Live COVID-19 updates: Over 300 arrested for violating curfew in Sri Lanka, Iran saw 1,685 deaths

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BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The world is now in battle against the common threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 180 countries and regions around the world.

The following are the latest updates on the contagious illness.


COLOMBO -- Over 300 people were arrested in Sri Lanka for violating a countrywide curfew which was imposed on Friday evening, the police said in a statement here Sunday.

Till Sunday afternoon, the police said a little over 300 were taken into custody for roaming the streets, gathering in public grounds to consume alcohol, traveling in vehicles without a curfew permit and trading, despite stern warnings to remain indoors.


TEHRAN -- Iran's health ministry said on Sunday that at least 1,685 people have died of COVID-19 in the country, official IRNA news agency reported.

A total of 21,638 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus as of Friday and 7,913 have recovered, said Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center at the ministry.


WASHINGTON -- Italian general practitioners remember seeing strange pneumonia cases as early as November, which could mean the virus was circulating in parts of Italy before doctors became aware of China's COVID-19 outbreak, a U.S. radio outlet reported, citing a paper on Italy's coronavirus crisis.

The report published Thursday by U.S. media outlet National Public Radio (NPR) cited Giuseppe Remuzzi, co-author of a recent paper in The Lancet about Italy's epidemic.


ADDIS ABABA -- Eritrea on Saturday confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in a 39-year-old Eritrean who was linked to travel to Norway.

"The Eritrean Ministry of Health announced on Saturday evening the first confirmed case of a coronavirus patient who arrived at Asmara International Airport from Norway with Fly Dubai on Saturday morning," the Eritrean Minister of Information Yemane Gebremeskel said in a statement.


BUCHAREST -- The Romanian government late Saturday declared a curfew and required citizens to stay at home as much as possible during daytime in the latest move to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Interior Minister Marcel Vela said the curfew will be imposed between 22:00 and 06:00 beginning Sunday, with the exemptions for professional reasons, shopping of daily necessities, and necessary medical services.


HAVANA -- A Cuban medical corps on Saturday arrived in the Jamaican capital Kingston to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaican media reported.

Jamaica earlier this month declared the island a disaster area and requested Cuba to send medical professionals for help.


NEW DELHI -- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 315, said the official data issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.

Four deaths have been reported so far, and no casualty reported in the past few days.

"Total number of confirmed cases so far in the country as on March 21 at 10.45 p.m., including foreign nationals, is 315," said a statement put up on the ministry's website on Sunday.


BANJUL -- The Gambia's government announced on Saturday night it will close borders with Senegal and suspend all flights from Monday in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"President Adama Barrow has approved the closure of the border between the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Senegal, effective midnight, on Monday," said a statement from the presidency.


WUHAN -- No new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were reported Saturday in Wuhan, marking the fourth day in a row of zero report at the epicenter of the epidemic in a months-long battle with the deadly virus.

The health commission of Hubei Province, of which Wuhan is the capital, said Sunday the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan and Hubei remained at 50,005 and 67,800 by Saturday.

Hubei saw five new deaths, four of which were in Wuhan, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 3,144.


WELLINGTON -- New Zealand reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 66.

The newly reported cases are in both North Island and South Island regions of Auckland, Northland, Canterbury, New Plymouth, Waikato, Tauranga, Coromandel, and Dunedin, the Ministry of Health confirmed. Enditem

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