Covid-19 wrap: Europe deaths top 110 000, UK hospital turns away patients and Singapore cases surge

2020-04-22 14:14

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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Coronavirus death toll tops 110 000 in Europe - AFP tally

Paris – The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Europe has passed 110 000, according to figures compiled by AFP from official sources by 09:20 (GMT) on Wednesday.

With 110 192 people dead from 1 246 840 cases registered, Europe is the hardest hit continent by the pandemic that has killed 177 368 people around the world.

Italy has recorded 24 648 deaths, Spain 21 717, France 20 796 and Britain 17 337.

 - AFP

China's northeast tightens restrictions as virus resurges

Beijing – New clusters of coronavirus infections in northeastern China near the Russian border forced officials on Wednesday to tighten restrictions on movement as they seek to prevent a second outbreak of the contagion.

China has largely curbed the spread of the deadly virus, but there are growing fears of a second wave of cases and Heilongjiang province has emerged as a new front in the battle.

The region has seen an influx of imported cases, mostly among Chinese citizens returning home, but domestic infections have also been mounting, prompting the sacking or punishment of several officials.

In the provincial capital Harbin, where two new coronavirus clusters have been linked to local hospitals, people and vehicles from outside the city are banned from entering residential zones, officials said on Wednesday.

 - AFP

New UK virus hospital turned away patients over staff shortage - report

London – London's temporary hospital set up to deal with coronavirus had to turn 30 patients away due to "staffing issues", The Guardian reported on Wednesday, but the government insisted the claims were "misleading".

A planned transfer of seriously-ill patients to the 4 000-bed Nightingale Hospital in east London was "cancelled due to staffing issues", according to NHS documents seen by the newspaper.

Staff at the facility, which has treated 41 patients since opening earlier this month, told the paper that they couldn't get enough critical care nurses based in other hospitals to work there. But the government called the claims "misleading", saying the hospital was only intended as an emergency overflow if other facilities in the capital became overwhelmed.

"It is misleading to suggest coronavirus patients are being turned away from NHS Nightingale due to a shortage of staff," said the health department. "NHS Nightingale has been set up to treat patients if the NHS was overwhelmed but thanks to the great work of selfless NHS staff, there is spare capacity in existing London hospitals to treat all coronavirus patients there instead."

 - AFP

Iran reports 94 virus deaths but says cases going down

Tehran – Iran on Wednesday announced 94 new deaths from the novel coronavirus but said the cases of people infected in the country was on the way down.

Health ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said the fatalities detected in the past 24 hours took Iran's overall death toll to 5 391. The number of people infected with the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease rose by 1 194, bringing the total to 85 996.

"The gradual downward trend in cases of infections has been maintained," Jahanpour told a televised news conference.

President Hassan Rouhani however called on people to remain vigilant. "If we arrogantly think that the job is done and we have won, then this would be the biggest problem that could affect us," he said during a weekly meeting of his cabinet.

 - AFP

Singapore virus cases surge

Singapore reported 1 016 new cases which took its total to 10 141, with most new infections linked to dormitories housing foreign workers.

The city-state won praise for initially keeping its outbreak in check but has been hit by a second wave of infections. The outbreak's epicentre are the dorms that house tens of thousands of migrants.

The government on Tuesday announced an extension of a partial lockdown to fight the spread of the virus to 1 June, with measures including school and workplace closures.

 - AFP

Queues for food as coronavirus hits jobless Thai people

Long lines of unemployed people relying on free food across Bangkok, scrambles for cash handouts and fishing in fetid canals – Thais are getting increasingly desperate as the pandemic destroys the economy and the government struggles to respond.

Some 27 million informal workers – who lost their jobs in the tourism, entertainment, food and service sectors – have applied for a monthly cash handout from the government, though only half have received approval.

 - AFP

Covid-19 kills 26 healthcare workers, including 19 doctors in Philippines

More than 1 000 Philippine healthcare workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with 26 – including 19 doctors – dying from Covid-19, the government said.

 - AFP

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Read more on:    singapore  |  philippines  |  spain  |  italy  |  uk  |  china  |  iran  |  thailand  |  coronavirus  |  lockdown  |  health

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