International Covid-19 update: EU to put up billions to help countries, Bangladeshis 'denied care'

PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images
PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images

The EU is to put up 15 billion euros to help poor countries around the world fight the coronavirus epidemic, AFP has reported. 

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said the money would help countries with weak healthcare systems tackle the impact of Covid-19 and also aid with long-term economic recovery.

Saudi expects cases to increase to 200 000

Saudi Arabia's health minister has warned of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200 000 within weeks, AFP reported. 

The warning comes a day after the kingdom extended the duration of daily curfews in multiple cities, including the capital Riyadh, to 24 hours in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly virus.

"Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10 000 to a maximum of 200 000," the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah.

Saudi Arabia has so far reported a total of 2 795 infections and 41 deaths from the disease by Tuesday.

Poor Bangladeshis being turned away from hospitals

Bangladesh has reported its highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases on Tuesday, and at least 41 new infections were confirmed, taking the total to more than 160, while five more people died, Al Jazeera reports. 

This comes as many hospitals are turning away patients with Covid-19 symptoms.

Doctors and other healthcare workers say they do not have adequate personal protective equipment - and the health system cannot cope with the outbreak.

Covid-19 deaths increase in Sweden 

Sweden on Tuesday reported another 114 coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 591 in a country that has adopted a softer approach to containing the outbreak than some of its European neighbours.

The country has recorded a total of 7 693 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country of around 10 million people.

It reported 114 new deaths on Tuesday, an uptick from preceding daily tolls, but cautioned that some of the fatalities occurred in previous days.

The country has faced criticism that it was too soft in dealing with a potential outbreak, but its government has rejected this. 

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