WORLD

Singapore Reports 1st Two COVID-19 Deaths, Philippines Records Biggest Daily Cases Increase

-- Singapore reports its first two COVID-19 deaths -- Philippines sees 77 more COVID-19 cases, the biggest single-day jump -- Pakistan will suspend international flight operations for two weeks -- Timor-Leste records the first confirmed case of COVID-19
22 Mar 2020 09:42
Singapore Reports 1st Two COVID-19 Deaths, Philippines Records Biggest Daily Cases Increase
People walk on an empty footbridge in Quezon City, the Philippines, on March 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

Singapore on Saturday reported the first two COVID-19 deaths while the Philippines recorded its biggest COVID-19 cases increase in a single day.

SINGAPORE

Singapore reported its first two COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, which involve one Singaporean and one Indonesian who are both senior people, according to the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH).

MOH said in a press release that two patients have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection on Saturday morning.

A press release quoted Singaporean Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong as saying that he was saddened by the passing away of the patients and will render all necessary assistance to their families.

Photo taken on March 19, 2020 shows an almost empty departure hall at the Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua)

Photo taken on March 19, 2020 shows an almost empty departure hall at the Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua)

Singapore reported a total of 385 COVID-19 cases, 131 of which have been discharged.

THE PHILIPPINES

The Department of Health of the Philippines reported on Saturday 77 more positive cases for COVID-19, the biggest single-day jump in the number of the coronavirus cases in the country.

That brings the total number of the confirmed cases in the country to 307.

The government urged people to stay at home to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reported that another COVID-19 patient has died, bringing the total number of deaths to 19, adding that five more patients have recovered from the viral disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 13.

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the disease to 52.

Supplies of hand and body wash products are running low at a supermarket in Wellington, New Zealand, March 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

Supplies of hand and body wash products are running low at a supermarket in Wellington, New Zealand, March 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

New Zealand is currently at Alert Level Two in a newly implemented alert system corresponding to COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Saturday in an official address.

Ardern said the New Zealand government is aimed to slow down a “tidal wave” of COVID-19 and break it into smaller waves, which would reduce the impact on the health system and the economy.

JAPAN

Japan’s health ministry and local governments said Saturday the number of COVID-19 infections nationwide has risen to 1,031 cases as of 6:30 p.m. local time.

The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at a total of 43 people, according to the health ministry, with the figure including those from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama, close to Tokyo.

The health ministry said there are currently a total of 61 patients considered severely ill and are on ventilators to receive respiratory assistance or have been admitted to intensive care units.

The ministry said, meanwhile, that a total of 766 people have been discharged from hospitals after their symptoms improved.

SOUTH KOREA

South Korea reported 147 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of midnight Saturday local time, raising the total number of infections to 8,799.

 

Eight more deaths were confirmed, lifting the death toll to 102. The total fatality rate came in at 1.16 percent.

PAKISTAN

Pakistan has decided to suspend international flight operations for two weeks starting from 8:00 p.m. local time on Saturday in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus in the country, said an official.

“Only a few international flights of Pakistan International Airlines will be allowed to fly back to the country,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Moeed Yusuf said in a press conference.

According to the government statistics, the number of confirmed coronavirus patients rose to 534 in Pakistan on Saturday after 65 more cases were reported during the last 24 hours.

INDIA

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India rose to 283 on Saturday evening, up from 258 from Saturday morning, the federal health ministry said.

Of the newly confirmed cases, 244 are Indian nationals and 39 are foreign nationals, a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Medical workers wearing protective suits are seen outside a special isolation ward of a Hospital in Kochi, Kerala, India, March 19, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)

Medical workers wearing protective suits are seen outside a special isolation ward of a Hospital in Kochi, Kerala, India, March 19, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)

 

According to ministry officials, so far four deaths related to novel coronavirus have been reported in India. The ministry also said 23 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

The Indian government has banned the entry of all international commercial passenger flights from Sunday for one week.

Meanwhile, state-run broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said train services across the country will remain suspended from Saturday midnight to 10:00 p.m. local time on Sunday.

INDONESIA

The COVID-19 outbreak has claimed 38 lives in Indonesia, and 81 new cases were confirmed on Saturday, bringing the total to 450 in the country, the Indonesian government said.

At a press conference, the government’s spokesperson for all coronavirus-related matters Achmad Yurianto said that 20 people have recovered from the disease.

MALAYSIA

Eight individuals have died of the COVID-19 in Malaysia, with 153 newly confirmed cases, and the total cases of the COVID-19 in the country now stand at 1,183, according to the Health Ministry on Saturday.

The fourth fatality was a 50-year-old Malaysian man who had attended a large scale religious event held near the capital of Kuala Lumpur from late February to early March, Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah told a press briefing.

Noor Hisham said of the new cases, at least 90 were traced to the same event.

A man wearing face mask sits near the Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 20, 2020. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)

A man wearing face mask sits near the Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 20, 2020. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)

Out of the total cases, 114 have been cured and discharged from hospital, while 37 are currently being held in intensive care and 23 of those are in need of assisted breathing.

THAILAND

Bangkok’s governor Asawin Kwanmuang Saturday announced a 22-day closure of shopping malls, markets and beauty salons in the capital from March 22 to April 12 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the governor, food zone and pharmacy in malls are excluded from the closure. Restaurants and food courts can only offer take-away with no diners allowed to be seated.

The City Hall has asked people not to stockpile food and consumer products in panic as restaurants and zones selling necessary consumer goods are still open.

Thailand reported its largest daily increase in COVID-19 infections on Saturday, with 89 new cases taking the national tally to 411.

TIMOR-LESTE

Timor-Leste has recorded the first confirmed case of COVID-19, the country’s Vice Minister of Health Elia dos Reis Amaral said in a statement on Saturday.

Amaral said that authorities are conducting contact tracing measures following the case confirmation.

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh on Saturday recorded the country’s second death related to COVID-19, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said at a press briefing Saturday.

A worker sterilizes a bus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 19, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)

A worker sterilizes a bus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 19, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)

Bangladesh has banned the entry of flights from 10 countries until March 31 effective from March 21.

The countries are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore and India.

MYANMAR

Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced a temporary suspension of issuance of visas on arrival and e-visa for all countries from Saturday, according to a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry late Friday.

The suspension will be effective until April 30, but diplomats accredited to Myanmar, resident United Nations officials and any foreign nationals who intend to travel to Myanmar on compelling reason or on important official mission are asked to contact Myanmar missions for necessary entry visa or for ease of the quarantine procedure, the statement said.

The ministry also announced taking further restrictive measures on the coronavirus-hit countries from Saturday.

No confirmed COVID-19 case has been reported so far in Myanmar.

VIETNAM

Vietnam will temporarily ban all foreigners, except for entrants on diplomatic or official purposes or other special cases permitted, from entering the country from 0:00 a.m. Sunday local time in a bid to control the COVID-19 outbreak, the Vietnamese government announced Saturday.

Photo taken on March 18, 2020 shows a group of young people leaving a quarantine facility after completing their 14-day quarantine in Vietnam's northern province of Hoa Binh. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)

Photo taken on March 18, 2020 shows a group of young people leaving a quarantine facility after completing their 14-day quarantine in Vietnam’s northern province of Hoa Binh. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on Saturday evening confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 94.

The ministry said 196 suspected coronavirus cases are quarantined in the country while more than 36,000 others are being monitored.

AUSTRALIA

Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach was ordered to be shut down on Saturday afternoon after hundreds of beachgoers crowded on the sand on Friday ignoring the ongoing social distancing guidelines.

There have been 874 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia as of 6:30 a.m. local time Saturday.

FIJI

Fiji reported Saturday its second confirmed case of COVID-19 following a 27-year-old national flight attendant who tested positive on Thursday.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said in a statement that the second confirmed case of this virus is the first patient’s mother who developed symptoms soon after entering isolation in Nadi Hospital and her results came back positive on Saturday.

This is the the first locally-transmitted case in the island nation. Like his son, who is in a stable condition in Lautoka Hospital, she remains in isolation in Nadi Hospital where she is in a stable condition.

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