Patients with coronavirus disease lie in beds at the ICU of Sasan Hospital, in Tehran, Iran. WANA/Reuters
Confirmed coronavirus infections around the world approached one million on Thursday as the pandemic spread at a "near-exponential" rate, with a six-week-old baby becoming one of the youngest known victims.
The World Health Organization (WHO) voiced deep concern on Wednesday about the rapid escalation and global spread of the coronavirus. "In the next few days, we will reach 1 million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths worldwide," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
More than 935,000 people have been infected across the world and over 46,900 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Confirmed cases in Germany have risen to 73,522, while 872 people have died of the disease. Cases rose by 6,156, compared with the previous day and the death toll climbed by 140.
Italy will extend lockdown restrictions to April 13, as data from this week suggests a slowdown of growth in total cases, though its national health institute says official death toll could be underestimated.
Cases in Spain topped 100,000 on Wednesday, and two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system.
France became the fourth country to pass the 4,000 coronavirus deaths threshold.
Britain said it would ramp up the number of tests amid widespread criticism that it was doing far too few.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking precautions to protect himself, as Moscow launched a smartphone app designed to track people who have been ordered to stay home.
Russia sent the United States medical equipment on Wednesday to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, a public relations coup for Putin.
US President Donald Trump said he was considering a plan to halt domestic flights to coronavirus hot spots inside the United States.
The Pentagon is looking to provide up to 100,000 body bags for use by civilian authorities.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants to virus-proof the November election by including funding to boost voting by mail in the next pandemic response plan, as confirmed cases in the country climbed to 186,101 and while deaths rose to 3,603.
The governor of New York cracked down even harder on public gatherings, calling residents who disregarded stay-at-home rules "selfish" as California's governor warned his state will run out of hospital beds by next month.Agencies
A total of 75,538 deaths have been recorded, including 53,928 in Europe, the continent worst hit by the virus. The official tallies probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of cases. Many countries are testing only the most serious cases.
Officials around the world worried that halting quarantine and social-distancing measures could easily undo the hard-earned progress that those steps have achieved in slowing the spread.
More than 242,000 people have been killed and 3.4 million infected worldwide by the virus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown and pushed the global economy towards its worst downturn since the Great Depression.
Expatriates living in the UAE were elated as their family members, colleagues, friends stuck in other countries are now able to return as the UAE has lifted restriction on incoming flights from Monday onwards.
The Committee explained that the new guidelines take into account the exceptional situations of some categories of people including people of determination, children, and those with chronic respiratory conditions.
The UAE will today (Monday) start receiving residents with valid residence visas, who were stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic from various countries.