Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: March 24

(Update, adds information from the US, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Chile, the Caribbean and Canada)

Miami Desk, Mar 24 (efe-epa).- Here is a roundup of stories from around the world related to the coronavirus pandemic:

US: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his daily coronavirus pandemic press conference on Tuesday that it would be inconceivable for the coronavirus crisis to come to an end before mid-April, as President Donald Trump said a few hours earlier. De Blasio said that April will be worse than March and that the crisis will continue until May.

US: The US Food and Drug Administration authorized doctors around the country to use the blood plasma of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to treat people who are in critical condition and whose lives are in danger in what some experts say is the best solution as long as a vaccine or cure is unavailable.

US: The death toll in Florida from Covid-19 rose to 20 on Tuesday, and the number of confirmed cases reached 1,467, with state Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, calling upon President Donald Trump to declare a state of emergency in the state.

MEXICO: The Carlos Slim Foundation – founded by Mexico’s richest man – on Tuesday donated 1 billion pesos (more than $40 million) to combat the coronavirus crisis in Mexico, which has entered the second phase of the epidemic by registering its first “community spread” cases.

NICARAGUA: The Nicaraguan government reported Tuesday that, for the first time, it is monitoring the health of seven people suspected of carrying the coronavirus, all of whom had contact with one of the two confirmed cases registered so far in the Central American nation.

PANAMA: Panama this week will repatriate about 700 German tourists on humanitarian flights after they became stranded while on vacation, and 31 Panamanians arrived in the Central American country from Germany on board a Lufthansa jet. Panama banned all incoming and outgoing air travel for 30 days on March 22.

COSTA RICA: Costa Rica on Tuesday reported 177 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 19 more than the previous day, while the country’s congress approved a $500 million loan to deal with the emergency. Among the ill are 74 women and 103 men, while two people have died and two have reportedly recovered since the first case was detected on March 6.

CHILE: Chilean President Sebastian Piñera on Tuesday supervised at a convention center in Santiago which has been converted into a hospital with beds for 4,000 patients in the country’s latest move to combat the coronavirus, which has infected at least 922 people in Chile and killed two.

CARIBBEAN: Guadeloupe reported 62 cases of coronavirus and one death, Martinique reported 53 cases and one death, while Trinidad & Tobago also reported 53 cases, although nobody has died in that country at this point. Jamaica has registered 23 cases and two deaths, while Guyana has 20 cases and one death.

CANADA: The number of Covid-19 cases in Canada increased on Tuesday by 499 to 2,590, while the number of deaths rose to 25 as the country’s main provinces prepare to close down all non-essential businesses. Quebec and Ontario, the two most populous provinces, have registered 1,013 and 588 cases, respectively.

FRANCE: Cameroonian saxophonist and singer Manu Dibango, 86, one of the giants of African jazz, died in a hospital near Paris where he had been receiving treatment for the coronavirus, close associates said. France has reported more than 20,100 infections and 860 deaths.

NORWAY: The government extended restrictive measures for another two weeks, including the closure of educational institutions and partial closure of borders and airports, as the number of deaths stood at 12 and infections at 2,760.

BELGIUM: A man who spat on customers at a supermarket after shouting that he was infected with coronavirus has been charged with attempted poisoning, as a total of 4,226 people have been infected and 122 have died in the country.

CUBA: The country reported eight new confirmed cases, all people who had traveled abroad, which brought the total infections to 48 with a single death, and Cuba’s first recovered patient was also announced.

PORTUGAL: Football star Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes have donated equipment for 35 new intensive care beds at hospitals in Lisbon and Porto after 30 deaths and 2,362 confirmed cases in the country.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan has reported 32 new cases in its worst-hit Herat province, taking the national figure to 74.

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