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COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe

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30th-Mar-2020       
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News Desk :
The novel coronavirus has continued to sweep the globe, infecting 683,835 people around the world. So far, 32,168 individuals have died from COVID-19. The recent jump in the death toll was contributed in part by cases reported in the UK and Italy.
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has surged by 889, the Civil Protection Agency said on Saturday, the second highest daily tally since the epidemic emerged on Feb. 21.
Total fatalities in Italy have reached 10,023, by far the highest of any country in the world.
Italy's largest daily toll was registered on Friday, when 919 people died. Prior to that, there were 712 deaths on Thursday, 683 on Wednesday, 743 on Tuesday and 602 on Monday.
The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose on Saturday to 92,472 from a previous 86,498.
Italy has the second highest number of cases, behind the United States. It surpassed China's tally on Friday.
In Italy, of those originally infected nationwide, 12,384 had fully recovered on Saturday, compared to 10,950 the day before. There were 3,856 people in intensive care against a previous 3,732.
Besides, Spain awoke to its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government met to approve a strengthening of measures and the coronavirus death toll rose by a record 838 cases overnight to 6,528.
Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.
He said workers would receive their usual salaries but would have to make up lost hours at a later date. The measure would last from March 30 to April 9.
Unions welcomed the measures and business groups CEOE and CEPYME said that while they would comply with the new rule, "it will generate an unprecedented huge impact on the Spanish economy, especially in sectors such as industry".
The slowdown "may lead to a deeper crisis in the economy that could become social", they warned in a statement.
In Madrid, birdsong drowned out traffic on deserted streets on Sunday morning as police reinforced patrols, stopping buses and cars to check passengers had reason to be out of their homes.
Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14 and most of the population is house-bound as Spain tries to curb the virus.
Meanwhile, Iran reported 123 additional fatalities due to the novel coronavirus on Sunday, taking the death toll in the country to 2, 640, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.
Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,901 new cases have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total infections to 38,309, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
He said 12,391 patients infected with the virus have so far recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
According to the spokesman, 3,467 patients are in critical condition.
The United States is advising residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut not to travel domestically after the number of reported coronavirus deaths doubled to over 2,000 nationwide within two days.
It took about a month from the first report of a coronavirus death on February 29 to the number reaching 1,000 on Thursday. By Saturday, the number of reported deaths had doubled to 2,000.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the travel advisory Saturday, urging residents of the three states to "refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately." The states would have "full discretion" on implementing the advisory, which exempts employees in critical fields.
With more than 121,000 cases and 2,046 deaths nationwide, the three states make up more than half of the cases and nearly half of the deaths.
President Donald Trump had contemplated issuing an enforceable quarantine for parts of those states, then later said it will not be necessary. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN on Saturday that Trump's suggestion of a two-week enforceable quarantine within the three states was not legal or plausible.
As of Saturday, at least 215 million Americans were under various stay at home or shelter in place orders, according to a CNN count based on census data. By Monday, that number will reach 225 million, meaning more than two thirds of the country's population will be facing those restrictions.
And the growing numbers have also revealed new demographics facing severe illness.
Cases of young adults developing severe illnesses have been more widely reported, but children were thought to be avoiding the harshest effects.
On Saturday, state officials reported the death of an infant under age 1 who tested positive for coronavirus and is believed to be the youngest person to die of the virus in the United States.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of death, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.
Medical staff nationwide have struggled to maintain an adequate supply of personal protective equipment, hospital beds and ventilators.
Trump approved four more emergency hospitals in New York. The facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx will provide 4,000 beds, along with 1,000 beds at a temporary overflow hospital that will open Monday and an additional 1,000 beds on the USNS Comfort set to arrive in New York the same day, Cuomo said.
But officials believe the state will need 140,000 beds when it reaches the apex of the pandemic in 14 to 21 days, Cuomo said.
The administration will also facilitate the production or acquisition of "100,000 additional units" of ventilators over a 100-day period, Trump said.
"Maybe we won't even need the full activation," said Trump of the Defense Production Act, which he invoked Friday. "We will find out, but we need the ventilators."
Large corporations are also stepping up to feed the supply gap. New Balance announced Friday on Twitter that its US factories will work on developing, manufacturing and delivering facial masks to hospitals. The same day, Delta Air Lines announced it will fly medical professionals for free to areas significantly impacted by coronavirus.
Those charged with treating patients and maintaining order are feeling the affects of the pandemic as well.
The shortage of personal protective equipment drove a group of New York nurses to protest outside the Jacobi Medical Center on Saturday, demanding the supplies to do their jobs safely.
"If we get sick, our patients will get sick. This is for our entire community," said Kelley Cabrera, a registered nurse. "If you look at what we are wearing in comparison to others countries, it's unacceptable."
The medical center said that although the staff has adequate supplies, there is a nationwide shortage and conservation measures are in place.
Meanwhile, 12 nurses at the University of Illinois Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, the state's nursing association said.
In New York City, the police department lost its first detective to Covid-19, marking the third death of an NYPD employee to the disease. It has infected at least 696 employees of the New York Police Department.
Besides, the UK health authorities announced that 260 people died in 24 hours while Italy reported nearly 900 deaths overnight.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to 2007 countries and territories, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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