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Global caseload of COVID-19 pandemic exceeds 200,000
The tally of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 pandemic has broken the threshold of 200,000, reaching 201,436, according to the latest statistics from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
By Wednesday morning, the number of confirmed infections outside China reached 120,334, with Italy leading the way with 31,506 cases, followed by Iran (16,169) and Spain (13,716).
The fast-spreading disease has also claimed 8,006 lives so far -- excluding those in China -- with Italy suffering the most deaths of 2,503, followed by Iran (988) and Spain (533), according to the center. (Xinhua)
Trump plans to invoke Defense Production Act to combat coronavirus outbreak
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will invoke the Defense Production Act, which allows the administration to force American industry to ramp up production of medical supplies, to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Hospitals and states across the United States have pleaded with the federal government for more supplies to protect doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic, according to a report by The Hill. (Xinhua)
US-Canada border closing temporarily to nonessential travel
The United States and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday, and his administration is considering turning back all people who cross illegally from Mexico into the US, two administration officials said.
Trump tweeted that the restrictions on the Canadian border will not affect the flow of trade between the countries. Canada relies on the US for 75% of its exports and about 18% of American exports go to Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said travelers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation or tourism, but that essential travel will continue. (AP)
As virus shuts down cities in Europe, pollution drops
The European Union’s space agency’s earth-observation satellites have detected a significant reduction in the pollutant nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of the use of diesel motors and other human activities, in northern Italy as the advance of the COVID-19 has led to drastic measures curtailing ordinary life.
So far, Italy has been the hardest hit country in Europe by the new coronavirus, and the government has implemented a wide lockdown, encouraging its 62 million people to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out. (AP)
Chinese hospital publishes handbook for COVID-19 treatment in multiple languages
On March 18, a program named the Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC) to help combat the global outbreak was jointly established by the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.
Technical strategies for addressing issues during emergencies; treatment methods to treat the critically ill; efficient clinical decision-making support, and best practices for key departments like infection management and outpatient clinics are included in the handbook. (China Plus)
Sanders reassessing his campaign after 3 more big Biden wins
Bernie Sanders was trying to determine his next moves on Wednesday, after Joe Biden swept to victory in Florida, Illinois and Arizona and seized a commanding lead in a Democratic presidential race upended by the coronavirus.
The Vermont senator’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said Sanders “is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign.” But Shakir also suggested his candidate is in no hurry to make any decisions about dropping out, noting that “the next primary contest is at least three weeks away.” (AP)
NBA superstar Kevin Durant tested positive for COVID-19
Kevin Durant is reportedly among four Brooklyn Nets players who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation.
The injured Durant, who has yet to play for the Nets since signing for the franchise last year, confirmed to The Athletic website he had tested positive for the virus.
"Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We're going to get through this," Durant was quoted as saying. (CGTN)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Where is the coldest place on Earth?
Today’s quote is from English author Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).
"What is easy is seldom excellent."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)