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Live COVID-19 updates: Xi calls on int’l community to strengthen confidence, act with unity on COVID-19

BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) — The world is now in a battle against COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 190 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the contagious illness.

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response against COVID-19.

Xi made the remarks in Beijing while attending the G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 via video link.

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MOSCOW — Russia will ban nearly all international flights from midnight Friday and recommend new restrictions, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 840 on Thursday.

Russia will stop all regular and charter flights from domestic airports to and from foreign countries, except flights associated with Russians returning home from abroad as well as flights carried out by the Russian government, according to an order by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin published Thursday.

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SEOUL — South Korea has unveiled 100 trillion won (about 80 billion U.S. dollars) worth of fiscal stimulus package and unprecedented monetary policy steps to help stabilize volatile financial markets and minimize the economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe.

The country’s central bank on Thursday added an “unlimited” liquidity supply to its emergency moves. According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), an open bidding will be held once a week by the end of June to provide liquidity “with no limit” to financial institutions.

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NEW DELHI — India’s federal finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a relief package of 2.26 billion U.S. dollars for the poor through cash transfer and food subsidy amid lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We have come with a package for migrant workers, urban and rural poor, women and disadvantaged, which is expected to reach a total of 1.7 lakh crore rupees (2.26 billion U.S. dollars),” during a press conference.

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WUHAN — Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus epidemic in central China’s Hubei Province, will suspend group Tomb-sweeping Day activities to prevent mass gatherings and reduce cross-infection of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

All funeral homes, cemeteries and columbaria across the city will not allow gathering activities such as collective public offerings, vigil and tomb-sweeping activities earlier than April 30, according to a circular issued by the city’s COVID-19 control headquarters Thursday.

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KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and his wife Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah will undergo a 14-day quarantine after several palace employees were infected with COVID-19, the national palace said Thursday.

Abdullah and Azizah had themselves tested negative for the virus, Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement.

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DAKAR — Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action confirmed on Thursday the country’s total COVID-19 cases have surpassed 100, with six new confirmed cases reported, bringing the total number to 105.

During the daily press conference on COVID-19, Dr. Alyose Waly Diouf, spokesperson of the health ministry said among 130 tests done by Institute Pasteur in Dakar, 6 came back positive, including 5 imported cases and one close contact of earlier confirmed patients.

Among the 105 confirmed cases, 51 are imported ones.

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JAKARTA — The death toll of the COVID-19 in Indonesia climbed to 78 by noon local time on Thursday, according to the Indonesian government.

At a press conference, the government’s spokesperson for the all coronavirus-related matters Achmad Yurianto said that 893 cases had been confirmed in the archipelagic country and 35 patients had recovered from the disease.

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ROME — The number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily in Italy is dropping steadily while the daily death toll is still fluctuating.

Based on the mixed picture, local experts forecast a trend of slower growth of COVID-19 infections in the country in the coming weeks.

A total of 3,491 new cases were reported on Wednesday, representing a downward trend from the past few days when the figure stood at 3,612 Tuesday, 3,780 Monday and 3,956 Sunday respectively.

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VIENTIANE — Laos has been preparing medical teams and more control measures to prevent the widespread outbreak of COVID-19.

Local media on Thursday quoted the deputy head of the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Phouthone Muongpak, as saying that health officials were strengthening measures for coronavirus response and ensuring that the public can access healthcare.

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ULAN BATOR — Mongolia’s National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) said Thursday that one more Mongolian citizen tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of the confirmed cases in the country to 11.

“One of more than 200 Mongolian citizens who arrived in Mongolia on (a) chartered flight in route of Istanbul-Ulan Bator on last Wednesday night tested positive for the novel coronavirus,” Dulmaa Nyamkhuu, head of the NCCD, told a press conference.

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CANBERRA — Australia’s COVID-19 death toll has increased from eight to 12 in a single day.

Victoria has recorded its first three deaths related to COVID-19 over the past day. All three deaths in the state were men in their 70s who were being treated in hospital and the other one in Queensland is a 68-year-old man who became infected on a cruise ship.

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NEW DELHI — The death toll due to COVID-19 in India on Thursday morning rose to 13, the federal health ministry said, with 649 confirmed cases reported so far.

“Death toll related to novel coronavirus has reached 13,” said the ministry at 10:15 a.m. local time.

“The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India is 649,” the ministry said. “Of these, 602 cases are Indian nationals and 47 foreign nationals.

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SUVA — Vanuatu declared on Thursday a state of emergency as part of its efforts to curb COVID-19.

In a national address on Thursday, Vanuatu’s caretaker Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said that the declaration was necessary to allow the government to mobilize resources and funding for their coronavirus response.

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