Here, we provide you with the latest updates on COVID-19 around the globe
Spanish PM says EU is in danger’
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has issued an urgent warning that the European Union is in danger of disintegrating in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
“The EU is in danger if there is no solidarity,” Sanchez told parliament
Spain is among the countries calling for common debt insurance, widely referred to as coronabonds, to tackle the economic fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic. Germany and other countries have so
far rejected the proposal.
Coronavirus in Russia surge past 10,000 after record daily rise
Russia reported a record one-day rise in cases of novel coronavirus, pushing the official tally to more than 10,000, a day after President Vladimir Putin said the coming weeks would prove decisive in the fight against the virus.
The number of cases jumped by 1,459 and 13 more people died, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said on its website. That brings the overall death toll to 76.
150 members of the ruling Saudi royal family infected
Dozens of members of the ruling Saudi royal family, as many as 150, have been infected with coronavirus in recent weeks, a news report said.
Saudi Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – the governor of the capital Riyadh who is in his 70s – is in intensive care after contracting the virus, according to The New York Times, which cited hospital communications, doctors in the country and sources familiar with the family.
King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) have retreated into isolation to avoid the outbreak.
Four infected newborns among coronavirus cases in China
New evidence from China suggests it is possible for expectant mothers to pass coronavirus on to their unborn babies in the womb, according to a new report.
Research published by scientists from the University of Wuhan in the European Respiratory Journal suggests that four infected new borns were among the 81,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in China by mid
In all four cases the mothers were also infected with coronavirus and in three cases showed symptoms immediately before giving birth. The babies only showed mild symptoms and were not in need of ventilation or treatment in intensive care.
Spain’s death toll surpasses 15,000
Spain’s number of daily coronavirus deaths slowed after two days of increase as 683 people succumbed in 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 15,238, the health ministry said.
Overall detected cases rose to 152,446 from 146,690 on Wednesday, it added.
Coronavirus lockdown drives jump in vodka and whisky sales in Russia
Russian retailers have seen a sharp spike in alcohol sales in recent weeks with consumers rushing to buy vodka, whisky and beer at a time when Moscow and other regions have imposed partial lockdowns.
In the last week of March, vodka sales across Russia’s largest retail chains jumped 31 percent in year-on-year terms, while whisky and beer purchases increased 47 percent and 25 percent respectively, Nielsen, a market research firm, found.
Sultan Khamzaev, head of Sober Russia which campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption, said the spike in sales was driven by long holidays, stress, fears that alcohol would run out, and a belief among many Russians that alcohol offers some protection against the new coronavirus.
South Africa’s Ramaphosa defends WHO after Trump virus lashing
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has thrown his support behind the WHO after it came under stinging attack from US leader Donald Trump over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from Ramaphosa’s office late Wednesday said he “reaffirms his appreciation for the exceptional leadership” of World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “from the very earliest stages of this unprecedented global health crisis”.
Ramaphosa was speaking in his capacity as the current leader of the African Union (AU).
UN delivers 90 tons of COVID-19 aid to Venezuela
A plane carrying 90 tons of UN health, water and sanitation aid arrived in Venezuela on Wednesday to help the cash-strapped country fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The shipment includes 28,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits for health workers, oxygen concentrators, pediatric beds, water quality control products and hygiene kits, the UN said.
“This is the first United Nations humanitarian shipment in support of the Venezuela COVID-19 outbreak,” said Peter Grohmann, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Venezuela.
Venezuela, suffering from a crippling economic crisis that has led to shortages of basic food and medicine and forced some five million people to flee the country, has 167 confirmed cases of coronavirus and nine deaths.
UN calls on Southeast Asian nations to protect health of migrants
The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia is calling on countries around the region to do “everything they can” to protect the health of migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Migrants in detention facilities should be released, forced returns suspended and “firewalls” erected between healthcare and immigration, the Bangkok-based office said.
“Migrants are an integral part of our communities, and only by including them fully will we be successful in overcoming COVID-19,” Regional Representative Cynthia Veliko said in a statement.