Italy’s coronavirus death toll surges past 2,500
Italy reported 345 new coronavirus deaths in the country over the last 24 hours taking its total death toll to 2,503 – an increase of 16 percent.
The total number of cases in Italy rose to 31,506 from a previous 27,980, up 12.6 percent – the slowest rate of increase since the contagion came to light on February 21. Italy is the European country hardest hit by coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the coronavirus pandemic as the”defining global health crisis of our time”, and urged countries to test all suspected cases of COVID-19.
Globally, the virus has infected almost 185,000 people and killed more than 7,500, according to the WHO. Almost 80,000 people have recovered from the infection, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, the French Open tennis tournament has been postponed by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the latest sporting event to be affected by the worldwide outbreak.
The first Grand Slam, one of four major tennis events of the year, to be hit by COVID-19 was initially scheduled to be played in Paris from May 24 to June 7.
In Pakistan, authority cannot afford to implement the type of large-scale urban lockdowns the West is undertaking as it tries to slow the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
In Pakistan, home to megacities such as Karachi with millions of people living in close proximity, Khan said such a move was considered early on but officials feared it would devastate the country’s fragile economy.
“The Pakistan situation is not the same as that of the US or Europe … 25 percent of our population is living in grave poverty”, Khan said in a televised address to the nation.
“If we shutdown the cities – people are already facing difficult circumstances – we will save them from corona at one end, but they will die from hunger on other side,” he added.
Pakistan has however closed cricket stadiums, schools, colleges and universities, Khan noted. The South Asian nation is considered vulnerable to the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The European Union will impose an entry ban on travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days to battle the spread of the coronavirus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
Member states “agreed to impose an entry ban” into the bloc, with only nationals of EFTA countries and Britain exempt from the restriction, said Merkel, adding that the bloc was taking “coordinated action to bring back stranded travellers”.
Also, the Rolling Stones are postponing their spring and summer tour because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The band announced that the No Filter tour, which had been planned to start in San Diego on May 8, will be rescheduled.
The Stones were set to visit some North American cities they haven’t played in years, including Cleveland, St. Louis, Austin, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tampa, Florida.
Theirs is the latest and biggest of many tours to be postponed in recent days. On Monday, Elton John and the Foo Fighters delayed their tours.
In the Middle East, the Israel‘s government has begun deploying cellphone-monitoring technology against the coronavirus pandemic, drawing criticism from the opposition and a rights group who called it a “dangerous precedent”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s cabinet approved the emergency regulations – which came into effect on Tuesday – that will enable the Shin Bet internal security service to tap into cellular data to retrace the movements of people infected by the virus responsible for the disease, COVID-19.
and in the small gulf state of Qatar, hteAPC government as closed all shops except for food stores and pharmacies over fears of coronavirus spread, the Qatar high committee for crisis management said, in a press conference aired on state TV.
The Gulf nation also closed part of the Industrial Area for 14 days, with salaries being paid for employees working in the closed part, the committee added.