Half-million infected worldwide as deaths surge: Live updates | News

The United States now has more coronavirus cases than any other country with close to 84,000 ones, according to Johns Hopkins University, pushing the total around the world to more than 526,000 as the death toll inches closer to 24,000 as of early Friday. 

There were more than 81,700 known cases in China and 80,500 in Italy.

Over 122,000 people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19, while more than 23,700 people have died.

Italy reported the highest death toll with more than 8,200 deaths.


In India, where the country’s 1.3 billion people were under orders to stay home, legions of poor were suddenly thrown out of work and many families were left struggling for something to eat.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, March 27

01:30 GMT – South Korea reports 91 new cases 

South Korea has reported 91 new coronavirus cases on Friday.

The total number of cases in the country has now reached 9,332, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

01:12 GMT – New Zealand confirms 85 new cases of coronavirus 

New Zealand confirmed on Friday at least 85 new cases of coronavirus.

The total number of cases in the country has now reached 368 of which 37 have recovered.

Most of the cases in New Zealand have links to overseas travel, according to health authorities.

00:56 GMT – Study: Coronavirus could kill more than 81,000 in the US 

The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis conducted by University of Washington School of Medicine.

The number of hospitalised patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.

The analysis, using data from governments, hospitals and other sources, predicts that the number of US deaths could vary widely, ranging from as low as around 38,000 to as high as around 162,000.

00:38 GMT – 3.3 million Americans apply for unemployment

Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week – almost five times the previous record set in 1982 – amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.

As job losses mount, some economists say the nation’s unemployment rate could approach 13 percent by May. By comparison, the highest jobless rate during the Great Recession, which ended in 2009, was 10 percent. 

00:25 GMT – China reports 54 new imported cases, five new deaths in Wuhan

China’s National Health Commission reported on Friday at least 54 new imported cases of coronavirus as of thh end of March 26 – slightly lower than the 67 cases the previous day.

The health agency also reported five new deaths with no new cases in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. Nationwide, the death toll has reached 3,292 as of the end of Thursday. 

Late on Thursday, Beijing announced a temporary ban on foreigners arriving in the country with a few exceptions, including diplomats.

23:27 GMT Thursday – Brazil’s governors press Bolsonaro for more coronavirus support

Brazil’s governors pressed President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for more federal support in the coronavirus battle after he blasted them as job-killers and undermined their orders with a decree keeping churches open at the evangelical preachers’ request, the Associated Press news agency reported.

In a public letter, Brazil’s governors argued that the federal government had not done enough to fund the fight against the virus that has infected about half a million people globally.

Bolsonaro has increasingly echoed the view of US President Donald Trump that jobs should be prioritised over restrictive measures to slow the outbreak, as world health experts suggest.

“Tourism has plummeted to zero,” he said on a Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday night. “Nothing is working. This wave of panic and hysteria is bigger than the virus itself.” 

22:00 GMT Thursday – US overtakes Italy, China in number of virus cases

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the US reached 83,500 as of late Thursday, more than any other country, overtaking Italy and China, the Johns Hopkins University tally showed. 

China had 81,782 cases, and Italy had 80,589 cases.

I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read all the updates from yesterday (March 26) here.

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