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COVID-19 infections top 500,000 as US OKs USD-2-trl relief bill

KUWAIT, March 27 (KUNA) -- Now that no one knows for sure when the novel coronavirus pandemic will end, infections have surpassed 500,000 across the world, doubling in just over a week.
As many countries have adopted stimulus packages in a bid to mitigate the fallout of the COVID-19, US President Donald Trump signed a USD-two-trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday.
By adopting the relief plan, which is believed to be the largest in US history, Washington tries to blunt economic destruction from the pandemic ripping through the United States.
Disappointingly, the COVID-19, which began to attack people in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, is still claiming the lives of many people and infecting thousands of others.
Today, Egypt reported 41 additional infections, raising the total number of its confirmed cases to 536. The Ministry of Health also announced the death of six patients, including a 75-year-old German woman and five Egyptians. Out of the count, 14 cases involving 11 Egyptians and three French people ended their quarantine period after having received necessary medication, it said in a statement.
Cyprus announced its fifth death due to the novel coronavirus, bringing its count to five cases so far. As for fresh infections, the Ministry of Health said that 16 more people had tested positive for the virus, taking the tally to 162.
In Luxembourg, 152 more people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,605, the country's health ministry announced Friday. Another six coronavirus patients died, raising the total to 15 deaths in Luxembourg, it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Paulette Lenert told a press conference in Luxembourg this evening that the average age of people who died is 80 years and age of the youngest person to have died is 53. Number of people who have recovered is 40 and number of people under intensive care is 25, he added.
In Belgium, the National Security Council Friday evening decided that measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus will be extended until Sunday, April 19. That is an extension of two weeks. Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes clarified at a press conference that only necessary trips are allowed, for example to work if telework is not possible, to the food store or the doctor. Regarding outdoor activities, the aim is to keep moving, so don't sit for hours in the parks, she said.
New figures released on Friday show that a further 69 people have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19 in Belgium raising the total to 289 deaths.
In the US, the number of total cases surpassed 100,000, according to CNN. At least 1487 people have died with the State of New York being the epicenter of the outbreak with at least 44,000 confirmed cases and over 500 deaths.
At least 265 reported deaths in US only today - highest single day death toll.
Nearly 90 percent of US mayors who responded to a national survey on coronavirus preparedness said they lack sufficient tests kits, face masks and other protective equipment for their emergency responders and medical workers, while 85 percent said they do not have enough ventilators for their hospitals. The survey findings, published Friday by the US Conference of Mayors.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump signed a USD-two-trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill just hours after the House passed it in a bipartisan vote.
"This is a very important day. I've signed the single biggest economic relief package in American history and, I must say, any other package by the way. It is twice as large as any relief ever signed," he said.
"I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first," he added, noting that this will deliver urgently needed relief to the nation's families, workers and businesses. (pickup previous) kt.mt