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Odishatv Bureau

Washington/Berlin: Coronavirus Penetrates US Senate as US Senator Rand Paul, Republican from the state of Kentucky becomes the first member of the upper chamber of Congress to be infected by coronavirus. He confirmed on Sunday that he tested positive for the virus.

"Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine," read a tweet on the senator's official Twitter account, Xinhua reported.

Also Read: Italy Further Tightens Lockdown Rules, Closes All Non-Essential Businesses As Death Toll Climbs To 4,825

The senator, the tweet continued, "is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person."

It added that the senator "expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends," and that his office was closed 10 days ago, "hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul."

The senator's confirmed infection came after Coronavirus Penetrates US Senate with two members of the House -- Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democrat Ben McAdams of Utah -- tested positive on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been appointed to lead the White House coronavirus task force, have also been tested amid concerns of contact with individuals sickened by the virus. Their results are both negative.

Also Read: China Can Be Held Legally Accountable For Corona ‘Cover-Ups’

Confirmed cases and fatalities both continued to surge nationwide, reaching 31,057 and 390, respectively, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University updated on Sunday noon.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in quarantine after meeting a doctor on Friday who has since tested positive for coronavirus, as per her spokesman.

Merkel was told about the contact after a press conference on Sunday in which she announced further measures to try to curb the spread of coronavirus, the BBC reported.

Addressing the press conference, Merkel, who announced some more restrictions, said: "Our behaviour is the most effective way" of slowing the rate of coronavirus spread.

Germany has now banned meetings of more than two people outside work and home for two weeks.

People living under the same roof and going out together for a stroll will be an exception.

The government has also ordered hairdressers and beauty, massage and tattoo parlours to close and restaurants will only be allowed to offer takeaway services.

Schools and non-essential shops have already been closed.

As per data from the Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Centre, Germany presently had 23,974 coronavirus cases and 92 deaths, while 266 people have recovered.

Italy Registers 59,138 Coronavirus Cases, 5,476 Dead

The coronavirus epidemic continued to spread in locked-down Italy on Sunday with total cumulative number of infected cases reaching 59,138 and deaths reaching 5,476, according to the latest data released by the Civil Protection Department.

Speaking at a televised press conference, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli confirmed that 46,638 active infections have been recorded and 5,476 have died since the pandemic first broke out in northern Italy on February 21, Xinhua reported.

Also Read: France Claims 100 Percent Cure For Coronavirus

Of those infected, 23,783 are in isolation at home, 19,846 are hospitalized and 3,009 are in intensive care, he said.

As well, a total of 7,024 patients have recovered, said Borrelli who is also the national commissioner in charge of the coronavirus emergency.

The numbers are up from an official tally on Saturday evening of 42,681 people actively infected, 4,825 deaths, and 6,072 recoveries.

Considering all data, the total cumulative number of infected cases in the country has reached 59,138, which is 5,560 more than 53,578 recorded on Saturday.

Borrelli also confirmed that 12 Civil Protection staff members have tested positive for the virus.


(With Agency Inputs)

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