News Brief

Global Coronavirus Update: Covid-19 Cases Cross 1 Million Mark Globally; Saudi Imposes 24-Hour Curfew On Mecca, Medina

Global coronavirus update
April 03, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Covid-19 Cases Cross 1 Million Mark Globally; Saudi Imposes 24-Hour Curfew On Mecca, Medina

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally has crossed the 1 million mark, according to the new tally from Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 1,016,128 people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus across the world, with a death toll of 53,146, while 211,409 others have recovered, according to the data updated by the university's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

The US has reported the highest number of cases, at 245,540, along with 6,053 deaths.


Italy, with overall 115,242 cases, accounts for the highest number of deaths at 13,915.

In terms of the number of cases, Spain comes third with 112,065 infections, while it has the second-highest death toll after Italy with 10,348 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, extending measures to combat the novel coronavirus.


Saudi Arabia has recorded 1,885 infections and 21 deaths due to the pandemic that has killed over 50,000 people worldwide.

It has already halted international flights, suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage, closed most public places, and heavily restricted internal movement.

The curfew would be effective in all parts of the two cities, with continuing ban of entry into and exit from them, Xinhua news agency quoted an official from the Interior Ministry as saying on Thursday.


The ban of entry and exit does not include employees from government and private sectors, whose works require continued performance during the ban period.

Residents of the two cities are allowed to leave their homes to meet only necessary needs such as healthcare and food supplies from 6 am until 3 pm every day.

(With inputs from IANS)


April 03, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Confirmed Covid-19 Cases Surge To Over 9.3 Lakh; US Reports 884 Deaths In Single Day

The global death toll due to Coronavirus has increased to 47,321 while the confirmed Covid-19 cases have surged to 9,37,091, according to the latest data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University.

As many as 193,764 Covid-19 patients around the world have recovered, the CSSE data showed.

The maximum number of deaths due to the deadly virus that originated from China has been reported in Italy. As per the latest CSSE data, the Covid-19 death toll in Italy has increased to 13,155, with over 110,000 confirmed cases of infection.

Meanwhile, the United States has recorded the highest Covid-19 cases with over 216,500 cases of infections. As many as 5,119 people have been reported dead in the US due to the pandemic.

The death toll from Covid-19 in the US jumped by 884 over the past 24 hours, setting a new one-day record for the country.

April 01, 2020 at 9:36 PM

Wimbledon 2020 Cancelled For The First Time Since World War II

The 2020 edition of the Wimbledon Championships has been officially cancelled, organisers All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced on Wednesday. The AELTC said that instead, the Wimbledon will now be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021.

It marks the first time since 1945 - during the Second World War - that the Championships won''t take place in a tennis season and the first time it has been cancelled in the Open era.

The total Covid-19 cases in the world are now nearing the 9 lakh number. As per data by Johns Hopkins there are a total of 885,687 cases in the world and 44,216 fatalities.

With Inputs From IANS

April 01, 2020 at 3:22 PM

US Death Toll Crosses 4,000, Higher Than The 9/11 Terror Attacks

The coronavirus deaths crossed 4,000 in the US on Wednesday (1 April), a number higher than the ghastly 9/11 terror attacks in the country, even as the top health experts projected that the pandemic could kill between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans.

According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre, more than 4,000 people in the US have died due to COVID-19 and nearly 190,000 have been infected by it.

The death toll due to the deadly virus on Tuesday (31 March) surpassed the number of fatalities in the 9/11 terror attacks. Nearly 3,000 people perished in the attacks carried out by al Qaeda terrorists in the US in 2001.

The COVID-19 death toll in the US is also higher than the total number of people killed in China due to the deadly virus.

China, which is the epicentre of the virus, witnessed 3,310 deaths. Globally, there are nearly 860,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 42,000 people worldwide have died of the disease.

At 82,294 cases, China now has the fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases following the US, Italy and Spain.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that the US was headed for a "tough two weeks" and advised people to be prepared for the "hard days" ahead.

"We''re going to go through a very tough two weeks and then, hopefully, as the experts are predicting, as I think a lot of us are predicting after having studied it so hard, we are going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel. But this is going to be a very painful, very, very, very painful two weeks," Trump said.

Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Task Force on coronavirus, based on a model from actual data from the ground, said the death toll in the US could be between 100,000 to 200,000, with the strict implementation of the existing mitigation measures including social distancing till 30 April.

(With inputs from IANS)

April 01, 2020 at 9:16 AM

Death Toll Rise To Over 42,000; UN Chief Says Covid-19 Pandemic Most Challenging Crisis

The global death toll due to Coronavirus pandemic has increased to 42,151 while the confirmed cases of infection have risen to 858,785, according to the latest data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University.

As many as 178,119 people have recovered from the deadly virus infection that started in China’s Wuhan city.

The death toll in Italy, which has witnessed highest number of deaths due to Covid-19, has increased to 12,428, as per the CSSE data.

United States has reported the maximum cases of Coronavirus infections in the world with the number of infected people in the country surging to 189,035.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the COVID-19 pandemic is the most challenging crisis since the Second World War as it represents a threat to everybody.

The pandemic "represents a threat to everybody in the world and ... it has an economic impact that will bring a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past," Guterres said on Tuesday (31 March) at the virtual press launch of the UN report "Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19",

"The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is, indeed, the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War and the one that needs a stronger and more effective response that is only possible in solidarity if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake," the UN chief said.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 31, 2020 at 9:22 PM

Death toll nears 40,000 mark, USFDA approves two treatment drugs

The global death toll arising out of coronavirus infections is nearing the 40,000 mark with 39,033 deaths being reported so far, as per data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of two anti-malaria drugs to treat patients infected by the coronavirus.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a statement on Sunday (31 March) said that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could be prescribed to teens and adults with COVID-19 "as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible".

Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are used to treat diseases including malaria, and have "shown activity in laboratory studies against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)," the HHS stated.

"Anecdotal reports suggest that these drugs may offer some benefit in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Clinical trials are needed to provide scientific evidence that these treatments are effective,” it added.

March 31, 2020 at 1:12 PM

Confirmed Worldwide Covid-19 Cases Near 8 Lakh; Japan To Ban People From Over 73 Countries

The total global confirmed cases of Covid-19 has surged to 7,87,010 while the death toll due to the deadly virus rose to 37,820, according to the latest data by the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University.

The number of patients that have recovered has also increased to 166,214, the CSSE data showed on Tuesday (31 March).

Meanwhile, Japan on Tuesday (31 March) said that it would ban people from more than a third of the world, including the US, from entering the country to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The US is among a list of 73 countries to which the Japanese government also discouraged travel amid the steep global increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.

Japan raised its travel alert to Level 3 (out of a possible 4), over which it advised against travelling to certain territories under any circumstances.

The alert was extended on Tuesday to 49 countries, including the US, Canada, South Korea, China, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, the UK and Greece, from which Japan will prohibit the entry to travelers who aren''t Japanese, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference.

The Japanese government has so far reported 2,665 new coronavirus infections and 67 deaths in the country, including 712 cases and 11 deaths linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 31, 2020 at 1:08 PM

Worldwide Death Toll Hits 37,686; US Reports Over 3,000 Deaths; Merkel Tests Negative For Covid-19

The global death toll due to Coronavirus has increased to 37,686 while the confirmed cases of infection have surged to 785,709, according to the data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University.

The number of people that have recovered from the disease has also risen to 165,370, the CSSE data showed.

Italy has reported 11,591 deaths, the highest in the world, due to the pandemic with over 101,739 cases of infection.

As many as 164,274 Covid-19 infections have been reported in the US with the death toll topping 3,000.

Across the US, New York State has both the most cases and the most deaths, with over 67,000 and 900 respectively, according to the update.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has tested negative for coronavirus for the third time, her spokesperson Steffen Seibert said.

Seibert on Monday (30 March) said in a statement that Merkel will continue to carry out her official business in quarantine in the coming days, Xinhua news agency reported.

Merkel, aged 65, has put herself into at-home self-quarantine since 22 March, after she learned that a doctor who gave her a vaccination for pneumonia two days earlier tested positive for the virus.

Merkel has kept working through telephone and video links.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 31, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Olympics Officially Postponed To July 2021; Covid-19 Death Toll Crosses 35,000 Mark

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now be held from 23 July to 8 August next year and the Para Olympic Games will be held from 24 August 24 to 5 September.

The global death toll due to Covid-19 stands at 35,307 as per data collected by Johns Hopkins University. The total number of infections globally are at 755,591 and 158,527 have recovered from the disease.

March 30, 2020 at 10:28 AM

Covid-19 cases cross 722,000 mark; toll over 33,500

The number of coronavirus cases around the world crossed the 722,000 mark near midnight on Monday, with the US comprising over a seventh of them, while the death toll crossed the 33,500 mark, with Italy (10,779) and Spain (6,606) accounting for over half of them, as the Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Centre.

March 30, 2020 at 11:10 AM

COVID-19 death toll in Europe surpasses 21,000

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to ravage Europe, with the death toll in the region climbing to over 21,000 out of more than 360,000 confirmed cases.

March 30, 2020 at 10:28 AM

In worst case scenario, 200,000 Americans could die from COVID19: White House

Sending out a dire warning, the White House on Sunday projected America's peak death toll from the coronavirus is likely in two weeks coinciding with Easter weekend and in a worst case scenario, a total of 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could eventually succumb to the virus.

March 29, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Spain Reports Over 800 Covid-19 Deaths In A Day, Toll Crosses 6,000

Spain, which is following Italy --the world's second-most coronavirus-affected country, saw its largest number of fatalities in a 24-hour period so far, taking the death toll to 6,528 as on Sunday (29 March).

As many as 838 people died in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said, reported the BBC.

Over 6,000 new cases were reported, taking the total number of those infected to 78,797 from 72,248, as on Saturday.

March 29, 2020 at 5:05 PM

US Death Tally Crosses 2,000

The United States has reported more than 2,000 Covid-19 deaths, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

March 29, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Global Death Toll Tops 30,000-Mark; Italy Death Toll Over 10,000

The total number of global coronavirus cases has increased to 664,695, while the death toll stood at 30,840, the latest update by the Washington-based John Hopkins University revealed on Sunday (29 March).

Italy’s death toll from novel coronavirus shot past 10,000 on Saturday (28 March) 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.

March 28, 2020 at 8:22 PM

Death Toll In UK Crosses 1,000 Mark; Japan To Announce $135 Billion Package

The death toll in the United Kingdom has crossed the 1,000 mark after 260 deaths were reported from the region in the last 24 hours, The Telegraph has reported.

This is the largest ever single day death tally in the UK with experts believeing that island nation is heading towards its Covid-19 peak.

The Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe is expected to announce a whopping $135 billion package to tide over the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters has reported.

In a statement made today (28 March) Abe announced that the country is barely holding on and is creeping towards a national emergency. A few days ago Japan postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The games will now be held before mid 2021.

March 28, 2020 at 8:22 PM

Covid-19 Cases Cross 600,000 Mark Globally; Afghanistan Imposes Lockdown In Kabul

The total number of global coronavirus cases has increased to 602,262, while the death toll stood at 27,889, the latest update by the Washington-based John Hopkins University revealed on Saturday (28 March).

Besides the cases and deaths, a total of 131,854 people have recovered from the disease, according to the JHU’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

In terms of cases, the US recorded the highest number of cases at 104,837, followed by Italy 86,498 and China 81,996, the update revealed.

Meanwhile, Afghan authorities have imposed a lockdown in the capital city of Kabul starting from Saturday (28 March) for at least a period of three weeks as the country witnessed an increade in the number of coronavirus cases.

the lockdown comes a day after the Ministry of Public Health on Friday evening reported 15 new cases of the coronavirus in the country -- 11 in Herat, three in Farah, one in Ghazni -- which took the total number of infections to 110, reports TOLO News.

Two foreign diplomats and four service members of NATO''s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan were among the positive cases in the country, the Ministry said.

So far, the country has reported three coronavirus deaths.

Announcing the lockdown on Friday, Kabul Governor Mohammad Yaqub Haidari said all residents must stay at home, avoid non-essential movements and avoid gatherings.

He said the residents should be ready to provide valid reasons, such as health or security needs, if they leave their homes.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 28, 2020 at 4:25 PM

Confirmed Cases Near 6 Lakh; Abbot Unveils 5-Minute Covid-19 Diagnostic Test

The total confirmed cases of coronavirus have surged to 5,98,070 while the death toll due to the deadly virus has increased to 27,761, according to the data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University.

Italy has reported over 9,134 deaths due to the coronavirus while the death toll in Spain has surged to 5,138.

Meanwhile, in what could be the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), US-based healthcare technology maker Abbott has unveiled a test that can deliver positive results in as little as five minutes.

The test can also be used outside the four walls of a traditional hospital such as in the physicians' office or urgent care clinics.

Abbott on Friday said it has received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the test.

Testing remains a crucial step in controlling the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing to supply healthcare providers with new technologies to help curb the spread of infection is a top priority for public health officials and healthcare providers.

Molecular point-of-care testing for COVID-19 offers healthcare workers rapid results in more settings where people show up for care.

March 28, 2020 at 12:39 PM

US Covid-19 Cases Double In Three Days, Surpass 100,000; Global Death Toll Surges To Over 27,300

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 100,000 on Friday (27 March), doubling in just three days, reports CNBC.

Data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) showed the total number of coronavirus cases as 104,463 and the total number of deaths in the US as 1,702.

Earlier on Tuesday (24 March), the confirmed cases in US had crossed the 50,000-mark, up from 5,000 last week.

With 44,635 confirmed cases as of Friday morning, New York state accounts for almost half of all cases in the US, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

He said on Thursday (25 March) that the rapid growth of confirmed cases is partly due to a “backlog” of infections that had not been confirmed due to lack of testing.

Meanwhile, the global death toll due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has surged to 27,360 while the confirmed cases of infection rose to 597,072, according to the JHU data. As many as 131,698 Covid-19 patients have recovered.

March 27, 2020 at 11:16 PM

Italy Records 969 Deaths In One Day, Highest Ever For Any Country

Italy today (27 March) recorded 969 deaths in a single day, which is believed to be the highest ever death toll recorded in one day for any country. The country had recorded 602, 743, 683 and 712 deaths each day starting Monday, Livemint has reported.

With 86,498 cases Italy has also exceeded China’s official tally of 81,340 cases, 10,950 out of these have fully recovered so far. The total death toll in country currently stands at 9,134.

The country though has something to be optimistic about after the number of new infections today at 4,401 was lower than yesterday which stood at 4,492.

March 27, 2020 at 1:20 PM

World Bank Finalising $160 Billion Relief Package For Most Affected Countries

The World Bank Group President David Malpass said hat the multilateral lender was finalizing a package that could provide as much as $160 billion in financial support for the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The goals are to shorten the time to recovery; create conditions for growth; support small and medium enterprises, and help protect the poor and vulnerable," Malpass told a conference call of the Extraordinary Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders' Summit on Thursday (26 March).

Noting that the World Bank has approved a $14 billion package focused on the immediate health and social consequences of the outbreak, Malpass said "we're now finalizing an additional package that will focus on the broader economic consequences", reports Xinhua news agency.

March 27, 2020 at 1:20 PM

Global Covid-19 Death Toll Hits 24,000; US Surpasses China With Most Confirmed Cases Globally

The global death toll due to Coronavirus has surged to 24,057 on Friday (27 March) while the total confirmed cases rose to over 530,000, according to the data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Italy has reported the most 8,215 deaths while Spain recorded over 4,360 fatalities due to the pandemic that originated in China and has spread to over 170 countries.

Meanwhile, the United States on Friday (27 March) surpassed China with most cases of coronavirus infections. Over 85,000 Covid-19 cases has been reported in the US.

The nationwide tally grew over 10,000 cases in less than five hours. The state of New York has become the epicenter of the country's outbreak with 39,125 cases reported. New Jersey and California have reported 6,876 and 4,032 cases, respectively.

Total COVID-19-linked deaths in the US reached 1,290, while 365 of them occurred in New York City and 109 in Kings County of Washington state.

March 27, 2020 at 9:18 AM

Global Death Toll Tops 21,500

More than 480,400 people have been infected by the virus and over 21,500 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

March 26, 2020 at 4:37 PM

Zero Increase In Domestic COVID-19 Cases In China

The Chinese health authority on Thursday (26 March) said that no new domestically transmitted cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were reported on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday (25 March).

The National Health Commission received reports of 67 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday, all of which were imported.

Of them, 18 were reported in Shanghai, 12 in Inner Mongolia, and 11 in Guangdong. Beijing and Fujian both reported six cases, Shaanxi reported three cases, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Yunnan each reported two cases, and Shanxi, Jilin and Henan reported one respectively. By the end of Wednesday, 541 imported cases had been reported, said the commission, Xinhua reported.

Also on Wednesday, six deaths and 58 new suspected cases were reported on the mainland with all the deaths in Hubei Province and all the suspected cases from abroad.

March 27, 2020 at 9:18 AM

Pakistan: Confirmed Cases Of Coronavirus Rise To Over 1,040, Death Toll Reaches Eight

The number of confirmed cases in Pakistan has increased to 1,041 as of Thursday (26 March), while the death toll was recorded at eight, according to authorities.

The cases were reported in Sindh 414; Balochistan 115; Punjab 296; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 121; 84 Gilgit-Baltistan; Islamabad 15; and one in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, reports The Express Tribune.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair the second meeting of the National Coordination Committee on the outbreak in the country.

March 26, 2020 at 4:37 PM

Italy Reports 683 More Covid-19 Fatalities; Global Death Toll Surges To Over 21,200

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 7,503 lives in Italy, while the cumulative number of confirmed cases have reached 74,386, Italian authorities said.

Active infections grew by 3,491 cases on the daily basis, bringing the total active infections to 57,521 since the epidemic broke out in the northern regions on 21 February, the Civil Protection Department coordinating the emergency response said on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases grew by 5,210 cases, while 683 new fatalities were registered compared to Tuesday.

Among the people positive to the coronavirus, some 30,920, asymptomatic or with slight symptoms, are currently under home confinement, and 3,489 are in intensive care, while the rest 23,112 are hospitalized in normal wards, the Civil Protection Department added.

With a daily increase of 1,036 in the number of people cured, the total recoveries was 9,362, the latest data showed.

In terms of geographical spreading of the contagion, northern regions remained the most affected. Lombardy registered 20,591 active infections up to Wednesday, followed by Emilia Romagna (8,256), Veneto (5,745) and Piedmont (5,556).

Meanwhile, the global death toll due to covid-19 pandemic has surged to 21,276, with the number of confirmed cases increasing to over 4.7 lakh, according to the data by the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resrouce Center.

The number of recovered covid-19 patients has also increased to 1.14 lakh.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 26, 2020 at 8:48 AM

Spain Surpasses China With Total Toll Of 3,434

Spain has overtaken China in the virus toll. Till Wednesday, the European country registered 3,434 deaths, reports India Today.

Italy has registered over 6,000 deaths due to the virus.

March 25, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Coronavirus Cases In Pakistan Surge Past 1,000

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan soared to 1,039 after new cases were confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday.

Media person to KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra confirmed to that the provincial tally of confirmed cases stood at 117 after 39 new cases were reported in the province's Manga union council.

Earlier, the national dashboard had reported new cases in Balochistan, Sindh, Islamabad and Gilgit Baltistan.

March 25, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Prince Charles Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Prince Charles who is the next in line to the British throne has tested positive for coronavirus. As per reports, the 71-year-old Prince of Wales is showing mild symptoms and has been self isolating in his Scotland home along with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.

“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual”, read a statement issued by Clarence House.

The Duchess of Cornwall was also tested for Covid-19 but her test results have come back as negative.

March 25, 2020 at 5:05 PM

New Zealand declares state of emergency as 50 new COVID-19 cases confirmed; Bangladesh suspends passenger train services

A state of emergency has been declared on Wednesday (25 March) in New Zealand after 50 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the country.

The state of national emergency was declared by Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare under the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002, Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart Black said, Xinhua reported.

"The state of national emergency has been declared because of the unprecedented nature of this global pandemic and to ensure the government has the powers it needs to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impact," she said.

New Zealand confirmed 50 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, which took the total number of cases in this country to 205, according to the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has cancelled passenger trains as the country strives to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading locally.

On Tuesday (24 March) morning the Bangladesh Railway suspended operation of 257 local, mail and commuter trains, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"All local, mail and commuter trains of Bangladesh will remain suspended from today morning till further notice," said a senior official of Bangladesh Railway.

Bangladeshi authorities also announced the suspension of ferry service from Tuesday.

Long-route bus services from the capital Dhaka to various destinations have already been halted due to growing concern over the virus.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 25, 2020 at 8:47 AM

Global confirmed Covid-19 cases jump to 4.21 lakh, Death Toll Nears 19,000; Italy Reports 743 New Deaths

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide topped 421,000 on Wednesday (, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The fresh figure reached 421,792 cases with 18,901 deaths, the CSSE said, Xinhua reported.

Outside China, the countries that reported over 10,000 cases included Italy, the US, Spain, Germany, Iran and France. Italy suffered the most deaths from the disease, which stood at 6,820 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the CSSE.

It took around three days for the total number to jump from 300,000 to 400,000. Over 160 countries and regions have reported COVID-19 cases so far, the CSSE said.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 6,820 lives in locked down Italy as of Tuesday with the cumulative total number reaching 69,176, according to new data released by the Civil Protection Department.

Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli said Italy reported 5,249 new cases of coronavirus and 743 new deaths on Tuesday and that 54,030 people are currently positive for the coronavirus, one month after the pandemic broke out in northern Italy on 21 February.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 25, 2020 at 8:47 AM

Tokyo Olympics Officially Postponed, To Be Held By Summer 2021

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced to the press on Tuesday (24 March) that he and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach have decided to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, which was scheduled to be held this July-August. The games will now be held by the summer of 2021, ANI has reported.

This announcement comes amid weeks of speculation over the status of the games in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The Canadian and Australian Olympic federations had already issued a statement saying that they will not send their athletes to take part in the games if the original schedule was adhered to.

Both the Japanese government and the IOC have ruled out suggestions of cancelling the games. The modern Olympic games have been cancelled thrice since their inception in 1896. The games were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to the first and second world war.

March 24, 2020 at 8:01 PM

Global Death Toll Crosses 17,000 Mark; Total Infections More Than 3,92,000

More than 3,92,000 people worldwide -- including more than 46,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the novel coronavirus. The number of deaths from the outbreak has crossed 17,000 as per the report.

March 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Wuhan To Lift Outbound Travel Restrictions From 8 April

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic originated last December, will lift outbound travel curbs from 8 April after over two months of lockdown, authorities said on Tuesday (24 March).

People in Wuhan will be allowed to leave the city and Hubei province if they hold a green health code, meaning no contact with any infected or suspected COVID-19 cases, Xinhua news agency quoted a circular issued by the provincial COVID-19 control headquarters as saying.

Other areas in Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, will lift outbound transportation restrictions from Wednesday (25 March), the circular said.

The development came as Wuhan for the last five days did not report any domestic coronavirus case.

March 24, 2020 at 8:01 PM

Pakistan Reports 6th Death; Over 900 Cases Overall

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan has reached 903 on Tuesday (24 March), while the death toll stood at six, according to authorities.

On Tuesday (23 March), Punjab reported 16 new cases, taking the provincial tally to 265, Dawn news quoted the province's health department spokesperson Qaiser Asif as saying.

Sindh remains the worst affected with a total of 399 cases, The News International said in a report.

In Karachi alone, the numbers of cases are 130 with the majority said to be cases of "local transmission".

March 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Nepal Under Lockdown To Contain Novel Coronavirus

Nepal, which reported its second Covid-19 positive case on Monday, has closed its borders with India and China and suspended all international flights. The Himalayan nation has also gone into a lockdown mode and halted inter-district movement of people.

March 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM

US To Roll Out 'Breakthrough' Self Swab Test Kit For Covid-19 This Week

The Donald Trump administration’s coronavirus task force co-ordinator Dr Deborah Birx announced on Monday (23 March) that a "breakthrough" solution for self swabbing will be available for Americans later this week so that individuals can do their own tests.

"There was a breakthrough today for those of you waiting for 'self-swabbing' options. Those are going to be available some time later this week to be able for individuals to do their own test," Birx said during Monday's White House press briefing, reports Washington Examiner.

Self-swab tests would allow people to use a nasal swab while in their homes self-isolating. They would then bring the sample to a clinic or drive-through test site and receive their results that same day.

“This will expedite the testing process, of course, but it will also reduce the risk to healthcare providers for exposure to the coronavirus, and it’ll minimize the drain on personal protective equipment,” Vice President Mike Pence said.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 24, 2020 at 12:39 PM

With 601 New Deaths, Italy's Death Toll Rises To 6,077; Global Fatalities Surge Past 16,500

A total of 63,927 coronavirus cases have been assessed in Italy since the pandemic broke out in its northern regions on 21 February, the Civil Protection Department managing the COVID-19 emergency has said, adding that 601 fatalities were also registered on Monday (23 March), with the death toll reaching 6,077.

The number of total infections grew by 4,789, or 8 per cent from 59,138 cases recorded on Sunday (22 March). The daily fatality figure dropped from Sunday's 651 and Saturday's 793, the department said, Xinhua reported.

Although still upward, the figures showed the daily rise in both the number of people testing positive and the number of deaths has been less marked for the second day in a row, Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli told a press conference late Monday afternoon.

Health authorities, however, warned that it was still too early to confirm a decreasing trend in the ongoing pandemic.

The most affected regions of the country remained northern Lombardy (18,910 positive cases), Emilia Romagna (7,220), Veneto (4,986), and Piedmont (4,529), plus central Marche (2,358) and Tuscany (2,301), data showed.

Meanwhile, the global death toll due to the covid-19 pandemic surged to 16,572, with over 3.81 lakh confirmed cases of infection, according to the data by John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

More than 1.01 lakh people that were infected by the virus have recovered.

March 23, 2020 at 8:02 PM

Global Death Toll Crosses 15,000; Mortality Rate Stands At 4.3 Per Cent

The global death toll on Monday (23 March) crossed the 15,000 mark. Over 3.5 lakh coronavirus cases have been reported globally, The Guardian has reported.

As per a tally by Johns Hopkins University, 350,536 people have been globally diagnosed with the virus. 15,328 of them have have died and 100,182 have recovered. This puts the mortality rate at around 4.3 per cent of the total affected.

The United Kingdom has called in its army to deliver essential medical supplies to its hospitals. Its citizens have been warned to stay at home.

March 23, 2020 at 12:56 PM

Canada, Australia To Not Send Athletes To Tokyo Olympics, Demand Postponement

The respective Olympic associations of Canada and Australia announced on Monday (23 March) that they will not be sending their athletes to the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held this July-August. The associations have demanded that the games be postponed to 2021, CNN has reported.

The International Olympic Committee had earlier ruled out cancelling the games, while acknowledging that it is considering a postponement. European footballing authority UEFA has already postponed Euro 2020 to next year.

March 23, 2020 at 12:56 PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Hints At Postponement Of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Shinzo Abe today (23 March) hinted at the possible postponement of the mega sporting fiesta Olympics which is scheduled to be held in Tokyo this year, reports Asian News International (ANI).

PM Abe said that the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) would give top priority to the health of the athletes and said that the IOC and its officials would hold discussions in this regard.

PM Abe also asserted that the IOC was confident of finalising the discussions within four weeks.

March 23, 2020 at 10:37 AM

Global Cases Reach 3,38,747

As per the latest data released by, the global cases of coronavirus have reached 3,38,747.

March 23, 2020 at 10:32 AM

Italy Reports 651 Deaths; Total Toll Reaches 5,476

The coronavirus epidemic continued to spread in locked-down Italy on Sunday with total cumulative number of infected cases reaching 59,138 and deaths reaching 5,476, according to the latest data released by the Civil Protection Department.

On Sunday, Italy announced 651 dead in one day, bringing its total to 5,476. It was an increase of 13.5 percent overall, but down from Saturday's figure when 793 people had died.

Speaking at a televised press conference, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli confirmed that 46,638 active infections have been recorded and 5,476 have died since the pandemic first broke out in northern Italy on 21 February.

March 22, 2020 at 1:08 PM

Italy Records 793 Deaths In A Day; Total Toll Rises To 4,825

Italy has recorded 793 new deaths from coronavirus, a one-day record that saw the country's toll rise to 4,825, 38.3 per cent of the world's total.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections rose by 6,557 to 53,578, reported ITV news on Saturday.

March 21, 2020 at 8:20 PM

US Death Toll Crosses 200, To Close Mexico, Canada Borders For Non Essential Travellers

The Covid-19 death toll in the United States has crossed 200 with first deaths getting reported from Massachusetts and Columbia district. The country has also announced its decision to close its borders with Mexico and Canada for all non-essential travellers effective Saturday midnight.

The UK government on Friday (Mar 20) unveiled an unprecedented stimulus plan to confront the potentially catastrophic economic fallout from coronavirus pandemic.

The government announced several sweeping measures including paying lion’s share of wage bills as long as companies do not fire workers.

The stimulus, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and newly appointed Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, was hailed as a swift response that will help support workers’ incomes given that measures to spread the containment of coronavirus pandemic is likely to shut down major part of British business.

March 21, 2020 at 4:39 PM

Europe Becomes New Epicenter Of Covid-19 Pandemic With Over 5,000 Deaths

The death toll from the covid-19 has surpassed 5,000 in Europe, the new epicentre of the pandemic, with Italy, Spain, France and Germany reporting a steep rise in infections, as worldwide fatalities surged past 11,000 on Saturday (21 March).

The total number of deaths in Italy increased to 4,032, as the country reported 627 deaths on Friday (20 March).

Spain reported 1,093 deaths and over 21,500 cases of infection while France reported 450 deaths and more than 12,600 positive cases of coronavirus, according to data by the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Germany has over 19,800 cases of covid-19 infections. However, the death toll in the country due to the pandemic has been low compared to other European countries with 68 fatalities reported so far.

The coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan in China, has so far resulted in over 11,400 fatalities worldwide. More than 2.75 lakh people globally have been tested positive for the deadly virus.

March 21, 2020 at 12:40 PM

US under semi-lockdown as Coronavirus pandemic spreads; Over 88,000 Covid-19 patients recover globally

A number of US states have ordered shutdowns with one in five Americans soon set to be under a "stay at home" order, reports BBC.

Connecticut and New Jersey are joining Illinois and California in ordering residents to stay at home in order to combat the spread of coronavirus.

New York State has ordered non-essential businesses to close.

The virus has claimed nearly 230 lives in the US and infected more than 18,500 people.

Globally more than 275,000 patients have tested positive for the respiratory illness and more than 11,000 have died.

China has over 81,200 covid-19 patients, followed by Italy and Spain with 47,021 and 21,571 confirmed cases respectively, according to the data by John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Globally, more than 88,200 patients have recovered while 11,399 have died due to the coronavirus that originated from China’s Wuhan city.

March 21, 2020 at 11:08 AM

Italy reports 627 Deaths In A Single Day; Global Death Toll Surges To Over 11,000

Italy, which saw its Covid-19 death toll on Thursday (19 Mach) overtake that of China where the disease was first reported, on Friday (20 March) reported another huge spike in fatalities which have now crossed 4,000.

In the last 24 hours, the country recorded 627 deaths - the largest number so far - taking its total to 4,032, as per officials, the BBC reported.

It has been the worst week so far for Italy, which recorded 300 plus deaths for three days running since Sunday, 400 plus for the next two days and now, crossed 600.

The number of confirmed cases in the virus-ravaged country has risen to 47,021, despite severe restrictions on people's movement. The country's health service is under huge strain.

Meanwhile, the confirmed cases of infection have surged to over 2.75 lakh globally, with the death toll rising to 11,397.

As per the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, as many as 88,250 covid-19 patients have recovered worldwide.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 21, 2020 at 9:09 AM

Over 86,000 infected people recover from COVID-19 globally

John Hopkins University's coronavirus resource centre says that over 86,000 infected patients have been recovered to date.

In Hubei, China which is the original epicenter, 58,382 people have recovered so far; in Iran, 5,979 infected people have been recovered and in Italy, 4,440 people are now coronavirus-free.

Over 1,540 have been recovered in South Korea; 1,323 have been recovered in Guangdong China and 1,107 have been recovered in Spain.

In India, 20 people have been recovered so far while 13 have been declared coronavirus-free in neighbouring Pakistan, according to the current data.

In the US, 121 people have been recovered while in Germany, the number is 115 as of now. In the UK, 65 infected people have been recovered and sent home.

Currently, there are total 246,275 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally while the death toll has crossed 10,000.

The story has been published via IANS feed

March 20, 2020 at 7:21 PM

Global COVID-19 Toll Reaches 10,030; Confirmed Cases 2,44,523

The overall global death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic has increased to 10,030 on Friday (20 March), while the total number of confirmed cases stood at 244,523, according to latest updates by The Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Italy, the worst-hit country outside China, reported the maximum number of deaths due to the deadly disease at 3,405, which was followed by the Asian giant, where the virus first emerged last December, with 3,248 victims, the updates showed.

China topped the number of confirmed cases with 81,199 infections, followed by Italy at 41,035.

Globally, a total of 4,440 people recovered from the disease, said the University updates.

March 20, 2020 at 3:49 PM

US FDA Approves Anti-Malaria Drug For Covid-19

Anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for therapeutic use among coronavirus patients because of its "very very encouraging" results, US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday.

Trump said the drug could prove to be a "gamechanger" and if it is not, the downside risks are likely to be low.

"We've got very very encouraging early results. And we're going to be able to make that drug available. Almost immediately. And that''s where the FDA has been so great, they've gone through the approval process, it's been approved," Trump said.

March 20, 2020 at 12:15 PM

China Reports Zero Local Covid-19 Cases For Second Consecutive Day

Mainland China has recorded no new domestic coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, and also the lowest number of new deaths due to the deadly disease in two months, the National Health Commission said on Friday (20 March).

The Commission said all 39 new infections, as of Thursday, had been imported from abroad, reports the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Three new fatalities were reported - the lowest since January 21, two days before China announced unprecedented measures to lock down the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

March 20, 2020 at 12:15 PM

With over 3,400 deaths, Italy Surpasses China's death toll; Global Confirmed Cases Touch 240,000

Italy on Thursday (19 March) reported 427 deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The death toll in Italy has now surpassed that of China, from where the virus originated.

As many as 3,405 people have died of the pandemic in Italy, while China has reported 3,245 deaths, reports BBC.

A lockdown imposed on 12 March in Italy has been extended beyond the original 25 March end date. Nearly all Italians have been told to stay at home.

More than 240,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus globally, of which at least 85,000 have recovered from COVID-19, while more than 9,800 have died.

Meanwhile, over 13,000 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the United States as of Thursday night, with over 200 deaths in the country. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the US state of California has ordered its 40 million residents to stay at home.

March 20, 2020 at 9:20 AM

Russia reports first coronavirus death, Iranian opposition alleges higher casualty figure

Russia on Thursday (19 March) reported its first coronavirus fatality - an elderly woman at a hospital here.

Russia's coronavirus monitoring centre confirmed the death of the 79-year-old woman, who had tested positive after being taken to hospital last Friday, the BBC reported.

The woman, who died of pneumonia in intensive care, had other severe health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Russia has identified 147 cases of coronavirus so far, with the majority in Moscow, as per national media. President Vladimir Putin has asserted that the situation is "under control".

Iran's democratic coalition of opposition organisations has claimed that the actual number of coronavirus casualties in the Islamic republic is much higher than what the theocratic regime in Tehran has revealed.

Blaming the Iranian Revolutionary Guards for the spread of the virus to the city of Qom, the epicentre of the pandemic in Iran, NCRI pointed out that the regime did not suspend air services to China even as Wuhan had been badly hit.

March 19, 2020 at 6:59 PM

Global death toll crosses 9,000 as Europe battles outbreak

The death toll from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection has crossed 9,000 mark worldwide, with a total of 2,25,254 cases and 85,831 recoveries, as recorded till 11 am GMT on Thursday (19 March), according to

A total of 9,276 deaths were recorded, with 4,134 in Europe and and 3,416 in Asia, where the outbreak first emerged in China in December.

With 712 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours and a total of 90,293 cases, Europe is now the region where COVID-19 is spreading the most rapidly.

Spain on Thursday (19 March) reported a sharp jump in coronavirus deaths and cases, making the country the fourth-most affected across the world.

The Health Ministry reported 209 new deaths, taking the toll to 767, while confirmed cases rose from 13,716 to 17,147, the BBC reported.

The UK today announced it was taking the help of its armed forces to augment public services.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that an additional 10,000 military personnel will be placed at a higher readiness and reserves put on standby to support public services as part of a new "COVID Support Force".

With Inputs From IANS

March 19, 2020 at 4:16 PM

China Reports Zero Domestic Covid-19 Cases For The First Time Since Outbreak

Mainland China has reported zero new domestic infections of coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak was first reported in the country last December, the National Health Commission said on Thursday (19 March).

The Commission said it was also the first time that Hubei province, where the disease first emerged in its capital Wuhan, recorded no new cases either domestically or from abroad, reports the South China Morning Post.

Nationwide, there were 34 new infections, all of them from overseas.

The number of new deaths was down to single digits, with just eight reported, bringing the total toll to 3,245.

March 19, 2020 at 6:57 PM

European Central Bank Announces $817 Billion Stimulus Plan

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced a public and private bond-buying program worth 750 billion euros ($817 billion) to counter the risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic to its monetary policy.

"The Governing Council of the ECB is committed to playing its role in supporting all citizens of the euro area through this extremely challenging time," the bank said in a statement on Wednesday night, adding that it "will do everything necessary within its mandate".

The plan comes as the global coronavirus death toll was nearly 9,000, with 209,265 cases.

Purchases made under the new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program "will include all the asset categories eligible under the existing asset purchase program", Efe news quoted the statement as saying.

March 19, 2020 at 6:57 PM