Coronavirus Live Updates (Wednesday): Global Death Toll Tops 20,000; American Caseload Exceeds 60,000
Thursday, March 26, 3 a.m.
The global death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic reached 20,550 as total infections exceeded 450,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Spain suffered its deadliest day yet with 738 deaths, pushing total fatalities to 3,434.
Struggling to flatten the curve
Countries in many parts of the world, from Portugal to Canada to New Zealand to Japan, are reporting acceleration of daily new cases. In Italy, total infections topped 74,386 with a death toll of 7,503. Spain recorded the highest daily fatalities of 738, making it the second-worst hit country in Europe. Total infections in Spain reached 47,610.
Russia reported a 33% jump in coronavirus cases in a day to 658 as President Vladimir Putin declared a weeklong nationwide holiday and a delay of a vote on constitutional amendments previously scheduled for April 22. The country reported two more deaths from the virus Wednesday, raising the total to three.
In the U.S., New York State became the epicenter of the outbreak with more than half of all cases in the country. The state reported 5,146 new cases in one day, bringing total infections to 30,811. Cases in other states including Louisiana, New Jersey and Michigan are also spiking.
Nationwide, the U.S. reported 61,167 infections and 849 deaths, Johns Hopkins data showed. At least 17 states issued stay-at-home orders by Wednesday, keeping more than 40% of the U.S. population at home.
Virus risks decline in China
More Chinese provinces including the epicenter Hubei have dialed down the alarm level as the outbreak ebbs. The Hubei provincial government Wednesday lowered the risk level for Wuhan, the worst-hit city, to medium from high, indicating the city had less than 50 cases over the past two weeks. The rest of Hubei earlier adjusted the risk level to low.
Starting Wednesday, railway services linking most Hubei cities, excluding Wuhan, resumed operation, lifting a two-month travel ban. Several airports in the province said they are also preparing for flight resumptions. Wuhan is set to resume travel links with the rest of Hubei and China starting April. 8.
Meanwhile, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province became the latest to adjust its emergency response level, joining 27 provinces and municipalities that have done so as the number of new cases declines. Heilongjiang lowered the level to one grade above the lowest. So far, only Hubei, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei maintain the highest level of response.
Compiled by Han Wei
Wednesday, March 25, 6 p.m.
The total number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections worldwide had reached over 428,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
U.K.’s Prince Charles tests positive
Prince Charles, first in line for the British throne, has tested positive for the coronavirus, multiple news media reported, citing a statement from his Clarence House office.
The statement said on Wednesday that Charles has been displaying mild symptoms and working from home for the last few days.
Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles, who has also been tested but does not have the virus, are self-isolating at home in Scotland, the statement said, adding that it’s not possible to trace how Charles caught the virus given his many public engagements in recent weeks.
U.S. to roll out $2 trillion stimulus package
The White House and U.S. Senate leaders struck a deal early Wednesday morning on a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package, CNN reported.
The legislation is expected to be enacted within days and is considered the largest rescue package in modern American history, providing loans for distressed companies and financial aid to individuals and families.
U.S. grapples with expanding outbreak
The U.S. had over 55,000 total infections including 802 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon. New York City has become an epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, recording 192 deaths.
American epidemiologist Walter Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, has tested positive for Covid-19, Caixin has confirmed with the Columbia Global Centers. Lipkin, often called a “virus hunter,” sat down for an interview with Caixin last month, saying that his team was working to make a better test for the novel coronavirus.
Just a few days ago, Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow also tested positive.
Despite the worsening outbreak, U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday at a press briefing that the administration had not considered a national lockdown and that he “would love to have the country opened up” by Easter, which falls on April 12 this year, according to multiple media reports.
In other coronavirus-related news
• U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged leaders of G-20 nations on Tuesday to adopt a “wartime” plan including a stimulus package in the trillions of dollars for businesses, workers and households in developing countries trying to tackle the pandemic.
• Wuhan’s five-day stretch of no new Covid-19 cases has been broken with the diagnosis of a 29-year-old gastroenterologist, raising questions over whether the man may have been infected by an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.
• China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said (link in Chinese) that as of Tuesday, the work resumption ratio of small and midsize enterprises had reached 71.7%, an increase of 42.1 percentage points since Feb. 23.
• A survey (link in Chinese) conducted by the management school of Peking University and job-hunting platform Zhaopin Ltd. showed that in January and February, the number of new jobs in China fell by 32.4% year-on-year, and the number of new recruits dropped 32.6% year-on-year.
Compiled by Timmy Shen
Global caseload surpasses 422,000
The total number of confirmed cases worldwide reached more than 422,000 as of Wednesday morning, about 40,000 higher than a day earlier, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Italy, the U.S., Spain, Germany, Iran and France are the worst hit countries outside China, each with more than 20,000 cases.
The U.S. reported over 55,000 confirmed cases, including 790 deaths. New York City has been hit the hardest, recording 192 deaths, in a population of over 8 million.
In Europe, Italy’s (link in Italian) total infections climbed to over 69,000 with the death toll reaching more than 6,800. Spain has confirmed over 42,000 cases, including 2,991 deaths.
The total number of infections in the U.K. grew to over 8,100, making it the sixth hardest hit country in Europe, following Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Switzerland. The U.K.’s death toll reached 423, which included one death in the Cayman Islands.
In Asia, South Korea has confirmed 9,037 infections, including 120 deaths.
As the pandemic’s impact grows, airlines worldwide are likely to see massive losses. The International Air Transport Association estimated that passenger revenues for the industry could plummet by $252 billion or 44% below 2019’s figure, if severe travel restrictions last for up to three months, followed by a gradual economic recovery later this year, according to a statement on Tuesday.
China continues to see imported cases
On Tuesday, the Chinese mainland recorded 47 new confirmed cases and 33 new suspected infections — all imported — according to the latest data (link in Chinese) from the country’s top health ministry.
As of the end of Tuesday, a total of 474 imported cases had been reported on the mainland, bringing the number of total infections there to 81,218.
The number of recoveries reached 73,650 — over 90% of total infections — on the mainland. Current existing infections numbered 4,287, while suspected cases totaled 134 at the end of Tuesday.
A total of 386 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong at the end of Tuesday, 26 in Macao, and 216 in Taiwan. Hong Kong’s caseload rose by 30 and Taiwan’s was up by 21 as, like the mainland, both continued to grapple with controlling a second wave of new infections from people arriving from overseas.
Compiled by Timmy Shen
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