Coronavirus is continuing to spread to new countries, with the number of confirmed cases globally exceeding 100,000, according to the Center for Diseases Control.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is now urging countries to make COVID-19 containment their top priority.
This epidemic story is regularly updated throughout the day.
Key updates on Saturday
Australian children are still stuck in Wuhan
Desperate parents ask the Morrison government to do more to bring their children – some only children – home from the coronavirus epicenter, in the Chinese province of Hubei.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has confirmed that 22 Australian children, the youngest of only eight months, have been stuck in Wuhan and other areas of Hubei since COVID-19 started spreading, pushing Australia to close its borders to Chinese citizens.
DFAT said that the children, who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, were entrusted to their extended families.
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The death toll in Italy is almost 200
The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in Italy has increased from 49 to 197, the civil protection agency said.
The figure, reported Friday local time, represents the nation’s largest daily increase in casualties since the outbreak was discovered there two weeks ago.
The cumulative number of cases in the country, the most affected by the virus in Europe, was 4,636 versus 3,858 on Thursday.
The head of the agency said of those originally infected, 523 had completely recovered.
The contagion focuses on a handful of hotspots in northern Italy, but cases have now been confirmed in each of the country’s 20 regions, with deaths recorded in eight of them.
Summer “no evidence” will help fight, says WHO
The idea that the coronavirus will disappear in the northern summer is a “false hope,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO emergency program.
“We still don’t know what the activity or behavior of this virus will be in different climatic conditions,” said Dr. Ryan.
“We have to assume that the virus will continue to have the ability to spread.
“It is a false hope to say yes that it will only disappear in the summer, like the flu virus. There is currently no evidence to suggest that it will happen.”
German politicians save the beers
Bavarians who can’t wait to see their elected officials laughed have had their hopes broken, with authorities urging officials not to attend the traditional Nockherberg “strong beer” festival in Munich because of fears of the coronavirus.
The Paulaner Brewery claimed to have taken all possible security measures, but it now seemed that the event, which features satirical sketches that made fun of politicians who are often in the room, should have been completely canceled.
Bavarian Health Minister Melanie Huml said that “protecting the population is our top priority”.
Queensland confirms another case, the Australian total goes up
A 28-year-old male was confirmed as the last Queensland coronavirus case after returning to Australia from Iran recently.
Health officials said Friday evening that he would be transferred from his home in Brisbane to Princess Alexandra hospital in stable condition.
A total of 14 people in Queensland have been confirmed with COVID-19, including three people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
There are now also 28 confirmed cases in New South Wales – the latest of an 18-year-old woman from western Sydney.
A woman and her baby are treated in southern Australia, where another 24-year-old woman has become the seventh case in the state.
Both Tasmania and the Northern Territory have one case each, both confirmed this week.
State by state
- NSW: 28 cases
- Queensland: 14 cases
- Victory: 10 cases
- south of Australia: seven cases
- Western Australia: three cases
- Tasmania and Northern Territory: one case each
- Total cases of Australia: 64
Iran threatens the use of “force” to contain the spread
Iranian authorities have warned that they could use “force” to limit travel between cities and have announced that the new coronavirus has killed 124 people among 4,747 confirmed cases in the Islamic Republic.
Ministry of Health spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour offered the data at a television press conference. He did not delve into the threat of using force, although he acknowledged that the virus was now found in all 31 provinces of Iran.
The threat may be to prevent people from using closed schools and universities as an excuse to go to the Caspian Sea and other Iranian vacation spots.
Iran has also announced that it will set up checkpoints to limit travel between major cities, hoping to stem the spread of the virus.
Trump signs a $ 8.3 billion package
U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a bill to pass $ 8.3 billion ($ 12.5 billion) to strengthen the country’s ability to test for coronavirus and fund other measures to stem the outbreak.
Trump signed the legislation, which was more than three times the amount he initially suggested to address the issue.
The funds will go in part to expanding the test capacity, which health officials say is a key factor in slowing the spread of respiratory disease in the United States.
The death toll in the United States reached 14 on Friday [local time] with over 250 confirmed cases.
“We are doing very well,” said the president after signing the bill.
“But it’s an unexpected problem … it’s not a problem, it came out of nowhere but we’re taking care of it.”
Airlines issue a sanitization notice
The Civil Aviation Authority warns people of the dangers of sending hand sanitizers by mail or goods.
He says there has been a wave of hand sanitizer found as undeclared dangerous goods.
The Authority states that the product must be duly declared because it contains 75% ethanol, at risk of fire on board the aircraft.
The cases reach over 100,000 infected people
More than 100,000 people have been infected with coronavirus globally and over 3,400 people have died according to data from the Center for Disease Control collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Mainland China caused over 3,000 deaths, while Italy’s toll was 197.
There are 85 countries outside of China that have reported infections, with Slovakia, Cameroon, Togo, Vatican City, Bhutan, Serbia and Costa Rica reporting their first coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.
Over half of the infected reportedly recovered, including over 53,700 in mainland China.
WHO urges making coronavirus containment “top priority”
The World Health Organization said on Friday (local time) that all countries should consider the top priority in containing the outbreak of COVID-19.
The United Nations agency stressed that the fight against the epidemic requires countries to work together and praised Iran for “lighting up” the coronavirus outbreak and adopting a new “all-government approach”.
“It is geographically expanding and deeply worrying,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
“We are continuing to recommend that all countries make containment the top priority,” he added.
EU members do not share protective devices
EU ministers failed to convince Germany, France and the Czech Republic to lift the ban on the export of protective medical devices.
The three countries have announced a ban on the export of coronavirus protective equipment to avoid shortages at home.
The measures run counter to the spirit of the free movement of goods within the European Union and could damage the blockade’s collective effort to combat coronavirus.
Many EU countries rely on China, the source of the epidemic, for the ingredients of the drug, and are now struggling to avoid shortages after the epidemic has stopped deliveries and delayed shipments.
Protective devices, such as face masks, are already scarce in most EU countries, officials said, which puts doctors and nurses at risk.
The Vatican confirms the first case
The Vatican said that a patient in his health services has tested positive for coronavirus, the first in the tiny walled city surrounded by Rome.
The discovery aggravated the prospects that the virus had already spread further in the capital of Italy, as most Vatican employees live in Rome and those who live in the Vatican frequently enter and leave the city state.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that the case was diagnosed Thursday and that services in the Vatican clinics have been suspended to disinfect the areas.
Most of the Vatican employees who use its health services live in Italy on the other side of the 108-acre city state border.
Starbucks temporarily prohibits its reusable cups
Starbucks has stopped accepting reusable cups and thermos from customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, although it will continue to stick to the promised discount for anyone with one.
The largest coffeehouse chain in the world announced a similar policy for the United States on Wednesday.
Companies around the world need to rethink how they operate to slow the spread of a virus that first surfaced in China, with some having decided to freeze travel, store goods and get staff working from home.
For Starbucks, this means pausing the use of personal glasses or glasses in its stores “for an abundance of caution”.
“We will continue to honor existing discounts for anyone who brings a personal cup,” said Starbucks.
“As a result, we are also suspending our expenses for paper cups, as this decision prevents customers from opting for reusables.”
What coronavirus experts say:
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