(Update : Adds WHO, US, Andorra, Latin America, Jamaica)
Miami Desk, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Here’s a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:
WHO: The World Trade Organization on Sunday reported 80,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, bringing the total to date to 2.24 million, 152,551 of whom have died. The US, Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK and France, in that order, are the countries that have been hardest hit by the virus, although in recent days other countries – such as Russia and Brazil – have seen their caseloads begin to surge.
US: The US automotive sector is stepping up preparations to resume operations at its factories amid the impatience of President Donald Trump to reopen the US economy, which has been largely paralyzed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A key element in Trump’s plans to reopen the economy are the big automakers, which are located in states that are key to his re-election prospects, including Michigan and Ohio. The big three – General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) – want to resume production gradually, with FCA plants in North America preparing to get going again by mid-May, and GM and Ford still in the process of finalizing their plans.
US: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the US economic recovery will be a question of “months” not “years,” going on to agree with leaders of Congress about the possibility of reaching a deal on a second stimulus package for small businesses.
US: Florida’s southeastern Miami-Dade County, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, said that 202 of the state’s 764 virus fatalities have occurred there as state authorities are planning to gradually reopen public spaces and businesses in the coming weeks. At least 9,166 of the state’s 25,996 confirmed coronavirus cases have been detected in Miami-Dade County.
ANDORRA: The tiny principality of Andorra, sandwiched between France and Spain, on Sunday reported 442 confirmed coronavirus cases, of whom 35 have been hospitalized, 19 of them in intensive care units, although Health Minister Joan Martinez Benazet said that the number of hospitalized patients is declining steadily and pressure on the healthcare system is easing. The virus death toll in Andorra stands at 35.
BRAZIL: Rio de Janeiro city authorities have decided to require residents to wear face coverings in public starting next Wednesday in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Persons not wearing masks will be denied entry into a long list of stores, service centers, public transportation and other locations.
BRAZIL: The Brazilian Health Ministry on Sunday reported a decline in the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, although 38,654 such cases have been confirmed to date and 2,462 people have died. Last Friday, 3,257 new cases were reported, with 2,917 on Saturday and 2,055 on Sunday. On Saturday, 206 deaths were reported, but on Sunday only 115 were tallied.
PERU: Peru received 300,000 rapid Covid-19 tests on Sunday from China out of a total of 1.4 million tests it has purchased and which will be distributed nationwide, Peruvian Health Minister Victor Zamora announced.
CUBA: Cuban health authorities said that it had passed the 1,000-case threshold, with 1,035 confirmed virus cases so far and 34 deaths.
ECUADOR: Ecuadorian health officials reported Sunday that 9,468 confirmed coronavirus cases have been detected here, 68 percent of them in the coastal province of Guayas, and 817 people have died.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Dominican Health Minister Rafael Sanchez Cardenas reported Sunday that 4,680 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been detected so far with almost 57,000 people having been tested. The death toll stands at 226 at present, giving the virus a lethality of 4.8 percent.
JAMAICA: The increase in coronavirus cases in Jamaica – where 173 cases have been detected and 5 people have died – is resulting in rising pressure on the government to curtail non-essential economic activities, as other nations have done in an attempt to limit the spread of the highly contagious virus.
TAJIKISTAN: After a month of pause because of the coronavirus, Tajikistan’s football league got underway again.
UNITED KINGDOM: British health officials said another 596 people had died in hospital from coronavirus, bringing the total to 15,944, although authorities said the figure could be lower due to it being a weekend.
ITALY: The southern Italian town of Saviano has been placed in isolation after hundreds of residents last week attended the funeral of their mayor, Carmina Sommese, who was a doctor by profession and died aged 66 from coronavirus.
RUSSIA: President Vladimir Putin has said coronavirus outbreak in the country was “under control” in a video message from the Kremlin to mark the occasion of Easter Sunday in the Orthodox calendar