Update: Coronavirus watch on March 22

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-22 18:21:28|Editor: huaxia

A boy wearing a face mask is seen in a street of Damascus, capital of Syria, on March 21, 2020. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)

- Vietnam mandates health declarations on public transport

- Masks, test kits donated by Jack Ma Foundation for Africa arrives in Ethiopia

- Iran's top leader rejects U.S. help offer

- Italian doctors saw strange pneumonia cases before China's COVID-19 outbreak

- Australians urged to cancel all travel

- S.Korea reports 98 more COVID-19 cases, 8,897 in total

- Chinese medics arrive in Serbia

BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The world is now in battle against the common threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread around the world.

As of 05:00 PM GMT Saturday, a total of 267,013 confirmed cases were reported in 184 countries and regions, according to the World Health Organization. The death toll climbed to 11,201.

The latest developments of COVID-19 across the world are as follows (all times Beijing):


05:17 PM, March 22

Photo taken on March 18, 2020 shows a group of young people leaving a quarantine facility after completing their 14-day quarantine in Vietnam's northern province of Hoa Binh. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)

Vietnam mandates health declarations on public transport for COVID-19 control

HANOI -- All passengers on domestic flights and public transport vehicles in Vietnam will be required to complete health declarations as part of the efforts aiming at early detection COVID-19 detection, Vietnam News Agency reported Sunday.

As of Sunday noon, Vietnam had reported a total of 94 confirmed cases, with 17 having been discharged from the hospital after recovery. There have been no deaths in the country so far.


04:54 PM, March 22

Staff members arrange medical supplies at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, March 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Tian Jianchuan)

Millions of masks, COVID-19 test kits donated by Jack Ma Foundation for Africa arrives in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA -- Massive medical supplies donated by China's Jack Ma Foundation to 54 African countries arrived on Sunday morning in Addis Ababa, capital of the East African nation of Ethiopia, through an Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight.

They include 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields, according to the Jack Ma Foundation.


04:41 PM, March 22

A man wearing face mask sits in a taxi in downtown Tehran, Iran, on March 18, 2020. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)

Iran's top leader rejects U.S. help offer over COVID-19

TEHRAN -- Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday rejected the U.S. help offered to the Islamic republic over COVID-19 outbreak. Khamenei said the U.S. officials have continuously sent messages to Iran about their offer, but Iran did not accept it since Iran "does not trust" them.

Iran is one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus epidemic, with the total number of confirmed cases surpassing 20,000.


04:24 PM, March 22

Photo taken on March 3, 2020 shows the pre-triage tents set up outside Agostino Gemelli Hospital in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua)

Italian doctors saw strange pneumonia cases before China's COVID-19 outbreak, report says

WASHINGTON -- Italian general practitioners remember seeing strange pneumonia cases as early as November, which could mean the virus was circulating in parts of Italy before doctors became aware of China's COVID-19 outbreak, a U.S. radio outlet reported, citing a paper on Italy's coronavirus crisis.

The report published Thursday by U.S. media outlet National Public Radio (NPR) cited Giuseppe Remuzzi, co-author of a recent paper in The Lancet about Italy's epidemic.


01:34 PM, March 22

Australians urged to cancel all travel as COVID-19 cases top 1,000

CANBERRA -- Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday afternoon unveiled the 66-billion-Australian-dollar (38.2 billion U.S. dollars) package, building on measures included in the 17.6-billion-Australian-dollar (10.2 billion U.S. dollars) package he announced on March 13.

Under the second package small businesses will receive cash payments of up to 100,000 Australian dollars (57,865 U.S. dollars) in an attempt to save jobs.

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra, Morrison urged Australians to cancel all non-essential travel within the country in order to stop the spread. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia was 1,098 as of Sunday morning -- an increase of more than 200 from 874 on Saturday morning.


00:19 PM, March 22

Medical workers wearing protective suits walk to the wards of a hospital in Daegu, South Korea, March 20, 2020. (Newsis/Handout via Xinhua)

S.Korea reports 98 more COVID-19 cases, 8,897 in total

SEOUL -- South Korea reported 98 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of midnight Sunday local time, raising the total number of infections to 8,897.

The newly confirmed cases fell below 100 again, after recording 147 on Saturday. The figure moved above or below 100 for the past week. Two more deaths were confirmed, lifting the death toll to 104. The total fatality rate came in at 1.17 percent.


00:18 PM, March 22

A cleaning worker wears a protective suit in the city of La Paz, Bolivia on March 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Str)

Bolivian electoral body urges general election rescheduling due to COVID-19

LA PAZ -- Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on Saturday called on all political parties to set a new date for the general elections due to the impact of COVID-19.

TSE President Salvador Romero said that the new date of the elections, originally scheduled for May 3, must get the parliament's approval. So far, Bolivia has reported 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


11:49 AM, March 22

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (L) greets members of the Chinese medical team via elbow contact in Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Shi Zhongyu)

Chinese medics arrive in Serbia to fight COVID-19

BELGRADE -- A team of Chinese medical staff with experience in fighting COVID-19 arrived in the Serbian capital on Saturday evening to help with the Balkan state's battle against the virus.

The six-member expert team were greeted with warm applause of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar, Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin and other government officials at the Belgrade Airport.