The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of China has reached 10,566 across 72 countries with 166 deaths, statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed Wednesday.
As of 0900 GMT Monday, a total of 90,870 cases were reported globally, with 3,112 deceased.
In the past 24 hours, 1,792 newly confirmed cases have been reported outside of China. Eight new countries — Andorra, Jordan, Latvia, Morocco, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Tunisia — have reported COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 is continuing to spread worldwide, especially in South Korea, Japan and Iran.
South Korea, the world’s hardest-hit country outside China, confirmed 293 more cases of the COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of infections to 5,621. Two more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 33.
Daegu, a metropolis with a 2.5 million population about 300 km southeast of Seoul, became the epicenter of the viral spread as it accounted for almost 90 percent of the total.
The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu.
Lee Man-hee, the leader of the Shincheonji religious sect in South Korea, made a public apology on Monday, after they were accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of coronavirus cases in Japan topped 1,000, with over 700 of them stemming from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in the port city of Yokohama.
The country’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga Wednesday said that the country is still preparing to hold the Tokyo Summer Olympics which will take place from July 24 to August 9 this year.
By noon on March 3, the cumulative confirmed cases in Iran was 2,336, with 435 cases recovered and 77 deaths. Twenty-three Iranian lawmakers have been infected with the disease. The head of the country’s emergency medical services has also been infected. Local media reports say he’s in a stable condition.
A majority of EU countries have also reported cases of the novel coronavirus infections, with the total number of confirmed cases standing at around 3,000 on Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.
Italy’s health authorities said on Tuesday, over 400 new confirmed cases were reported within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 2,502, with a total of 79 deaths, among which 27 were reported on Tuesday alone.
On the same day, France had a total of 212 confirmed positive cases, with four deaths. Tourism, a pillar of the French economy, has suffered heavily.
The Louvre Museum was shut down on March 1 due to the spreading of the epidemic. It was reopened on Wednesday noon, according to local media. Major events including the Paris Marathon and the Paris Book Fair, one of the World’s largest, have also been canceled. The French Finance Minister Bruno Lemaire said that could lead to a 30 to 40 percent decrease in tourism to the country.
Considering the impact on the global economy, the World Bank Group announced Tuesday that it is making available an initial package of up to 12 billion U.S. dollars in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), in a surprise move, lowered the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points on Tuesday, as the COVID-19 outbreak poses “evolving risks” to economic activity. (REUTERS CONNECT)
MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile advised President Rodrigo Duterte not to mind people who are criticizing his foreign policy, particularly on the issue involving China and the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.
During Duterte’s pre-recorded public address late Monday, Enrile told the president to just let his critics ramble on and to not engage them on the issue.
“That’s the best thing Mr. President. Pabayaan mo na lang sila,” Enrile said.
“After all Mr. President, you are only responsible to the Filipino people, and you are not responsible to any specific person for your foreign policy. Yours is to protect the interest of the nation and its people in the best way you can,” he added.
Duterte invited Enrile to Malacañang to speak on the issue concerning West Philippine Sea, the role in the issue of some officials, particularly former Senator Antonio Trillanes and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, and why the Philippines lost access to the Scarborough Shoal during the Aquino administration.
“Alam na ngayon ng mga tao kug bakit hindi ako sumasagot. This is the best advise that I got ngayong gabing ito,” Duterte said.
“I hope that we would be able to weather any trouble with China now and in the future for as long as it’s very dangerous for us,” he added.
Earlier in the conference, the 97-year old former lawmaker also advised Duterte to keep his “friendly” approach towards China and the issue on the West Philippine Sea.
“Hindi dapat gamitin ang mainit na kaisipan na kagaya ng mga kritiko natin. Dapat balance lang ang approach natin at mahinahon,” he said.
“Kailangan na friendly ang approach natin diyan, hindi assertive and aggressive approach sapagkat kapag hindi tayo magkakaunawa sa China ay madadamay ang interes ng ating mga kababayan, ang ating ekonomiya, pati na rin ang ating seguridad dito sa usapin na ito,” he added.
Duterte thanked Enrile for his advise, reiterating that he prefers to talk with China instead of using force to defend the Philippine sovereignty.
MANILA, Philippines — The issue of the West Philippine Sea dispute and why the country lost the Scarborough Shoal will be discussed anew when President Rodrigo Duterte holds his weekly public address on Monday night, Malacañang said.
In an online press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the issue will be tackled after former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile accepted Duterte’s invitation to speak on the matter during the President’s Talk to the People.
Roque made the announcement a few days after Duterte invited Enrile to speak on the issue
Enrile will particularly shed light on the role of some officials, particularly former Senator Antonio Trillanes and Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, and why the Philippines lost access to the Scarborough Shoal during the Aquino administration.
“Sabi nga ng Pangulo, former Senator Enrile was there right at the beginning. Kinakailangan po nating pakinggan ang sasabihin ng dating senador dahil magandang malaman ang papel ni dating Senador Antonio Trillanes at dating Secretary Albert del Rosario sa usapin ng pagkawala ng Scarborough shoal sa Pilipinas,” Roque said.
The Palace official insisted that the issue on the West Philippine Sea would not have been this heated if not for the stand-off incident between the Philippines and China in 2012.
“Wag ninyong kalilimutan, bilang ganti ng China sa ating arbitration, yung Scarborough Shoal incident din ang naging dahilan kung bakit nagkaroon po ng mga base militar ngayon ang China dun sa mga artificial islands na karamihan po ay kabahagi ng ating exclusive economic zone,” Roque said.
It has been reported that the Philippines and China agreed to simultaneously withdraw their respective vessels out of the contested area back in 2012 after a prolonged stand-off between the two countries.
The agreement, brokered by the United States to de-escalate the situation, was only complied with by the Philippines as China did not pull out its vessels in the area.
Aside from the West Philippine Issue, Roque said Duterte will also seek Enrile’s opinion on the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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