Live COVID-19 updates: Death toll in Italy exceeds 7,500, WHO urges countries to seize "second window of opportunity"

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 09:31:33|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The world is now in a battle against COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 190 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the contagious illness.

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BAMAKO -- Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita declared a state of health emergency in Mali on Wednesday evening and instituted a curfew from March 26.

"In addition to the state of (security) emergency which prevails in our country because of the security situation, the state of health emergency is declared," the Malian president said, adding that a curfew is also ordered which will be strictly applied from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. until further notice, from zero o'clock on March 26.

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HELSINKI -- The Finnish government on Wednesday officially announced the plan to block its Uusimaa region which includes the capital area to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The Uusimaa region is currently epidemic centre of COVID-19 in Finland, according to Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). As of Wednesday, 561 of the 880 confirmed cases were in Uusimaa.

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GENEVA -- Calling it "a second window of opportunity", the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday urged countries to use this critical window now to suppress and stop transmission of COVID-19.

This window of opportunity was created by those countries and regions which introduced unprecedented "lockdown" measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted at a daily briefing, reminding that these measures will not extinguish epidemics on their own.

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LONDON -- A total of 9,529 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the UK as of Wednesday morning, an increase of 1,452 over Tuesday's official figure, according to UK's Department of Health and Social Care.

The figure showed that 463 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus have died.

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PARIS -- Declaring a war against "an invisible enemy," President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced an army operation "Resilience" to back the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and support the population.

"We are at war and faced with the peak of the epidemic which is before us, I decided to launch the operation Resilience," Macron said on the sidelines of a visit to a military field hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, the worst-hit region.

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ROME -- The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 7,503 lives in Italy, while the cumulative number of confirmed cases reached 74,386, Italian authorities said on Wednesday.

In detail, active infections grew by 3,491 cases on the daily basis, bringing the total active infections to 57,521 since the epidemic broke out in the northern regions on Feb. 21, according to the Civil Protection Department coordinating the emergency response.

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UNITED NATIONS -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched a 2-billion-U.S.-dollar Humanitarian Response Plan on Wednesday aimed at fighting the coronavirus in the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

"The world faces an unprecedented threat," Guterres said in a tele-news conference. "COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity -- and so the whole of humanity must fight back."

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper issued an order to stop movements of overseas U.S. forces for up to 60 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus among military, according to media reports.

In a Wednesday interview with Reuters, the Pentagon chief said the order applied to all U.S. forces, civilian personnel, and families, while noting that there would be some exceptions.

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GENEVA -- A total of 413,467 cases of COVID-19 were reported globally as of 10:00 CET (0900 GMT) Wednesday, according to the situation dashboard by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll from COVID-19 has climbed to 18,433, as the virus affected 196 countries and regions.

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NEW YORK -- The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 60,000 as of 3:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Wednesday (1930 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The fresh figure reached 62,068 with 869 deaths, the CSSE said.