—- French authorities prevent cruise ship from disembarking passengers before reaching Italy
—Tump hoping to resume electoral rallies without social distancing.
– Japan exceeds 10,000 cases of virus; Abe stresses the importance of social isolation.
– Africa now has more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, but WHO warns numbers may be higher
—South Korea has the lowest daily jump in virus cases since February 20.
—- French Parliament Approves Government’s $ 120 Billion Economic Rescue Plan Budget
PARIS – French authorities have prohibited a cruise ship at sea since early January from disembarking more than 1,000 passengers before its final destination in Italy.
The Bouches-du-Rhône regional administration in southern France has cited a national ban on allowing foreign cruise ships to dock as part of containment measures linked to the virus in France.
The French administration said the Costa Deliziosa had sought a stopover in Marseille on Friday to disembark 1,400 passengers who wanted to leave before the last stopover in Venice.
The administration has granted waivers to six other cruise ships in recent weeks to allow French passengers to descend, but has refused this time.
The Costa Deliziosa is on a cruise around the world and should reach Italy in the coming days.
PARIS – The lower house of the French Parliament approved an emergency budget overnight that takes into account the government’s 110 billion euros (120 billion dollars) plan to save the economy from the collapse due to the virus.
The budget includes bonuses for medical personnel, funds to help workers and families in difficulty, and assistance to businesses, including strategic industries such as aviation and auto construction.
The bill is sent to the Senate on Tuesday. The government has warned that France’s economy, one of the largest in the world, could shrink 8% this year and experience its worst recession since World War II.
BERLIN – A group of thirteen countries, including Britain, Brazil, Italy and Germany, are calling for global cooperation to reduce the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement, the group said it was determined to “work with all countries to coordinate public health, travel, trade, economic and financial measures to minimize disruption and recover stronger.”
Countries stressed the need to maintain “air, land and sea transport links” to ensure the continuous flow of goods, including medical supplies and aid, and the return of travelers.
They want the main transportation centers around the world to stay open and the airlines to maintain the main routes.
The group – including also Canada and France – stressed the essential role of the scientific community in guiding governments.
SINGAPORE – Singapore reported a daily record of 942 infections which saw its total increase to 5,992.
The one-day peak in the tiny city-state of almost six million people is the highest in Southeast Asia.
The number of cases more than doubled this week amid an upsurge in foreign workers staying in overcrowded dormitories, which account for 60% of Singapore’s COVID-19 infections.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote on Facebook that the vast majority of cases among migrant workers are mild because the workers are young.
Although the number of cases in dormitories is expected to continue to increase, Lee said the government is increasing health care and isolation facilities to manage the load. More than 200,000 migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and other Asian countries live in dormitories with up to 20 people per room with shared facilities.
JOHANNESBURG – Africa now has more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In total, 52 of the 54 countries on the continent reported the virus, with a total number of cases greater than 19,800 on Saturday morning.
The World Health Organization has noted a 51% increase in cases in Africa and a 60% increase in deaths.
But the head of the WHO warned that due to a shortage of tests “the actual numbers are likely to be higher than those reported.”
CDC Africa has announced that more than one million test kits will be deployed starting next week.
PERTH, Australia – A German cruise ship left the state of Western Australia after a three-week stay in which three people on board died from COVID-19.
Artania began its journey from Fremantle to Europe, respecting its scheduled departure time early in the afternoon on Saturday.
A total of 79 Artania crew and passengers tested positive for coronavirus in Western Australia. They included a 42-year-old Philippine crewmember who died Thursday in a Perth hospital, bringing the state’s death toll to seven.
Ship captain Morten Hansen said the crew member had been with the company since 2006 and had recently served as a biker, calling his death “heartbreaking”.
Two other Artania people died last week, a passenger in his 60s and the other a 69-year-old crew member.
ISLAMABAD __ Radical religious leaders in Pakistan have urged adherents to enter mosques even as Prime Minister Imran Khan tries to find a way to stem the coronavirus in Pakistan, where on Saturday showed a jump of 465 new cases, bringing total confirmed cases at 7,481.
Pakistan has stepped up testing, but the poor country, which received a $ 1.4 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund on Friday, performs less than 6,500 tests a day.
There are 220 million people in Pakistan, a country with less than 3,000 intensive care beds and a healthcare system that struggled to cope with its sick before the pandemic ran out of resources.
But it is the government’s refusal to subdue its radical religious leaders and to close its mosques that worries its detractors, because the group behind one of the fastest spreading of the virus in Pakistan was the Tableeghi Jamaat (missionaries Islamic), whose rallies were stopped late in March.
In religiously conservative Pakistan, Islamic clerics have become increasingly powerful, using their ability to gather people in crowds on the street.
On Friday in a mosque in the federal capital, dozens of worshipers gathered for Friday prayers in defiance of a government order to limit gatherings to four or less. The guard inside the mosque was a guard with a gun by his side. The police in the capital did not prevent the rally.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported 18 new cases of coronavirus, its lowest daily jump since February 20, continuing a downward trend as officials discuss more sustainable forms of social distancing that allow for some community and economic activity.
Figures released by the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday brought the national total to 10,653 cases and 232 deaths from the virus. Workloads continued to decline in the hardest hit town of Daegu, where authorities say the number of active cases fell below 1,000 for the first time since a spate of infections in late February.
At least 993 of the global infections have been linked to foreign arrivals. Most of these cases have been detected in the densely populated metropolitan area of Seoul in the past month, as thousands of students and other South Korean nationals returned home amid escalating epidemics and suspension school years in Europe and the United States.
Deputy Minister of Health Kim Gang-lip on Saturday called for vigilance to maintain hard-won gains against the virus, raising concerns about persistent infections in hospitals and local transmissions, health workers said. weren’t able to trace. It would also take a week or two to assess the impact of Wednesday’s national legislative elections, which had the highest voter turnout in nearly three decades despite the epidemic.
While saying a quick return to normalcy prior to COVID-19 would be impossible, Kim said officials could announce essential elements of a new directive as early as Sunday that would replace the country’s long-standing social distancing campaign weeks. Officials said they were looking for ways to allow people to engage in “certain levels of economic and social activity” while limiting the risk of infection.
Government officials have yet to release specific details on the new directive.
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea said it had freed all foreign nationals from the quarantine of coronaviruses while continuing to strengthen anti-virus efforts.
The official Korean central news agency also said on Saturday that the authorities had released all citizens who had been quarantined in the provinces of South Phyongan and North Hwanghae, which are near the capital Pyongyang, and in the city of Rason at a point at three points on the border with China and Russia.
The report did not specify how many people remained under the country’s 30-day quarantine. Figures from previous state media reports suggest that the North has released nearly 10,000 people in recent weeks.
The North had initially placed 380 foreigners in quarantine. In March, the North organized a special government flight to send dozens of diplomats to Vladivostok, Russia.
The KCNA says the authorities continue to strengthen “medical surveillance” of its citizens while ensuring normal activity for those released from quarantine.
The North has said that there has not been a single case of virus on its territory, but this claim has been questioned by many outside experts.
Describing anti-virus efforts as “a matter of national existence,” the North has banned foreign tourists, closed almost all cross-border traffic with China, stepped up screening at ports of entry, and mobilized health workers to monitor residents and isolate those with symptoms.
TOKYO – Japan has registered 556 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the national total to 9,795, the country’s health, labor and welfare ministry said on Saturday.
With a further 712 cruise ship passengers quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, Japan now has 10,507 cases in total, surpassing the 10,000 mark approximately three months after the first case was discovered in the country. .
Nearly a third of domestic cases come from Tokyo, where a daily increase in cases has overburdened hospitals, raising fears of the collapse of the medical system.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended the state of emergency Thursday, April 7, limited to Tokyo and six other urban prefectures, to the whole of Japan. He expressed concern at a press conference on Friday that people are not observing the social distance demanded by the government as much as expected.
So far, additional requests for non-essential business closings are only in place in Tokyo and several other prefectures, and are starting in a few other areas. In Japan, the measures have no sanctions.
Abe’s national request to stay at home arrives before the weekend and the next “Golden Week” vacation in late April, as authorities try to stop people from traveling and potentially spread the virus. Abe also announced a cash payment of 100,000 yen ($ 930) to all residents to further encourage them to comply.
BEIJING – China has reported 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 as it attempts to stem the spread of infections in a northeastern province bordering Russia.
Twenty of the new cases occurred in Heilongjiang Province, including 13 Chinese nationals who recently returned from Russia. The land border with Russia has been closed.
The official death toll in China rose sharply to 4,632, reflecting a major upward revision the day before by authorities in Wuhan, the hardest hit city in the country.
The latest confirmed cases brought the total to 82,719, of whom 77,029 have recovered and been discharged, the National Health Commission said.
Eighteen officials from Heilongjiang Province have been punished for their failure to respond to the epidemic, official media reported on Friday. They include the deputy mayor of Harbin, the provincial capital, and a vice-president of Harbin Medical University. They received warnings or demerits in their personal files.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump says he still hopes to be able to resume rallies before the November elections.
Trump has said that he does not want social distancing at his rallies, which usually draw large crowds, because he does not want participants to miss the “flavor” of the experience. Trump stopped holding large rallies in stadiums in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The president predicted that when rallies resume, they will be “more important than ever.”
Trump has only left Washington once in the past month while facing the pandemic.
But the president announced Friday that he plans to travel to the United States Military Academy in New York next month for its opening ceremony.
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