Tuesday, March 17, 2020

#BreakingNews Latest Death Toll with over 100,000 Cases and List of Countries on Lockdown from COVID-19

Some countries have placed their citizens on lockdown.
(above image of coffins prepaid for the dead from the Coronavirus in Italy goes viral on Social Media)
 According to Business Insider and BBC, Italy, China, El Salvador, New Zealand, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, and France have set in place the world's largest and most restrictive mass quarantines.
More than 7,905 people have died and over 197,185 have been infected by the Coronavirus worldwide.
Italy has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world outside China: At least 27,900 people have been infected and more than 2,500 have died there as of March 17. France's lockdown, announced Monday, may be the largest quarantine outside of China. Almost half of China's population — about 780 million people — were under some kind of travel restriction as of February 17, according to an estimate by CNN.
After a large increase in COVID-19 cases in Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put the entire country on lockdown last week, restricting travel, leisure, work, churchgoing, and other aspects of life for its 60 million citizens. Spain and France followed, ordering residents to stay in their homes. Governments are limiting travel - both inward and outward - to curb the movement of people. South Korea and China, both wary of imported infections, have tightened requirements for international arrivals.
Here is a Screenshot from March 17, 2020 with Stats from the John Hopkins University:

More cases are now being reported outside China, where the virus called COVID-19 first originated late last year, than inside.

 Other countries have also closed their borders, and the EU has shut down all non-essential travel. El Salvador imposed a national quarantine on its population of 6.4 million people and banned foreigners from entering the country, despite having no confirmed cases of the virus so far. The World Health Organization (WHO), which has officially declared the outbreak a pandemic, called on "all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus." "Lockdown" can refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantines to non-mandatory recommendations to stay at home, closures of certain types of businesses, or bans on events and gatherings.

Here are the latest country updates (Edited from Aljazeera News and BI):

France will deploy 100,000 police to enforce a lockdown, and fixed checkpoints will be set up across the country.

"Stay at home," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that fines of up to 135 euros ($151) would be handed out to those who do not respect the new restrictions, which are centred on avoiding all but essential social contact.

Coronavirus has killed 148 people and infected more than 6,600 in France, where, along with Spain, infections and fatalities have been surging at a pace just days behind that of Italy, the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe.

In a televised address to the nation, Macron said people should stay at home and only go out for essential activities. He said that anyone flouting the restrictions would be punished.

It said on its website that the number of cases had risen to 6,633, up from 5,423 on Sunday, which is a rise of more than 20% in 24 hours.

- Egypt reports two deaths, 40 new cases
Egypt reported 40 new confirmed cases and two more deaths because of coronavirus, bringing the total of COVID-19 related deaths in the country to four, the health ministry said in a statement.

Serbia's state election commission has postponed the April 26 general elections due to the coronavirus outbreak and until after the abolishment of the state of emergency, it said in a statement.

"All the deadlines regarding the election process will be set after the end of the state of emergency," it said.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who is also the head of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, on Sunday declared the state of emergency in a bid to halt spreading of the coronavirus disease.

Ireland expects its number of coronavirus cases to increase to around 15,000 by the end of the month from 169 currently, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, predicting it would be dealing with the pandemic for many months.

US President Donald Trump issued new guidelines to help fight the coronavirus, including a recommendation that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, and going to bars, restaurants and food courts.

At a White House news briefing, Trump said the new guidelines from his coronavirus task force applied for 15 days and were meant to slow the spread of the virus.

Poland's Environment Minister Michal Wos has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet.

"I feel good ... and I express solidarity with all those who are sick," he wrote.

Poland has 156 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths so far.

Germany reported a jump in coronavirus cases by more than 1,100 to now 6,012 compared to the previous day, according to Robert Koch Institute for disease control said.

The number of confirmed deaths related to the coronavirus rose by one to now 13, with the three most populous states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg among the most affected regions, the institute added.

Russia bans entry of foreign nationals until May
Russia will ban the entry of foreign nationals and stateless people from March 18 to May 1 in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government said.

The ban will not apply to diplomatic representatives, airplane crew members and some other categories of people, it said.

Russia has reported 93 cases of the virus so far.

Canada has closed its borders to all foreign nationals, except US citizens, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged people to stay at home to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

"We will be denying entry into Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents," Trudeau told reporters at a news conference outside his home, where he is under self-quarantine after his wife tested positive for the virus.

He said Americans were exempted from the border ban.

Trudeau also said he will restrict international flights to four Canadian airports from March 18. Domestic flights will not be affected.

India will close the iconic Taj Mahal to visitors from Tuesday as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism ministry said.

"All ticketed monuments and all other museums have been directed to be closed until March 31," Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tweeted.

Most schools and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, have already been closed across India, which has reported 114 positive cases and two deaths from the virus.

Turkey will impose flight bans to six more countries including the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, making the total number of countries 20, the country's health minister announced.

Switzerland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Ireland would also be added to the list, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters.

Turkey has identified a total of 18 coronavirus cases, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

 Italy virus deaths surpass 2,000
Italy has reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since last month to over 2,500, the most after China.

Italy now has 27,980 infections, compared to 15,113 four days ago.

The European, American and final world qualifying boxing tournaments for the Tokyo Olympic Games have been suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee said.

Iraq has suspended flights at its domestic airports from March 17 to March 24 as the coronavirus spreads, the civil aviation authority said according to the state news agency.

On Sunday, Iraq suspended all flights to and from Baghdad international airport over the same period.

British people need to stop non-essential contact with each other and avoid unnecessary travel to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

"Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel," Johnson said at a news conference.

The European Union's top official proposed a 30-day ban on anyone entering the bloc unless their travel is essential, while insisting on the need to keep the internal borders between the 27 member states open as much as possible.

Speaking after an extraordinary video-conference meeting of the leaders of the G-7 countries, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said travel restrictions should be in place for an initial period that can be prolonged if necessary.

"The less travel, the more we can contain the virus," von der Leyen said.

Guatemala will close its borders for the next two weeks as part of measures aimed at containing coronvirus, President Alejandro Giammattei said.

"From tomorrow, we will be cut off from the rest of the world," he said in a national televised address.

The Swiss government has declared a state of emergency lasting until April 19 in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The government banned all public and private events from midnight and mobilised up to 8,000 members of the military after declaring the rapidly spreading coronavirus an "exceptional" emergency.

Lebanon state of emergency over coronavirus

Portugal, Spain suspend passenger air, rail traffic
Portugal's Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita said that all passenger air and rail traffic with neighbouring Spain will be suspended until April 15 from 23:00 GMT due to the coronavirus outbreak after an agreement between the two countries.

Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said it would establish controls at land borders and will only allow Spaniards, residents of Spain, cross-border workers, diplomats and people justifying force majeure into the country.

 WHO chief: 'Test, test, test' for coronavirus
The World Health Organization (WHO) called on all countries to ramp up their testing programmes as the best way to slow the advance of the coronavirus pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva.

Sudan closes airports and borders
Sudan's ruling sovereign council closed all airports, ports and land crossings and declared a public health emergency over fears about the spread of coronavirus.

Only humanitarian, commercial and technical support shipments would be excluded from the restrictions, according to a spokesman for the ruling council, in charge of the country since the ouster of veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Afghan patients break out of quarantine
Dozens of Afghan patients held in isolation, including at least one confirmed to have the coronavirus, escaped from a quarantine facility in western Afghanistan after breaking windows and attacking hospital staff, officials said.

Dr. Abdul Hakim Tamana, head of the health department of Herat province, said the 38 people who escaped had all recently returned from Iran.

Finland to close schools and universities: PM
Finland's government will pass emergency legislation on Tuesday to close all its schools and universities from Wednesday among other measures in response to the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Monday.

There were 272 confirmed coronavirus cases and no linked deaths in Finland as of Monday according to health authority.

Turkey to temporarily close gyms, cafes, cinemas
Turkey is temporarily closing cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, gyms and other venues as of midnight on Monday as a precaution to halt the spread of coronavirus, Turkish interior ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry also said that all gatherings and activities by non-governmental organisations will be postponed.

Italy death toll rises by 202: Reuters
The death toll the coronavirus outbreak in the northern Italian region of Lombardy has risen over the past day to 1,420 from 1,218, two sources with access to the data told Reuters New Agency.

The number of new cases in the region, which includes Italy's financial capital Milan, had risen by 1,377 over the past 24 hours - a slower rate of increase than seen recently.

The latest national death toll figures are due to be released later in the day. On Sunday, the country-wide tally stood at 1,809.

 Germany to close most shops, bars, churches
Germany's federal and state governments have agreed sweeping rules shutting everything from non-essential shops to bars, clubs, theatres, museums, brothels and churches in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the federal government said.

In a statement, the government said grocery shops, markets, banks, pharmacies and delivery services would remain open, while restaurants and other eating establishments would generally be allowed to open between 6am and 6pm.

Qatar reports 38 new cases, total now 439
Qatar has reported 38 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 439, according to the health ministry.

The new cases had contact with expatriate workers, who are currently quarantined, the ministry said in a statement.

Also three cases have been registered for Qatari citizens returning from travel and from several countries, includuding the United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland.

 Malaysia announces two-week lockdown
Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a drastic two-week lockdown in the country starting on Wednesday, following a sharp spike in the number of virus cases.

Muhyiddin said religious institutions, schools, businesses and government offices will be shut from March 18 until March 31.

Travel in and out of the country will also be banned. Only essential services including supermarkets, banks, gas stations and pharmacies will be allowed to stay open.

Algeria's Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad announced a suspension of all scheduled travel links with Europe in a bid to forestall the spread of coronavirus.

The measure, to take effect from Thursday, will hit all "air and sea travel to and from European countries", the prime minister's office said.

"This exceptional suspension... will be accompanied by a repatriation plan for our citizens currently in the countries concerned," it said.

UK coronavirus cases rise to 1,543
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom has risen to 1,543, the health ministry said.

The number was up from 1,372 on Sunday. The number of deaths remained at 35, it said.

 Moscow bans outdoor events amid coronavirus
Moscow has banned all outdoor events and limited indoor public events to no more than 50 people until April 10, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a blog post on his personal website, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Catalan deputy head of government, Pere Aragones, announced on Sunday that he had also tested positive.

Quim Torra is the second politician of the Catalan government to test positive for the coronavirus Chile to close borders to foreign travellers
Chile will close its borders to foreigners beginning on Wednesday to limit the spread of coronavirus in the South American nation, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said.

He also confirmed 155 cases of the virus in Chile.

Trading halted on Wall Street as stocks tumble
The S&P 500 tumbled 8 percent at opening, triggering an automatic 15-minute halt of Wall Street's three main indexes for the third time in six days, as traders reacted to drastic weekend measures from the Federal Reserve to stave off a global recession.

The second emergency cut in interest rates by the US central bank in a fortnight only added to the sense of panic among investors, worried that the coronavirus pandemic is paralysing supply chains and squeezing company finances.

 Fifteen more people test positive in Pakistan
The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan have increased to 122, with 76 of those among people who were released after a 14-day quarantine at Taftan on the Pakistan-Iran border.

Dutch coronavirus infections rise to 1,413
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have risen by 278 to 1,413, the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said.

The death toll rose by four to 24 from Sunday, the RIVM said.

Morocco to close all mosques, eateries, entertainment venues
Morocco will close all mosques from today as a protective measures against the coronavirus outbreak, the country's supreme religious council said.

Morocco will also close eateries, cinemas, theatres, sports, public clubs, baths, and other entertainment venues starting from Monday, the Interior Ministry said earlier in the day.

Lufthansa's Austrian unit Austrian Airlines said it would temporarily stop flight operations due to worldwide travel restrictions and falling passenger numbers from Wednesday night.

The halt was currently planned to last until March 28, the carrier said.

Tanzania confirms first case of coronavirus
Tanzania has confirmed it's first case of coronavirus, said Gerald Chami, a spokesman at the ministry of health.

 Singapore reports 17 new cases of coronavirus
Singapore confirmed 17 more cases of the coronavirus, its health ministry said, marking the city-state's biggest daily jump.

Singapore has reported a total 243 infections to date. Eleven of Monday's cases were imported.

Spain's Civil Guards seize 150,000 surgical masks for health services
Spain's police have requisitioned 150,000 surgical masks from a factory in the southern city of Jaen to supply health services,  the Civil Guards police force said in a statement.

Jewish worshippers urged not to kiss Western Wall
The Jewish faithful should refrain from kissing the stones of the Western Wall, the chief rabbi of the Jerusalem site said.

"Do not kiss the Western Wall stones," the site's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, instructed Jews in a statement. Worshippers should maintain "proper distance" between one another and "abide by required hygiene practices," he said.

The Western Wall abuts the sacred compound known to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary.

Kazakhs told to work remotely where possible
Kazakhstan instructed local companies to allow their employees to work remotely where possible due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"Today all companies, state-owned and private, that can switch to remote work must do so," Labour and Social Protection Minister Birzhan Nurymbetov told a briefing.

 Greece imposes 14-day quarantine on new arrivals, shuts shops
Greece said people arriving in the country from abroad will be placed in a two-week quarantine, while shops will be shut effective on Wednesday.

Supermarkets, pharmacy stores and food delivery services were exempted from the latest measures, the country's alternate government spokesman said.

Pakistan's spike in cases raises quarantine concerns
Pakistan has recorded its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus infections, taking the tally to 106, amid reports of ineffective quarantine procedures as 61 of those are reported to be among those who had been held at a quarantine camp at the country's Taftan border crossing with Iran.

Kuwait, Jordan report new coronavirus cases
A spokesman for Kuwait's health ministry said another 11 people were infected with the new coronavirus.

Jordan also confirmed three new infections in the country, bringing the total infections in the Arab state to 15, country's official news agency Petra quoted health sources as saying.

The new cases include two Jordanian citizens who recently visited Spain.

Armenia declares state of emergency for one month
The Armenian government declared a state of emergency from March 16 until April 16 to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Armenia has reported 30 coronavirus cases so far. One patient has recovered, and more than 300 people remain in quarantine, authorities say.

All educational institutions in the country are shut, while the borders with neighbouring Georgia and Iran are closed.

 Germany advises against all non-essential travel abroad
Germany is advising its citizens to refrain from all non-essential trips abroad due to the spread of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry said.

She added there were currently thousands of Germans abroad who would like to return and that the ministry was currently in discussions with airline Lufthansa about repatriating them.

Spain's coronavirus tally rises to 8,744 cases
Spain's tally of coronavirus cases rose to 8,744 and the number of fatalities rose to 297, said Fernando Simon, the head of the country's health emergency centre.

The previous tally was 7,753 cases on Sunday, with 288 fatalities.

 Iran announces 129 new virus deaths
Iran state TV says new coronavirus has killed another 129 people, pushing death toll to 853 amid 14,991 confirmed cases.

"Our plea is that everyone take this virus seriously and in no way attempt to travel to any province," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.

 Hungary to shut borders to international passengers
Hungary will close its borders for international passengers, close cultural and sports events and establishments and limit the opening hours of restaurants, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Parliament.

All shops will be shut except food stores, pharmacies and drug stores, he said, asking those over 70 to stay at home and all events to be cancelled except for family gatherings. Restaurants must close at 3 pm.

Dubai closes bars, lounges with immediate effect
Dubai is closing all bars and lounges in the emirate with immediate effect until the end of March due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a government circular.

South Africa revokes 10,000 visas to China, Iran
South Africa will revoke nearly 10,000 visas issued this year to people from China and Iran, and visas will now be required for other high-risk countries that had been visa-free, including Italy and the United States.

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