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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 10:22 PM PST

Reuters: Coronavirus deaths rise to 145 in Iran, infections near 6,000: ministry

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's death toll from coronavirus reached 145 on Saturday after another 21 people were confirmed to have died during the last day, among them a conservative lawmaker from Tehran, officials and local news agencies said.

Announcing the latest deaths from the virus, a health ministry official said in a televised briefing that the tally of confirmed infections had increased by more than 1,000 during the last 24 hours, totaling 5,823 by Saturday.

Lawmaker Fatehmeh Rahbar was among those who died on Friday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, in another sign that the disease is spreading within state institutions.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Iran worst hit as more coronavirus cases reported across Mideast -- Arab News
Coronavirus grips Middle East as new cases confirmed -- Arab News
Coronavirus in the Middle East: Emergency declared in Palestine, new cases in Oman, Kuwait and Morocco -- Arab News
Iran coronavirus death toll jumps to 145, govt lashes out at US -- AFP
Iran lawmaker dies from coronavirus -- Middle East Monitor
Iranian doctor expects 40% of Tehran population to catch coronavirus -- Middle East Monitor
Saudi Arabia reopens Mecca's Grand Mosque but bars people from touching the cuboid Kaaba shrine after it was closed for disinfecting over coronavirus -- Daily Mail
Iran's Revolutionary Guard seeks absolution in virus fight -- AP
Bethlehem under lockdown after coronavirus cases confirmed -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa: A week in review -- DW
Senegal health authorities adopt measures to contain spread of coronavirus -- France 24
Egypt announces 33 new Covid-19 cases on cruise ship -- The Guardian
Coronavirus: Egypt quarantines passengers from Nile cruise boat -- UPI

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Asia -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 10:08 PM PST

Reuters: South Korea calls for 'concessions, consideration and cooperation' as coronavirus spreads

SEOUL (Reuters) - The number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea rose again on Sunday, albeit at a slightly lower rate than previous days, as officials called for the public to cooperate in new rationing policies for face masks.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 93 new coronavirus cases from late Saturday, for a total of 7,134 in the country.

The increase in cases was lower than the same period a day before, though health officials have warned that numbers could fluctuate as more tests are processed.

South Korea has conducted one of the most ambitious coronavirus testing programs in the world, with thousands of people being tested every day.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Asia -- News Updates March 8, 2020

South Korea to ration face masks as coronavirus cases rise -- SCMP/Reuters
Coronavirus: China sees lowest number of cases within single day since count began -- AP
No time to relax in Wuhan's coronavirus battle, top Chinese law enforcer says -- SCMP
Four die at collapsed China quarantine site; virus spread slows ex-Wuhan -- Reuters
People at centre of China's virus outbreak say time to end lockdown -- France 24
Shanghai tightens airport checks as imported virus infections in China jump -- Reuters
China virus fight sparks outcry over female frontline staff -- AFP
27 countries and regions restrict entry from Japan over coronavirus crisis -- Japan Times
Coronavirus update: Two Australian Defence Force personnel infected by COVID-19 as Australian cases continue to climb -- ABC News Online
Asia-Pacific economies face $292b hit from coronavirus; Singapore among most exposed: S&P -- AFP
10 lessons from Asia on how to live with a coronavirus outbreak -- Jessie Yeung, CNN

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In U.S. -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 09:46 PM PST

Daily Mail: US coronavirus cases hit more than 400: Frightening photo of an infected Nebraska woman, 36, being taken to a bio-containment unit is released as the outbreak grows and death toll rises to 19

* The number of US cases of coronavirus reached 442 on Saturday night, including 19 deaths
* Washington state has the most cases at 103, followed by New York with 89 and California with 81
* Now 31 states as well as the District of Columbia report either confirmed or presumptive positive cases
* Comes as Nebraska woman is rushed to bio-containment unit in specialized isolation pod
* New York state declares a state of emergency and FDNY orders firefighters not to respond to virus calls
* Marine stationed in northern Virginia and sailor deployed to Italy are latest service members to test positive
* Trump said he was not 'concerned at all' after attendee at CPAC conference he spoke at tested positive

he number of cases of coronavirus in the U.S. has topped 400, as the outbreak spreads quickly and the death toll reaches 19.

On Saturday night, 31 states and the District of Columbia reported at least one confirmed or presumptive positive case, with those cases totaling 372. Including those infected people repatriated from abroad, and those trapped aboard the quarantined cruise ship Grand Princess off San Francisco, the total is at least 442.

Washington state had the most cases with 103, including 16 deaths, followed by New York with 89 cases and California, with 81 cases and one death. Florida, which reports 11 cases, has also seen two fatalities.

In the interior of the country, a number of more sparsely populated states reported their first cases on Saturday, including Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In U.S. -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Coronavirus: US deaths rise to 19 as New York declares state of emergency -- The Guardian
US coronavirus death toll rises to 19 as two more people connected to Washington care home succumb to the disease - and 70 of the 180 employees at the facility are off sick with symptoms -- Daily Mail
Florida reports 2 coronavirus deaths, raising US death toll to 17 -- The Hill
ANOTHER coronavirus cruise stuck at sea: Up to 4,000 passengers are trapped on a ship off the coast of California to wait for the test results of just ONE sick person -- Daily Mail
Thousands held on cruise ship off US west coast as scientists say: 'This is now a pandemic' -- The Guardian
Frustration mounts over virus-stalled ship in California -- AP
'I'm not concerned at all': Donald Trump dismisses fears he was exposed to coronavirus at CPAC after attendee tested positive and says he won't cancel rallies before Mar-a-Lago dinner with 'Trump of the Tropics' Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro -- Daily Mail
Trump refuses to halt rallies as coronavirus surges -- AFP
Officials confirm first coronavirus case in nation's capital -- AP
DC confirms first presumptive case of coronavirus -- The Hill
'I'm not urging calm': New York Governor Cuomo declares state of emergency as coronavirus cases rise to 89 after infected Uber driver walked into a Queens hospital and potentially infected 40 doctors and nurses -- Daily Mail
Public health experts warn of major disruptions from coronavirus -- The Hill
U.S. airport screeners, health workers plagued by fear and anger as coronavirus spreads -- Reuters

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Europe -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 09:21 PM PST

Daily Mail: Italy's coronavirus lockdown expands to 11 provinces as funerals are suspended after number of deaths spiked by 36 in a single day

* Italy has 233 deaths from coronavirus and more than 4,600 confirmed cases
* Government will bring in 20,000 additional staff to fight escalating epidemic
* Global coronavirus death toll hit 3,000 with more than 100,000 confirmed cases

Italy has expanded its lockdown to 11 provinces while enforcing a range of harsh laws aimed at containing the deadly coronavirus after the number of deaths spiked by 36 in a single day.

A new set of national emergency measures is due to be released tonight, which will ban entry to, and exit from, the entire Lombardy region around Milan to limit the spread of the coronavirus as well as areas around and including Venice and the northern cities of Parma and Rimini.

A draft of the government resolution obtained by Italy's Corriere Della Sera newspaper and other media said movement into and out of the regions would be severely restricted until April 3.

Milan is the Italian financial capital and has a population of just under 1.4 million people.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Europe -- News Updates March 8, 2020

Italy announces quarantine affecting quarter of population -- AP
Italy imposes region-wide coronavirus quarantine in Lombardy -- DW
Coronavirus: Italy to quarantine Milan, Venice as virus death toll tops 230 as cases near 6,000 -- SCMP/AFP
Coronavirus: Northern Italy quarantines 16 million people -- BBC
Italy 'QUARANTINES' 16 MILLION people in Lombardy & 14 other provinces in attempt to stop coronavirus outbreak -- RT
Leader of Italy's Democratic Party contracts coronavirus -- Reuters
Rome is deserted as coronavirus drives tourists away while northern Italy is placed on lockdown after 36 died in one day -- Daily Mail
Leap in coronavirus cases tests limits of Italy's health system -- Al Jazeera
Virus outbreak hits weakened Italian economy where it hurts -- AP
France says 16 people have died from coronavirus: health official -- Reuters
Coronavirus death toll in France mounts to 16 with 949 confirmed cases -- France 24
Coronavirus spreads in French parliament -- Reuters
Number of UK coronavirus cases rises by 46 to 209 -- Reuters
Slovenia prohibits all large indoor events due to coronavirus -- Reuters
Greece reports 21 new coronavirus cases in a day, now 66 -- Reuters
German coronavirus cases jump, economic anxiety rises -- Reuters
Czech coronavirus quarantine measures extended to foreign residents -- Reuters
Pope to deliver Sunday service by livestream as Italy's coronavirus cases mount -- France 24
Coronavirus: Pope Francis to avoid crowds as Italy's death toll rises to 197 -- SCMP/DPA

Is China's Coronavirus Recovery 'Fake'?

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 07:56 PM PST

The Week: China's coronavirus recovery is 'all fake,' whistleblowers and residents claim

China's claims of how it's handling coronavirus recovery should be taken with more than a few grains of salt.

Even before COVID-19 became a global crisis, Chinese leaders had been criticized for their handling of the situation and lack of transparency about the disease's progression. Things now look like they're on the upswing, and businesses even appear to be headed back to work — but whistleblowers and local officials tell Caixan that's just a carefully crafted ruse.

Beijing has spent much of the outbreak pushing districts to carry on business as usual, with some local governments subsidizing electricity costs and even installing mandatory productivity quotas. Zhejiang, a province east of the epicenter city of Wuhan, claimed as of Feb. 24 it had restored 98.6 percent of its pre-coronavirus work capacity.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: All my friends and contacts in China are telling me that quarantines, school closings, and restrictions are still in force. Bottom line. China is still far away from any semblance of recovery.

Chinese Hotel Used As 'Coronavirus Quarantine Site' Collapsed In Qunazhou, Fujian Province

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 07:39 AM PST

Zero Hedge: Dozens Trapped After Chinese Hotel Used As 'Coronavirus Quarantine Site' Collapses

A five-story hotel that was reportedly being used as a temporary Covid-19 quarantine site has collapsed in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian on Saturday, state media reports.

Emergency crews are frantically working to pull victims, who are apparently either all suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases, from the rubble. "23 people have been rescued as of 9pm local time. A total of 70 people were reportedly trapped under the collapsed building in Quanzhou, Fujian," China's People's Daily reports.

Early video from hotel collapse aftermath shows a large area in which the building is reduced to ruble, with dozens of first responders combing through it.

Read more ....

Update #1: Coronavirus: Dozens trapped as China quarantine hotel collapses (BBC)
Update #2: Hotel in China holding coronavirus victims in quarantine collapses as emergency service scramble to reach 70 trapped in the rubble (Daily Mail).

WNU Editor: Long time readers of this blog know that when I go to China I always stop by  Qunazhou. I lived in this city in the 1980s. I never stayed at the Xinjia Hotel (the hotel opened in 2018), but I know the construction firm that built this hotel. To say that I am shocked right now is an understatement.

Editor's Note

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 06:42 AM PST

Blogging will return later this evening.

Protests Grow Over 'Rigged' Election In Guyana

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 06:36 AM PST

Reuters: Protester killed in Guyana as unrest spreads over vote fraud reports

GEORGETOWN (Reuters) - A protester was shot dead as demonstrators took to the streets in Guyana on Saturday after opposition leaders and international observers accused the government of David Granger of rigging this week's presidential election.

Diplomats and foreign observers described credible evidence of fraud in the tallying of the results of Monday's vote, which took place as the poor former British colony ramps up oil production in hopes of transforming its economy.

The unrest threatens to inflame decades of racial tensions between black Guyanese, who broadly support Granger's APNU-AFC coalition, and Indo-Guyanese, who largely backed Irfaan Ali of opposition party PPP.

Across the South American country, PPP supporters blocked roads, burned tires and clashed with police.

Read more ....

Update #1: Observers question Guyana vote, urge Granger not to claim victory (Al Jazeera)
Update #2: Guyana election: US concerned over 'electoral fraud' (BBC)

WNU Editor: I am very familiar with the country. Have some good friends there, and I have visited the country a few times. I do not need to be there to know that this vote was rigged. The country is racially divided into two groups. The Indo-Guyanese (also known as East Indians), the descendants of laborers from India who make up 45% of the population. And the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of slaves from Africa, who constitute 30%. The country has for decades been ruled by the minority Afro-Guyanese, and they are not going to give up power. This is naturally causing resentment among the rest of the country. Bottom line. This crisis is not going to end anytime soon.

Chaos At U.S. Hospitals Due to Shortages In Coronavirus Testing Kits

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 06:02 AM PST

Los Angeles Times: Chaos at hospitals due to shortage of coronavirus tests

LOS ANGELES — As COVID-19 cases spike, the test kits needed to help stem the spread of the disease remain in short supply, with health care workers across California reporting widespread failings in the federal government's response to the growing crisis.

Federal officials said nearly 1 million tests were expected to be available by the end of this week. But in California, one of the country's hardest-hit regions with 60 cases, the total testing capacity is limited to only 7,400 through the weekend, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The inability to test widely and swiftly for the novel coronavirus has impeded the country's ability to beat back the spread of the virus, experts say. Without testing, public health officials don't know where the virus is spreading and where to target efforts to contain it. Twelve Americans have been killed so far by the disease.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is why there has been a problem .... The CDC's rocky effort to get Americans tested for coronavirus, explained (VOX). The CDC is promising to correct this in the next few days .... Trying to make up for lost time, the CDC will distribute 1.1 million COVID-19 tests by this weekend (Tech Crunch). I asked my brother on why is there a problem. His is a Doctor in Chemistry but he works in the bio-tech field in San Francisco. His specialty is making sure that drug products are manufactured properly and within guidelines. According to him the initial kits were not up to spec. To correct this takes time, They have to review how they are making these kits, and then correct it. But according to him they should solve this quickly.

Satellite Images Reveal The Effects The Disease Has Had

Posted: 07 Mar 2020 05:38 AM PST

TIANANMEN SQUARE, BEIJING: A healthy crowd of people were milling around the Chinese capital's emblematic plaza on February 21 last year (top image), but on February 11 this year the square was almost deserted

Daily Mail: The impact of coronavirus, as seen from space: Satellite images reveal the effects the disease has had – from empty theme parks to deserted streets

* The Grand Mosque in Mecca and a holy shrine in Qom are missing their usual huge crowds of pilgrims
* Tourists are also absent from Beijing's Tiananmen Square, Milan's Piazza del Duomo and Tokyo's Disneyland
* The before-and-after aerial images have been released by Colorado-based space technology firm Maxar

This series of satellite images shows the impact of the coronavirus outbreak from above, with roads empty, pilgrimage sites deserted and new hospitals springing up in China.

The aerial photographs, released by Colorado-based space technology firm Maxar, show normally bustling spots from Mecca to Beijing thinned of their usual crowds.

One image shows only a handful of pilgrims circling the granite Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque - a sacred site usually thronged with Muslim worshippers - after Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round 'umrah' pilgrimage.

An image above the Hazrat Masumeh Shrine in Qom shows one of Iran's most hallowed places virtually empty, after the country became the centre of the virus outbreak in the Middle East.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The images on Tienanmen Square are striking. There is always people there.

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