Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: March 22

(Update: adds information from WHO, the US, Cuba, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, France, Germany and the Caribbean)

Miami Desk, Mar 22 (efe-epa).- Here’s a roundup of stories from around the world related to the coronavirus pandemic:

WHO: The World Health Organization announced Sunday that 294,110 people have now become infected with the coronavirus, with the death toll currently standing at 12,944. A total of 186 countries have now confirmed cases of the virus. China has suffered 81,000 cases, Italy 60,000, the US 30,000 – now having moved into third place – and Spain 29,000.

US: President Donald Trump on Sunday activated the National Guard for the states of Washington, New York and California – those most heavily affected by the coronavirus epidemic sweeping the country – to help with efforts to battle the disease.

US: Trump authorized vehicle manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Tesla to produce ventilators amid the crisis, saying on Twitter that he had given the firms the green light to make ventilators and other metal product “Fast!”

US: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Sunday became the first US senator to test positive for Covid-19, according to the Republican’s office, adding that Paul is currently in quarantine although he “feels well” and is asymptomatic.

CUBA: A delegation of more than 50 Cuban doctors and nurses arrived in Italy to help that country provide medical care to patients suffering from the coronavirus, which has killed more than 5,400 people in the European country, according to the latest tally.

SYRIA: Damascus said that Syria on Sunday registered its first Covid-19 case, a person who entered the country from abroad, after NGOs had said that more cases are present in Syrian territory.

JORDAN: About 700 people have been arrested in the last 24 hours in Jordan for violating the curfew imposed on the weekend to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the deputy environmental minister announced.

MOROCCO: The Moroccan government, at an extraordinary session, decreed that all people remain at home for one month to try and halt the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 109 people and killed two.

FRANCE: France has decided to send people seriously ill after contracting the coronavirus to Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg for treatment to decongest local hospitals

GERMANY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered home quarantine, the government said immediately after she had appeared before the media to explain the latest measures adopted by Berlin to battle the coronavirus. The chancellor will continue with her work while awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test, although no further details on her condition were provided.

CARIBBEAN: Grenada and Dominica confirmed their first two cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, both people having traveled to the United Kingdom recently. Barbados health authorities reported that the number of Covid-19 cases there has increased to 14, a hike of 10 in the past two days.

GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel tightened social distancing measures and limited gatherings to a maximum of two people in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

CZECH REPUBLIC: The Czech Republic has admitted to mistakenly confiscating medical equipment sent by China to Italy. Some 680,000 masks and 28,000 medical respirators, kept in a warehouse in Lovosice, some 65 kilometres northwest of Prague, were seized this week.

UK: Liverpool FC has offered supermarkets in the Merseyside area the services of its Anfield Stadium security personnel. “They are truly the best in the business and would be delighted to help in whatever way you would deem appropriate (and safe) on your premises. Please DM me so that I can put you in contact,” CEO Peter Moore tweeted.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Dominican Foreign Affairs Minister Miguel Vargas said he had tested positive for coronavirus on his twitter account on Sunday: “Today I received the test results for the Covid-19, and I have tested positive, I still have no symptoms. I urge Dominicans to follow the health instructions and the established protocol, with God we will get ahead.”

US: The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a diagnostic Covid-19 test that offers results in 45 minutes. The test will be made available before the 30 March.

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