Trump Extends Europe Travel Ban to the UK and Ireland
New York: First coronavirus-related death reported
An 82-year old woman who tested positive for coronavirus died in a New York City hospital Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on a media conference call today, marking the state’s first coronavirus-related death.
The woman was “long suffering with emphysema,” Cuomo said.
Saudi Arabia suspends all sports activities
All sports activities in the Kingdom stand suspended from Sunday (March 15) till further notice, the Ministry of Sports announced on Saturday.
As such, various games, all championships and competitions have been put on hold, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited the ministry as announcing.
UAE suspends issuance of all entry visas from March 17
The UAE on Saturday temporarily suspended the issuance of all entry visas except for those holders of diplomatic passports. This will be effective as of March 17.
The decision does not apply to persons who have already got visas before the effective date.
In a statement issued today, the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship said the move was taken as a precautionary measure being initiated by the country to contain the spread of coronavirus and is in response to the World Health Organisation declaring the novel coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic – which makes travel at this point dangerous.
It affirmed that the decision stems from the UAE’s spirit of responsibility to combat the deadly virus and is in solidarity with countries of the world.
Italy starts first weekend under shutdown
Since Monday the country, which has recorded 17,660 infections and 1,266 deaths from the virus, has enacted a set of sweeping measures that have left millions virtually confined to their homes and shut down large parts of the economy.
Late on Friday Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte insisted that “Italy is not stopping” after a meeting with unions and businesses where security procedures were agreed to protect those Italians still going to work.
Italian media report that the government is expected this weekend to announce details of further measures to soften the shock to the economy, including moratoriums on loan payments, extending tax deadlines and making sure self-isolation is covered under sick leave.
The spate of measures curbing almost every aspect of daily life has nonetheless continued.
China sends medical supplies and experts to Italy
A nine-member delegation of Chinese medical experts arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino airport Friday bringing medical supplies on a charter flight, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Italy “full strategic support” to fight against the coronavirus outbreak, Italy’s state-run ANSA news agency reported Saturday.
In a letter to his Italian counterpart Sergio Matarella, Xi said his government and the Chinese people will “sustain with determination” Italy’s fight against the pandemic that has strained the European nation’s medical system, ANSA reported.
Bahrain: Two Saudis recover from coronavirus
Two Saudi citizens have recovered from coronavirus (COVID-19) and have left the medical isolation unit in Al-Salmaniya hospital, the Saudi Embassy in Manama reported.
Meanwhile, Saudi Airlines will operate flights to Riyadh and Jeddah starting Sunday, the Saudi embassy in the Philippines said.
Earlier on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior said it will suspend international flights for two weeks from Sunday to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday.
On Friday, 24 new cases of COVID-19 infections were reported in the Kingdom, raising the total to 86. – Arab News
Indonesia Transport Minister has contracted coronavirus
COVID-19 can also spread through eyes, say ophthalmologists
- The deadly coronavirus can also spread through eyes, said, ophthalmologists.
- Dr V Rajalingam, Superintendent, Government Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, said that Coronavirus is transmitted through droplets from the infected person.
- Whenever a person affected by coronavirus sneezes or coughs in front of others and if the droplets go into another person’s eye then the eye will wash away the droplets through tear secretion.
- The tear including the droplets will enter into the nose through lacrimal sac of the eye and then that person can get infected with Coronavirus,” said Dr V Rajalingam.
- The doctor suggested that people should wear glasses to prevent themselves from Coronavirus.
Planes turn around mid-air because of flight restrictions
British travel company Jet2 has canceled all flights to mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
The company said on Saturday the cancellations were in response to local measures introduced by the Spanish government.
At least five Jet2 flights from the United Kingdom to Malaga and Alicante in Spain were turned around mid-air on Saturday, according to data obtained by Flightradar24, after the airline confirmed it would be cancelling all flights to Spain “with immediate effect.”
On Thursday, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared a 15-day state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. Daily life has been severely restricted in several Spanish provinces and cities, with large gatherings cancelled, restaurants shut and beaches closed to public.
According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, there were 5,753 confirmed cases and 136 deaths as of Saturday morning. The country recorded an increase of more than 1,500 cases in one day.
Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque closed from Sunday
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi will be temporarily closed for prayers and visits starting March 15 until further notice, it was announced on Saturday.
Georgia governor declares a state of emergency
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a public health state of emergency in a press conference this morning.
As of Saturday morning, there are 64 cases of COVID-19 in Georgia which is the largest increase in a 24-hour period to date, Kemp said.
The state is working on establishing independent test sites in every major region of Georgia, locations of which will be announced early next week, Kemp said. The state has appropriated $100 million in emergency funding to address the spread of coronavirus in Georgia.
Georgia is currently processing 100 specimens per day and by the end of the week the state plans on doubling specimen processing to 200 per day with the addition of new equipment and staffing.
The governor has fully activated the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency state operation center in response to coronavirus.
New Zealand memorial service to honor Christchurch victims cancelled due to coronavirus fears.
Iran: 1,365 new cases today!
Iran said the confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country have reached 12,729 on Saturday, with 97 new deaths increasing the toll to 611.
Italy shuts down most civilian flights
The Italian Civil Aviation Authority, known as Enac, said Saturday that it has suspended all civilian flight operations at a number of the country’s major airports, including Rome Ciampino, as part of the country’s emergency lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Enac, all regular flights operating at Rome Ciampino, Bergamo Orio al Serio, Florence, Reggio Calabria, Brindisi, Trieste and Treviso are to be suspended.
As of Monday, flights operating at Milan Linate will also be suspended, while Terminal 1 at Rome Fiumicino – the capital’s main airport – will be closed the following day, Enac added.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the suspension will not affect flights operated by emergency health services or state authorities.
1 new death in the Philippines
A 54-year-old Filipino male with no known travel history abroad. He was admitted to the hospital on March 3, more than a week after exhibiting symptoms
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a coronavirus aid package that would provide free testing and paid sick leave. If it passes the Senate next week it would provide
paid sick and family leave for 2 weeks for those affected by the virus
BCCI suspends all remaining domestic games including Irani Cup
India declares COVID-19 as “a notified disaster”
The Indian government has declared “a notified disaster” in the country as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.
This declaration by the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement Saturday will allow for the use of the State Disaster Response Fund to combat the pandemic.
India has confirmed 82 cases and two deaths.
Eighty-two cases confirmed in Thailand
Thailand has reported seven new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 82, health officials said.
First case of coronavirus confirmed in Rwanda
The health ministry has announced the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Rwanda.
The patient is an Indian citizen who arrived in Rwanda from Mumbai on 8 March, the health ministry said on Saturday.
“He is currently under treatment in stable condition, isolated from other patients,” the ministry said. “The tracing of all contacts has been conducted for further management.”
RwandAir, Rwanda’s national airline, announced it was suspending all flights to India until 30 April and would refund customers.
Rwanda’s case means that 19 African countries have now got coronavirus cases.
Other African nations to have reported cases of the virus include Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Thirty four new cases in Philippines
The Philippines capital, Manila, has announced night curfews, and urged shopping malls to close for a month.
The health department made the announcement today, as three new fatalities were confirmed, bringing the death toll in the country to eight.
It came as the Philippines experienced its biggest single day increase, with 34 new cases bringing the total number to 98.
The president, Rodrigo Duterte, has raised the country’s health emergency status to the highest level and issued quarantine measures in Manila, along with land and air travel restrictions in and out of the capital. These will take effect from 15 March.
School closures were extended school until 12 April.
The nighttime curfew will begin on 15 March 15 and continue until 14 April, but some employees will be exempt, Garcia said. People who violated the curfew would be turned back, he said, but would not be reprimanded or arrested.
“To limit the spread of the virus, we need to limit the movement of people. We are slowing down the movement of people in Metro Manila,” Jose Arturo Garcia, general manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, told a news conference.
Tourist Sites Closed in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi has announced the temporary closure of large tourist sites including the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum.
The Ferrari World theme park will also be shut under the new measures, which will be in place from 15 to 31 March.
The announcements were made in tweets from the Abu Dhabi government media office.
Two more deaths in Greece
Two more people have died in Greece from coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to three.
The deceased were two men, aged 67 and 90. They both had serious underlying health problems, the health ministry said.
There were 190 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Greece by Friday evening.
Coronavirus death toll rose to 611 in Iran
The death toll from coronavirus in Iran has risen to 611, with 12,729 confirmed cases, state TV said.
On Friday, Iran, the death toll stood at 514, with 11,364 confirmed infections.
Newborn baby tests positive for coronavirus in London
A newborn baby has tested positive for coronavirus in what is thought to be the youngest case of the disease in the UK, it has emerged.
The child’s mother, who was taken to a north London hospital days before the birth with suspected pneumonia, has also caught the virus.
The mother tested positive at North Middlesex hospital, in Enfield, with results coming through after the birth. Minutes after the birth the baby was tested for Covid-19.
More church members test positive in Washington
Three more people from Christ Church Georgetown in Washington, DC, have tested positive to the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to members.
A total of five church members have now been infected, including the reverend and the organist.
Father Timothy Cole “continues to receive good reports from his doctors,” according to the letter. It added that the reverend’s wife and son tested negative for the virus.
Hundreds of churchgoers are under quarantine. Cole was the first confirmed case in Washington, DC.
About 550 people attended four services in which Cole took part, and he gave Communion at one of them. These worshippers have been asked to self-quarantine as testing proceeds.
The 200-year-old church has suspended all services and meetings until further notice.
South Korea’s aggressive testing may be paying off
For a second day in a row, the number of coronavirus patients released from South Korean hospitals has exceeded the number of newly confirmed infections, a potential sign that the country’s aggressive test-and-treatment approach is paying off.
Domestic travel restrictions for US Defense Department employees
The Pentagon has announced a series of new travel restrictions for US service members and Department of Defense civilians, halting all domestic travel including station changes and temporary duty assignments.
The restrictions will also pause civilian hiring at department installations, and service members will only be authorized local leave, a Department of Defense statement said.
The new restrictions go into effect on Monday and will continue through May 11.
Exceptions may be granted for mission-essential travel, like trips for humanitarian reasons or under extreme hardship.
Coronavirus test kits have run out in parts of Australia
Stocks of coronavirus test kits have run out in parts of Australia — and supplies elsewhere are running low, the government’s chief medical officer has warned.
Dr. Brendan Murphy addressed fellow healthcare professionals in an open letter, posted to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ website.
“Unfortunately, the extreme pressure on our personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks continues, and the situation regarding pathology test kits, reagents and swabs is deteriorating rapidly, with kits no longer being available in some regions of the country,” he wrote.
“Pathology collection centres have also experienced large backlogs in testing appointments in some parts of Australia, and emergency testing facilities have had to be established in some areas to ensure that urgent patients can get access to testing.”
To address the issue, he urged medical staff to only refer patients for a coronavirus pathology test if they meet the following criteria:
- Traveled internationally in the 14 days before illness onset, OR close or casual contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days before illness onset.
- Have symptoms of fever OR acute respiratory infection (shortness of breath, cough, sore throat) with or without fever.
Thai actor tests positive for the coronavirus
A popular Thai actor has revealed he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Matthew Deane Chanthavanij, 41, made the announcement on his official Instagram account, writing: “This is not a joke, for those who have been in close contact with me the last few days please take precautions. I have the Covid-19 virus.”
Spain Records 4,200 cases
Now Spain has the second-highest number of infections of any European country, after Italy — overtaking the larger nations of France and Germany — and faces the fastest spreading contagion on the Continent.
Between last weekend and Friday, the number of cases in the country shot from several hundred to 4,200, with 120 deaths, and the prime minister warned that the number of cases could reach 10,000 by next week. That would give Spain one of the fastest rates of coronavirus contagion in the world.
US hospitals aren’t prepared for coronavirus pandemic
As the coronavirus spreads throughout the US, some health experts are warning that hospitals are not prepared to manage the anticipated number of patients if there is a spike in severe cases.
It’s unclear exactly how many people might need to be hospitalized, but doctors are trying to figure that out as healthcare systems prepare for what could be a large influx of patients.
Here’s one estimate by Dr. James Lawler at the University of Nebraska Medical Center:
On March 5, he predicted that over the next two months, 4.8 million patients will be hospitalized in the US because of the coronavirus — including 1.9 million stays in the intensive care unit.
The US healthcare system will likely struggle. Lawler’s prediction of 4.8 million hospital patients could mean trouble for the US — the entire country doesn’t even have 1 million hospital beds, according to the American Hospital Association.
Of course, this 4.8 million figure wouldn’t all happen at once. Rather, it would be spread out over many weeks, with outbreaks peaking at different times in different communities. Resources will still be severely stretched — but not in all areas at once.
We can still lower these numbers if we act now. Lawler’s estimate “assumes no attempt to lessen the outbreak” — so the numbers can be altered if people follow official guidance like social distancing, avoiding gatherings, and practicing good hygiene, he said.
President Trump will not be tested for the virus, doctor says.
China to start sharing face masks with the world
As hospitals and governments hunt for respirators and surgical masks to protect doctors and nurses from the coronavirus pandemic, they face a difficult reality: The world depends on China to make them, and the country is only beginning to share.
China made half the world’s masks before the coronavirus emerged there, and it has expanded production nearly 12-fold since then. But it has been claiming that output for itself in large part.
White House Passes Sweeping Package to Assist Affected Americans
The White House passed a sweeping relief package to assist people affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus, moving to confront a growing pandemic that has upended lives and wreaked havoc on financial markets.
The measure includes two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave for Americans who work for businesses with less than 500 employees or the government and are infected by the virus, quarantined, have a sick family member or are impacted by school closures. The relief package also includes enhanced unemployment benefits, free virus testing for those who lack insurance, and additional food aid and federal funds for Medicaid.
Apple says it will close most stores worldwide for two weeks.
India: Punjab to go into lockdown mode
After ordering closure of all educational institutions in the state till March 31, the Punjab government is likely to shut down cinema halls, restaurants and clubs till the end of this month
Ivanka Trump works from home after interacting with official who tested positive
Morocco has suspended travel to Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal, banned gatherings of more than 50 people and cancelled sports, cultural and arts events due to coronavirus.
UAE: Parks, clubs closed temporarily
A number of public parks, as well as night clubs in the emirates of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi respectively, have been closed temporarily to limit the spread of Covid-19. A circular issued by the Department of Culture and Tourism on Friday stated that nightclubs and tourist restaurants in Abu Dhabi will be shut-down with immediate effect until the end of March to restrict further cases of coronavirus.
Two coronavirus cases recovered in Kuwait, bringing the total number of recoveries to seven.
Saudi Arabia suspends events in wedding halls, rest houses and hotels
Saudi Arabia suspended events in wedding halls, rest houses, event venues and in hotels, an official source in the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced on Friday, as part of efforts to the prevent the spread coronavirus in the Kingdom.
These precautionary measures were recommended by the health authorities in the Kingdom, to protect the health of citizens and residents and ensure their safety.
Philippines President tests negative for coronavirus
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has tested negative for the novel coronavirus, according to a Facebook post today by aide Bong Go.
Bong Go and Duterte were tested on Friday after some cabinet members were exposed to infected patients.
Six people have died of the virus in the Philippines so far, according to the country’s Department of Health.
Trump declares national emergency as America shuts down
With over 1,45,500 confirmed cases, the virus has reported more than 5,400 deaths worldwide.
Saudi currencies from foreign branches isolated
All incoming Saudi currencies from Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) branches abroad, via banks and money transporting companies, have been isolated, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 infection. Read More…
The UAE government said it will activate remote work for a segment of federal government employees, starting March 15 to March 26, and subject to renewal.
The UAE government said it will activate remote work for a segment of federal government employees, starting March 15 to March 26, and subject to renewal.
President Trump says he will ‘most likely’ be tested for new virus ‘fairly soon,’ but says he has ‘no symptoms’.
Colombia closes its border with Venezuela
Colombia will close its border with Venezuela in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus, President Ivan Duque announced late Friday — the same day Venezuela announced its first two cases.
The closure will take effect early Saturday local time, Duque said on Twitter.
Colombia will also restrict access to foreign nationals and non-residents who have been to Europe or Asia in the last 14 days. Colombian nationals and residents returning to the country will face mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Colombia’s border with Ecuador will remain open with greater control and coordination between both countries, Duque said.
The first two cases in Venezuela are a woman who traveled to the US, Italy and Spain, as well as a man who traveled to Spain. Both are in quarantine.
Colombia confirmed its first case on March 7 — a 19-year-old-woman who traveled to Italy.
Saudi Arabia announces 24 new cases of coronavirus
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health announced on Friday that 24 new cases of coronavirus had been detected.
This brings the total of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom to 86, with one recovery reported. Read more…
Poland will close borders to foreigners
Poland will not allow non-resident foreigners into the country for at least 10 days, starting Sunday midnight local time, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced Friday.
He said the measures were being implemented to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus. Any Poles coming from abroad will be automatically put into quarantine for 14 days. Goods will be allowed to go through. All international flights and train services will be suspended.
Starting Saturday midnight local time, shopping malls will be partially shut, with only pharmacies, grocery stores, laundromats and chemical stores open. All dine-in restaurants, pubs, bars, casinos and nightclubs will be shut for at least 14 days. It will be possible to order takeaway or delivery food. All gatherings of more than 50 people will be banned.
At least 68 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Poland. Two deaths from coronavirus have also been reported there.
Washington Monument will temporarily close
The Washington Monument will close temporarily, effective Saturday, suspending elevator tours, according to the National Park Service.
Visitors will still be able to visit grounds, as well as other monuments along the National Mall, according to a NPS statement.