Live COVID-19 updates:White House coronavirus task force expert disagrees with calling COVID-19 "China virus"

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 24, 2020
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BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The world is now in a battle against the common threat of COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 180 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the contagious illness.

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WASHINGTON -- White House coronavirus task force member and the leading infectious diseases expert in the United States, Anthony Fauci, told Science magazine Sunday that he has never called and would never call COVID-19 a "China virus."

During a recent press conference, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested China should have revealed the discovery of the novel coronavirus much earlier.

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DHAKA -- The Bangladeshi government on Tuesday announced to restrict public transport across the country till April 4 from March 26 amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bangladeshi Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, also general secretary of ruling Bangladesh Awami League party, made the announcement in a video message from his office in Dhaka on Tuesday.

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BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Tuesday that the government will issue an emergency decree, which will be effective from Thursday, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the emergency rule, the government is setting up ad hoc committees to steer the stringent measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the prime minister.

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VIENTIANE -- Laos has detected the first two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, the Lao Health Ministry officials told a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the officials led by Deputy Health Minister Phouthone Moungpak, the two confirmed cases, both Lao nationals, are likely to be imported.

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday prohibiting price gouging and hoarding of medical supplies deemed critical amid the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Trump said the presidential decree would "prohibit the hoarding of vital medical equipment and supplies, such as hand sanitizers, face masks, and personal protective equipment." He was speaking at a White House press briefing later in the day.

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WUHAN -- Wuhan, the Chinese city hardest hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak, will lift outbound travel restrictions from April 8 after over two months of lockdown, local authorities said Tuesday.

People in Wuhan will be allowed to leave the city and Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, if they hold a green health code, meaning no contact with any infected or suspected COVID-19 cases, according to a circular issued by the provincial COVID-19 control headquarters.

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DHAKA, -- Bangladesh has cancelled passenger trains as the country strives to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading locally.

On Tuesday morning the Bangladesh Railway suspended operation of 257 local, mail and commuter trains.

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SHANGHAI -- Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport will suspend all international flights and flights to and from Hong Kong, Macao and the Taiwan from Wednesday to buck the rising trend of imported coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, local authorities said Tuesday.

All relevant flights will be transferred to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport will function as an alternate airport.

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Chinese companies have stepped up efforts to help fight COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia with fresh donations of medical supplies.

China Communications Construction Company, the main contractor of Malaysia's East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, donated an assortment of medical supplies to aid Malaysia on Tuesday in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BEIJING -- The Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix, originally planned to be held on June 7, has been postponed.

"The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with Formula 1 as well as the FIA and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic," the organizers announced on Monday in a statement.

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NEW YORK -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City has reached 13,119 as of Monday night local time, according to data of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 124 deaths have been reported in the city, according to the CSSE.

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VIENTIANE -- Thousands of Lao people, mostly workers, have returned home across Thai-Lao borders before the temporary closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane capital, the respective border provinces have been temporarily closed their borders starting on Monday.

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. first lady Melania Trump has tested for the coronavirus and the result is negative, President Donald Trump told reporters Monday at the White House.

"She's fine," Trump said when asked at a news briefing about the first lady's condition. "Negative, yes." Enditem

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