(Reuters) - France and Spain joined Italy in imposing lockdowns on tens of millions of people, Australia ordered self-isolation of arriving foreigners and other countries extended entry bans as the world sought to contain the spreading coronavirus.
Several countries imposed bans on mass gathering, shuttered sporting, cultural and religious events, while medical experts urged people to practice “social distancing” to curb the spread.
- Globally over 174,100 have been infected and nearly 6,700 have died.
- For interactive graphic tracking global spread: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser
- U.S. states pleaded with the Trump administration on Monday to coordinate a national response, saying patchwork measures enacted by state and local authorities were insufficient.
- A U.S. sailor aboard a warship ship tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time, the U.S. Navy said on Sunday.
- Guatemala logged its first fatality on Sunday as nations in South and Central America ramped up, with Panama banning entry of non-resident foreigners and Honduras closing its borders to passenger traffic for a week.
- Argentina published a decree establishing a 30-day ban on entry to non-residents who have travelled to a country highly affected by coronavirus in the last 14 days.
- Mexico warned the outbreak could last all year as it began rolling out tougher measures to contain the spread, calling for an end to large gatherings and extending Easter school holidays.
- Italy recorded 368 more deaths from the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, the biggest one day toll anywhere so far, including China. Italy now has recorded 24,747 cases and 1,809 deaths.
- China has sent a flight to Milan, Italy to pick up citizens and overseas students, state-run CCTV reported on Monday.
- Spain said a state of emergency will have to be extended beyond an initial 15-day period, and that it was considering closing borders.
- The Czech Republic sealed off several towns on Monday and banned people from moving around except for work, shopping and some limited activities until March 24.
- Britain said it will isolate older people “within weeks” and force into quarantine anyone diagnosed with coronavirus, as it stepped up measures that have so far been less stringent than elsewhere in Europe.
- Germany urged people returning from Italy, Switzerland and Austria to self-isolate for up to two weeks.
- Sweden launched on Monday a crisis package worth more than $30.94 billion.
- Ukraine’s capital Kiev announced on Monday the closure of bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping malls from March 17 and said people’s movement should be restricted as much as possible.
- Mainland China reported a drop in new cases on Sunday, but major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai continued to wrestle with cases of infections from travellers arriving from abroad.
- South Korea reported 74 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the country’s total to 8,236.
- Thailand plans to close down schools, bars, movie theatres, cockfighting arenas as well as postpone next month’s Thai New Year holiday, officials said on Monday.
- Malaysia’s new government announced on Monday a $230 million coronavirus stimulus package.
- The Philippines’ President on Monday said the country’s main island of Luzon would be under home quarantine until April 12 and told the public to heed the orders of police and soldiers, or be arrested.
- Australia’s capital and the country’s second most populous state declared states of emergency on Monday, while large, non-essential gatherings were banned. Australia has recorded nearly 300 cases of coronavirus.
- Armenia declared a state of emergency from March 16 until April 16.
- Georgia on Monday banned all foreigners from entering the country.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
- Saudi Arabia closed public spaces on Sunday and announced a pause in most government operations while Qatar and Oman imposed entry restrictions.
- Bahrain, where nearly 1,000 people have tested positive, reported the first fatality in the Gulf Arab states.
- China on Monday urged the United States to immediately lift sanctions on Iran, the worst-affected country in the Middle East with 853 deaths and 14,991 infected.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial was delayed on Sunday for two months, until May, due to the coronavirus.
- Kenyan authorities raided a shop on Monday that was allegedly selling fake coronavirus testing kits, as the World Health Organisation confirmed at least 327 cases on the continent.
- Stock markets and oil prices continued to nose-dive on Monday after the second emergency cut in U.S. interest rates in as many weeks -- effectively to zero -- and supportive measures from all corners failed to quell coronavirus fears.
- The European Union will go through a recession this year due to the impact of the coronavirus, EU internal market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Monday.
- China’s industrial output contracted at the sharpest pace in 30 years in the first two months of the year, data showed on Monday.
- South Korea’s finance ministry on Monday pledged swift and stern stabilisation measures to prevent herd-like behaviour in the currency market, and to supply liquidity if needed.
- The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games flame handover in Athens next week will be performed in an empty stadium, Greece’s Olympic Committee said on Sunday.
- China tentatively plans to reschedule its annual parliament gathering to late April or early May, sources told Reuters.
- Pope Francis’ Holy Week and Easter services will be held without the public attending.
Compiled by Sarah Morland, Milla Nissi, Frances Kerry and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Peter Graff
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