News World What you need to know about the coronavirus today

What you need to know about the coronavirus today

Here are today’s developments on the coronavirus epidemic:

The red zone of Italy

Italy’s lockdown measures to try to beat the coronavirus are reducing its economic output by around 10-15%, Lorenzo Codogno, a former Italian Treasury chief economist said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte unexpectedly expanded the so-called red zone to the entire country on Monday night, introducing the most severe controls on a Western nation since World War Two and raising fears for the future, especially among small businesses.

The death toll in Italy jumped by 168 to 631 on Tuesday. The increase of 36% is the largest rise in absolute numbers since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

EU stands shoulder-to-shoulder to weather storm

“We will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure that the European economy weathers this storm,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reassured the EU after a extraordinary summit of leaders, all of whom have now confirmed cases of coronavirus in their countries.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, will set up a joint investment fund with firepower of 25 billion euros from existing resources to cushion the blow to vulnerable sectors of the bloc’s economies, she said.

However, the fund will have no fresh money, an EU official said, raising doubts about its effectiveness to provide a sufficient fiscal boost to counter a serious downturn.

The spread

There are over 119,000 cases of coronavirus globally and 4,296 deaths linked to the virus as of Wednesday 0200 GMT, according to a Reuters tally.

Over 55% of cases have been reportedly cured, including roughly 61,400 of China’s total 80,909 cases.

New countries reporting cases in the past 12 hours were Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jamaica and Turkey.

Fatalities were up over 26% globally from a day earlier, with Italy and Iran reporting 168 and 54 deaths respectively. Other countries reporting fatalities include Monaco, France, Japan, Lebanon, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Panama also recorded its first fatality among seven new confirmed cases, only a day after reporting its first case.

‘No handshake’ hard to remember

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke at a news conference earlier this week to announce a ‘no handshake’ policy, but then immediately reverted to type, shaking hands with a health official at the end of the conference.

“Oh sorry, sorry, no, no, over, we can’t do that anymore!”, the embarrassed premier exhorted when the official pointed out his error, as the two men laughed.


Top Stories

178 new cases, out of 9.884 tests announced on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced 178 new Coronavirus cases out of 9,884 PCR and rapid antigen tests on Wednesday, 20 January, taking confirmed infections to...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Thursday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Thursday, 21 January 2021: LIMASSOL Parking place Sklavenitis supermarket, Germasogia 08:30-16:30 Parking place Lidl supermarket, Limassol...

Expert says too early to assess epidemiological situation

Head of the Scientific Advisory Committee on the coronavirus, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, told CNA that it is too early to safely assess the evolution...

Inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front...

Building collapses in central Madrid explosion, several injured

One building collapsed in a central Madrid explosion, a Reuters reporter saw, with smoke coming out of the building and rescue workers evacuating elderly...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...