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Threat of coronavirus pandemic 'very real'


The head of the world Health Organization warned the threat of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic was "very real" because the contagion continued its rapid spread round the world.


In Italy - where some 16 million people are now under quarantine - there have been 97 deaths reported, bringing its total on Monday to 463.


Iran temporarily released about 70,000 prisoners due to the coronavirus epidemic, because the toll rose by 43 new fatalities to 237.




More than 3,800 people have died worldwide from coronavirus and over 110,000 infections are recorded, in step with WHO.



Monday, March 9

20:56 GMT - Italy imposes nationwide restrictions to contain new virus

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says he's extending restrictions on travel from the north to entire country to undertake to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Conte said a brand new government decree would require all people in Italy to demonstrate a desire to figure, health conditions or other limited reasons to travel outside the areas where they live.


"There won't be just a red zone,'' Conte told reporters concerning a lockdown of areas in northern Italy instituted over the weekend. "There are going to be Italy" as a protected area, he said.


20:45 GMT - French culture minister tests positive for coronavirus

French Culture Minister Franck Riester has contracted the novel coronavirus and is staying in his Paris home but is "doing fine", his office said




"The minister tested positive today," after displaying symptoms, the ministry said.


It noted that Riester spent several days last week at the country's lower house National Assembly, where five virus cases were confirmed earlier.


20:30 GMT - liner struck by coronavirus docks a California port

A liner that had been barred from docking in metropolis after a coronavirus outbreak on board has landed in Oakland, California.


The ship had 21 confirmed cases among the three,500 passengers and crew on board and had been idling off the coast of California for four days as authorities figured out the way to get passengers safely ashore without spreading the possibly deadly virus.


20:26 GMT - Marine being treated for coronavirus worked at defense agency near Pentagon, officials say

A u. s. Marine who tested positive for the coronavirus worked for a defense agency whose headquarters are located near the Pentagon and returned to the Washington, DC area from a visit to Ethiopia last month, three US officials told Reuters.




The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Marine had been working for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which is headquartered in Crystal City, Virginia, just blocks removed from the Pentagon.

20:15 GMT - Why experts say Trump is wrong to match coronavirus to the flu

From contradicting his own public health officials on the coronavirus to dismissing the globe Health Organization's global deathrate of COVID-19 as "false", u. s. President Donald Trump has been accused of attempting to downplay the seriousness of the disease since the virus reached the US earlier this year.


Those accusations continued when Trump apparently suggested that the response to the novel coronavirus has been overblown.


20:10 GMT - Portugal's president in 'exemplary' self-isolation, tests negative for coronavirus

Shouting right down to reporters from his first-floor balcony, Portugal's president declared that he would remain in voluntary quarantine for 2 weeks despite testing negative for coronavirus, as an "example" to Portuguese people.


"The test was negative. I'm visiting keep performing from home, although it had been negative, until the fifteen days are up," broadcaster SIC showed Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa as hollering. "I want to be an example."


The head of state, who is thought for rarely missing a assemblage where he eagerly poses with people for selfies, was tested earlier on Monday after his office announced the previous day that he had suspended all engagements and trips abroad for a fortnight and would work from home.


The 'Wuhan Shake'

19:25 GMT - Iraq orders closure of Holy City of Najaf: state wire service

Iraqi authorities have ordered the closure of the Najaf province, home to holy Muslim Shia sites, for non-residents starting on Wednesday for every week to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the state wire service said.




Najaf may be a major destination for Shia pilgrims.

18:56 GMT - Canada records first death from new virus

Canadian health officials say a person has died of the new virus at a seniors care zero in North Vancouver in what's believed to be the primary COVID-19 death therein country.


British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced on the weekend that two elderly residents of the Lynn Valley Care Centre facility had been diagnosed with the virus.


Henry says the diagnoses followed an earlier diagnosis of a worker at the care home, making the cases especially concerning as samples of community transmission.


18:13 GMT - Fifth UK death confirmed

A fifth person within the uk has died after contracting coronavirus, the health service said.




"We can confirm that sadly, a patient in their seventies who was very unwell with variety of serious and long run health conditions has died at St Helier Hospital," said Daniel Elkeles, chief executive for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust during a statement.




18:07 GMT - Iraq calls on citizens to avoid visiting sacred cities and sites

Iraq banned all public gatherings and called on citizens to avoid visiting sacred cities and sites to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.




Authorities also called on Iraqis getting back from Iran, China, Republic of Korea, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Kuwait and Bahrain to remain reception for self-quarantine for 14 days, a government statement said.







18:00 GMT - Israel to want quarantine all citizens getting back from abroad

Israel would require all citizens who return from abroad to self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.




It will admit foreigners as long as they'll prove they need the means to self-quarantine, Israeli media said, adding this measure would move into effect on Thursday.




17:47 GMT - Italy toll jumps by nearly 100 to 463

Italy's toll increased by 97 since Sunday to 463 in in some unspecified time in the future, Italian authorities said.




The total number of confirmed cases rose to 9,172 from 7,375, in step with officials.




17:15 GMT - White House's response under fire as markets plunge

The Trump administration scrambled to assure Americans it had been responding to a widening coronavirus outbreak as stock markets plunged.




US President Donald Trump - who has repeatedly played down the threat posed by the flu-like virus sweeping the world – planned to fulfill with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other members of his economic team to weigh possibility.




Paid leave is among policy steps being considered. The chairman of the Senate commission is exploring targeted tax relief to handle the impact of the outbreak.




17:01 GMT - Threat of coronavirus pandemic 'has become very real': WHO

The coronavirus is closer to causing a deadly disease but outbreaks in countries can still be controlled through a mixture of containment and mitigation measures, the globe Health Organization (WHO) said.




"Now that the virus incorporates a foothold in such a big amount of countries, the threat of a deadly disease has become very real," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a press conference.




"But it'd be the primary pandemic that might be controlled. the underside line is we aren't at the mercy of the virus."




Four countries account for 93 percent of the 110,000 cases worldwide, Tedros said. "We are encouraged that Italy is taking aggressive measures to contain its epidemic and that we hope that those measures prove effective within the coming days."




14:45 GMT - big apple launches its own hand sanitizer

New York - under a state of emergency following a coronavirus outbreak - launched its own brand of hand sanitizer, made by jail inmates.




Governor Andrew Cuomo said 38,000 litres (100,000 gallons) of "NYS Clean" would be produced every week by prisoners, who already manufacture soap, to fulfill shortages.




"This may be a superior product," said Cuomo because the gel was unveiled from behind a curtain at a group discussion. "It incorporates a very nice floral bouquet," he added, after rubbing some on his hands.




The product, which has an alcohol content of 75 percent, are going to be provided at no cost to government agencies, schools, the general public transit and prisons, Cuomo said.




It is a part of the government's "Corcraft" scheme where prisoners make dozens of products including cleaning supplies, bedding and garments.










16:35 GMT - Dublin to cancel St Patrick's Day Parade over coronavirus

The Irish government will cancel this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin due to the coronavirus outbreak, state broadcaster RTE reported.




Ireland currently has 21 cases of COVID-19, and also the country's second city, Cork, has already cancelled its festivities.




The parade was thanks to be persevered Saint Patrick's Day.




16:13 GMT - N.Korea should allow outside help against virus: UN expert

A UN rights expert concerned Asian nation to produce access to outside health workers amid concern over the impact the new coronavirus could wear the malnourished population.




North Korea "should allow full and unimpeded access to health workers and humanitarian actors", said Tomas Ojea Quintana, the global organization special rapporteur on human rights within the country.




He also concerned a "review" of the punishing sanctions imposed on Asian nation, insisting that "further isolation of the country isn't the solution."




15:42 GMT - First two deaths confirmed in Germany

German local authorities have announced the country's first two deaths in reference to the coronavirus.




Both deaths occurred within the western state of North Rhine Westphalia, which has been the worst hit up to now.




Germany has over 1,100 cases in step with the globe Health Organization.




15:40 GMT - Bootleg booze kills 27 in Iran after virus 'cure' rumours

Twenty-seven people have died from methanol poisoning in Iran after rumours that drinking alcohol can help cure the novel coronavirus infection, state wire service IRNA reported.




A spokesman for Jundishapur medical university in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan, said 218 people had been hospitalised there after being poisoned. The poisonings were caused by "rumours that drinking alcohol will be effective in treating coronavirus," Ali Ehsanpour said.




Drinking alcohol is banned in Iran for everybody except some non-Muslim religious minorities.




15:30 GMT - Misinformation, fake news spark India coronavirus fears

India's battle against the coronavirus has many obstacles - large crowds, a stretched health system and inadequate infrastructure - because the number of infections rose to 43.




But beyond these, a well-recognized foe is rearing its head: fake news.




Read more here.




15:20 GMT - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends travel ban to France, Germany, Turkey, Spain

Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended land and sea visit and from Oman, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain for citizens and residents to assist stem the spread of coronavirus, state wire service SPA said.




Quoting a source within the interior ministry, SPA said people coming from these countries - or who have visited any of them within 14 days before visit Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - won't be allowed to enter.




Riyadh earlier suspended visit the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Italy and Iraq in response to the coronavirus threat.




14:55 PM - 'Think about that!': Trump urges that life and economy must last

United States president Donald Trump suggested that "life and also the economy" must last amid the coronavirus outbreak, and found out that 37,000 people died from the common flu last year.




"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu...nothing is pack up, life & the economy last. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths," he tweeted.




14:25 GMT - Paris airport chief tests positive for coronavirus

The chief executive of Groupe ADP, the corporate which runs the 2 main international airports in Paris - Charles statesman and Orly - has tested positive for the coronavirus, the group said.




Augustin de Romanet tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, the corporate said, adding his "state of health isn't a cause for concern and doesn't prevent him from closing his functions."




Romanet will lodge in home for 2 weeks in self-isolation, while officials trace the people the CEO came connected with.




Coronavirus in Italy: 16 million people under forced quarantine

14:10 GMT - Look out! US stocks nosedive on oil price battle and coronavirus

We knew this might get really ugly. Now it has.




United States stock markets nosedived at the open of trading on Monday -triggering circuit breakers to halt trading- because the double-punch of crashing oil prices and also the worsening global coronavirus outbreak pummelled investor confidence to the purpose of panic.







14:00 GMT - Tourists quarantined on Nile cruise after virus outbreak

Scores of foreign tourists and Egyptian crew remained quarantined aboard a Nile liner from which 45 suspected coronavirus cases are evacuated, people aboard told AFP wire service.




US, French and Indian nationals were among those stranded on the three-deck ship docked near the southern tourist city of Luxor, they said.




Egyptian authorities had Saturday reported moving 45 suspected cases - 33 passengers and 12 crew - into isolation onto land, without specifying what happened to the others aboard the "A-Sara".




13:49 GMT - Apple sells fewer than 500,000 smartphones in China in February amid coronavirus

Apple sold fewer than half 1,000,000 smartphones in China in February, government data showed on because the coronavirus outbreak halved demand for all such devices.




China placed curbs on travel and asked residents to avoid public places in late January, just sooner than the Lunar New Year festival, a significant gift-giving holiday. Those restrictions stayed largely in situ through most of February.




12:30 GMT - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to fine people hiding health details on entry

Saudi Arabia will impose a fine of up to 500,000 riyals ($133,000) on people that don't disclose their health-related information and travel details at entry points, an announcement from the kingdom's public prospector said.




Saudi Arabia suspended travel with nine countries and said action at law would be taken against any citizen travelling to Iran, which has reported 237 deaths from the virus.


11:34 GMT - Six die in Italy prison riot over anti-coronavirus measures

Six inmates were killed during a prison riot in Italy and guards were taken hostage at another jail, as unrest spread in prisons across the country over measures to contain the coronavirus, including restrictions on visits.

In a TV interview the top of Italy's prison administration Francesco Basentini said three inmates had died inside a jail within the northern town of Modena, and three others had died after being transferred removed from the prison.

"There are a series of rebellions across the country," Basentini said.

The justice ministry said fires had been set at variety of prisons causing severe damage.

11:31 GMT - UAE reports 14 new cases, tally reaches 59

The UAE announced 14 new coronavirus cases, bringing the overall number of infected people to 59, state wire service WAM reported.

Among the new cases are four Emiratis, three Italians, two each from Bangladesh and Nepal, and a Russian, Syrian and Indian diagnosed with the virus, WAM reported, citing the country's Health Ministry.


11:06 GMT - Asian FIFA tournament 2022 qualifiers postponed

FIFA said during a statement that the Asian FIFA tournament qualifiers scheduled in March and June are postponed thanks to the coronavirus.

10:37 GMT - Iran temporarily releases about 70,000 prisoners

Iran has temporarily released approximately 70,000 prisoners due to the coronavirus outbreak within the country, Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said, in step with Mizan, the news site of the judiciary.


"The release of the prisoners, to the purpose where it doesn't create insecurity in society ... will continue," he said.


Raisi failed to specify when those released would want to return to jail.

10:00 GMT - Qatar suspends schools and universities

Qatar announced it had been suspending schools and universities from Tuesday, March 10 to manage the coronavirus outbreak, in step with the state wire service.

08:51 GMT - Qatar bans travellers from another 14 countries

Travellers from another 14 countries are banned from entering Qatar, the country's Ministry of Health announced.

The ban covers Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand. Flights to and from Italy were already suspended.

The restriction comes because the country registered three more cases of coronavirus, bringing the overall number of individuals testing positive up to fifteen.

08:34 GMT - China develops system to recognise faces behind masks

A Chinese company says it's developed the country's first identity verification technology which will identify people after they are wearing a mask - as most are using them due to the coronavirus - to assist within the fight against the disease.

China employs a number of the world's most sophisticated systems of surveillance, including identity verification. But the coronavirus has resulted in almost everyone wearing a surgical mask outdoors within the hope of avoiding the virus - posing a selected problem for surveillance.


Now Hanwang Technology Ltd, which also goes by English name Hanvon, said it's devised technology which will successfully recognise people even after they are wearing masks.


"If connected to a temperature sensor, it can measure blood heat while identifying the person's name, then the system would process the result, say, if it detects a temperature over 38 degrees," Hanwang vice chairman Huang Lei told Reuters in an interview.


08:05 GMT - K-pop industry threatened by coronavirus

Following Japan's travel restrictions on South Koreans, more K-pop concerts scheduled in Japan are being cancelled, threatening to harm the Korean show biz in its most lucrative market.


South Korean boy-band Super Junior called off its tours scheduled to require place on March 25 and 26 in Japan, citing the japanese government's measures to "curb immigration".


South Korea's entertainment firm CJ ENM followed suit, postponing its annual K-pop festival KCON in Japan. The event last year drew quite 88,000 fans, in step with CJ ENM.


Japan said, ranging from Monday, people getting back from Republic of Korea are going to be quarantined for 2 weeks. Tokyo also suspended visa waivers and also the validity of existing visas for South Koreans, followed by an identical move by Seoul, rekindling a diplomatic feud between the neighbours.


07:45 GMT - Italy, France urge Europe to forge economic stimulus plan

Europe must come up with a "massive" economic stimulus arrange to address the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, said French minister of finance Bruno Le Maire.




Le Maire told France Inter radio that the quantity needed for the stimulus plan are going to be discussed at a March 16 meeting along with his European counterparts. Le Maire also said the coronavirus could cut French economic process below 1 percent in 2020 from a previous estimate of 1.3 percent.




The Italian government also urged the eu Union to adopt a package of measures to counter the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economies of the bloc.




07:30 GMT - Saudi state oil giant's shares fall 10 percent, halting trading

The state oil giant Saudi Aramco saw its shares call 10 percent as Riyadh's stock exchange opened on Monday, halting trading.


The drop followed a crash in oil prices on the worldwide market after OPEC and its allies did not reach a deal last week on production cuts to support prices dented by the coronavirus.


Other markets within the Middle East fell as well: Boursa Kuwait pack up within half-hour of opening as stocks again dropped by 10 percent, the third such emergency halt to trading in recent days.


06:50 GMT - Italy to use a 'massive shock therapy': PM

As Italy fights to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged to use "all human and economic resources" to tackle the crisis.


"We won't stop here. we'll use a large therapy," Conte told daily newspaper la Repubblica in an interview.


Conte added that the govt. would use the pliability envisaged by European budget rules "in full".


Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri last week pledged some 7.5bn euros ($8.55bn) in measures to assist the economy withstand the biggest outbreak of the illness in Europe, raising this year's deficit goal to 2.5 percent of national output from its current 2.2 percent. ($1 = 0.8769 euros).

06:30 GMT - Gulf Air suspending all flights in and from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Bahrain-based Gulf Air announced on Twitter that it'll suspend all flights to and from the dominion of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The move comes as Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has reported 11 cases of coronavirus up to now, suspended aircraft and ship services with Bahrain and eight other countries, including Kuwait, the UAE, Lebanon and Syria.


05:20 GMT - Markets feel "double whammy" of virus and oil

There has been more turmoil on Asian markets this morning, with investors selling stocks and buying bonds amid growing concern about the health of the worldwide economy, not only due to the impact from the coronavirus but also due to oil.

Oil prices plunged about 30 percent after Kingdom of Saudi Arabia slashed its official asking price.



04:50 GMT - Two members people Congress move into isolation over virus

Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Arizona Representative Paul Gosar have placed themselves into a 14-day quarantine after determining that they had contact with a person attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, who was later confirmed to possess the coronavirus.

Several other senators and members of the House of Representatives were also at the event, where US President Donald Trump and vice chairman Mike Pence both spoke.

The White House says there's no indication that either of them met or were in "close proximity" to the person who was confirmed to possess the virus.


04:45 GMT - Republic of Korea hopeful of 'turning point' soon

South Korea is hopeful that things will improve, although it's warning against calling the height of its outbreak early on.


"I'm still extremely cautious, but there's hope we are able to reach a turning point within the near future," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Monday before returning to Seoul from the hard-hit southeastern city of Daegu.


Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said it had been premature to mention the crisis was over as new cases continued to emerge.


"There are still many patients arising from Daegu and nearby regions ... and sporadic infections still emerge elsewhere, though they don't seem to be spreading as fast," Kim told an arrangement.


"In fact, now's the time to concentrate all our capabilities to bring a transparent reduction in infections."


04:20 GMT - Near-major tennis tournament cancelled in US

The BNP Paribas Open, a near-major tennis tournament that was set to start in the week within the California desert, has been called off. this can be the biggest sporting event within the US to be called off over coronavirus concerns.


The announcement came on Sunday night after many players were already within the desert practising.


Qualifying matches were to start on Monday with women's main draw matches starting on Wednesday and also the men's games the day after.


The coronavirus affects the world's sporting events and various tournaments are cancelled. we've got been keeping an inventory.


04:15 GMT - New rules for mask purchases in Republic of Korea

South Korea has adopted a brand new distribution system for face masks and rationed the amount all and sundry should buy every week.


People can now buy masks only on the weekday adore the last digit of their birth year.


That means people born in years ending with one or six should buy masks on Mondays, while those born during a year ending with three or eight should buy on Wednesdays.


No one is allowed to shop for quite one every week.

03:20 GMT - Shanghai Disneyland to open some resort facilities

Shanghai Disneyland, which was closed on January 25 due to the coronavirus, has reopened a number of its shops, restaurants and resort facilities on a limited basis.


Visitors will must bear temperature checks before admission, and also the resort will follow an "extensive range of measures designed to confirm a secure and healthy experience for all guests," it said on its website.


The main amusement park will remain closed.




03:00 GMT - Ship heads to Singapore after being turned away by Thailand, Malaysia

The operator of the liner Costa Fortuna said it had been heading to Singapore to finish its journey on Tuesday as planned, after it had been turned removed from ports in Malaysia and Thailand over coronavirus fears.




Italian cruise line Costa Crociere said there have been no suspected virus cases among the passengers.




The company said it'd cancel a cruise thanks to depart on March 10 from Singapore.




Singapore port authorities haven't yet said whether or not they would allow the ship to dock


02:45 GMT - California preparing to dock liner with confirmed virus cases

The Grand Princess, a liner carrying quite 3,500 people from 54 countries, is anticipated to dock in Oakland, California on Monday.


Twenty-one of these on board are confirmed to possess the coronavirus; everyone are going to be required to spend 14 days in quarantine once they disembark.


Those needing acute treatment will leave the ship first.


"This may be a time that we must be guided by facts and not fears, and our public deserves to understand what is going on on," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said.


02:40 GMT - First case confirmed in Japanese city of Kobe

A woman in her 40s, who attended a live music show in Osaka, has become the primary person to check positive for the coronavirus in Kobe, officials said.


02:20 GMT - Republic of Korea sees smallest daily increase in infections in period

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has announced its latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak there.


It confirmed a complete of 248 cases on Sunday - the littlest increase since late February and also the fourth successive day that it's been less than the day before.


The KCDC will provide an extra update within the afternoon.


02:10 GMT - Embassies progress Asian nation as diplomats evacuated over virus

AFP is reporting that several embassies in Asian nation were closed on Monday as diplomats were flown out of the country.

The evacuation came after reports that a special flight was being arranged to fly diplomats and other foreigners from Pyongyang to the Russian city of Vladivostok.


Some 60 people were expected to be evacuated.

North Korea has not confirmed one infection but has imposed strict rules, including closing its borders and putting thousands of North Koreans into isolation.

It also subjected many foreigners - including diplomats - to severe restrictions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned last month of "serious consequences" if the virus reaches his country, which has banned tourists and suspended international trains and flights.


00:30 GMT - Albania becomes latest country to report infections

Albania has reported its first cases of coronavirus - a father and son who recently returned from Italy. Both are during a stable condition.

More than 400,000 Albanians sleep in Italy, which lies just across the Adriatic.


00:20 GMT - Asian nation reports 40 new cases of coronavirus

China has just released its daily update on the coronavirus situation there, and it seems the outbreak is continuous to slow.



The National Health Commission says there have been 40 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Sunday, compared with 44 cases every day earlier.



That brings the overall accumulated number of confirmed cases in Asian nation to 80,735.


A further 22 people died from the virus, bringing the toll in Asian nation to three,119.


All but one in all Sunday's deaths were in Hubei, the central province at the epicentre of the outbreak. within the metropolis of Wuhan, 18 people died.

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