoring orders not to gather in groups, and that it tends to be happening in the city’s parks.

Mr Cuomo said that he planned to visit a park “to see what the situation is myself”.

“I don’t care frankly. This is a public health issue and you cannot be endangering other peoples’ health,” he said. “You shouldn’t be endangering your own.”

New York state has confirmed more than 10,000 cases – 6,211 of them are in New York City.

New York is now the US state most affected by coronavirus, with more than one person dying per hour on Friday.

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