COVID-19: Death Rate Surges With Half-million Infected Worldwide


  • The United States now has more coronavirus cases than China with 86,000 infections.
  • The total numbers worldwide have risen to more than 531,000.
  • The global death toll surged past 24,000 as of early Friday.
  • Australi and Singapore have imposed strict quarantine measures in place.
  • Tokyo embraces for a lockdown, New Zealand sees a rise in cases.
  • 3.3 million US citizens apply for unemployment and cases surge.
  • There were more than 81,700 known cases in China and 80,500 in Italy.

According to an article published in Al Jazeera and WorldoMeter, the United States now has more coronavirus cases than any other country with close to 86,000 infections.

Coronavirus cases – World Update

Total cases: 5,32,909

Deaths: 24,093

Recovered: 12,43,378

Active cases: 3,84,438

Closed cases: 1,48,471

The United States surpasses China

According to Johns Hopkins University, the total numbers worldwide have risen to more than 531,000, as the global death toll surged past 24,000 as of early Friday.

There were more than 81,700 known cases in China and 80,500 in Italy.

More than 122,000 people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19, while more than 24,054 people have died, including 1,288 in the US.

Italy reported the highest death toll with more than 8,200 deaths.

In India, where the country’s 1.3 billion people were under orders to stay home, legions of poor were suddenly thrown out of work and many families were left struggling for something to eat.

France, Malaysia charter flights to bring home citizens stranded in Cambodia

France and Malaysia have organized chartered flights to fly out hundreds of their citizens stranded in Cambodia after the country sealed its borders and canceled flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

We are trying to find solutions for stranded French tourists who have their flights canceled or can not go through transit hubs in the region anymore, Hugo Wavrin, political and press counselor at the French Embassy in Cambodia told Reuters news agency on Friday.

A special charter flight departed on Thursday with 413 French people on board, Wavrin said.

He said another 100 French nationals will be leaving Cambodia on Saturday and many more will be leaving in the next two days aboard regular commercial flights.

Malaysia also sent a special plane to take home 111 stranded Malaysian nationals on Wednesday, said Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

At the same time, Cambodia coordinated with Malaysia to repatriate six Cambodians stranded in Malaysia, Sokhonn said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

As of Thursday, there were at least 98 confirmed coronavirus cases in Cambodia.

As of Thursday, there were at least 98 confirmed coronavirus cases in Cambodia [Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP]

Australia introduces quarantine for returning citizens 

Australia is introducing enforced quarantine by midnight on Saturday for citizens returning home from overseas and will deploy armed forces to ensure people already subjected to self-isolation measures are complying, Reuters news agency is reporting.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said everyone arriving by plane would be detained in a hotel in the city of their arrival for two weeks, toughening up the previous self-isolation requirements.

Morrison said returning Australians accounted for around two-thirds of the country’s more than 3,000 coronavirus cases, making it the biggest issue to be addressed.

As time has gone on, the risk of those who are returning from other parts of the world actually increases, Morrison said in a televised briefing.

Thailand reports 91 new cases, one death 

Thailand reported 91 new coronavirus cases and one fatality, bringing the total to 1,136 cases and five deaths, a health official said on Friday.

The latest death was of a patient in Narathiwat province bordering Malaysia, the health official said.

The new infections consist of 30 patients linked to previous cases and 19 cases including imported ones, said Anupong Sujariyakul, a senior expert in preventive medicine at the Disease Control Department.

So far, 97 patients have recovered and gone home since the outbreak.

Thailand - Coronaviru
Thailand’s government has declared a state of emergency to take stricter measures to control the coronavirus outbreak [Sakchai Lalit/AP]

The US cancels military exercises with the Philippines

The United States has canceled annual military exercises with treaty ally the Philippines, it said on Friday, as a precaution against a coronavirus pandemic.

The exercises, set to run from May 4 to May 15, have taken place in the southeast Asian nation for decades, involving thousands of troops from both countries.

The alliance with the Philippines is one of Washington’s most important in Asia.

Tokyo residents stock up on supplies ahead of lockdown

Queues formed at supermarkets and stores in Tokyo on Friday as residents in the Japanese capital prepared for a weekend at home after the city’s governor called on them to stay at hunker down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters news agency reported.

After Governor Yuriko Koike’s plea on Wednesday to refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings through April 12, and especially this weekend, residents were stocking up on everything from instant noodles and rice to toiletries and fresh produce, despite public-service warnings against hoarding.

In one residential neighborhood, more than a dozen people lined up for toilet paper at a local drug store.

Tokyo has seen a surge in coronavirus cases this week, reporting a record 47 cases on Thursday for a total of 259.

Nationwide, there were 1,400 reported nationwide with 47 deaths, excluding those from a cruise ship that was quarantined last month.

Tokyo, Japan
Nationwide, there were 1,400 reported nationwide with 47 deaths in Japan, excluding those from a cruise ship that was quarantined last month [Issei Kato/Reuters]

North Korea: 2,280 citizens, two foreigners under quarantine

North Korea says about 2,280 citizens and two foreigners remain under coronavirus quarantine after authorities released thousands of people in past weeks who were confirmed to have no symptoms.

The Associated Press news agency quoted the North’s official Korean Central News Agency as saying on Friday that Pyongyang will maintain an alert status as the virus continues to spread across the world.

North Korea has not publicly confirmed a single case of the coronavirus illness, but state media has described anti-virus efforts as a matter of national existence.

Health supplies from China arrive in Indonesia

Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda has returned from China on Friday carrying 40 tonnes of health supplies, which will be distributed immediately across the country where new coronavirus patients have surged in the past week.

Jodi Mahardi, the maritime and investment coordinating ministry’s spokesman, said the supplies included personal protective equipment and rapid test kits and masks.

They were donations from several Chinese investors in Indonesia to help the country in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak which could overwhelm the government’s healthcare system, as 78 people have died in the past three weeks and nearly 900 others tested positive.

The Indonesian government has planned to distribute about 500,000 test kits across the archipelago nation, home for nearly 270 million.

Indonesia - China
Indonesian soldiers stand guard next to boxes of medical equipment and aid that arrived from China early on Friday [Fajrin Raharjo/AFP]

Trump against cancellation of Republican Convention in August

US President Donald Trump has said he would not cancel the Republican National Convention in August in Charlotte, North Carolina, because of the coronavirus.

In an interview on Fox News, Trump said he believed the country would have rebounded from the coronavirus outbreak by then.

We’re not going to cancel, Trump said. I think we’re going to be in great shape long before then.

Singapore imposes stiff penalties for physical-distancing violations 

Singapore imposed stiff penalties beginning on Friday against individuals who are violating new rules on physical distancing, as part of its new policy to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Violators can be fined up to $10,000 (US$7,000), jailed for up to six months, or face both penalties if they are found guilty of not keeping at least a one-meter (3.2 feet) distance from another individual in a public place.

The new rules, based on the updated Infectious Diseases Act took effect, at 11:59 pm local time (15:59 GMT) on Thursday.

Singapore - coronavirus
Violators of Singapore’s new physical-distancing rules could be fined up to $10,000 (US$7,000), jailed for up to six months, or face both penalties [File: Ee Ming Toh/AP]

Canada denounces Trump plan to deploy troops at the border 

Canada has denounced a proposal of the Trump administration to deploy troops along their undefended border to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, saying the idea was unnecessary and would damage relations.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland had made clear the Liberal government had no time for a plan to send hundreds of troops to the border to boost security.

Canada is strongly opposed to this US proposal and we have made that opposition very, very clear … this is an entirely unnecessary step which we would view as damaging to our relationship, Freeland told a news conference.

The public health situation does not require such action, she said, noting Washington had yet to take a final decision.

South Korea reports 91 new cases 

South Korea has reported 91 new coronavirus cases on Friday.

The total number of cases in the country has now reached 9,332, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Korea
The total number of cases in South Korea has reached 9,332 as of Friday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Ahn Young-joon/AP]

New Zealand confirms 85 new cases of coronavirus 

New Zealand confirmed on Friday at least 85 new cases of coronavirus.

The total number of cases in the country has now reached 368, of which 37 have recovered.

Most of the cases in New Zealand have links to overseas travel, according to health authorities.

Study: Coronavirus could kill more than 81,000 in the US 

The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the US in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The number of hospitalized patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.

The analysis, using data from governments, hospitals, and other sources, predicts that the number of US deaths could vary widely, ranging from as low as about 38,000 to as high as approximately 162,000.

3.3 million US citizens apply for unemployment

Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week – almost five times the previous record set in 1982 – amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.

As job losses mount, some economists say the nation’s unemployment rate could approach 13 percent by May. By comparison, the highest jobless rate during the Great Recession, which ended in 2009, was 10 percent.

China reports 54 new imported cases, five new deaths in Wuhan

China’s National Health Commission reported on Friday at least 54 new imported cases of coronavirus as of March 26 – slightly lower than the 67 cases the previous day.

The health agency also reported five new deaths with no new cases in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Nationwide, the death toll has reached 3,292 as of the end of Thursday.

Late on Thursday, Beijing announced a temporary ban on foreigners arriving in the country with a few exceptions, including diplomats.

Brazil’s governors press Bolsonaro for more coronavirus support

Brazil’s governors pressed President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for more federal support in the coronavirus battle after he blasted them as job-killers and undermined their orders with a decree keeping churches open at the evangelical preachers’ request, the Associated Press news agency reported.

In a public letter, Brazil’s governors argued that the federal government had not done enough to fund the fight against the virus that has infected about half a million people globally.

Bolsonaro has increasingly echoed the view of US President Donald Trump that jobs should be prioritised over restrictive measures to slow the outbreak, as world health experts suggest.

Tourism has plummeted to zero, he said on a Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday night. Nothing is working. This wave of panic and hysteria is bigger than the virus itself.

The US overtakes Italy, China in the number of virus cases

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the US reached 83,500 as of late Thursday, more than any other country, overtaking Italy and China, the Johns Hopkins University tally showed.

China had 81,782 cases, and Italy had 80,589 cases.

I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Source: AlJazeera & WorldoMeter


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