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South Africa confirms first case of coronavirus



The law-makers has voted for a $8.3bn emergency funding package to fight the coronavirus.

The move comes because the country reported a complete of 11 deaths, including one in California, the primary outside Washington state. More cases have also emerged in big apple and la with California declaring a state of emergency.

Meanwhile Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and South Africa have marked their first cases of coronavirus while the biblical Church of Nativity in Bethlehem within the occupied West Bank closes thanks to coronavirus fears.

Globally, quite 95,000 people are diagnosed with COVID-19, the overwhelming majority in China where the virus originated late last year.

This is Joseph Stepansky taking up from Mersiha Gadzo in Doha.
Here are all the newest updates.

Thursday, March 5
14:45 GMT - SA Health Minister warns virus will test health system
South Africa's health minister has warned that the country's health system would be tested by the coronavirus, after it earlier confirmed its first case.

Addressing lawmakers in urban center, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that South Africa was working with the WHO and other institutions to assist diagnose the virus, called COVID-19, across Africa.

"I think we want to be upfront about it ... Our system are tested by the impact of coronavirus," he said, in step with Reuters agency.

14:30 GMT - Cases in Greece triple with links pilgrim
Greece has said that 21 people linked to man who had tested positive for coronavirus after all of them visited Israel and Egypt had themselves become infected.

The new cases brought the entire in Greece to 31, and health ministry official Sotiris Tsiodras said a big rise was expected within the coming weeks.

The 66-year-old man had recently returned from a non secular pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt as a part of a gaggle. His wife also tested positive.

14:15 GMT - UN concerned over Cyprus crossing closure
The international organisation has voiced concern over the disruption caused by the Republic of Cyprus government's temporary closure of several crossings on the divided island's ceasefire line over the coronavirus crisis.



"Following the choice to temporarily close four crossing points along the buffer zone, UNFICYP is anxious by the continuing disruption caused to people on either side," the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus said in an exceedingly statement. "While the UN supports all effective measures to handle any potential public health emergency, it's imperative for the 2 sides to coordinate closely so as to produce a comprehensive response."

The island is split between the Republic of Cyprus, a ecu trade unionist state, and therefore the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised only by Ankara.



14:00 GMT - Rugby: Italy versus England Six Nation games postponed
England's final Six Nations matches against Italy in Rome next week has been postponed amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak, tournament organisers have said.

"Six Nations notes the decree issued by the Italian Government with relevance all upcoming sporting events in this country," organisers said in an exceedingly statement. "The decision has now been taken to postpone the three matches between Italy and England (Men’s, Women’s, and U20) set to require place over the weekend of 13th/14th/15th March, with the intention to reschedule them at later dates."



13:45 GMT - #CoronaVirusSA trends worldwide after first case confirmed
The hashtag #CoronaVirusSA began trending worldwide after the primary case was confirmed in South Africa.

Authorities said the infected 38-year-old man had recently traveled to Italy together with his wife. A "tracer team" has been identifying anyone who had contact with the person and his personal doctor has self isolated, South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases tweeted.



13:30 GMT - South Africa third sub-Saharan country to verify coronavirus case
South Africa's announcement that a case of coronavirus has been confirmed within the country makes it the third sub-Saharan country to report the infection.

Senegal has reported one case, while Nigeria has reported four, to date. geographic region is taken into account high risk for a virulent disease thanks to its close ties to China and weak health care infrastructure in many countries.



13:15 GMT - South Africa Health Minister: Citizens in China to be brought home
South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has said citizens currently quarantined in China are returning direct the subsequent few days.

Mkhize made the announcement shortly after the country confirmed its first case of the virus, a person who had recently travelled to Italy together with his wife.

12:30 GMT - Netherlands braces for return of 900 students from Italian alps
Dutch health authorities said they were scrambling to place together an inspiration for the return of a gaggle of about 900 students from a skiing trip within the north of Italy.

The trip by the kids, mostly in their early 20s, to the center of Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak has stoked fears of a wider spread of the virus within the Netherlands, where the amount of confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday stood at 38.

"We are working very hard to arrange for all different scenarios," local health authorities spokeswoman Hanneke Mensink told Reuters agency.

These scenarios might include plans to observe or test all students involved after their return.



12:20 GMT - Egypt reports first case in an Egyptian national
Egypt recorded the primary coronavirus case in an Egyptian national who had returned from Serbia via France, a joint statement from the health ministry and therefore the World Health Organization said.

The geographical region country registered two cases before in foreigners, one among whom recovered and was released from quarantine.

12:06 GMT - Formal proposal to postpone matches shared: FIFA
FIFA shared a proper proposal to postpone upcoming matches within the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers with relevant member associations.

"For both FIFA and therefore the AFC, the well-being and health of all individuals involved in football matches remains the very best priority," FIFA's statement read, adding that it'll provide an update within the coming days following consultation with AFC member associations.

"Other topics of debate were the women’s Olympic play-off between Korea Republic and China PR, further because the AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan 2020," it said.

12:00 GMT - South Africa confirms first case of coronavirus
South Africa's health ministry confirmed its first case of coronavirus within the country.

The patient could be a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy together with his wife, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in an exceedingly statement.

The couple returned to South Africa on March 1 and therefore the patient consulted a non-public practitioner two days later with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a inflammatory disease and a cough.

The patient has been in isolation since then further because the doctor.



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1:33 GMT - New Delhi primary schools closed
All government-run primary schools within the capital of India will remain closed until March 31 as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, the local education minister said.

11:17 GMT - US, Israel cancel military exercise
The US and Israel have scrapped the rest of their joint military exercise Juniper Cobra 20 over the coronavirus outbreak, the US European Command based in Germany said.

"The decision is in alignment with recent Israeli Ministry of Health guidelines on COVID-19, and a precautionary measure to confirm the health and safety of all participants," USEUCOM said in an exceedingly statement.

10:54 GMT - Palestinian Authority issues foreign tourist ban
The Palestinian Authority ordered hotels within the occupied West Bank to prevent receiving foreign tourists after four suspected cases of the coronavirus were found in Bethlehem.

The two-week restriction, announced by the Palestinian Tourism Ministry, goes into effect on Friday.



10:44 GMT - Iran says deaths reach 107 amid 3,513 confirmed cases
Iran announced 15 deaths and 591 fresh cases within the past 24 hours, raising the entire to 107 dead amid 3,513 infected cases across the country, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a televised press conference.

10:30 GMT - China's Alibaba to supply $144m in subsidies as shopping suffers
China's Alibaba Group will provide one billion yuan ($144m) in spending subsidies for a March online shopping festival to counter the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Alibaba's announcement, made in an exceedingly social media post, comes because the e-commerce giant wrestles with depressed consumer spending in China, which is in an exceedingly state of semi-quarantine.

10:20 GMT - Iran closes schools, universities until March 20
According to Iran's health minister, Iran will close schools and universities until the top of the Iranian year on March 20 thanks to the coronavirus.

10:16 GMT - Bethlehem church to shut
The Church of Nativity within the biblical city of Bethlehem, revered because the birthplace of Jesus will close after a suspected outbreak of the coronavirus, a church official said.

The Palestinian health ministry needed local churches, mosques and other institutions to shut after variety of suspected cases at a hotel within the Palestine city of Bethlehem.

10:15 GMT - Slovenia confirms first case
Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec said the primary case of COVID-19 has been detected in Slovenia.

Slovenia's Health Minister Ales Sabeder said the person detected with the virus had traveled from Morocco to Italy then to Slovenia.

09:55 GMT - COVID-19 amid conspiracy theories
Coronavirus' rapid spread has been amid a virulent disease of false claims and conspiracy theories on social and mainstream media, allowing misinformation on the origins of the virus and hoaxes on cures to travel as fast because the infection.

One study by the US State Department, reported on by the Washington Post, said roughly two million tweets touting conspiracy theories about the virus - like claims it had been caused by a bioweapon - had been posted outside the US over the three-week period when the disease began to spread outside China.

Read more here.

09:37 GMT - Airlines could lose up to $113bn in revenue: IATA
Airlines could lose $63bn to $113bn in revenue for passenger traffic globally in 2020, counting on how the coronavirus spreads, International air transportation Association (IATA) said.

IATA on February 20 estimated the outbreak would cost carriers $29.3bn in revenue.

09:35 GMT - Kuwait confirms two more cases
Kuwait's Ministry of Health confirmed two more coronavirus cases, during the past 24 hours.

The ministry said that the 2 cases came from Iran, bringing the country's total number of confirmed cases to 58.

09:20 GMT - Germany reports 109 new cases in an exceedingly day
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 109 within on a daily basis, a public health institute said.

As of Thursday morning, there have been 349 cases across well-nigh one federal state, up from 240 on Wednesday morning and compared with 262 on Wednesday afternoon, the bacteriologist Institute said.

The hardest-hit state is that the western region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous, with 175 cases.

09:15 GMT - quite 290 million students missing school: UN
More than 290 million students are full of school closures across 13 countries to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the UN said.

"While temporary school closures as a results of health and other crises aren't new unfortunately, the world scale and speed of the present educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the correct to education," Audrey Azoulay, director general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said in an exceedingly statement.

09:06 GMT - Switzerland reports first death
A 74-year-old woman in western Switzerland has died after contracting the new coronavirus, the country's first death, regional police said.

The woman had been hospitalised within the canton of Vaud since Tuesday, police said. She was a high-risk patient littered with chronic disease, authorities said.

07:43 GMT - Bosnia and Herzegovina reports first two cases
Bosnia and Herzegovina has reported its first two cases of coronavirus, confirmed by the health ministry of Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity.

Alen Seranic, the regional health minister said at a group discussion that a adult male, who returned to Bosnia a month ago from Italy where he's employed, has been infected with coronavirus further as his child.

The man was confirmed earlier in the week as having coronavirus. He's currently in stable condition and is being kept in isolation in hospital within the city of Banja Luka.

Health authorities will test school children who have had contact with the infected child, further as all other members of the infected family, he said. the college are closed for the subsequent few days.

07:36 GMT - Chinese President Xi's visit delayed
Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan has been postponed because as countries have agreed to prioritise the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, Japan's top government spokesman said.

The Asian neighbours agreed that a brand new itinerary would be arranged at an improved time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

Suga said the delay in Xi's visit, which had been originally planned for early April, wouldn't affect Japan-China relations.

06:42 GMT - Greece reports tenth case, shuts schools in three areas
Greece reported its tenth case of coronavirus. The person had recently returned from a non secular pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt, health authorities said.

Greece on Wednesday ordered schools to be closed and banned public gatherings in three districts in western Greece from Thursday as a precaution after an individual from the region tested positive for coronavirus.

The ban was in effect for 48 hours and subject to review, authorities said.



06:41 GMT - Italy may raise support spending to 5 billion euros
Italy's government is probably going to extend to 5 billion euros ($5.57bn) the worth of measures to assist the economy withstand the most important outbreak of coronavirus in Europe, Deputy Economy Minister Laura Castelli said.

"It is probably going that the govt. will reach [five billion euros]" Castelli said in an interview with daily Il Messaggero, adding that she thought it had been "necessary to lift the bar the maximum amount as possible".

Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri has promised tax breaks and other measures for the affected sectors worth 3.6 billion euros.

A government source told Reuters on Wednesday this might be raised to 4.5 billion, or 0.25 percent of GDP.

06:35 GMT - UAE advises against travel abroad
The United Arab Emirates has urged citizens and other residents to avoid travelling abroad thanks to concerns over a coronavirus, state agency WAM said.

Authorities within the Gulf state may order medical checks on returning travellers and ask them to remain in isolation reception, pending the result, WAM said, citing a health ministry statement.

The UAE, which has closed schools and academic institutions for four weeks, said students and education workers would should spend fortnight in home isolation on returning to the country.

06:30 GMT - IMF: Virus will slow global economic process this year
The spread of the coronavirus will hold 2020 global output gains to their slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, International fund (IMF) manager Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday.

The IMF now expects 2020 world growth to be below the two.9 percent rate for 2019 and revised forecasts are issued within the coming weeks.

The IMF is making available $50bn in emergency funding to assist poor and middle-income countries with weak health systems reply to the epidemic, Georgieva said after a call with the IMF's committee.

05:40 GMT - More people evacuated from urban center

Hong Kong is evacuating more of its people from Wuhan where the coronavirus originated late last year.

The first group of evacuees arrived on Wednesday, after surfing health checks before boarding. they're going to spend 14 days in quarantine.



05:20 GMT - Thailand reports four more cases
Thailand has diagnosed four more cases of coronavirus; an Italian man who arrived within the country on March 1, a Thai man who returned from Italy, a Chinese man who was in transit from Iran to China and was found to possess the virus during screening. and a Thai student who had return from Iran.

The country now has 47 confirmed cases.

04:35 GMT - Japan's Anges to figure on vaccine with Osaka University
Reuters is reporting that Japanese biopharmaceutical firm Anges will work with Osaka University on developing a coronavirus vaccine.

Anges says it'll be a 'preventative DNA vaccine', in step with Reuters, which also cites a professor at Osaka University saying such vaccines may be mass produced in an exceedingly short period of your time.

Researchers round the world are working to develop effective treatments and vaccines since Chinese scientists first isolated the coronavirus genome back in January.



04:20 GMT - China, urban center cautiously getting back to figure
Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan has been giving us an update from urban center where she says there are now more people on the road, and more traffic than there are in weeks.

China is additionally trying to urge its people back to figure after a chronic shutdown to prevent the virus from spreading.

The strict quarantines appear to be paying off in terms of lower numbers of daily confirmed cases, but there was a small uptick within the data released on Thursday - 139 new cases, compared with 119 the day before - and therefore the country has revised its counting methods some times.

"China is way from out of the woods," Gopalan says. "It's changed the way it tallies the numbers several times. At the instant, it doesn't include those that are asymptomatic - those who have the virus but aren't showing symptoms."

03:52 GMT - UK airline Flybe collapses as coronavirus hits flights
Britain's biggest operator of domestic flights, Flybe, has announced that it's grounding all its flights following a declaration of bankruptcy, because the coronavirus epidemic takes toll on airline companies worldwide.

"All flights are grounded and therefore the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect," said the airline, which employs an estimated 2,000 people.

02:45 GMT - Olympics will go ahead: Minister Seiko Hashimoto
Japan's Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Thursday the country was still preparing for the Summer Games, which are thanks to start in July.

"Cancellation or delay of the Games would be unacceptable for the athletes," Hashimoto told the Upper House budget committee. "An environment where athletes can feel relaxed and focus should be firmly prepared."

Hashimoto was speaking because the western prefecture of Shiga reported its first coronavirus case - a person in his 60s - and therefore the country's total number of cases rose above 1,000.



02:15 GMT - Australia announces second death; more travel restrictions
Australia says a person has died from the coronavirus; an elderly woman who was diagnosed with the illness after a worker at the rest home where she lived was confirmed to possess the virus.

Most of Australia's 52 cases are people from the Diamond Princess liner which was quarantined off Japan, but the country has also introduced travel restrictions with variety of nations.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said non-Australians coming from Asian country wouldn't be allowed to enter the country, while people coming back from Italy would should bear enhanced screening.

A ban on visitors from China and Iran was also being extended, he said.

02:05 GMT - Asian country cases still climb
South Korea has just given its first update of the day on the coronavirus situation there. It's confirmed 438 new cases taking total infections to five,766.

The Korea Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention also said three more people died from the virus, bringing the entire to 35.

The US has also reported two more cases among the 28,500 soldiers stationed within the country, bringing the entire to 6.

01:55 GMT - Watchdog tells Qantas to boost cleaning standards
Australia's national carrier has been told to spruce up its cleaning to confirm passengers are better protected against the coronavirus.

The Sydney Morning Herald says Safework NSW issued a notice to the airline on February 26 warning of an "inadequate system of labor accustomed clean planes which will have transported passengers with an communicable disease."



01:35 GMT - Singapore delays flight after passenger confirmed with COVID-19
Singapore's Transport Ministry grounded a Turkish Airlines flight on Wednesday after one among the passengers tested positive for the coronavirus.

TK54, a Boeing 787-9, arrived in Singapore from Turkey on March 3, but was delayed on the return leg after the case was discovered, the ministry said in an exceedingly statement on its website.

"(The) Ministry of Health has started contact tracing for flight passengers who may have had contact with the case while the case was infectious," it said.

Local media reported there have been 220 people on the plane, which flew back to Turkey with crew but no passengers within the early hours of Thursday morning.

00:35 GMT - China coronavirus deaths exceed 3,000
China's National Health Commission has just released its daily update on the coronavirus.

It reported 139 new cases on Wednesday, compared with 119 the day before. That brings the entire number of cases on the mainland 80,409.

The number of deaths rose to three,012 after an extra 31 people died from the illness.

00:25 GMT - California declares state of emergency over virus
California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus after the state reported its first death from the disease.

Newsom told a media briefing the state had 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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