The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States hit more than 104,000 early on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities surpassing 1,700, pushing the global death toll up to 27,360.
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. The number of cases also continues to rise, hitting more than 86,000.
Further dashing hopes that Europe is containing the pandemic, Spain recorded 769 new deaths in a day, bringing the total number to 4,858. As of early Saturday, the death toll has surpassed 5,000.
In China, the number of cases coming from abroad continues to rise, but there were no new cases reported domestically.
Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 600,000, of which more than 131,000 people have recovered.
Saturday, March 28
10:10 GMT – Iran’s death toll rises to 2,517
Number of fatalities in Iran surges to 2,517 as health officials announced 139 new deaths over the last 24 hours.
Health Ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said that 3,076 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, bringing the total to 35,408. He added that over 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.
09:10 GMT – Australia tightens social distancing rules
Australia imposed stricter rules on social distancing as the number of confirmed cases jumped by 469 to 3,635, with a death toll of 14.
The new measures include implementing fines, closing beaches and threatening stricter measures if people defy pleas to stay at home.
As of midnight on Saturday, all returning citizens from abroad will be put into compulsory quarantine in hotels for two weeks at the government’s expense. Military personnel will help ensure travellers comply with the new rules.
08:50 GMT – Ghana announces lockdown in two key regions
In its latest effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, Ghana will put under lockdown starting on Monday people living in the country’s two main regions: Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area, including contiguous districts for a period of two weeks, said President Nana Akufo-Ado.
Sweeping measures were announced as the country reported 137 confirmed cases, including four deaths.
Ghana has already closed schools, suspended public events and banned large gatherings.