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Saudi Arabia Bans Prayers At Mosques Over Coronavirus Fears

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Saudi Arabia Bans Prayers At Mosques Over Coronavirus Fears

Saudi Arabia has suspended daily and weekly prayers inside and outside the walls of the two mosques in Mecca and Medina.

Earlier on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia suspended congregational prayers in other mosques in the country except Masjid Al-Haram and Masjid An-Nabawi, in Mecca and Medina respectively.

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Saudi Arabia recorded 36 new infections on Thursday, bringing its total to 274.  No deaths have so far been reported.

The oil producing nation has taken drastic measures already.  In addition to closing mosques, Saudi Arabia has stopped international flights.  It has suspended Umrah year-round pilgrimage to Mecca. Schools, malls and restaurants have been shut down, and it has asked people to stop going to work.

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13-Year-Old Boy Dies In London After Testing Positive For Coronavirus

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13-Year-Old Boy Dies In London After Testing Positive For Coronavirus

A 13-year-old boy from London who tested positive for COVID-19, becoming Britain’s youngest victim of the pandemic.

The family said in a statement on Tuesday “Ismail was only 13 years old without any pre-existing health conditions and sadly he died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid 19.”

The teen’s family said he started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing and was admitted to Kings College Hospital. “He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning. To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.”

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Ismail whose dad died of cancer, leaving his mum to care for seven children – didn’t have any family with him at the time due to the highly infectious nature of the virus.

A GoFundMe page set up by Wednesday morning to help the family pay for the child’s “janazah”, or Muslim funeral, had raised more than 51,000 pounds (about $63,000), with 2,700 persons donating – well over the goal of 4,000 pounds (about $4,944).

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A family friend who set up the page said any extra funds would be given to the family.

Spokesman for King’s College hospital NHS foundation trust expressing condolence said “sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.” adding that “the death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the young boy on Wednesday

Khan said “pause and reflect how devastating that is for his family who will probably never recover.” He further warned “young people should not believe they were immune from catching the virus.”

More than 25,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 1,789 persons have died after testing positive in the UK.

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U.N. Calls For $2.5 Trillion Covid-19 Support Package For Developing Countries

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The United Nations is calling for a two and a half trillion-dollar covid-19 support package for developing countries.  The world body says one trillion dollars should be made available through the expanded use of special drawing rights.  It is also calling for the cancellation this year of one trillion dollars of debts owed by developing countries.  The U.N. also says half a billion dollars would be needed to fund a Marshall plan for health recovery and dispersed as grants.

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The U.N. says such a support package would turn expressions of international solidarity into meaningful global action for two-thirds of the world’s population living in developing countries.

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A report by UNCTAD, the UN trade and development body, says the pandemic has dramatically hit developing countries with economic shockwaves, even when compared to the 2008 global financial crisis.  The trade body says fiscal and foreign constraints will tighten further over the course of the year and would require a two-to-three trillion dollars financing gap for developing countries over the next two years.

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UN Chief Says Coronavirus The Worst Global Crisis Since World War II

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UN Chief Says Coronavirus Is Worst Global Crisis Since World War II

The United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres has warned the coronavirus pandemic is the biggest challenge to face the world since World War Two.

Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, the UN chief said it could bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past”.

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Guterres said “the new coronavirus disease is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods”.

On Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University said 865 persons had died in the past 24 hours in the US and in all more than 189,000 people in the country had been infected.

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The UN report estimates that up to 25 million jobs could be lost around the world as the result of the outbreak. It also projects an up to 40% “downward pressure” on global foreign direct investment flows.

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