Italy Reports 368 New Deaths In 24 Hours Time
- Italy: 368 new coronavirus deaths were recorded in the past 24-hours.
- China: As cases drop, China sends 150 pulmonary respirators and 5 million face masks to Italy
- Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega calls for a large march despite WHO suggestions against gatherings.
- US: Bars and restaurants have been ordered to close in Ohio, Illinois, and Washington D.C.
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New Deaths In Italy Spike By 368
According to Italian officials, 368 new coronavirus deaths were recorded in the past 24-hours, making it the biggest one day increase in Italy. Health officials say more than 3,590 new cases were reported, bringing the country’s total to 24,747 confirmed cases.
The surge of deaths comes despite extensive government measures to stop the rapidly spreading virus, including internal travel restrictions, bans on all public gatherings and sports, and closures of all retailers that do not sell essential items. At least 1,809 people have died from the virus in Italy, making it the largest outbreak outside of China.
US Bars And Restaurant Ordered To Close
In the US, there are more than 3,000 cases in every state except West Virginia, 59 deaths have been reported, and 26 million students are out of school.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced he will order all bars and restaurants in the state to close beginning at 9 pm today as the country grapples with the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois governor JB Pritzker has also ordered all restaurants and bars to close statewide. Drive-thrus and deliveries will remain open.
The announcement came shortly after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in the nation’s capital. As of today, establishments will not be allowed to provide bar seating or serve standing customers, and would not be allowed to serve more than 6 customers at a single table. No more than 250 people will be permitted to gather in a single space and all nightclubs have been ordered to cease operations immediately. The responses also come amid a lack of testing carried out across the country.
New York Shuts Down Schools
New York City is now the latest school district to close public schools, sending over 1.1 million children home in hopes of stopping the spread of coronavirus. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools will close this Monday and remain shut until at least April 20th. He added that it is possible the city may have to go out for the rest of the school year.
Remote learning for the district will start Mar. 23rd, with teachers undergoing “battlefield training.” The mayor added that over the next five days, schools would be open for “grab-and-go meals” for students, but that would only last this week.
Additional Aid From China
Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio says that China is currently sending 150 pulmonary respirators and will send more in the coming weeks to help treat seriously ill patients.
The minister also said that China will be shipping 5 million masks for medical staff. A day earlier, the top health official in the hard-hit region of Lombardy complained publicly about the quality of the masks that Italy’s central government had shipped. Lombardy is the hardest-hit region with 13,272 infections and 1,218 deaths alone.
Nicaragua Holds March To Confront Pandemic
Contrary to what the World Health Organization has suggested and as countries around the world are calling off mass events, Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega called for a large march through the capital to show unity among confronting the pandemic. Coined “Love in the time of COVID-19,” the large march took place on Saturday, March 14th. Thousands walked through the streets on foot, waving national flags and banners. Hospital and clinic workers also took part, holding signs with recommended hygienic measures.
According to the country’s Health Ministry, no confirmed cases of the coronavirus had been reported in Nicaragua as of Friday. Former health minister Mario Sánchez accused the government of “criminal irresponsibility” for holding the event.
Germany To Close Borders
Starting at 8:00 am Monday, Germany will partially close its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Denmark as it steps up efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer says people who commute across the border to work will still be able to cross as well as goods.
Seehofer added that people “without a valid reason to travel will no longer be allowed to enter and leave” the country. German citizens in the neighboring countries will still be allowed back in. Borders with the Netherlands and Belgium will not be affected. Germany has reported 4,000 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.