The World Health Organization said the global number of reported cases of COVID-19 rose to 294,110 by 4:03 am on Monday (BJT). Europe outpaced the Western Pacific region to be the worst-hit area amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Current status (data as of 11 am BJT, March 23):
By the end of Sunday, the Chinese mainland reported 39 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infections, all of which were imported cases. Chinese aviation administrator has ordered international flights bound to Beijing to land in other cities before passengers were clear of virus risk.
Italy, at the heart of western Europe’s rampaging outbreak, now counts 59,138 known cases. More than 60 percent of the latest deaths occurred in the northern region of Lombardy, whose hospitals have been reeling under a staggering case load that has left intensive care beds hard to find and respirators in dire supply.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has put herself in quarantine after a doctor she met Friday tested positive for coronavirus, a government spokesman said Sunday. According to Deutsche Presse Agentur, Germany reported more than 24,100 COVID-19 cases with 90 deaths by Sunday.
US Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) became the first member of the US Senate to be infected with the novel coronavirus. US President Donald Trump approved the major disaster declaration in California to bolster the most populous US state's COVID-19 emergency response efforts.
Canada and Australia said they will not send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics as planned in July after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday told the Parliament the games could be postponed because of the global spread of the coronavirus.