Top coronavirus stories of the day, Sunday March 29

coronavirus: Judie Shape, 81, who had been diagnosed with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and was a resident at Life Care Center of Kirkland, the long-term care facility linked to confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, leaves the center with her daughter, Lori Spencer, Kirkland, Washington, U.S. March 26, 2020.  REUTERS/David Ryder     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2WRF9RS6YN

Rainy day for the world: an 81-year-old woman diagnosed with coronavirus in the US leaves her care home Image: REUTERS/David Ryde

Ceri Parker
Previously Commissioning Editor, Agenda, World Economic Forum
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From Manhattan to Manila, the coronavirus pandemic is costing lives and livelihoods all around the world. Here are some of the most significant developments and selected articles to read, as of Sunday, March 29.

global coronavirus covid cases
Global spread of the new coronavirus Image: World Health Organization
  • More than 31,000 people have died worldwide with over 678,00 infected, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • In Italy, the death toll has surpassed 10,000.
  • US cases have risen above 100,000 and doctors are warning of shortages.
  • The world's refugee camps are uniquely vulnerable.

Another grim milestone for Italy. The first European country to be hit hard by the disease, Italy has now surpassed 10,000 deaths. An extension of national lockdown looks inevitable as the country struggles to contain the outbreak. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a new package of 4.7 billion euros ($5.24 billion) to help the most vulnerable, including with shopping vouchers and food packages.

In Sweden, life is continuing almost as normal. The Nordic nation is an outlier in its approach, avoiding lockdowns and school closures but seeking to protect the elderly and vulnerable. The strategy has drawn criticism: here, two experts at Lund university explain the rationale behind it.

How long does the virus last on surfaces? And what does that mean for the way we handle food, money and more? The new coronavirus is particularly fond of hard, shiny surfaces like your phone screen, according to academics.

'It needs just one case and it would be really critical'. How can you make social distancing work in a cramped and crowded refugee camp? For the 2.6 million people who live in refugee camps around the world, the coronavirus is yet another fatal threat. This Reuters story reports on the situation in Bangladesh, currently under lockdown and home to over a million Rohingya refugees.


It's OK to complain about coronavirus. Even if you're safe and well, the pandemic is taking a psychological toll. A psychiatrist explains why venting can help us cope, within reason, and shares other advice on how to boost mental resilience.

Residents clap and bang utensils from their balcony to cheer for emergency personnel and sanitation workers who are on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus, in Ahmedabad, India, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Amit Dave - RC20PF9TNM3V
Residents in in Ahmedabad, India, applaud health workers from their balcony Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave

How the world is keeping its morale up. From balconies and rooftops, quarantine culture is now a global phenomenon.

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