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Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: March 23

CORONAVIRUS BRIEFS | 23 de marzo de 2020

(Update, adds information from the WHO, the US, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, the Dominican Republic and the Middle East)


Miami Desk, Mar 23 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the coronavirus pandemic:

WHO: The World Health Organization announced Monday that 334,981 people have now become infected with the coronavirus, with 14,652 of them having died. In the last 24 hours, about 40,000 new cases have been reported along with 1,750 deaths.

US: A top official in the Department of Homeland Security said Monday that the US is not ruling out a ban on travel from Latin American countries like Ecuador and Brazil, where there has been an acceleration in the number of cases, to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

US: Gov. Ron DeSantis called a stay-at-home order for Florida residents "counterproductive," but he added that although the state will not halt the entry of people fleeing to Florida from other states, "anybody traveling from those regions in New York or New Jersey to the state of Florida is going to have to do a mandatory 14-day self isolation."

BRAZIL: The Brazilian Health Ministry reported 1,891 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Monday, adding that the death toll now stands at 34, nine more than on Sunday. Cases have been reported in every one of Brazil's 27 states, with the hardest-hit state being Sao Paulo, the country's richest and most populous region, which is reporting 745 cases and 30 deaths.

CUBA: Havana prohibited its citizens from leaving the country without authorization and from moving between provinces as a means to try and contain the Covid-19 epidemic, adding that "strict compliance" with the order will be required. Cuba currently has more than 40 cases of coronavirus and more than 1,000 people in preventive hospital isolation.

PERU: About 1,200 Spaniards have been confined in Peru for the past eight days awaiting flights to return to Spain, after Peruvian authorities decreed a general quarantine, nighttime curfews, an internal travel ban, the closure of all borders and the halting of all air traffic. Most of the stranded Spaniards are in Lima (723), but there are also 222 in Cusco.

PERU: Peru on Monday completed a week of lockdown imposed by the government to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected at least 395 people and killed five. A total of 7,486 people have been tested for the virus, but the results on 822 of them are still pending.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: About 1,000 Haitians have left the Dominican Republic after Santo Domingo closed the mutual border last week in a bid to contain the coronavirus, the International Organization for Migration reported Monday. The Haitians have crossed the border returning to their homeland during the brief periods each day that the border crossing points are opened to allow them to depart.

MIDDLE EAST: The WHO says that about 2,900 coronavirus cases have been detected in the Middle East and the death toll stands at 46, not counting Iran, which alone has registered more than 23,000 cases and 1,800 deaths.

SAUDI ARABIA/SUDAN: Saudi Arabia and Sudan imposed partial curfews to limit the spread of the virus.

JORDAN: A total of 879 people have been arrested in Jordan for violating the local movement restrictions designed to control the coronavirus.

UAE: The United Arab Emirates is threatening to fine and jail anyone who flouts the stay-at-home orders in place there.

COLOMBIA: The country recorded 42 new cases on Monday, its highest number in only one day, bringing the country's total to more than 270 infected and three deaths. Earlier last week, the government closed its borders and suspended non-essential business activity.

TURKEY: Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced an export ban on masks produced in the country, warning companies that break the law would face confiscations. Koca said the government had ordered one million rapid testing kits from China, of which 30,000 had already arrived and 300,000 would be received within a week.

HONDURAS: Honduras's police detained more than 200 people during the weekend for disobeying the nationwide curfew. Authorities also reported that a dozen immigrants had escaped from a center where they were quarantined.

CUBA: Hundreds of tourists left Cuba on Monday after the government announced a partial border closure starting on Tuesday. It is expected around 60,000 travellers will return to their respective countries from Cuba.

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a global truce so countries can focus on the fight against the pandemic. He warned that in war-torn countries health systems had collapsed and health workers were often targeted in fighting.

PAKISTAN: The government put its biggest city Karachi under a strict lockdown for 15 days and announced the closure of malls, markets and offices in other parts of the country after the number of cases jumped to 803 from 27 in a week and six people died.

HONG KONG: The government announced that from Wednesday it will bar the entry of all non-residents and flight stopovers for 14 days due to a spike in imported cases. This includes passport holders from Macao, Taiwan and mainland China.

THAILAND: The country reported 122 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 721, a day after the largest daily rise of 188, with a total of one death and 52 people discharged.

JAPAN: Adding to China, South Korea and Europe, Japan will now require all travelers arriving from the United States to undergo a 14-day quarantine, prime minister Shinzo Abe announced.

SOUTH KOREA: Seoul redoubled its call for social distancing with a message sent to citizens urging people to keep two meters away in the workplace, avoid eating in front of others, avoid using common spaces, refrain from going to work if symptoms are present and go directly home after work for the next two weeks. With 64 infections detected on Sunday, South Korea had a total of 8,961 cases, 3,166 discharged and 111 deaths.

CHINA: The National Health Commission reported the fifth day in a row of deaths in the single digits, with nine, and no new local cases with 39 imported infections, bringing the total number of infected diagnosed in China since the start of the pandemic to 81,093, with 3,270 deaths, and 72,703 discharged.



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