Global cases top 600,000; Spain deaths surge

Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic jumped to 5,690 on Saturday, with 832 fatalities in the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry.

The announcement came as the number of people infected with the virus in the United States hit more than 104,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities surpassing 1,700.

Italy, meanwhile, announced 919 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities any country has reported in the space of 24 hours since the outbreak began late last year. The total number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Italy now stands at 9,134.

Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 600,000, of which more than 131,000 people have recovered. More than 27,000 have died.

Saturday, March 28
10:46 GMT – Spain reports 832 deaths in 24 hours:
The Spanish health ministry announced another massive jump in the country’s coronavirus fatalities, saying the death toll had risen to 5,690 from 4,858 the day before.

The number of infections stood at 72,248, up from 64,059.

10:37 GMT – S Africa police fire rubber bullets: Report
South African police fired rubber bullets towards hundreds of shoppers queueing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg as people were not respecting social distancing measures, an AFP photographer said.

Between 200 and 300 people gathered outside a popular grocery store in Yeoville, in Johannesburg’s central business district on day two of a nationwide lockdown.

10:10 GMT – Iran’s death toll rises to 2,517

The number of coronavirus fatalities in Iran surged to 2,517 as health officials announced 139 new deaths over the past 24 hours.

Kianoush Jahanpour, health ministry spokesperson, said that 3,076 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, bringing the total to 35,408. He added that more than 3,200 patients were in critical condition.

However, there are also 546 people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 11,679, according to Jahanpour.

09:45 GMT – Philippines and Malaysia report new cases

The Philippine health ministry recorded 14 new coronavirus deaths and 272 additional cases, marking the country’s single largest daily increase in fatalities and infections.

The latest count brought total infections in the Philippines to 1,075 and deaths to 68.

Meanwhile Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s worst hit country to date, reported 159 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 2,320, including 27 deaths.

09:40 GMT – Ireland may ease coronavirus restrictions on April 12
Health Minister Simon Harris said Ireland hopes to remove some of its highly restrictive measures, if it can slow down the rate of admission to intensive care units.

“Will we be in a position on April 12 where life in Ireland can return to normal? Absolutely not. Let’s be honest with each other, these are measures that we are going to need continue to work at,” Harris told national broadcaster RTE.

“Do we hope to be in a position in two weeks’ time to say that we’ve made progress and some of the measures can be tweaked, removed, changed? Absolutely.”

Ireland is in full lockdown with non-essential trips banned for two weeks. People are allowed out for brief exercise, as well as for farming purposes and food production. All public gatherings outside a family household or single unit have also now been prohibited.

09:20 GMT – Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 48,582
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany rose by 6,294 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 55, the Robert Koch Institute reported.

In total, Germany has reported 48,582 infections and 325 deaths.

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