COVID-19 UPDATES : New cases in South Korea jumps by 100, 743 deaths reported in Italy, half the population of the United States ordered to stay at home

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25th March 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 422,829 as of 12pm today. The total death toll stands at 18,907 as of 12pm today. While Italy is the current epicenter of the virus, the WHO said it is possible it could shift to the United States. 

Asian shares extended their rally on Wednesday in the wake of Wall Street’s big gains as U.S. Congress appeared closer to passing a $2 trillion stimulus package to curb the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll. According to REUTERS, Japanese shares have been bolstered by aggressive buying from the Bank of Japan and pension money this week. Hang Seng Index rebounded to 23,156.80 with gain over 2.18% at 11.52am today. The Dow Jones index rallied more than 11% (or over 2000 points) for its best day on the US stock market since 1933.

Europe

Italy reported a jump of 743 deaths in the past day, 141 more than Monday. U.K. is also looking for 250,000 “NHS volunteers” to help national health service employees.

The death toll in France from the coronavirus has jumped by 240 in the last 24 hours to reach 1,100. That’s its biggest daily rise yet. There were 2,444 new confirmed cases in the same period, bringing the total number in the country to at least 22,300, France’s health ministry said.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has donated 1m euros (£920,000) to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in Spain.

U.S.

There were at least 54,867 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States as of today, and more than 782 people have died. By end of day Wednesday, more than half the population of the United States will be ordered to stay at home.

Although President Donald Trump has planned to reopen the country by Easter, the President hasn’t reached a final decision on exactly when the government’s guidelines would be relaxed to get the economy back up and running.

Iowa and Alaska have recorded their first COVID-19 deaths. Waffle House has closed 365 of its restaurants across the United States. American playwright and librettist Terrence McNally has died of complications from the coronavirus at the age of 81.

A US man has died and his wife is in critical condition after taking a form of a drug that has been touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment for the novel coronavirus.

China and Hong Kong

Hong Kong, one of the first places outside mainland China to see infections, also provides a model for when citizens became laxer and returned to work. Numbers had been stable in Hong Kong when that decision was made, but imported infections combined with a lack of social distancing soon led to a new wave of local cases.  There were many new local cases linked to the LKF-cluster, wedding reception in Discovery Bay and a private party attended by over 100 people at Studio 9, Wong Chuk Hang.

China’s National Health Commission reported 47 new imported confirmed cases as of March 24. It said all new cases were all imported, meaning they travelled from overseas. There were also four more deaths. That brings China’s total to 81,218 confirmed cases, and 3,281 fatalities. The total number of imported cases was 474.

Elsewhere in the world

The number of new cases in South Korea jumped by 100 as of Wednesday morning. It reported six new deaths. Total tally stands at 9,137 confirmed cases, and 126 fatalities

New Zealand set for complete lockdown for a month. New Zealand elevated its “Alert Level” to 4 from 11:59 p.m. local time (6:59 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. Australian government warned surging cases could overwhelm its hospitals. New Zealand declared a state of emergency and prepared to go into complete lockdown starting at midnight for a month, according to Reuters. People are encouraged to self-isolate as all non-essential services close. Australia has banned overseas travel and extended social restrictions.

Singapore announced more lockdown measures on Tuesday night. Bars, clubs, cinemas and other entertainment outlets will be shut from Thursday till 30th April. The government also ordered malls and restaurants to reduce crowds if they were to stay open.  The number of cases in the city-state started climbing last week as compared to earlier in March and February, most of the new cases were imported. It had 558 cases as of Tuesday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday the government would impose a nationwide lockdown from midnight for 21 days to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The Restriction of Movement Order (RMO) in Malaysia has been extended to 14th April. Total cases in Malaysia stand at 1,624.

Libya’s National Center for Disease Control has announced the first case of novel coronavirus in the country.

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