Covid-19 news: March 25

Go back to yesterday (3/24) index

Current Status

Dashboards: New York Times, Johns Hopkins, Our World in Data.
3/24: 425k (+25k) cases worldwide, 53.8k (+3.8k) cases USA, 19k (+1k) deaths.
3/24 Top 5 countries: China 81k, Italy 69k, USA 53k, Spain 47k, Germany 32k.


3/17 Africa braces for the coronavirus, slowly

3/15 Cases spreading across Africa

North-West Africa

North Africa / Warring States

Egypt / Sudan

3/24 Coronavirus reaches Sudan, "one of the countries least equipped to handle it"
... it will be horrible there. No hospital infrastructure to speak of. 200 critical care beds, 80 ventilators
... "Under al-Bashir, hospitals withered so cronies could make vast profits from private hospitals"

3/13 Khartoum, Sudan has first coronavirus death - closes borders, stops international flights

Western Africa / Lake Chad


3/18 Nigeria bans 13 countries from entering

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

3/23 Kenya edging toward a lockdown - "sprawling informal settlements where people have no room to isolate, no running water"

Middle Africa / Lakes

Southern Africa

Central Asia / Caucasus

3/19 President suggests coronavirus may require a crackdown on opposition - never let a disaster go unused

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

3/14 Saudi bans all international flights
... closes malls, bans serving food in restaurants, cafes

3/09 Israel will quarantine anyone entering

3/13 Kuwait urges Muslims to pray at home

3/13 Oman suspends all tourist visas

3/24 UAE grounds all flights in or out of country, tonight - 50 new cases found
3/17 UAE announces visa suspensions, flight restrictions

Stopping the spread in Syrian refugee camps is ‘mission impossible'

West Asia / Turkey / Jordan

3/20 Jordan initiates a nationwide state of emergency, sweeping restrictions on movement


3/13 Iraq has border issues with Iran over virus entering

Iraq tells people not to visit religious sites
... banned all public gatherings, trying to avoid Iran's Qom super-spreader

Iran facing assively devastating pandemic, hard to know full impact
... 3/9 top advisers, government officials, military personnel all infected
... 3/13 Mass graves detectable via satellitenk

Virus “could kill millions”
out of hand ... no one believes the government's numbers
Iranians defy authorities in bid to access holy sites
current cases are 2x available beds

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

3/16 Afghanistan: virus complicates war and peace
... tensions over the border with Iran, with 15,000/day coming in to Afgh.


3/24 1.8m monitored due to symptoms, low testing, virus in all provinces
highest number of cases in Maharashtra and Kerala

3/24 announces 21-day lockdown for everyone: stay in your homes

3/19 tries to curb mass pilgrimage - 100s of 1000s of Hindus gather at Ayodha

3/19 worries South Asia could be next big hotspot

3/16 curbs visas, quarantines arriving nationals

3/12 suspends tourist visas after March 13 - probably see more of this

3/11 closes border with Myanmar

Nepal / Bhutan / Tibet

Maldives / Sri Lanka

Bengali / Bangladesh


3/23 Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic cases daily despite official figures

3/23 Has China really beaten the coronavirus? Questions about the stats still abound.

3/20 Covid-19 is a chance for the church in the US to learn from the church in China.

3/12 tightens borders to prevent re-importing infections - quarantine facilities for all international visitors

3/11 China's new normal - life springing back after weeks of lockdown, still not normal

Taiwan / Mongolia / Macau / Hong Kong

Taiwan ‘rapidly produced, implemented 124 action items
... border control, case identification, quarantine, education ...

3/10 Mongolia closed down all international flights


3/24 To no one's surprise, Olympics postponed.


Another cluster of cases in South Korea related to a church
… big church services will probably get closed down in many places

Korea death rate kept low by virus testing blitz
... didn't put curbs on internal movement, instead tested 100s of 1000s, targeted quarantine

Note this NYT story about the incredible surveillance in S Korea against the virus
Monitoring cell phone GPS tracks, police fines, etc.

Life in Seoul amidst the epidemic

Southeast Asia

Singapore re-introducing partial closure after some virus cases entered from outside

Metro Manila, Philippines under mandatory quarantine

Indonesia: thousands of Muslim pilgrims ignore virus risk to gather
… “we are more afraid of God … something more than the body, which is the soul"

3/25 Lockdown hasn't curbed viral spread, extended to April 14
3/17 - Malaysia closes borders

Thailand: arrivals from 4 countries must declare self-quarantine details
... ‘so they can be contacted and officials can go monitor them'...

Notable Europe

Germany: Up to 70% could become infected

UK will close all schools, colleges, nurseries

3/14 France orders all nonessential businesses closed, movement curtailed

3/15 Spain weighs liberties against coronavirus

3/12 Italy's health care system groans under virus, a warning to the world

Confusion & fear sweep through Italy amid lockdown

Russia tightening borders

North America

3/24 States issuing lockdowns

US, Canada close border to non-essential travel, restrict travel

US to Level 4 global travel warning notice
... State Department's advice: all Americans to avoid travel abroad. Any Americans abroad should return home or shelter in place for indefinite duration ...

US suspends travel from EU - Link


Well known churches & pastors getting hit with virus, being visible
3/24 Hillson NYC pastor, leadership team

“Prayer in the time of coronavirus” - worshipping in empty pews - Link

Italian priests are discovering social media as “an instrument of prayer” - Link

Sunday without church: in crisis, a nation asks, “What is community”? Link

Big events being cancelled
3/24 SBC annual convention cancelled


On stopping it
3/22 The virus can be stopped, but only with harsh steps, experts say
3/24 Bill Gates: 'best case scenario is 6 to 10 weeks of total isolation in US'

Leaders infected
Prince Charles

3/11 I found this regularly-updated survey of air travel cancellation policies - Link

Key report from UK research center models scenarios - Link ... all measures needed, likely until vaccine found ...

The Hammer and the Dance on Medium is an excellent introduction to the Covid-19 issues, esp. as regards to quarantines & lockdowns

Infographic: a visual history of pandemics - Link ... from 165 AD to now ...

3/19 ‘Wash our hands? Some people can't wash their kids for a week' - Link ... refugee camps, etc., going to get hit, and hit hard ...

‘When the checkpoints come': A coronavirus police state in America - Link ... look at this as a worst-case scenario ... I think it's improbable but not impossible.