Coronavirus Updates from March 31st, 2020

Coronavirus Updates from March 31st, 2020

Poutine telecommuting

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opted for “telework” because of the spread of the new coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on Wednesday. A meeting between Mr. Putin and his Russian government will take place unusually by video conference.

Worst global crisis since 1945

The Covid-19 pandemic is the worst global crisis since the Second World War, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday, fearing to see more conflict in the world.

Risk of food shortage

There is a risk of a “food shortage” due to the disruption of Covid-19 in international trade and supply chains, the presidents of two UN and WTO agencies warned.

They are concerned in particular about the “slowing down of the circulation of workers in the agricultural and food industry” which block many western agriculture, and “delays at the borders for the containers” which involve a “mess of perishable products”.

Trump waits for 2 very painful weeks

US President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that the United States will face two “very very painful” weeks.

The White House anticipates between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the country if current restrictions are respected, compared to 1.5 to 2.2 million without any measures.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, who previously called the Covid-19 “a little flu,” admitted on Tuesday that the epidemic was “the biggest challenge” for his generation.

Hajj preparations suspended

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday called on Muslims in all countries to suspend preparations for the hajj, the great pilgrimage, for the time being, amid uncertainties linked to the pandemic.

Refusal to dock

The commander of an American aircraft carrier facing rampant contamination met with refusal from the Pentagon on Tuesday when he asked for permission to evacuate his crew in a letter with dramatic accents.

The president of the Holland America cruise line, which operates two ships carrying four dead and dozens of patients who appear to be infected, warned on Tuesday that more people could die if the boats were not allowed to dock in Florida.

Prolonged confinement in Tunisia

The confinement applied since March 22 in Tunisia has been extended by 15 days, the presidency announced Tuesday evening, despite demonstrations against this measure which plunges the poverty of many precarious workers.

In the Netherlands, where there is no confinement, authorities extended the closure measures imposed on schools, restaurants and bars on Tuesday until April 28.

Over 43,000 dead

More than 865,970 cases of infection have been diagnosed in 186 countries and territories since the virus appeared in December in China, according to an AFP count from official sources on Wednesday around 12:00 GMT.

At least 43,082 deaths have been recorded.

Italy has 12,428 dead, Spain 9,053, the United States 4,081 and France 3,523, these four countries exceeding the official death toll reported for mainland China (3,312). Iran is approaching with 3,036 deaths.

Death of a 13-year-old boy in Britain

A 13-year-old British boy died on Monday after testing positive for the new coronavirus, the hospital where he died and his family said on Tuesday.

First death in Senegal

Senegal recorded its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, Pape Diouf, 68, a former popular director of the French football club Olympique de Maseille.

Burundi announced Tuesday its first two cases of Covid-19.