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29.03.2020 Live Reporting

Coronavirus updates As it happens (2020-03-29)

Coronavirus updates As it happens (2020-03-29)
LISTEN MAR 29, 2020

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Dossier: Coronavirus pandemic

Mar 29, 2020

France's deaths rise by 292

France has reported 292 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total to 2,606, AFP news agency reports.

The country has the fifth highest number of deaths in the world after Iran, China, Spain and Italy, figures show.

Mar 29, 2020

Vitamin D deficiency: a factor in COVID-19, progression, severity and mortality? – An urgent call for research

It is hypothesised, herein and suggested by others (Watkins, 2020), and in a paper by Grant and Lahore, (Grant et al., 2020) that vitamin D insufficiency may significantly compromise, respiratory immune response function, greatly increasing risk of COVID-19 severity and mortality.

This hypothesis focuses primarily on the contention vitamin D deficiency is the most critical factor in determining the extent, and severity, of COVID-19 infection, progression and outcomes. Further, it is not discussed in depth, but a matter of importance, that obesity reduces vitamin D in plasma, increasing risk of deficiency, and raising supplementation dosage requirements for correction of deficiency in the obese. “Serum 25OHD is inversely correlated with body weight, BMI and fat mass” and “about 20% lower in obese people than normal weight”. (Walsh, et al., 2017) Obesity and related comorbidities increase risk of poor outcomes in influenzas, thus likely the risk of COVID-19.



Mar 29, 2020

BREAKING Italy deaths continue unabated

Italy recorded 756 new deaths in the past 24 hours - bringing the total to 10,779.

Mar 29, 2020

German state finance minister found dead

By BBC News

The finance minister for the central German state of Hesse has been found dead, police say.

The body of 54-year-old Thomas Schäfer was found on a railway line in town of Hochheim near Frankfurt on Saturday morning.

Investigators presume the CDU politician’s death was suicide based on the circumstances, police said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Mr Schäfer had announced state financial assistance for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, German media reported.

In a video message, Hesse’s state premier Volker Bouffier reportedly alluded to the challenges Mr Schäfer was facing in dealing with the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Other German politicians have expressed their shock at Mr Schäfer’s death, including CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Mar 29, 2020

New York Governor: state cases surge by 7,195 overnight

By BBC News

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reported 7,195 new Covid-19 cases across the state, bringing the total of New York cases to 59,513.

New York is now the heart of the US coronavirus outbreak, home to just under half the total cases across the country. As of Sunday, 965 death were linked to the virus across the state.

Nursing homes make up one quarter of these deaths, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said that 76,019 health workers have volunteered to help with the crisis as New York hospitals are pushed beyond capacity.

Naval hospital ship USNS Comfort is set to dock in New York on Monday, to assist with the state's overflow, providing 1,000 beds and federal officials to treat non-coronavirus patients.

The death count will continue to rise, but the "doubling rate is slowing", Cuomo said. "And that is good news."


Hospital beds are set up at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center as New York faces a unmitigated surge in cases. - Getty Images

Mar 29, 2020

Pope's public audiences and blessings suspended as Covid toll increases

With more than 10,000 deaths from coronavirus in Italy, and a small number of infected cases in the Vatican, Pope Francis has stopped all his general audiences and Sunday blessings with the public.  

These are held in the official papal library and shown on television and streamed on the Internet for the faithful to be able to see and listen to the pope' messages.  



Mar 29, 2020

Soldiers Dispell Threat Allegations

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have allayed the fears of residents of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region that its officers intend to cause mayhem in the area during the partial lockdown to control the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.


Mar 29, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: Drinking Bars, Night Clubs, Pubs Remain Closed — Gov't Clarifies

Government has clarified that drinking bars, night clubs, pubs, and other similar service providers must be closed down as part of the President’s partial lockdown in selected cities in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.


Mar 29, 2020

COVID-19: Ghana To Repatriate Guinean Patients

Officials and security personnel are working with their counterparts in West Africa to ensure the repatriation of some 10 Guineans diagnosed with coronavirus in Ghana.


Kojo Oppong NkrumahKojo Oppong Nkrumah

Mar 29, 2020

‘Akpeteshie’ Shops Shut Down

Government through the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has ordered the closure of all drinking bars, night clubs, and pubs within the cities under partial lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.


Mar 29, 2020

Coronavirus ‘Runaways’ From Accra Involved In Accidents

Some 20 people suspected to be travelling to hinterlands in a bid to escape the partial lockdown in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa due to the coronavirus spread have been involved in an accident at Nkawkaw, in the Kwahu West Municipality of the Eastern Region.



Mar 29, 2020

COVID-19: Lockdown ‘Poorly Thought Through’ – Ras Mubarak

The opposition Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak has taken a swipe at the government for its decision to declare a lockdown in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.



Mar 29, 2020

French doctor insists malaria drug helps fight coronavirus despite skepticism

The controversial French professor who believes the anti-malaria drug chloroquine can help beat the coronavirus, has claimed that a new study he has conducted confirms its "efficiency" at combatting the virus.

But several other scientists and critics of microbiologist Didier Raoult, who heads the infectious diseases department of La Timone hospital in Marseille, were quick to cast doubt upon his findings.

 They said the testing was not carried out in a controlled study and that the results were purely "observational".



Mar 29, 2020

Dutch recall 600,000 defective masks from China

Officials in the Netherlands have recalled hundreds of thousands of protective masks, which were imported from China and distributed to hospitals, because they don't meet quality standards.

The Dutch Health Ministry told AFP news agency that 1.3 million masks were delivered on 21 March. About 600,000 of the masks had already been distributed to healthcare workers.

"The rest of the shipment was immediately put on hold and has not been distributed," the ministry said in a statement.

The problem was either that the masks didn't close over the face properly, or were fitted with defective filters.

Mar 29, 2020

Death toll rises in Netherlands

The death toll in the Netherlands has risen by 132 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 771.

The total number of cases in the country, which has a population of about 17 million, has also risen by 1,104 to a total of 10,866.

Mar 29, 2020

BREAKING UK deaths rise to 1,228

There have been a further 209 deaths in the UK, taking the number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK to 1,228, latest figures show.

Mar 29, 2020

BREAKING COVID-19: Cases Hit 152

Ghana’s cases for COVID-19 has increased to 152.

This follows the confirmation of 11 new cases by the Ghana Health Service today, Sunday, March 29.

Mar 29, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: Gas, Fuel Won't Run Out – NPA

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has assured that gas filling station shall remain open during the two weeks lockdown in affected areas.

It has therefore encouraged the general public to stop panic buying.


Mar 29, 2020

Kasoa: Traders Rush Back To Market Few Minutes After Disinfection

Traders at the Kasoa market, in the Awutu Senya East Municipality, returned to continue with brisk business today, Sunday, a few minutes after a disinfection exercise was undertaken at the market.

Some of the traders earlier defied an order for them to close their shops and leave the market for the exercise to proceed.



Mar 29, 2020

Coronavirus: 10 ‘Arrested’ Guineans Test Positive In Tamale

10 Guineans who were picked by security officials for coming into Ghana from Burkina Faso have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

After their arrest, they were put under mandatory quarantine in Tamale where they were all confirmed to be COVID-19 positive after testing.


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