Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially the elderly and people with health problems, this can cause more serious illness or death.
– South Korea reports 25 new cases of coronavirus and three deaths
– Chinese mask producer rushes to meet overseas demands amid tougher inspections
– Number of deaths in France almost 14,400. But for the fourth consecutive day, slightly fewer people were admitted to intensive care.
– Italy has its lowest number of new deaths in three weeks, saying 431 people died in the past day to bring its total to 19,899.
– The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle returns to base for the crew to be tested.
– Boris Johnson salutes staff at the National Health Service for saving their lives.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported 25 new cases of coronavirus and three other virus-related deaths, bringing its total to 10,537 infections and 217 deaths.
South Korean centers for disease control and prevention said on Monday that at least 929 cases were related to passengers from abroad, most of whom have been detected in the past three weeks.
The number of cases in South Korea has slowed since the beginning of March, when it reported about 500 new cases per day, but officials have expressed concern about a wider “silent spread”, pointing to transmissions in bars and other leisure facilities which allegedly indicate a reduction in attitudes towards social distancing. .
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun at a meeting on anti-virus strategies on Monday said officials are discussing new public guidelines that would allow people to engage in “certain levels of economic and social activity While maintaining the distance to slow the spread of the virus.
BEIJING – The Chinese foreign ministry said it was working with authorities in southern Guangdong province to prevent discriminatory treatment of people of African descent during the coronavirus epidemic.
The statement released on Sunday follows a warning letter from the U.S. Embassy saying that provincial police have ordered bars and restaurants not to serve patrons who appear to be of African descent and that some hotels and businesses have refused to do business with them.
“In addition, local authorities have launched a series of mandatory tests for COVID-19, followed by mandatory self-quarantine, for anyone with” African contacts “, regardless of recent travel history or completion. from the previous quarantine, “says the embassy notice. He urged people of African descent to especially avoid the provincial capital of Guangzhou, which has a large African population of migrant traders.
In its statement, the Foreign Ministry said that all foreigners were treated equally during the epidemic and that the government had “zero tolerance for discrimination”.
The Guangdong authorities “were working quickly to improve their working method,” the ministry said.
“African friends can count on a fair, just, cordial and friendly welcome to China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will remain in close contact with the authorities in Guangdong and will continue to respond to the reasonable concerns and legitimate appeals of the African side, “the statement said.
WUHAN, China – A mask producer in China says it is rushing to fulfill orders from overseas while facing tougher quality inspections from Chinese regulatory authorities.
Wuhan Zonsen, which manufactures disinfectant masks and wipes, says $ 50 million in orders from European countries and the United States will keep them at full production capacity until June.
“Now the main demand for masks comes from European countries and the United States where the epidemic is severe … their demand has now increased 10 times compared to the epidemic,” said Cynthia Ye, global marketing manager at Zonsen .
Zonsen plans to add five more production lines to increase their daily production from 200,000 to 700,000 masks, Zonsen production managers told reporters during a media tour organized by the Wuhan government.
China Customs has announced that respirators, masks and other supplies exported to fight the coronavirus will be subject to quality inspections following complaints that substandard goods are being sold abroad. Regulators in Australia, the Netherlands and other countries have complained that the masks, virus test kits and other products are defective or do not meet quality standards.
You denied there were any quality issues with the masks they shipped to the Netherlands.
Wuhan ended its 76-day confinement on Wednesday, allowing residents to travel in and out of the city again. Wuhan and China are expected to face severe economic costs and tens of millions of job losses due to the city’s closure.
Ye said the Xinzhou district government, where Zonsen is located, has offered help in responding to demand from workers in the company. Now more than 60 employees have returned to work and are living together in a designated hotel to avoid infection.
“We have to provide workers with hotel rooms, so we have a higher cost, which is about five to ten times our normal cost. The workers’ wages are about three or five times higher than their normal wages, ”said Ye.
PARIS – The total number of deaths from coronavirus in France has risen to almost 14,400, but for the fourth consecutive day, slightly fewer people have been admitted to intensive care – 35 less – which gives those responsible for health a reason to grab the good news.
Sunday statistics released by the health ministry confirm that the country is reaching a “very high plateau” and reflect the first signs that almost four weeks of isolation and the “drastic reduction in contacts” are having an effect, according to a press release. .
The strict containment measures began on March 17, have been renewed once and are expected to be extended again, with a likely announcement to the nation on Monday by President Emmanuel Macron.
Since March 1, hospitals and nursing homes have left 14,393 people dead.
Of the 31,836 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19, more than 1,600 have been admitted in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said.
Yet with more than 6,800 patients being treated in intensive care on Sunday, 35 fewer than a day earlier, a glimmer of hope for overworked health workers and authorities looking for small signs of change.
Since the start of the epidemic in France, more than 95,400 people have been infected.
ROME – Italy had the lowest number of deaths from new coronaviruses in three weeks, saying 431 people died in the past day, bringing the total to 19,899.
This is the lowest daily toll since March 19.
For the ninth day in a row, ICU admissions have declined and hospital admissions have decreased overall, which has eased the pressure on the overworked Italian healthcare system.
More than 4,000 people tested positive as Italy entered its fifth week under national control, continuing a general flattening of its infection curve.
But officials noted that Italy has also increased its testing capacity in recent days, producing more positive cases but allowing more effective quarantine measures for people once they know they are infected.
Italy passed the million virus test mark on Sunday, doubling the number of tests since late March. Overall, 156,363 people have been confirmed positive, although officials note that the actual number of people infected could be up to 10 times higher, particularly in hard-hit Lombardy.
Authorities have also warned that the actual death toll from the pandemic virus is higher, given the hundreds of elderly people who have died in retirement homes but have never been tested.
JERUSALEM – Hospital officials said that Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, a former chief rabbi of Israel, died from COVID-19.
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem said that Bakshi-Doron died on Sunday evening, several days after being admitted to the hospital with the coronavirus. He said he suffered from underlying health problems. Israeli media has reported that Bakshi-Doron was 79 years old.
Bakshi-Doron was Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi, representing Jews of Middle Eastern descent, from 1993 to 2003. He held several other key positions, including that of head of the rabbinical judiciary in Israel, and been active in interfaith causes.
In 2017, he was fined and sentenced to probation for his role in a program that allowed police officers to receive fraudulent diplomas that allowed them to obtain salary increases. He remained a popular and respected figure with much of the public.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remembered Bakshi-Doron as a warm person and a gifted religious scholar. “Its essence was wisdom, tolerance and love for the people and the country,” he said.
Israel has reported more than 11,000 cases of coronavirus and 104 deaths. The ultra-Orthodox religious community in Israel was particularly affected.
NEW ORLEANS – Mgr Gregory Aymond led a live Easter Mass in Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans on Sunday.
The benches were empty. Besides the concelebrants, the only other people in the cathedral were those who had official roles in mass, a sign language interpreter, a cathedral maintenance worker, and seven photographers and reporters.
Aymond began mass by noting: “We are not isolated. We are still one family, ”said Aymond.
He said that the coronavirus pandemic “has brought great darkness to the earth. Our way of life has changed, “and he later recognized fear, grief, and uncertainty.
NEW ORLEANS – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say an influx of tourists for Mardi Gras may be a reason why Louisiana experienced a higher rate of COVID-19 cases than other southern states.
In a report released Friday, the CDC says population density could play “an important role in accelerating the transmission” of the coronavirus. He said that Louisiana experienced a “temporarily high” population density due to visitors to the carnival season.
He also noted that the season ended on February 25 – well before federal calls to deter mass rallies in mid-March.
Louisiana reported 34 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, bringing the state’s death toll to 840.
EREVAN, Armenia – The Armenian Apostolic Church held Easter services without parishioners due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Service at the church headquarters at Echmiadzin Cathedral included the presentation of Geghard’s spear, an important relic that is brought to light in special cases such as the country at risk.
The relic is said to be the tip of a spear used by a Roman soldier to push Jesus Christ after his crucifixion to determine if he was dead. The service was broadcast on national television.
ATHENS, Greece – There have been five other deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Greece, all men, bringing the total to 98, authorities said.
There are now a total of 2,114 confirmed cases of the disease, 33 added since Saturday afternoon.
There are 76 people hanging on ventilation devices, while 15 patients who had been in intensive care have recovered, the authorities said in a statement.
The main concern of the authorities remains the attempts of the individuals to flout strict quarantine measures, during the Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated next Sunday.
It is generally a time of mass exodus into the countryside and just over 9 a.m. on Sunday, 38 people were prevented from leaving the cities and fined 300 euros each.
A related concern is the assembly of churches, now prohibited; Sunday, Palm Sunday, the government requested that a prosecutor charge two priests who communicated with the faithful despite the ban.
One of them, in a district of Athens, was photographed from a nearby building secretly giving communion to the faithful by the back door.
SALEM, Oregon – Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on nine long-term care facilities in Oregon, killing at least 24 out of 171 people who test positive.
The deaths represent almost half of the total number of people in Oregon known to have died from COVID-19, according to data from state officials released on Saturday evening.
In a single facility, Healthcare at Foster Creek in Portland, nine of the 35 infected people died, according to an announcement from the State Coronavirus Joint Information Center.
Although the U.S. federal government has not released its own figures, an Associated Press account of the media and state health services indicates that at least 2,755 deaths have been linked to deaths. due to coronaviruses in nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide.
WASHINGTON – Health officials in Washington announced Sunday morning that 97 new positive COVID-19 infections have been identified, bringing the total to 1,875, with three new deaths for a total of 50.
Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency on March 11 and issued a stay order on March 30 for the estimated 700,000 residents of Washington.
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey saw a daily increase of 4,789 cases of coronavirus and 97 deaths on Sunday, as a 48-hour closure in 31 cities was nearing its end.
“This fight is won by staying at home, not in hospitals,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca in a statement. Turkey has now registered 56,956 confirmed cases and 1,198 deaths since the March 11 outbreak.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Imposing new regulations, the Sri Lankan government on Sunday ordered that the body of a person deceased or suspected of having died from the coronavirus be cremated.
The order comes amid concerns raised by Muslim minority leaders in Sri Lanka, claiming that the cremation of the body of a COVID-19 Muslim victim is contrary to Islamic burial practice.
A government decree issued on Sunday said that the corpse of a crown victim should be cremated “at a temperature of 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour for complete combustion, in order to preventing any threatening biological potential. “
According to the new regulations, the body of the deceased will only be handed over to those involved in the cremation process, and the ashes of the deceased may be handed over to the next of kin upon request.
So far, seven people have died from the virus while 140 are being treated in hospitals while 56 have recovered.
Two weeks ago, the head of the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, Rauff Hakeem, said that the second deceased person in Sri Lanka infected with a coronavirus had not been allowed to be buried despite requests from families and political leaders. . Hakeem, however, asked the Muslims to be patient given the extraordinary situation.
Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist nation, with Muslims representing around 7% of the population.
TOULON, France – The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle returned to its base on Sunday in the southern port of Toulon after around fifty members of its crew and some on board an escort frigate contracted the new coronavirus .
The French Defense Ministry says the entire crew of some 1,700 sailors will be tested and confined for 14 days in various military quarters in the region. Ditto for air crews on board the ship and those on the frigate.
The ministry said the carrier shortened a mission of almost three months to the central Mediterranean, then to the Atlantic and North Seas, for about 10 days.
The source of the infection was not immediately known.
A similar virus outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt led to the sacking of his captain and the resignation of the Acting Secretary of the Navy earlier this month.
LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has posted a video on Twitter in which he salutes staff at the National Health Service for saving his life when it could have “gone both ways”.
Johnson was dressed in a suit and looked and appeared confident in the video after he was discharged from London’s St. Thomas Hospital. He said he did not have the words to properly thank NHS staff for “saving my life”.
He listed a number of front-line staff who treated him for a week at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, but distinguished two nurses who stood by his bedside for 48 hours “when things were right could go back and forth. “
He said Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal were the reason “in the end, my body started to have enough oxygen. “
Johnson said there were “hundreds of thousands of NHS staff members who act with the same care, thought and precision as Jenny and Luis.”
Johnson spent a week in St. Thomas’, including three days in intensive care. He received oxygen but was not put on a ventilator.
WASHINGTON – The United States’ leading infectious disease expert has said that the economy of parts of the country may be allowed to reopen next month.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says there is no light switch to click on to turn it back on. He says “continuous reintegration” will be necessary depending on the state of the new coronavirus pandemic in various parts of the country.
Fauci says these factors include the region of the country, the nature of the epidemic it has already experienced and the possible threat of an epidemic to come.
President Donald Trump’s social distancing guidelines will expire on April 30.
Trump is eager to restart the stalled economy because most Americans are ordered to “stay at home” to help slow the spread of the virus.
Fauci spoke on CNN’s “state of the union” on Sunday.
LONDON – Health officials say 657 more people in England have died from the new coronavirus, claiming more than 10,000 lives in the UK.
The National Health Service figure does not include deaths in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. A figure for the whole of the United Kingdom will be published later.
The 657 deaths are in addition to the 9,875 deaths from people with COVID-19 in British hospitals announced on Saturday.
Although the number of new cases and hospitalizations appears to have plateaued, deaths continue to increase. The number of virus deaths in Italy and Spain is on a downward trend, and there is growing concern that the United Kingdom is the country with the most virus deaths in Europe.
MADRID – Spain has reported its lowest daily growth in confirmed coronavirus infections in three weeks as it prepares to relax its tough lockdowns and allow some workers to return to work.
Spanish health authorities have reported 4,167 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours. The country’s total is 166,019, second behind the United States.
Deaths in Spain have reached a total of 16,972, with 619 new deaths confirmed since Saturday. More than 60,000 patients have recovered from COVID-19 in Spain.
The country will allow industrial and construction workers to resume work on Monday after a two-week halt in economic activities other than healthcare and the food industry.
Those who can work from home are strongly encouraged by the authorities to continue to do so. Retail stores will remain closed, with the exception of supermarkets, fruit kiosks, bakeries, butchers, newsstands and pharmacies.
LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he owes his life to the National Health Service staff who treated him for COVID-19.
Johnson made his first public statement since he was removed from intensive care at London’s St. Thomas’s Hospital, saying he “couldn’t thank them enough. I owe them my life. “
Johnson, 55, was diagnosed with COVID-19 more than two weeks ago, becoming the first confirmed world leader in the disease.
His symptoms of coronavirus were initially mild, including cough and fever.
He was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital last Sunday after his medical condition worsened and was transferred to the intensive care unit the following day, where he received oxygen but was not put under fan.
He spent three nights there before returning to a regular room on Thursday.
Follow AP coronavirus pandemic news at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak