WHO praises Italy’s ‘genuine sacrifices’ to slow virus
Geneva: The World Health Organization on Sunday saluted Italy’s “genuine sacrifices” after the government put a quarter of the population under lockdown to try to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Over 15 million people in northern Italy woke on Sunday to find themselves cut off from the rest of the country, after the government imposed strict measures to slow the epidemic.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte decided to limit movement in and out of the north, including Venice and the financial capital Milan, for nearly a month.
“The government & the people of Italy are taking bold, courageous steps aimed at slowing the spread of the #coronavirus & protecting their country & world,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet.
“They are making genuine sacrifices. @WHO stands in solidarity with Italy & is here to continue supporting you.”
With more than 230 fatalities, Italy has recorded the most deaths from the COVID-19 disease of any country outside China, where the outbreak began in December.
Rome’s new rules came shortly after the news the number of people infected had jumped by over 1,200 in a 24-hour period.
“@WHO stands in solidarity with Italy & is here to continue supporting you,” the director-general said.
Saudi cordons
off Shiite-majority
region due to coronavirus
Saudi authorities have cordoned off eastern Qatif region, a stronghold of the kingdom’s Shiite minority, in a bid to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus, the interior ministry said Sunday.
“Given that all 11 recorded positive cases of the new coronavirus are from Qatif… it has been decided… to temporarily suspend entry and exit from Qatif,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Iran reports 49 new coronavirus deaths, highest single-day toll
Iran’s health ministry on Sunday reported 49 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in the country.
“At least 194 of our compatriots who fell sick with the COVID-19 illness have passed away,” health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.
The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.
Jahanpour added that 743 new infections were also confirmed within the past 24 hours, bringing the number of cases to 6,566 spread across all of Iran’s 31 provinces.
Bangladesh confirms its first three cases of coronavirus
Bangladesh on Sunday confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus in the south Asian country, said the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
The affected people, aged between 20 and 35, include two people who returned home from Italy recently.- AFP/ Reuters