COVID-19 has now killed over 160,000 globally, 2.3 million infected

The new coronavirus outbreak has now claimed the lives of 160,706 people across the world, and more than 2,328,600 others are infected, according to the latest data collected by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Here are the latest on the coronavirus pandemic from around the world:

Italy reports low daily rise in deaths

In Italy, the country with the second highest deaths after the United States, the deaths from the respiratory illness rose by 482 on Saturday, the lowest daily increase since April 12. That brought the total death toll to 23,227.

And the number of Italy’s new cases was stable at 3,491, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.

The country’s total cases now stand at 175,925, according to JHU.

Spain ‘past most extreme moments’

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday that the nation had “left behind the most extreme moments.”

The country’s total death toll stands at 20,639, and cases number at 194,416.

The figures in Spain — Europe’s worst-hit nation — have been increasing more slowly in recent days.

Sanchez said, however, that, “These achievements are still insufficient and above all fragile. We cannot put them at risk with hasty solutions.”

The Spanish prime minister plans to extend but also loosen restrictive measures enforced to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Netherlands’ cases cross 31,000

Dutch health authorities reported an additional 1,140 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in the Netherlands to 31,766.

They also registered 142 new deaths from the viral infection, bringing the total fatalities to 3,601.

Germany reports 242 new deaths

Germany reported 3,609 new confirmed cases and 242 more deaths on Saturday, according to the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention.

The country’s total cases reached 143,724, along with 4,538 deaths, as of Saturday.

Turkey has most cases of COVID-19 in Middle East

Turkey has become the worst-hit country in the Middle East as its confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 82,329, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

An increase of 3,783 cases in the last 24 hours brought Turkey’s overall tally to within a few hundred of that of China, where the virus first emerged.

Koca said 121 more people had also died of complications caused by the new coronavirus, taking the death toll in the country to 1,890.

UAE to fine people for spreading COVID-19 information not officially approved

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it will fine people up to 5,500 dollars if they share information about the outbreak that is not officially approved.

“It is forbidden for any individual to publish, re-publish or circulate medical information or guidance which is false, misleading, or which hasn’t been announced officially,” state news agency WAM cited officials as saying on Saturday.

The Emirates has reported 37 deaths and 6,302 infections.

Israel to ease some coronavirus restrictions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will gradually ease a coronavirus lockdown from Sunday.

He will let some businesses to reopen as health officials reported a slowdown in infection rates.

Israel imposed a partial lockdown in mid-March but steadily tightened restrictions, forcing many businesses to close and people to stay mostly at home.

That has battered the regime’s economy and sent the unemployment rate to above 25 percent.

Netanyahu, however, said Israel had “succeeded in (its) mission so far” in combating the epidemic and argued that the restrictions had “proven themselves in a slowdown” in infection rates.

“Our good results enable us today to start taking steps in the opposite direction — not a tightening, but an easing,” he said on Saturday.

Israel had 164 deaths and nearly 13,300 cases as of Saturday evening.

China reports low daily increase in infections, no deaths

China reported 16 new confirmed cases on Sunday, nine of which were imported from overseas.

The remaining seven positive cases were locally transmitted, down from 10 the previous day, according to data published by the National Health Commission.

The figure was the lowest number since Saturday and down from 27 a day earlier, said the commission.

No new deaths were reported, it said.

China’s total number of coronavirus cases now stands at 83, 804, while the total death toll from the virus stands at 4,632.

India has made no decision to lift or ease flight restrictions

India has not made a decision to lift or ease restrictions on domestic and international flights, a government minister said on Saturday.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far, no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet. “Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also put the whole population under a 21-day lockdown in late March to contain the outbreak. The lockdown has been extended until May 3.

India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has reported over 15,000 coronavirus cases and more than 500 deaths as of early Sunday, according to data from the Indian government.

Taiwan to quarantine 700 sailors

Meanwhile, Taiwan said it would quarantine 700 sailors who had been on a mission to the Pacific island state of Palau last month.

The decision was made after officials detected three positive cases of COVID-19 among the crew.

The navy will deep-clean the ships to disinfect them, Reuters reported.

Taiwan has so far reported a total of 398 cases and six deaths.

South Korea reports single-digit new cases

South Korea reported single-digit new cases of the viral infection for the first time in two months on Sunday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported eight new daily cases, bringing the total tally to 10,661 cases.

The country has also registered a total of 234 deaths.

South Korea extended its social distancing policy for another 15 days on Sunday while Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun offered some relief for churches and sporting fixtures.

“It is safest to maintain the intensive social distancing, but it isn’t easy realistically. We need to find a middle ground,” Chung said.

“If we can maintain a stable management at the current level, we will shift to ‘routine social distancing’ from May 6,” he added.

Health authorities said this would allow a reopening of the economy while maintaining guidelines on disinfection and preventing the spread of the virus in people’s daily lives.

Australia accuses China of lack of transparency over virus

Australia on Sunday accused China of a lack of transparency over the coronavirus outbreak, calling for an international investigation into the origins of the virus and how it spread.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said her concern about China’s transparency was at a “a very high point.”

A handful of countries have alleged that the virus was created at a lab in China. Beijing has dismissed such allegations.

Australia reported 53 new cases on Sunday, taking the overall total to 6,586, according to Health Ministry data. There have also been 71 deaths in the country.

Philippines reports 209 new cases, 10 deaths

The Philippines recorded another 209 cases and 10 deaths, bringing the country’s totals to 6,087 cases and 397 deaths.

Trusted aide to Nigerian president dies of COVID-19

The chief of staff to Nigeria’s president has lost his life due to complications arising from the coronavirus infection, the presidential office said on Saturday.

Mallam Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, was in his 70s and had underlying health conditions, including diabetes.

“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,” presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said in a brief statement.

“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” he added.

Kyari had tested positive with COVID-19 shortly after he returned from a trip to Germany in early March.

Nigeria has reported 639 cases and 19 deaths.

Guatemala’s new cases come from US

In Central America, Guatemala recorded 19 more cases of positive COVID-19 on Saturday.

President Alejandro Giammattei said the new cases were nationals deported from the United States.

The country has reported a total 257 cases of coronavirus infection and seven deaths.

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