COVID-19 UPDATES : Worldwide cases reach 510,686, China to close its borders to most foreigners, 6,153 new cases in Italy


27th March 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 510,686 with 23,079 deaths as of 2am today . The number of declared coronavirus cases in Europe topped 250,000, more than half of which are in hard-hit Italy and Spain. “The pandemic is accelerating,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing from the organization’s Geneva headquarters.

Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute said that the coronavirus pandemic will likely be around for 12 to 18 months.


Italy reported 6,153 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, its biggest rise in the last five days, and 662 deaths. Italy reported an increase of 4,492 cases of coronavirus in the past day, bringing the total of active cases to at least 62,013. The death toll from the northern region of Lombardy, has risen by more than 385 in a day to around 4,860

Spain registered 655 deaths from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, down from over 700 on Wednesday, the health ministry reported on Thursday as the total death toll from the epidemic in the country rose to over 4,000.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has lost 1.33 trillion kroner (US$125 billion) since the start of 2020 as markets collapse under the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. and Canada

There are now 75,665 confirmed cases in U.S. with 1,100 deaths.

President Trump has prepared to issue new social distancing guidelines based on geographic risk factors.

Los Angeles hospital official says supplies are now on day-to-day basis.

The Florida Department of Health has recorded at least 2,349 positive cases of novel coronavirus and 27 deaths as of Thursday. So far, at least 37,258 people have tested positive for coronavirus across the state of New York. The curfew in Miami starts Friday and will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time.

Federal courthouses in Newark, New Jersey, will be closed through 6th April because “several” federal employees who work there have tested positive for Covid-19.

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to a record of more than 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic ground the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs that likely brought an end to the longest employment boom in U.S. history. That’s the highest number of initial jobless claims in history, since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967. However, the Dow Jones opened up 1.3% or 275 points.

The Indianapolis 500 IndyCar race has been postponed from 24th May to 23rd August due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the US is requesting American troops be placed within 20 miles of the US-Canada border to help with border surveillance, especially at irregular crossings.

Two passengers on the Grand Princess Cruise have died of coronavirus.

Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK, has accused China of engaging in “blatant and dangerous propaganda” about the coronavirus, saying the world might have been spared the full impact had Chinese officials not suppressed facts early on.

China and Hong Kong

China will close its borders to most foreigners starting Saturday.

 The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) in Hong Kong announced that as of 4pm yesterday, the CHP is investigating 43 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, taking the number of cases to 454 in Hong Kong so far (comprising 453 confirmed cases and one probable case). The newly reported cases announced yesterday involve 18 males and 25 females aged between 18 and 78. Among them, 29 had travel history during the incubation period. The CHP’s epidemiological investigations and relevant contact tracing on the confirmed cases are ongoing.

Elsewhere in the world

Russia will halt all international flights from midnight on Friday under a government decree listing new measures against the coronavirus outbreak. The decree published on Thursday orders aviation authorities to halt all regular and charter flights, with the exception of special flights evacuating Russian citizens from abroad. Moscow will close all restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and parks from 28th March until 5th April. The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose to 840 with 182 confirmed diagnosis over the last 24 hours.

India on Thursday announced a 1.7 trillion rupee (US$22.6 billion) economic stimulus plan that will be released through direct cash transfers and food security measures aimed at giving relief to millions of poor hit by the nationwide lockdown in the country.

Honduras and Kenya have registered their first deaths.  Nine doctors have died in the Philippines from the coronavirus.

Lebanon has extended its “General Mobilization” measures until 12th April. The Iraqi government is also extending the countrywide curfew/lockdown through 11th April. Jordan eased lockdown after total curfew led to chaos. Bangladesh troops were on streets to enforce lockdown. Nigerians are bracing for a partial lockdown from Thursday as authorities try to contain the spread of coronavirus cases in the country of about 200 million people.

Singapore reported largest one-day increase in coronavirus cases, taking it to 631. Indonesia has confirmed 103 new coronavirus cases, bringing the Southeast Asian country’s total to 893.