Tue, 02 Jun 2020

The global death toll from the coronavirus has almost reached 19,000 with more than 425,000 infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness.

Here's a roundup of developments in RFE/RL's broadcast countries.

Ukraine

Ukraine's government has widened its state of emergency decree to encompass the entire country due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The government approved the move on March 25 at a meeting broadcast live on television, saying it will last for 30 days.

Previously, only Kyiv and some regions of Ukraine were under the declaration.

The country has reported 113 confirmed cases of the virus, with four deaths.

Russia

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin will address the country in the coming hours after a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

The announcement on March 26 came shortly after Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered provincial governors to move more quickly to provide hospital beds for coronavirus patients.

Earlier in the day, the government reported 658 infections, up from 495 a day before, a rise Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said was almost three times higher than the previous average of confirmed cases.

'There are currently 658 cases in 55 regions of Russia. Twenty-nine people have recovered. A total of 112,000 people are being monitored in self-isolation,' Golikova told a meeting of the country's federal coronavirus operative response group that is coordinating the fight against the coronavirus.

SEE ALSO: What Exactly Is Going On With Russia's Low Coronavirus Numbers?

The same number appeared on the government's official website dedicated to the coronavirus outbreak in Russia.

Mishustin's warning to regional governors came a day after the mayor of Moscow told Putin that the Russian regions weren't acting energetically enough to prepare for the outbreak.

Sergei Sobyanin warned that the low number of cases in Russia compared to Europe could be explained by insufficient screening and called for quicker action to brace up for the worst.

As of March 25, Russian authorities had not reported any coronavirus deaths. A 79-year-old woman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 died last week at a Moscow infectious disease hospital. At first, Moscow health authorities said the death was virus related, but officials quickly changed the cause of death to a blood clot, not the coronavirus.

However, a tally by Johns Hopkins University in the United States lists one coronavirus death in Russia.

Pakistan

Pakistan has announced it is halting all domestic passenger flights to stop the spread of the coronavirus after reporting 1,000 cases in the country.

The domestic flight ban will begin on March 26, civil aviation spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar said.

Interactive Coronavirus Map

Updated constantly throughout the day by Johns Hopkins University

Islamabad had previously cut train service and international flights.

Most of those who initially tested positive were Pakistani pilgrims returning from neighboring Iran, which has seen the Mideast's worst outbreak of the coronavirus.

However, officials now say the virus is being reported in people who had no travel history.

As of March 25, 1,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Pakistan, with seven deaths and 19 full recoveries, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

Iran

Iran on March 25 announced 143 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,077 in one of the world's worst-hit countries.

Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said 'our colleagues have registered 2,206 new cases of COVID-19 infection' in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 27,017.

Jahanpur's announcement came a day after Iran rejected an offer from a Geneva-based medical charity to set up a 50-bed inflatable hospital in the central city of Isfahan to deal with the outbreak.

A Doctors Without Borders (MSF) crisis-response team comprised of nine emergency and intensive-care unit doctors and logisticians were to run the unit to be set up in the compound of the city's Amin hospital, the organization said.

Michel-Olivier Lacharite, who is in charge of the MSF team, said on March 24 that the organization had been ready to set up the unit at the end of the week after being given prior approval from the authorities.

'We are surprised to learn that the deployment of our treatment unit is canceled,' Lacharite said.

With reporting RFE/RL's Russian and Ukrainian services, AP, dawn.com, Reuters, and Interfax

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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