coronavirus check airport
Photo: MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd

The world is now in a battle against COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 200 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the contagious illness.

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has exceeded 600,000, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

As of 05:00 Eastern Time (0900 GMT), there have been 601,478 confirmed cases globally, with 27,862 deaths, while more than 130,000 people have recovered from the disease, an interactive map maintained by the CSSE showed.

The United States has the most COVID-19 cases, exceeding 104,000, while Italy has reported over 9,100 deaths, the highest among all nations and regions, according to the update.

WASHINGTON

U.S. medical devices company Abbott Laboratories said late Friday it has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the fastest available point-of-care test for COVID-19.

The test could deliver positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes, the company said in a statement, adding that it expects to deliver 50,000 tests per day, beginning next week.

LILONGWE

Malawi is expected to suspend all international flights from April 1 in efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 though the country has not reported a single confirmed case.

The Department of Civil Aviation Aeronautical Information Services announced this in a statement Friday in line with the declaration of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

SINGAPORE

It would be “a significant challenge” to hold the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) in early June in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post Saturday.

The annual SLD was held in Singapore in late May or early June by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The think tank has announced earlier that it would call off this year’s SLD scheduled for June 5-7.

Looking at the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with epicenters now in Europe, Britain and the United States, and travel restrictions imposed by many countries, it would be a significant challenge to hold SLD as scheduled in early June, Ng said.

CANBERRA

With the number of cases nationwide continuing to grow by approximately 20 percent every day, governments across the country are introducing stricter measures to slow the spread.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that from Sunday the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will begin assisting state and territory governments in undertaking quarantine compliance checks of those who are required to be in mandatory isolation after returning from overseas.

South Australia Police on Friday night announced a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

Source: XInhua – BEIJING

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