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Iran Press TV

3mn infected with coronavirus as world torn between economic reopening & lockdowns

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:06 AM

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has now exceeded three million, while some countries are easing restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the disease caused by the new virus (COVID-19).

According to a Reuters tally, an average of 82,000 cases have been recorded per day in the past week.

The data also showed that the virus has killed more than 205,000 as of Monday.

China records six new cases

Mainland China, where the virus first emerged, recorded six new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 82,836. The daily figure marked a rise in infections, as only three cases had been reported a day earlier.

The National Health Commission said in a statement on Tuesday the number of imported cases involving travelers from abroad increased to three on Monday from a day earlier. The number of symptom-free cases also jumped to 40 on Monday from 25 the previous day.

Meanwhile, the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily said that 20 new imported cases, all Chinese nationals who had arrived on an Air China flight from Moscow, were reported in the northwestern province of Shaanxi between 8 am local time (0000 GMT) Monday and 8 am Tuesday.

According to the report, five cases were also reported as asymptomatic among other passengers.

The virus has killed 4,633 in the mainland so far.

China will keep coronavirus testing focused on high-risk groups, including people from infected areas such as schools and hospitals or showing symptoms, the head of a top state research institute said on Monday, ruling out widespread testing.

Number of cases in Russia exceeds China

The number of infections with the new coronavirus in Russia jumped to 87,147, after 6,198 new cases were reported on Monday.

The death toll from the virus has also increased by 794, amid reports that Moscow plans to open two 1,500-bed hospitals in the Defense Ministry's Patriot museum and in the Crocus exhibition center.

The city of St. Petersburg is also turning Lenexpo, which used to host Russia's top economic forum, into a temporary 1,000-bed hospital.

Netherlands sees rise in virus cases

The number of infections also surged in the Netherlands by 400 to 38,245, while the death toll increased by 43 to 4,518, the country's Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said on Monday.

The RIVM cautioned actual numbers are higher as it only reports confirmed cases.

Tokyo cases lowest in month

Tokyo, Japan's coronavirus epicenter, saw a decline in the number of confirmed cases on Monday, with Governor Yuriko Koike reporting 39 more infections, the fewest since March 30.

Koike, however, said the recent figures offered no grounds for optimism, noting that the number was usually low on Mondays as fewer test samples were brought in.

The total number of cases in Japan stands at 13,504 – 3,947 of them reported in Tokyo – with 377 deaths, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Germany reports new cases

The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases reported on Tuesday that the number of cases diagnosed with COVID-19 in Germany rose by 1,144 to 156,337. Another 163 deaths were also reported, bringing the overall tally to 5,913.

Germany's economy minister earlier called on the country's 16 federal states to go slowly in easing coronavirus curbs to prevent the epidemic from spreading further.

"As a person who believes in fact-based decisions, I recommend to all of us to proceed very carefully in order not to be forced into eventually rescinding easing measures," Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday.

Italy bishops rebuke govt. over continued ban on Masses

Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, recorded 333 deaths from the virus on Monday against 260 the day before, its Civil Protection Agency said. The number of new infections, however, fell to 1,739 from 2,324 on Sunday.

In total, the country has registered 199,414 confirmed coronavirus cases and 26,977 deaths since the coronavirus outbreak emerged in the country on February 21.

As the number of cases are decreasing, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced that restrictions will be relaxed from May 4.

The timetable made no mention of Masses, igniting the anger of the country's bishops.

The Roman Catholic Church rebuked the government for not lifting the ban on Masses, which has been in place since early March, as part of the country's gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown.

In a strongly-worded statement late on Sunday night, Italy's bishops said they could "not accept seeing the exercise of freedom of religion being compromised" and accused the government of "arbitrarily" excluding Mass from the timetable.

Swiss, New Zealanders lining up at shops as restrictions relaxed

As Switzerland began easing lockdown measures imposed last month to curb the pandemic, people in the country rushed to get haircuts and massages and do shopping for garden supplies on Monday.

The virus has infected about 30,000 people and killed more than 1,350 others in the country.

New Zealanders also lined up for fast food outlets and headed to the beach on Tuesday after some restrictions were loosened in their country following a reduction in the number of infections.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lowered the country's alert level a notch on Monday.

The number of new COVID-19 infections increased by two on Tuesday to 1,124 cases. The death toll in the country stands at 19.

Australia 'winning' against coronavirus: Health Minister

Beaches have also reopened in Australia's most populous state of Sydney on Tuesday as some social distancing rules have been eased in the country.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said, "We are winning but we have not won yet," as Australia reported just one new COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours.

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) State also eased a ban on non-essential movement, allowing house visits.

"Two adults will be able to go and visit anybody else in their home on the basis of care, on the basis of reducing socialization and everybody's mental health," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

There have been 88 deaths from the virus in Australia. And 6,731 people are infected.

Nigeria to start phased easing of lockdowns

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari announced on Monday a "phased and gradual" relaxing of lockdown measures in the capital, Abuja, and Lagos and Ogun states starting May 4.

The announcement came even as the number of confirmed cases has increased about four times since a lockdown extension was announced on April 13, to 1,273 cases, with 40 deaths – most of them reported in Lagos and Abuja.

But Buhari said the curbs had come at a "very heavy economic cost," stripping many people of their livelihoods.

"No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines," he rationalized.

Buhari, however, announced a two-week lockdown in the northern state of Kano with immediate effect after the number of cases there climbed to 77.

Canada's Ontario not to reopen economy for weeks despite pressure

Doug Ford, the premier of Canada's most-populous province of Ontario, dismissed calls by business owners for lifting the coronavirus restrictions, saying it would not start in weeks.

"I won't set hard dates until we're ready, because the virus travels at its own speed," he said Monday.

Ontario is to reopen the economy in three phases, each of which will last two to four weeks.

"I understand the pain a lot of companies and people are going through, and the pressure," Ford said, adding, however, "We aren't going to be rushed into anything."

The death toll in Canada has reached 2,617, according to official data. Some 48,500 people are also infected.

Algeria prolongs virus restrictions

Algeria's prime minister announced on Monday the extension of movement restrictions, including a nationwide curfew and closure of mosques, schools, and universities, for the second time by 15 days until May 14.

The country shortened the curfew by two hours over the past two days to allow some businesses to reopen.

Algeria has registered a total of 3,517 coronavirus cases and 432 deaths.

Argentina bans flights until September

Argentina, which has 3,892 confirmed coronavirus cases and 192 deaths, on Monday banned all commercial flight ticket sales until September.

The decree is one of the toughest coronavirus travel bans in the world.

All commercial flights are banned in many countries in South America, including Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, but none have extended their timeline as far out as Argentina.

Turkey to send medical gear to US: Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country would supply the United States, one of the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic, with medical gear, including protective suits and masks.

"At a time when even developed countries are asking for Turkey's support, we have offered our support to a wide geography, from the Balkans to Africa," Erdogan told reporters following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

"Most recently, we are sending medical aid to the United States on Tuesday, consisting of surgical masks, N95 masks, hazmat suits, and disinfectants," he added.

A Turkish military plane will deliver the shipment.

Erdogan announced that a three-day lockdown would be imposed in 31 cities as of Friday, and that weekend lockdowns would continue until after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, in late May.

Turkey's Health Ministry reported on Monday that the number of infections had risen by 2,131 in the past 24 hours and that 95 more people had died, bringing the total death toll to 2,900.

Jordan allows more businesses to reopen

Jordan also loosened some coronavirus restrictions on Monday, allowing more businesses to reopen.

Minister of Trade and Industry Tariq Hammouri said barbershops, beauty parlors, dry-cleaners' and cosmetics shops could now open and join small businesses such as garments, flower shops, and furniture outlets.

"We hope to ease all restrictive measures with the passing of days as the (virus) threat recedes," he said.

Jordan registered 449 cases, and seven deaths.

After about 40 days of curfew that ordered people to stay home, residents of the capital, Amman, can drive their private vehicles as of Wednesday though on limited hours.

Indonesia reports new virus cases, deaths

Indonesia reported 415 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 9,511. Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto added that the death toll from the flu-like virus rose by eight to 773.

This while a Reuters review of data from 16 of the country's 34 provinces showed that 2,212 Indonesians have died with acute coronavirus symptoms but were not registered as victims of the coronavirus.

The Southeast Asian country has one of the lowest testing rates in the world and some epidemiologists say that has made it harder to get an accurate picture of the extent of infections there.

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