United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has launched an appeal for $2bn in international humanitarian aid to help poorer countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic, as the death toll in Italy and Spain continued to climb.
As the UN launched the initiative, more deaths were reported in Europe – now the epicentre of the pandemic – with Spain recording more than 700 fatalities in 24 hours. It is now the second-worst affected country in the world after Italy.
In the United States, meanwhile, a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses, and the healthcare system appeared to have stalled by late Wednesday.
More than 467,500 people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 113,800 have recovered, while about 21,000 people have died.
Here are the latest updates:
Thursday, March 25
01:20 GMT – South Korea cases rise by 104, five more deaths
South Korea’s just given its latest update. The country confirmed 104 new cases, bringing the total to 9,241, with five more deaths.
Some 414 people were discharged from hospital after making a full recovery. In all, 4,144 people in South Korea have been cured of the virus.
00:10 GMT – China cases climb again; all from overseas
Mainland China has reported a further increase in coronavirus cases – all of them in people returning to the country from overseas.
The National Health Commission reported 67 new cases as of the end of Wednesday, compared with 47 a day earlier.
The number of deaths rose by six to 3,287.
00:00 GMT – Trump administration cut CDC China staff
Reuters news agency is reporting that the administration of US President Donald Trump cut the staff of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working in China by two-thirds in the two years before the coronavirus emerged.
Most of the reductions were at the Beijing office. The CDC’s headcount in China has dropped from about 47 when Trump took office in January 2017 to about 14 now, Reuters said.
21:59 GMT (Wednesday) – $2 trillion virus rescue bill hits delay in Senate
The $2 trillion economic rescue package to provide aid to American businesses, workers and healthcare systems strained by the coronavirus outbreak has run into last-minute delays in the Senate.
The measure is the largest economic relief bill in US history. More on that story here.
Read all the updates from yesterday (March 24) here.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies