The regional economic growth in developing Asia will decline sharply in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic before recovering in 2021, according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Friday (April 3). The report, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020, forecasted the regional growth of 2.2 percent in 2020, a downward revision of 3.3 percentage points relative to the 5.5 percent ADB forecasted in September 2019.

A mural depicting medical workers wearing protective masks is seen on a wall of a building in Warsaw, Poland, on April 2, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)


* China will hold a national mourning Saturday (April 4) for martyrs who died in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and compatriots died of the disease, according to the State Council. The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 81,620 by Thursday (April 2), including 1,727 patients who were still being treated, 76,571 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,322 people who died of the disease.

* Thailand has lifted its ban to close four ports at the Mekong River to allow essential goods to be shipped to and from China as Thailand is currently facing the COVID-19 outbreak. The four ports, including cargo terminals and border crossing, were closed since March 21 to curb the virus outbreak, leaving only two bridges over the Mekong River in Chiang Kong and Mae Sai districts to remain open.

* Four more local transmission cases of COVID-19 were reported in Myanmar, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 20, said a release from the Health and Sports Ministry Thursday.

* Brunei reported 2 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the country's total to 133 cases.

* Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 49 new COVID-19 cases here on Thursday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the city state to 1049.

* The Philippines now has 2,633 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 107 deaths and 51 recoveries.

* The Republic of Korea's reported cases of the COVID-19 topped 10,000 as of midnight Friday local time as 86 more cases were confirmed for the past 24 hours. The number of infections here totaled 10,062, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Five more deaths were confirmed, raising the death toll to 174.

* India's gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to slow to 4.0 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2020 ending on March 31, 2021 due to a weak global environment and continued efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in that country, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report released on Friday. India's federal health ministry said Thursday evening that the death toll due to COVID-19 has risen to 53 and the total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 2,069.

* The number of reported cases of COVID-19 in Canada hit 10,132, with the death toll rising to 127, as of Thursday morning, according to CTV. It is a stark increase compared to where the country was on March 1, with only 24 confirmed cases at that time.

* Greece reported on Thursday three more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 53 since the first confirmed case in the country was announced on Feb. 26. The number of confirmed infections rose to 1,514 on Thursday from 1,415 on Wednesday, officials told a regular press briefing at the Health Ministry.

* According to the latest situation report released by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Switzerland is now one of the hardest hit countries in Europe with 213 confirmed cases per 100,000 people. As of Thursday, Switzerland reported a total of 18,267 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 432 deaths.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday an extension of paid leave for all Russians to April 30 due to COVID-19. Russia has tallied 3,548 cases of COVID-19 in 76 regions as of Thursday, surging by a record of 771 from the previous day.

* A further 183 patients had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Belgium, raising the country's death toll to 1,011, according to fresh figures released Thursday by public health institute Sciensano. In the last 24 hours, Belgium also reported 1,384 new cases of confirmed coronavirus infection, taking the total to 15,348, according to Sciensano Institute which is in charge of monitoring and analyzing COVID-19 data collected from its network of partners.

* The heads of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have urged countries to take care and minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on the global food supply chain.

* The death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic in Ukraine on Thursday rose to 20, as the number of confirmed cases reached 804, the Health Ministry said. According to the ministry, 135 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ukraine over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 804.

* Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held telephonic conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prince of Wales -- Prince Charles, and discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with the two leaders, according to a statement issued by India's Ministry of External Affairs.

* The process of exchange of prisoners between Afghan government and Taliban militants has postponed for the third time, reported a local TV channel on Thursday.

* Nepal has collected a total of NPR247.37 million (US$2 million) in its "Coronavirus Control and Treatment Fund" as of Wednesday evening, according to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).

* The World Bank on Thursday approved a loan worth US$35 million to help Argentina contain the novel coronavirus epidemic. Argentina has reported 1,133 cases of COVID-19 with 34 deaths, according to the latest report from the Health Ministry.

* The death toll from the novel coronavirus climbed to 299 in Brazil as the number of confirmed cases went from 6,836 to 7,910, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

* The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday announced that it is dispatching a first batch of equipment to rapidly detect the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to over 40 countries.

* The death toll from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent has reached 221 as confirmed positive cases surpassed 6,213, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) revealed on Thursday. The Africa CDC, a specialized agency of the 55-member African Union (AU), in its latest situation update issued on Thursday said the cases were spread across 49 African countries.

* The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday announced 210 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 1,024.

* Twenty-one novel coronavirus infections were registered in Oman, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 231 with only one death, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

* Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Thursday reported 2,456 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 79 new deaths in Turkey. The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Turkey has climbed to 18,135, while the death toll has reached 356, Koca tweeted.

* Jordan on Thursday confirmed 21 cases of novel coronavirus, increasing the overall number to 299. Five death cases have been confirmed in Jordan so far.

* The Iraqi Health Ministry on Thursday confirmed two more deaths from COVID-19 and 44 new cases, bringing the total number of the infections to 772.

Source: NDO

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