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Coronavirus latest: Global toll rises as US passes grim milestone

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Via Financial Times

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A coronavirus-stricken cruise liner stuck off the coast of Panama has begun transferring healthy holidaymakers to a sister ship, as Panama reversed course on Saturday and decide to allow it to dock. Four passengers have died and two Covid-19 cases have been confirmed on board the Zaandam. Holland America Line, owner of the Zaandam, confirmed that 53 guests – 4 per cent of the total – and 85 crew – 14 per cent – had reported flu-like symptoms.

Alister Jack, the UK secretary for Scotland,, is the third British cabinet minister to announce he is self-isolating after displaying “mild” symptoms of coronavirus. He has not been tested for the virus. It comes after the British prime minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock tested positive. Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, is confined to home after displaying symptoms consistent with the virus.

Spain’s prime minister issued an emotional call for the EU to take “economic and social action” to deal with the aftermath of the health crisis. “This is the most difficult moment since its foundation and the EU has to measure up to the circumstances,” Pedro Sánchez said. At a teleconference of EU leaders last week, Spain, Italy and France called for the EU to take actions such as issuing common debt and commit to bloc-wide spending plans. Mr Sánchez announced a two-week ban on all non-essential work in Spain.

UK fashion house Burberry will retool its famous trench coat factory in Yorkshire to make non-surgical gowns and masks for patients. In a statement it said it will also use its global supply chain network to fast-track the delivery of more than 100,000 surgical masks for the UK’s National Health Service medical staff.

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The number of dead in Italy from Covid-19 has risen past 10,000, with a further 889 deaths reported on Saturday. Confirmed cases rose by 6.9 per cent to 92,472, the lowest daily growth rate since the outbreak began, according to official figures. On Friday, Italy suffered the deadliest reported day for any country since the outbreak began, when 919 people died from coronavirus.

Ireland reported 14 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, the most in a single day after the government directed people to stay indoors under sweeping new restrictions that took force. Police set up road checkpoints in a weekend operation to ensure compliance with the new measures, with only workers in designated “essential” services now allowed travel to work.

Juventus, Italy’s richest football club, announced on Saturday that its players will take a collective pay cut worth €90m, as Europe’s biggest football teams seek to cut costs in response to the coronavirus shutdown. The Serie A league leaders became the latest big European side to agree a reduction in player salaries, following Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

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