Coronavirus: 21 March at a glance | World news

Main developments in the world coronavirus outbreak today include:

UK coronavirus death toll rises to 233

The death toll in the UK rose to 233 on Saturday after the NHS England said 53 other Covid-19 patients had died. The people who died were between 41 and 94 years old and all had underlying health conditions. Two more deaths were announced in Wales and the third in Scotland on Saturday.


John Lewis and Pret a Manger close all UK stores

Street cafe chain Pret a Manger has announced that it will close all 550 UK stores from Saturday night. While John Lewis will temporarily close all 50 stores from Monday, for the first time in its 155-year history, it will not open its store doors to customers. The online site will continue to function normally, along with Waitrose physical and online stores.

Italy sees highest daily rise in coronavirus deaths

The death toll Italy rose 793 to 4,825 on Saturday, officials said. It is the biggest daily increase in absolute terms since the contagion appeared a month ago. On Thursday, Italy overtook China as the country to record the majority of Covid-19 deaths. The total number of cases in Italy rose to 53,578 from the previous 47,021, an increase of 13.9%, reported the Civil Protection Agency.

US vice president to be tested for coronavirus

At a press conference at the White House, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that an aide in his office was positive for the new coronavirus. "Both my wife and I will be testing this afternoon," he says, despite being asymptomatic. "Neither I nor the president had direct contact" with the official, he added.


Albania calls for army help to curfew

Albania resorted to sending the army to impose a curfew that began at 1 pm local time on Saturday, in the country's last attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The measure, scheduled to last 40 hours, was implemented after citizens continued to disregard orders to stay at home. To date, 76 people in the country have contracted the virus. Two deaths were recorded.

Jair Bolsonaro criticized for response to coronavirus

Brazil's far-right president is facing fierce criticism for what is widely seen as his chaotic and careless response to the crisis. Despite this, governors in some of Brazil's leading states are taking drastic measures amid warnings that the country's health service could collapse in the coming weeks. The governor of the state of São Paulo, João Doria, has just announced that he will start a 15-day quarantine starting this Tuesday.


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