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.
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CAPE TOWN -- South Africa's COVID-19 cases surged to 709 on Wednesday as a national lockdown is about to be implemented, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.
This was an increase of 155 from Tuesday's announcement, the highest rise in a single day since the country reported its first confirmed case on March 5.
Mkhize said two of the patients are in intensive care while the others are in stable condition.
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ANKARA -- Turkey finalized the evacuation of 2,721 overseas students on early Wednesday after flights with concerned countries were suspended amid the outbreak of COVID-19, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said.
The students had been stranded and wanted to return from Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Egypt and Cyprus which suspended flights to Turkey, Oktay tweeted.
The evacuees are undergoing quarantine for 14 days at dormitories in Samsun and Sakarya provinces of Turkey.
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BANGKOK, -- Thailand's employees are legally entitled to a minimum of 75 percent of their current pay after their employers have temporarily closed business in the face of the COVID-19 spread, said a senior government official on Wednesday.
Labor Protection and Welfare Department director-general Aphinya Sucharittanand confirmed businesses being shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 spread are obliged to pay each of their employees a minimum of 75 percent of their current wage in accordance with the labor protection law.
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NEW DELHI, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government Wednesday said its Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) would soon come up with accurate diagnostic kits for testing of COVID-19.
"We are helping our incubating companies; they have come out with ideas and we are supporting them. We are testing and validating the diagnostic kits proposed by them. We may come up with some good kits and it may take at least two to three weeks if everything goes well," said Dr R K Mishra, director of CCMB.
"Quality and accuracy of the kits are the most important things. If the kits give 100 percent results, then only they will be approved," said Mishra.