Covid-19 news: March 30

Go back to 3/27 index

Current Status

Dashboards: New York Times, Johns Hopkins, Our World in Data.
3/27: 741k cases worldwide, 144kk cases USA, 35k deaths.
3/26 Top 5 countries: USA 144k, Italy 101k, Spain 85k, China 81k, Germany 57k.
Justin's (rough draft model) forecast: by 4/1, USA will be >200k cases.


3/26 Africa is woefully ill-eqipped to cope with Covid-19 - Economist
... People cannot stay away from work if they have no money ...

3/22 In Africa, social distancing is a privilege few can afford

3/17 Africa braces for the coronavirus, slowly

3/15 Cases spreading across Africa

3/14 Africa vs coronavirus: a challenge for the continent

North-West Africa

North Africa / Warring States

Egypt / Sudan

3/26 Egypt forces journalist to leave after coronavirus story - Link
... in lots of places, work that ends up criticizing the government will likely land people in trouble ...

3/24 Egypt initiates nationwide virus curfew - Link

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


3/23 Coronavirus cases rising rapidly - Link

3/18 Nigeria bans 13 countries from entering

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

3/29 Burundi may be stifling news, hiding cases of coronavirus - Link

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

3/20 Millions of Ethiopians living in Oromia under a months-long government shutdown of the Internet and phone services cannot get news of Covid-19.

Middle Africa / Lakes

Southern Africa

3/26 A perfect Covid-19 storm closes in on South Africa - Link

Central Asia / Caucasus

3/29 Majlis Podcast: the Coronavirus in Central Asia - RFE/RL

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

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

3/26 Gaza, already under siege, imposes quarantine - Link

3/23 Saudi initiates nationwide virus curfew - Link

3/14 Saudi: bans all international flights
3/15 closes malls, bans serving food in restaurants, cafes

3/25 Israel's synagogues close for the first time, due to virus - Link
... 3/25 Al-Aqsa mosque closed to Muslim worshippers - "bitter decision" - Link

3/09 Israel: all international arrivals to be quarantined 14 days

3/13 Kuwait urges Muslims to pray at home

3/13 Oman: tourist visas suspended

3/26 UAE: 3-day closure for massive nationwide disinfection campaign
3/24 UAE: stop all international arrivals, ground all flights in or out of the country - 50 new cases found
3/17 UAE suspends visas, restricts flights

3/17 Syria: school, university closures - school, university closure; stores see panic buying
3/9 Stopping the spread in Syrian refugee camps is ‘mission impossible'

West Asia / Turkey / Jordan

3/26 Turkey considers full lockdown - Link

3/25 Plan to feed Jordanians under curfew "sows chaos" - Link

3/20 Jordan: nationwide state of emergency, lockdown


3/29 Oil price crash, virus hits, commerce stops: Iraq is in trouble - NYT

3/23 Iran releases 1/3 of Christian prisoners due to virus concerns - Link
... will restrict travel to help fight coronavirus - Link

3/13 Iraq: border issues with Iraq over virus

Iraq: don't visit religious sites
... banned all public gatherings, trying to avoid Iran's Qom super-spreader

Iran facing uncontrolled, uncontained pandemic, hard to know full impact
... 3/19 50 new cases per hour - Link
... 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

3/30 Reactions in Herat, Afghanistan to restrictions - Link

"As if Afghans didn't have enough trouble, now comes the pandemic" - Link

3/26 "God will protect us": coronavirus spreads through already struggling Pakistan - Link
... Many within clerical establishment refused to help... refused to limit mosque gatherings... brought together 150,000 clerics from around the world in a religious gathering that helped spread the virus ...

Pakistani doctors decry shortages as nation nears lockdown - Link

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


3/29 India's coronavirus lockdown leaves vast numbers stranded and hungry - NYT

3/29 PM "asks forgiveness" over lockdown - BBC
... "but it's the only way to fight the virus," he claims
... mentions a possible economic relief package

3/26 India and Pakistan try to keep a fifth of humanity at home - Economist
... but for many, the restrictions mean instant ruin

Announces 21-day lockdown for everyone: stay in your homes

India sources have sent me pics of people standing in line for vegetables, reports of police beating people out and about (along with video), people being quarantined, lots of politically-motivated activity in the local setting.

3/25 India's poorest fear "hunger may kill us before coronavirus" - Link

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

3/24 India's health system is not prepared - an analysis

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

3/23 World's "back office" rushes to stay online in the midst of India lockdown
... "the millions who staff the back offices of Wall Street banks"...
... "work outsourced by firms from airlines to insurers"...

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

3/17 Remote work is not an option in India's huge, informal economy - will make lockdowns difficult, costly, nigh impossible

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


3/26 Temporary ban on foreigners entering China, to prevent second wave - Link

3/24 Hubei lifts restrictions

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 ...

3/26 How Taiwan fended off the coronavirus - Link
... lots of data, quarantines, border controls, masks, etc.

Hong Kong bars non residents and bans alcohol sales in restaurants, bars

3/10 Mongolia closed down all international flights


3/26 Japan's success has puzzled the world: is its luck running out?
... cases spiked this week, leading to fears that limited testing means many cases are going undetected ...

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


North Korea swallows its pride and asks for help - Link
... "secretly asked for international help as the pandemic threatens to cripple its fragile healthcare system..."

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

Cambodia's PM hints at state of emergency as cases trend up - Link

3/23 in denial with zero Covid-19 claim - Link
3/20 Rohingya camps a Covid-19 time bomb - Link

3/23 Singapore's very good response is now being tested by a second wave - Link
... returnees from overseas are a potent risk, same thing China faces. Many countries will close their borders or quarantine or cast a wary eye on foreigners arriving for the near future ...

3/20 Why Indonesia has the world's highest Covid-19 death rate - Link
... at least for now. But this article is also a good look at what's happening in some of the individual provinces. Probably only the tip of the iceberg.
thousands of Muslim pilgrims ignore virus risk to gather
... “we are more afraid of God … something more than the body, which is the soul"

Migrant laborers from Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia head home from Thailand after virus lockdown - Link

Thailand: 80,000+ flee Bangkok for hometowns, rural provinces, using buses - Link

Travelers from 11 countries required to present health certificates before boarding airplanes to Thailand - Link

3/25 Lockdown hasn't curbed viral spread, extended to April 14

3/19 "loses its grip on Covid-19 outbreak" - Link
... with doubts rising about new government's ability to contain the spread ...
... 3/17 Malaysia closes borders
... 3/13 banned all mass assemblies until 4/30 ...
... 2/27 superspreader religious event + one super-spreader individual

Metro Manila, Philippines under mandatory quarantine

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

Notable Europe

3/29 "Tractors and vodka will cure Belarus of the coronavirus" - Times

3/23 UK telecom operators to share cellular location data with government for virus tracking - Teiss

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

3/21 Russia has few coronavirus cases, but a sharp spike in "pneumonia" - Link

North America

3/29 US administraiton extends social distancing guidelines to end of April - WSJ

3/24 Map of states issuing lockdowns - NYT


3/30 Five days of worship at an evangelical megachurch in France, that "set a virus time bomb" - Link
3/29 A Mount Vernon choir went ahead with rehearsal; now dozens have the virus and 2 are dead -
3/30 Pastor of Tampa church that held two large Sunday services arrested, jailed -
3/30 Polls, analysis: "Would they rather be dead right? Support for congregations staying open" - Link/a>
... lots of articles like these because large churches are easy virus vectors ...
... people will forgive mistakes, and even forgive choices that later appear unwise -- but they won't easily forget/forgive intentionally remaining open, endangering people ...

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


3/29 AIDS, TB, Malaria: coronavirus threatens endgame - Forbes

3/26 As covid-19 spreads, Arab states are clamping down - Economist
... "Never let a good disaster..."

3/25 Coronavirus is advancing in poor countries, and the prognosis is troubling - Link

7 great COVID-19 graphic resources - Link

"How the pandemic will end" - great longread analysis - Link

"Virus rebels from France to Florida flout lockdown practices" Link

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'

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

Imperial 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.


How coronavirus tests actually work - Link

3/26 Countries using apps, data networks to keep tabs on the pandemic - Link