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Morning brief: Covid-19 update for April 21, 2020

Singapore sees daily high of 1,426 new cases—1369 live in foreign worker dormitories, 3 new clusters identified.

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As of 9 am, April 21, 2020:

World count

There are now 2,468,733 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 worldwide. The United States accounts has the highest number of cases, with 793,919 infections, followed by Spain (200,210) and Italy (181,228). 

There have been 169,794 deaths worldwide, and 645,099 people worldwide have recovered from Covid-19.

Over 20,000 deaths in France

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in France has surpassed 20,000, according to  the director of the country’s health agency, Jerome Salomon. He added that the pandemic is responsible for more deaths than any other seasonal epidemic, surpassing the record 19,000 people killed in a heatwave in 2003. France has a total of 114,657 confirmed cases. Among the 177 countries with recorded infections, only the United States, Italy and Spain have had over 20,000 deaths.

No new Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong since early March

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On Monday, for the first time in almost two months, Hong Kong had no new Covid-19 infections. However, it considers the crisis to still be “severe.” A spokesperson for the government said, “The most important component in the government’s anti-epidemic work right now is to stop the import of the virus, as well as its spread in the community.” Hong Kong has had 1,025 infections and four deaths.

Singapore sees daily high of 1,426 new cases—1369 live in foreign worker dormitories, 3 new clusters identified.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on April 20 that there are 1,426 new Covid-19 cases in the country, the highest daily jump so far. Among them, 1369 are residents of foreign worker dormitories. The high number is due to the fact that extensive testing is ongoing.

“These are not new infections as the workers are staying in their rooms and many have not reported sick. But when the teams go in to test them, many turn out to be positive,” MOH said.

None of the infected workers are critically ill. Most only have mild symptoms of the disease, and are warded in general hospitals or community isolation facilities.

Three new infection clusters have also been identified: Jurong Apartments dormitory, Woodlands Lodge II dormitory, and 8 Sungei Kadut Loop where construction firm King Wan Construction is located.

Singapore now has a total of 8,014 confirmed cases, with an additional 33 discharged from hospital. A total of 801 individuals have recovered from the coronavirus.

Over 200 caught for breaching of social distancing rules

According to Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister, over 200 individuals were apprehended by officers for non-compliance with social distancing rules on April 20. A total of 80 wore no masks when outside their homes.

In a Facebook post he wrote, ”If these are acts of defiance and irresponsibility, they clearly undermine the efforts that everyone else has been making. What will it take to get them to understand that they are putting everyone’s safety at stake.”

German Chancellor calls for transparency from China

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, called for China to be transparent about the coronavirus outbreak, and asked for additional information about the beginnings of the pandemic in Wuhan. She told the press, “I believe the more transparent China is about the origin story of the virus, the better it is for everyone in the world in order to learn from it.”

WHO insists it sounded alarm from start of outbreak

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the secretary-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said that it has been open about the Covid-19 outbreak from the beginning and has not hidden anything from other countries. WHO has been criticised, especially by the United States, as having downplayed the gravity of the spread of the disease. “We have been warning from day one that this is a devil that everyone should fight,” the WHO chief said. —/TISG

Read also: New York passes virus ‘high point’ as Trump, governors feud

New York passes virus ‘high point’ as Trump, governors feud

 

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