29 March 2020   4. Sha'aban 1441
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Wednesday, 25 March 2020 09:49

Countries worldwide urge people to 'stay at home' - global death toll reaches 16,500

The United Kingdom announced strict controls on movement to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The UK move came after the country reported 52 more deaths and followed the imposition of strict lockdowns in France, Spain and Italy, as Europe reels from a pandemic that the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned is accelerating. In Africa, Senegal, South African and the Ivory Coast were among the countries to also announce sweeping movement restrictions.

More than 16,500 people have died from COVID-19 around the world, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 102,000 of the 382,000 people who have been diagnosed with the disease have recovered.

Australia banned people from eating in shopping centre food courts and limited the number of people at weddings, funerals and social gatherings in a tightening of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Weddings could go ahead only with five people present, including the celebrant, while funerals could proceed with 10 people at most and outdoor social gatherings should also be limited to 10, Morrison added.

Austria will start using more rapid tests to be able to test hundreds of thousands of people as quickly as possible, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

So far, the Alpine country with a population of 8.8 million has tested around 24,000 people with nearly 4,500 cases confirmed.

The government is still collecting data regarding the effectiveness of its measures to curb the spread of the virus and will give an update on that on Friday, Kurz said.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday acknowledged the difficulty in procuring crucial healthcare supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kazakhstan has suspended exports until at least April 15.

The Nur-Sultan government this month declared a state of emergency until the same date over the coronavirus outbreak. Kazakhstan has confirmed 67 cases of the disease so far and has locked down its two biggest cities.

Egypt has announced a two-week, 7 pm to 6 am curfew for its over 100 million people starting Wednesday in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Nigerian president's chief of staff has tested positive for coronavirus.

Iran's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak increased by 122 in the past 24 hours to 1,934.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease increased to 24,811.

Spain's health ministry has reported 6,600 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 39,673.

It said the number of fatalities rose to 2,696 from 2,182 the previous day.

The Philippine health ministry reported 90 new coronavirus infections, the single largest daily increase of confirmed cases in the country, bringing the total to 552.

It also reported two new deaths, among 35 in the country so far.

A US government report said 46.5 percent of the 712 people who tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 on board the Diamond Princess in February were asymptomatic at the time of testing.

Malaysia's health ministry has confirmed 106 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the country's total to 1,624, with 15 deaths.

It said 43 of the new cases were linked to a mass religious gathering, which has already been connected to more than 60% of the total infections in the country, which has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia.

Cambodia has been accused of arresting and detaining individuals who expressed concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a statement released on Tuesday, said at least 17 people have been arrested since January for sharing information about the deadly disease, which has killed more than 16,500 people worldwide. It urged the government to immediately stop its "clampdown".

Indonesia has announced 107 new coronavirus cases, its biggest daily increase to date, bringing the total number of infections to 686, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

Meanwhile, seven more people had died of the disease, raising the death toll to 55. Thirty people have so far recovered from the virus.

Laos has recorded its first two cases of the coronavirus. The two cases include a 28-year-old male hotel worker and a 36-year-old female tour guide, both in the capital Vientiane.

The French government has drawn up a list of companies that may need state support ranging from a capital injection to outright nationalisation, France's finance minister said.

International Olympic Committee to deliver verdict on games postponement 'within days'

A final decision on whether to postpone this year's Tokyo Olympic Games will be taken in the coming days.

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Games organisers are under mounting pressure to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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