Coronavirus has killed more people in Italy than in any other country, after deaths there rose by 427 in a day. The number of deaths now stands at 3,405, which is more than in China where the virus originated last year. A lockdown imposed on 12 March in Italy has been extended beyond the original 25 March end date. Nearly all Italians have been told to stay at home.
California’s governor issued a stay at home order, which took effect Thursday night. The state’s 40 million residents were asked to leave their homes only when necessary and it will remain in place until further notice. And Senate Republicans have unveiled a plan to send direct cash payment to help Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the plan, individuals making up to $75,000 annually would be eligible for a $1,200 check from the federal government.
India has executed the four men who were convicted of the brutal gang rape and murder of a young woman on bus in Delhi in 2012, a case which shocked the world and brought India’s problem with sexual violence against women into the spotlight. It was the first time in five years that capital punishment has been carried out in India and hundreds gathered outside the prison gates, shouting “death to rapists”.
China has exonerated a doctor who was punished for warning about COVID-19 and later died of the disease. Dr Li Wenliang and seven colleagues were reprimanded in December for telling friends about the emerging coronavirus threat on social media. In an unusual admission of error, the ruling Communist Party’s top disciplinary body has now revoked its earlier decision – and sent a “solemn apology” to Dr Li’s family.
Anxiety rose in Africa’s richest nation Friday as South Africa said coronavirus cases jumped to 202, the most in the sub-Saharan region, while the continent’s busiest airport said foreigners cannot disembark. State-owned South African Airways suspended all international flights until June. Foreigners across the continent of more than 1.3 billion people face the growing chance of being stranded as countries close borders and block flights.