In Argentina, the daily reported cases of coronavirus took a dramatic leap on Wednesday, with 117 new cases, bringing the total to 502.
Eight deaths have been reported so far, including a seven-year-old girl who died on Wednesday after being hospitalized due to pre-existing conditions in the northern province of Chaco. The biggest previous jump was on Tuesday, with 87 new cases.
In a drastic measure, Argentina announced Wednesday the suspension of repatriation efforts for thousands of Argentines imprisoned abroad for the coronavirus pandemic. Apparently, the tough decision was a response to Argentine returnees who lied about their health to return home.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 Argentines, mostly tourists, are still outside the country, mainly in the USA, Europe, the United Kingdom and Latin America. Only people over 65 will be able to return, announced President Alberto Fernández.
Among those who will not be able to return, is Martín Echegaray Davies, 62, an Argentine of Welsh origin who was prevented from completing his two and a half hike from Ushuaia, in the extreme south of Argentina, to Alaska, when the US border with Canada was closed last week.
Echegaray, who is hiding in Fargo, North Dakota, after his failed attempt to cross to Canada, posted this selfie on his Instagram account on Wednesday saying he does not know now when he will be able to return from the U.S.
New Zealand's Director General of Health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, announced 78 new suspected and confirmed overnight coronavirus cases (73 confirmed), raising the country's total to 283
On average, 1,400 tests are being done every day and 27 people have recovered from the disease. Seven people are being treated at the hospital, although none require intensive care.
Dr. Bloomfield said the stock of medicines is becoming a problem across the country, and new measures will be taken to limit the offer to one month for general medicines and three months for oral contraceptives.
"There is no problem with the drug supply chain," said Bloomfield.
“These are unprecedented times for New Zealand and other countries around the world. We are all in this together. We expect the number of cases to increase at least in the next ten days. "
The Australian market opened about 1.6%, even as more companies announced they were closing operations and laying off thousands of employees.
Job losses and casualties among listed companies in Australia now add up to more than 65,000 since the middle of last week, after retailer Premier Investments and travel agent Flight Center laid off employees on Thursday morning.
The casino operator Star Entertainment Group was the biggest winner among the top 200 companies, increasing by more than 15%, despite its operations being closed due to the crisis.
Gold miner Northern Star Resources was the biggest loser, losing 9% after withdrawing profit forecasts and canceling its dividend.
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