While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 14

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Coronavirus: Europe now 'epicentre' of Covid-19 pandemic, says WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that Europe was now the "epicentre" for the global coronavirus pandemic, and warned it was impossible to know when the outbreak would peak.

"Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a virtual press conference.

He said the continent had now "more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.

The virus, which first surfaced in China in December, has now killed more than 5,000 people, with cases around the world topping 134,000, according to an AFP tally.


Man detained over fire, 'ISIS' graffiti outside police post in Boon Keng

A 31-year-old man has been detained over a fire in front of a neighbourhood police post in Boon Keng the police said, as residents reported loud explosions from the blaze.

There were no injuries or casualties involved, said the police.

When The Straits Times got to the scene in Towner Road at about midnight on Saturday (March 14), there were vulgarities scrawled around the void deck walls surrounding the police post, and "ISIS" was scrawled on at least three walls. The glass walls of the police post at Block 105 Towner Road were also shattered.


Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro, who met Trump, tests negative for coronavirus

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met with President Donald Trump in the United States less than a week ago, has tested negative for coronavirus, a post on his Facebook page said on Friday.

Bolsonaro and a large Brazilian entourage, including Cabinet ministers, met with Trump and other senior US officials last weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

One of the party, Bolsonaro's communications secretary Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and is in quarantine.


Coronavirus: 'Italy has abandoned us', says man trapped at home with sister's body

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The brother of a woman who died at home after contracting coronavirus had to issue a desperate appeal on social media to persuade Italian authorities to come and collect her body.

Teresa Franzese, 47, lived with her family in the southern city of Naples and started to show the symptoms of coronavirus last week.

Her health deteriorated rapidly and she died on Saturday (March 7) before the result of a test for the disease was known. Given the uncertainty, undertakers and even the local hospital refused to pick up the body.


Coronavirus: Videos go viral of Italians singing in unison from windows

Italians are beating the social isolation imposed by the country's coronavirus lockdown by taking to their windows and singing in unison, with videos of the phenomenon racking up thousands of views online.

Since Monday, a series of decrees from the Italian government have drastically limited citizens' movements, with vast swathes of the economy shut down and people instructed to leave the house only when strictly necessary.

All cultural events have also been suspended, prompting some celebrities to start organising online performances and museums to put virtual tours online.


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