Latest updates on the spread of coronavirus around the world

8-10 minutesImage result for Latest on the spread of coronavirus around the worldThe world’s wealthiest nations poured unprecedented aid into the traumatized global economy on Thursday as coronavirus cases ballooned in the current epicentre Europe even as they waned at the pandemic’s point of origin, China.

DEATHS, INFECTIONS

- The virus has infected more than 234,000 people across the world and the death toll exceeds 9,700.
- For an interactive graphic tracking global spread: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser
EUROPE- Italy’s death toll from coronavirus overtook that of China, where the virus first emerged.
- A total 427 deaths were registered in Italy over the past 24 hours, bringing the total nationwide tally to 3,405 since the outbreak surfaced on Feb. 21.
- Spanish authorities promised to take special measures to prevent more deaths from coronavirus in nursing homes after cases of mass contagion there swelled the country’s death toll to 767.
- French health authorities reported 108 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total to 372 or an increase of almost 41%.
- Greece is ready to inject 10 billion euros to support its economy, as it confirmed 46 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its total to 464.
- The United Kingdom put 20,000 military personnel on standby as dozens of underground train stations closed across London and Queen Elizabeth left the city for Windsor Castle.
- Serbia on Thursday closed its airport and said it will shut all road and rail borders other than to freight traffic, as well as halt all internal passenger transport.
- Restrictions imposed by some European Union countries at their borders are disrupting food supplies, industry representatives and farmers said on Thursday.
- NATO is scaling down military exercises in Europe but alliance missions are continuing, including the drawdown of the U.S.-led force in Afghanistan following a peace agreement last month.
- The EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, said on Thursday he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- Germany and Britain have put military personnel on standby. Italian soldiers transported bodies overnight from a northern town whose cemetery has been overwhelmed by the scale of the outbreak.
- A southern Swiss canton bordering Italy is being swamped with coronavirus patients, a top health official said on Thursday.
- A virus-hit Italian cruise ship has docked in Marseille, southern France. The 1,400 passengers and crew will remain on board while awaiting test results.
- Croatia, Northern Ireland and Russia reported their first deaths on Thursday.
- Sweden’s Riksbank said it will now offer loans in U.S. dollars against collateral after signing a swap facility with the Federal Reserve in the United States.

AMERICAS

- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that he expects the closure of the United States-Canada border to come into effect overnight on Friday.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 10,491 cases, an increase of 3,404 from its previous count, and said the death toll had risen by 53 to 150, the biggest one-day jump so far.- More than 60,000 homeless people could become infected in California over the next eight weeks, badly straining the healthcare system.
- Venezuelan utilities have hiked fees and the government plans to raise taxes as the economy deteriorates further due to the spread.
- Brazil’s government on Thursday unveiled a 10 billion reais ($2 billion) aid package for some 11 million low-wage workers.
- Brazil’s tourist hotspot Rio de Janeiro reported its first two coronavirus deaths on Thursday, bringing the country’s toll to six.
- Nicaragua and El Salvador have reported their first cases, and Mexico its first death.
ASIA - China and the epicentre of its coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan city, have reported no new domestic transmissions for the first time.
- New imported coronavirus infections hit a record of 21 in Beijing, data showed on Thursday.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to citizens to stay home and avoid panic buying, even as India outlined plans to halt all international flights.
- An expert panel guiding Japan’s coronavirus response recommended on Thursday that schools in some regions could be re-opened.
- Japan has had 970 domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus and 34 deaths excluding cases from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo last month.
- Indonesia likely has far higher numbers of cases than reported due to limited testing and needs to consider tougher measures like lockdowns, the Red Cross told Reuters.
- Malaysian authorities are seeking around 2,000 Rohingya for checks after they attended a Muslim gathering on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. More than 670 cases in Southeast Asia have been linked to the gathering.
- Vietnam’s health ministry reported an additional nine coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total number in the Southeast Asian country to 85.- Australia is closing its borders to foreigners and pumping about A$100 billion ($56 billion) into the economy.- Air New Zealand said on Friday it was offered a NZ$900 million ($514 million) lifeline by the government

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

- Coronavirus is killing one person every 10 minutes in Iran, the health ministry spokesman tweeted on Thursday, as its death toll climbed to 1,284.
- Egypt will shut all cafes, malls, sporting clubs and nightclubs from 7:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. local time, starting Thursday, until March 31 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the government said in a statement.
- Civil liberties activists asked Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday to suspend cellphone monitoring put in place under emergency regulations.
- Turkey has sent 500,000 test kits to the United States at their request.
- Jordan’s army on Thursday sealed off the capital from the rest of the country as the kingdom puts its ten million inhabitants under a lockdown, witnesses and officials said.
FILE PHOTO: A coronavirus patient arrives on a stretcher at the Columbus Covid Hospital, which has been assigned as one of the new coronavirus treatment hospitals in Rome, after being transferred by medical workers in protective white suits from the Gemelli Hospital, in Rome, Italy, March 16, 2020. Picture taken March 16, 2020. Policlinico Gemelli/Handout via REUTERS
- Africa will likely see cases rise in coming weeks as some cases escape detection, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control said on Thursday, when Chad confirmed its first case.
- South African authorities announced on Thursday they would erect a fence along its border with Zimbabwe to prevent illegal immigrants from entering and spreading the virus.
- Algeria will suspend public transport, close cafes and restaurants, tell half its state employees to stay home.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

- European and American stocks rebounded on Thursday, halting further declines, in a sign further steps to boost liquidity by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks has tentatively calmed markets. [MKTS/GLOB]
- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits surged to a 2-1/2-year high last week as companies in the services sector laid off workers because of the pandemic.
- German manufacturers recorded the most precipitous drop in business expectations in the 70-year history of industrial surveys, preliminary figures showed on Thursday.
- Airline industry turmoil deepened as Qantas Airways told most of its 30,000 staff to take leave and Lufthansa said the industry may not survive without state aid if the pandemic lasts a long time.
- Crude oil traders from West Africa to the U.S. Gulf Coast are offering cargoes at deep discounts, desperately trying to attract buyers as global supplies swell and demand plunges.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve rolled out its third emergency credit program in two days, this one to ensure liquidity in money market mutual funds.
- Australia announced support packages on Thursday that will pump around A$100 billion ($56 billion) into the economy.
- The South African Reserve Bank cut its main lending rate by 100 basis points to 5.25% on Thursday in a surprise unanimous decision.

EVENTS

- A plane carrying the Olympic torch from Greece will arrive on Friday on Japan’s northwestern coast, but the welcome ceremony will have no spectators.
- The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed from May to the end of June.
- The 36th ASEAN summit scheduled in Vietnam early next month has been postponed until end-June.
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March 19, 2020
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