As of 8 am, April 17, 2020:
There are now 2,138,763 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. The United States has the highest number of cases, with 671,308 infections, followed by Spain (184,945) and Italy (168,941). There have been 142,735 deaths worldwide. The US, again, is on top of the list 34,309 deaths, followed by Italy, with 22,170 deaths, and Spain, with 19,314 deaths.
540,684 people worldwide have recovered from Covid-19.
In Singapore, a new daily high of 728 new cases was reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on April 16. Of these 654 were linked to workers dormitories with five new clusters identified.
The country’s total now stands at 4,427. There are 31 additional people who have recovered from Covid-19, forming a total of 683.
Among the new cases, 654 are linked to foreign workers’ dormitories, making up 60 percent of all new confirmed cases. In all, there are 2,689 such cases.
Five new infection clusters were identified by MOH. Among these are three factory converted dormitories: SJ Dormitory in Woodlands; 17 Sungei Kadut Street 4; and Grandwork Building in Sungei Kadut, and two purpose-built dormitories, Westlite Mandai, and The Leo dormitory in Kaki Bukit.
Of the 43 purpose-built dormitories throughout Singapore, 19 contain active infection clusters. The largest cluster is S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, which now has 979 cases, or about 20 percent of all confirmed coronavirus cases.
Japan broadens state of emergency
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expanded the state of emergency in Japan from Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures to the whole country in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. Japan now has 8,582 confirmed cases and 136 deaths. The expanded state of emergency means that the government will provide 100,000 yen (S$1,318) in cash assistance to all its citizens. The Japanese are being asked to desist from travel during Golden Week, a period from late April to early May wherein many traditionally visit their home provinces.
UK lockdown extended by 3 weeks
The lockdown in the United Kingdom has been extended by another three weeks, even as the country appears to be reaching the peak of its infections. There are now 103,093 confirmed coronavirus infections, with 13,729 deaths. According to foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is in charge of the government while Prime Minister Boris Johnson recovers from Covid-19, “The government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks. The worst thing we can do right now is to ease up.”
New Zealand to lift lockdown
While other nations are extending their lockdowns, New Zealand is set to lift its nearly-month long lockdown, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern scheduled to announce on Monday (Apr 20) that the country’s alert level will be moved one level down. This means that many of the country’s workers will be back to work, provided safety measures are in place, and that schools will be reopening. New Zealand has 1,084 confirmed coronavirus cases and 9 deaths, but it now has more recoveries than active cases. PM Ardern’s swift action to implement tight restrictions early in the outbreak, including closing the country to all visitors, has won praise around the world as the country’s infection rate has been kept very low. —/TISG
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