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Coronavirus: A timeline of how the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is evolving

Lancet retracts hydroxychloroquine study associated with Surgisphere

The Lancet journal has retracted a study it published on 22nd May conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Surgisphere, which did not find any benefit of the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine on in-hospital outcomes of Covid-19 patients.

This retraction comes as a result of concerns expressed about the “veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication.” The Guardian newspaper conducted an investigation into Surgisphere, the results of which were published on 3rd June. The paper found some problems with the company, including alleging it has employees with little to no scientific background, it has no online presence, despite claiming to be one of the best hospital databases in the world, and its founder Desai had been named in three medical malpractice lawsuits.

Following these concerns, the journal conducted an independent review, which was unsuccessful because Surgisphere moved to not “transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis,” according to the retraction. It added: “Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources. Due to this unfortunate development, the authors request that the paper be retracted.”

This data was central to why the World Health Organization halted the hydroxychloroquine arm of its Solidary trial. As a result of concerns around the data, the WHO re-started that portion of its trial earlier this week.

Data from the Surgisphere was also published in another journal, the New England Journal of Medicine. It has published an expression of concern about the study while it investigates the issue. “We have asked the authors to provide evidence that the data are reliable. In the interim and for the benefit of our readers, we are publishing this Expression of Concern about the reliability of their conclusions,” the expression of concern stated.

9:47 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 6.6 million – Brazil death toll third highest world wide – Argentina extends lockdown

5 June

Global: The number of known coronavirus infections has passed 6.6 million, with 6,601,349 currently confirmed, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Brazil: Brazil’s death toll overtakes Italy’s to become third-highest worldwide. Brazil’s total Covid-19 death toll blew past that of Italy on Thursday, as the Health Ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional coronavirus cases.

India: India registered more than 9,800 new cases of the coronavirus in another biggest single-day spike.

South Africa: South Africa has recorded 3,267 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest increase since the pandemic hit the country. Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths, bring the total to 848.

Australia: Ebola drug remdesivir endorsed as a coronavirus treatment in Australia. The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups.

US: New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, urged protestors to get tested for coronavirus, saying several days and nights of demonstrations in the state after the killing of George Floyd could accelerate the spread. He noted that an estimated 30,000 people have protested in the state.

New York City’s health department produced data on Thursday that showed no deaths of virus-carriers the previous day, giving officials cause to cautiously celebrate. Three deaths probably attributable to Covid-19 occurred in untested patients, the department reported. It was a far cry from a week in mid-April when the city recorded about 700 deaths a day.

UK: Covid-19 causing 10,000 dementia deaths beyond infections, UK research says. There were almost 10,000 unexplained extra deaths among people with dementia in April, according to official figures that have prompted alarm about the severe impact of social isolation on people with the condition.

Patients with high blood pressure admitted to hospital with coronavirus infections are twice as likely to die as those without the condition, researchers said on Friday.

Japan: A Tokyo 2020 executive board member said on Friday that organisers will need to monitor the coronavirus situation until next spring to decide whether to hold the Summer Olympics next year, Kyodo News reported.

Africa: Low Covid-19 figures for Africa are “broadly accurate”, the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said. There were concerns that low levels of testing, poor infrastructure and a lack of cooperation from some governments may be disguising the true extent of the disease’s spread.

South Korea: South Korea reported on Friday 39 new cases of the coronavirus over a 24-hour period, a continuation of an upward trend in new infections in the country.

China: China reported five new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought by Chinese citizens from outside the country.

Spain: A second round of random testing in Spain shows only 5.2 percent of the population carry antibodies against the new coronavirus.

Fiji: Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji, said all coronavirus patients in the Pacific island nation have now recovered.

Lockdown updates

Europe: The European Commission is urging member states to fully reopen all internal borders by the end of this month. European states should abolish border controls within the bloc in the coming weeks as the coronavirus situation has improved everywhere, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson told Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in an interview on Friday.

UK: Passengers on England’s buses, subways and trains will have to wear face coverings starting June 15 to help protect fellow passengers from the coronavirus.

Turkey: Turkey will impose a two-day weekend curfew in 15 cities as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the interior ministry said.

Argentina: Argentina extended until June 28 a mandatory lockdown in capital Buenos Aires and other areas with high cases of coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez announced, after the country surpassed 20,000 confirmed cases earlier in the day.

Economic updates

Africa: Antonio Guterres, the United Nations chief, said the coronavirus pandemic has compounded “the dire humanitarian and security situations” in Mali and Africa’s Sahel region.

US: US pandemic jobless claims passed 42 million after another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The pace of layoffs has slowed dramatically from its peak of 6.6 million at the start of April as states begin to relax quarantines.

9:01 am

Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca to provide 300 million doses of vaccine to CEPI and Gavi – EU to use $2.7bn emergency fund for Covid-19 vaccines

AstraZeneca has signed a $750m agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance for the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine. The company also entered a licence agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to provide one billion doses to low and middle-income countries.

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Seoul National University (SNU) Hospital have partnered to conduct a Phase I/II clinical trial of Inovio Pharmaceuticals‘ Covid-19 vaccine, INO-4800, in South Korea later this month. This is the first trial of a Covid-19 vaccine approved in Korea.

Australia-based biotechnology firm CSL has partnered with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the University of Queensland to speed-up the development, manufacture and distribution of the university’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. CEPI and CSL agreed to fund the development and manufacture of University of Queensland’s potential vaccine.

France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have formed the ‘Inclusive Vaccine Alliance‘ to accelerate the production of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Dutch Health Ministry. The alliance will work to produce sufficient vaccine doses for the European Union (EU), along with other countries, including low-income markets.

Novavax has received contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX‑CoV2373. Through funding by the Defense Health Program, up to $60m funding will be provided to support the company in manufacturing various components of the vaccine in the US.

The European Union (EU) has plans to use a $2.7bn emergency fund for advance purchasing of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates, reported Reuters citing EU officials. The move, which was discussed at an EU ambassadors meeting, will also see the use of the emergency fund to boost vaccine manufacturing capacity in Europe and provide liability insurance to pharmaceutical companies.

7:40 am

ECB announces economic stimulus package for euro zone

5 June

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) growth forecast for the euro zone predicts GDP to contract.

Europe was designated as the new epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, which originated in China, in March 2020 by the World Health Organisation.

Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and UK are some of the worst affected countries in the region. The outbreak forced countries in the region to implement lockdown measures, which is expected to result in a massive contraction of GDP growth.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to EY ITEM Club, tweeted on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) growth forecast for the euro zone in 2020.

The ECB forecast that the euro zone GDP will contract by 8.7% in 2020, followed by a partial rebound of 5.2% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022.

The ECB also announced a stimulus package of €1.85tn ($2.03tn) under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.


Read more

4:23 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases exceed 6.5 million – infections still on the rise in India – challenges in containment remain

4 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,528,000 with over 386,000 deaths and 2,819,000 recoveries.

In India, a top affected region globally, cases continue to rise as the peak of disease spread seems as yet to have been reached.

New York still remains the top affected region by Covid-19, with more confirmed cases than the United Kingdom, India, Moscow, or France, which make up the remaining top five most affected regions globally.

Globally, the number of daily confirmed deaths may have reached its peak as the number of daily confirmed deaths has slowly been decreasing since the end of April.

Despite the strict social distancing measures enacted at the beginning of this pandemic the virus has continued to spread, offering a glimpse into the challenges remaining as economies around the world begin to reopen.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:09 pm

The reasons why Covid-19 antibody tests are causing confusion

Covid-19 antibody tests are now widely available and play an important role in understanding the virus’ epidemiology in the general population. However, the correlation between a positive result for an antibody test and immunity to the virus is unproven.

The mere presence of Covid-19 antibodies does not equal immunity; researchers do not know yet how much antibody in a person is required to be protective, nor how long that protection might last. To make matters more complicated, some antibody tests have been reported to give false positive results nearly half of the time.

Read more here.

2:35 pm

Intravacc partners with two Dutch universities on Covid-19 vaccine

Vaccine institute Intravacc is partnering with Wageningen Bioveterinary Research  (WBVR) and Utrecht University on the development of an intranasal vaccine for Covid-19.

The partners will leverage Utrecht University’s coronavirus expertise, Intravacc’s FDA-approved Vero cell platform and WBVR’s ‘reverse genetics’ technique to genetically modify the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vector to express the immunogenic spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19.

Intravacc CEO Dr Jan Groen commented: “Intravacc’s strength is its ability of bridging the gap between academia and research centres towards pharma. Together with our partners WBVR and Utrecht University, we combine our expertise in developing an intranasal corona virus vaccine.

“Our safe Vero cell platform, widely used for the production of polio vaccines, put us in the position to fast track the production of pilot lot of this NDV vector-based vaccine concept and to subsequently transfer this to large vaccine manufactures.”

This comes hot on the heels of Intravacc announcing a partnership with US biotech Epivax for its intranasal vaccine for Covid-19. This collaboration leverages Intravacc’s Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV) platform instead of the Vero technology.

10:53 am

International Update: 100,000 Covid cases per day reported to WHO – South Korea faces resurgence – autopsy reveals George Floyd had Covid-19

4 June

Global: Known coronavirus cases pass 6.4 million. According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 6,430,705 known coronavirus cases so far, and 385,947 deaths reported.

The World Health Organization has received reports of 100,000 new cases of coronavirus every day for the past five days, as the outbreak gathers pace in various regions around the world, director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said. He also said it has resumed trials of hydroxychloroquine, although results published by the New England Journal of Medicine show that the drug was no better than placebo pills at preventing illness from the coronavirus.

As many as 45% of people who contract the virus don’t show any symptoms, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

US: George Floyd had coronavirus, according to autopsy. Floyd tested positive for coronavirus, according to a full autopsy report released by the Hennepin county medical examiner’s office.

The White House is working with seven pharmaceutical companies as part of its “Warp Speed” coronavirus vaccine program. They include Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc, as well as two other firms, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mexico: Mexican health authorities reported 1,092 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the highest toll in one day so far, with total infections surging past 100,000.

Portugal: Portugal reported 366 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, above 300 for the first time since 29 May and taking the total to 33,261, the government said.

South Korea: South Korea has confirmed 39 additional cases of the coronavirus, all but three of them reported in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area as authorities are struggling to contain a resurgence of the Covid-19.

China: China reported on Thursday one new coronavirus case and four new asymptomatic Covid-19 cases as of the end of 3 June, according to Reuters quoting the health commission.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand is on the verge of eradicating the virus from its shores after it notched a 13th straight day with no reported new infections, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Macedonia: North Macedonia has reintroduced stringent movement restrictions in the capital Skopje and another three parts of the country, after registering a record number of new Covid-19 infections, according to AP news agency.

Spain: Spain’s congress voted to approve a sixth and final two-week extension of the country’s state of emergency.

Economic updates

Global: G7 Finance ministers said the group is suspending official bilateral debt payments for the poorest countries to year-end 2020 and possibly longer, according to a statement distributed by the US Treasury.

Economic hardships brought about by the coronavirus pandemic could increase aid-dependency in countries at conflict without coordinated responses from governments and international institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday.

Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed to a 130 billion-euro ($146 billion) stimulus package to help Europe’s biggest economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.

9:43 am

Hydroxycloroquine found to offer no protection following Covid-19 exposure

In a study of more than 800 asymptomatic patients in the US and Canada, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that hydroxychloroquine did not protect them better from Covid-19 than placebo after 4 days of either high and moderate risk of exposure.

Health care workers accounted for 66.4% of the participants in this study, with 62.8% of them being physicians and 23.5% nurses.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that 107 of the 821 participants developed Covid-19 in the 14 of follow-up; this was split evenly between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups.

“This randomized trial did not demonstrate a significant benefit of hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis for Covid-19,” the researchers concluded. “Whether preexposure prophylaxis would be effective in high-risk populations is a separate question, with trials ongoing.”

Last week, the UK’s healthcare regulator paused the University of Oxford’s international CopCov study of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to prevent Covid-19 in healthcare workers. This was linked to concerns about the efficacy and safety of the drug based on results of studies in the Lancet.

9:23 am

White House chooses five Operation Warpspeed finalists, according to New York Times

The New York Times has reported that five vaccine finalists have been selected for the US Government’s Operation Warpspeed. The official announcement is expected in coming weeks.

Operation Warpspeed is a public-private partnership led by former GlaxoSmithKline executive Moncef Slaoui launched in mid-May. It focuses on accelerating development of vaccines and therapies for Covid-19 with the aim of having a vaccine available by the end of the year.

The five companies selected were Moderna, AstraZeneca-University of Oxford, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Merck and Pfizer. Moderna and AstraZeneca’s vaccines are both in Phase II, while Pfizer’s candidate, which is being developed with BioNTech, is in Phase I/II trials. J&J and Merck are both earlier along in the development process.

Little is known about Operational Warpspeed and precisely how it plans to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine development. However, the assumption is that by being selected as finalists these companies will have access to more US Government funding to support their efforts.

The most notable of the companies excluded is Sanofi. This interesting following controversy about access to the medicine; initially the company’s CEO had stated the US would receive first access to its vaccine, but then the company had to backtrack following protestations from the French Government.

9:01 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Brazil launches clinical trials of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine – WHO re-starts paused hydroxychloroquine trial

Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has approved clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by researchers at University of Oxford in the UK and supported by AstraZeneca. The Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp) will help conduct the study, which is set to begin this month and will enrol 2,000 participants.

Novavax has partnered with contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) AGC Biologics for large-scale manufacturing of its Matrix-M adjuvant for its Covid-19 vaccine. AGC Biologics will focus on process development for scaled-up manufacturing of Matrix-M to boost Novavax’s capacity to deliver vaccine doses in 2020 and 2021.

The World Health Organization has said that the paused hydroxychloroquine portion of its Solidarity Trial will be resumed. The decision comes after the study’s Data Safety and Monitoring Committee reviewed trial data and recommended that it could continue without any modifications.

Revive Therapeutics has submitted an application to Health Canada to conduct a Phase III confirmatory clinical trial of Bucillamine to treat mild to moderate Covid-19. The trial will involve at least 210 patients and will mainly evaluate the drug’s impact on frequency of hospitalisation and mortality.

7:23 am

Unemployment expected to reach 20% in US

4 June

The US has witnessed unprecedented rates of unemployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The unemployment rate in the US is expected to touch 20%, similar to the rates during the Great Depression.

Experts, however, note that the unemployment rate may be reaching its peak before declining in the second half of the year.

Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate and author, shared the latest unemployment statistics from Eurostat, which estimates that the unemployment rate in the Euro zone was 7.3% in April 2020 and in the EU it was 6.6%.

Krugman noted the unemployment rate in the US is unique being very high compared to other regions at 14.7% in April 2020, according to Bureau of Labour Statistics.

Read more

2:03 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases still on the rise in Brazil – global cases number more than 6.4 million – US faces second wave

3 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,404,000 with over 380,000 deaths and 2,747,000 recoveries.

Brazil has the second most confirmed cases of Covid-19, behind only to the US.

The number of cases in Brazil has grown significantly in the past week, suggesting that the pandemic is far from under control.

The death rate in Brazil also continues to climb at more than 149 deaths per 1,000,000 population.

Cases in the US are still on the rise. With the current protests going on monitoring needs to continue, in order to ensure the pandemic has peaked and a second wave can best be mitigated.

Several US states have seen cases rise by more than 35% since the end of May, including Virginia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:53 am

International Update: Brazil’s Covid death toll passes 31,000 – Lockdown latest – Economic impacts

3 June

Global: Known deaths in the coronavirus pandemic passed 380,000 on Wednesday, with Johns Hopkins University figures showing the toll currently standing at 380,250. Confirmed cases number 6,378,239 so far.

Brazil: A record 1,262 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Brazil today – taking the country’s total death toll to 31,199 – but the president continues to downplay the pandemic.

UK: The UK’s official death toll passed 50,000, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The Lancet has commissioned an independent audit of the data behind a study it published last month that found hydroxycholorquine increased the risk of death in Covid-19 patients.

Iran: Iran confirmed its second highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period since its outbreak began, with the health ministry saying 3,117 people tested positive.

US: A senior US army researcher said it was reasonable to expect that some sort of vaccine could be available to some parts of the US population by the end of the year.

South Korea: South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved a health ministry request to import the anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat Covid-19.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand has reported a 12th straight day of no new cases of Covid-19, as the government considers abandoning as early as next week all remaining restrictions on the country except stringent border controls.

South Africa: A South African court ruled that revised lockdown regulations implemented by the government as part of a phased reopening of the economy are unconstitutional and invalid, giving the state two weeks to amend them.

UK: The UK will publish details today (Wednesday) of its plan to impose a 14-day quarantine on all overseas arrivals.

France: France’s death toll rose by more than a 100 in a 24-hour period for the first time in 13 days. It came as the country enacts a new easing of lockdown measures.

Germany: Germany’s travel warning for Europe will be lifted on Wednesday, its foreign minister, Heiko Maas, announced.

Economic impacts

Australia: Australian treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has confirmed Australia is now in a recession as the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic.

China: China’s huge service sector has bounced back to growth for the first time since January in a sign that the world’s second largest economy is recovering strongly from strict coronavirus-induced containment measures.

Yemen: Yemen remains on the brink of “a macabre tragedy”, the UN has warned after a humanitarian fundraising summit raised only $1.35bn for this year, around $1bn short of the target and only half the sum raised at the equivalent pledging conference last year.

8:58 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Gilead receives more emergency use authorisations for remdesivir – BerGenBio doses first participants in the UK’s ACCORD trial

Dutch research and development vaccine institute Intravacc has partnered with US-based biotechnology firm EpiVax to advance a Covid-19 vaccine candidate based on Intravacc’s Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV) platform. The aim is for the vaccine to produce a safe and effective T-cell response against SARS-CoV-2 and other related coronaviruses.

Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir has secured emergency use authorisations in South Korea and India for the potential treatment of Covid-19. The drug already received emergency use approval in the US, as well as approval from the Japanese regulatory authorities.

Norway-based BerGenBio has started dosing participants in the Phase II Accord Trial of bemcentinib for the treatment of hospitalised patients with Covid-19. Supported by the UK Government, ACCORD is designed to assess drug candidates in early stage trials and advance them into the country’s large-scale Covid-19 studies.

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in the US have expanded their partnership with Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) to accelerate the development and testing of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The partners will work on manufacturing and filling of vials to advance the product into Phase I studies.

7:55 am

Developing nations will suffer worst from economic downturn post Covid-19

3 June

The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to impact developing and underdeveloped countries the most as the lockdown measures have left millions of people jobless and on the verge of poverty.

The majority of the developing nations are expected to face a sharp decline in economic output in 2020.

Miles Kimball, Eaton Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is causing an economic downturn in developing economies.

The article refers to the latest economic results released in Brazil, Turkey and India, which indicates that the economic output of these countries is expected to fall in 2020.

Kimball noted that any country experiencing a decline in inflation during the current crisis after adjusting for temporary price movements due to the disruption in productivity has a monetary policy that is too tight.

Read more

3:21 pm

Gilead’s remdesivir gets MHRA green light, but only targets a select group of Covid-19 patients

Last week, Gilead’s remdesivir received its first positive scientific opinion from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) under the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) for use in Covid-19 patients.

GlobalData suspects that remdesivir will target a select severity group of Covid-19 patients, with the question of how it will be best to initiate and optimise treatment of the disease with the drug. Read more here.

3:09 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 infection rate slows in Europe, Asia, North America – Belgium deaths over 800 per million

2 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,288,000 with over 375,000 deaths and 2,706,000 recoveries.

Globally cases continue to rise, however, this is at much slower rates in Europe, Asia, and North American than at the height of the pandemic spread.

Brazil, Russia, and some areas of the Middle East continue to struggle to contain the spread of the virus, suggesting that the peak of infection still may not have been reached.

The most recent data suggest that Belgium has one of the highest death rates from Covid-19 at a rate of more than 800 deaths per 1,000,000 population.

In contrast, Italy one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, has a death of around 550 deaths per 1,000,000 population.

Around the world economies are slowly starting to open back up as many restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers have now opened but are still maintaining an effort to enforce social distancing protocols.

In the US, protests continued into the fourth day, raising concerns that a second wave of infections is imminent.’

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:49 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths exceed 375,000 – cases still rising in Central and South America – latest lockdown updates

2 June

Global: Global infections from Covid-19 stand at 6,266,193 with deaths at 375,554, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed President Donald Trump’s announcement he would withdraw the US from the WHO, thanking the US for its past contributions and saying the agency hopes to continue its partnership with the US.

The World Health Organization has warned that the increased use of antibiotics to combat the pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond.

Masks and social distancing can help control the coronavirus but hand washing and other measures are still needed, a new study has found.

Brazil: Brazil registered 11,598 additional cases of coronavirus and 623 new deaths on Monday, taking its confirmed cases to 526,447 and deaths to 29,937.

Mexico: Deaths in Mexico passed 10,000 as the WHO warned that Central and South America had become “intense zones for transmission of this virus” and had not reached their peak in cases.

China: China reported five new imported cases and no deaths on Tuesday. As of Monday there were 73 active cases in the country, according to the national health commission.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has discovered four new cases of coronavirus and is concerned about a ‘super spreader’ at the housing estate where all the affected people live, according to the South China Morning Post.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s immigration detention centres have become the country’s latest coronavirus hotspots amid a series of raids on undocumented migrants.

Japan: More than 30 new coronavirus infections were reported in Tokyo on Tuesday, Japan’s NHK public broadcaster said, marking the first time the number of daily cases has topped 30 in 19 days.

South Korea: South Korea will begin trialling QR codes as part of its track and trace efforts to contain the virus.


Lockdown updates

Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his government’s position that a renewed lockdown was economically unviable, reopening the country’s tourism sector and allowing shops and businesses to remain open until 7pm each day, even as the country registered its highest single day spike in Covid-19 cases.

Singapore: Singapore has begun to ease some of the so-called circuit breaker measures it introduced in March.

India: Five Indian states contributing nearly 27% of the country’s gross domestic product are leading a recovery in the economy as it slowly emerges from the world’s biggest lockdown, a new study shows.

China: Queues of tankers have formed off China’s busiest oil ports as the vessels wait to offload crude for refineries that are quickly ramping up production amid a rapid rebound in fuel demand.

US: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that mass protests against police violence risked accelerating the spread of coronavirus, undoing weeks of social-distancing efforts.

New Zealand: New Zealand could remove most of its remaining restrictions on people and businesses as soon as next week after successfully wiping out the coronavirus.


10:15 am

Relief Therapeutics doses patients in Phase IIb/III study for ARDS in Covid-19

Relief Therapeutics and its partner NeuroRx have initiated dosing of its Phase IIb/III trial of RLF-100 for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in Covid-19 patients who are on mechanical ventilation.

RLF-100 is a synthetic human vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). In animal models, VIP has been shown to inhibit inflammatory cytokines and protect pulmonary epithelial cells in the lungs.

Principal study investigator at the University of Miami, Dushyantha T Jayaweera commented: “ARDS is the primary cause of COVID-19 related deaths triggered by acute inflammation in the air sacs (alveolae) of the lungs.

“There is an urgent need for a treatment that can specifically protect type 2 alveolar cells and suppress excessive inflammation.”

9:30 am

Coronavirus company new summary – Gilead reports Phase III results for remdesivir – Emergent wins US Government contract for vaccine manufacturing

Gilead Sciences has reported positive top-line data from the Phase III SIMPLE clinical trial of remdesivir in hospitalised patients with moderate Covid-19 pneumonia. According to the results, patients on the five-day remdesivir course were 65% more likely to have clinical improvement at day 11 than those on the standard of care treatment.

The US Government has awarded a $628m contract to Emergent BioSolutions for domestic production of Covid-19 vaccine candidates through 2021. As part of the contract, Emergent will provide molecule-to-market CDMO services and commit manufacturing capacity, valued at about $542.7m.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the ChemRar Group have committed to deliver 60,000 courses of Avifavir this month to hospitals across the country. Avifavir, a generic version of Avigan (Favipiravir), recently secured the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation registration certificate.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals has entered an agreement with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, TNX-1800, for clinical trials. Fujifilm will manufacture and stock the vaccine candidate at its College Station, Texas, site.

7:39 am

Federal Reserve intervention needs to be cautious when addressing Covid-19 economic downturn

2 June

The economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has led experts and politicians to call for policy actions to be taken by the Federal Reserve. Any policy actions, however, may not result in the necessary potential benefits.

Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, shared an article on how the Federal Reserve should resist pressure to take additional policy actions such as negative interest rates, asset-purchase programmes and more aggressive forward guidance.

However, such policies may lead to investment in risky assets and push their prices even higher.

The Federal Reserve may distort the market by interfering too much.

The markets in turn may not send accurate price signals and fail to direct and mobilise capital, the article adds.

Read more

2:35 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 372,000 Covid-19 deaths globally – cases rise in Brazil and Qatar – risk of second wave in US

1 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,185,000 with over 372,000 deaths and 2,648,000 recoveries.

In Europe, Asia, and the US coronavirus has likely peaked as recoveries rise and the number of new infections decline.

However, in the US, protests swept the nation over the weekend leading to mass gatherings nationwide, creating potential hot-spots for disease spread.

Despite the positive trends seen in moving past the peak of the pandemic, the risk of a second wave remains high.

In Latin America the pandemic continues to spread. Brazil is now the fourth highest country in the world by death count.

As the largest country in South America it remains an area of major concern as cases continue to rise and the availability of testing and treatment remains limited.

Qatar currently has the highest incidence rate of disease in the world at nearly 2,000 cases per 100,000 population and is one of the hardest hit regions in the Middle East.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

1:43 pm

Eli Lilly launches world’s first clinical trial of antibody-based drug for Covid-19

Eli Lilly has initiated a Phase I study of an antibody-based drug, LY-CoV555, against Covid-19. This drug candidate was identified and developed as part of Lilly’s collaboration with Vancouver-based AbCellera signed in early May.

LY-CoV555 is an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, which targets the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19.

This randomised, placebo-controlled Phase I study aims to find out if LY-CoV555 is safe and tolerable in patients hospitalised with Covid-19. Results of this study are expected in late June, and then Lilly hopes it can quickly progress into a Phase II study of non-hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

Lilly chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky said: “We are privileged to help usher in this new era of drug development with the first potential new medicine specifically designed to attack the virus.

“Antibody therapies, such as LY-CoV555, may have potential for both prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and may be particularly important for groups hardest hit by the disease such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.”

11:15 am

Gilead’s remdesivir a candidate for US government stockpiling or bulk buying in private sector

Remdesivir, Gilead Sciences’ drug, could be under consideration to be added to the classified US Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), as well as individual states’ stockpiles, in the event donated doses exhaust and Covid-19 cases outstrip supply.

According to a 1 May company press release, Gilead’s donated of 1.5 million individual remdesivir doses adds up to more than 140,000 treatment courses (assuming a 10-day treatment course). Read more here.

10:37 am

International Update: Brazil Covid-19 cases pass half million mark – more than 1,000 fatalities in Chile – latest lockdown updates

1 June

Global: Poverty in the occupied West Bank may double as Palestinians are hammered by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank has warned.

Europe: The European Union’s budget commissioner wants member states to back new taxes, including a levy on big companies for access to the single market, to help fund the recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus.

Brazil: Brazil has reported 16,409 new coronavirus cases taking the total of infected cases to 514,849. It keeps the country in second place in terms of infections, behind the US on 1.78 million cases.

Chile: More that 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Chile, the health ministry has reported, with 827 of the deaths occurring in May alone.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is investigating two new locally-confirmed cases of coronavirus – one in a 34-year-old woman and the other in a 56-year-old man.

China: Wuhan authorities said they found no cases of asymptomatic infections among 60,000 people tested on Sunday. It was the first time in almost two months that new cases of “silent spreaders” trickled to a halt.


Lockdown Updates

Philippines: Traffic jams and crowds of commuters returned to Manila, Philippines, on Monday, as the metropolis relaxed antivirus measures in a high-stakes gamble to slowly reopen the economy while fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan: Japan is considering re-opening its borders to travellers from selected countries, which have low levels of coronavirus infections, as it begins to ease restrictions put in place earlier this year to control the outbreak.

Russia: Shopping malls and parks are set to reopen in Moscow on Monday as the Russian capital eases coronavirus restrictions despite having the world’s third-largest caseload, with 405,843 infections.

Spain: Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez says the country needs 15 more days of lockdown until 21 June “to finish with the pandemic once and for all”, and he would ask parliament to approve a final two-week extension to the stay home rule.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh lifted its coronavirus lockdown on Sunday, with millions heading back to work in densely populated cities and towns even as the country logged a record spike in deaths and new infections.

India: India’s lockdown, which was due to end on 31 May, has been extended until 30 June in a number of zones identified as ‘high-risk’ by individual states, while the rest of the country prepares to reopen.

UK: In England, senior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to stop Monday’s easing of the lockdown, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection. In addition, the UK government is preparing an economic stimulus package to be unveiled in July as it steps up attempts to lessen the depth of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified officials.

Turkey: Restaurants, cafes, museums, beaches and swimming pools are due to reopen in Turkey as the government further relaxes its lockdown.

8:52 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Moderna starts doses participants in Phase II Covid-19 vaccine trial – Gilead’s remdesivir receives conditional approval in Taiwan

1 June 2020

The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation has granted a temporary registration certificate to Covid-19 treatment, Avifavir, which produced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the ChemRar Group. Said to be Russia’s first Covid-19 drug, Avifavir is a generic version of Japanese anti-flu drug, Avigan.

Moderna has started dosing participants in each age cohort of its Phase II clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. The trial, which is expected to involve 600 healthy participants, will assess a 50μg and a 100μg dose of the vaccine. The company intends to work with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to launch a Phase III trial.

The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration has provided conditional approval to Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir to treat Covid-19, after considering preliminary evidence on the drug’s safety and efficacy and its approval in other countries. Gilead has committed to donate 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, which can treat at least 140,000 patients, to help fight the pandemic.

South Korea-based Celltrion Group has reported positive results from the pre-clinical testing of its Covid-19 antibody treatment, which showed a 100-fold decrease in the viral load of SARS-CoV-2. The pre-clinical study was carried out in an animal model in alliance with Chungbuk National University College of Medicine.

7:35 am

Collaboration across multiple fields essential to drive economic recovery post Covid-19

1 June

Understanding the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment, global trade, and public finances is essential to develop the necessary policies and restoration measures. While economists are already working towards assessing the impact of the pandemic, collaboration with experts from other fields is essential to develop a holistic approach towards recovery.

Rob Elliott, Professor of economics University of Birmingham, shared an article on how economists across the world should collaborate with experts from other fields to respond to the urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Collaboration among experts from various sciences is essential to conduct co-ordinated research and policies that will help in rebuilding the economy, while minimising climate change.

Read more

11:28 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Americas account for more than 50% of new Covid-19 cases globally – numbers continue to grow in India

31 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,831,000 with over 360,000 deaths and 2,430,000 recoveries.

South America continues to have the highest number of daily confirmed new cases, accounting for over 30% of global daily cases.

North America has the second highest number of daily confirmed new cases, accounting for over 20% of global daily cases.

However, the daily incidence rate in North America has been declining.

India has reported its highest daily totals over the last few days as the number of cases continues to grow in the country.

India’s daily incidence is currently number four in the world.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:16 pm

Anti-TNF therapy could treat patients suffering from Covid-19-related ARDS

A retrospective study in Wuhan, China, observed that 17% of 99 coronavirus pneumonia patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Established anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapies such as Remicade (infliximab) and Humira (adalimumab) have a proven track record of decreasing inflammation in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and could potentially treat coronavirus patients who develop ARDS, due to the inflammatory excess that occurs in patients with Covid-19.

Data from SECURE-IBD, a coronavirus and IBD database, have shown that of 116 patients on anti-TNF therapy who contracted Covid-19, 99 recovered without hospitalisation and one patient died.

To read more, please click here.

3:31 pm

CRUK and partners launch trial repurposing camostat in Covid-19

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has partnered with Latus Therapeutics and the University of Edinburgh to launch a clinical trial of camostat for Covid-19. The trial is to be known as the SPIKE1 study.

Camostat is approved to treat inflammation of the pancreas in Japan and South Korea, but Latus Therapeutics founder Dr Bobojon Nazarov realised it might have potential in Covid-19; laboratory studies confirmed this.

Nazarov explained: “Camostat belongs to the only class of drug that has a strong mechanistic basis for blocking entry of the virus into human cells. We believe this drug could be used to reduce the severity of Covid-19 infection, providing much needed time for the body’s immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. Unlike finding a vaccine, this drug could be used quickly to help people recover from COVID-19.”

CRUK is sponsoring and managing the trial at its Centre for Drug Development and another research charity, LifeArc, has invested £1m to financially support the trial.

LifeArc CEO Melanie Lee commented: “As an independent medical charity with expertise in medical translation, LifeArc could rapidly offer the resources to evaluate proposals and financially support studies with the best chance of improving patient outcomes. We are pleased to support this vital work during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

LifeArc has also separately invested £1.5m in Swedish Vicore Pharma’s ATTRACT trial for Covid-19.

Vicore CEO Carl-Johan Dalsgaard said: “We are grateful for and pleased with LifeArc’s decision to make a significant financial contribution to our phase II trial with VP01 in Covid-19 patients.

“Our study was prioritised by an expert panel among a large number of applications.”

3:19 pm

Severe Covid-19 illness in children is significant but less frequent than in adults

At present, there are 4.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the globe. The disease has now reached 190 countries, the most affected of which being in the US. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most confirmed cases of Covid-19 are in seen in adults aged 18–44 years and 45–64 years. Nearly 3% of confirmed cases across the US occur in ages 0-17 years and most children who ail only come down with mild symptoms.

In Wuhan, China, a similar disease progression was observed, where children rarely experienced severe Covid-19 disease. Read more here.

3:08 pm

Economic Update: Exports to China could fall by 46% – 40 million unemployed in US – international community needs to revisit finance goals

29 May

According to new UNCTAD research, Global exports of commodities to China could plunge by $15.5 billion to $33.1 billion in 2020.

This is a drop of up to 46% compared with annual growth projections before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The US Department Of Labor has revealed that over 40 million Americans are now unemployed.

Some 2.1 million registered as unemployed in the past week, which is down from the numbers registering during the week prior.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that the:  “International community needs to revisit financing goals for the 2030 global development agenda in order to respond to the economic challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Chakrabarti also noted that: “The Addis Ababa Action Agenda had called for the delivery of much more private sector finance into the global development system. But, even before the onslaught of the coronavirus, only “stuttering progress” had been made in this regard.”

9:34 am

Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca signs a vaccine manufacturing deal with OxfordBiomedica – Novartis enters Covid-19 vaccine race

29 May 2020

AstraZeneca has entered into a one-year clinical and commercial supply agreement with Oxford Biomedica to manufacture its adenovirus vector-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, which was developed by the University of Oxford researchers. The agreement will provide AstraZeneca with access to Oxford Biomedica’s 7,800m2 commercial manufacturing centre in Oxford.

PureTech Health has plans to conduct a clinical trial to assess LYT-100 (deupirfenidone) to treat serious respiratory complications that persist even after resolution of Covid-19 infection. Expected to start in the third quarter of this year, the trial will enrol about 150 non-critical patients with respiratory complications.

Novartis has signed a manufacturing deal with US researchers to produce a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is based on technology similar to that of the company’s gene therapy drug Zolgensma, according to Reuters. The researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear said that manufacturing will occur at Novartis’ gene therapy unit AveXis.

RNA therapeutics company Chimeron Bio has collaborated with George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine will be developed using Chimeron Bio’s ChaESARTM self-amplifying RNA technology, which is designed to deliver immunogenic viral genes to trigger rapid and sustained immune response.

9:21 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections exceed 5.8 million – more than 100,000 covid deaths in US

29 May

Global: The number of people infected by Covid-19 has exceeded 5.8 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization is reviewing the position of its goodwill ambassador, James Chau, who was involved in the airing of an alleged forced confession on Chinese state television, according to the Financial Times.

Europe: There have been more than 159,000 excess deaths in Europe since since early March, during the height of the coronavirus epidemic, the head of the World Health Organization’s regional office for the continent said.

US: The number of Americans who have lost their jobs in the past 10 weeks soared to more than 40 million, with 2.1 million people filing for unemployment last week.

The US has now recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, as many states continued to relax mitigation measures.

American Airlines Group Inc. will cut 30% of its management and support staff, about 5,100 jobs, in response to the dramatic decline in travel brought on by the pandemic.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an inquiry into companies that received US stimulus funds, scrutinizing whether representations made in loan applications were consistent with disclosures in securities filings, according to three people familiar with the matter.

UK: Up to six people will be able to meet outside in the UK from Monday, providing members of different households continue to stay two metres apart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Russia: Health officials in Moscow updated their figures on coronavirus deaths to add those who “died with” the virus.

Philippines: The Philippines has recorded its highest daily infection rate – 539 new cases – but will ease lockdowns. Residents in Manila will see their lockdown – one of the toughest and longest in the world – ease from Monday, despite the Philippines seeing its biggest spike in coronavirus cases on Thursday.

China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has said it had approved a $750m loan to the Philippines to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

India: India’s health system is at risk of being overwhelmed by Covid-19 spread.

South Korea: South Korea’s education ministry has announced plans to limit the number of students attending classes in schools in the Seoul metropolitan area amid a spike in new coronavirus infections.

Brazil: Brazil registered a new record in Covid-19 cases and more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period, according to official figures out Thursday.

Australia: The Australian state of New South Wales has said the coronavirus pandemic could cost it as much 20 billion Australian dollars ($13.3bn) in lost revenues over the next four years, underscoring the urgency to revive the country’s stuttering economy.

Turkey: Turkey will open restaurants and beaches and end travel restrictions between cities on June 1, while keeping weekend curfews in some cities for a bit more, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

Japan: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is planning to ease business restrictions to “step 2” of its reopening plan from Monday, allowing shopping malls, gyms and movie theaters to reopen, Nikkei reported, without attribution.

7:35 am

Covid-19 pandemic may increase China’s deficit to historic high

29 May

Economies across the world have announced stimulus packages to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Although these packages are essential, they are not reaching the people who need it the most and increasing the deficit-to-GDP ratio.

Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared a tweet on China’s deficit-to-GDP ratio. The article notes that China had a policy of placing a 3% ceiling on its deficit-to-GDP ratio.

The Covid-19 pandemic has broken this ceiling with the ratio exceeding 3.6% of GDP. The pandemic has added RMB1tn ($140.2bn) to the government’s deficit spending.

Read more

10:30 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: South America the new Covid epicenter – in North America Mexico reports its highest daily total

28 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,716,000 with over 356,000 deaths and 2,367,000 recoveries.

South America has emerged as the new epicenter of the pandemic, currently representing 30% of the global daily incidence.

Brazil, Peru, and Chile continue to show concerning incidence trends.

In North America, Mexico has reported its highest daily total to date as the epidemic accelerates in the country.

South Africa has reported its lowest daily incidence since 12 May.

However, the country still has the highest number of cumulative cases.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:18 pm

GSK to produce $1bn Covid-19 vaccine adjuvant doses by 2021

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced it will manufacture one billion doses of its pandemic adjuvant by 2020.

Although GSK is not producing its own Covid-19 vaccine, it is supporting on a non-profit basis other companies who are with its pandemic adjuvant. During previous flu pandemic, this part of the vaccine, which boosts the immune response, was shown to reduce the amount of protein needed per dose, therefore allowing more doses to be produced.

GSK global vaccines president Roger Connor commented: “We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic and we are working with partners around the world to do so.

“We believe that our innovative pandemic adjuvant technology has the potential to help improve the efficacy and scale up of multiple COVID-19 vaccines.

“With this significant expansion in our manufacturing capacity, we can help deliver up to one billion doses of adjuvanted vaccines through 2021, helping protect many more people and support the global effort to fight Covid-19.”

2:33 pm

Economic Update: More women losing jobs than men – ECB says financial stability is at risk’ – estimated 56 million out of work in China

28 May

Citi research has shown that the Covid-19 crisis is leading to more women then men losing their jobs, mainly due to the sectors that are being impacted most as well as often their role as caretaker of children or elderly.

Citi wrote on its blog: “Given this level of economic loss from women leaving the workforce, decision makers must take women into account in any policies being implemented to address the Covid-19 economic disruptions.

“These policies should be some of the same vital policies that supported female labor force participation and employment prior to the coronavirus shock.

“They include policy options that support women, workers, and families with caring responsibilities, options that support women, workers, and families facing job and economic loss, and policy options to support entrepreneurs and small business owners.”


The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that financial stability risks could arise as pre-pandemic vulnerabilities interact with the pandemic. These include richly valued asset prices, fragile investment funds, the sustainability of sovereign and corporate debt, and weak bank profitability.

ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said: “The pandemic has caused one of the sharpest economic contractions in recent history, but wide-ranging policy measures have averted a financial meltdown.

“However, the repercussions of the pandemic on bank profitability prospects and medium-term public finances will need to be addressed so that our financial system can continue to support the economic recovery.”


HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin wrote on the company’s blog that by April, only 76% of Chinese SMEs were back in business compared with 99% of larger companies in China.

Qu Hongbin wrote: “That means an estimated 56 million workers had not returned to work – many in locked-down retail or catering firms.

“Unlike in countries such as the US and UK, mainland China has not implemented a wage-protection scheme for furloughed workers.

“This means most of the estimated 81 million Chinese, or 18% of urban workers, who became ’employed, but not working’, were not receiving income.”

Hongbin believes that propping up domestic demand to support jobs thus remains a policy priority for China.

11:06 am

Advent delivers 4,000 doses of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine to support trial

Italy-based Advent has announced it has manufactured 13,000 doses of the University of Oxford’s investigational vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, for use in the Phase II/III trial. To date, 4,000 doses have been delivered to the study researchers.

This supply deal was first signed between Advent and the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute in February. Advent only received the first seed stock in late April.

Jenner Institute’s Professor Sarah Gilbert commented: “Speed is of the essence when facing a new outbreak such as this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

“Advent has manufactured and delivered the vaccine very quickly, producing a clinical batch in just over one month since we provided the seed stock, enabling us to rapidly prepare for larger scale clinical trials.”

10:55 am

Atriva Therapeutics starts Phase II study of small molecule drug against Covid-19

German Atriva Therapeutics is launching a Phase II study of its investigational drug ATR-002 to treat Covid-19 in July this year.

ATR-002 has been developed specifically to treat RNA viral diseases, such as influenza and coronaviruses.  It inhibits the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway, which is central to the replication of many RNA viruses. Atriva also believe ATR-002 has the potential to mitigate the cytokine storm, which has proven to be deadly in Covid-19 patients.

Atriva CEO and co-founder Dr Rainer Lichtenberger said: “With ATR-002, we developed a small molecule to specifically address the major need for an efficient antiviral therapy for severe respiratory infections caused by RNA viruses.

“ATR-002 could be a game changer in the current pandemic as we see high potential for a patient-friendly, oral medication that fundamentally impacts Covid-19 outcomes.

“To develop ATR-002 for Covid-19 is therefore a logical step in these times and possibly vital for national health systems, patients and families.”

9:39 am

International Update: Global Covid cases near 5.7 million – more than 100,000 deaths in US as states relax lockdowns

28 May

Global: Known global cases near 5.7 million, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The UN World Food Program is warning that upward of at least 14 million people could go hungry in Latin America as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

US: Defence Secretary Mark Esper said that as the US military prepares for another potential wave of the coronavirus, it may do things a bit differently, providing more targeted aid for cities and states and possibly shorter quarantine times for troops.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the United States has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, moving past a sombre milestone even as many states relax mitigation measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Employers could bring workers back to office buildings more safely with steps including improving office ventilation, spacing workers apart and reducing shared objects like communal coffee pots, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Europe: Over a third of European foreign direct investment projects announced in 2019 have been either delayed or cancelled outright because of the coronavirus pandemic, an annual survey by professional services group EY found.

European governments moved to halt the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients, and a second global trial was suspended. These are further blows to hopes for a treatment promoted by US President Donald Trump.

South Korea: South Korea has reported its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days, triggering warnings it may have to revert to stricter social distancing measures after appearing to have brought the outbreak under control.

Colombia: More than 200 Colombian nationals have asked their government to send a special flight to bring them home after camping out inside Brazil’s Sao Paulo’s international airport.

Thailand: Thailand on Thursday reported 11 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,065 confirmed cases and 57 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

China: China will soon relax its border controls for seven more countries, the country’s civil aviation agency said, allowing domestic and foreign airlines to apply for the so-called “green channels” for chartered flights to the mainland.

9:36 am

Coronavirus company news summary – UK follows in France’s footsteps and halts hydroxychloroquine trial – Roche initiates trial combining its Actemra with Gilead’s remdesivir

Novavax has acquired Czech Republic-based Praha Vaccines, a unit of Cyrus Poonawalla Group for about $167m. The transaction covers a biologics manufacturing facility and related assets in Bohumil, Czech Republic. It is estimated that the acquired facility will enable an annual capacity of more than one billion doses of antigen for Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX‑CoV2373, from next year.

Roche has started a Phase III clinical trial of its Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab) in combination with Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir to treat hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia. Expected to commence enrolment next month, the trial will enrol around 450 patients worldwide.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has paused the international COPCOV clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine led by the University of Oxford amid safety concerns, as reported Reuters. The French government and regulatory authorities also banned the use of hydroxychloroquine as an experimental treatment for Covid-19 and halted trials of the anti-malarial.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is working to establish an infrastructure to effectively track Covid-19 vaccines in the real world. The EMA has signed a contract with Utrecht University and Pharmacovigilance Research Network to carry out preparatory research into data sources and approaches for monitoring the safety, effectiveness and coverage of Covid-19 vaccines in clinical practice.

7:44 am

Covid-19 pandemic could cause housing crisis in US

28 May

The lockdown measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has forced workers to stay home and unable to work and earn money.

The unemployment benefits offered by the US government are not reaching the workers due to delays and eligibility issues.

As a result, the pandemic may cause a housing crisis as workers are unable to pay rent.

Pedro da Costa, Federal Reserve and economy watcher at Market News International, on how the pandemic may result in homelessness in the US.

California is expected to face an increase of 20% in homelessness and a more severe rate in other parts of the US.

If the economic downturn continues, the US is expected to witness more evictions and foreclosures than those recorded during the Great Recession.

Experts believe that it is essential that the government cover the costs of rent and help workers and landlords to avoid a housing crisis.

Read more

6:45 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 5.6 milllion – infections rising in Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa

28 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have exceeded 5,609,000 with more than 350,000 deaths and 2,287,000 recoveries.

The US continues to have the highest number of cases, followed by Brazil then Russia.

Incidence rates in Brazil are also second to the US, but may surpass those in the US if the current trend continues.

Russia has reported a steady number of new daily cases for the past week. The Moscow region accounts for the majority of cases in Russia.

Daily infection rates in India have continued to increase as the country reported four of its highest daily totals over the last few days.

South Africa has the highest daily incidence and highest number of cumulative cases in Africa. The country has also reported its two highest daily totals over the last few days.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:17 pm

The importance of early testing: a comparison of the US and South Korea

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) global pandemic has been reported in 190 countries, with 5.5 million confirmed cases worldwide. The US remains the most heavily affected country, with 1.7 million total confirmed cases. In comparison, South Korea is now thought to be in the recovery phase of this disease with 11,000 total confirmed cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the importance of diagnostic testing in suppressing the transmission of Covid-19 early on in the pandemic. Even though the US has now performed 40 Covid-19 tests per 1,000 population compared to South Korea’s 15 Covid-19 tests per 1,000 population, it is the timing of these tests that has proved vital in slowing the transmission of this disease.

Read more here.

3:23 pm

Economic Update: Fitch Ratings cuts GDP forecasts again – McKinsey see opportunities for a greener recovery

27 May

Fitch Ratings has made further cuts to world GDP forecasts in its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO).

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, Fitch Ratings, said: “World GDP is now forecast to fall by 4.6% in 2020 compared to a decline of 3.9% predicted in our late-April GEO.

“This reflects downward revisions to the eurozone and the UK and, most significantly, to emerging markets (EM) excluding China.”

Fitch now expects Eurozone GDP to fall by 8.2% in 2020 compared to a contraction of 7.0%, and the UK 7.8% this year.

McKinsey has said that the tragedy of Covid-19 does present an opportunity for a greener recovery.

The consultancy said: “Low-carbon recovery could not only initiate the significant emissions reductions needed to halt climate change but also create more jobs and economic growth than a high-carbon recovery would.

“Our analysis of stimulus options for a European country suggests that mobilizing €75 billion to €150 billion of capital could yield €180 billion to €350 billion of gross value added, generate up to three million new jobs, and enable a carbon-emissions reduction of 15 to 30% by 2030.

Nomura predicted that Covid-19 is to derail Asia’s GDP growth to -0.5% y-o-y in 2020, from 5.3% in 2019. 8 out of 10 economies will contract in 2020 in the region.

The investment bank also said: “We expect China’s GDP growth to remain negative at -0.5% in Q2 and Beijing to roll out a large stimulus package soon.”

3:17 pm

France bans the prescription of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients

The French government has banned the use of anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine as an experimental treatment for Covid-19 in a statement.

This comes one day after the French healthcare authorities – Haute Autorité de Santé – advised against the use of hydroxychloroquine in routine clinical care and halted its clinical trials of the drug.

This decision comes after the World Health Organization temporarily suspended all of its trials of the antimalarial. This followed a study published in the Lancet last week showing that hydroxychloroquine had no benefit in Covid-19 patients.

1:46 pm

Despite the recent surge in the daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in India, average case fatality rate is relatively low

In the past three months, India has reported a total of approximately 145,000 confirmed cases, as well as more than 4,100 deaths as a result of Covid-19. Despite this, the country’s case fatality rate (CFR) is reportedly relatively low in comparison to the other 11 worst-affected countries across the globe.

The surge in cases across India can be coupled with the recent easing of the lockdown, alongside an increase in testing capacity. Due to these factors, India could see a peak in cases in the coming months. Read more here.

12:46 pm

Hot on the heels of Canadian government funding, AbCellera closes Series B round at $195m

Within a month of receiving $175.6m from the Canadian Government to supports its Covid-19 antibody drugs, Vancouver-based AbCellera has closed a $105m Series B financing round.

The round was led by OrbiMed, DCVC Bio, and a syndicate of investors, which include Viking Global Investors, Peter Thiel and Eli Lilly.

The money will be used to further improve AbCellera’s proprietary technology and support the building of a GMP manufacturing facility.

DCVC Bio managing partner John Hamer said: “AbCellera is at the intersection of biology, technology, and AI, allowing it to make new antibody drug discovery advancements, which we previously couldn’t dream of, possible.

“From developing therapeutics for neurological diseases to COVID-19 and everything in-between, AbCellera is transforming the antibody discovery process, delivering more possibilities in less time and with less expense.”

12:00 pm

Bayer donates millions of chloroquine tablets: are they useful?

Remdesivir is only approved for Covid-19 in Japan, as well as across the US for compassionate use. Therefore, many countries are looking to off-label drugs such as chloroquine, as well as its derivative hydroxychloroquine, to help mitigate Covid-19.

At present, 27 generic drugs of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are prescribed for off-label usage by the regulatory authorities in geographies such as the US, EU, and New Zealand. As a result, Bayer has donated millions of chloroquine tablets to national health authorities around the world in anticipation of their potential usage. Read more here.

11:02 am

The generics industry and Covid-19

Like all industries, the pharma industry has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The generics industry has been impacted particularly by supply chain problems and huge surges in demand for existing medicines.

Accord’s head of scientific affairs Dr Anthony Grosso explains how the industry has worked to overcome these challenges and respond to the needs of patients, as well as become more prepared for future healthcare emergencies.

Read the full story here.

9:47 am

Covid-19 pandemic changing how opioid use disorder can be treated for the better

While there are multiple effective treatment options for the management of opioid use disorder, key opinion leaders interviewed by GlobalData state there are several barriers preventing access to these therapies, including lack of clinics in more rural areas and the need for patients to travel to specialised treatment clinics.

Buprenorphine and methadone are the most commonly used opioid agonists to manage opioid use disorder. However, they can also be misused and abused due to targeting the opioid disorder, meaning there are many rules and regulations surrounding their therapeutic use. Read more here.

8:53 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Merck joins race to find Covid-19 vaccines and antiviral drugs – Glenmark launches trial combining favipiravir with umifenovir

27 May 2020 

Merck has joined the race to develop vaccines and treatments against Covid-19 with separate agreements with Themis, IAVI and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The company agreed to acquire Themis, which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, while working with IAVI on a separate coronavirus vaccine candidate based on rVSV technology. Also, Merck and Ridgeback partnered to develop experimental antiviral drug, EIDD-2801, to treat Covid-19.

Researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US are evaluating remdesivir in combination with rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib to treat Covid-19 patients as part of the ACTT 2 study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The aim is to determine the ability of the combination to prevent or reduce the hyper-inflammatory cytokine storm.

Eli Lilly and its Chinese partner Junshi Biosciences have plans to launch clinical trials of Covid-19 antibody candidate in the second quarter of this year in the US and China, according to Reuters. Junshi said that the partners plan to submit an application to start human testing of one of their two antibodies tested in rhesus monkeys.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched a Phase III clinical trial to assess favipiravir in combination with antiviral drug umifenovir for the treatment of Covid-19 in India. Favipiravir and umifenovir have unique mechanisms of action, and their combination is expected to improve efficacy by addressing high viral loads during the early stage of the disease.

7:23 am

Economic recovery following Covid-19 may be more sluggish than initially predicted

27 May

The global economy is expected to face a prolonged downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many have predicted a U-shaped recovery as countries slowly ease restrictions. However, as the threat of a second wave of infections looms, the recovery may be more L-shaped with a sluggish recovery ahead.

Nouriel Roubini, Professor at Stern School NYU, shared an article containing his views on the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He noted that the economic recovery will not be U-shaped as claimed by many economists but rather L-shaped resembling a greater depression.

Roubini noted that an L-shaped recovery means the economy will contract sharply and stay there for an extended period of time.

Read more

6:48 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US Covid-19 deaths approach 100,000 – cases still on the increase in Brazil – Japan lifts state of emergency

27 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reach over 5,518,000 with over 346,700 deaths and 2,232,000 recoveries.

In the US, there are over 1,662,000 cases and over 98,000 deaths. However, Covid-19 deaths in the US are on the decline.

Brazil’s daily incidence is reported to be second only to the US and may become number one globally if the increasing incidence trend continues.

Daily incidence rates also continue to rise in Peru and Chile, making these three South American countries in the top six countries in terms of daily incidence rates.

In Japan, the state of emergency has lifted and marks the official end of the restrictions. The prime minister ended the state of emergency after a month and a half.

Japan currently has over 16,500 cases and over 800 deaths.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

4:31 pm

Covid-19 likely to increase incidence of hospital delirium

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread, there will be more patients who have severe Covid-19 and require longer intensive care unit (ICU) stays and ventilation. An estimated 70%-80% of these ventilated patients will experience ICU delirium, which causes patients to enter a confused state. This can lead to long-term cognitive impairments and memory deficits. Pharmacological treatments for ICU delirium may see an increase in administration as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

About 5% of Covid-19 patients need ICU hospitalisation. Patients who are ventilated spend a longer time in the ICU, remaining ventilated for up to two weeks. This puts these patients at an increased risk of developing post-intensive care syndromes, which cause physical, cognitive, and mental health problems even after leaving the ICU. ICU delirium is one of these issues and can cause patients to have even longer hospital stays and lower six-month survival. These cognitive impairments can persist for months to years after being discharged from the hospital.

Read more here.

2:19 pm

Supported by BARDA, Merck collaborates with IAVI on Covid-19 vaccine

Merck has signed a collaboration with non-profit IAVI to develop an investigational vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19. Initial funding for this project will be supplied by the US Government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

This vaccine will leverage the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) technology, which Merck uses for its Ebola Zaire vaccine, Ervebo. The candidate is already in pre-clinical studies. The rVSV vaccine approach is central to the work of IAVI, which is working on this type of product for HIV, Lassa fever and Ebola Sudan.

Merck research laboratories president Dr Roger Perlmutter said: “Covid-19 is an enormous scientific, medical, and global health challenge.

“Merck and IAVI are eager to combine our respective strengths to accelerate development of an rVSV vaccine candidate, with the goal of blunting the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

IAVI president and CEO Dr Mark Feinberg added: “We believe an rVSV-based vaccine strategy represents a promising approach to combating the novel coronavirus pandemic and look forward to implementing an accelerated development program, together with Merck, to evaluate the potential of our vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.”

10:53 am

UK’s MHRA grants early access to remdesivir to severe Covid-19 patients

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted early access to remdesivir in its medicines scheme for conditions with a high unmet medical need.

Gilead’s remdesivir will now be available to adult and adolescent patients with suspected or confirmed severe Covid-19.

This decision was based on a scientific view of the clinical evidence of remdesivir against Covid-19; “the MHRA considers the benefit risk balance of remdesivir in the treatment of COVID-19 to be positive for adult and adolescent patients with severe COVID-19. This evaluation takes into account the threat and risk posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to patients and public health”. However, the scientific opinion document notes that “a risk management plan (RMP) has been developed to ensure that remdesivir is used as safely as possible.”

MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine said: “We are committed to ensuring that patients can have fast access to promising new treatments for COVID-19.

“We will continue to work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and other healthcare partners on protecting public health in the UK by prioritising our essential work on clinical trials, access to medicines, and the development of vaccines.

The UK regulator’s decision to allow unlicensed use of remdesivir follows on from similar moves by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency earlier this month.


9:49 am

Synthetic peptides are promising therapeutic candidates for Covid-19

In the fight to find a treatment for Covid-19, novel peptides are being developed and repurposed as therapeutics. Researchers across the world are continuing to search for compounds that treat conditions caused by the infection, as well as those that could block mechanisms important for SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication.

There are currently 21 peptide drugs in development as Covid-19 therapies, according to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Centre Pipeline Drugs Database. Read more here.

9:42 am

International Update: WHO warns of second Covid-19 peak as lockdowns ease, Indonesia deploys army and police after record infections surge

26 May

Global: There are almost 5.5 million Covid-19 cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins university coronavirus tracker, which has counted a total of 5,495,061 confirmed infections. The death toll stands at 346,232.

Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns.

Indonesia: Indonesia deployed hundreds of thousands of army and police personnel across the vast archipelago to enforce social-distancing rules, after a record surge in infections in the past week cast doubt on plans to reopen Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

US: The White House brings forward Brazil travel restrictions by two days, amending the timing to 11.59pm ET on Tuesday, 26 May.

The Trump administration said sufficient quantities of Abbott Laboratories’ ID NOW Covid-19 test and Quidel Corp.’s Sofia 2 instruments exist to support 200 million US tests per month.

Latam Airlines Group SA, Latin America’s largest air carrier, sought bankruptcy court protection in New York after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the region.

Australia: Australia will not open the country’s borders “anytime soon”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, but added the country will continue its discussions with neighbouring New Zealand for a trans-Tasman safe travel zone.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia will revise curfew times this week, and lift it entirely across the Kingdom with the exception of the holy city of Mecca starting 21 June, state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.

Germany: Germany threw Lufthansa a €9bn (US$9.8bn) lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline.

Iceland: Iceland eased its national alert against the coronavirus on Monday, allowing for public gatherings of up to 200 people and night clubs and gyms to reopen as the country nears complete recovery from the outbreak.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong International Airport will open for some transit services from 1 June, chief executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.

China: China reported seven additional coronavirus cases by the end of 25 May , with all of them from abroad, according to a statement from the National Health Commission. Of the seven cases, five were reported in Inner Mongolia.

UK: England’s outdoor markets and car showrooms can reopen from 1 June, as soon as they can meet guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he urged the public to spend money in stores when the curbs are lifted.


9:21 am

CanSino Biologics publishes Phase I results of its Covid-19 vaccine

Late on Friday 22 May, China-based CanSino Biologics published Phase I results of the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of its recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored Covid-19 vaccine in The Lancet.

Another company at a similar point in its Covid-19 vaccine development, US-based Moderna, is yet to publish the full results of its Phase I study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

CanSino’s trial involved 108 patients in Wuhan, China, the original epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and was initiated in mid-March while the city was still in lockdown.

The study found “ELISA antibodies and neutralising antibodies increased significantly at day 14, and peaked 28 days post-vaccination. Specific T-cell response peaked at day 14 post-vaccination”, leading the trial coordinators to conclude: “The Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine is tolerable and immunogenic at 28 days post-vaccination. Our findings suggest that the Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine warrants further investigation.”

Linked to these results, CanSino’s vaccine candidate has progressed into Phase II studies in China in patients aged over 60, as there are concerns that vaccine-elicited responses to the novel coronavirus could be lower in older people, according to BioPharmaDive.

CanSino has also received approval from Health Canada to study its vaccine alongside the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology.

8:51 am

Coronavirus company news summary – WHO halts hydroxychloroquine trial over safety concerns – Novavax initiates recruitment for Covid-19 vaccine trial

26 May 2020 

US-based biotechnology firm Novavax has started enrolling participants in a Phase I/II clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX‑CoV2373. It is recruiting around 130 healthy participants aged 18 to 59 years at two sites in Australia. Preliminary immunogenicity and safety data from the Phase I portion are expected in July this year.

Fujifilm is set to continue its research on antiviral drug Avigan as a potential Covid-19 treatment into June, said Japan’s government, which was originally expected to approve the drug this month if its efficacy and safety could be confirmed. According to Reuters, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that an application filed by the company will be promptly reviewed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has temporarily suspended a clinical trial of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients over safety concerns, according to the organisation’s director- general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The move comes after data from an observational study, published in The Lancet journal, revealed a higher mortality rate in patients treated with hydroxycholoroquine, when given alone or with a macrolide.

The Vector State Center for Virology and Biotechnology (Vector Institute) in Russia has plans to study its Covid-19 vaccine candidate late next month, the institute’s CEO Rinat Maksyutov told news agency TASS. Of 25 vaccine variants tested on animals, the Center selected three promising prototypes based on their effectiveness and suitability for mass production.

7:29 am

Testing needs to be ramped up for economies to re-open

26 May

Experts across world continue to highlight the need to reopen economies to limit the economic upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, some believe that unless testing capabilities are ramped up, reopening the economy may result in an upsurge in infection rate.

A Testing ramp up with limited lockdown measures may be the most optimal solution to reopening the economy.

Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics at Cornell University, shared a chart comparing the mortality rates across various countries.

He noted that the mortality rates are so different that emerging economies cannot blindly imitate the economic policies of those implemented by European and North American nations.

Basu added that economic revival will depend on a limited lockdown that will enable the economy to function.

2:06 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Brazil about to overtake Russia with most Covid-19 cases after US – Indonesia reports a sharp rise

23 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,110,000, with over 333,000 deaths and 1,950,000 recoveries.

Cases have been rising sharply in Latin America with Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continuing to experience a record number of daily cases or deaths.

Meanwhile, Brazil is set to overtake Russia with second most number of cases in the world after the US.

Cases in India are rising at the fastest pace in Asia with a record number of daily new cases.

Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is reporting sharp rise in new cases and will be the one to watch in the near future.

Indonesia is struggling to keep the spread of infection under reasonable control compared to neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:32 pm

Economic Update: McKinsey’s four forces that will mould the next normal – US DOL reveals more than 38 million unemployed

22 May

McKinsey has said that they are predicting “Four forces that will mold the next normal” in the post Covid-19 world.

Those being: The metamorphosis of demand, Rapid changes in the workforce, Shifts in regulation and Increasing information about protocols for safety.

According to the US Department Of Labor, (DOL) the US unemployment rate has increased by another 2.4 million in the week to 16 May, bringing the total of unemployed Americans to over 38 million since the start if the pandemic and consequent social distancing measures.

3:30 pm

Research published in the Lancet finds no benefit for hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19

Research published today in The Lancet did not find any benefit of the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine on in-hospital outcomes of Covid-19 patients.

In addition, the Harvard Medical School-led research found hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine both alone or in combination with a macrolide antibiotic was associated with “an increased risk of in-hospital death with Covid-19”.

The research was carried out on almost 100,000 patients in over 670 hospitals across six continents and in real-world hospital settings.

The researchers conclude: “These findings suggest that these drug regimens should not be used outside of clinical trials and urgent confirmation from randomised clinical trials is needed.”

There are multiple clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine ongoing at the moment. The most recently launched is University of Oxford-led CopCov study looking into the safety and efficacy of these drugs to prevent Covid-19.

2:07 pm

Oxford starts recruiting patients in Phase II/IIICovid-19 vaccine trial

Building on the promising results of its ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against Covid-19 in a Phase I study, University of Oxford researchers “are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults, and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population,” explains Oxford Vaccine Group head Professor Andrew Pollard.

The researchers are looking to recruit more than 10,000 adults and children into the Phase II and III studies. The participants will be randomised to receive either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a licensed vaccine as a control.

This research is being supported by AstraZeneca “to accelerate the development and globalisation of this potential new vaccine against COVID-19 infection,” noted AstraZeneca subsidiary BioPharmaceuticals R&D executive vice-president Mene Pangalos. “The speed at which this new vaccine has advanced into late-stage clinical trials is testament to Oxford’s ground-breaking scientific research.”

9:32 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 5.1 million – Brazil deaths exceed 20,000 – Australia extends ban on cruise ship visits

22 May

Global: Global cases stand at 5,102,573, with deaths reported at 332,924, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukraine have reached an agreement in principle on a new $5bn aid package to help Kyiv battle the coronavirus crisis.

Germany and Russia urged the United Nations to partially reopen its New York City headquarters as the secretary general proposes to scale back the annual General Assembly meeting in September.

Brazil: Latin America’s biggest country has recorded a one-day death toll of 1,188, taking the confirmed total to 20,047.

Indonesia: Indonesia has had its biggest one day jump in cases: the world’s fourth most populous country reported 973 new infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,162.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 20 new cases, which came as health authorities worked to contain the cluster connected to Seoul nightclubs.

Thailand: Thailand reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths on Friday, maintaining the total of 3,037 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

Thailand will extend its nationwide state of emergency for another month through June, according to Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 centre.

China: China took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth.

Australia: New South Wales has announced cafes and restaurants will be allowed to have up to 50 patrons from 1 June, up from ten currently allowed.

Australia extended its ban on cruise ship visits for three months until September 17. The Australian Border Force said any cruise ship capable of carrying more than 100 passengers is prohibited from operating cruises in the country.

Australia is seeking an exemption from a requirement that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

India: India’s central bank cut interest rates in an unscheduled announcement on Friday, ramping up support for an economy it expects will contract for the first time in more than four decades.

US: The US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that 27 antibody tests will no longer be distributed in the US, part of a previously announced crackdown on the tests.

9:17 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Atomwise forms partnerships to develop broad-spectrum drug – NovaLead to start Phase III Covid-19 trial in India

22 May 2020 

Atomwise has forged 15 partnerships to leverage its predictive models and artificial intelligence (AI) to find broad-spectrum treatment for Covid-19, as well as other coronaviruses. Each collaborative project is focused on developing drug candidates that demonstrate broad-spectrum capability.

Biopharmaceutical company IMV has various peptide epitopes in its DPX platform, which could be formulated into a potential vaccine candidate against Covid-19. Currently, the company is finalising a design for a Phase I clinical trial of a DPX-COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Amarin has agreed to support clinical trial of Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) for Covid-19. Sponsored by the Canadian Medical and Surgical Knowledge Translation Research Group, the trial will primarily monitor the effect of the drug on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels from baseline to 14 days, compared to usual care.

NovaLead Pharma has secured the Drugs Controller General of India’s approval to perform Phase III clinical trials for its repurposed drug, NLP21, for the treatment of moderate Covid-19, according to Press Trust of India. The trial will be conducted in between 100 and 150 hospitalised patients on oxygen support and is expected to be completed in three to four months.

8:03 am

Strategic lockdown lifting may help economies recover

22 May

Lockdown measures implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to contraction of GDP levels globally.

Research indicates that some of the damage caused by the pandemic may be undone by lifting the restrictions.

The lockdown measures, however, should be lifted based on a strategic approach to avoid the threat of a second wave of infections.

Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared an article on how lifting of lockdown restrictions in China helped in returning the industry value to positive levels in April.

Retail sales, however, were lagging due to consumers’ maintaining voluntary social distancing.

The article notes that based on the trends in China, the global economy may start to expand again if the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Consumers may start to spend on goods and services that they could not purchase in the second quarter but will also cut back their spending on other areas, the article added.

Read more

7:25 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases exceed 5 million – increases continue in Latin America – no new cases in London

22 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,000,000, with over 328,000 deaths and 1,900,000 recoveries.

In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

In Latin America, Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or death.

Peru has second most number of cases after Brazil in Latin America.

Cases in India are increasing at the fastest pace in Asia with a 30% increase in cases since last week.

After facing the brunt of Covid-19 in the UK, London has reported steep decline in daily new cases with no new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

This is a positive development, but it remains to be seen if this decline in new cases will continue in the near future.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:32 pm

Beximco Pharma launches first generic remdesivir for Covid-19

Bangladesh-based generic pharmaceuticals manufacturer Beximco Pharmaceuticals has launched the first generic version of antiviral drug remdesivir, originally developed by Gilead Sciences.

Recently, Gilead secured emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for remdesivir to treat Covid-19.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals is the first company in the world to introduce a generic of the drug, under the brand name Bemsivir, to treat the viral disease. The launch comes after Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) granted emergency use authorisation for Bemsivir IV injection today.

Read more here

2:14 pm

Economic Update: Covid-19 worst pandemic driven economic impact since 2000 – people could be out of work for 2-3 years

21 May

Deloitte economist Akrur Barua says that the economic impact of Covid-19 is likely to be more harsh than other epidemics and pandemics in Asia since 2000:

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Asia will likely be worse than other epidemics and pandemics due to three key reasons.

“Firstly, the scale of the current pandemic is much larger than any other health care crisis this century.

“Secondly, state-mandated social distancing in Asia (and the world over) now is way more severe than in the past.

“Finally, Asia plays a bigger role in the world economy and is more interconnected with the rest of the world now than at the time of SARS.”

A new report from the World Economic Forum looks at what the coronavirus pandemic means for the world, based on the views and analysis of 350 senior risk professionals.

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and Head of Centre for the New Economy and Society, concluded: “The effects of recent events will be felt by many businesses for years to come and some may not survive without support.

“We have to think much more carefully about helping with reskilling and upskilling, and providing better social safety nets for affected workers, because it may be a two- to three-year journey before they’re able to move into a new sector.

“We’re already starting to see some of the permanent structural changes brought about by the impact of the pandemic.

“As parts of Asia and Europe begin to emerge from lockdown restrictions, there are signs of seemingly permanent changes in consumer behavior.

“We have to start rethinking where future sources of economic growth will come from.”


10:48 am

AstraZeneca gets $1bn from US BARDA to support Covid-19 vaccine

UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has received more than $1bn from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop, manufacture and deliver a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford.

Last month, AstraZeneca signed an agreement with the University of Oxford to develop and distribute the university’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

The company has now finalised its licence agreement for the recombinant adenovirus vaccine, renamed AZD1222. In addition, the company has committed to supporting the formation of a joint research centre at Oxford University focused on pandemic preparedness research.

Read more here

9:38 am

International Update: Covid-19 infections near 5 million – Europe told to brace itself for second wave – global trade lowest in four years says WTO

21 May

Global: After the biggest single-day increase in cases worldwide so far in the pandemic, the number of confirmed infections is close to 5 million, with the Johns Hopkins University data currently listing 4,996,634.

The World Health Organization gave a stark warning on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, after 106,000 new cases were recorded worldwide over the past 24 hours – the most in a single day so far.

International imports and exports have fallen to their lowest level for at least four years, according to World Trade Organization figures.

Europe: Europe should brace itself for a second wave of coronavirus infections, according to the director of the EU agency responsible for advising governments on disease control.

European Union regulators called on passengers to wear face masks, observe physical distancing and frequently wash their hands in new guidelines for air travel in the age of Covid-19.

Greece: Tourists will be welcomed back to Greece from 15 June, the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced.

Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country won’t be cutting foreign aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, and further relief for poor nations is needed.

UK: The number of unaccompanied young migrants crossing the Channel from France to Britain has spiked during the coronavirus outbreak, as travel restrictions force them onto boats rather than trucks.

US: Donald Trump has said he may seek to revive a face-to-face meeting of Group of Seven leaders near Washington, after earlier canceling the gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Expedia Group Inc. followed its peers in the online travel industry in witnessing a staggering decline in business since the spread of the virus, with total gross bookings down 39% in the first quarter.

Mexico: At least 500 Cuban health workers are helping tackle the coronavirus in Mexico City, Mexican officials told Reuters, making it likely the largest contingent the communist-led island has deployed globally as part of its response to the pandemic.

Japan: Japan’s economy minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus state of emergency in Osaka and two neighbouring prefectures in the west where the infection is deemed slowing, while keeping the measure in place in the Tokyo region and Hokkaido.

Cambodia: Cambodia has announced the lifting of a travel ban of tourists from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US.

South Korea: South Korea’s exports of coronavirus test kits are expected to gather momentum down the road due to high overseas demand, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, quoting industry sources.


9:08 am

Coronavirus company news summary – a second Indian company launches Covid-19 vaccine trial – Brighton and Oxford hospitals initiate a study of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19

21 May 2020

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in the UK have launched a global clinical trial to assess hydroxychloroquine for potentially preventing Covid-19. This trial is designed to investigate chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in more than 40,000 healthcare workers across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America, according to BBC. These sites in the UK are the first of a planned 25 across the country.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has reported promising data from the preclinical studies of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, IN0-480, in mice and guinea pigs. The candidate was found to have generated ‘robust’ neutralising antibodies and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

India-based Strides Pharma Science has secured regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India to perform clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir as a potential Covid-19 treatment, according to Reuters. This makes Strides the second Indian company to trial the drug for Covid-19, following Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which started Phase III trials of favipiravir earlier this month.

China-based CanSino Biologics has partnered with Precision NanoSystems in Canada to jointly develop a mRNA lipid nanoparticle vaccine against Covid-19. The collaboration will leverage PNI’s RNA vaccine platform, which comprises lipid nanoparticle delivery system and the NanoAssemblr manufacturing technology.

7:44 am

Covid-19 driven recession could impact 2020 graduate careers for a decade

21 May

Unemployment levels have reached new highs over the last three months since the lockdown was initiated in the US.

As millions of students graduate during this uncertain time, their future job prospects remain bleak.

Careers and earnings may be impacted for graduates for many years.

Konstantina Beleli, an economist and journalist, shared an article on how million of students in US are graduating in one of the worst job markets witnessed since the Great Depression.

The article notes that the unemployment rate in the US currently stands at 14.7% but for people aged between 20 and 24, the rate increases to 25.7%, according to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Research suggests that the careers and earnings of these students are expected to be impacted for more than a decade.

Read more

7:10 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global confirmed Covid-19 cases exceed 4.9 million – record daily numbers of new cases in South America

21 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,900,000, with over 323,000 deaths and 1,690,000 recoveries.

Brazil account for most of the daily confirmed cases in Latin America.

Meanwhile, countries to watch will be Peru, Mexico, and Chile as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases.

Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile have each set a record high of new daily cases.

In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

It has been accepted that children are not the group most at risk from Covid-19.

However, as schools have started to reopen in Europe; it remains unclear whether they are super spreaders and transmit the infection even if they are asymptomatic.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

5:19 pm

Atea receives $215m funding and FDA approval to start Phase II Covid-19 trial

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Boston-based Atea Pharmaceuticals’ investigational new drug application for AT-527, meaning this drug can be entered into a Phase II study for moderate Covid-19 patients with at least one risk factor.

AT-527 is a direct-acting anti-viral (DAA) drug designed to inhibit the RNA polymerase enzyme. It has been shown to be effective in coronaviruses and flaviviruses in vitro and in vivo models previously, and has already been studied in a Phase II study of hepatitis C patients.

In addition, Atea announced it has closed a $215m Series D round, which was led Bain Capital Life Sciences. Other new investors who participated in the round include Omega Funds, Rock Springs Capital and RA Capital Management. Existing investors, such as Cormorant Asset Management and Ally Bridge Group, also took part in the latest funding round.

Atea founder, chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Sommadossi commented: “We are delighted to have the strong support of this group of blue-chip healthcare investors.

“Atea’s portfolio is focused on developing novel, best-in-class, potent DAA’s and we have shifted all of our immediate resources and our team’s deep expertise in virology and pharmacology to help address the unmet needs in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“An oral treatment for Covid-19 patients should prevent progression of the disease and may help lessen the burden on critical inpatient resources.

“Atea is moving rapidly, in concert with regulatory authorities, to determine if our oral DAA is a safe and effective therapeutic against COVID-19.”

2:19 pm

Economic Update: Global economy expected to shrink by 1.9% – growth still predicted for China and India

20 May

The global economy is now expected to shrink by 1.9% in 2020, according to experts from GlobalData.

Western Europe and the US are still expected to bear the brunt, with Italy’s GDP forecast to contract by 10% over the year.

France’s GDP is predicted to shrink by 8.6%, the UK’s by 8.2%, Spain’s by 7.9% and Germany’s by 6.6%.

Those forecasts are slightly worse than GlobalData was forecasting a week ago.

The US’s estimate has been revised upwards, however, with the country seeing a steady decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

GlobalData now predicts the US economy will shrink by 5.0% across 2020 – slightly less than the 5.3% predicted a week ago.

Latin American countries, where the numbers of Covid-19 cases are now surging, are also expecting an economic downturn. Mexico’s economy is expected to contract by 7.0% in 2020, Peru’s by 4.1% and Brazil’s by 4.0%.

China and India are among the few countries predicted to still see economic growth this year.

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

1:47 pm

Adelyra to advance HSP90 inhibitor into clinical trials for Covid-19

Massachusetts-based Aledyra Therapeutics announced plans to advance its investigational HSP90 inhibitor ADX-1612 into clinical trials for Covid-19.

HSP90 is a chaperone protein widely implicated in viral disease, which has been viewed a potential promising Covid-19 target.

Aldeyra believes ADX-1612’s mechanism of action could be complementary to other anti-viral drugs in development, and so, if successful in clinical trials, it could be used in combination with other drugs.

The company’s CEO and president Todd C Brady commented: “The nanomolar potency of ADX-1612 against SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro model announced today is consistent with a broad array of mechanistic target validation, in vitro viral inhibition, and preliminary clinical data that support investigation of ADX-1612 for the treatment of COVID-19.”

Aledyra is hoping to submit an investigational new drug application for this drug in the third quarter this year.

12:08 pm

Economic Update: US GDP to contract by 11% in Q2 – eyes on China’s additional fiscal support – UK GDP downgraded

20 May

The US Congressional Budget office has said that it estimates that real gross domestic product will contract by 11% in the second quarter of this year, which is equivalent to a decline of 38% at an annual rate, and that the number of people employed will be almost 26 million lower than the number in the fourth quarter of 2019.

World Bank commentators have written that all eyes are on China this week as additional fiscal support to stem downward pressure on growth is expected:

“How to spend may be as important as how much to spend. China’s fiscal stimulus should be aligned with its medium-term objectives of rebalancing the economy toward more inclusive and greener growth.

“This suggests that the priority this time around needs to be enhancing China’s social safety nets and investing in accelerating the transition toward a carbon-neutral, more resource-efficient and competitive economy.”

Deloitte UK chief economist Ian Stewart has written on the company’s blog that due to the UK’s slow lockdown easing and contraction of economic activity, the firm is downgrading its 2020 UK GDP forecast, ‘with an expected contraction of 11.7% compared to our previous estimate of 6.8%’.

Stewart says: “For 2021 we see the economy growing by 8.5%, up from a previous forecast of 6.5%. Our 2020 forecast is at the low end of the current range of forecasts, which on average expect a contraction of 7.9% this year.

“However, the trend has been for forecasters to downgrade their numbers, with more recent forecasts consistently more pessimistic than earlier ones.”

11:04 am

Covid-19 crisis drives companies to rethink global expansion strategies

The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates global foreign direct investment flows will contract by as much as 40% over the next year.

But is the impact equal across all sectors and geographies?

Where will companies pull back from, and where will tomorrow’s opportunities most likely be found?

How are companies changing their modes of entry for new markets in order to adapt to the current conditions?

NS Media Group – which is set to launch a dedicated information service focused on corporate cross-border expansion – is running a short survey to help answer these questions and would like to hear directly from executives in multinational companies involved in overseas investment decisions as to how corporate strategies are evolving.

This is an essential piece of research to better understand the impact Covid-19 is having in global business and investment.

View the survey

10:02 am

International Update: Covid-19 cases approach 5 million – EU criticizes Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO

20 May

Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 323,286 people are known to have died while at least 4,897,567 are confirmed as having been infected since the outbreak began.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the developed world could learn lessons from the preventative measures taken by many African countries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus shutdowns around the world could undo three years of gains in alleviating poverty, the president of the World Bank has said.

The European Union hailed the World Health Assembly’s approval of an EU-sponsored resolution on the virus, saying the move highlights the importance of a “collective response” to the pandemic and criticized Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO.

US: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday praised the Taiwan’s coronavirus response and called it a reliable partner, in a statement congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration for a second term that stood in sharp contrast with recent US criticism of China.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will use ultraviolet light to help remove Covid-19 from its subways, buses and commuter trains as the technology has been shown to eradicate the virus from surfaces.

Moderna Inc. fell as much as 12% after trade publication Stat reported the company withheld key information about its coronavirus vaccine.

The US and Canada will keep their border shut to non-essential travel for another month as efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are extended.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested employers to consider a four-day working week and other flexible working options as a way to boost tourism and help employees address persistent work/life balance issues.

Netherlands: The Netherlands will press ahead with a further easing of lockdown measures in June due to a steadily declining number of infections and hospital admissions, its prime minister Mark Rutte has said.

The Dutch government confirmed that bars and restaurants can start opening for business again next month as the country slowly lifts more restrictions to aid an economy hurting from the coronavirus outbreak.

UK: There will be no “face-to-face lectures” at the University of Cambridge in the 2020/21 academic year, the institution has said.

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor, said the country is facing “a severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen”.

Estonia: The Baltic nation of Estonia has started testing one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, according to Back to Work, a coalition of technology firms, medical experts and local government officials which are developing the app.

10:00 am

Kancera to study hyperinflammation drug for Covid-19

Sweden-based Kancera has applied to the Swedish regulatory authorities to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of KAND567 in Covid-19.

Kancera has previously filed a patent for KAND567 as a treatment for hyperinflammation caused by viral infections and myocardial infarction. An over-reaction of the immune system, known as the cytokine storm, has been a major cause of death in patients with Covid-19, which is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2.

KANDA567 blocks the Fractalkine receptor, which plays a key role in the immune system, and works selectively against cytokines involved in hyperinflammation in Covid-19. Therefore, the company believes its drug can support the immune system’s ability to combat the viral pandemic disease.

The trial will be carried out in collaboration with the Capio St. Görans Hospital and the Science for Life Laboratory, Stockholm.

9:24 am

Experts express doubt about Moderna’s vaccine, according to STAT

In an interview with STAT news, vaccine experts expressed concern that Moderna had not published data actually showing how effective its Covid-19 vaccine was at generating an immune response.

The experts also noted that the NIAID, which had carried out the Phase I study of mRNA-1273, had been silent about the data news.

They also expressed concern that Moderna doesn’t publish its findings in scientific journals, instead relying on press releases, meaning there is little way to fully understand how effective their vaccine approach has been in other diseases, as well as in Covid-19.

Moderna responded to inquiries from STAT saying full results will be published in a journal article by NIAID, so the world will have to sit tight and wait to see the actual extent of the promise of this vaccine.

8:59 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Australian researchers study hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment – Covis studies asthma drug against Covid-19

20 May 2020

Covis Pharma has launched a Phase III clinical trial to evaluate its asthma drug Alvesco (ciclesonide) for the treatment of non-hospitalised, symptomatic Covid-19 patients aged 12 years and above. The company secured the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to conduct the trial. Alvesco is also being studied in Covid-19 in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, among others.

A team involving researchers from Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG) at Peking University (PKU) has identified various antibodies with neutralising activity against Covid-19. Based on findings from animal studies, the researchers claim that their neutralising antibody could offer a potential cure and also short-term prevention for the disease.

Australian researchers, led by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, have launched a clinical trial to assess hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of Covid-19 in around 2,250 high risk healthcare workers. Named COVID SHIELD the trial will run for four months.

Aetion has entered into a research collaboration agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use real-world data to gain better insights regarding the course and treatment of Covid-19. The partners will find and analyse fit-for-purpose data sources to characterise patient populations and their medication use.

8:27 am

Trade wars could result from Covid-19 driven economic downturn

20 May

Global trade wars could result from the devastating economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some countries have held China accountable for not controlling the spread of the disease.

Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on the 80% tariff imposed by China on barley exports from Australia for five years.

China is imposing the tariff after Australia became one of 100 countries that called for a probe into the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

Similar actions on other countries are also expected in the near future, with experts predicting that global trade wars are in the making.

Read more

7:30 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 4.8 million – concerns over accurate reporting in Africa

20 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,810,000, with over 319,000 deaths and 1,790,000 recoveries.

In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries except for Russia which continues to experience an increase in cases.

Brazil in Latin America and the US in North America account for most of the reported daily confirmed cases in that continent.

There are ​approximately 85,000 confirmed cases and 3,000 Covid-19 deaths in Africa.

The relatively low death toll had raised hopes that Africa may be spared worst of this pandemic, until recently. ​

A WHO model estimated that although cases might rise exponentially to at least a quarter of a billion people infected in Africa this year, countries in Africa will have fewer deaths than Europe and the US because of its younger population ​and lower comorbidity prevalence such as diabetes. ​

However, the current reported death toll is unlikely to accurately reflect the true extent of the outbreak’s impact in Africa due to testing limitations.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

5:01 pm

Covid-19’s impact on drug manufacture in Spain: small molecule API dominates in Europe’s worst-hit country

As of mid-May, Spain has the worst Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, only second to the US for disease prevalence worldwide. According to GlobalData figures, Spain has 269,520 diagnosed individuals and 26,920 confirmed deaths. In March, the Spanish government declared one of the strictest policies in Europe after announcing an over two-week-long state of emergency, where all movement was banned except to buy essentials, move and work.

A German tourist in the Canary Islands was the first confirmed coronavirus case in Spain, who it was assumed had contracted the virus from individuals who travelled to China at the end of January. Read more here.

2:28 pm

Almost 50,000 ‘excess’ deaths in England and Wales, says ONS

19 May

Nearly 50,000 more people than expected have died in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

New figures put out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning show an estimated 49,647 “excess” deaths occurred from 14 March to 8 May, with 39,071 of those attributed to Covid-19.

However, the number of weekly deaths, both caused by the virus and overall, is now at its lowest since the start of April.

2:00 pm

Moderna raises $1.34bn in public offering to support Covid-19 vaccine

Moderna, one of the frontrunners in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, is expecting to raise $1.3bn in a public offering of 17.6 million shares at $76 each.

The public offering is expected to close on 21 May following the completion of customary conditions. It took only hours for Moderna to decide the pricing of the public offering.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of postive interim Phase I data Moderna published yesterday.

11:24 am

Economic Update: UNCTAD projects trade decline of 27% – IMF questions future financial stability – UK Jobseekers exceed 2 million

19 May

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a 3% drop in global trade values in the first quarter of 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The downturn is expected to accelerate in the second quarter, according to UNCTAD forecasts, which project a quarter-on-quarter decline of 27%.

International Monetary Fund researchers have written in a blog that relying on monetary policy alone to respond to shocks from events such as Covid-19 might not be enough and also raise questions about side effects on future financial stability and threats to central bank independence:

“While keeping an eye on debt sustainability concerns over the long term, fiscal policy needs to play a larger role. Putting in place more automatic fiscal responses in advanced economies could help build their resilience to future adverse shocks.

“If rules for fiscal stimulus are well communicated and established before shocks occur, they can help shape expectations and reduce uncertainty, thereby dampening the drop in activity once a negative shock materialises.”

The UK Office for National Statistics said that in April there was a 69.1% month-on-month increase in the number of claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, taking the level to over 2 million.

10:56 am

Daily Report: Big falls in Covid-19 fatalities in Europe – global figures lag behind

19 May

Western Europe and America might have “passed the peak” – but many countries around the world are still very much fighting a rising tide of Covid 19.

Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Peru, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia have all seen daily death figures rise, when calculated as a seven-day rolling average.

The rise in South America and elsewhere means that global figures are only going down slightly week-on-week, despite big falls in Europe.

In the last seven days, 32,151 people died after being tested positive for the disease, according to the latest data from John’s Hopkins University.

That compares to 34,793 over the previous week.

At least 318,481 people have now died from the disease worldwide.

Covid-19 daily report

9:41 am

International Update: Global Covid cases pass 4.8 million – Trump taking hydroxychloroquine – IMF says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.

19 May

Global: Global cases pass 4.8 million. There are 4,805,005 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The World Health Organization said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible.

IMF chief says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.

Studies from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council of Museums have confirmed that more than 85,000 museums across the world – about 90 percent of all institutions – have shut because of the coronavirus.

US: President Trump has said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, his doctor released a letter confirming that they had discussed the use of the drug and “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.

Some areas of New York City have seen death rates nearly 15 times higher than others, according to data released by New York City’s health department, showing the disproportionate toll taken on poorer communities.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set aside $11bn in new funding to support coronavirus testing.

US President Donald Trump has again attacked the WHO calling the UN agency a “puppet of China” that has “done a very sad job” in handling the coronavirus.

Brazil: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil stands at 255,368, according to Johns Hopkins University, overtaking the UK to become the third-worst affected country in terms of cases.

Australia: The death toll in Australia has reached 100, following the death of a 93-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Qantas Airways Ltd. said putting extra space between passengers on planes could lead to a big increase in airfares and discourage people from flying.

India: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has passed 100,000, currently standing at 100,328 according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

Qatar: Qatar will close all shops and halt all commercial activities, from 19 to 30 May.

Italy: Italy registers lowest deaths since March as bars, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, museums and churches reopen. The country registered 99 deaths and 451 infections on Monday.

9:33 am

US Government repatriates Covid-19 generics manufacturing with $354m investment

The Trump US administration has signed a $345m four-year contract with Virginia-based Phlow Corp to manufacture generic medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients to help treat Covid-19, according to the New York Times (NYT).

The aim is to prevent shortages of essential medicines and reduce the US market’s dependence on India and China to manufacture necessary drugs; the latter is in line with Trump’s ‘America first’ policy.

The NYT reported that there have been indications that this contract could be expanded to $812m over ten years.

The US administration is set to release further details of this investment into Phlow Corp later on today.

9:08 am

Coronavirus company news summary – EMA considering marketing authorisation for remdesivir – AstraZeneca seeking vaccine manufacturing deals outside the UK

19 May 2020

UK-headquartered AstraZeneca is in discussions with international governments and organisations for Covid-19 vaccine candidate manufacturing deals similar to its agreement with the UK government, according to Reuters. The organisations in question are said to include the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance).

India-based Cipla has plans to explore the use of multi-drug combination, including Gilead Sciences‘ remdesivir, for the treatment of Covid-19. In an interview with Livemint news agency, Cipla chief financial officer Kedar Upadhye said that the company intends to assess a combination of zinc, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir-ritonavir and favipiravir, among other drugs.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has signed an agreement with contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Vibalogics for the manufacture of clinical trial material for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by J&J unit Janssen. The deal will see Vibalogics produce multiple batches of the vaccine candidate at its facility in Cuxhaven, Germany.

The European Union may fast track authorisation for the sale of Gilead‘s remdesivir as a potential Covid-19 treatment, said Reuter citing the European Medicines Agency (EMA) head. A conditional approval for the drug is expected in the coming days. The EMA has already called for the compassionate use of the drug for Covid-19 patients

7:39 am

Covid-19 lockdown increases online spending to 25% – 100,000 stores could close

19 May

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced retail and food outlets to remain closed to avoid the spread of the disease and comply with the lockdown measures.

Consumers unable to make purchases in physical stores are increasingly opting for online services for a variety of products.

Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared a chart on how the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is shifting consumer spending towards online shopping, which increased by 15% to 25%.

Consumers are purchasing various products online including office supplies, consumer electronics, home furnishings, auto parts etc.

In the article, UBS Group notes that approximately 100,000 retail stores will close over the next five years as online shopping picks up.

Clothing, electronics and home furnishings stores are expected to be most affected by this trend.

Read more

7:13 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 4.7 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide – concerns about rapid spread in Brazil

19 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,720,000, with over 316,000 deaths and 1,750,000 recoveries.

Latin and North America continue to see a rise in daily confirmed cases, whereas in Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.

India, the second most populous country in the world, has seen rise in daily confirmed cases, which has prompted it to extend the lock-down by two weeks.

This pandemic has also hit indigenous population in Brazil raising concerns about how quickly the disease had spread through remote vulnerable communities with poor access to healthcare facilities.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:02 pm

Cities And Regions Update: Changes in infections focus as lockdowns ease – Illinois in US and UK North West gain prominence

18 May

The number of new daily Covid-19 cases had continued to drop in the most affected regions in Europe and America, with most new cases recorded in Mexico and some South American countries.

Illinois has overtaken Massachusetts as the third most affected region in the US, with the number of daily new cases there quickly approaching those in New York.

In the UK, where restrictions were slightly eased on May 13, the north west of England has now recorded 23,610 cases of Covid-19 and is set to overtake London as the epicentre of the outbreak with numbers.

Lombardy, the most affected region of Italy, has seen more modest decreases in the number of new cases compared to the rest of the country.

Italy’s shops and cafes reopened on Monday after ten weeks of lockdown.

Madrid has also seen a slight uptick in the proportion of Spain’s new Covid-19 cases.

This chart is currently being updated weekly with the latest figures – although some countries have a slight delay in publishing the very latest case numbers by region or state.

Covid-19 regional comparison chart





















21 Mar:

First death in Singapore, Israel

– Singapore’s health ministry confirmed the first two deaths in a 75 year-old female national and a 64 year-old man from Indonesia. The country has at least 385 confirmed cases.

– Israel’s first death from the coronavirus is an 88-year-old man with other illnesses. The country reported 705 cases so far.

Papua New Guinea confirms first case

– Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 case.

– The patient is a 45-year-old mine worker who arrived from Spain via Singapore.

– The country banned all international flights for one week starting on 22 March.

US vice president’s staff member tests positive

– The White House reported that a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff tested positive.

– Pence’s spokeswoman said that the staff member did not have ‘close contact’ to the vice president or President Donald Trump.

– According to the CDC, the US has 15,268 cases and 201 deaths.

New Zealand introduces new alert system

– New Zeland Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern placed the country at two on a four-level COVID-19 alert system.

– People have been asked to avoid non-essential travel within the country and those aged above 70 have been advised to stay at home.

– The nation confirmed 13 new cases to total 52. The health ministry said that community transmission could not be ruled out among the new cases.

South Korea records 147 new cases

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 147 new cases, which take the total to 8,799.

Eighth Diamond Princess death

– Japan’s health ministry reported that a Canadian national who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship died of COVID-19.

– This marks the eighth coronavirus death among the cruise passengers.

New deaths, cases in Turkey

– The number of cases in Turkey increased to 670 from 359 a day earlier. Also, the total fatalities in the nation reached nine.

China’s Wuhan reports no new cases

– China’s Wuhan city and its Hubei province registered no new cases for the third day in a row as of 20 March. However, the province saw seven deaths, of which six are in Wuhan.

– The mainland China reported 41 new cases, all of which were imported.

– China has a total of 81,008 cases and 3,255 deaths. A total of 71,740 patients had been declared cured and released from hospital.

Death toll tops 11,300

– The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus exceeded 11,300 globally while the total infections increased to more than 275,400, as of end of 20 March.

– Meanwhile, the number of worldwide recoveries exceeded 88,200.

20 Mar:

UK closes pubs, cafes and bars, and announces other measures

– In his daily briefing, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that cafes, pubs, and bars to close, as well as shops, theatres and leisure centres, are to close to protect public health.

– The government are deferring taxes to the end of the financial year, as well as waiving VAT for some businesses. It will also provide a job retention scheme to pay 80% of wages for those who cannot work due to the pandemic.

Syria bans visitors

– Syria banned entry of visitors from multiple countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The government said that the cases in the nation remain zero.

Cases in Mexico cross 200

– Mexico’s health ministry reported that the total number of cases in the country increased from 164 to 203.

UK reports 33 new deaths; total 177

– The death toll in the UK increased by 33 to 177.  The number of confirmed cases in the country reached 3,983.

Germany cases jump to 13,957

– Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported that the number of cases surged by 2,958 to 13,957.

– The number of deaths increased by 11 to 31.

Spain’s deaths cross 1,000

– The death toll in Spain increased to 1,002 from 767, said the country’s health emergencies chief Fernando Simon .

– The number of cases jumped to 19,980 from 17,147 on Thursday.

Cape Verde, Madagascar confirm first case 

– Cape Verde reported its first coronavirus case in a 62-year-old British national who arrived on 09 March.

– Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina confirmed the country’s first three cases.

Cases in Ireland reach 557

– The total number of cases in Ireland increased to 557 from 366 the previous day.

– According to the health department, this is the highest daily jump so far.

Qatar confirms eight new cases; total 460

– Qatar has confirmed eight new cases, taking the overall tally to 460.

– The health ministry approved home quarantine as a second option for families arriving from overseas, after passing mandatory medical examination.

New deaths and cases in Iran

– Iran reported 149 new deaths, taking the total to 1,433 amid, while the  confirmed cases neared 20,000.

Cases rise in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines

– The number of cases in Taiwan increased to 135, including two deaths.

– Indonesia cases jumped to 369, with 32 fatalities.

– Hong Kong’s cases surged to 256, while the Philippines recorded 230 cases and 18 deaths.

South Africa cases reach 202

– South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that the number of cases in the country increased to 202.

130 new cases in Malaysia

– Malaysia registered 130 new cases, bringing the total to 1,030.

– Of the new cases, 48 are traced to a religious gathering of around 16,000 participants near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

– More than 670 cases in Southeast Asia have been linked to this gathering in Malaysia.

Singapore sees 40 new cases

– With 40 new confirmed cases, the tally in Singapore increased to 385. Majority of the new cases are said to be imported from the UK.

Belgium cases top 2,000

– The number of cases in exceed 2,000 to total to 2,257, while the number of deaths surged to a total of 37.

Fifth death, new cases in India

– India reported its fifth death while the total confirmed cases increased to 224, including one case from Punjab.

South Korea reports 87 new cases

– South Korea confirmed 87 new cases and three additional deaths, bringing its totals to 8,652 cases and 94 deaths.

No new cases in Wuhan for second day

– China’s epicentre, Wuhan city in Hubei province, recorded no new cases of infection for two consecutive days as of 19 March.

Death toll crosses 10,000 worldwide

– The COVID-19 death toll has crossed 10,000 across the world, as of the end of 19 March.

– The total number of infected people has increased to 244,000 while the recoveries stand at 86,000.

Italy’s death toll crosses China’s

– The death toll in Italy stands at 3,405, surpassing the number of deaths in China which stands at 3,252.

– The total confirmed cases in Italy stands at 41,035, more than half of that in China which stands at 81,193.

19 Mar:

Deaths in France reach 372

– French health reported an increase in death toll by 108 to total 372, representing a surge of around 40%.

– The number of cases jumped to 10,995, a 20% rise in 24 hours.

Israel orders stay at home

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tightened a nation-wide stay-at home policy to control coronavirus spread.

– The country confirmed 573 cases to date.

Croatia registers first death

– Croatia reported its first death in a 70-year-old man. The country confirmed 102 cases to date.

Chad reports first case

– Chad government reported its first case in a Moroccan national who arrived from Cameroon.

Iran reports 1,284 deaths

– Iran reported that COVID-19 is claiming one life every ten minutes in the country, raising its toll to 1,284, said health ministry in a tweet.

– The number of infections in the nation increased to 18,407.

Brazil death toll reaches six

– Brazil reported deaths of two elderly patients in Rio de Janeiro, increasing the toll in the country to six. The country registered nearly 430 cases.

Cambodia confirms 47 cases

– Cambodia reported ten new cases, taking its total to 47. The country will ban entry for all international travellers from midnight on Monday.

Greece has 464 cases

– Greece confirmed 464 cases and recorded six deaths, according to a health ministry official.

Mexico reports first death

– Mexico reported its first death as a 41-year-old citizen who was suffering from diabetes. The number of cases in the country jumped by 27% in the last 24 hours to 118 from 93.

US CDC confirms nearly 10,500 cases

– US CDC reported 3,404 new cases to total 10,491 infections. The country reported its biggest daily jump in death toll from around 55 to 150.

– California governor ordered its 40 million residents to stay at home starting tonight.

Bank of England cuts interest rates to 0.1%

– In a second emergency cut since the outbreak began, the Bank of England has reduced interest rates to 0.1% in an attempt to limit the economic impact of the virus.

Spain records 200 new deaths

– With 209 additional deaths, Spain’s death toll increased to 767.

– A surge of approximately 25% increased the total cases in the country to 17,147.

First death in Russia

– Russia’s first casualty was a a 79-year-old woman in Moscow with underlying health issues.

– The country has reported 199 cases so far.

Fourth death, new cases in India

– India has confirmed its fourth Covid-19 death, while the number of infections increased to 184.

– The country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for  citizen curfew on 22 March.

Thailand reports 60 new cases

– Thailand confirmed 60 new cases in the biggest daily jump, taking its total to 272. The country registered one death to date.

Malaysia reports 110 new cases

– Malaysia reported 110 new cases to total 900. Majority of the new cases were linked to a religious gathering by 16,000 people at a mosque.

UK’s MHRA commits to prioritise and support Covid-19 clinical trial applications

– The UK’s healthcare regulator The Medicines and Healthcare products (MHRA) has declared it will prioritise assessments of Covid-19 clinical trials, as well as providing rapid advice to manufacturers and other regulators.

– This builds upon the MHRA’s response to previous outbreaks, such as Ebola.

Mauritius registers first three cases

– Mauritius reported its first three cases, including two who worked on cruise ships and one who returned from the UK.

South Korea has 152 new cases

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 152 new cases, taking the total to 8,565.

– South Korea had confirmed fewer than 100 new cases for four consecutive days until Wednesday.

World Bank increases response package to $14bn

– The World Bank has increased its support package for businesses and economies to $14bn.

Wuhan and Hubei report no new cases

– China’s epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, and its Hubei province have reported no new cases for the first time.

Death toll rises to 8,800

– The death toll due to COVID-19 coronavirus has increased to 8,809 as of the end of 18 March.

– The total confirmed cases has passed 218,000 worldwide while recoveries stand at 84,000.  

UK deaths rise to 103

– The death toll in the UK increased from 71 to 103, including a total of more than 2,640 cases.

California governor says 60,000 homeless could contract COVID-19

– California, US governor said that according to models more than 60,000 homeless people in the state could contract the novel coronavirus over the next eight weeks.

– The US has more than 9,400 cases and 150 deaths so far.

18 Mar:

Portugal declares emergency

– Portugal declared 15-day state of emergency to combat coronavirus. The number of cases in the country neared 650.

Italy reports 475 more deaths

– The death toll in Italy increased by 475 to 2,978, a surge of 19%.

– The total number of cases jumped by 31,506 to to 35,713, up 13.35%, said the Civil Protection Agency.

Swiss cases cross 3,000

– The number of cases in Switzerland has jumped to 3,028, including 21 deaths.

France reports 89 new deaths; total 264

– France confirmed 89 new deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 264. The number of cases in the nation reached 9,134.

Cases in Singapore reach 313

– Singapore’s health ministry reported 47 new infections to total 313.

– Starting Friday, the country will impose self-quarantine measures for 14 days on everyone entering, as well as citizens and residents.

Second death in Turkey

– Turkey confirmed its second death in a 61-year-old male. The first fatality occurred on Tuesday.

– With 93 new cases, the nation’s total increased to 191.

Cases in Spain reach 13,716

– Spain health emergency center head Fernando Simon said that the country’s total cases surged to 13,716, including 558 deaths.

Iran’s death toll rises to 1,135

– With 147 new fatalities, Iran’s death toll jumped to 1,135.

– The total infections in the nation had reached 17,361, with 1,192 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Austria announces 38bn aid package

– Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced up to 38bn aid to secure jobs and ensure coronavirus affected companies remain liquid.

– The country is also offering 9bn in guarantees and warranties, 15bn in emergency aid and 10bn in tax deferrals.

Study says initial infections on Diamond Princess came from food worker

– In a study published by the CDC, it was found that the initial cases of the COVID-19 on the cruise ship came from food workers.

– It stated that of the 20 confirmed cases of crew members, 15 were from food service members.

– Malta will stop all incoming passenger flights from Saturday to prevent spread. The country has 38 cases, of which 32 contracted the infection abroad.

– Malaysia closed its borders with Singapore, starting 14-day partial lockdown as the number of infections in the country reached 673.

Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti, Zambia register first cases

– Kyrgyzstan recorded its first cases in three citizens who returned from Saudi Arabia.

– Djibouti confirmed its first case as a Spanish national who was part of a 32-member Spanish special forces unit that came to the country on 14 March.

– Zambia’s health ministry confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases today.

Moldova confirms first death

– Moldova confirmed its first death today, while the cases in the country increased to 30.

– The nation declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia report new cases

– The Philippines’ health ministry reported 15 additional cases to total 202.

– Indonesia recorded 55 new cases, taking the total to 227, including 19 deaths and 11 recoveries.

– With 117 new cases, Malaysia registered 17% rise in infections to total 790.

South Korea reports 93 new cases

The  Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 93 new cases to total 8,413. This is the fourth consecutive report of fewer than 100 new cases.

Cases in India reach 149

– The number of cases in India reached 149, including one new case each in Pondicherry and Pune, Maharashtra.

First death, new cases in Pakistan

– With new cases reported on Monday and Tuesday, the number of cases in Pakistan reached 236.

– The country also confirmed the first death of a suspected coronavirus patient in Lahore, Punjab. The patient is reported to have recently arrived from Iran.

– Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan cannot currently afford the economic cost of closing down its cities.

WHO calls for ‘aggressive’ action in Southeast Asia

– The WHO has asked Southeast Asian countries to implement ‘aggressive’ action to control the spread of the virus.

WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said: “More clusters of virus transmission are being confirmed. While this is an indication of an alert and effective surveillance, it also puts the spotlight on the need for more aggressive and whole of society efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

New Zealand reports new imported cases

New Zealand has confirmed eight new cases, all in people who had recent international trips, said the health ministry.

– The total number of cases in the country reached 20.

Death toll increases to 7,900

– The death toll due to COVID-19 has increased to 7,900 as of the end of 17 March.

– The total cases cross 198,000 while the recoveries stand at 81,000.

17 Mar:

Australia declares human biosecurity emergency

– Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared a human biosecurity emergency, which enables closure of cities or regions, curfews and quarantine.

– Currently, the country’s travel advice is ‘Level 4: Do not travel’ to any country worldwide.

– The government also banned non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

Italy registers 345 more deaths; total 2,503

– Italy’s death toll surged by 345 to 2,503, a jum of 16%, said the Civil Protection Agency.

– The total cases in the country increased by around 12% from 27,980 to 31,506.

Gambia, Barbados, Montenegro and Montserrat report first case

– Gambia confirmed its first case as a 20-year-old woman who had recently visited the UK.

– Barbados registered its first two cases in a 48-year-old visitor from the US and a 39-year-old female national who returned from the US.

– Montenegro reported its first cases in two females who returned from the US and Spain, said Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.

– Montserrat recorded its first case among the three samples sent abroad for testing, said health ministry.

– Brazil confirms first death

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reported the nation’s first death, while Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency.

– The number of cases in the country stand at 321.

– Finland interior minister Maria Ohisalo said that the country will begin to heavily restrict traffic over its borders from Thursday. The country has 319 cases to date.

– Bosnia declared a nationwide state of emergency as the number of cases in the country grew to 26.

– Vietnam will impose mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from the US, Europe and ASEAN regions. The country, which confirmed 61 cases, will also suspend the issuance of new visas.

– Canada’s Ontario banned gatherings of more than 50 people, closed bars and restaurants to control coronavirus spread. The number of infections in Canada reached 407, including four deaths.

– Sri Lanka, which reported 28 cases, banned all incoming flights for two weeks.

– Planemaker Airbus will suspend production in France and Spain for the next four days.

– Hong Kong will quarantine all people entering the city for 14 days from midnight on Thursday.

– Swiss federal health agency’s head of infectious diseases Daniel Koch said that hospitals in the country could collapse if the novel coronavirus continues rapid spread.

– China’s Shanghai has extended quarentine to visitors from the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria. The city already imposed same measures for passengers from France, Spain, Germany, the US, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

– Carmaker Volkswagen is preparing to suspend production to contain coronavirus spread.

UK sees 26% surge in infections

– The number of coronavirus infections in the UK increased by 26% to 1,950 from 1,543 the previous day. The death toll in the nation stands at 56.

Greece cases rise to 387

– Greece’s COVID-19 cases jumped to 387, while the death toll increased to five.

EU to close external borders

– European Union agreed to close Europe’s borders for 30 days. The regions will, however, build fast-track lanes to keep goods moving.

– According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European countries would decide whether to close their borders to third countries.

Two WHO staff test positive

– Two WHO staff members have tested positive, announced an official from the agency. These are the first cases reported at the agency.

Cases in Spain top 10,000; announces 200bn package

– Spain’s COVID-19 cases exceeded 10,000 to total 11,178, including 491 deaths.

– The country announced a 200bn package to aid companies, as well as protect workers and other vulnerable groups affected by the outbreak

Iran’s death toll climbs to 988; temporarily releases prisoners

– Iran’s health official confirmed 135 new deaths, bringing the total death toll to 988. The nation reported 16,169 infections so far

– The country has temporarily released approximately 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, said a judiciary spokesman.

Malaysia confirms first deaths

– Malaysia confirmed its first death in a 60-year-old pastor. The Sarawak state had said that 193 close contacts of the deceased have been traced and are under home quarantine.

– The second casualty in the nation was a 34-year-old man who attended a mass religious gathering in February in Kuala Lumpur. The country has at least 550 cases.

New cases in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia

– Philippines’ health ministry reported 45 new cases, taking the total to 187.

– Philippine Airlines suspended all domestic flights due to quarantine imposed across the Luzon island.

– Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases, which increase its total to 177, including one death.

– Indonesia reported 38 new cases in the last two days, rising the total to 172, with five casualties.

First Covid-19 vaccine trial begins in US

– The first US clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is Moderna’s mRNA-1273, has started.

Cambodia cases double; total 24

– The number of cases in Cambodia doubled from 12 to 24. Of the new cases, 11 had visited Malaysia for a religious event at a mosque.

Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary tests positive

– Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo tested positive. The official was part of a delegation that recently visited Florida, US.

– The nation’s cases stand at 234.

South Korea reports 84 new cases

– South Korea has confirmed 84 new cases, marking the third day with less than 100 new infections.

– The total infections in the nation increased to 8,320, including 81 deaths and 1,401 recoveries.

India reports third death

– India reported third death, while the total cases has touched 132.

Pakistan cases rise to 189

– With new cases in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, the number of cases in Pakistan increased to 189.

Ireland estimates cases to rise to 15,000 by March-end

– Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the number of cases in the country may rise to approximately 15,000 by the end of March from current 223.

– The country advised against all non-essential overseas travel.

– All schools, universities, bars and childcare facilities have been closed until 29 March and mass gatherings have been limited.

Spain deploys troops to help in lockdown

– Spain has been under partial lockdown since 14 March. Citizens were allowed to leave home only for work, buy food, visit a pharmacy or hospital.

– More than 1,000 troops were deployed in 14 cities across Spain to help in the lockdown.

– The country reported nearly 9,900 cases and 340 deaths so far.

US boosts measures to combat coronavirus

– The White House urged citizens to avoid gatherings of more than ten people.

– The government also called for closure of bars, gyms, restaurants and other venues in states with local transmission of coronavirus.

– To date, the nation has at least 4,660 confirmed cases and 85 deaths.

WHO calls for increased testing

– The World Health Organization asked all countries to boost testing programmes in an effort to slow the pandemic.

Death toll crosses 7,100

– The death toll due to COVID-19 has increased to more than 7,100 globally in 155 countries.

– The total number of cases has surpassed 182,000 while recoveries stand at 79,000.  

16 Mar:

First death in Portugal, Dominican Republic

– Portugal reported the first COVID-19 death in the country in an 80-year-old man with pre-existing health conditions. The country is mulling over declaring a state of emergency.

– The Dominican Republic’s first casualty is a 47-year-old woman who returned from Spain.

UK cases and deaths rise

– UK’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased to 1,543, while deaths rose to 53.

France confirms 21 new deaths; total 148

– France’s Public Health Authority confirmed 21 new deaths to total 148, indicating a 16% jump.

– The number of cases had risen by more than 20% to 6,633.

Poland’s environment minister tests positive

– Poland’s environment minister Michal Wos tested positive for coronavirus. The country confirmed 156 cases and three deaths to date.

Cases in Austria rise to 1,018

– The total number of cases in Austria have increased to 1,018.

– The government will provide €2bn of loan plus €4bn aid fund to support the economy.

Braemar cruise ship to dock in Cuba

– A Bristish cruise ship, Braemar, with five positive coronavirus cases is setting sail to Cuba after being turned away from several Caribbean ports over coronavirus fears, announced owner Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

UK actor Idris Elba tests positive

– UK actor and musician Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus.

– Finland would close all its schools and universities from Wednesday as the number of cases in the nation rise to 272.

– The Switzerland government declared a state of emergency until 19 April. It banned all public and private events, and deployed 8,000 military members for aid.

– Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation declared a state of disaster as the cases in the country increased to 24. Banja Luka town along with some other towns closed bars, restaurants and shops, except food stores, for one week.

– Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei said that the country will close its borders for the next two weeks to prevent spread of virus.

– Turkey ordered temporary closure of cafes, sports and entertainment venues, as well as suspension of mass prayers in mosques. The coronavirus cases in the country reached 47.

– Russia banned entry to foreign nationals from 18 March to 1 May. It closed state schools and limited public gatherings in Moscow as COVID-19 cases reached 93.

– Venezuela has decided to impose a nationwide quarantine after 16 new cases were confirmed today. The total cases in the country reached 33.

– Egypt will suspend all flights from its airports, from Thursday until 31 March to control coronavirus spread. The nation has 166 cases and four deaths.

– Canada imposed tougher screening measures for visitors as the number of cases in the country increase to approximately 320.

– Morocco will close all mosques, eateries, cinemas, theatres, sports, public clubs and entertainment  centres to prevent spread. Markets, shops with essential goods and restaurants with delivery service are given exemption.

– Chile President Sebastian Pinera said that the country will close its borders to foreigners from Wednesday. The nation confirmed 155 cases to date.

– Greece ordered 14-day quarantine for people from abroad. The government will also close shops from Wednesday, except supermarkets, pharmacy stores and food delivery services.

– The Philippines ordered home quarantine and suspension of work and transport across Luzon as the country’s cases reach 140.

– Armenia declared state of emergency for one month from March 16 until April 16. The country confirmed 30 cases and has closed all educational institutions.

– Ghana announced closure of all schools and universities, as well as suspended public events to control the spread of coronavirus.

– Germany government advised against all non-essential international trips. The number of cases in the country increased to 6,012, including 13 deaths.

– Hungary announced plans to close borders to international passengers, suspend cultural and sports events and establishments. The government advised people aged over 70 to stay at home.

– Georgia would deny entry to all foreigners over coronavirus concerns. The country has 33 cases.

– Auto company Fiat Chrysler announced suspension of production at majority of its European plants until 27 March.

– South Africa plans to revoke around 10,000 visas issued to people from China and Iran. Also, visas will be needed for other ‘high-risk countries’ that had been visa-free, including Italy.

– Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, along with Lviv and Odessa cities, will close bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping malls from 17 March.

– A Northern Irish mother whose daughter has underlying health conditions and is at greater risk will launch a legal challenge against UK’s decision to keep schools open, her lawyers said.

Cases in Netherlands jump to 1,413

– The number of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have jumped by 278 to 1,413, reported the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM).

– The death toll in the country stands at 24.

Spain’s cases grow to 8,744

– Spain’s health officials reported that the number of coronavirus cases in the country grew to 8,744, including 297 deaths.

– The regional leader of Spain’s Catalonia, Quim Torra, tested positive and is under self-isolation. Catalan government deputy head Pere Aragones also tested positive earlier.

Iran reports 129 new deaths

– With 129 new deaths, the death toll in Iran reached 853, while the number of infections increased to 14,991.

Liberia, Tanzania, Somalia, Benin confirm first case

– Liberia reported its first coronavirus case, without providing further details.

– Tanzania health ministry also confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection.

– Somalia health ministry announced its first Covid-19 case.

– Benin reported its first case in a national who returned from Belgium on 11 March.

Singapore cases rise to 243

– Singapore confirmed 17 additional cases to total 243. Of the new cases, 11 are said to be imported.

Malaysia reports 125 new to total 553

– Malaysia confirmed 125 new cases to total 553. Majority of the new infections have been traced to a religious gathering attended by nearly 16,000 people.

Bahrain confirms first death

– In a tweet, Bahrain health ministry confirmed its first death in a 65-year-old national with underlying health conditions. The country recorded at least 210 cases.

Pakistan cases rise to 122

– Pakistan reported a surge in cases to total 122, including 76 infections among people released from 14-day quarantine at Taftan.

Thailand records 33 new cases; total 147

– Thailand confirmed 33 new cases to total 147, marking the largest daily increase in infections.

Sweden announces $30bn crisis package

– The Swedish government announced an approximately SEK300bn ($30.9bn) crisis package to support the economy during the outbreak.

– The package includes various measures, including the central government assuming the cost of sick leave from companies in April and May.

– The country has 1,032 cases, including three deaths, to date.

Taiwan announces eight new cases; total 67

– The number of cases in Taiwan surged to 67, including eight new infections.

– The nation imposed a 14-day quarantine for all people from Europe’s Schengen border-free travel zone, the UK and Ireland.

– Taiwan also advised against non-essential travel to 13 European countries, 15 Middle Eastern countries, five countries in Africa and nine in Central Asia.

South Korea expands screening to all arrivals from Europe

– South Korea expanded screening measures to arrivals from all European countries. Initially, the screening was applicable for only six European countries.

– The KCDC confirmed 74 new cases today, taking the total to 8,236.

Turkey reports 12 new coronavirus cases

– Turkey confirmed 12 new cases to total 18.

– Of the new patients, two were linked to the nation’s first case, seven arrived from Europe, and three travelled to the US.

– The government closed schools and universities, and suspended flights to multiple countries to control the spread.

New Zealand bars gatherings

– New Zealand has banned gatherings of 500 people or more. The number of cases in the country reached eight.

Cases in India increase to 114

– The total number of confirmed cases in India has reached 114, with one fresh case each reported in Maharashtra and Karnataka and two cases in Kerala.

US death toll stands at 69

– The death toll in the US has increased to 69 while the total number of cases stands at 3,774.

Japan traces 15 clusters; total at 1,528

– Japan’s health ministry announced the identification of 15 clusters, with the largest being in the Osaka region.

– The total infections in the country stand at  1,528, including 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 evacuees from China. Around 30 people died due to COVID-19.

Cases in Rwanda rise to five; Cambodia at 12

– The number of cases in Rwanda grew to five from one, reported the health ministry late on 15 March. The country reported its first case on 14 March.

– Cambodia’s total infections increased to 12, with four new cases including  a four-month-old French boy and two people arriving from Malaysia.

China boosts quarantine for international arrivals

– China tightened quarantine measures for international arrivals in capital Beijing as the number of imported cases in the country reach 123.

Death toll increases to more than 6,500

– The Covid-19 death toll has crossed 6,500, as of the end of 15 March.

– The total number of confirmed cases has increased to more than 169,000 while recoveries stand at around 77,000.  

15 Mar: 

– Ukraine’s railways company Ukrzaliznytsia will bar all international passenger trains from 17 March. The country already suspended international flights and banned entry to foreign nationals until 3 April.

– Kenya would deny entry to all except citizens and residents as the number of cases rose to three. The country will also close primary and secondary schools from Monday, while boarding schools and universities will shut by the end of the week.

– Serbia’s president declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The country, which has at least 45 cases, deployed soldiers to guard hospitals and closed several public spaces.

– Argentina ordered ban on entry for 30 days to non-residents who visited a highly affected country in the last 14 days. The country has 45 cases.

– From 17 March, Estonia will deny entry to foreign travellers. Estonians, people living in the country and foreigners with family members living in the country will be able to enter. The nation registered 115 cases so far.

– Morocco suspended all international flights to and from its airports. The nation reported 28 cases, including one death and one recovery.

UK to isolate elderly people

– The UK government plans to isolate people aged above 70 and those at higher risk for four months to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

– In addition, complete families will be asked to self-isolate even if one person falls sick.

– The total number of cases in the UK neared 1,400, while the death toll stands at 35.

– The government asked manufacturers to boost production of ventilators and private hospitals to prepare more beds as coronavirus spreads.

Qatar coronavirus cases rise to 401

– Qatar reported 64 new cases to total 401. Nearly 7,950 people have been tested to date.

– The government will ban entry to non-nations for two weeks as of Wednesday. It will also suspend entry to passenger flights.

– All health clubs such as spas and restaurants in hotels, said Qatar National Tourism Council.

Equatorial Guinea confirms first case

Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first case as a 42-year-old woman who arrived in the capital Malabo from Spain on 13 March.

Spain reports 2,000 new cases

– Spain confirmed nearly 2,000 new cases to total to 7,753 and more than 100 deaths to total 288.

Deaths in Iran rise to 724

– With 113 new deaths in the last 24 hours, Iran’s death toll increased to 724, said a health ministry official. The total number of infections in the country reached 13,938.

The Netherlands, Greece report new cases and deaths

– The Netherlands has confirmed eight new deaths, taking the death toll to 20 in the country. The total number of cases has increased to 1,135.

– Greece confirmed one more death, taking the total to four. The number of infections grew by 103 to total 331.

Italy reports 368 new deaths

– Italy has reported 368 new deaths in the country, bringing the death toll to 1,809. The total cases in the country stand at 24,747.

France reports 29 deaths

– The death toll in France has increased to 127, with 36 additional deaths reported. This marks the biggest jump in cases so far.

– The confirmed cases in the country stand at 5,423.

Malaysia confirms 190 new cases; total 428

– With 190 new cases reported today, Malaysia’s total increased to 428. Majority of the infections are linked to a mosque gathering.

Cases in Vietnam reach 57; Philippines has 140

– Vietnam reported four new cases today, which increase its total to 57. The country ordered mandatory quarantine and testing of passengers from or through China, South Korea, the UK and Schengen countries.

– The Philippines confirmed four additional deaths to total 12 and 29 new cases to total 140.

Slovenia, Hungary report first death

– Slovenia health ministry confirmed first death in an elderly man with a chronic disease. The number of cases in the country stand at 219.

– Hungary’s first death is a 75-year-old national hospitalised with severe pneumonia. The country has 32 cases.

First case in Delhi, India recovers

– The first case confirmed in Delhi, a 45-year-old man, has fully recovered from Covid-19 coronavirus. India currently has 102 confirmed cases and two deaths.

US President tests negative, travel ban extended to the UK

– US President Donald Trump has tested negative for Covid-19.

– The US has extended the travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland.

– The US has confirmed more than 2,900 cases with 57 deaths so far.

NHS and private hospitals to partner to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

– The NHS has announced its plans to partner with the private hospitals to deal with the pandemic as the public hospitals in the countries are reportedly not equipped to handle the large influx of coronavirus patients.

– The UK has 1,143 confirmed cases with 21 deaths so far.

Wife of Spanish PM tests positive

– Begoña Gómez, the wife of the Spanish Prime Minister has tested positive for Covid-19. She, along with the PM, are reported to be doing well.

Philippines closes Manila for domestic travellers

– Philippines has closed its capital, Manila with the help of the police, for all domestic travellers. The city of around 12 million residents is reported to be closed for around a month.

Australia imposes self-quarantine for people arriving from abroad

– PM Scott Morrison has announced that any arriving passenger from abroad to Australia will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

– Cruise ships will also not be allowed to dock in the country for one month. People have also been advised to implement ‘social distancing’.

Mexico reports 41 cases, boosts measures

– Mexican health ministry reported increase of cases to 41 on Saturday.

– The government warned that the outbreak could last all year and bolstered measures to control the outbreak, including ban on large gatherings and extension of school holidays.

Death toll rises to more than 5,800

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to more than 5,800 worldwide with around 156,000 confirmed cases and almost 74,000 recoveries, as of 14 March.

14 Mar:

– Egypt to close schools and universities for two weeks from Sunday, as the number of cases reach 110 with two deaths.

– Kuwait will close all shopping malls, excluding those related to food supplies. The country also called for closure of children’s entertainment centres and salons.

– Bolivia will ban the entry of visitors from China, South Korea, Italy and Spain. The country reported ten cases so far.

– Sudan ordered the closure of schools and universities for 30 days from Saturday. The coutry also banned public gatherings and social events.

– Denmark has reported its first death due to COVID-19 and has closed its borders for foreign travellers for one month.

– Cambodia would deny entry to visitors from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US for 30 days from 17 March. The nation’s confirmed seven cases.

– Colombia ordered closure of the border with Venezuela to contain spread of the coronavirus. As of Friday, the country reported nine cases.

– New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday to self-isolate for 14 days. All cruise ships will also be denied entry until 30 June.

– Rwanda, Seychelles, Congo Republic and Central African Republic report first cases.

Thailand reports seven new cases; total 82

– Thailand confirmed seven new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 82.

Uzbekistan confirms first case

– Uzbekistan health ministry confirmed first case in a national who returned from France.

– The country will close schools, colleges and universities for three weeks from Monday, and cancelled all public events.

– In addition, flights have been suspended to some cities in Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East until the end of April.

Sixth death in Philippines

– The Philippines confirmed its sixth fatality in a 54-year-old resident of Metro Manila. The country reported at least 64 cases.

Japan cases rise to 1,423

– NHK reported a total of 1,423 infections early today, including 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 evacuees from China.

– The country saw 28 deaths, including seven from the cruise ship,

107 new cases in South Korea; total 8,086

– For the second consecutive day, South Korea reported more recoveries than new infections.

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 107 new cases, rising the total to 8,086. Meanwhile, 204 people have recovered and discharged from hospitals.

Australia bans public events

– Prime Minister Scott Morrison suspended all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, including sporting and cultural events.

– The government also advised people against overseas trips.

– A total of 197 cases and three deaths have been reported.

US declares national emergency

– US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus spread, enabling $50bn in federal aid.

– The country now has over 1,700 confirmed cases and 40 deaths.

Europe now epicentre of outbreak, says WHO

– WHO called Europe the pandemic’s current epicenter, with the continent now reporting more cases and deaths compared to the remaining global regions, except China.

Death toll nears 5,500

– Deaths due to COVID-19 have neared 5,500, as of 13 March. The total infections increased to 145,300 worldwide, with more than 71,600 recoveries.

13 Mar:

– Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared disaster over coronavirus. The country, which reported eight cases, is also seeking 100 Cuban nurses to help.

– Chilean President Sebastian Pinera ordered a ban on public events of more than 500 people from Monday. The country registered 43 cases so far.

– Spain declared a state of emergency today over the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first of three state of emergency stages.

– From Monday, Singapore will ban entry to people who had been to Italy, France, Spain and Germany in the past 14 days.

– Romanian interim prime minister Ludovic Orban will be under self-quarantine after coming into contact with one of his party’s senators who  later tested positive.

– Moldova would suspend all flights to European regions from Sunday. The country has six cases to date.

– France will close all nurseries, schools and universities from Monday to fight the spread of the virus, said President Emmanuel Macron. The country also banned public gatherings of more than 100 people.

– Boeing official said that more than 50% of flights have been cancelled in Asia Pacific over coronavirus fears.

– Czech Republic announced that the country would deny entry to foreigners and banned its nationals from travelling abroad as of Monday.

– Bulgaria foreign ministry banned all travel to Iran, and asked people to avoid non-urgent travel to 11 countries. The country already suspended visits to China and advised against travel to Italy.

– North Macedonia suspended public gatherings and would ban entry to foreign nationals arriving from ‘high-risk countries’. A total of nine cases have been reported in the country.

– Iraq banned entry to visitors from Germany and Qatar, expanding its list to 13 countries.

– Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton tested positive.

First cases in Guinea, Sudan, Mauritania

– Guinea’s first case is an employee of the European Union delegation.

– Sudan confirmed its first case in a man who died on Thursday and had arrived from the UAE earlier this month. The country suspended flights to eight countries.

– Mauritania’s health ministry also reported the first coronavirus case.

Italy death toll rises to 1,266

– The  number of deaths in Italy increased by 25% in the last 24 hours to total 1,266. Also, the number of infections surged by nearly 17% to 17,660.

Guatemala, Kosovo, Uruguay, Venezuela confirm first cases

– Guatemala confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection. The nation banned arrivals from some heavily affected countries, including the US and Canada.

– Kosovo’s first cases are a 20-year-old Italian woman and a 77-year-old Kosovar man.

– Uruguay confirmed its first four cases in people who arrived from Milan, Italy.

– Venezuela reported its first two cases and declared a state of alarm as the country is said to be unprepared to fight the pandemic.

Germany cases cross 3,000

– The number of cases in Germany grew by 671 to 3,062, including five deaths.

Second death in India

– India reported its second death in a 68-year-old woman with other health conditions in New Delhi.

– The nation confirmed 82 cases so far.

New cases in Mexico, Panama, Egypt, Saudi Arabia

– Cases in Mexico grew to 26 from 15 the previous day.

– Panama’s confirmed cases increased to 36, including three foreign nationals.

– With 13 new cases, the total cases in Egypt reached 93.

– Saudi Arabia confirmed 24 new cases to total 86.

Canada boosts measures

– Canada boosted measures to fight the outbreak, including emergency measures such as half-point interest rate cut.

– Ottawa asked citizens to avoid non-essential foreign travel.

– The total cases in the country neared 200, including one death.

Iran to empty city streets; cases reach 11,364

– IRNA reported that Iran’s security forces will empty city streets in the next 24 hours to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

– The country registered 11,364 cases and 514 deaths so far.

Infections in Netherlands rise to 804

– The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands increased from 614 a day earlier to 802 today.

– The number of deaths in the county doubled to ten.

Indonesia cases double to 69

– Indonesia confirmed 35 new coronavirus cases, which rise its total to 69. Three of the latest cases had died, said Reuters.

27 cases in Belarus

– Belarus registered six new cases on Friday, increasing the total to 27.

17 new cases in Saudi Arabia; total 62

– Saudi Arabia confirmed 17 new cases, including 11 Egyptians, reported state news agency (SPA). The total cases reached 62.

Thailand issues new coronavirus warning

– Thailand issued a new coronavirus warning to party-going people following a cluster of 13 cases traced to a group of friends who shared cigarettes and drinks.

– The number of cases in the country stand at 75.

Kenya, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia confirm first cases

– Kenya health minister reported the country’s first case in a person who arrived from the US via London.

– Kazakhstan healthcare minister Yelzhan Birtanov confirmed the first cases as nationals who returned separately from Germany on 9 March and 12 March. The ministry will quarantine people on the 9 March flight, while people on the 12 March flight are already under quarantine.

– Ethiopia’s first case is a Japanese national, reported the country’s public health institute.

Google employee in India tests positive

– Google has announced that an employee at its office in Bangalore, Karnataka, India tested positive.

– India reported nearly 80 COVID-19 cases so far, including the Google employee.

South Korea reports more recoveries for first time

– South Korea reported 110 new cases today, representing a decrease from 114 confirmed a day earlier. This takes the total to 7,979.

– 177 patients were released from hospitals today, marking the first time the country had more recoveries than infections since its outbreak.

Ghana, Gabon confirm first cases

– Ghana’s health ministry confirmed its first two cases in people who had recently visited Norway and Turkey.

– Gabon’s first case is a 27-year-old-man who had returned from France on 08 March.

Indonesia to ban face mask exports

– Indonesia is set to temporarily ban face masks export to ensure domestic supply amid the outbreak.

US implements more measures to contain spread

– US states are implementing more measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. Some states, such as Seattle and Ohio, have even closed schools.

– Hospitals across the country are setting up tents to cater to the increasing inflow of patients. In Hawaii, urgent care clinics are offering drive-through testing.

– The number of cases in the country increased to more than 1,300, with 39 deaths.

Death toll reaches 4,700

– Deaths from Covid-19 have crossed 4,700 globally, with a total of more than 128,330 infections and 68,300 recoveries, as of the end of 12 March.

12 Mar:

– US’ Council on Foreign Relations cancelled a conference called ‘Doing Business Under Coronavirus’ in New York amid coronavirus outbreak.

– Bulgaria intends to declare emergency, said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The country’s cases increased from seven on Wednesday to 23, with first death reported on Wednesday.

– Chinese medical adviser Zhong Nanshan says coronavirus outbreak could be over by June if countries take firm measures.

– Tecnologico de Monterrey university in Mexico would suspend all academic events and classes from 17 March to control spread.

– Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on TV that all schools will be closed from Monday to contain the outbreak.

– Belgium’s government also ordered closure of schools, cafes, restaurants and some shops from Friday midnight until 03 April.

– Costa Rica ordered suspension of all university classes and certain schools over coronavirus fears.

– Qatar government also announced a set of regulatory measures to prevent the spread, including closure of theatres, play areas and gyms.

– Turkey’s schools will be closed for one week and universities for three weeks from March 16, while all sports events will take place without spectators until the end of April.

Trinidad & Tobago confirms first case

– Trinidad & Tobago confirmed its first case as a 52-year-old male who arrived from Switzer­land on Mon­day.

Italy deaths cross 1,000

– Deaths from coronavirus in Italy have increased 23% to 1,016. The total number of cases rose 21.7% from 12,462 to 15,113.

– A total of 1,258 patients in the country had fully recovered.

Canadian Prime Minister’s wife tests positive

– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife tested positive for coronavirus after returning from London.

– Trudeau has no symptoms but will be in isolation for two weeks as a precaution. The number of cases in Canada reached 142, including one death.

UK cases at 590; peak 10 to 14 weeks away

– The cases in the UK grew 29% to 590 in the last 24 hours, with a total of ten deaths.

– The government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said that coronavirus peak in the country may be 10 to 14 weeks away.

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia tested

– King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and the entire cabinet were tested after the  equalities minister Irene Montero tested positive.

– Only one cabinet minister – Carolina Darias – tested positive so far.

– A total of 3,146 cases have been reported in Spain, including 86 deaths.

First death in India

– India reported its first death in a 76-year-old man from Karnataka. Authorities ordered schools, theatres and cinemas closed in New Delhi, as total cases reached 79.

Azerbaijan confirms first death; Hong Kong sees fourth casualty

– Azerbaijan confirmed its first death in a woman who was quarantined after returning from Iran. The number of cases in the country stand at 15.

– Hong Kong reported its fourth death in a 80-year old man, reported Reuters. The country’s has nearly 130 cases.

Cases in Ireland increase to 70

– Ireland Department of Health reported that the number of cases in the country increased to 70 from 43 a day earlier.

Egypt reports 13 new cases; total 80

– Egypt confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases, which rise the total to 80. The new cases also included one death.

Germany cases increase to 2,369

– Robert Koch Institute said that the number of cases in Germany increased to 2,369 from 1,567 the previous day.

– The country saw five deaths so far.

Morocco suspends travel to Spain and Algeria

– Morocco suspended all flights and passenger ships to and from Spain, reported Morocco’s state news agency.

– Algerian presidency statement said that all flights between Algeria and Morocco have been suspended.

Infections in Netherlands jump to 614

– The number of new cases in the Netherlands grew 22% to 614 on Thursday, according to health officials.

– The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) noted that 273 of the infections are in the southern province of Noord-Brabant.

Deaths in Spain rise to 84 ; Iran’s reach 429

– The number of coronavirus deaths in Spain increased to 84 from 47 on Wednesday. A total of 2,968 cases have been reported so far.

– The Covid-19 death toll in Iran reached 429. Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur reported a total of 10,075 infections.

– Iran asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $5bn emergency funding to control the coronavirus outbreak.

Armenia to replace used banknotes

– The Armenian central bank announced plans to replace used banknotes in an effort to control the coronavirus spread.

– The bank asked people to prefer online payments instead cash.

Thailand reports 11 new cases; nine in Malaysia

– Thailand health officials confirmed 11 new cases, taking the total to 70.

– Malaysia reported nine new cases today to total 158.

First local transmission in South Africa

– South Africa’s first case of local transmission is a 32-year-old man who came into contact with a Chinese businessman, said health ministry.

– The number of confirmed cases in the country reached 17.

Spanish minister tests positive

– Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero tested positive for the new coronavirus, while the Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias was quarantined.

– The country’s prime minister will hold further meetings via video conference.

Singapore to close mosques

– Singapore will close all mosques for a minimum of five days for deep cleaning. The closures would take effect on Friday, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.

– The country reported a total of 178 cases.

First death in Austria, Poland, Algeria, Norway

– Austria reported its first Covid-19 fatality as a 69-year-old man in Vienna. The country has 302 cases to date.

– Poland’s first coronavirus death occurred in Poznan, reported broadcaster TVN24. The country confirmed 47 cases to date.

– First death from Covid-19 in Algeria has occurred today. The number of cases in the country stand at 24.

– Norway reported its first death in an elderly patient. The total number of infections in the country passed 620. Restaurants, cafés, bars, schools, day care centres and companies have been closed to control the spread.

114 new cases in South Korea

– South Korea confirmed 114 new cases, which take the total to 7,869, including 66 deaths.

– Health authorities are working to trace and control multiple new clusters, including in capital Seoul.

Cases in India reach 73

– The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the total number of cases in India reached 73.

– Of the total patients, 17 are foreign nationals.

New cases in Saudi Arabia; suspends travel

– The number of cases in Saudi Arabia increased to 45, with 24 new infections reported early today, said the state news agency.

– Of the 24 new cases, two people returned from Iraq, one had contact with infected person from Iran, and 21 had contact with an Egyptian visitor who previously tested positive.

– The country suspended travel and flights to several countries, including the European Union, India and the Philippines.

Guyana, French Polynesia, St Vincent confirm first case

– Guyana reported its first Covid-19 case in a 52-year-old woman who died after returning from the US last week. The patient had underlying illnesses and tested positive for coronavirus after death.

– French Polynesia’s first case is politician Maina Sage who returned from Paris on 7 March.

– St Vin­cent and the Grenadines confirmed its first case in a fe­male who had trav­elled to the UK.

Sweden, Greece announce first death

– Sweden reported its first death in an elderly patient with an underlying sickness. The government banned public gatherings of more than 500 people.

– Greece’s first fatality is said to be a 67-year-old man who had recently returned from Israel and Egypt.

Actor Tom Hanks and wife test positive

– Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive in Australia.

– In a tweet, the actor said that he is working on a film in Australia and was tested along with his wife after experiencing slight fevers.

Asian Development Bank, Philippine Senate closed

– The Philippines Senate and the Manila headquarters of the Asian Development Bank have been closed after visitors to both buildings tested positive.

Death toll increases to 4,600

– Deaths from Covid-19 have reached to more than 4,600, including 3,169 in mainland China, as of the end of 11 March.

Global infections have increased to nearly 126,140, with a total of approximately 68,200 recoveries.

11 Mar:

WHO declares the outbreak to be a pandemic

– In response to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak, the WHO has declared the situation to be a pandemic. WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement: “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a #coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.”

Ireland confirms first death

– Ireland health ministry reported the country’s first coronavirus death. The number of cases in the country reached 43.

Cuba, Ivory Coast report first cases

– Cuba confirmed its first three cases in tourists who tested positive today.  The government asked citizens to make their own masks, in addition to its textile industry, amid declining supplies globally.

– Ivory Coast reported its first case in a 45-year-old national who recently travelled to Italy.

US restricts travel from Europe

– The US has restricted travel from Europe for 30 days in an effort to control the rapid spread of coronavirus.

– President Donald Trump said that the restriction, which will come into effect on midnight Friday, does not apply to Britain.

– The country has 1,322 confirmed cases and 38 deaths so far.

Qatar reports 238 new cases

– Qatar confirmed 238 new cases among people under quarantine in one residential compound. This increase the total cases to 262.

– These new patients reside in the same compound as three people who were diagnosed on Sunday.

New cases in Spain, Egypt and Costa Rica

– The number of cases in Spain increased to 2,277, including 55 deaths. In capital Madrid, the number of cases had risen to 1,024 from 782 on Tuesday, reported health authorities. State-run museums in Madrid will be closed to contain the spread.

– Egypt reported seven new cases taking the total to 67.

– The total cases in Costa Rica increased to 22 from previously confirmed 13.

Italy tightens lockdown

– Italy has tightened its nationwide lockdown to include shutting of bars, hairdressers and restaurants.

– The number of cases on the country have raised to 12,462 and death toll  increased to 827.

UK cases rise to 456

– With 74 new cases, the total number of infections in the UK reached 456, including six deaths.

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency committee on 12 March. The meeting is to discuss moving to the ‘delay phase’ from ‘contain’.

Honduras reports first case

– Honduras confirms first two cases of Covid-19, two women with travel history to Spain and Switzerland.

New cases reported in Maldives, Pakistan, Denmark and Philippines

– Total cases in Maldives has increased to eight, including two newly reported cases.

– One more case has been detected in Gilgit Baltistan, taking Pakistan’s total to 20.

– Denmark has reported 78 additional cases, bringing the country’s total to 340.

– Philippines has confirmed 16 new cases of Covid-19 in the country. The total confirmed cases in the country stand at 49.

Cases rise in Malaysia, South Africa and Israel

– Malaysia has reported additional 20 cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 149.

– South Africa’s Minister of Health has announced six new cases, bringing the total to 13.

– Health Ministry of Israel has announced eight additional coronavirus cases. The country’s total stands at 76.

Bahrain records 77 new cases

– Bahrain registered 77 new cases among evacuees from Iran, taking the total to 189.

First death reported in Indonesia and Belgium

– Indonesia’s Health Ministry has announced the death of a 53-year-old foriegn woman due to Covid-19. She is reported to have been in serious condition when she was admitted.

– Belga news agency stated that the Belgium’s health ministry reported the first death in the country. The patient is reported to be 90-years-old.

Vietnam cases jump to 35 

– The country reported nearly 20 new cases to total 35. 13 of the new patients were on a Vietnam Airlines flight from London to Hanoi on 2 March.

Australia cases rise to 122; announces $1.6bn health package

– The number of cases in Australia has increased to 122, including three new cases of women who visited Europe.

– The country announced a A$2.4bn ($1.56bn) health package to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Cases in India reach 62

– With new cases reported in the late night of 10 March from Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, the total in India increased to 62.

– Of the 18 new cases reported on 10 March, eight are from Kerala, five from Maharashtra, four in Karnataka and one in Jammu & Kashmir.

– The country cancelled visas granted to Germany, France and Spain nationals on and before Thursday. Indian citizens have been asked to avoid travelling to these countries.

UK Health Minister tests positive;  sixth death reported

– UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for Covid-19 and is currently undergoing self isolation at home.

– The country has also reported its sixth death – a man in his 80s with other health issues. The total confirmed cases in the UK stand at 373.

KCDC reports 242 new cases

– The KCDC has stated that 242 additional cases were detected in the country, taking the count to 7,755.

– The total number of deaths has also increased to 60, with six new deaths reported today morning.

361 Taiwan evacuees return from Wuhan

– Two flights with a total of 361 Taiwanese have returned from Wuhan.

– One plane flew citizens back to the island in early February and disputes delayed the others.

Death toll rises to more than 4,200

– The Covid-19 death toll has risen to more than 4,200, with around 3,100 cases in Mainland China, as of the end of 11 March.

– The total confirmed cases has increased to more than 119,000 in 114 countries while recoveries has increased to around 65,000.   

10 Mar:

Bolivia, Turkey, Jamaica report first cases

– Bolivia Health Minister Anibal Cruz confirmed the country’s first two Covid-19 cases.

Turkey reported its first case as a male citizen who returned from Europe.

– Jamaica’s first case is a female with a travel history to the UK.

Death toll in Italy increases by 36%

– The death toll in Italy has increased to 631, a jump in 168 cases which marks a 36% increase, according to Civil Protection Agency.

– The total number of confirmed cases increased from 9,172 to 10,149.

Democratic Republic of Congo confirms first case

– Democratic Republic of Congo reported its first positive case of coronavirus in a person who returned from France.

Panama confirms first death

– Panama reported the first Covid-19 death and confirmed seven new cases, only a day after the country reported its first case.

Couple on Grand Princess sues cruise line

– A couple from Florida, US quarantined on the Grand Princess filed a lawsuit against the company Princess Cruises.

– The lawsuit stated ‘lackadaisical approach to the safety of the plaintiffs, its passengers and crew about the Grand Princess, plaintiffs are at actual risk of immediate physical injury’.

Spain ramps up measures to prevent spread

– Spain has closed schools in some parts of the country and stopped all flights arriving from Italy to ‘avoid Italian scenario’.

– The total cases in Spain stand at 1,695 with 35 deaths so far.

Spanish lawmaker tests positive

– A Spanish lawmaker from the Vox political party has tested positive for Covid-19. Along with 51 of his other party lawmakers, he will work from home.

Japan declares $4bn package for Covid-19

– Japan has annoucned a $4bn package to support small and mid-sized firms affected by Covid-19. This is the second set of relief measures announced by the government.

– The country reported 59 new cases on 10 March, taking the total to 1,278 cases, including 696 from Diamond Princess and 14 evacuees from China.

– This increase on 10 March is said to be the biggest single-day rise since the start of the outbreak.

India evacuates citizens from Iran

– A transport aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force has evacuated 58 Indian citizens from Iran.

UAE reports 15 additional cases

– The UAE has announced 15 additional cases in the country, taking the total to 74. The total recoveries stand at 12.

Italian couple in India given anti-HIV drugs for treatment

– An Italian couple that tested positive for Covid-19 in India has been given a combination of two drugs that are generally used to control HIV. This marks the first instance of using anti-HIV drugs against Covid-19 in India.

Philippines reports increase in cases

– The Department of Health in the country has announced 11 additional cases, bringing the total in Philippines to 35.

President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan

– Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Wuhan for the first time, to meet health professionals who helped in treating the coronavirus.

– Hubei Province has planned to adopt a health code to permit people to return to work.

Cases rise in India

– The total cases in India has increased to more than 50, with new cases reported in Kerala and Karnataka.

– Kerala reported six new cases, taking the state wide cases to 15. Kerala Chief Minister has announced a total shutdown of the state.

– Karnakata has reprorted three more cases in the state. Karnataka now has four cases.

Death toll increases to 4,000

– The death toll increases to more than 4,000, with around 3,100 cases in Mainland China, as of end of 10 March.

– The total confirmed cases has increased to more than 113,000 around the world while recoveries has increased to around 59,000.

9 Mar: 

First death reported in Canada

– British Columbia in Canada has reported its first death, a man in his 80s who is reported to have other health issues.

– Five more cases were also reported in British Columbia, taking the province’s cases to 32. Total cases in Canada stand at 77.

Italian PM imposes country wide lockdown

– In a press conference, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the travel restrictions applicable to the north of Italy would extend to the entire country.

New cases reported in Cyprus, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Mongolia and Panama

– Cyprus has announced the first two cases in the country, a man with travel history to northern Italy and one to the UK.

– A man tested positive for coronavirus in Brunei, the first case in the country. The man returned from Malaysia on 3 March.

– Burkina Faso reported its first two cases of Covid-19, according to local media. The infected are a couple with a travel history to France.

– Mongolia has announced its first coronavirus case, a French national who arrived from Moscow. The country has barred travel from and to the cities for six days.

– A woman who arrived in Panama from Spain has tested positive for Covid-19, the first case in the country.

Italy Covid-19 death toll and cases rise

– Italian authorities announced that cases in Italy have increased to 9,172 with 463 deaths in the country. Recoveries have increased to 724.

US death toll increases to 26

– The total number of deaths in the US has increased to 26 with new deaths reported. The confirmed cases stand at more than 700.

Six die in Italy prison riot

– Six inmates had been killed in a prison riot in Italy, while guards were taken hostage at another jail, indicating the rising unrest in the country’s prisons over coronavirus.

Iran death toll jumps to 237; releases prisoners

– Coronavirus has claimed 237 lives and infected total 7,161 people in Iran, with 595 new infections and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours.

– The country has temporarily released nearly 70,000 prisoners due to the outbreak, said judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi.

Indonesia confirms 13 new cases to total 19

– Indonesia confirmed 13 new cases – 11 nationals and two foreigners, which the country’s total to 19.

UAE cases stand at 59

– With 14 new cases, the UAE confirmed a total of 59 cases, according to state news agency WAM.

Vietnam to temporarily suspend visa-free travel to eight European countries

– Vietnam announced plans to temporarily suspend visa-free travel for citizens from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

– The move comes after 11 of the country’s 14 new cases had a travel history to Europe. A total of 30 cases have been confirmed in the nation.

Costa Rica cases reach nine

– The total number of Covid-19 cases in Costa Rica increased to nine.

Canada to repatriate citizens onboard Grand Princess 

– Canada has arranged a flight to repatriate its citizens onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship.

– The passengers will be taken from San Francisco to the Canadian forces Base Trenton in Ontario and put under quarantine.

Qatar imposes travel ban on 14 countries

– Qatar has temporarily suspended entry of travellers from 14 countries, after the number of cases in the nation increased to 15.

– The ban applies to India, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

– The country previously suspended flights to and from Italy.

– Today, the country also announced plans to suspend schools and universities from 10 March.

Philippines declares health emergency

– The Philippines declared a health emergency over fears of community transmission.

– A total of ten cases have been confirmed in the country, including one death.

Cases in India rise to 43

– With new cases reported in Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the number of cases in the country increased to 43.

Albania confirms first cases

– Albania confirmed its first Covid-19 cases in a father and son who had recently travelled to Italy.

South Korea reports 69 new cases

– South Korea reported 69 new cases to total 7,382 on Monday. The death toll in the country is 51.

– The rate of rise in new infections is said to have dropped to its lowest in ten days on Sunday.

Death toll jumps to 3,800

– The death toll due to Covid-19 rises to 3,800 including around 3,100 in Mainland China, as of end of 8 March.

– The total number of cases in the world has increased to more than 110,000 in 108 countries around the world. The recoveries currently stand at 61,000.  

Wuhan closes 11 makeshift hospitals

– Wuhan has closed 11 of 14 makeshift hospitals as the number of new infections decline, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

UK reports 273 cases and three deaths

– The UK Department of Health and Social Care reported 64 new cases, which represent a 30% rise to total 273.

– Also, the country saw its third Covid-19-related death in a 60-year-old man who had ‘underlying health conditions’.

First death in Egypt

– Egypt Health Ministry confirmed the first fatality in the country as a 60-year-old German tourist who died on Sunday.

– The nation’s total number of cases stands at 55.

Saudi Arabia imposes lockdown, restricts travel

– Saudi Arabia, which confirmed a total of 15 cases, imposed a temporary lockdown on its Qatif province, where most of its cases were reported.

– The country also suspended schools and universities, and suspended travel with nine countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.

8 Mar:

Costa Fortuna ship heads to Singapore

– Cruise ship Costa Fortuna is said to be heading to Singapore after it was denied entry at ports in Malaysia and Thailand over coronavirus fears.

US cases near 550; Grand Princess quarantine

– The number of cases in the US have neared 550, including 22 deaths.

– According to health officials, Grand Princess cruise will be allowed to dock at a terminal near Oakland, where passengers will disembark. The passengers will be sent for quarantine elsewhere in California.

– US Army restricted travel to and from Italy and South Korea.

New deaths in Netherlands, Switzerland

– Health officials reported two additional deaths in the Netherlands, bringing the total fatalities to three. The total number of cases in the country  increased to 265.

– A patient at Liestal in Switzerland had died, taking the total to two. The number of cases stand at 281.

Bulgaria, Moldova report first cases

– Bulgaria confirmed its first four cases – two men from Pleven and two women from Gabrovo tested positive.

– Moldovan health ministry reported the nation’s first case in a 48-year-old woman who returned from Italy.

Ten die in China quarantine hotel collapse

– A total of ten people have died and 23 remain trapped at the hotel collapse site in the Chinese city of Quanzhou.

South Korea cases rise to 7,134

– KCDC has reported 367 new cases, taking the total to 7,134. It also reported six new deaths taking the death toll to 50 in the country.

Deaths in Italy rise to 366

– The total number of deaths in Italy have increased to 366 while the total cases in the country stand at 7,375.

Bangladesh reports first case

– India’s neighbouring country Bangladesh has reported its first coronavirus cases on Sunday.

– Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research Meerjady Sabrina Flora confirmed three new cases of coronavirus infection in the country, of which two are men and one is woman.

– Two of the three affected people had travel history from Italy and the third person is related to one of them.

Iran marks highest single-day toll with 49 new cases

Iran reported its highest single-day toll on Sunday with 49 new coronavirus deaths, taking the death toll to 194.

Cases in India rise to 39

– Five additional people in Kerala, India have tested positive, increasing the total to 39. All the five cases are from Pathnamthitta district.

– Three of the new patients had returned from Italy on 29 February, while two others are their relatives.

First death in Argentina

– Argentina reported its first death of a Covid-19 patient, marking the first fatality in Latin America.

21 new cases in Greece; total 66

– Greece registered 21 new coronavirus cases in one day, bringing its total to 66.

– Majority of these cases were part of a travelling group that had gone on a pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt

Third death in Australia

– Australia health authorities confirmed the third death in the country as a man in his 80s at a hospital in Sydney.

– The total number of cases in the nation reached 74.

Four people die in China hotel collapse

– Four people have died in the hotel collapse in the Chinese city of Quanzhou, reported local media.

– In addition, four have severe injuries and one is in critical condition.

Death toll nears 3,600

– Deaths from Covid-19 have neared 3,600, including 3,097 in mainland China, as of the end of 07 March.

– The number of global infections has increased to more than 106,150, with nearly 59,930 recoveries.

– On March 7, mainland China saw 44 new cases and 27 deaths.

Italy to lockdown northern parts

– Italy will put a virtual lockdown on its northern regions, including the capital Milan, Lombardy and 11 provinces in four other regions.

– The lockdown applies to nearly 16 million people. It involves shutting down of all museums, gyms, cultural centres, ski resorts and swimming pools in the target regions.

– The number of cases and deaths on the country stand at 5,883 and 233, respectively.

Bahrain calls for self-quarantine

– In a tweet, Bahrain asked people who traveled to Lebanon, Egypt, Italy or South Korea to self-quarantine for two weeks.

7 Mar:

Iran death toll jumps to 145

– Iran confirmed 21 additional deaths, bringing the total to 145. A health ministry official noted that the number of infections had risen to 5,823.

Cases in UK jump to 206

– With additional cases reported, the total in the UK reached 209. So far, two people have died in the country.

Germany cases reach 684

– The number of coronavirus cases in Germany stand at 684. This represents about ten times increase compared to previous week, when total 66 cases were reported on 29 February.

Quarantine hotel in China collapses

– Nearly 70 people were said to be trapped in the collapsed hotel used for quarantine of coronavirus patients in the city of Quanzhou.

– 42 individuals had been retrieved from the site of the collapse, while around 38 people remain trapped.

US deaths reach 19

– Two additional patients in Washington state have died, taking the total to 19.

– The number of cases in New York increased by 13 to 89. The state declared emergency.

Maldives, Paraguay, Malta report first cases

– The Maldives has confirmed its first two cases, who are believed to have been infected after coming in contact with an Italian tourist. The tourist had tested positive after returning to Italy.

– Two island resorts in the Maldives have been locked down to prevent coronavirus spread.

– Paraguay confirmed its first case in a tweet, which did not disclose any further details.

– Malta’s first case is a 12-year-old Italian girl who returned from Trentino via Rome.

India reports three new cases; total jumps to 34

– India reported three new covid-19 cases on Saturday (two from Ladakh and one from Tamil Nadu), taking the total confirmed cases in the country to 34.

– Ladakh cases had travel history from Iran, while Tamil Nadu patient had travel history from Oman.

– Union Health Ministry special secretary for health Sanjeeva Kumar said that all the three patients are in stable condition and are undergoing treatment in isolation.

Kuwait suspends flights; Saudi limits land crossings

– Kuwait civil aviation directorate said in a tweet that the country suspended  flights to and from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Bangladesh, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka for seven days.

– Saudi Arabia limited land crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain to commercial trucks in an effort to contain the virus. Flights from the three countries are temporarily limited to three airports.

South Korea cases reach 6,767

– South Korea reported 174 new cases, taking the national total to 6,767. The number of deaths stand at 44.

Doctor in Australia tests positive

– Australian health authorities closed a clinic after a doctor who recently returned from the US tested positive.

– Health officials are contacting approximately 70 patients of the doctor and will also contact passengers who were on his flight.

– The total number of cases in Australia has neared 70.

Death toll crosses 3,450

– Deaths from Covid-19 have crossed 3,450, including 3,070 in mainland China, as of the end of 06 March.

– The number of global infections has increased to more than 101,731, with nearly 57,390 recoveries.

UK confirms second death

– England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed the second death in the country at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

6 Mar:

– Vietnam reported its 17th case, which is said to be the first in three weeks.

– The UAE identified 15 new cases to total 45, said the health ministry.

– Iraq recorded eight new cases, which take the total to 46, and total three deaths. The country added France and Spain to its entry ban list.

– With two new cases, Indonesia’s total increased to four.

Colombia, Costa Rice, Peru, Togo report first case

– Colombia reported its first case in a 19-year-old female who had visited Italy.

– The first case in Costa Rica is a 49-year-old woman from the US.

– Peru President Martin Vizcarra confirmed the country’s first case in a 25-year-old man who had travelled to Europe.

– Togo’s first case is a 42-year-old woman with a recent travel history to France.

US cases surge to 329

– The US recorded a sharp rise of nearly 100 cases in 24 hours to total 329. Coronavirus-related deaths in the country stand at 17.

Italy deaths jump to 197

– Italy recorded an increase in the number of deaths to 197. The total cases in the country reached 4,636.

21 people on Grand Princess ship test positive

– 21 people aboard Grand Princess ship, which was denied entry at San Francisco Bay, have tested positive.

– Out of 46 people, 19 crew members and two passengers were found to have contracted the virus.

– The ship will be taken to a non-commercial port and all passengers will be tested.

– Cases in Belgium more than doubled to 109, said health ministry. Majority of the new patients had travelled to Italy.

– Romania confirmed its seventh case in a 16-year old girl in Timisoara.

– Estonia reported eight new cases to total ten. The country’s Health Board examined samples of 183 passengers on a flight from Bergamo, Italy to Riga and ten tested positive.

– Iran health ministry confirmed 1,234 new cases and 17 deaths from a day earlier to total 4,747 infections and 124 casualties.

– Egypt reported 12 new cases on a Nile cruise ship. The country previously confirmed three cases.

– Malaysia health ministry reported 28 new cases today, taking the total to 83.

Netherlands registers first death

– The Netherlands registered its first coronavirus fatality in a 86-year-old man at the Ikazia Hospital in Rotterdam.

– The source of infection of the man is said to be unclear.

First case in Slovakia 

– Slovakia reported the first case in a 52-year-old man. The patient did not travel abroad but his son, who had no symptoms, visited Venice, Italy.

Vatican, Cameroon, Serbia confirm first cases

-Vatican City has confirmed its first Covid-19 case, said spokesman Matteo Bruni. Outpatient services in Vatican clinics had been suspended for sanitisation, while emergency services will continue.

– Cameroon has reported the country’s first case as a 58-year-old French national who arrived in February.

– Meanwhile, Serbia registered its first positive coronavirus case in a 43-year-old man who traveled to Budapest, Hungary.

Germany reports 134 new cases; total 534

– Robert Koch Institute in Germany reported 134 new cases, which take the total to 534.

Cases in India reach 31

– Confirmed cases in India increased to 31, with a Delhi man who recently travelled to Thailand and Malaysia, testing positive.

Bhutan confirms first case

Bhutan, which shares border with India, confirmed its first case in a visiting American. The country has admitted eight Indian tourists with symptoms in a local hospital.

Hungary cases rise to three; Philippines has five

– Hungary confirmed a total of three cases. The latest is a Hungarian man who had returned from Milan, Italy. The first two cases were Iranian students.

– With two new cases, the number of cases in the Philippines increased to five.

Ireland reports seven new cases to total 13

– Seven new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Ireland, a surge from six the previous day. The total number of cases in the country stands at 13.

– Four of the new cases are males who returned from Italy, two are women who are believed to have had close contact with an infected person and one man is said to be a case of community transmission.

Infected man attended rock concert in NZ

– A man in New Zealand confirmed to have Covid-19 was revealed today to have attended the Tool concert at Spark Arena in Auckland on 28 February.

– According to health ministry, the man was in the general admission standing area in the front left-hand quadrant. The ministry is asking people who were in the same area to be aware of symptoms.

– The man has been isolated at home since 04 March.

First school closed in Australia after student tests positive

– Australia closed its first school – Epping Boys High School –  in Sydney after a 16-year-old student tested positive.

– The pupil is believed to be a case of local transmission.

– The total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 60, including deaths of two elderly people.

Cases in South Korea reach 6,593

– The number of Covid-19 infections in South Korea have reached 6,593. The country reported 43 deaths so far.

Death toll rises to 3,380

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to around 3,383 worldwide, with more than 98,380 infection cases and 55,420 recoveries, as of the end of 05 March.

– China reported 143 new cases and 30 deaths to total 80,552 infections and 3,042 fatalities.

UK, Switzerland report first death

– England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed the nation’s first coronavirus-related death in an elderly man with underlying health conditions.

– The total number of cases in the UK reached 116.

– Switzerland reported its first death in a 74-year-old woman from Vaud.

Bosnia confirms first cases

– Bosnia has confirmed its first two cases in a man who returned from Italy and his child.

Dominican Republic reports second case

– Dominican Republic reported its second case as a 70-year-old Canadian tourist who arrived on 25 February.

Province in China reports 11 new cases from Iran

– The Gansu province in China reported 11 new coronavirus cases in people who arrived on commercial flights from Iran, said state media.

– 311 passengers from Iran have been quarantined at the provincial capital of Lanzhou, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

Two-week quarantine for South Korea visitors in Japan

– Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe imposed a two-week quarantine for people coming from South Korea and banned visitors from highly affected areas.

– South Korea protested Japan’s decision, calling it unreasonable and excessive. Seoul’s foreign ministry plans to meet the Japanese ambassador to discuss the concerns.

5 Mar: 

– Luxembourg health ministry confirmed the second Covid-19 case.

– With three new cases, the total number of infection in Ecuador increased to 13.

– Eight additional positive cases in Iceland bring the country’s total to 34.

– Czech Republic health ministry confirmed 12 cases so far.

– Saudi Arabia reported three new cases to total five.

– Singapore minister Lawrence Wong said that the outbreak is “starting to look like a global pandemic”.

Spain records third death

– Spain recorded its third death in a 99-year old woman who lived at a nursing home in Madrid.

– At least nine other people at the nursing home have tested positive, according to Madrid’s health authority. Other residents will also be tested.

Japan says Diamond Princess cases 696

– The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan has corrected the number of Diamond Princess cases to total 696 , saying that some people were counted twice.

Estonia confirms third case; Pakistan six

– Estonia health authorities reported the country’s thrid Covid-19 case in person who was on the same flight from Italy as the second case.

– Pakistan has confirmed a total of six cases so far.

New cases in Austria, Switzerland , Norway and Netherlands

– With additional infections confirmed, the number of cases in Austria has reached 42.

– Switzerland also reported new confirmed coronavirus cases to total 119, while infections in Norway increased to 91.

– The number of cases in the Netherland grew to 82, with 44 new cases reported on 05 March.

Palestine confirms seven cases

– Palestine confirmed seven coronavirus cases in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency.

– The government imposed a two-week ban on visitors to cities and sites, including Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

Cases in Slovenia rise to six

– A total of six cases have been confirmed in Slovenia. The first case in the country was reported on 04 March.

Death toll in Italy surges to 148

– Italy confirmed 41 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the total to 148. The number of infections in the country increased to 3,858.

Brazil cases increase to eight

– A total of eight cases have been reported in Brazil, including the first cases of local transmission from a Sao Paulo man.

Legislator in France hospitalised

– One of France’s National Assembly member has been hospitalised after being infected with coronavirus, reported Reuters.

– France had confirmed 423 Covid-19 cases, with a total of seven deaths, as of late 05 March.

Cases and deaths rise in US; Congress allots $8.3bn

– The number of cases in the US increased to total 233, including 12 deaths.

– The Congress passed an $8.3bn emergency spending bill to fight the outbreak, which has now spread to at least 14 states. President Trump is yet to sign the bill.

Poland, Gibraltar, Hungary report first cases

– Poland announces its first case of coronavirus. Almost 70 people were tested for the Covid-19.

– Gibraltar confirms its first case of coronavirus.

– Hungary confirmed its first two cases, both Iranian students.

– Three new deaths have been reported in South Korea, bringing the country’s death toll to 35. The number of infections also increased to 5,766.

– Iraq reports third death, of a 65-year-old individual living in Baghdad.

– Spain reports third death, of a 99-year-old woman.

– Leading scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London told BBC Programme Today that the world tried hard to halt the virus but has failed and over 80 nations have confirmed cases.

– An expert with China’s top panel said that Wuhan is likely to see new infections drop to zero by the end of March.

– China gives approval to use Roche’s anti-inflammation drug Acetemra to fight against Covid-19.

Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess is being held off the California coast due to fears that passengers and crew members developed coronavirus (Covid-19).

– India reports new case, taking its confirmed cases to 30.

– India to set up a lab in Tehran, the capital of Iran, for mandatory testing of passengers before board a plane to the country.

-The pet dog of a coronavirus-infected patient in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, making it a possible case of human-to-animal transmission.

– Tunisia, which confirmed its first case of Covid-19 on 2 March, has announced plans to suspend passenger ferry services to northern Italy.

-Portugal reports its sixth case, and the first of a woman. The patient was in Italy and is now hospitalised in Lisbon.

– Senegal confirms third and fourth case.

-Saudi Arabia confirms its second case. The patients has come from Iran through Bahrain. Saudi reported its first case on 2 March.

-Three more people test positive in Czech Republic, taking its total to eight.

-Iceland confirms ten more cases, taking its total to 26.

-Ecuador reports ten cases until 4 March, while Republic of San Marino reports 15 cases.

– Republic of Ireland reports four more cases, taking its total to six.

– Indian student in Dubai tests positive.

– Romania reports sixth confirmed case.

-Algeria reports nine new cases taking its total to 17.

– Greece’s total cases touch nine, while in Croatia, tenth case has been confirmed.

– Switzerland, which is one of the ten countries mostly affected by coronavirus Covid-19, has more than 100 positive cases.

-Bahrain confirms three new cases, while Lebanon confirms two new cases.

-16 new cases reported in Stockholm takes Sweden’s total to 57.

– Thailand reports four new cases, taking its total to 47, while Malaysia’s figures touch 55.

– France now reports 285 confirmed cases.

– Coronavirus could cost airline industry $113bn in lost revenue, says airline industry body IATA.

– Belgium reaches 50 confirmed cases, with the addition of 27 new cases.

Death toll increases to more than 3,200

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to more than 3,200, as of the end of 4 March.

– The confirmed cases has increased to 95,000 with 80,000 cases in Mainland China, while the number of recoveries stands at more than 53,000.

4 Mar:

South Korea reports additional cases and deaths

– KCDC has announced additional 516 cases, taking the total to 5,328. The death toll in the country has also inceased to 32, with four new deaths reported.

Death toll in Iran increases to 92

– The Health Ministry of Iran has confirmed additional new deaths, which takes the total deaths to 92. The confirmed cases in the country stands at 2,922.

Abu Dhabi stops International Patient Care

– Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) has announced that it has suspended the international patient care services temporarily due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

– Under IPC, UAE citizens are sent abroad for treatment if the necessary procedures are not available in the Emirates.

Additional cases confirmed in Malaysia, UK, Germany

– Malaysia has confirmed additional 14 cases, taking the total to 50. The recovered cases stand at 22.

– Cases in UK have increased to 85, with 34 new cases reported. Of the 34, 29 patients have a history of travelling abroad while it is not known where the other three got infected.

– Cases in Germany have also increased to 240, announced Robert Koch Institute.

India confirms new Covid-19 cases; total 28

– India has confirmed additional Covid-19 cases in two other states, taking to total to 28 in the country.

– Of the new cases, 16 are Italian nationals while one is Indian driver who tested positive in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

– Another six cases were confirmed in Agra, family members of the man who tested positive in Delhi.

– Previously, three cases were confirmed in Kerala, one in Hyderabad, one in Delhi. The patients from Kerala have recovered.

Death toll increases to 3,198; confirmed cases more than 93,000

– The Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 3,198 as of end of 3 March.

– The number of confirmed cases have crossed 93,000 while recoveries stand at more than 50,000.  

3 Mar:

Portugal, Canada and Qatar report rise in cases

– Two more people have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total to four.

– Canada has confirmed three more cases in British Columbia, bringing the country’s total tally to 33.

– Qatar has announced that the total cases has increased to eight, including the one new case confirmed.

Spain confirms first death

– Spain has announced the first death in the country, a man who died on 13 February.

– In a press conference, regional health chief Ana Barcelo stated that the post-mortem tests showed that coronavirus was the cause of death.

Iran temporarily releases 54,000 prisoners

– Iran has temporarily released over 54,000 prisoners from its crowded jails to stop the spread of coronavirus.

– However, prisoners who have been sentenced for more than five years have not been released.

UAE reports six new cases

– The UAE has reported six new Covid-19 cases, two Italians, two Russians, one Colombian and one German. The total cases in the country stand at 27.

– The confirmed cases are a part of the cancelled UAE cycling tour, from which two other cases were confirmed.

US deaths increase to nine

– The death toll in the US has increased to nine, with additional deaths reported in the state of Washington.

– All the deaths so far have been reported from Washington; eight from King County and one in Snohomish County. The total cases in Washington stand at 27.

– Total cases in the US stand at 124.

Death toll in Italy rises to 79

– Death toll in Italy has increased to 79 from 52 reported yesterday.

– The total confirmed cases have also risen to 2,263 while 160 people are said to have recovered.

Germany reports increase in cases

– Germany has announced that the total cases in the country has increased to 196. North Rhine-Westphalia is the most affected with 103 cases.

– There are death cases in Germany so far.

WHO states Covid-19 mortality rate increased to 3.4%

– WHO has stated that the mortality rate of Covid-19 coronavirus stands at 3.4% globally, which is higher than the previous estimate of 2%.

– WHO director general stated that Covid-19 ‘spreads less efficiently than flu’ and is a results in a severe illness compared to flu. There are no vaccines or therapeutics for it and it is possible to contain it.

Malaysia reports seven new cases

– Malaysia has reported seven new cases in the country, taking the total to 36. All patients are reported to be stable.

First case reported in Ukraine, Argentina and Chile

– Ukraine has reported its first case, a man who arrived from Italy via Romania. The patient is said to be stable while his wife is under self-isolation.

– Argentina has announced that the country’s citizen who arrived from Italy on 1 March tested positive for Covid-19, the first case in the country.

– Chile has confirmed its first case in a 33-year-old Chilean who arrived from Singapore on 25 February.

Additional cases reported in Czech Republic

– Czech Republic has reported two additional cases of the coronavirus. Two women who had contact with the previous cases tested positive.

Cases rise in Germany

– Germany has reported that the total number of cases in the country has increased to 188.

Iran reports 11 more deaths

– Iran has announced 11 more deaths, taking the country’s death toll to 77. The total number of cases stand at 2,336.

South Korea reports 600 new cases, six deaths

– KCDC has reported an additional 600 cases in the country, taking the total to 4,812. It also reported six new deaths. The death toll in South Korea stands at 28.

Death toll increases to 3,100; China cases decrease

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to approximately 3,100, as of the end of 2 March. The deaths in Mainland China stand at 2,943.

– The total number of cases has crossed 90,000, with around 80,000 of the cases in Mainland China.

– As per the NHC report on 3 March, 125 people tested positive while 31 people died, all in the Hubei Province. Additionally, 2,742 people recovered and were discharged.

Senegal reports first case

– Senegal has reported its first infection on Monday in a French man who arrived from France on 26 February.

2 Mar:

– UAE has evacuated its citizens from Iran, where 66 people have died due to coronavirus. The citizens are under quarantine and their health is being monitored.

France reports two new deaths; total four

– Two more patients had died in northern France, bringing the country’s death toll to four, said Le Parisien newspaper citing the mayor of Compiegne.

Cases in UK reach 40

– The total number of coronavirus cases in the UK increased to 40, including a pupil of Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Torbay, Devon.

– On 3 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch the government’s action plan to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Tunisia, Morocco confirms first case

– Tunisia confirmed its first case in a national who returned from Italy.

– In Morocco, the first Covid-19 patient is a Moroccan citizen who returned from Italy.

Qatar cases increase to seven

– Qatar’s health ministry reported four new coronavirus cases to total seven.

– Of the new patients, two are Qatari nationals and two are ‘domestic workers’ of undisclosed nationality who accompanied them to Iran.

US death toll rises to six

– The state of Washington in the US has reported four more death cases, taking the total to six in the country.

– The total cases in the country stand at 91, of which 45 are repatriated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three from Wuhan.

Oman bans vistiors

– Oman banned visitors from countries where coronavirus has spread, the country’s foreign ministry tweeted, without specifying countries.

– The move is said to be a precautionary measure, which is applicable on all ports, including land, sea and air.

Pakistan reports additional case

– Pakistan has reported another case of Covid-19, taking the total to five. The patient is reported to have a previous travel history to Iran.

Iran death toll rises to 66; Iranian Expediency Council member dies

– Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi told state television that the country has reported 523 additional cases and 12 deaths, bringing the total to 1,501 cases with 66 deaths.

– Among the deceased is an Expediency Council member Mohammad Mirmohammadi.  Many other senior officials have also tested positive for coronavirus.

Italy cases and deaths rise

– As per 2 March reports, Italy’s Health Ministry has stated that 52 people have died, a sharp increase compared to yesterday’s 34.

– The number of cases has also increased from 1,577 to 1,835. Lombardy in the northern region continues to be the most affected region with 1,254 cases.

Cruise ship faces protests in Reunion Island

– The Sun Princess cruise ship, owned by Princess Cruises, faced violent protests when it docked at Reunion Island over Covid-19 fears.

First cases confirmed in Saudi Arabia and Jordan

– Saudi Arabia confirmed that a Saudi citizen returning from Iran via Bahrain tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first case in the country.

– Jordan has confirmed its first case, a citizen who arrived from Italy 16 days ago. The patient has been quarantined for two weeks and is reported to be recovering.

Wuhan closes one Covid-19 hospital

– Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, has shut down the one of the 16 hospitals that were built to treat people affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

– State broadcaster CCTV stated that the hospital closed its doors after discharging the final patents who recovered.

– China saw a decline in the daily reported cases in Hubei Province and Wuhan in the past few days while China is monitoring people who may return from other countries where the outbreak has spread.

Evacuees test negative in India

– The Indian Ministry of Health has stated that the evacuees from China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested negative in the first round of testing in the isolation camps at Chhawla and Manesar

– An Italian man is reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state of Rajasthan in India. The samples are sent for confirmation to National Institute of Virology in Pune.

WHO staff tests positive

– In a media briefing, WHO director-general stated that a staff member of the WHO has tested positive for Covid-19 and is said to have ‘mild disease’.

Japan reports 15 new cases

– Kyodo newswire has stated that Japan has confirmed atleast 15 new cases of coronavirus on 2 March.

Iceland reports first three cases

– Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management announced the country’s first three cases, late on Sunday. All three confirmed cases had a previous travel history to Italy.

Cases in Germany rise to 150

– Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control in Germany has stated that the confirmed cases in the country has increased to 150 from yesterday’s 129.

EU raises risk level to high

– The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has risen the coronavirus risk level in the European Union from moderate to high, said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference.

– Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides noted that 2,100 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 18 of the 27 EU states, and 38 EU citizens had died from the infection.

Cases and deaths rise in Iran

– In an announcement on state TV, Iran’s deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said that coronavirus caused 1,501 infections and 66 deaths so far.

Andorra, Portugal report first cases

– European country Andorra has reported its first case of Covid-19 – a 20 year-old man who recently visited Milan, Italy.

– Portugal also recorded its first two cases – one is said to be a man who recently visited Italy and another one in a man who returned from Spain.

Kuwait confirms ten additional cases

– A health ministry official announced ten new cases, which take the total to 56.

Australia confirms two cases of community transmission

– Australia has reported two cases of community transmission in a 41-year-old woman whose brother returned from Iran and a 31-year-old doctor.

– The total cases in Australia currently stand at 33.

India confirms two new cases

India has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus infection, taking its total to five.

– One of the new cases, which was identified in capital New Delhi, has a travel history to Italy.

– The second case identified in Telangana state recently travelled to Dubai.

Indonesia reports first cases

– Two Indonesian nationals have tested positive for Covid-19, the first cases in the country.

South Korea reports 476 additional cases

– KCDC has announced 476 new confirmed cases, taking the total to 4,212 with 22 deaths, including four announced today.

Cases in Israel rise to ten

– Israeli health ministry confirmed additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the country to ten.

More cases reported in Algeria and Egypt

– Algeria has reported two more confirmed cases, which takes the country’s count to three.

– In a Facebook post, Egypt’s health ministry has announced the second confirmed cases of coronavirus. It was also reported that the first confirmed case has recovered from the virus.

Deaths cross 3,000 globally, confirmed cases cross 89,000

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has crossed 3,000, as of the end of 1 March. The number of deaths in Mainland China stands at 2,912.

– The total confirmed cases worldwide has increased to more than 89,000 while recoveries cross 45,000.

– Mainland China reported 42 deaths and 204 new cases, as per daily breifing reports by NHC on 2 March.

1 Mar:

France records total 130 cases

– French health officials said that the total cases in the country now reached 130, of which nine are in serious condition.

Cases in Norway reach 19; Finland cases at six

– With new cases reported, Norway’s total of positive Covid-19 cases reached 19, including five hospital workers.

– Finland confirmed four new cases, which bring the nation’s total to six.

Ecuador cases increase to six

– The total number of cases in Ecuador surged to six, with five new cases reported a day after the country reported its first case.

– All the five new patients are said to have had direct contact with the first case.

Bahrain says total cases grew to 47

– Bahrain health ministry confirmed six new coronavirus cases to total 47. The new patients are five Bahraini nationals and one Saudi citizen who arrived on indirect flights from Iran.

Mexico reports more cases; total five

– Mexican authorities reported additional positive cases of coronavirus, taking the total to five. All the five patients had a history of travelling to Italy.

Iran death toll rises by 11

– The death toll in Iran has increased to 54 with 11 new deaths reported. The total number of cases has also increased to 978.

Scotland records first case

– A man with previous travel history to Italy has tested positive in Scotland. This is the region’s first confirmed case of Covid-19.

– England has also reported 12 new confimed cases. The total cases in the UK stand at 36.

Qatar reports two additional cases

– Qatar Ministry of Public Health has reported two additional cases of Covid-19, taking the nation’s total to three.

– The confirmed cases are two citizens who were repatriated from Iran, and are under quarantine.

– Qatar imposed a temporary ban on entry of travellers coming from Egypt through intermediate points.

– In light of increasing cases of Covid-19, France has closed its Louvre Museum in Paris and South Korea has closed some churches.

Additional cases reported in Lebanon, Kuwait, Greece, Brazil and Pakistan

– Lebanon has confirmed additional cases of Covid-19, taking the total cases to ten.

– Kuwait announced one more case of coronavirus, bringing the total to 46.

– With three new cases, Greece has confirmed total seven cases. Two of the confirmed cases are related to the existing cases in the country while the other visited Italy in recent times.

– Brazil has confirmed the country’s second case of coronavirus – a patient who travelled to northern Italy.

– Pakistan has reported two more coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total to four.

Dominican Republic, Armenia, Czech Republic and Ireland record first cases

– The Dominican Republic health officials have announced that a man who arrived from Italy has tested positive for the coronavirus.

– An Armenian national returning from Iran has tested positive, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in a Facebook post.

– Czech Republic has confirmed its first three cases of the coronavirus – all three with travel history to northern Italy.

– Ireland has recorded its first Covid-19 case – a man who with a travel history to northern Italy.

Singapore records four additional cases

– Minstry of Health in Singapore has announced four additional cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 106. Additionally, the recoveries stand at 74, including the two recently discharged cases.

South Korea reports additional cases, one death

– The total cases in South Korea has increased by 210, taking the total to 3,736. The number of deaths in the country has also increased to 18, including one newly reported deaths, as per KCDC 1 March evening reports.

Italy cases and deaths continue to rise

– Italy’s Ministry of Health has announced that the total cases in the country has increased to 1,577.

– The deaths in the country has increased to 34 from the previous 29. Additionally, 83 people have recovered.

The US reports second death

– The US has reported a second death in King County, Washington. The deceased is a man in his 70s who is reported to have underlying health issues.

Death toll nears 3,000 worldwide, recoveries cross 42,000

– The number of deaths due to Covid-19 is more than 2,970, as of end of 29 February.

– The total number of cases increased to more than 86,500, with more 79,824 cases confirmed in Mainland China. The recoveries have also increased to more than 42,000 globally.

– Mainland China reported 573 new cases and 35 more deaths.

Iran reports nine new deaths

– Iran has reported nine new deaths and 205 confirmed cases, taking the death toll to 43 and confirmed cases to 593.

– One of the nine new fatalities is the death of the country’s member of parliament infected with coronavirus.

South Korea reports 376 cases

– KCDC reports additional 376 cases, taking the total to 3,526 while the death toll stands at 17.

Australia and Thailand report first deaths

– A 78-year-old repatriated man from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died in Australia, the country’s first death case. The total cases in the country stand at 27, including two new confirmed cases.

– Thailand also reported its first death, reported the Ministry of Public health. The deceased was a 35-year-old man who also suffered from dengue fever before testing positive for coronavirus. The total cases in Thailand stand at 42.

29 Feb: 

The US reports first death

– The US reported its first death; the deceased was in his 50s and was from Seattle, Washington. He was reported to have underlying health conditions.

– The US has also increased its travel restrictions South Korea, Iran and Italy due to the increasing number of cases in the countries.

New cases reported in Ecuador and Luxembourg

– Ecuador’s health minister stated that the country has recorded its first case of coronavirus.

– A man who arrived from Italy to Luxembourg has tested positive for Covid-19.

Total cases cross 1,000 in Italy

– Italy’s Civil Protection head Angelo Borrelli confirmed that the total confirmed cases increased to 1,128 with 29 deaths so far.

Qatar reports new case

– Qatar has confirmed its first case of Covid-19, a Qatari national who arrived from Iran recently. The patient is said to be stable.

First cases reported in Monaco, Mexico and Azerbaijan

– A man from Monaco has reported the first case of Covid-19. The man is admitted in a hospital in France.

– Mexico reported its first two cases in the country, one who tested positive and another who is awaiting test results. The second case is considered as confirmed.

– Azerbaijan has reported its first case of Covid-19. The patient was from Russia who arrived from Iran.

Romania, Denmark, Norway and Georgia report new cases

– Romania has reported two additional cases, bringing the total to three.

– Denmark confirmed its second coronavirus case, a man who returned from northern Italy.

– Three others have tested positive in Norway, taking the country’s total cases to four.

– Georgia has also recorded its second case of the virus. The woman a 31-years-old and travelled to Italy.

Singapore confirms four cases of coronavirus

– Singapore has reported four additional cases, taking the total to 102. Singapore’s Ministry of Health has added that it also discharged three cases.

– The total recovered cases in the country stands at 72.

South Korea reports additional cases; one death

– KCDC has announced 219 additional cases and one new death. The country’s death toll stands at 17 while the total cases are 3,150.

– Total cases in Iraq have increased to eight while cases in Lebanon stand at four.

– A man who arrived in Israel from Italy has tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to seven in the country.

– Finland has reported that the country’s total now stands at three confirmed cases.

– Bahrain confirmed two cases of coronavirus, of which one is from Saudi Arabia. The total in Bahrain stands at 38.

Death toll increases to more than 2,900

– The death toll due to has increased to more than 2,900, as of the end of 28 February.

– The number of confirmed cases around the world have increased to more than 85,000, while recoveries stand at 39,000.

South Korea reports additional cases; three deaths

– South Korea reported another 594 cases, increasing the total cases to 2,931. Death toll reached 16, as per KCDC 29 February morning reports.

Singapore reports two additional cases

The total number of cases in Singapore has increased to 98, including the two new cases reported today.

28 Feb:

– WHO has raised global coronavirus outbreak risk to ‘Very High’

Iran death toll reaches 34

– The Covid-19 death toll in Iran has increased to 34, a Health Ministry spokeswoman said. The total number of cases also inreased to 388.

US reports two cases of community spread

– The states of Oregon and California reported additional cases of community spread, which brings the total cases to 62.

France, Italy confirm additional cases

– France has confirmed additional 19 cases, taking the total to 57 cases, with two deaths so far.

– The total number of cases in Italy have increased to 888. The country also reported four new deaths, increasing the country’s death toll to 21.

Diamond Princess update: sixth death reported

– Another passenger, a man from the UK, who was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died. This is sixth Diamond Princess death.

UK reports one additional case

– England has announced an additional case. The total cases in the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, stand at 20.

South Korea reports 315 additional cases

– KCDC has announced 2,337 cases in the country, including 315 newly reported cases. The country’s death toll stands at 13.

Greece reports additional case

– Greece has reported an additional case of Covid-19, bringing the total to four. The patient is a 36-year-old Greek woman who arrived from northern Italy.

Cases in Croatia rise to five

– Two additional people in Croatia tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total to five. The newly infected were in close contact with the initial cases, noted the country’s health minister.

Kuwait confirms two new cases; total 45

– Kuwait has recorded two new cases in people who previously came into contact with Iran citizens. The total number of infections in the country now stands at 45.

The Netherlands reports second case

– The country has reported the second case in its capital Amsterdam. This patient is said to have no link to the first case.

UK cases rise to 19

– Wales has confirmed its first case in a patient who arrived from Northern Italy and England has reported two more, taking UK’s total to 19.

Dog tests positive for coronavirus in HK

– A Pomeranian has tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong. The dog is said to have contracted the virus from its infected owner.

– The dog did not exhibit any symptoms and tested ‘weak positive’. It is currently under quarantine for 14 days.

Fifth Diamond Princess passenger dies

– Another passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died due to coronavirus.

– The patient was a Japanese woman in her 70s who tested positive on 6 February and confirmed to have pneumonia on 12 February.

Japan reports fifth death

– Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced the fifth death in the country due to coronavirus. The patient was a Japanese man in his 70s who was hospitalised on 6 February due to fever.

Malaysia reports two new cases; total 25

– The country confirmed two additional cases to total 25. Malaysia government imposed temporary restrictions on visitors from Korea.

Thailand reports one additional case

– Thailand health offical has stated that the country has reported its 41st coronvirus case. The patient had arrived from South Korea and was daignosed on 24 February.

UAE reports six additional cases

– The total cases in UAE have increased to 19, with six newly reported cases. Of the six cases, four are from Iran, one from Bahrain and one from China.

– The Iranians are said to have entered the country before UAE banned flights to and from Iran.

Western Australia registers second case

– A woman from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, who was evacuated last week has tested positive for Covid-19. This is the second case in WA and 24th in Australia.

Lithuania and Belarus report first case

– A woman returing from Verona in Italy has tested positive for coronavirus in Lithuania. This is the country’s first positive case.

– Belarus has also registered its first case of Covid-19.

NZ confirms first case; temporarily bans Iran travel

– New Zealand has announced the first case of Covid-19 in a person who arrived from Iran via Bali. NZ’s Ministry of Health has asked people on the same flight, to contact health authorities.

– NZ has restricted travel to Iran in light of increasing cases and deaths in the Middle Eastern country.

Nigeria reports first case

– An Italian man who arrived in Lagos, Nigeria this week, has tested positive for Covid-19, marking its first case in the country and Sub-Saharan region.

South Korea confirms 256 additional cases

– KCDC has reported 256 additional cases, taking the total to 2,022. The number of deaths in the country stand at 13, with no additional deaths, as of 28 February morning reports.

Death toll increases to more than 2,850 globally

– The Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 2,850, as of the end of 27 February.

– The total number of infections has risen to around 83,300, with around 78,000 infections in Mainland China. Recoveries worldwide has crossed 36,000.  

27 Feb:

Japan reports fourth death

– Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced the fourth death in the country due to Covid-19. The patient was a Japanese man in his 80s who tested positive on 22 February.

– The ministry added that the cause of death is under confirmation.

UN to provide sanction exceptions to N Korea

– UN panel monitoring the sanctions in North Korea has permitted WHO to supply medical equipment into North Korea to aid in its efforts to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19.

Swiss cases rise to nine

– Reuters has reported that the number of cases in Switerland has increased to nine, including the latest case in a woman who travelled from Milan.

– The woman works in a daycare facility and following her positive test result, the childern have been put into a 14-day quarantine.

Oman reports sixth case

– Oman has reported its sixth case in a person who returned from Iran.

Cases rise in Spain, Greece, Sweden and France

– Spain has reported a increase in cases, taking the total to 15 in the country.

– Greece has announced two more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to three. Both the patients have history of travelling to northern Italy. The country has cancelled public events to stop the spread of virus.

– Sweden has announced five new Covid-19 cases with which the total now stands at seven.

– French Health Minister has stated that there are 38 confirmed cases in the country, with 20 new confirmed cases.

Northern Ireland reports first case

– Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency has confirmed that a woman has tested presumptive positive for Covid-19. This is the first case in the region. The total cases in the UK currently stand at 16.

Lebanon reports third case

– News agency NNA reported that a man returning from Iran has tested positive. Lebanon has so far reported three coronavirus cases.

Iran VP tests positive for Covid-19

– Iran’s VP for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Netherlands and San Marino report first cases

– The Netherlands has reported its first case. The patient had a history of travel to Italy’s Lombary region.

– San Marino in Europe has also recorded its first case of the coronavirus. Health authorities have started to search people who were in contact with the patient and are monitoring the general practitioner.

Cases and deaths in Italy rise

– Italy’s Health Ministry has reported additional new cases in the country, bringing the total to 655. The death toll in the country has also increased to 17 while the total recoveries stand at 45.

South Korea reports new cases and death

– South Korea has reported 171 new cases, which rise the total to 1,766. With one new fatality, Covid-19 deaths in the country reach 13.

Malaysia reports one new case; total 23

– Malaysia reported its 23rd case in a national who recently travelled to Japan.

Kuwait confirms 43 cases

– In a press conference, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health stated that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has risen to 43.

Iran reports four new deaths, 106 new cases

– Iran has announced that four additional people have died, which brings the country’s death toll to 26. The number of infected people increased to 245.

Switzerland announces three new cases

– Swiss health authorities have announced three new cases of coronavirus, taking the country’s total to four.

Australia says pandemic inevitable

– At a press conference, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that ‘the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus.’

– In an effort to be prepared for the prediction, the country implented its Emergency Response Plan/coronavirus pandemic preparedness plan.

– Australia also extended China travel ban to 7 March.

UK reports two new cases; total 15

– The UK government confirmed two new cases in England, taking the nation’s total to 15.

– England chief medical officer Chris Whitty said that the new patients contracted the virus in Italy and Tenerife, Spain.

Iran death toll rises to 22

– Iran has confirmed four more deaths, bringing the total to 22. The country confirmed 141 cases so far.

South Korea reports additional death

– KCDC has reported an additional death, bringing the total to 13, with 1,595 confirmed cases.

Iraq confirms sixth case

– Iraq confirmed its sixth case, which marks the first one in its capital, Baghdad. The new patient is a male who returned from Iran.

– Iraq suspended public gatherings and banned travel to and from a total of nine countries, including Kuwait and Bahrain.

Estonia, Denmark report first cases

– Estonia’s first case has been confirmed in a man with a recent travel history to Iran, according to Russian news agencies TASS and Interfax.

– Health authority in Denmark has confirmed the country’s first positive case, who is said to be a man returned from a holiday in northern Italy. The patient is under isolation in his home.

Chinese city to offer $1,400 to people who self-report

– Qianjiang in Hubei Province has announced 10,000 yuan ($1,425.96) reward for people with Covid-19 symptoms who report themselves to the authorities. The reward will be provided to confirmed cases.

Japanese woman tests positive for second time

– A Japanese woman from Osaka has tested positive for the coronavirus for the second time.

– She first tested positive in late January and recovered on 1 February.

Saudi Arabia suspends Mecca pilgrimage

– The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned all religious visits to Mecca and Medina, the Islamic holy sites, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus from other infected Arab countries.

US confirms first case of unknown source

– The US has confirmed one new case suspected to be a result of ‘community spread’, when the source of infection is not known.

– This brings the total in the country to 60 cases, including 42 repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three Wuhan evacuees.

India evacuates citizens on Diamond Princess and Wuhan

– India has evacuated 119 Indian citizens along with two Sri Lankans, one Nepalese, one South African, and one Peruvian from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

– The Indian Air Force relief aircraft has repartiated 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals from Wuhan. The aircraft left for China with 15t of medical supplies to Wuhan after which it evacuated the 112 passengers.

South Korea reports new cases

-South Korea has reported 334 new cases and no new deaths. The total cases now stand at 1,595 and 12 deaths so far.

Finland and Lebanon report second cases

– Finland has confirmed a second coronavirus case in Finland – a female national who had recently visited Milan, Italy.

– Lebanon’s health ministry also reported the country’s second case in a person who returned from a trip to Iran.

Death toll touches 2,800

– The death toll due to coronavirus has increased to 2,800 with around 2,640 deaths in Hubei Province in China as of the end of 26 February.

– The confirmed cases around the world are more than 82,000 while recoveries also increased to 32,000.  

26 Feb: 

Croatia confirms third case

– Croatia confirmed its third case – a man who had been working in Italy – in Rijeka city.  The first two cases were earlier reported in the country’s capital, Zagreb.

Romania reports first case

– Romania confirmed its first Covid-19 case in a man who was in contact with an Italian diagnosed with the virus. The Italian, who visited Romania between 18 and 22 February, was diagnosed after returning to Italy.

US-South Korea postpone military training

Republic of Korea (ROK)-US Alliance has postponed combined command post training after the ROK government declared the highest alert level on Covid-19.

Diamond Princess cases rise to 705

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has announced that the total cases associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship has increased to 705. Authorities tested 4,061 people.

Italy reports new cases

– Italy has reported that the total number of cases has risen to 400 in the country. It has not reported any new deaths which currently stand at 12.

First cases in Pakistan, Norway, Georgia and North Macedonia 

– Pakistan has reported its first two cases. The infected had a history of travelling to Iran. The patients are reported to be stable.

– Norway recorded its first case of Covid-19 in a person who returned from China. Local media stated that the patient is stable and shows no symptoms.

– A Georgian national tested positive, the first in the country. The man came from Azerbaijan and was travelling from Iran. The man’s travel companions tested negative for the virus, but are under quarantine.

– North Macedonia also reported its first case. The woman travelled to the country from Italy.

Italy reports one new death; 52 new cases

– Italy’s Ministry of Health has reported 374  infections in the country of which 12 people have died. One person has recovered.

Japan reports one new death

– With one new death in Japan, the nation’s death toll rised to six, including four fatalities from the Diamond Princess ship.

– The latest casualty, which occurred in Tokyo, is said to be a male in his 80s.

Greece confirms first case

– Greece has reported its first case in a 38-year-old national who visited northern Italy, according to health ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras.

Iran death toll reaches 19; Kuwait reports six new cases

– With three new reported deaths, Iran’s death toll climbs up to 19 with 139 confirmed cases.

– Kuwait confirms six additonal positive cases, bringing the total to 18 cases.

France reports second death

– French health authorities have reported second death. The fatality, a 60-year-old French man in Paris, is one of the new cases reported in the country. The total infections in France stands at 18.

– UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority told Reuters that it is well-prepared to tackle the ‘worst case scenario’ of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bahrain confirms nine cases

– Bahrain has confirmed nine new cases to the previous 17, taking the total to 26. The country has started screening passengers arriving from affected countries. People who have visited Iran in February have been asked to get tested.

– KCDC reported an additional 115 cases and one death, taking the total to 1,261 confirmed cases and 12 deaths.

– A second evacuation flight sent by Malaysia repatriated 66 citizens from Wuhan. The plane landed today at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

– Thailand confirmed three new cases, taking total infections to 40. Health ministry said that two of the new cases had returned from holidays in Japan and came into contact with the third.

– Kuwait reported new coronavirus infections, which increase the total in the country to 12.

– US Forces Korea stated that a US service member stationed in South Korea tested positive.

Death toll passes 2,750; recoveries rise

– The number of deaths due to coronavirus has increased to more than 2,750 as of the end of 25 February.

– The number of infected cases has risen to around 81,000 while the recovered cases exceeded 30,000.

South Korea reports new cases

– KCDC has reported an additional 169 new cases, taking the total to 1,146. With new deaths reported, the total number of deaths in the country stands at 11.    

25 Feb: 

Algeria reports first case; second African country with confirmed cases

– Algeria reported its first positive case – an Italian adult who arrived in the African country on 17 February. This represents the second case in Africa.

– Jamaica and the Cayman Islands denied entry to Meraviglia cruise ship as it carried a sick crew member who travelled to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases.

– Switzerland confirmed its first Covid-19 case in canton of Ticino. Swiss health ministry noted the man was in Italy approximately ten days ago when he attended an event near Milan.

– Italy has reported 322 confirmed cases and 11 deaths with one recovery, as of the end of 25 February.

– Brazil reports its first case of the coronavirus.

– El Salvador bans visitors from Italy and South Korea. Salvadoran citizens arriving from these countries will face 30-day quarantine.

Iran Deputy Health Minister tests positive; one more death reported

– Iranian Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has tested positive for the coronavirus, confirmed health ministry spokesman.

– The country has reported 95 confirmed cases of the virus with 16 deaths so far. The Health Ministry has asked citizens to stay at home.

– Austria has announced its first two cases of the Covid-19 in Tyrol province that shares a border with Italy.

– Croatia has reported its first case of the coronavirus in the country. The patient is a young person and has mild symptoms who was in Milan from 19 to 21 February.

– Bahrain’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of eight cases, including six new cases – two Bahraini and four Saudi citizens who arrived from Iran via Dubai.

– With three new confirmations, Kuwait’s total Covid-19 cases increased to eight. KUNA  news agency noted that all the three new cases had returned from Iran.

– Iran has reported three additional deaths due to Covid-19, taking the death toll to 15 with 61 confirmed cases.

– Iraq has announced four new positive cases in Kirkuk province, bringing the total to five. The cases were identified in a Iraqi family who travelled to Iran.

– South Italy has recorded its first positive case of the coronavirus. The woman, who was on a holiday in Sicily, was sent to the hospital and her husband and friends were put under a 15-day quarantine.

– With 84 new cases in South Korea, the country’s total surged to 977. Two additional deaths are also confirmed, rising the total to ten.

– Thailand health officials confirmed two new coronavirus Covid-19 cases, which rise the total to 37. Both of the new cases are said to be Thai citizens.

Diamond Princess update: Japan reports fourth death; Philippines and India to send flights

– NHK reported that another passenger from the Diamond Princess has died, taking the total deaths from the ship to four. The deceased was around 80 years old and from Japan.

– Japan asked schools to temporarily close, even if there are no confirmed cases in the school.

– The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs has sent two flights to repatriate approximately 400 citizens who were on the Diamond Princess cruise.

– India has also started arrangements for a charter flight to evacuate around 120 citizens on the ship.

Death toll nears 2,700; recoveries exceed 27,000

– The number of deaths due to Covid-19 has neared 2,700, as of the end of 24 February.

– The number of positive cases has exceeded 80,000 worldwide and the number of recoveries stands at more than 27,000.

South Korea reports 60 new cases and one new death

– South Korea has reported 60 additional cases, the smallest increase in its confirmed cases so far. There are now 893 positive cases in South Korea.

– The KCDC also announced one more death in the country, taking the total to eight.

24 Feb: 

– Spain confirms third case in an Italian male who was on a holiday in Tenerife.

– Italy reported seven deaths in total with 229 total confirmed cases in the country, as of the end of 24 February.

– Oman’s Ministry of Health confirmed first coronavirus cases in two women who returned from Iran.

– Kuwait and Bahrain report additional cases, increasing the total to five and two, respectively. The new patients in Kuwait are said to have arrived from Mashhad, Iran.

US CDC confirms 53 cases of coronavirus

– The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that there are 53 cases of the Covid-19 in the country, as of 24 February.

– Of the 53 cases, 14 are in the country, including two new cases in California. The remaining 39 are citizens repatriated from Diamond Princess cruise ship.

– Iraq confirmed its first coronavirus Covid-19 case in Najaf city.

– Italy reported two more deaths, rising the total to five. The government has put nearly 50,000 people in 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto under quarantine.

– Afghanistan confirmed its first case of Covid-19 coronavirus.

– South Korea reported 70 new additional cases to total 833.

Iran official states 50 deaths in the country; govt denies claims

– ILNA news agency has quoted a Qom official Ahmad Amiriabadi Farahani as saying that the death toll in the country stood at 50 on 13 February.

– However, the officials have stated on 24 February that death toll has increased 12, including four additional deaths reported today.

– Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has rejected the claims of cover-up. He stated that it was ‘not the time for political confrontations’.

– Farahani denied to retract his statement.

Kuwait, Bahrain confirm first cases 

– The Ministry of Health in Bahrain has reported the first coronavirus case – a citizen who returned from Iran.

– Three cases have been confirmed in Kuwait, reported local news agency KUNA, which said that the individuals just returned from Iran.

Diamond Princess update: one more death reported

– Another Japanese passenger, a man in his 80s has died from the Covid-19 coronavirus. The total cases on Diamond Princess is 691 with three deaths.

Iran’s neighbours close borders

– Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions on Iran, which was the first to report deaths in the Middle East region.

– Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia also closed their borders with Iran.

Death toll exceeds 2,600; South Korea reports 161 new cases

Death toll due to Covid-19 coronavirus increased to more than 2,600, as of the end of 23 February.

– The number of confirmed cases rises to more than 79,000, with the cases in Mainland China crossing 77,000.

– South Korea has announced 161 new positive cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 763, with seven deaths in the country. The government raised infectious disease alert to the highest.

Italy reports third death and new cases

– Italy has now become the most affected country in Europe with more than 150 Covid-19 cases. The country also reported third death from the new virus.

– Coronavirus ‘hotspot’ towns have been sealed to control the spread. The country also halted public gatherings, including suspension of the Venice carnival.

Israel confirms second case

– An Israeli who returned from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has tested positive, said Sheba Medical Center. This increases the country’s total to two.

23 Feb:

UK reports four new cases; total 13

– The UK

Iran reports two more deaths

– Two additional deaths have occurred in Iran, taking the total to eight, according to the country’s health minister. The total number of cases in the nation reached 43.

South Korea reports fifth death, new cases

– The KCDC in South Korea has reported one additional death, taking the total to five. Also, with 46 new cases, the total number of infections reach 602.

Singapore reports new cases

– Singapore authorities have confirmed a total of 89 cases to date. The country’s health ministry also reported a total of 51 recoveries.

Four more Indian passengers on Diamond Princess test positive

– Four additional Indian passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine in Japan have tested positive. This rises the number of Indian cases on the ship to 12.

Cases and deaths rise in South Korea

– The total number of cases in South Korea have increased to 556. Majority of the new cases are linked to the Shincheonji church or Cheongdo Daenam hospital cluster.

– The country also reported two new deaths, which increase the total to four.

Italy records cases surge

The number of infections in Italy have surged to 79, representing nearly four times growth from the last count of 20.

Death toll rises to 2,458; Iran reports sixth death

– Death toll has increased to 2,458, including 2,443 deaths in China, as of the end of 22 February. The total number of cases climbed to more than 78,600.

– One new death has occurred in Iran on 22 February, taking the total to six, reported the country’s media. 

22 Feb:

– The US, UAE, Israel and Lebanon have reported additional cases.

Death toll rises to 2,360; Iran reports two deaths

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has reached 2,360, including two more deaths confirmed in Iran as of the end of 21 February. The total number of deaths in Iran is now four.

– The total number of confirmed cases around the world increased to 77,659 with 76,288 cases in Mainland China. The number of recoveries also increases to more than 20,000.

Italy reports one death

– Italy announced one death in the country in Padova in the Veneto region. The deceased was a 78-year-old man.

– The country has also reported 16 additional cases, bringing the total to 20.

21 Feb:

Italy confirms one new case

– Italy has confirmed one new case of Covid-19, bringing the total to four cases in the country. Previously, two Chinese nationals and one Italian were tested positive.

– The positive case was confirmed in a 38-year-old man in the Lombardy region, who is now admitted in a hospital in Codogno.

Cases in South Korea rise to 204

– The total confirmed cases in South Korea have surged to 204, most of which were found in the Daegu city.

– Officials have banned downtown rallies and closed a park, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Diamond Princess update

– The flight carrying around 200 Canadian citizens has taken off from Tokyo airport. After landing in Ontario, Canada, the passengers will undergo additional 14 days of quarantine.

– Flight to evacuate Britons from the cruise ship will take off on 21 February, one day after the previously announced date.

China reports more than 200 cases in prisons

– China has reported more than 200 positive cases in two prisons outside of Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Young doctor in Wuhan dies

– Covid-19 has claimed the life of a 29-year-old doctor who worked at First People’s Hospital in Wuhan.

– Named Peng Yinhua, the doctor, who delayed his wedding to continue working, was admitted to hospital on 25 January and succumbed to the coronavirus disease on 20 January.

US reports one new case; total 16

– A new case has been reported in Humboldt County, California, increasing the number of cases in the country to 16.

Cases in South Korea rise to 156

– With 52 new infections reported in South Korea, the country’s total surged to 156 cases. Of the new cases, 39 were traced to the Shincheonji church cluster.

– Government has strengthened measures to control the spread, and declared Daegu and Cheongdo cities as ‘special care zones’.

Death toll reaches 2,247

– The deaths due to Covid-19 have reached 2,247, with majority of the deaths in Mainland China, as of the end of 20 February.

– The total number of confirmed cases increased to more than 76,000, with more than 75,400 in mainland China. The number of recoveries stands at around 18,200. 

Two Australian evacuees from Diamond Princess test positive

– Two Diamond Princess passengers tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Australia after around 170 Australians were evacuated from the ship on 20 February. The total number of cases on the ship reached 634.

Ukraine protesters attack China evacuee buses

– Protesters in a Ukrainian town have attacked buses carrying evacuees from China. The evacuees were being transported to a hospital in Novi Sanzhary.

– All evacuees tested negative during official screening. The protest comes after a fake email, which was claimed to be from the Ministry of Health, said some evacuees had contracted the virus.

– Ukraine’s security service (SSU) said that the false email is being investigated. According to media reports, nine police and one civilian were hospitalised, while more than ten protesters were detained.

20 Feb:

Iran reports three new cases

– As of the end of 20 February, Iran has confirmed three new Covid-19 cases a day after the death of two elderly citizens in the country.

India plans to limit drug exports

– India plans to restrict export of antibiotics and vitamins as supply from China is disrupted due to coronavirus Covid-19.

One death reported in South Korea

– The KCDC reported the death of a coronavirus patient linked to the Cheongdon Daenam hospital cluster.

– The agency also confirmed 22 new cases since the last count, taking the total to 104. Out of 21 new cases, five were related to Shincheonji Church of Jesus cluster, 13 with Cheongdo Daenam hospital and one with Saeronan oriental hospital.

South Korea confirms 31 new cases to total 82

– The KCDC in South Korea has confirmed 31 new cases taking the total to 82. Of the new cases, 23 have been traced to the 31st case who attended Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu.

Diamond Princess updates

– Two Japanese passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from the novel coronavirus. Both the patients were in their 80s with underlying health conditions, reported local media. This increases Covid-19 deaths to 2,128.

– Approximately 180 Australians repatriated from the cruise have landed in Darwin and will be subjected to a second 14-day quarantine period.

Death toll reaches 2,126; Iran reports two deaths

– Covid-19 deaths have reached 2,126, including two deaths in Iran, as of the end of 19 February. The deceased in Iran were two elderly citizens in Qom city, said Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to the country’s health minister.

– The total number of cases rose to more than 75,700, including 74,576 in mainland China. The number of recoveries also increased to approximately 16,300.

19 Feb:

Diamond Princess cases increase to 621

– The Japanese ministry announced that the number of cases on Diamond Princess has increased to 621 of the 3,011 people tested. This represents an increase of 79 cases from the last count.

Hong Kong reports second death

– Hong Kong reported its second Covid-19 death – a 70-year-old man, who had underlying illnesses and was receiving treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Passengers on Diamond Princess disembark

– Passengers who have tested negative started disembarking from the cruise ship after a 14-day quarantine period.

South Korea reports 19 new cases to total 51

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported 19 new cases, which increase the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 51.

– Epidemiological investigation revealed that 11 of the new cases are contacts of the 31st case.

Death toll passes 2,000; New recoveries exceed new infections

– Deaths from the new coronavirus have increased to more than 2,000, including 2,004 in mainland China, as of the end of 18 February.

– For the first time, the number of newly recovered patients exceeded that of new confirmed cases in China. In mainland China, 1,749 new cases were confirmed on 18 February, while 1,824 patients newly recovered.

– The total number of infections climbed to more than 75,000.

18 Feb:

Singapore, Hong Kong report new cases

– Singapore health ministry confirmed four new Covid-19 cases, which rise the total to 81. The ministry also reported a total of 29 recoveries to date.

– The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong reported two new cases to total 62.

Diamond Princess cases reach 542; Taiwan plans repatriation

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed that the number of cases on Diamond Princess has reached 542 of the 2,404 people tested.

– Taiwan announced plans to fly back its nationals who are onboard the cruise. Of more than 20 Taiwanese on the vessel, four have tested positive.

South Korea confirms 31st case

–  The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported the country’s 31st case –  a 61-year-old South Korean woman currently in isolation.

UK and South Korea plan Diamond Princess evacuations

– South Korea is set to send an aircraft to Japan to bring back five passengers onboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. The aircraft will take off today at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Seoul.

– The UK government is also planning to send a flight to Japan to evacuate its citizens from the ship.

Deaths increase to 1,873; infections rate drops

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,873, with 98 new deaths in China, as of the end of 17 February. The total number of infection cases has exceeded 73,000, including 72,436 cases in mainland China.

– Chinese authorities have reported that new coronavirus confirmed cases outside the Hubei province recorded a drop for 14 consecutive days since 3 February.

17 Feb:

Update: More than 200 Australian evacuees return home

– More than 200 Australian evacuees from Wuhan return home after 14 days of quarantine on Christmas Island. None of the evacuees tested positive during the quarantine period.

Singapore confirms two new cases to total 77

– Singapore ministry of health confirmed two new cases – a one year-old male evacuee from Wuhan and a 35 year-old male with no recent travel history to China. These new cases take the country’s total Covid-19 cases to 77.

Diamond Princess – cases rise to 454; 14 new US passengers test positive; Australia plans repatriation

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced that the number of cases on the cruise ship has further risen to 454 of the 1,723 people tested.

– The US Departments of State and Health and Human Services announced that after citizens disembarked the ship, 14 passengers, who underwent tests two to three days earlier, had tested positive. These patients were asymptomatic and have been isolated in a special containment area on the evacuation aircraft.

– Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the country will repatriate more than 200 Australians and New Zealanders onboard the cruise ship.  An aircraft will be sent to Japan on 19 February.

Thailand reports 35th case

– Thailand has reported a new Covid-19 case, which increases the nation’s total to 35. The new patient is a 60-year-old Chinese woman whose family members were diagnosed earlier.

New cases on Diamond Princess

– The total number of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has increased to 355, including three Israelis and two new Indian nationals taking the country’s total onboard to five.

– Israel is considering sending a flight to fly back the remaining Israelis, who have not tested positive, from Japan.

– The Philippines authorities have confirmed 16 new cases onboard the ship, taking the total number of infected Filipinos on the cruise to 27.

Death toll reaches 1,775; Taiwan reports first death

– The coronavirus Covid-19 death toll has reached 1,775 with 105 new deaths in China and one in Taiwan, as of the end of 16 February.

– In Taiwan, a 61-year-old man with a history of diabetes and hepatitis B had died after contracting Covid-19, marking the first novel coronavirus-related death in the country.

– The total number of infection cases has increased to more than 71,000, including 70,548 in mainland China.

16 Feb: 

Update: UAE reports ninth case; Germany releases 100 from quarantine

– The Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE reported the ninth novel coronavirus case in the country. The new patient is a 37-year old Chinese who was diagnosed during a routine check-up.

– At a military base near Frankfurt airport, 100 German evacuees from Wuhan, China were released from their two-week quarantine after none of them tested positive.

South Korea confirms 29th Covid-19 case

– The South Korean government reported a new coronavirus Covid-19 case  on Sunday, which marks the country’s 29th case.

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that the new patient, aged 82-years, contracted virus with no history of overseas travel or contact with any confirmed patients.

Covid-19 deaths climb to 1,669 

– The coronavirus Covid-19 deaths have claimed further to 1,669 with 142 new deaths in China and one in France as of the end of 15 February. The total number of deaths in mainland China reached 1,665.

– The total number of positive cases surged to 69,186 with 68,500 cases in Mainland China.

– The severe cases are said to be 11,273, while total recoveries stand at 9,600.

15 Feb: 

France reports first covid-19 death; Malaysia, Thailand report new cases

– France reported its first covid-19 death today, which also marks the first death outside Asia.

– French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn confirmed the death of an 80-year old Chinese tourist, who travelled to France from the Hubei province on January 16.

– Malaysia has reported two new coronavirus covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total infected cases in the country to 21, while Thailand has reported a new case taking the country’s total to 34.

US to airlift Americans on board Diamond Princess; India making efforts

– US is planing to airlift its nationals from the quarantined Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess.

– US embassy in Japan has informed all the American passengers and crew on board about this decision in an email.

– Diamond Princess has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections outside China so far.

– Indian Embassy in Japan also said on Saturday that it is making efforts to evacuate all the Indians on board the cruise ship.

Death toll touches 1,526; Egypt reports first case

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,526, with 143 new deaths reported, as of the end of 13 February.

– The number of new cases increased to more than more than 67,000 of which 66,492 infections are reported in Mainland China. 

– Egypt has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 and has stated that the affected is a ‘foreigner’ who was asymptomatic.

14 Feb:

Facebook, IBM cancel conference plans over coronavirus fears

– Facebook announced the cancellation of its Global Marketing Summit scheduled to take place from 9 March to 15 March in San Francisco, US.

– IBM pulled out of the annual RSA cybersecurity conference, which is set start on 24 February in San Francisco.

Passengers on Westerdam cruise ship disembark

– Westerdam cruise ship, which docked in Cambodia after being turned away by five countries over the fear of the coronavirus, has received permission to disembark its guests after 20 samples taken onboard tested negative.

Death toll rises to 1,383

Deaths from the new coronavirus Covid-19 increased to 1,383, including the latest one in Japan. The total number of deaths in mainland China is 1,380. The total number of infections reached 64,429, including 63,911 in China, Hong Kong and Macau

13 Feb:

Japan reports first Covid-19 death

– Japan health minister Katsunobu Kato confirmed the first Covid-19 death in the country – a woman in her 80s whose infection was reported to have been confirmed after death.

– The total number of cases in Japan reached 248, including 218 from the quarantined cruise ship and 30 in the country.

New cases in US, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong

– The US CDC announced 15th case in the country – a recent evacuee quarantined at JBSA-Lackland in Texas.

– Malaysia health director-general has confirmed the nation’s 19th case, a 39-year-old woman who returned from Wuhan, China. The woman is reported to be related to 14th and 16th Covid-19 cases confirmed in the country.

– The number of cases in Vietnam has increased to 16, after a 50-year old man tested positive in Son Loi town. Local authorities have put Son Loi, which recorded a total of eight cases, on lockdown for 20 days.

– Hong Kong authorities have reported a new case, which takes the total to 51.

Deaths increase to 1,369; Hubei sees infections surge

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,369, indicating 254 new deaths, as of the end of 12 February.

– The number of new cases saw a surge of about 15,200, from approximately 45,100 to more than 60,300. This jump is due to 14,840 new cases confirmed in Hubei Province alone.

– Japanese health minister confirmed 44 new cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, increasing the total to 219, including a quarantine officer.

12 Feb:

Mobile World Congress cancelled

– The largest global mobile event, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled over coronavirus fears.

– The decision is said to be based on ‘the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances’.

– This comes after various exhibitors, including Facebook, Amazon, Sony, Nokia and LG said that they would be pulling out of the event.

UK reports ninth case; US confirms second case among evacuees

– England chief medical officer has comfirmed that the number of coronavirus cases in the country had increased to nine.

– The US CDC confirmed a second case among evacuees quarantined in California, rising the total cases in the country to 14.

DBS evacuates 300 after one is infected

– Singapore’s DBS bank has evacuated 300 employees after one employee was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus. With three new cases reported, the total cases in Singapore touched 50, one of the highest outside China.

Japan cruise cases increase to 174

– The total confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan, have surged to 174, in addition to the positive case of a quarantine officer.

Death toll reaches 1,115; recoveries rise

Deaths from the new coronavirus have reached 1,115, while the total number of cases exceeded 45,100, including 44,653 reported in mainland China by authorities as of the end of 11 February.

– According to NHC official Mi Feng, the proportion of recovered patients in China increased to 8.2% as of 10 February, from 1.3% on 27 January.

11 Feb:

WHO gives name to new coronavirus disease

– The WHO has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus as ‘Covid-19’.

– Ukraine is screening five of its citizens for the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Zoriana Skaletska said at a press briefing on 11 February.

– According to Skaletska, three of the five suspected patients returned from China while the remaining two were in contact with them.

– Germany confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in Bavaria, raising the total cases in the country to 16.

– The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong has reported seven new coronavirus infection cases, taking the toal to 49.

– After two cases were confirmed in the same building, Hong Kong government evacuated all of its more than 100 residents to control the spread of the infection. The confirmed cases were residing on different floors of the building.

– Vietnam’s health ministry confirmed a new case, who is a three-month-old baby thought to be infected by her grandparent. The total number of cases in the country stand at 15.

– With 108 new deaths in China, the total toll has reached 1,018. NHC report shows 42,638 confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland China, as of the end of 10 February, which takes the number of global cases to around 43,000.

10 Feb:

UAE, US report new cases; Infections on cruise nearly double

– Eighth case has been confirmed in the UAE, an Indian national who had contact with a recently diagnosed person.

– The US CDC reported a new case in California, who was one of the evacuees from Wuhan. This rises the total cases in the country to 13.

– The number of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise quarantined in Japan have nearly doubled, with 135 total cases on board. As of 9 February, 70 cases were confirmed on the Diamond Princess.

UK declares imminent threat as four more cases confirmed

– The UK government has declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘serious and imminent threat to public health’.

– Four new cases have been diagnosed in the UK, doubling the total confirmed cases to eight.

– WHO has noted that cases of the new coronavirus among people who have not travelled to China could be the ‘tip of the iceberg’. The agency has sent members of its international expert mission team to help China deal with the outbreak.

Death toll surges to 910; Malaysia confirms sixth citizen case

Death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic has surged to 910, as of the end of 09 February, including 97 new deaths from the day before.

– The total number of cases stands at ‭40,547 globally, of which 40,171 are in mainland China. NHC report shows a total of 3,281 recoveries in the region.

– Malaysia health director confirmed the sixth citizen case of coronavirus infection, a 31-year-old man who worked in Macau, China and returned to Malaysia on  1 February. This takes the total coronavirus cases in the country to 18.

09 Feb:

UK reports fourth coronavirus case

– UK has reported its fourth coronavirus case on Sunday.

– England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty said in a statement that the new patient is a known contact of one of UK’s existing cases and has reportedly contracted virus in France.

– The patient has now been moved to NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital, and being treated using robust infection control measures to contain further spread of the virus.

Death toll passes 800 in China; Overtakes SARS

– The number of coronavirus deaths reached 813 globally as of the end of 8 February, overtaking the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2002-2003 that claimed 774 lives.

– Of the total fatalities, 811 were reported in mainland China and one each in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

– New cases have now touched 37,549 worldwide, of which 37,198 represent mainland China.

– China’s National Health Commission reported 2,656 new confirmed cases, 3,916 new suspected cases, 87 serious cases, and 89 deaths on Saturday alone.

– NHC also reported 600 new recovered cases on Saturday, taking the overall cured cases in mainland China to 2,649 as of Saturday.

08 Feb:

France reports five new cases; UAE confirms two

– France and UAE have confirmed two new cases today, taking their respective totals to 11 and seven.

– France health minister said Saturday that five British nationals in the country have been tested positive for coronavirus. The new cases, including a child, were staying in the same ski chalet and reportedly contracted virus after coming into contact with a Brit, who recently travelled to Singapore.

– The United Arab Emirates too reported two new cases on Saturday. The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention added that the two patients, a Chinese and a Filipino national, are under observation.

– China has opened a second prefabricated hospital  with 1,600 beds in Wuhan to treat patients infected with coronavirus.

US and Japanese citizens die in Wuhan

– US embassy has confirmed that an American citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died in Wuhan on 06 February. This is the first known death of a US national due to the new coronavirus.

– A 60-year-old Japanese man with suspected coronavirus infection also died in Wuhan today.

Death toll passes 700; Hong Kong enforces quarantine

– Coronavirus deaths have gone past 700 as of the end of 07 February, with China reporting 86 new deaths. Death toll now stands at 724, while a total of 34,881 cases have been confirmed. Of the 34,546 cases in mainland China, 6,101 are serious.

– Hong Kong began imposing a two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China. Visitors must quarantine themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres, while returning nationals must stay inside their homes. 

07 Feb:

Death toll hits 638; Chinese whistleblower doctor dies

Death toll from the new coronavirus stands at 638, as of the end of 06 February. A total of ‭31,428‬ infection cases have been confirmed, including 31,161 in mainland China.

– The Chinese doctor who had reportedly tried to issue an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak has died after contracting the virus while working at a hospital in Wuhan.

– Japan reported 41 new cases of coronavirus infection on a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama harbour. This raises the total positive cases on the ship to 61.

– The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in Taiwan has confirmed three new imported cornavirus cases, taking the nation’s total to 16.

06 Feb:

Third case confirmed in the UK; India evacuees test negative

– England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Witty has confirmed a third case of coronavirus in the UK.

– As of the end of 05 February, the coronavirus has led to 565 deaths, including 73 new deaths compared to 4 February in mainland China. The total number of confirmed cases is 28,275. Of the 28,049 confirmed cases in China, 3,859 are reported to be severe cases. So far, 1,153 patients have recovered in mainland China.

– Indian authorities confirmed that all 645 of the country’s evacuees from Wuhan tested negative for the coronavirus.

– Japanese health officials said ten more passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

– Two new cases on Vietnam increase its total to 12, while the number of cases in Singapore reached 30.

05 Feb:

Death toll reaches 492; Japan confirms ten cases on cruise

– With 65 new deaths in China, the toll has reached 492, while the number of infected cases has surged to nearly 24,527, as of the end of 04 February, said Chinese authorities. Of the 24,324 confirmed cases in mainland China, 3,219 cases are in serious condition.

– After screening passengers on a cruise ship, named Diamond Princess, the Japanese authorities confirmed ten positive cases. These patients include three Japanese, two Australians, three from Hong Kong, one from the US and a Filipino crewmember.

– Health authorities confirmed that two Malaysian evacuees, a 45-year-old man and his nine-year-old son, from Wuhan have tested positive for the new coronavirus. This increases the number of cases in the country to 12 – nine Chinese nationals and three Malaysians.

– US confirmed a new case in Wisconsin, an adult who travelled to Beijing, China. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 12.

04 Feb:

Malaysia reports first citizen infected; Belgium confirms first case

– A 41-year-old man, who travelled to Singapore for a conference, has become the first Malaysian to be infected by coronavirus. The Malaysian is one of the two new cases confirmed while the other being a Chinese national aged 61. This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to ten, including nine Chinese nationals.

– Belgium has confirmed its first coronavirus case after one of the nine individuals repatriated from Wuhan tested positive for the virus.

– Deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus have surged to 427, as of the end of 03 February. The number of confirmed cases reached 20,623, while 646 infected patients have recovered.

– Hong Kong has reported its first death case, marking the second one outside mainland China, following the Philippines. A 39-year-old man who travelled from Wuhan died on Tuesday in Hong Kong.

– Medical staff strike in Hong Kong continues, while the city closed more cross-boundary control points to China and left two only points open.

03 Feb:

Australia brings back 243 citizens; Hong Kong medical staff on strike

– A Qantas aircraft carrying 243 Australian citizens and permanent residents, including 89 individuals aged under 16, from Wuhan has landed at RAAF base Learmonth in Western Australia.

– Hundreds of hopsital workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike, demanding the closure of the city’s border with China to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading.

– The 1000-bed Huoshenshan hospital built within ten days for coronavirus patients in Wuhan is now ready.

– Novel coronavirus has claimed 362 lives so far, including one in the Philippines, as of the end of 02 February. A total of 17,386 cases have been recorded globally. Of the 17,238 cases reported in China, 2,296 are severe.

– India reported a new coronavirus case on Monday, taking the total confirmed cases in the country to three – all from the southern state of Kerala.

– US confirmed two new cases late on 2 February, rising the nation’s total to 11.

02 Feb:

Death toll soars to 305; First coronavirus patient outside China dies in Philippines

– Coronavirus deaths have gone past 300 as of the end of 01 February, with China reporting 304 deaths and the Philippines confirming its first death of a 44-year old  Chinese man from Wuhan city.

– The Philippines case also marked the first death outside China, since it first broke out in Wuhan city on 31 December 2019.

– Coronavirus infected cases have soared on Saturday with over 3,000 new cases, taking the total to an alarming 14,413, according to Chinese health authorities.

– Suspected cases are nearing 20,000 mark, standing at 19,544 as of 01 February.

– Chinese government called for culling of chickens in Shaoyang city following an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in Hunan province.

01 Feb:

Death toll hits 259; Coronavirus reaches Russia, Spain, Sweden

– With 46 new deaths in China, the toll has reached 259, while the number of infected cases has touched 11,374 across a total of 26 countries.

– Spreading its roots further, coronavirus reached three more countries as of 01 February. Russia reported two first cases while Spain and Sweden reported one each.

– US denies entry to foreign nationals who have visited China in the last two weeks.

– No deaths are reported outside mainland China.

– Australia on Saturday announced that it would bar entry to non-citizens coming from China.

– In a sigh of relief, Chinese health authorities announced on 01 February that 243 coronavirus had been discharged from hospitals after recovery by the end of Friday. 

31 Jan:

Death toll hits 213; WHO declares global emergency; UK confirms first cases

– Death toll from the virus has touched 213 and the number of infected cases increased to 9,776, as of the end of Thursday.

– First coronavirus suspect in New Zealand announced.

– NHS England chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the UK.

– Thailand reported its first case of domestic transmission, while China sent flights to bring back Wuhan citizens from Thailand and Malaysia.

– Mongolia and Singapore closed their borders to China to contain the virus.

– WHO emergency committee has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.

30 Jan:

Russia closes 2,700 mile border; US reports first domestic case

– Russia has reported first suspected case, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed an order to immediately close 2,700 mile border with China.

– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has confirmed its first case of person-to-person transmission.

– The number of deaths from the virus have reached 170 as of late 29 January, with a total of 7,783 people infected, of which 7,678 are in mainland China.

– India and the Philippines have confirmed their first cases, while Italy confirmed two cases.

– The number of affected countries so far is 23, including China.

– A plane has taken off from Portugal to evacuate people from various European countries from Wuhan. The UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab confirmed UK citizens will be evacuated tomorrow morning – Spanish nationals will also be simultaneously repatriated as part of a joint operation between the two countries. 

29 Jan:

Death toll touches 132; UAE and Germany confirm four cases

– As of the end of Tuesday, China has confirmed 132 deaths and a total of 5,974 infected cases, including 1,459 new cases. At least 86 cases are reported in other countries.

– Finland has confirmed its first case.

– Four members of the same Chinese family in the UAE have been infected with coronavirus, while Germany confirms three more cases taking its total to four.

– US evacuates nationals from Wuhan, India to send plane tonight to airlift 250 citizens from Wuhan.

– Australia has confirmed a second case in Victoria and a first in Queensland bringing the confirmed Australian cases to seven.

– New Zealand will join Australia to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan in China.

Australian researchers have become the first to recreate new coronavirus outside of China.

– UK plans to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan. British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China. 

28 Jan:

Japan, Taiwan and Germany report first domestic transmission

– Japan, Taiwan and Germany confirm their first cases of domestic transmission of coronavirus.

– Japan sends a chartered flight to Wuhan to evacuate its citizens.

– Germany and Cambodia have reported their first cases late Monday, marking a further spread of the deadly virus to newer regions.

–  China has issued the latest coronavirus update, confirming 107 deaths so far, followed by 4,515 confirmed and 6,973 suspected cases.

– In an attempt to limit the spread of virus, Hong Kong plans to limit the transport with mainland China from 30 January.

– Chinese researchers are exploring the use of natural products and their traditional medicines to combat coronavirus.

– China has suspended trading on its two major stock exchanges, Shanghai and Shenzhen, until next Monday to prevent panic selling as coronavirus fears grow. 

– Air Canada and Finnair have cancelled some flights to China.

– White House may suspend flights to China.

– Sri Lanka suspends visa on arrival for Chinese nationals.

27 Jan:

Sri Lanka reports first coronavirus case; More countries look to evacuate nationals

– Sri Lanka has reported its first coronavirus case of a 40-year old woman tourist from Hubei province in China, a senior Sri Lankan health official confirmed on Monday.

– Spain and Portugal are the two new countries after the US and France that are looking to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan city.

– US, Taiwan and Singapore have announced their respective fifth cases of the deadly coronavirus, while South Korea reported its fourth.

– Malaysia has imposed a temporary ban on Chinese visitors from the city of Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province.

– The death toll has increased to 81 and the confirmed cases in China to 2,744, with about half of them from Hubei province.

26 Jan:

US, France to evacuate nationals from Wuhan; WHO changes risk to ‘high; Mexico confirms first case

– The US government has announced a special flight between Wuhan and San Francisco to evacuate all American citizens from the stricken city on 28 Jan.

– The US has also confirmed its third case in Orange county, California, while Shanghai reported its first death of an 88-year old man from the deadly virus.

– Mexico reports its first confirmed case, while Ivory Coast is dealing with a suspected case of coronavirus.

– France is preparing to evacuate hundreds of its citizens from Wuhan by air, as the country already reported three confirmed coronavirus cases.

– Hong Kong and Taiwan have tightened restrictions against visitors from Hubei province.

– The World Health Organization revised its previous report on China virus saying that the global risk from the virus is “high” and not “moderate”.

– China’s National Health Commission said on Sunday morning that the country has reported 15 more fatalities on 25-Jan, taking the toll to 56 and reported cases to 1975 thereby raising alarm across the globe.

25 Jan:

Hong Kong announces health emergency; Canada, Nepal report first cases

-Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has declared a health emergency in the city over coronavirus and announced the extension of school break until 17 Feb. Hong Kong cancelled all official visits to China, as the city reported five confirmed cases as of Saturday.

– Canada has reported its first “presumptive” coronavirus case of a 50-year old man who returned from Wuhan, China on 22 Jan, while a Nepali student returned from China tested positive for the new coronavirus.

– Death toll rose to 41 while confirmed cases touched 1320 globally, according to WHO. Of these, 1297 cases were reported in Greater China and 23 were reported outside China.

-China  bans wild animal trade until the coronavirus outbreak eases.

-Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) increased the preventive measures at the railway stations and train compartments.

-Airports Council International (ACI) World issued guidelines ‘Advisory Bulletin: Transmission of Communicable Diseases’ for airports to adopt necessary measures against the virus.

-Cruise operators including Royal Caribbean and MSC, have suspended cruises to China. 

24 Jan:

China implements further travel restrictions; Starts building temporary hospital

-China has imposed travel restrictions on some more cities such as Chibi, Zhijiang, Huangshi, Xiantao, Enshi, Qianjiang and Xianning, according to the People’s Daily newspaper.

-Chinese authorities have initiated construction on a new temporary 1000-bed hospital in Wuhan’s Caidian district with a plan to complete it in a record time of just six days. With high level of safety and protection in place, the new hospital will treat patients of the deadly virus in isolation.

-Toll has increased to 830 confirmed cases in China with 95 patients remaining in critical condition. 

Restaurant chains Starbucks and McDonald’s have announced shut down their stores in China’s Hubei province.

Airports in Malaysia, Canada, Thailand and Uganda implemented different measures to screen passengers who may be infected

Thailand has suspended flights from Chiang Mai Airport to Wuhan until 4 February.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority has started temperature screening at all checkpoints on 24 January.

23 Jan:

China implements travel bans; Singapore confirms first case

China has suspended travel to and from Wuhan city.  Hours later, authorities have put two more cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, under a travel ban.

-Doctors used a robot to treat the first US coronavirus patient.

-WHO met again and postponed decision on international health emergency declaration of the deadly virus.

Several US companies have announced plans to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus.

-Beijing cancelled Chinese New Year celebrations. 

22 Jan:

WHO hold on declaring international health emergency

-The virus has infected over 500 people and led to the deaths of 17 people.

-Airports across the world step up screening of passengers coming from Wuhan.

-WHO officials met in Geneva to discuss the need for declaring coronavirus as an international health emergency and decided to wait further.

-Central China’s Henan Province imposed a ban on sale of live poultry to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. The virus was first identified at Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, the capital of neighbouring Hubei province. 

21 Jan:

US confirms first coronavirus case

US has confirmed its first coronavirus case. The victim, said to be in his 30s, has been admitted at a hospital in Washington upon his return from China.

-China has increased the number of coronavirus infected people to 300 people.

-The virus reached Australia, which announced its coronavirus case. The victim, living in Brisbane, was tested positive with coronavirus after returning from Wuhan city.

-Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US have already started working towards a vaccine against the new, deadly coronavirus. 

20 Jan:

First case detected in South Korea

-Airports in several countries across the world have begun screening of patients showing symptoms of coronavirus.

-China has announced the third death from the deadly virus and over 100 new cases, raising concerns ahead of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year holiday, which begins on 25 January.

-A total of more than 200 cases have been reported in various cities of China.

-A Chinese person who arrived by plane from Wuhan to South Korea was detected with the virus.

-Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that the virus has to be contained.

-Chinese health experts have confirmed that human-to-human transmission is affirmative.

-One British tourist in Thailand is feared to be infected with coronavirus. 

17 Jan:

China reports second coronavirus death

-China has reported the second fatality, with the virus claiming the life of a 69-year-old man in Wuhan.

-US has initiated screening of passengers arriving from Wuhan at San Francisco, JFK and Los Angeles airports. 

15 Jan:

First confirmed coronavirus case in Japan

Japan has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus in a person who stayed in Wuhan.

13 Jan:

First confirmed coronavirus case in Thailand

Coronavirus has spread beyond China, with Thailand reporting the first case of a Chinese woman, returning from a visit to Wuhan, and diagnosed with flu-like symptoms. 

11 Jan:

First coronavirus death reported

A 61-year-old man, who was admitted to hospital on December 27 with suspected fever, dies from the virus in Wuhan. China revises the number of people infected with the virus down to 41. 

9 Jan:

Coronavirus genome sequence released 

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 2019-nCoV is the agent and made the genome sequence available to the world. The new virus is associated to the SARS-CoV group. 

8 Jan:

First suspected coronavirus cases in Thailand

Four suspected flu-like cases have been detected at Chiang Mai International Airport. 

7 Jan:

Virus identified as coronavirus 2019n-CoV

Chinese authorities have identified the virus, called Coronavirus, which is a family of viruses including the common cold, SARS and MERS. Temporarily, this new virus is named as 2019-nCoV. 

6 Jan:

SARS, MERS and bird flu ruled out

Initial investigations into the outbreak ruled out bird flu, seasonal flu, SARS and MERS. The Chinese authorities have reported that the number of suspected cases touched nearly 60 with seven being in critical condition. Human-to-human transmission has not been confirmed yet by the health officials. 

5 Jan:

WHO advises against travel restrictions

WHO has issued a statement that advised against applying any restrictions of travel or trade with China based on the information available. 

3 Jan:

Passengers screened at Wuhan Airport

Passengers arriving from Wuhan airport to Changi airport were put through temperature screening following the flu-like outbreak. 

1 Jan:

Wuhan market identified as outbreak hub

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a seafood market in Wuhan as the suspected hub of the outbreak and the market remained closed since then. 

31 Dec:

First cases detected

China has alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) of several flu-like cases in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province with 11 million population. Patients have been quarantined and health authorities commenced work on tracing the source of the flu. 

This story is developing. Please check in for updates.


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