COVID-19 UPDATES : German Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine, Harvey Weinstein & opera singer Placido Domingo tested positive, full lockdown in New Zealand, McDonald’s in U.K. & Ireland to close


23rd March 2020 – (Italy)  Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 337,042 as of 9.30am today with 32,006 new cases. The total death toll stands at 14,641 as of 9.30am today.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly gone into quarantine, her spokesman Steffen Seibert announced late Sunday. Germany will ban public gatherings of more than 2 people to try and slow the spread of the virus.

The government of Italy has made a direct appeal to Defense Secretary Mark Esper for US military personnel to be stationed in Italy to assist Italian authorities to provide medical personnel and field hospitals in support of Italian troops already responding to the crisis there. Russia is also flying doctors and supplies to Italy to help with its coronavirus response. Nearly 1 in 10 of Italy’s infected are health care workers. The death toll in Italy has increased to 5,476. Total cases stand at 59,138.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in France has surged to 16,018 according to a health official and the Covid-19 death toll in French hospitals has risen to 674.

McDonald’s will close all restaurants in the UK and Ireland at 7pm today.

The number of COVID-19 infections has risen by 635 in a day to 5,683 in U.K. Total death tally in UK rose by 48 to 281. Greece to ban all non-essential movement starting Monday

The Czech Republic reported its first coronavirus death. Spain announced 30-day travel restrictions.

Opera singer Placido Domingo tested positive for novel coronavirus.


More than 100 COVID-19 deaths reported in US in the last 24 hours. At least 254,000 Americans have so far been tested and received results for coronavirus and more than 30,000 have tested positive. There are at least 33,546 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States with 419 deaths.

A Boeing worker who came down with the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus has died, the first death among the infected employees.

Federal disaster declaration issued for Washington.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first member of the Senate to report a case of COVID-19. He said in a tweet that he was feeling fine and was in quarantine. There are now five Republican senators in self-quarantine or isolation i.e. Mike Lee, Mitt Romney, Cory Gardner, Rick Scott and Rand Paul.

Harvey Weinstein, American former film producer and a convicted sex offender tested positive for coronavirus in prison. Weinstein, who turned 68 last Thursday is being isolated at Wende Correctional Facility in Western New York.

President Donald Trump approved California’s request for a disaster declaration yesterday. Meanwhile, he is also considering an executive order to free elderly “totally nonviolent” federal prisoners.

Pennsylvania has announced a stay-at-home order, prohibiting “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit. At least 8 states have issued stay-at-home orders including New York, California, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Louisiana, Connecticut and Delaware.

Two Chicago police officers tested positive for coronavirus. There are 98 members of the New York Police Department who have tested positive for coronavirus.


China and Hong Kong

As of 0:00 am on Monday (23rd), 39 new imported cases were confirmed in China. There were no new confirmed cases in Hubei for 5 consecutive days. Nine people died in the past day, all from Hubei province.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) announced that as of 4pm yesterday, there are 44 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, taking the number of cases to 318 in Hong Kong so far (comprising 317 confirmed cases and one probable case).

A new case has been confirmed in Macau. He is 12-year-old student studying in U.K. who returned to Macau via Hong Kong. Total cases in Hong Kong now are at 23.

Elsewhere in the world

At least 23 people have died and dozens more are injured following a riot over coronavirus in a prison in the Colombian capital Bogota, the country’s justice ministry has said. Seven prison guards were injured during the outbreak of violence, which took place as prisoner protests over sanitary conditions erupted into bloodshed. Two of the guards are in critical condition.

Almost one in three Americans must stay home as New Zealand announced lockdown. New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern just announced the country would move to a higher alert level – a three out of four – for the next 48 hours before the highest level of four is deployed, essentially shutting down the country.

Retired South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh, the 2012 Olympic 100-meter breaststroke champion, says he has coronavirus.

Toronto confirmed first COVID-19 related death. The number of coronavirus deaths in Ecuador has increased to 14.

Olympic Committee in Japan will consider rescheduling Olympics and not cancelling it. In a press release, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paraolympic committee called “urgently” for the games to be postponed for one year.

United Arab Emirates suspended all inbound and outbound passenger flights for two weeks starting from two days later. Saudi Arabia has ordered a daily curfew between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time beginning Monday. Emirates Group suspends passenger flights and cuts staff salaries.

Cuba will not allow tourists to visit starting Tuesday. Syria announced first coronavirus case.