Live Updates: World Health Organization declares coronavirus a pandemic

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10:30 pm
10:00 pm

World Health Organization says it’s seeing “alarming levels of inaction”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing today that the agency is “deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction” when he said the novel coronavirus outbreak is a pandemic.

He added: “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

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09:51 pm

Iraqi semi-autonomous Kurdistan regions bans Kurdish Nowruz festivals due to coronavirus fears

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09:50 pm

India: Outcomes of Government’s high-level meeting

1. All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

2. Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

3. Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission.

4. All incoming travelers, including Indians, arriving from or having visited China,Italy,Iran,Republic of Korea, France, Spain & Germany after 15th Feb, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.

The above will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure

5. Incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India.

6. Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

7. International traffic through land borders will be restricted to Designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These will be notified separately by M/o Home Affairs.

8. Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in #Italy Italy to be made and collection for samples to be organized accordingly. Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days.

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09:45 pm

New York: There are 39 new coronavirus case

There are 39 new cases of coronavirus in New York state, bringing the total cases in the state to 212, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference today.

Here are where the new cases are being reported:

  • 13 in Westchester
  • 12 in New York City
  • 9 in Nassau County, Long Island
  • 5 in Suffolk County, Long Island

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09:33 pm

Kuwait to halt passenger flights, declare public holiday

Kuwait will halt all commercial flights to and from the country starting Friday and until further notice, with the exception of cargo flights. Read more…

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09:00 pm

Kuwait Airport To Close From Friday

Kuwait will halt all commercial flights to and from the country starting Friday and until further notice, with the exception of cargo flights, state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday. Read more…

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08:45 pm

Saudi Arabia has closed cinemas in the Kingdom until further notice

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08:30 pm

Italy: 2,313 new cases and 196 new deaths

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08:27 pm

Bahrain announces 5 additional COVID-19 recoveries

The Ministry of Health today announced that 5 individuals have recovered from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, bringing the total number of confirmed recoveries to 35.

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07:58 pm

WHO’s Mike Ryan says that Iran and Italy are now in the front line of coronavirus but other countries “will be in that situation very soon”

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07:57 pm

India suspends all tourist visas from March 13 till April 15 to prevent spread of coronavirus

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07:55 pm

Qatar confirms 238 new cases in a day

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced 238 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Qatar who had contact with the three cases that were declared infected last Sunday and who reside in one residential complex. Read more

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07:45 pm

Ireland announces first death

A woman in the east of the country is the first fatality in Ireland.

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07:35 pm

World Health Organization declares coronavirus a pandemic

The World Health Organization just declared the novel coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic.

The novel coronavirus outbreak is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.

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06:45 pm

India: Mumbai sees its first two positive cases

Two more patients admitted at a Mumbai Hospital have tested positive for Coronavirus. There are 7 positive cases in the state now.

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06:30 pm

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade canceled

The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade — one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the US — has been canceled, organizers announced on their website.

The parade was slated for Saturday afternoon. Each year, Chicago’s parade and river dyeing attracts hundreds of thousands of people to downtown.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker are expected to give updates at a novel coronavirus briefing later this morning.

Illinois has reported 19 coronavirus cases as of yesterday.

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06:15 pm

India plans for evacuation from Iran

India is working with Iranian authorities to operate some limited commercial flights for facilitating early return of remaining Indians from coronavirus-affected areas in that country

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06:05 pm

1 new death and 121 new cases in the Netherlands

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05:45 pm

India

India to send a team of doctors to Italy to collect swab samples of stranded Indian students for testing before they are brought back: Health Ministry officials

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05:30 pm

Lufthansa airline cancels 23,000 flights in April

Lufthansa has canceled 23,000 short, medium and long-haul flights between March 29 and April 24 because of coronavirus.

The German airline says the cancellations will mainly impact flights in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It is warning that further cancellations are expected in the coming weeks.

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05:15 pm

Bahrain: Effective tackling of virus praised

It was on 21 February 2020, Bahrain confirmed its first COVID-19 case which happened to be a school bus driver who came from Iran via Dubai.   – Here’s the story!

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05:00 pm

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Lebanon said two flights have been organized in coordination with Middle East Airlines to evacuate Saudi citizens and their families who wish to leave the country over coronavirus fears.

One of the flights will leave for King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh at 8 a.m. on Saturday and the other will leave for King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Sunday at  8 a.m.

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04:45 pm

China is Recovering!

As coronavirus spreads through the rest of the world, China has reported a slowdown in its number of new infections. Read more

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04:30 pm

Greece: New case confirmed

1 new case in Greece, raising the total to 90, with 3 patients in intensive care

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04:18 pm

Bahrain: Among 165 citizens evacuated from Iran, 77 test positive

Seventy-seven Bahraini nationals evacuated from Iran have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Bahrain’s Ministry of Health.

The 77 were part of a group of 165 Bahraini nationals who were evacuated on a plane from coronavirus-hit Iran on Wednesday.

That flight was the first of several repatriation services that will be evacuating Bahrainis from Iran, the ministry said.

Iran has more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and 291 deaths, its ministry of health said on Tuesday.

The positive cases in Bahrain will be moved to a hospital for quarantine, state news agency BHA said.

Bahrain now has a total of 187 cases.

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03:06 pm

Iran: Total cases reach 9,000

Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman tweeted,

“Total CoronaVirus cases in Iran are now 9,000, number of deaths 354. New infections as of yesterday are 958 and 63 deaths in the past 24 hrs. Those recovered has reached to 2959.”

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02:12 pm

Eighth British citizen dies from coronavirus

A 53-year-old British woman has become the eighth British person to die having contracted coronavirus. 

The woman died in Bali, according to Indonesia’s health ministry. It the first death linked to Covid-19 in the country. An Indonesian government spokesman said the patient was already “critically ill” when she was diagnosed with the disease.

An FCO spokesperson said: 

“We are supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Indonesia and are in contact with local authorities. Our sympathies and thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.”

A man who had been in a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship became the first UK victim of the virus when he died in Japan. Since then six people have died in the UK.

 

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02:09 pm

Polish Schools to Close as Precautionary Measure

All Polish schools will close starting on Monday to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, added that universities, museums, and cinemas will also be closed. Poland has confirmed 26 cases of the coronavirus. No one has died.

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02:07 pm

Is UK’s negligence to be blamed for the spike in cases?

Labour MP Rachael Maskell has become the latest politician to go into self-isolation in the UK. Previously, Nadine Dorries, the Health Minister and MP for Mid Bedfordshire was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The Department of Health said Nadine Dorries first showed symptoms on Thursday – the same day she attended a Downing Street event hosted by the prime minister. Read More

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01:04 pm

Tokyo Disneyland won’t reopen until mid-April

Tokyo Disneyland will remain closed through mid-April in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus according to Oriental Land, Tokyo Disneyland’s operator.

In a news release issued on Wednesday, Oriental Land said that both Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea will stay closed through mid-April in the wake of the Japanese government’s announcement yesterday requesting all large-scale events be postponed.

The park has been closed since February 29.

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12:47 pm

Britain under Coronavirus Fears

After British MP Nadine Dorries tested positive for coronavirus, health officials are now trying to trace where she contracted the virus from and who she has been in contact with. Dorries, according to the Times, was in touch with hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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12:41 pm

Premier League suffers first postponement

Arsenal’s game at Manchester City on Wednesday was postponed after players from the London club were put into quarantine, making it the first Premier League football fixture to be called off because of coronavirus. Arsenal said players and four staff had been isolated at their homes after coming into contact with the owner of Greek club Olympiakos, Vangelis Marinakis, who has since tested positive for COVID-19.

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12:39 pm

India: Karnataka man could be 1st casualty

A 76-year-old man from Karnataka could be India’s first COVID casualty. His throat swab has been sent for testing and results are awaited.

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12:35 pm

Indian students stranded in Italy

Students from AP and Telangana are stranded in Italy as the Mediterranean country went into lockdown to tackle the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases. The students are in places such as Padova, Rimini, Modena, Milan — all declared red zones for the virus. Italy reported 97 deaths since March 9.

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12:31 pm

First death from Covid-19 recorded in Belgium

A report from Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (in french) states that Belgium has recorded its first death as a result of Covid-19. A 90-year old man from Brussels has died. 

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12:30 pm

Total cases reported to date in Bahrain 189: Health Ministry

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12:15 pm

Latest Updates

China eases restrictions: China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, will allow businesses to gradually come back online and will resume some public transportation services, after a significant drop in new cases reported daily. Hubei’s capital Wuhan and other virus-hit cities were put under lockdown on January 23 — and this is the first sign of those restrictions lifting.

The US imposes restrictions: In sharp contrast, the US is only now introducing harsher measures to halt the virus’ spread: universities are closing, employees are working from home, and local governments are encouraging social distancing.

In Washington, the hardest hit state, gatherings of more than 250 people are banned in three counties. Other crowded events like the South by Southwest conference and sports tournaments have also been canceled.

It’s not over yet in Asia: Mongolia, which announced its first case yesterday, is shutting borders with neighboring Russia. South Korea, which had seen a drop in cases earlier this week, reported an uptick of 242 new cases today. Indonesia, which only reported its first case of the virus earlier this month, confirmed it’s first death from the virus today and now has 27 cases.

The virus is all across Europe: Since the outbreak began in Italy in late February, it has spread across the continent, reaching every EU country.

Of the 11 countries with most infections outside China, six are in Europe — Italy, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, and the Netherlands. (CNN)

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12:02 pm

Coronavirus outbreak worsens in Italy and Japan, as situation stabilizes in China

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12:00 pm

Indonesia postpones Formula E race over coronavirus fears

Indonesia has postponed its debut Formula E race in Jakarta over concerns about the spread of coronavirus, organisers said Wednesday.

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11:58 am

Iraq canceled Friday prayers in the Shiite holy city of Kerbala due to concerns about the coronavirus, a statement from the administration of the city’s holy site said on Wednesday.
Kerbala, like the neighboring holy city of Najaf, attracts Shiites pilgrims from Iraq and abroad. Prayers had already been canceled last Friday.

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11:45 am

Iran

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has appointed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to head the campaign against coronavirus in the country, Rouhani announced in a televised address on Wednesday.

Rouhani advised Iranians to perform pilgrimage from a distance during the Persian New Year, Nowruz, which is on Friday, March 20. He also urged the nation to keep observing good sanitary habits to fight the outbreak.

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11:37 am

India: Total cases reach 62

Total reported- 62

  • J&K- 1 case
  • Ladakh- 2 cases
  • Rajasthan- 17 cases
  • Delhi- 4 cases
  • Maharashtra- 5 cases
  • UP- 8 cases
  • Karnataka- 4 cases
  • Kerala- 17 cases
  • Tamil Nadu- 1 case
  • Telangana- 1 case

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11:30 am

China: Hubei province will gradually allow businesses to reopen

China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, will allow businesses to gradually come back online and will resume some public transportation services, the provincial government said in a statement Wednesday.

The decision comes as the number of cases in the province has declined significantly. Hubei was reporting thousands of infections a day just weeks ago. There were only 14 new infections reported in Hubei Tuesday, according to China’s National Health Commission.

Businesses in Wuhan — the provincial capital and the city where the virus was first identified — that are related to epidemic control, public utilities and daily necessities are allowed to resume work now, the statement said. Other firms can return to work starting on March 20.

The provincial government said that regions outside Wuhan will be divided into areas of high, medium and low risk. The order of work resumption will depend on the nature of businesses and where they are located. Meanwhile, business that involve people gathering in small spaces — like karaoke bars, movie theaters and beauty salons — will not be allowed to reopen until after the outbreak is over.

Areas where the risk is deemed medium or low will be allowed to gradually resume public transportation services like city buses and flights between provinces.

However, public transportation in Wuhan and other high-risk areas will continue to be suspended until further notice, it said. Schools across Hubei province will continue to be suspended until further notice and checkpoints will remain in place for those wishing to enter or leave Hubei.

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11:20 am

Bahrain has quarantined 77 people of those who have been evacuated from Iran.

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11:15 am

Washington state to restrict gatherings of over 250 people

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce today that gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will be banned to help public health authorities stop the coronavirus from spreading further, according to The Seattle Times.

The measure will affect sporting events, concerts and cultural gatherings, but not retail stores, the newspaper reported.

Washington is currently dealing with the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the United States. At least 273 patients have been identified and 24 people have died.

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11:03 am

India: Self-quarantine list upon arrival made bigger

Indian authorities have issued a new travel advisory that requires any passengers who arrive in the country to self-quarantine for 14 days if they have visited China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain or Germany.

Fifty-six coronavirus cases have been identified in India as of Wednesday morning local time.

India has also suspended visas issued to nationals of several countries with large outbreaks in order to prevent importation of the virus.

Authorities announced that they would be suspending visas issued to nationals of Germany, France and Spain, if those visas were issued on or before March 11 and if the visa-holder has not yet entered India. The country had already enacted similar visa restrictions for Italian, Iranian, South Korean and Chinese nationals.

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11:00 am

Indonesia has announced its first coronavirus death

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10:59 am

Iraq

Iraq has announced its second coronavirus death in Kerbala.

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10:58 am

Kuwait

Three new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the past 24 hours, the Kuwait health ministry said, bringing the total to 72. A total of 916 people have been quarantined as a precaution against the spread of the virus. Thousands of volunteers are helping to control the spread of the virus in the country, health officials added. Kuwaiti officials have also advised residents and citizens to avoid travel and warned against wrong information and fake news, and advised everyone to only rely on official announcements.

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10:57 am

COVID-19 Cases Cross 1000 in the US

States of emergency have been declared in Michigan and Massachusetts, as the number of Covid-19 cases in the US passed 1000.

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10:54 am

Formula One team members in Melbourne placed in isolation

Three Formula One team members at the Australian Grand Prix have been placed into isolation after concerns they may have contracted the coronavirus.

One member from McLaren and two from the Haas teams was evaluated at the circuit’s isolation unit, established by F1, after showing fever symptoms at the track.

The team members have been tested for the virus and placed under self-isolation at their hotels. There will be a major concern if their tests are positive, as they have already been mixing in the paddock with others.

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10:51 am

Mongolia is temporarily closing its border with Russia

Mongolia is temporarily banning any travel into the country through its border with Russia, state news agency Montsame reported.

The country is also suspending all flights to and from Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan, according to Montsame.

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10:50 am

Saudi

The Saudi Ministry of Health on Tuesday night revealed a new case of the coronavirus has been discovered in the Kingdom. Read More

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10:46 am

UK Health Minister, Nadine Dorries, diagnosed with coronavirus

The health minister Nadine Dorries has become the first MP to be diagnosed with coronavirus, prompting concerns about the potential spread of the illness at Westminster and even at Downing Street, where she attended a reception last week.

The Department of Health and Social Care DHSC confirmed that Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire since 2005 and a bestselling author of fiction, had tested positive for the infection.

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10:45 am

Sri Lanka: One New Case Reported

A 52-year old Sri Lankan tour guide who had worked with a group of Italian tourists

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10:42 am

Indonesia confirms first death from Covid-19

A 53-year-old woman has died from coronavirus in Indonesia, becoming the country’s first recorded death from the virus, a health ministry official said on 11 March 2020.

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10:30 am

Turkey

Turkey announced its first coronavirus case, a man who had recently travelled to Europe and is in good health.

“The test of a patient suspected of carrying the coronavirus returned positive,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a television broadcast.

He added that the man was likely to have contracted COVID-19 while travelling in Europe, but declined to say which country or where in Turkey the patient had been hospitalized.

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10:18 am

Coronavirus case confirmed to be Washington DC priest who gave communion to more than 500 last week

Rev. Timothy Cole, Rector of Christ Church in Georgetown, revealed he fell victim to COVID-19 in an email to his parishioners over the weekend. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recommended anyone who visited the church on either February 24 or between February 28 through March 3 must self-quarantine for two weeks. He attended four church services consisting of approximately 550 people on March 1. The church shut its door to worshippers for the first time since the 1800’s.

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10:00 am

Jamaica has confirmed its first coronavirus case

Jamaica has confirmed its first case of coronavirus in the capital of Kingston, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced Tuesday.

The patient is a Jamaican woman that was in the UK recently but arrived back on the island on March 4. She has been in isolation since Sunday.

Jamaica is taking several steps to prevent community spread of the virus, including contact tracing. The country has imposed travel restrictions on eight countries: China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, Spain, France and Germany.

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09:45 am

Bolivia

Bolivia has confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus, Health Minister Anibal Cruz said in a public address.

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09:30 am

These 11 countries have reported the most infections:

  1. Mainland China: 80,778 cases; 3,158 deaths
  2. Italy: 10,149 cases, 631 deaths
  3. Iran: 8,042 cases, 291 deaths
  4. South Korea: 7,755 cases, 60 deaths
  5. Germany: 1,296 cases, 2 deaths
  6. Japan: 1,264 cases, 19 deaths (includes 696 cases linked to Diamond Princess cruise ship)
  7. Spain: 1,204 cases, 28 deaths
  8. France: 1,116 cases, 30 deaths
  9. United States: 1,000 cases, 31 deaths
  10. United Kingdom: 382 cases, 6 deaths
  11. Netherlands: 382 cases, 4 deaths

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09:15 am

United States

new cases include:
– 5 new cases in Georgia
– 8 new cases in Florida
– First 2 cases in Michigan

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09:01 am

China

24 new cases, 22 new deaths (all in Hubei) and 1,578 new discharges occurred in China on March 10, as reported by the National Health Commission (NHC) of China

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09:00 am

Hong Kong expands travel warnings

Hong Kong raised its travel warning to all of Italy, as well as some regions of France, Germany, Japan, and Spain amid the spread of novel coronavirus, the city’s Security Bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

The new warning, the Red Outbound Travel Alert, advises Hong Kong residents to avoid non-essential travel and adjust travel plans amid the heightened threat.

The new restrictions will cover the French regions of Bourgogne-Franche-Comte and Grand Est, the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido, and the Spanish regions of La Rioja, Madrid, and the Basque Country.

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08:50 am

South Korea: 242 new coronavirus cases, Six more people died

South Korea identified 242 coronavirus cases and reported six virus-related deaths Tuesday, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Among these new cases, 131 are from the city of Daegu, the epicenter of the outbreak that alone accounts for a total of 5,794 cases. North Gyeongsang province, which surrounds Daegu, reported a jump of 18 new cases on Tuesday.

Sixty people have now died in the country. A total of 7,755 cases have been identified. Daegu and North Gyeongsang account for about 89% of the nation’s confirmed cases, the KCDC said.

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08:39 am

Bahrain: 47 additional individuals discharged after completing 14-day quarantine period

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08:38 am

Bahrain: Foreign Ministry calls upon all citizens not to travel during this period unless absolutely necessary

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08:35 am

Panama reports first coronavirus death

Panama has reported its first coronavirus death, according to a statement from the Health Ministry.

The patient that died was a 64-year-old male who had also suffered from diabetic complications and bacterial pneumonia.

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