Live COVID-19 updates: G20 virtual summit on virus response to hold Thursday, Britain enters first day of lockdown

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-25 15:20:18|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The world is now in a battle against COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 180 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the contagious illness.

- - - -

LONDON -- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Britain reached 8,077 as of Tuesday morning, including 422 death, according to the lastest figure from the Department of Health and Social Care.

A total of 90,436 people have been tested across Britain, which entered the first day of lockdown on Tuesday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a temporary hospital will be set up in east London, with a capacity to hold up to 4,000 patients. Meanwhile, Britain is also looking for 250,000 volunteers to help National Health Service (NHS) employees with "shopping, delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielded," Hancock said.

Asked about Britain's call for retired medics to return, Hancock said more than 11,500 have stepped up, including 2,660 doctors and 6,147 nurses, adding that more than 18,000 medical students will also join the NHS workforce.

- - - -

RIYADH -- The Saudi Arabian G20 Presidency will host the virtual G20 Summit on a coordinated global response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 26, the G20 Saudi secretariat said on Tuesday.

The leaders of G20 members will be joined by their counterparts from some invited countries, including Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland, as well as the United Nations, the World Bank and other international organizations, and the chairing states of some regional organizations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked the Group of 20 (G20) major economies to assume leadership in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

- - - -

WELLINGTON -- A state of national emergency was declared on Wednesday in New Zealand in its latest efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after 50 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the country, bringing its total tally to 205.

"Today we put in place our country's second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders' lives and prevent the very worst that we've seen around the world from happening here," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a televised speech at the Parliament. "For now, I ask that New Zealanders do their part. Stay home, break the chain, save lives."

The state of national emergency will allow the director and local controllers, as needed, to provide for the conservation and supply of food, fuel and other essential supplies, regulate land, water and air traffic, close roads and public places, evacuate any premises including any public place and if necessary to exclude people or vehicles from any premises or places.

- - - -

DUBLIN -- Ireland on Tuesday announced stricter anti-coronavirus measures as the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country soared to 1,329 with seven deaths.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced the tightened measures to be implemented from Tuesday night to April 19, which include shutdowns of more public places and businesses across the country, greater financial support for individuals and companies affected by the pandemic, and a new emergency legislation which will give the government extra power to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

Among the measures is also a ban on sports events, cruise ship travel and all outdoor social gatherings of more than four people unless they come from the same household.

- - - -

FREETOWN -- Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio on Tuesday declared a state of public emergency in the West African country in further efforts to bar the COVID-19 pandemic out of its borders.

The president's remarks made it clear that it is not a lockdown and nobody should use it as an excuse to hoard goods, hike prices, or engage in acts of lawlessness.

No COVID-19 case has yet been reported in the country.

- - - -

KINSHASA -- Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), declared on Tuesday a state of emergency across the country to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

He meanwhile announced a ban on all trips between the capital of Kinshasa and the provinces, closure of all borders with the exemptions including cargo freight.

The central African country reported its first confirmed case on March 10 in Kinshasa and a total of 48 cases so far, including three deaths.

- - - -

KIGALI -- The Rwandan Health Ministry on Tuesday reported four more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally to 40 in less than two weeks since an outbreak in the African country.

The landlocked country has asked the people to stay at home as much as possible since March 21.

- - - -

BRASILIA -- The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil has climbed to 46, with a total of 2,201 people infected, the Brazilian Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The South American country has been working to expand its testing capacity in order to better curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, it said.

- - - -

MANILA -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that authorizes him to exercise "stand-by powers" necessary to carry out urgent measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Christopher Go said early on Wednesday.

The Philippines has so far recorded 552 COVID-19 cases, including 35 deaths, according to the Department of Health.

- - - -

SANTIAGO -- Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday enacted a law that regulates remote working as millions are told to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law essentially formalizes remote working by making it obligatory for a company to sign a contract with anyone working for it from home.

Chile has had 922 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with two deaths, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday.

- - - -

TRIPOLI -- Ehmid Bin Omar, health minister of Libya's UN-backed government, on Tuesday announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the country.

"We ask the citizens to commit to precautionary measures issued by the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Disease Control," he said in a statement. Libya's UN-backed government has recently declared a state of emergency, closed airports, border crossings, educational institutions and mosques, banning large-scale gatherings, and imposing a curfew, in prevention efforts.

- - - -

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's government on Tuesday said the country entered stage 2 of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, marked by a rise in the number of patients who contracted the disease locally, probably by coming into contact with those who traveled to an affected country.

Mexico has so far registered 367 cases with four deaths.

- - - -

TEHRAN -- Iran's death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic surged to 1,934, while the total number of coronavirus infections rose to 24,811 after 1,762 news cases were confirmed on Tuesday.

RIYADH -- On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia reported the first death from the novel coronavirus, while announcing 205 new infection cases, bringing the total number to 767.

- - - -

JERUSALEM -- Israel reported two new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, including a 67-year-old woman and an 87-year-old man. The total number of confirmed cases in Israel climbed to 1,930, after 488 new cases were reported, which was the biggest single-day rise in the country so far.

- - - -

ANKARA -- Turkey's death toll from the COVID-19 rose to 44 after seven more patients died on Tuesday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted. Turkey's total number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased to 1,872, after 343 new cases were detected.

- - - -

NICOSIA -- Cyprus reported two deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, following its first death on Saturday, an official with the Health Ministry said.

The official told a news conference the total number of infection cases recorded by the ministry rose to 124.

With 40 confirmed cases announced by authorities in the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus, the tally for the eastern Mediterranean island rose to 164.

- - - -

YAOUNDE -- Cameroon health authorities reported on Tuesday 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death.

The increase in coronavirus infections in the African country, as Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie tweeted on Monday that his country had 56 confirmed cases, brought Cameroon's total tally to at least 66.

Cameroon has yet no official situation report on the COVID-19 pandemic, and its first two cases were reported on March 6.

- - - -

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia's Health Ministry reported late on Tuesday four new cases of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising the Southeastern Asian country's total tally to 91.