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Coronavirus live updates: Russia reports first death

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Coronavirus live updates: Russia reports first death by Kenyans247(1): Thu 19, March, 2020 12:01pm
A 79-year-old becomes the first Russian death due to the virus, as the world turns to movement controls to stop spread.
Russia has announced that a 79-year-old woman with coronavirus and other underlying health issues died from pneumonia, the country's first confirmed death resulting from the pandemic.

Italy, the country most affected by the coronavirus outside China, reported a further 475 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, as the world stepped up efforts against the pandemic by closing schools, shutting down cities and imposing strict border controls.

The UK was the latest to announce it would close schools. The US and Canada, meanwhile, have closed their border to all but essential traffic. Nearly 220,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus globally, and while at least 84,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, more than 8,800 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.Here are all the latest updates:

Thursday 19 March
09:22 GMT - Israel: Palestinian prisoners contracted coronavirus
Israeli authorities said that four Palestinian prisoners contracted coronavirus.

09:22 GMT - Malaysia reports 110 new coronavirus cases
Malaysia reported 110 new coronavirus cases, with the total number of cases increasing to 900.

Most of the new cases were linked to a religious gathering at a mosque attended by 16,000 people, the health ministry said.

epaselect epa08302952 Security officers check the tempature of visitors inside a closed shopping mall during the first day of a movement control order issued by the Malaysia government, Malaysia, 18 M
Security officers check the tempature of visitors inside a mall during the first day of a movement control order issued by the Malaysia government [Fazry Ismail/EPA]
09:15 GMT - A journalist's story of making her way home before lockdown
Manila-based journalist Ana Santos was attending at a training programme in El Salvador when the coronavirus pandemic started a crisis around the world.

The programme was cancelled and she had to return to her respective country, the Philippines, immediately.

She had a little bit more than 48 hours to make a more than 24-hour flight to Manila before the whole country was sealed off.

Here, she describes the logistical hurdles she went through trying to get home as the pandemic accelerated.

08:53 GMT - All you need to know about coronavirus
According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

WHO says signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Here is all you need to know about the coronavirus.

08:40 GMT - PM Conte: Italy to prolong anti-coronavirus lockdown
Italy will remain under lockdown beyond previous deadlines due to expire later this month and in early April, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

In comments to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, Conte said measures taken to close schools, universities and to impose severe restrictions on movement would have to be prolonged.

Under current measures, Italy's 60 million people are only allowed to travel for work, medical reasons or emergencies under an order that runs until April 3, while most shops, except those selling food and pharmacies, are supposed to remain closed until March 25..

07:10 GMT - Russia reports first coronavirus death
Russia said a 79-year-old woman with underlying health issues, who tested positive for the new coronavirus, had died from pneumonia, the country's first confirmed death resulting from the virus.

Russia has so far reported 147 cases of the coronavirus.

06:35 GMT - Up to 20,000 UK military personnel to go on standby
Up to 20,000 British military service personnel will be put on standby to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the defence ministry said.

The number represented a doubling of service personnel who are on standby.

06:15 GMT - Medical volunteers spread coronavirus awareness in Syria
As the coronavirus takes a firmer hold across the Middle East, there is growing concern that war-torn Syria might face a major outbreak.

As concerns over a possible catastrophic prospect grows, a group of medical volunteers in northern Syria teach displaced Syrians how to help prevent catching coronavirus.

Al Jazeera English

Medical volunteers are teaching displaced Syrians how to help prevent catching #coronavirus.

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7:47 PM - Mar 18, 2020
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06:00 GMT - German minister tested negative for coronavirus
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said that his test for the coronavirus came back negative.

Scholz added in a tweet that his cold was subsiding slowly and that he would join discussions at Chancellor Angela Merkel's office on Thursday.

"The #corona crisis is challenging us all - together we can weather it. Our country can do it," Scholz added.

Olaf Scholz

Die Stimme ist noch mitgenommen, die Erkältung geht etwas zurück und der Test war negativ. Vielen Dank für die vielen guten Wünsche. Heute kein Homeoffice, sondern Beratungen im Kanzleramt. Die #Corona-Krise fordert und alle - gemeinsam stehen wir das durch. Unser Land kann das.

9:44 AM - Mar 19, 2020
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05:45 GMT - Lutfhansa: Airlines might not survive without state aid
Lufthansa said that the airline industry may not survive without state aid if the coronavirus epidemic lasts for a long time.

The German airline group has slashed capacity, proposed short-time working and suspended its dividend, saying it was impossible to forecast the impact of coronavirus on profitability.

"The spread of the coronavirus has placed the entire global economy and our company as well in an unprecedented state of emergency," CEO Carsten Spohr said in a statement.

"At present, no one can foresee the consequences."

04:55 GMT - India's PM to address nation
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make a national address on the coronavirus at 8pm (14:30 GMT), he announced on his official Twitter account.

04:50 GMT - World Bank increases virus response package to $14bn
The World Bank has increased its support package for businesses and economies struggling with the impact of the coronavirus.

World Bank

.@WorldBank Group has announced an increased total package of $14 billion for a fast, flexible response. Learn how we are increasing support for countries coping with #COVID19 (#Coronavirus) http://wrld.bg/OfwY30qqyoo

World Bank Group Increases COVID-19 Response to $14 Billion
IFC will increase its COVID-19 related financing availability to $8 billion as part of the $14 billion package, up from an earlier $6 billion.

9:51 PM - Mar 17, 2020
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04:10 GMT - Hokkaido ending state of emergency
Japanese public broadcaster NHK is reporting that an expert panel guiding Japan's coronavirus response may advise a relaxation of controls in regions that have not seen outbreaks, as the northern island of Hokkaido ends its state of emergency.

The infectious disease experts are due to meet later on Thursday.

Japan, which is due to host the Olympics in July, has insisted it will press ahead with the games even though the pandemic has brought the sports world almost to a standstill.

Japan Hokkaido
Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is lifting a state of emergency declared over the coronavirus [File: Issei Kato/Reuters]
Hokkaido had 154 infections as of Wednesday. Among Japan's 47 prefectures, 22 have had fewer than 5 coronavirus cases, according to health ministry data.

04:00 GMT - WHO responds on ibuprofen concerns
The WHO has said it is discussing concerns about the use of ibuprofen to treat fever in patients with COVID-19 and is not aware of any negative effects.

It is not recommending against its use.

World Health Organization (WHO)

Q: Could #ibuprofen worsen disease for people with #COVID19?

A: Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of of ibuprofen.

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1:46 AM - Mar 19, 2020
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03:55 GMT - Indonesia must ramp up testing - Joko Widodo
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo says the Southeast Asian nation needs to immediately widen its testing for coronavirus after the country reported 55 new cases on Wednesday.

"I ask that the number of testing kits and the number of test centres are increased and we get more hospitals involved," Widodo said.

Indonesia has recorded a total of 227 cases so far.

02:30 GMT - Govt steps in to call off mass Muslim event in Indonesia
Indonesian authorities have succeeded in convincing a group of Mulsim pilgrims to call off a mass rally amid fears it could fuel the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials have spent days trying to get Ijtima Asia, part of the global Tablighi Jama'at movement, to stop the event with 8,500 people already gathering near Makassar in eastern Indonesia.

A similar event in Malaysia which attracted more than 16,000 people spiked a surge in cases not only in Malaysia, but also other countries in Southeast Asia.

"Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), Ijtima finally agreed to postpone/cancel," the head of Gowa regency, Adnan Purichta Ichsan posted on social media late on Wednesday.

02:20 GMT - Qantas to halt all international flights from late March
Two thirds of staff at Australian airline Qantas have been told to go home, with the airline stopping all international flights from the end of March until at least the end of May.

"This is a terrible day that we have to make these decisions on the survival of the national carrier," the airline's chief executive Alan Joyce told reporters. "I never thought as a CEO I would have to stand down two thirds of our people."

Some domestic flights will continue.

02:10 GMT - New Zealand tells citizens 'Do not travel'
New Zealanders have been told not to travel given the heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus overseas.

"We are raising our travel alert to the highest level: do not travel," Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement. "This is the first time, the New Zealand government has advised New Zealanders against travelling anywhere overseas. That reflects the seriousness of the situation we are facing with COVID-19."

He also urged New Zealanders already overseas to return home.

02:05 GMT - South Korea reports jump in cases after four days of slowing infections
Latest data from South Korea show a jump in new coronavirus cases with a new outbreak emerging n a nursing home in the hardest-hit city of Daegu.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 152 new cases, taking the national tally to 8,565.

The country had recorded fewer than 100 new infections for four days in a row until Wednesday.

Among the new cases, 97 are from Daegu, where the KCDC said at least 74 patients at a nursing home tested positive for the virus this week.

The KCDC did not specify now many of the new cases were linked to the nursing home directly.

The fresh outbreak has prompted Daegu officials to launch extensive checks on all other nursing homes.

01:45 GMT - China reports only imported cases, mostly in Beijing
China's new cases of coronavirus underscore how the nature of the outbreak has shifted.

The National Health Commission says while there were no domestic cases reported on Wednesday, there were 34 confirmed cases among people returning from overseas. That compares with 13 the day before.

Of the 34 imported infections, 21 were in Beijing.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,928.

The death toll rose by eight to 3,245 as of the end of Wednesday.

01:30 GMT - Wuhan and Hubei report no new cases of coronavirus for first time
China's central city of Wuhan and its surrounding province of Hubei have reported no new cases of coronavirus for the first time.

COVID-19 is thought to have originated in a now-closed seafood market that also sold wildlife late last year.

Global Times

NO new infections of the novel #coronavirus were reported on Wednesday in #Wuhan, marking a notable first in the city's months-long battle with the virus.

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4:33 AM - Mar 19, 2020
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00:30 GMT - US and Canada close border to all but essential traffic
The US and Canada have closed their border to non-essential traffic.

US Canada
The US and Canada have closed their border to all but essential traffic [Rebecca Cook/Reuters]
00:20 GMT - Trump signs coronavirus response bill
The White House says US President Donald Trump has signed the coronavirus response bill that will allow for free testing and paid sick leave for those working in companies with below 500 employees.

That excludes giant firms like Amazon, McDonald's and Walmart.

00:05 GMT - Hong Kong introduces compulsory quarantine for all overseas arrivals
Hong Kong has tightened rules for people arriving from overseas.

The territory's reported a rising number of imported cases and all arrivals will now be required to spend 14 days in quarantine on their arrival in Hong Kong.

The authorities are also urging the city's residents not to travel.

00:00 GMT - UK to close schools from Friday
The United Kingdom is to close all schools from Friday and cancel national exams, as it ramps up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told parliament that that the situation had become increasingly challenging.

"The spike of the virus is increasing at a faster pace than anticipated," he said.

In London, which has reported nearly 1,000 cases of the coronavirus, the underground's night network - a more limited service - will also be closed down.


I'm Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera's continuing coverage of the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

For all the updates from yesterday (March 18), please click here.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/uk-schools-close-italy-covid-19-deaths-jump-live-updates-200318235116951.html

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