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[BBC] BBC 2020-03-22

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Italy, which has become the center of the coronavirus pandemic, has again reported a record number of death. It’s announced that almost 800 people died in the last 24 hours. It’s by far the worst daily toll of any country since the outbreak began in December. Thousands of doctors across Italy have responded to an emergency plea for assistance.

Spain has also seen a spike in death. Hospitals in Madrid which have been particularly badly hit are struggling to cope.

The US Senate has resumed a discussion on a trillion dollar economic support plan in response to the pandemic. Speaking at the start of Saturday’s session, the Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell said American households and businesses needed help and they needed it now.

In Egypt, mosques and churches are being closed for two weeks. The preeminent religious authority for Sunni Muslim X Mosque in Cairo is among those shutting down.

Nigeria is to suspend international flights from Monday night after the number of confirmed cases there doubled to 22. In Burkina Faso, four government ministers have tested positive following the death of the vice president of parliament on Wednesday.

The Bolivian government has announced it’s putting the whole country in quarantine to try to stop the spread of the virus. In Brazil, which has 900 cases, the government in Sao Paulo state announced a 15-day lock-down to start early next week.

The governing body of American athletics has joined calls for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because of the pandemic. US track and field said delay would be in the best interest of the athletes, allowing them to focus on taking care of themselves and their families.

And the pandemic has prompted Nepal to put off indefinitely a rhino census. There’s been an unexplained surge in death in rhinos in the Chitwan national park.
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