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18.03.2020 Live Reporting

COVID-19 Information Around The World and Home

COVID-19 Information Around The World and Home
LISTEN MAR 18, 2020

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Dossier: Coronavirus pandemic


Mar 18, 2020

Italy coronavirus deaths rise by record 475 in a day

By BBC News

The number of people dying from coronavirus in Italy has risen by 475 in one day to nearly 3,000 - the biggest increase since the outbreak.

There are a total of 35,713 confirmed cases in the country, with more than 4,000 having successfully recovered.

Lombardy, the worst-hit region, recorded 319 deaths in one day.

Italy is the world's worst affected country after China, where the virus originated last year. At least 8,758 people have died, most in China.

Read more...

The vast majority of the more than 200,000 confirmed cases - 80% - have occurred in Europe and the Western Pacific region, which includes much of Asia, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

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Mar 18, 2020

White House: 20% unemployment in 'worst-case scenario'

US President Donald Trump and his coronavirus taskforce have delivered another update on the state of the crisis. This is what our reporters in Washington DC heard:

  • The defense department will be making millions of respiratory masks and other personal protective equipment available, including up to 2,000 ventilators
  • The president announced he is suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April
  • In the coming days laboratories will be able to run tens of thousands of tests per day; the US is also working on creating a self-swab test
  • Trump pushed back against his treasury chief’s estimate that 20% of people could become unemployed due to the pandemic, saying that was only “an absolute, total worst-case scenario”
  • The taskforce cautioned that early reports from Europe show some younger people have become seriously ill with Covid-19, and called on millennials to practice social-distancing

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Mar 18, 2020

3 Ghanaians Killed

Three Ghanaian citizens are reported to have died due to novel coronavirus.

They are said to have passed on in Italy and Denmark.

Ghana's Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, made this known to journalists outside Parliament House in Accra on Wednesday, March 18.

At home in Ghana, there have been seven confirmed cases of coronavirus but no deaths so far.

According to the Minister, two persons died in Italy.


Mar 18, 2020

WHO urges Middle Eastern states to share information about cases

The World Health Organization's Middle East director has appealed to countries there to share more information.

Dr Ahmed al-Mandhari said the agency’s teams had observed “uneven approaches across the region” and that much more should be done.

He warned that the disease could only be controlled if experts had the information that allowed them to understand its dynamics in the region.

"Unfortunately, even today, as the situation is becoming critical, information on cases is insufficiently communicated by countries to WHO," he said, without naming any.


Mar 18, 2020

Europe in coronavirus vaccine battle with US

The European Commission has offered 80 million euros to CureVac, a German company working on a vaccine against the coronavirus. The announcement comes just one day after rumours that the company had received an offer from the White House to develop a vaccine exclusively for the US.

Read more....

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Mar 18, 2020

Nigeria Confirms Five New Cases

By Channels Television

The Federal Government has confirmed five new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire confirmed the cases during a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He explained that three of the victims came from the United States of America including a mother and child while two others also from the UK, who came via the nation’s land border.

Four cases are Lagos and while one is from Ekiti.


Mar 18, 2020

Hong Kong reports largest increase in cases after period of slowdown

By CNN

Hong Kong reported its largest increase in new coronavirus cases on Wednesday after a period of apparent slowdown in infections, raising fears of a second Covid-19 wave


Mar 18, 2020

What are the symptoms and how do I protect myself?

By BBC News

The main symptoms of the coronavirus disease include a cough, high temperature and breathing difficulties.

It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, scientists have said, but some people will get symptoms much later than this.

The best way to protect yourself is regular and thorough hand-washing, preferably with soap and water.

Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on then your eyes, nose or mouth.

So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with infected people are important for limiting the spread.

There's a full article by our health correspondent here.

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Mar 18, 2020

'It’s alarming': UK doctors plea for testing

Changes to the way the UK chooses who is tested for coronavirus have been controversial.

A new policy means only those in hospital or in a residential care setting will have access the screening as testing in Britain ramps up.

But doctors within the National Health Service say they are desperate to be tested themselves so that any symptoms they - or those they live with - have can be ruled out as Covid-19.

Iszy Lord, 25, works at a hospital in Grimsby and lives with five other doctors - they are all self-isolating for 14 days after some of them returned from a ski trip and developed symptoms.

She told the BBC: "We’re young and fit whereas our colleagues are much older. We’re just the sort of people who should be working in hospital right now.

“The potential implications for self-isolating people without testing are huge. What’s going to happen if anyone gets anything resembling a cold for the next few months, are we going to have to self-isolate for 14 days each time? It’s alarming.

“The NHS is busy and overstretched. If we are tested and don’t have the virus, we could be back at work in 2-3 days rather than two weeks."

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Mar 18, 2020

Here's the latest from Europe

By BBC News

A warm welcome if you're just joining us - particularly if you're reading this in isolation.

Here's the latest on what's happening in Europe this morning:

  • An EU travel ban for non-EU citizens has come into force, and the first travellers - who landed in Frankfurt from Turkey this morning - have been turned away at the border.
  • In Poland, there's reportedly a 40km traffic queue at the border as people rush to get back home.
  • Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has admitted that political leaders initially "underestimated" the virus. In an interview with German newspaper Bild, she also said: "We understand that measures that seemed drastic two or three weeks ago, need to be taken now."
  • People in Belgium have been told to stay at home from midday (11:00 GMT) - but are allowed to go to banks, grocery stores, and for runs and bike rides.
  • Russian schools are going to have a three-week holiday from Monday, and Swedish high schools have closed.
  • German car companies Volkswagen, Opel and Daimler have shut down their plants in response to the virus.
  • Italy and France are cracking down on people who violate the lockdowns in their respective countries. France is bringing in fines of up to €375 after thousands were found to have gone out without their required permits.
  • Most public transport in Ukraine is shutting down, and only buses and trams are allowed in cities.
  • King Felipe VI of Spain is going to address the nation tonight at 21:00 (20:00 GMT).

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Mar 18, 2020

India says 276 citizens infected in other countries

More from India now, and the country's foreign ministry says more than 200 of its citizens have contracted Covid-19 in other countries.

This includes a group of 255 Indians who are in Iran, a spokesman told parliament.

Those infected with the coronavirus are not allowed to travel, and so will have to be treated in the countries they are currently in.

India has suspended most visas for foreigners and banned all travel from several countries including the UK, EU and Malaysia in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

The health ministry says there are 130 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, but public health officials warn the country has tested far too few people.


Mar 18, 2020

US papers hit out at Chinese expulsion of journalists

US newspapers have hit out at China's decision to expel at least 13 of their reporters.

The journalists, who are US citizens, carried out in-depth reporting on the coronavirus epidemic in China when it was still in its early stages.

They work for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times said it was a grave mistake for China to cut itself off, while the Wall Street Journal called the expulsion an unprecedented attack on press freedom.

China said they would expel the reporters in response to restrictions placed on Chinese journalists working in the US.

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New York Times Beijing bureau chief Steven Lee Myers, centre, speaks with other journalists after the expulsion was announced


Mar 18, 2020

Muslims Suspend Friday Prayers

The National Chief Imam, in broad consultation with other leaders of the Islamic faith, has directed that the Friday congregational prayers by Muslims be suspended.

This, according to a statement from the Office of the National Chief Imam, is in line with the President's directive on combating the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


Mar 18, 2020

Coronavirus: GPRTU Bans Preaching, Selling In Buses

The Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU) has banned all preaching and selling in public vehicles operating under its umbrella with immediate effect.

Speaking to Citi News, Chairman of the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), Kwame Kuma urged the public to adhere to the directives.

Read more...

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