INFORMATION CUT OFF: [16:00 GMT+3] April 22, 2020 GENERAL COVID-19 UPDATE* • 2,585,468 confirmed cases worldwide • 178,845 deaths worldwide CONFIRMED CASES IN MOST AFFECTED COUNTRIES* • United States (US): 825,306 • Spain: 208,389 • Italy: 183,957 • France: 159,300 • Germany: 148,704 • United Kingdom (UK): 130,184 • Turkey: 95,591 • Iran: 85,996 • China: 83,868 • Russia: 57,999 [*as of April 22, 16:00 GMT +3] Source: Centre for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) SITUATION UPDATE • The United Nations (UN) is warning that the number of people facing acute food insecurity could jump to 265 million. • The UN General Assembly is urging countries to scale up their development of and access to medicine, medical equipment and vaccines to treat the global pandemic. • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested that all available evidence points to the virus originating in bats in China. This comes after the US suggested the virus may have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. TRAVEL UPDATE With the COVID-19 spread ongoing, more states are shutting land, sea and air points to stem the virus. Below are the latest updates: CANADA, MEXICO AND US: On April 20, Canada, Mexico and the US have extended non-essential travel restrictions across their shared borders for another 30 days. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: On April 20, the government announced the suspension of all flights until April 30. NIGERIA: On April 20, the Ministry of Aviation announced an extension of airport closures for another two weeks. SWEDEN: Sweden has extended the closure of external borders until May 15. NOTABLE COUNTRY UPDATES EUROPE UK: A total number of 130,184 cases and 17,378 deaths have been reported. The country’s health secretary said they have reached the peak of the pandemic. On April 21, the secretary said that human trials for a vaccine will begin on April 23. The vaccine development is headed by the Imperial College London and the University of Oxford. GERMANY: A total number of 148,453 cases and 5,086 deaths have been reported. The country is approving its first live human testing trial for a potential vaccine against the virus. The trial will be conducted on 200 healthy people, while the second stage will be conducted on people with a higher risk. SPAIN: A total number of 208,389 cases and 21,717 deaths have been reported. Prime Minister (PM) Pedro Sanchez announced that the country will begin relaxing its lockdown measures by mid-May. The PM has also requested parliament to extend the state of emergency until May 9. AUSTRIA: A total number of 14,925 cases and 510 deaths have been reported. The country will move to allow restaurants and religious services to reopen on May 15. The country has already allowed schools to reopen for senior students in early May, while younger students are expected to return to school gradually by May 15. Smaller businesses were allowed to reopen a week ago, while bigger businesses will follow by May 1. ITALY: A total number of 183,957 cases and 24,648 deaths have been reported. PM Giuseppe Conte will announce plans for the gradual lifting of restrictions in an effort to reopen the country from May 4. The announcement is due later this week. GREECE: A total number of 2,401 cases and 121 deaths have been reported. A migrant hotel, administered by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), was placed under lockdown on April 21 after residents tested positive for the virus. The hotel houses 470 asylum seekers, though it is unclear how many have tested positive. DENMARK: A total number of 7,912 cases and 370 deaths have been reported. The country’s Ministry of Health stated on April 21 that public gatherings exceeding 500 people are banned until September. All gatherings larger than ten people are banned until May 10. UKRAINE: A total of 6,592 cases and 174 deaths have been reported. The country has extended its movement restrictions until May 11. NORTH AMERICA US: A total number of 825,306 cases and 45,075 deaths have been reported. President Donald Trump has introduced an executive order banning all procedures for people seeking permanent resident status in the US for 60 days. In a press conference, Trump added that the move is to “help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens,” adding, “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labour flown in from abroad.” The director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the second wave of the virus may be more devastating than the first because it will intersect with the rise of the seasonal flu. MENA EGYPT: A total number of 3,490 cases and 264 deaths have been reported. EgyptAir and Air Cairo will operate tomorrow nine special flights from international destinations to repatriate Egyptians stranded abroad. Destinations include Washington, Guangzhou, Bahrain, Mumbai, Casablanca, Frankfurt, Maldives, Amsterdam and Moscow. Citizens will fly to Marsa Allam for quarantine. Egypt flew a plane of medical supplies to the US to assist in their fight against the virus. Meanwhile, the presidential adviser for health affairs announced that Egypt has begun a trial using plasma taken from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat severe cases. IRAN: A total number of 85,996 and 5,391 deaths have been reported. A new order of test kits, purchased from France, arrived in Iran through the Sari Su border, the north-western part of the country. Meanwhile, the defence minister emphasised the armed forces are actively playing a key role in combating the virus, namely through medical equipment and supplies. Recently, the army has built a 2,000-bed hospital in two days. SAUDI ARABIA: A total number of 11,631 cases and 109 deaths have been reported. The kingdom announced 1,147 new cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the public sector will have a five-hour workday, starting from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. TURKEY: A total number of 95,591 cases and 2,259 deaths have been reported. The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) announced that since April 1, 24 health workers, 14 of whom were physicians, have died of COVID-19. The association also stated that 3,474 health workers, 38 percent of whom are physicians, are diagnosed with the virus. Meanwhile, a RAF plane, believed to be carrying a delayed consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE), has landed in the UK from Istanbul. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE):A total number of 7,755 cases and 46 deaths have been reported. The UAE currently has enough ventilators to tend to critical COVID-19 patients, a top researcher at a UAE-based university has confirmed. Meanwhile, Dubai Airports, operator of the world’s busiest airport, is planning for “gradual remobilisation” once travel restrictions are eventually lifted. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA NIGER: A total number of 657 cases and 20 deaths have been reported. About 100 people took to the streets of Niamey to protest against the COVID-19 restrictive measures in place. Clashes with the police erupted, resulting in the arrest of at least ten people. GHANA: A total number of 1,042 cases and nine deaths have been reported. In a first for the African continent, Ghana partially lifted its lockdown in Accra and Kumasi cities, effective 1:00 AM on April 20. Masks in public are encouraged and non-essential businesses are now allowed to resume operations. The president justified the partial lifting as a result of “the country’s ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons, the enhancement of our capacity to test, the expansion in the numbers of our treatment and isolation centres,” highlighting the disproportionate effect these measures have had on the poor and vulnerable. NIGERIA: A total number of 782 of cases and 25 deaths have been reported. President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Chief Judge Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to proceed with the release of inmates that are awaiting trial for more than six years, in efforts to alleviate the overcrowding in prisons amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. President Buhari added that about 42 percent of prisoners are awaiting trial. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: (CAR) A total number of 14 cases have been reported. Following calls for widespread international assistance to help CAR’s 2.2 million people in need of medical aid, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved USD 38 million in emergency assistance. The aid will boost CAR’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. BOTSWANA: A total number of 20 cases and one death have been reported. President Mokgweetsi Masisi dismissed Permanent Secretary Solomon Sekwakya and Deputy Permanent Secretary Morison Sinvula from the Ministry of Health on April 21. No further information was disclosed behind the reason for their dismissal. ZIMBABWE: A total number of 28 cases and three deaths have been reported. As authorities are focused to contain the spread of COVID-19, on April 21 Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said that the country is recording a concerning increase in deaths due to malaria. According to ministry figures, 131 people died from malaria last week and more than 135,000 have been infected. Malaria testing has been of secondary importance despite the country entering its malaria season, and authorities have now re-evaluated and deployed medical teams to contain the outbreaks. SOUTH AFRICA: A total number of 3,465 cases and 58 deaths have been reported. President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled a USD 26 billion package that will be directed in efforts to support the economy and vulnerable groups amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The country counts the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the continent. LESOTHO: The country has not reported any cases of the virus. With the country remaining COVID-19-free, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has extended the lockdown by two weeks, set to expire on May 5. ASIA BANGLADES: A total number of 3,772 cases and 120 deaths have been reported. Bangladesh registered ten more deaths in the past 24 hours. Another 390 people tested positive for the virus from 3,096 samples in the same period. Meanwhile, Bangladesh will extend the nationwide shutdown of offices and workplaces until May 5. INDIA: A total number of 20,178 cases and 645 deaths have been reported. The number of COVID-19 cases in India rose above the 20,000-mark, but the rate at which this threshold was crossed is being investigated by experts – as it took more than eight days for the tally to double. Meanwhile, the Vietnam-India Friendship Association (VIFA) presented 100,000 antibacterial cloth masks to India from Vietnam. INDONESIA: A total number of 7,418 cases and 635 deaths have been reported. Another 18 fatalities from COVID-19 have been reported in a 24-hour period. The Jakarta COVID-19 mitigation task force reported the total cases in the capital is 3,399. Meanwhile, Jakarta’s governor will extend large-scale social restrictions for an additional month up until May 22. JAPAN: A total number of 11,512 cases and 281 deaths have been reported. Japan’s pace of new infections has slowed two weeks after an initial state of emergency was declared, however, health authorities claim it’s too early to make predictions. Meanwhile, Japan cut down 100,000 tulips to discourage people from gathering to admire them amid the outbreak. SINGAPORE: A total number of 10,141 cases have been reported. Singapore has extended a month-long lockdown that the government has dubbed a “circuit-breaker” until June 1 after a surge in cases. About 100 medical personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Medical Corps have begun their deployment at the community isolation facility at the Singapore Expo and MAX Atria. OCEANIA AUSTRALIA: A total number of 6,547 cases and 67 deaths have been reported.PM Scott Morrison is calling for an independent internationally-backed investigation into the origins and spread of the virus. CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA & THE CARRIBEAN CHILE: A total number of 10,832 cases and 147 deaths have been reported. Anti-government protests were dispersed by the police and 14 individuals were arrested. The protests first erupted back in October over low wages and inequality. The police confirmed that the arrests were based on the law prohibiting the gatherings of more than 50 people and in violation of the evening curfew. PERU: A total number of 17,837 cases and 484 deaths have been reported. ARGENTINA: A total number of 3,144 cases and 151 deaths have been reported. Elderly people (over 70 years) in Buenos Aires will now be allowed to leave their residence, following a backlash as the authorities were considering that those aged 70+ should first obtain a permit. Authorities now encourage people to make a call about their need to go out, and are encouraged to have their tasks undertaken by a volunteer. The government has been criticised over what has been described as discrimination against the elderly. BRAZIL: A total number of 43,368 cases and 2,761 deaths have been reported. ECUADOR: A total number of 10,398 cases and 520 deaths have been reported. A plan for business resumption is being prepared by the government so that the country can return to normalcy. Productive and commercial sectors are expected to restart operations gradually. Meanwhile, repatriation of students will continue provided they spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival to the country. COLOMBIA: A total number of 4,149 cases and 196 deaths have been reported. GENERAL COVID-19 ADVICE • Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travellers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travellers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. • To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission while travelling, travellers are advised to abide by the following measures: • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands. • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.