Covid-19 has infected hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
Here are the latest updates:
Iran has reported another 127 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing its toll to 1,812 amid 23,049 confirmed cases.
Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the Middle East, and has faced criticism for not imposing stricter quarantine measures early on. It is also suffering under severe American sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said criminals are increasingly posing as WHO officials in an effort to swipe information or money from people during the coronavirus crisis.
Spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said that they are using “multiple impersonation approaches” such as fraudulent phone calls and phishing on email and through social media.
The UN health agency said it is working to confirm and debunk such attempts and alert local authorities. It has set up a website to help people prevent fraud during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Always take time to think about a request for your personal information, and whether the request is appropriate,” the WHO said.
China’s foreign ministry said the US is “completely wasting the precious time” Beijing had won in attacking the global coronavirus outbreak that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing that the US has attempted to “discredit others and look for a scapegoat to shift its responsibilities”.
He added that the US should “stop politicising the epidemic, stop stigmatising and defaming China and other countries”.
China’s health ministry said Wuhan has now gone five consecutive days without a new infection, showing the effectiveness of draconian travel restrictions that are slowly being relaxed around the country.
At the same time, China is stepping up measures to prevent the virus from being brought back from overseas, requiring international flights into Beijing to first stop at airports outside the capital for inspection.
Albania has reported three more deaths related to the coronavirus. The country did not report a single case until two weeks ago, and had said that it expected a surge in cases this week.
Albania is in a lockdown, with all borders closed, and schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms, and public and private transport shut. All shops except for groceries and pharmacies are also closed.
Polish police said they have carried out inspections of nearly 80,000 people subjected to forced quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic and found 318 cases of people violating the quarantine.
The Polish government has enacted increasingly firm measures in order to slow the spread of Covid-19. Last week the government increased penalties for quarantine non-compliance. The authorities also extended an initial two-week closure of all schools in the country for an additional two weeks, lasting through Easter.
Additionally, they introduced a phone app to track those in home quarantine.
So far, Poland, with a population of 38 million people, has 649 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and seven deaths.
– UNITED STATES
The US Secret Service said an employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The agency said in a statement that it will continue to monitor the employee’s condition. The employee is in quarantine.
The agency said it determined after an assessment that the employee has had no contact with other employees or anyone the agency is responsible for protecting for nearly three weeks.
The Secret Service provides security protection for president Donald Trump and his family, among other high-ranking US officials.
– SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka’s government has banned non-essential travel across the Indian Ocean island nation, in the latest measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The government is allowing the transport of rice and other essential items.
Also, a statement from the president’s office said the government has banned the transporting of tourists. Tourism is a major income source for the country.
– NEW ZEALAND
Office workers have been hauling computers and plants to their cars and shoppers are stripping shelves of coffee, flour and toilet paper before New Zealand starts a four-week lockdown.
“I know it will feel daunting,” said prime minister Jacinda Ardern, but she said the move was meant to save lives.
People must stay home and all non-essential businesses and activities cease when the lockdown begins on Wednesday night.
The decision came as health officials announced another 36 confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 102. Most were tied to travel overseas, but crucially, two of the cases could not be traced and officials believe they are evidence of a local outbreak.
New Zealand, which has a population of five million, already has closed its borders to all but citizens and residents.
New Zealand also considers itself a gateway to South Pacific island nations that would be devastated if the virus took hold there, given their isolation and poor health systems. Only a handful of virus cases have been identified so far in the South Pacific, including two in Fiji and one in Papua New Guinea.
Authorities in southern Pakistan have begun a two-week complete lockdown, as the number of positive coronavirus tests jumped to 799 across the country.
Murad Ali Shah, the chief minister in the southern Sindh province, has imposed a ban on the movement of people, saying the measure was aimed at saving lives.
However, prime minister Imran Khan has avoided a nationwide lockdown, but he urged people to stay at home voluntarily.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?