UN’s Guterres calls for multi-trillion-dollar ‘war time’ plan as several countries report record increase in deaths and contagion

epaselect epa08320460 A member of medical team sprays disinfectants at Giza pyramids in Egypt, Egypt, 25 March 2020. Egyptian authorities announce a two-week curfew, starting from 25 March, during which public transportation will be suspended to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Countries around the world is taking increased measures to stem the widespread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the Covid-19 disease. EPA-EFE/MOHAMED HOSSAM

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The UN secretary general, António Guterres, launched a global humanitarian response plan for coronavirus, calling on governments to take decisive action and work together to find solutions to the global pandemic.

Ahead of the virtual meeting of the leaders of the G20, UN General-Secretary Antonio Guterres has appealed to them to adopt a multi-trillion-dollar “war-time” plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“I urge G-20 leaders to consider the urgent launch of a large-scale, coordinated stimulus package in the trillions of dollars to target the direct provision of resources to businesses, workers and households in those countries unable to do so alone,” he wrote to them on Tuesday.

The plan “will save many lives” and arm humanitarian agencies and NGOs with laboratory supplies for testing, and with medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting healthcare workers, said Guterres.

The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities that continue to open their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons, he said.

Meanwhile. the status in several countries is as follows:

France – There are now 25,233 confirmed cases in France, 1,331 deaths, of which 86% were people aged over 70 years. The death rate rose by 231 in 24 hours. These are hospital deaths only, not those in retirement homes or outside hospitals. There are currently 11,539 people in French hospitals with coronavirus, including 2,827 in intensive care.

In Italy, the rate of new infections slowed for a fourth day, rising by 3,491 compared with 3,612 new cases on Tuesday.

In Greece the health ministry spokesman and infectious diseases expert, professor Sotiris Tsiodras announced that another 78 people had tested positive for the novel virus overnight bringing the new total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 821. Although 36 patients had recovered, 134 people were being treated in hospital with 54 in intensive care.

In Cyprus the reported eight more coronavirus cases, raising the total to 132. Another 42 cases have been reported in the northern Turkish Cypriot part, meaning the total number of cases on the divided island is 174. Three people have died, while three have recovered.

Albanian authorities reported 23 more confirmed cases, bringing the total to 146. Five people have died in the Balkan country, while 17 have recovered.

In the meantime, a third person died this afternoon in North Macedonia. The country has 177 confirmed cases, authorities said.

The total number of people who died in the Czech Republic after contracting coronavirus is  five.

In Finland: 880 confirmed cases (88 new in the last 24 hours) and three dead. Sweden reported a total 2,510 confirmed cases (238 new) and 42 dead. In neighbouring Denmark, the numbers now reached 1,715 confirmed (138 new) cases and 34 dead. Norway has 2,916 confirmed cases (196 new) and 12 dead. Iceland reported 737 confirmed cases (81 new) and two dead.

A record 80 people have died from the effects of COVID-19, in the Netherlands, the Dutch public health institute (RIVM) said today. A total of 356 people have now died. In 24 hours, 852 people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 6,412.

In the US the number of Coronavirus cases  now exceed 60,000, with 838 deaths.

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