Thursday, June 20, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Alarmed Italy locks down north to prevent spread of coronavirus

Deaths from the virus had also risen, by 36 to 233, while the number of patients in intensive care climbed to 567, up 23% from the day before

Update : 09 Mar 2020, 12:15 AM

Italy ordered a virtual lockdown across a swathe of its wealthy north yesterday, including the financial capital Milan, in a drastic new attempt to try to contain a rapidly growing outbreak of coronavirus.

The unprecedented restrictions, which will impact some 16 million people and stay in force until April 3, were signed into law overnight by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Deaths from the virus had also risen, by 36 to 233, while the number of patients in intensive care climbed to 567, up 23% from the day before.

Of the 5,883 Italians originally infected, 589 have fully recovered, but the hospital system has come under increasing strain.

Coronavirus toll

The number of coronavirus cases in the world stood at 107,802, including 3,661 deaths, across 105 countries and territories by 2100 Bangladesh time yesterday, according to a report compiled by Dhaka Tribune from official sources. Of the 107,802 people who’ve contracted the virus worldwide, 60,924 have already recovered.

Since 2100 BdST Saturday, 1,752 new cases and 89 new deaths had been reported. The spread of the coronavirus continues to slow in China. A further 27 people died from COVID-19, bringing the national toll to 3,097.

The latest global death rate for the deadly virus is 3.4% – higher than earlier figures of about 2%. Initially, the World Health Organization (WHO) had mentioned 2% as a mortality rate estimate in a press conference on January 29 and again on February 10.

Iran death toll climbs to 194

Iran has emerged as an epicentre for the disease in the Middle East. The Islamic republic has reported 194 deaths from the virus yesterday, putting it on a par with Italy as the country with the highest death toll outside China.

Iran's health ministry reported 49 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in the country.

The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.

New York declares emergency

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus after the number of confirmed cases there rose by 13 to 89.

"It allows expedited purchasing and expedited hiring, which is what we need right now," Cuomo told a news conference.

More than half of US states have now reported cases of the virus, which causes COVID-19. Two more people in the western state of Washington died from the disease on Saturday, bringing the total death toll across the country to 19.

Argentina confirms first death

Argentina has reported its first death from COVID-19, the first in Latin America.

Paraguay, Colombia, Chile and Peru have announced their first confirmed cases of coronavirus in recent days, and several cases have been confirmed in neighbouring Brazil.

Malaysia, Thailand bar cruise ship

Thailand and Malaysia have barred the Costa Fortuna, which has about 2,000 people on board including dozens of Italians, from docking at their ports.

The Star, a local newspaper, reported earlier on Sunday that Malaysian ports had banned all cruise ships following a directive from the Ministry of Transport.

The Costa Fortuna is now said to be on its way to Singapore. 

Two Maldives islands locked down

The Maldives has curbed movement on several resort islands, authorities said, after the country reported its first two cases of coronavirus.

The two infected people, who are both staff at the Kuredu Island Resort, tested positive late on Saturday. They are believed to have caught the disease from an Italian tourist who has returned to Italy and tested positive there.

There are more than 1,400 people on the island, split equally between guests and staff, according to the tourism ministry.

Saudi Arabia locks down Qatif region

Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on its eastern Qatif province, home to a large Shia Muslim population, to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the kingdom after recording four more cases that raised the total to 11.

The move risks stirring resentment in Qatif, which has been a flashpoint between the Sunni-dominated Saudi government and minority Shias in the country who have complained of discrimination and marginalisation, charges the government denies.

Trump: ‘Fake news media’ making US look bad

US President Donald Trump said "fake news media is doing everything possible" to make Washington look bad as country steps up efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

"We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend," Trump said in a tweet yesterday.

UK cases rises to 273

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom has risen to 273, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Twitter yesterday, up from 209 a day earlier, and the biggest one-day increase so far.

More than 23,500 people in Britain have been tested for the virus, the government said. So far, two patients who have tested positive for coronavirus have died in Britain.

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