coronavirus update

Toll rises as coronavirus tightens global grip

The us and countries across Europe are closing schools, entertainment venues and every one but essential services, as they boost up efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

More cases are now being added outside China, where the virus first originated late last year, than inside.

Schools in ny City are shut with classes moved online, and entertainment venues are ordered to shut from Tuesday, as officials increasingly intercommunicate quarantine measures to tackle an epidemic that has now killed 5,800 people round the world.

Governments also are limiting travel – both inward and outward – to curb the movement of individuals. South Korea and China, both wary of imported infections, have tightened requirements for international arrivals.

Italy reported 368 new deaths from the coronavirus while the amount of confirmed cases rose to 24,747, the country’s civil protection authority said.

Iran announced quite 100 people had died within the past 24 hours, with the confirmed cases nearing 14,000. Tehran said its fight against the outbreak was being severely hampered by US sanctions.

Monday, March 16
08:11 GMT – Bahrain reports first Gulf death from coronavirus
Bahrain reported its first death from coronavirus, the health ministry said on Twitter, the primary death from COVID-19 virus within the Gulf states.

The deceased was a 65-year-old Bahraini citizen who had underlying health conditions.

08:03 GMT – Bank of Japan unveils emergency measures over virus
The Bank of Japan said it might double its annual capacity to get exchange-traded funds and Japan realty investment, the most recent global financial organisation to require emergency action.

The bank said it had decided unanimously to “actively” purchase ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and J-REITs (investment funds tied to Japanese real estate) with an annual upper limit of 12 trillion yen ($112bn) and 180 billion yen ($1.6bn) respectively.

The BoJ said it might also introduce a replacement operation to supply loans against corporate debt and raised its annual limit for bond certificate purchases by one trillion yen to 4.2 trillion yen.

But it left its main rate of interest unchanged at minus 0.1 percent and also kept its upper limit for purchasing government bonds at 80 trillion yen.

07:54 GMT – France says coronavirus situation ‘deteriorating very fast’
The coronavirus outbreak in France is “very worrying” and “deteriorating very fast”, the pinnacle of the country’s health service said.

“The number of cases double every three days,” Jerome Salomon said on France Inter.

“There could be a real worry that the speed of the outbreak could saturate hospitals and this is often something we absolutely want to avoid,” Salomon said.

“This is why we must do everything to weigh down the outbreak,” he said. “Each Frenchman and Frenchwoman must tell themselves every morning: how am i able to reduce by a 3rd or fourth the amount of individuals I approach? Remain reception, it’s as simple as that.”

07:43 GMT – Philippine president to impose quarantine across Luzon
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will impose “enhanced community quarantine” across the country’s entire main island of Luzon, his spokesman said, adding to existing measures aimed toward containing the spread of coronavirus.

More details would follow on the improved quarantining procedures, Salvador Panelo told reporters in a very text message, without elaborating.

Panelo had earlier said a “total lockdown” of Metropolitan Manila was among options available in what he said was “a matter of national survival”.
07:36 GMT – NYC, four US states shut bars, restaurants
Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and ny City are among the places that ordered bars to shut and restaurants to prevent dine-in service. Takeout and delivery will still be allowed.

“The time for persuasion and public appeals is over,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said. “This isn’t a joke. nobody is resistant to this.

The Democratic governor ordered all bars and restaurants in his state to shut from Monday night until March 30.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a press release saying he will limit the city’s 27,000 restaurants, bars and cafes to food takeout and delivery beginning on Tuesday. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues will must close.

Washington, the state hardest hit by the virus with quite 40 dead, will see its bars, restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities all temporarily closed apart from food takeout and delivery.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker also ordered all bars and dine-in restaurants to shut for 3 weeks.

All bars and restaurants in Ohio are closed until further notice.

California Governor Gavin Newsom needed all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to shut within the nation’s most populous state.

In la, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive order to shut bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gymnasiums until a minimum of March 31.

07:20 GMT – US Peace Corps suspends global operations
US humanitarian group the Peace Corps said it’ll temporarily suspend all global operations and evacuate its volunteers.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more difficult by the day, we are acting now to … prevent a situation where volunteers are unable to go away their host countries,” Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen said in a very letter to volunteers posted on its website.

The group will return to normal operations when conditions permit, Olsen said, adding that host country staff will remain in their current positions.

07:05 GMT – Member of Iranian clerical assembly dies from virus
A 78-year-old member of the Iranian clerical body that chooses the country’s supreme leader has died from the illness caused by the new coronavirus, the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported.

Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei, a low-profile, moderate member of the Assembly of Experts, was the most recent of several senior Iranian officials to own been infected within the worsening outbreak.

The clerical assembly has the authority to appoint or remove the supreme leader, who has the ultimate say on all major policies.

07:00 GMT – Czechs seal off some towns to stop coronavirus spread
Czech authorities sealed a region within the east of the country to stop the coronavirus from spreading, the mayor of a town within the region said.

The government tightened restrictions to combat the outbreak, banning people from touring apart from work, shopping and a few other limited activities until March 24.

“Unicov along with Cervenka, Litovel and every one local affiliates were closed off as of 3:00 a.m. by the order of the regional public health office. the explanation is to stop the Covid-19 disease from spreading,” Unicov mayor Radek Vincour said on the town’s website.

06:15 GMT

New York is closing schools, restaurants and bars because it steps up efforts to curb the spread of the virus. The outbreak also dominated the primary head-to-head debate between Democratic candidates for the presidency Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

New Zealand is banning public gatherings and a bunch of nations, including South Korea and China, are tightening restrictions on travellers from overseas.

Turkey reported 12 new cases, while questions are being asked in Pakistan about its quarantine procedures after millions of people were found to own COVID-19 even after they were released from quarantine.
06:10 GMT – Pakistan records big jump in cases for second straight day
Pakistan has recorded an oversized jump in coronavirus cases for the second straight day, with 37 new cases recorded in Sindh province on Monday morning, health official Meeran Yousuf told Al Jazeera.

All of these with the coronavirus had visited Iran and previously been held in quarantine at the Taftan border crossing between the 2 countries.

With the new cases, Pakistan now has 94 known cases.

05:30 GMT – Philippines imposing strict measures to guard Duterte from coronavirus
The Philippines has outlined a bunch of measures designed to guard Rodrigo Duterte, the country’s 74-year-old president, from the coronavirus.

Local broadcaster ABS-CBN says the measures include a “no-touch” policy at large events and mandatory COVID-19 tests at private functions.

05:15 GMT – Turkey reports 12 new coronavirus cases
Turkey has identified 12 new cases of coronavirus, bringing its total to 18, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Monday, marking the best daily increase since the country announced its first case last week.

Koca said two of the new cases were associated with the primary case reported within the country, seven had travelled from Europe and three from the us.

The Turkish government has ramped up measures to halt the spread of the virus, closing schools and universities, holding sports events without spectators and halting flights to several countries.

Thousands of Muslims returning to Turkey from a pilgrimage in Asian nation were taken into quarantine on Sunday and therefore the Interior Ministry said bars and nightclubs would be closed from Monday.

04:40 GMT – China’s Jack Ma sends masks, test kits to US
04:15 GMT – Pakistan cases jump after people test positive after completing quarantine
Pakistan recorded its largest single daily jump in coronavirus cases on Sunday, with a minimum of 52 people confirmed to own the virus, health officials say.

Thirteen new cases were reported from the southern town of Sukkur, all of whom had previously spent 14 days in quarantine near the Pakistan-Iran border. The Sukkur cases have raised fears that Pakistan’s quarantine efforts are ineffective.

04:00 GMT – New Zealand bans gatherings of 500 people or more
New Zealand has become the most recent country to ban large gatherings.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said events of 500 people or more wouldn’t be allowed.

Ardern added that the govt. would have intolerance for anyone who violated the country’s new self-isolation rules, which the economic impact from COVID-19 may be greater than the worldwide financial crisis.

“At this time we can not be sure of the impact but we are able to take care it’ll be significant,” Ardern said.

03:45 GMT – Cambodia cases include two who visited Malaysia for religious event
A few more details on the extra Cambodia cases…

Two are folks that had travelled to Malaysian capital for a non secular event that has already led to a pointy jump in cases in Malaysia.

One case could be a four-month-old French boy who travelled along with his father from Paris via Singapore to Pnom Penh and tested positive for the virus earlier on Sunday, the ministry said. His wife tested negative.

A Cambodian man coming back from France also tested positive, bringing the entire number of cases to 12.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered citizens to not visit Europe, the us and Iran as a part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

Anyone coming back from Europe, the US and Iran must even be quarantined for 14 days on arrival in Cambodia.

03:20 GMT – port tourist arrivals plunge, government pledges support
Provisional figures from Hong Kong’s tourist board show the amount of individuals visiting the territory plunged in February because the coronavirus spread.

The port Tourism Board (HKTB) announced visitor arrivals to port in February were 199,000, a drop of quite 96 percent from the identical time last year.

Before the closure of major borders on 8 February, there have been between 10,000 and 20,000 arrivals daily, the board said in a very statement. Afterwards, average daily arrivals fell to three,300. The HKTB expects an additional come by March.

Executive Director Dane Cheng says the tourism board is preparing a 400 million port dollar ($51.5 million) support commit to support the industry’s recovery because the outbreak eases.

02:25 GMT – South Korea confident with technology and testing expertise
A bit more on South Korea’s move to impose special screening measures on all arrivals from Europe.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, who is in Seoul, says authorities there deem they’ll keep the virus contained with a mixture of testing expertise (Korea has administered a few quarter of 1,000,000 tests) and technology.

Travellers wil must download an app that they’re going to be required to interact with on a usual for 2 weeks, answering questions on their health. If an individual doesn’t comply then they’re going to receive a call, and action may be taken.

“South Korea believes it’s the rear up, an contract if you wish, that it can allow people in from other parts of the globe provided that it can keep tabs on them (through the app),” McBride said.

02:20 GMT – Long queues at Amsterdam coffee shops earlier than shutdown
Long queues formed outside Amsterdam’s coffee shops before they were closed until April 6.
02:10 GMT – ‘Wartime mentality’: ny mayor orders entertainment venues to shut
New York mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the city’s bars, theatres and cinemas to shut from Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter, the mayor told New Yorkers: “This isn’t a choice I make lightly. These places are a part of the center and soul of our city. they’re a part of what it means to be a replacement Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and that we must respond with a wartime mentality.”

Earlier, he announced schools within the city would close from March 16 with online learning to start every week later.

02:10 GMT – Cambodia reports four new cases, including a baby
Cambodia has reported four new cases of the coronavirus, including a four-month-old baby.

01:35 GMT – US Fed cuts rates almost to zero
The Fed, popularly referred to as the Fed, took the extraordinary step Sunday of slashing its benchmark rate of interest to close zero and unveiled a slew of measures to unfreeze credit markets because the us financial organisation moved to defend the US and global economies against the impact of coronavirus pandemic disruptions.

“The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the us,” the Fed’s policy-setting committee said in a very statement on Sunday. “Global financial conditions have also been significantly affected.”

01:15 GMT – South Korea expands special screening to any or all arrivals from Europe
South Korea has expanded special screening measures to arrivals from all European countries amid concerns of imported cases.

Yonhap agency says the measures were extended beyond the initial six European nations – Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Britain and therefore the Netherlands – at the hours of darkness.

“The coronavirus seems to spreading in Europe at an unusual pace,” the agency reported Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun as saying.

Arrivials will must complete health documents, have their temperatures taken, notify health authorities of their whereabouts and download a self-check health app.

The KCDC announced 74 new cases in South Korea on Monday, bringing the entire to eight,236.

01:00 GMT – China wrestles with imported cases as domestic infections ease
Overall cases of coronavirus in Red China still drop but major cities including Beijing and Shanghai are now grappling with cases involving infected travellers returning from abroad.

Mainland China had 16 new confirmed cases on Sunday, the National Health Commission said on Monday, bringing the entire number of confirmed cases in China up to now to 80,860. It had 20 new infections the previous day.

Of the new figures, 12 were imported infections, exceeding locally transmitted cases for the third day.

Beijing accounted for four of the cases, province four, Shanghai two, province one and Gansu one. China now has 123 imported cases.

00:50 GMT – CDC advises large events and gatherings cancelled
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the US is recommending that every one gatherings of fifty people or more are cancelled or postponed over the following eight weeks, which smaller events should act as long as they meet CDC guidelines for vulnerable people, hand hygiene and social distancing.

The CDC said: “Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 within the us via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.”

00:05 GMT – LVMH perfume factories to create hand santiser instead
Luxury goods giant LVMH has told factories producing perfumes for its Parfums fashion designer, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy to begin producing “substantial quantities” of hydroalcoholic gel instead.

The move will become on Monday and therefore the gel delivered unengaged to France’s public health authorities, the corporate said in a very statement.

00:00 GMT – Russia sets up taskforce to tackle coronavirus
Russia’s President Putin has founded a replacement taskforce to guide the country’s fight against the coronavirus with 63 recorded cases as of Sunday.

Moscow’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, will lead the group, in step with the Interfax agency.

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