Coronavirus: Latest from around the world, March 28, 2020

COVID-19 has now been detected in more than 566,000 people, killing at least 25,400 of them. 

Here's the latest from overnight.



Italy has reportedly set a new record for deaths in one day - 919 - bringing its total death toll to more than 9000.


Spain's coronavirus death toll rose overnight by 769 cases to 4858, the health ministry says, a new record in the number of fatalities recorded in 24 hours.

The total number of those infected rose to 64,059 from 56,188 on Thursday.


The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 42,288 and 253 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases show.

Cases rose by 5780 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 55, the tally showed.

United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating at his Downing Street residence but says he will still lead the government's response to the accelerating outbreak.

Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms on Thursday, a day after he answered at the Prime Minister's weekly question-and-answer session in parliament's House of Commons chamber, and received the positive test result around midnight.

"I've taken a test. That has come out positive," Johnson said on Friday in a video statement broadcast on Twitter.

"I've developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That's to say - a temperature and a persistent cough.

"So I am working from home. I'm self-isolating," Johnson said. "Be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus."

British health minister Matt Hancock said later on Friday morning that he has also tested positive and is self-isolating at home with mild symptoms.

The UK will use firefighters to help deliver food, retrieve dead bodies and drive ambulances as it braces for the looming peak of the coronavirus outbreak that has already claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people across the world.

Britain initially took a strikingly modest approach to the worst health crisis since the 1918 influenza epidemic but then changed tack to impose stringent controls after projections showed a quarter of a million British people could die.

So far, 578 people in the United Kingdom have died after testing positive for coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases has risen to 11,658. The UK toll is the seventh worst in the world, after Italy, Spain, China, Iran, France and the United States, according to a Reuters tally.

"We face a public health crisis unparalleled in our lifetimes. The coronavirus outbreak is now a humanitarian emergency and firefighters rightly want help their communities," said Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary.

"Many fear the loss of life in this outbreak could be overwhelming and firefighters, who often handle terrible situations and incidents, are ready to step in to assist with body retrieval."

As well as collecting those who die should there be mass casualties, firefighters can drive ambulances, and take food and medicine to the vulnerable under the agreement.


Russia is closing restaurants nationwide for a nine-day period starting on Saturday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as the reported number of cases in the country surpassed 1000.

Restaurants will still be able to provide delivery services during that time, according to the decree by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, published on his website on Friday.

The reported coronavirus cases, including at least three deaths, have been predominantly in Moscow, the country's capital and largest city. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has warned that the actual number of cases is probably "significantly more."


Cases in South and Central America surpassed 10,000 as of Thursday, with major outbreaks in Brazil, Chile and Ecuador, which are each reporting over a thousand cases.

United States

The US now has more than 93,000 cases, more than any other country in the world. At least 1384 have died, up 89 from the day before. 

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to a record 3.28 million last week, in the clearest evidence yet of the coronavirus' devastating impact on the economy.

Strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic have brought the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs that likely ended the longest employment boom in US history.


South Korea

Authorities in South Korea have pleaded with the public to stay indoors and avoid large gatherings as new coronavirus cases hovered close to 100 a day, while tighter border checks on people arriving from the US took effect.

South Korea reported 91 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its tally to 9332, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. It has reported similar daily numbers for the past two weeks, down from a high of more than 900 in late February.

But a recent surge in imported cases has prompted authorities to toughen entry rules for travellers from Europe and the United States.

People arriving from the United States have to spend two weeks in quarantine and those showing symptoms like fever will be tested. Tighter rules, including a mandatory test and quarantine took effect on Thursday for visitors from Europe on long-term visas.


Indonesia has confirmed 153 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily rise so far and taking the Southeast Asian country's total to 1046, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto says.

The number of new deaths due to coronavirus rose by nine, bringing the total number of deaths to 87, he said, adding a total of 46 people had recovered from the virus.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has reported 65 new coronavirus infections, its biggest daily rise so far, taking the total number of cases in the Chinese-ruled city to 518, health officials say.

Of the latest cases reported on Thursday, 41 had recently returned from travelling abroad.


A deeply conservative, tribal region of Pakistan is spreading an animated, Pashto-language video to warn its population about the coronavirus - and taking a shot at its gun culture in the process.

In the video set in a field amid lightning, protagonist Pabo 'Badmash', or Pabo the Thug, is setting out to defeat the virus. Villagers offer him a wooden bat, a pistol, a sword and even a rocket launcher.

But Pabo astounds them by refusing, saying he will defeat the enemy with his "bare hands".

He then proceeds to wash his hands with soap - and even checks to ensure he has lathered them for 20 seconds, as recommended.

"The soap is my law," says Pabo, playing on the saying "the gun is my law," a common refrain among many Pashtun tribes for whom gun ownership is deeply engrained.

Pakistan has more than 1200 confirmed infections, the highest number in South Asia. Nine people have died.

Middle East and Africa


Israel will deploy its army to assist police on street patrols to enforce a lockdown against the coronavirus epidemic, the military says.

About 500 troops will join police squadrons from Sunday to help "in patrolling, isolating and securing certain areas, blocking routes and additional similar assignments", the military said in a statement.

Israel has reported more than 3000 infections and 10 deaths from the illness.

South Africa

Cases of coronavirus in South Africa have passed 1000, the health ministry says, while also reporting its first two deaths on the first day of a three-week, nationwide lockdown.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, which saw Africa's most industrialised economy largely shudder to a halt overnight, earlier this week.

"This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19," the health ministry said in a statement, adding cases had risen to more than 1000, from 927 on Thursday.

Both deaths had occurred in the southernmost province of Western Cape, with one in a public hospital and the other in a private hospital, the statement read.

Reuters / Newshub.