(Updates 1: Adds GERMANY, SPAIN, WHO, SAUDI ARABIA, UK, ITALY, SOUTH AFRICA)
Madrid Desk, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- Here’s a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:
GERMANY: Authorities in all 16 of Germany’s states have said that wearing face masks in public spaces will be compulsory, after Bremen became the last region to back the guidelines from the federal government in Berlin. Last week, chancellor Angela Merkel had recommended the use of masks in public when announcing that some of the restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus were being eased.
Covering the nose and mouth will now be mandatory on all public transport across the country, while in most states, face masks must be worn in shops, banks and post offices, although penalties against people who ignore the rules vary depending on the region.
SPAIN: The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Spain jumped 435 overnight to bring the total to 21,717 but authorities said the rate of transmission had stabilized as politicians readied to extend the national lockdown until 9 May.
WHO: The number of daily Covid-19 deaths globally dropped under 5,000 on Wednesday for the first time in two weeks. Global infections have reached 2.47 million, an increase of around 80,000 from the previous day, and the death toll stands at 169,006, according to World Health Organization data.
SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudi King King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has approved reduced prayers for Taraweeh in the two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina, although worshippers will not be allowed in. The prayers in the mosques will be limited to employees and workers of the government, the King said in a statement Wednesday.
UNITED KINGDOM: Stephen Hawking’s ventilator has been donated to the Papworth Hospital in Cambridge by the late scientists’ family to help treat patients with Covid-19.
ITALY: Traces of coronavirus were found in non potable water in Rome and Naples although authorities said this did not pose a threat and that analysing water samples could be used in future to detect new waves of infection.
SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa is planning to deploy 73,000 members of the armed forces who will help contain the spread of the coronavirus until June.
BANGLADESH: Bangladesh increased the ongoing general holiday until May 5 as the country reported 10 more deaths and 390 new cases of Covid-19 infection in the last 24 hours. With this, the death toll climbed to 120 and the number of infected people rose to 3,772 in the country.
THAILAND: Health authorities recorded 15 new cases for a total of 2,826, and one new death to bring the total to 49, while 2,352 people have been discharged (up 244).
JAPAN: A total of 33 crew members of various nationalities out of the 623 aboard the Italian cruise ship “Costa Atlantica” moored in Nagasaki for repairs have tested positive for Covid-19, prefecture officials said at a press conference Wednesday. The tests were carried out on 57 crew members who may have been in close contact with one staff member who returned the first positive on Monday. There are no passengers onboard.
CHINA: China reported 30 new cases a day earlier (23 imported), compared to 11 Monday (4 imported) and 12 Sunday (8 imported), breaking the downward trend of recent days. There were no new deaths so the total sits at 4,632, while 28 patients were discharged for a total of 77,151 and 82,788 cases registered since the beginning of the outbreak. EFE