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Coronavirus pandemic: All the latest updates

United States President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, opening the door to providing what he said was about $50bn in federal aid to fight the disease. On Friday, the World Health Organization warned that Europe has now become the “epicentre” for the pandemic, called COVID-19, reporting more daily cases than…

Coronavirus pandemic: All the latest updates

United States President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, opening the door to providing what he said was about $50bn in federal aid to fight the disease.
On Friday, the World Health Organization warned that Europe has now become the “epicentre” for the pandemic, called COVID-19, reporting more daily cases than China did at the height of its outbreak.
More:

Timeline: How the new coronavirus spread

Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases?

What happens if you catch the new coronavirus?

The pandemic’s global death toll has reached almost 5,000, while the global number of cases has surpassed 132,000, according to the UN’s health agency. About 68,000 victims have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the virus.
The WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic as Italy tightened its strict quarantine and the United States imposed a ban on flights to Europe.
Meanwhile, the virus has spread to at least 18 countries on the African continent, with Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Guinea all confirming their first cases on Friday.

Here are the latest updates:
Friday, March 13
19:48 GMT – Qatar confirms 58 new cases
Qatar’s health ministry has confirmed 58 new cases of coronavirus, taking the Gulf state’s total number of infections to 320, state news agency QNA reported. 
Fifty-four of the new cases are related to the cases identified earlier among expatriate workers and most of these cases have already been in quarantine, it said. The other four cases are related to travel contacts. 
19:32 GMT – Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus
US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in an attempt to thwart the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. 
Announcing the decision at the White House, Trump said this will allow him to “unleash the full power of the federal government,” including freeing up to $50 billion to assist state and local efforts. 

Trump speaks at a news conference on COVID-19 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC [Saul Loeb/AFP]

19:28 GMT – Cyprus shuts borders to non-European for 15 days
Cyprus will shut its borders for 15 days to any individual other than Cypriots, Europeans and persons with special permits in a precautionary move against coronavirus, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday.
The measure would come into effect March 15, he said in a state address.
18:57 GMT – Poland to block entry to foreigners from Sunday
Poland will ban foreigners from entering the country from Sunday and impose a 14-day quarantine on its citizens returning home in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. 
“The state will not abandon (its citizens). However, in the current situation we cannot allow ourselves to keep borders open to foreigners,” Morawiecki told a news conference.
Morawiecki also said shopping malls would be forced to close some shops, and restaurants, bars and casinos would be shuttered. Public gatherings would be allowed only if no more than 50 people were present.
18:48 GMT – Louisiana first state to postpone presidential primary
Louisiana became the first state in the United States to postpone a scheduled presidential primary election because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Voters in Louisiana were due to vote on April 4 in both Democratic and Republican primaries to select candidates for the November general election.
Secretary of State of Lousiana Kyle Ardoin said the vote will now take place on June 20.
18:39 GMT – Tunisia suspends prayers in mosques
Tunisia will immediately suspend prayers in mosques, close cafes at 4pm every day, and ban all cultural, sports and economic gatherings to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said. 
The government has also closed Tunisia’s maritime borders, suspended all flights to and from Italy, in addition to reducing flights with Egypt, Germany, Britain and France.

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Officials carry out disinfection works as a precaution against COVID-19 at Al-Zaytuna Mosque in Tunis [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu]

Tunisia has confirmed 16 cases of the coronavirus, mostly among recent arrivals from Europe, and the disease is expected to hit its crucial tourism sector hard. 
18:33 GMT – Syria bans shisha, closes schools over virus fears
Syrian authorities have announced measures aimed at preventing coronavirus from reaching the war-torn country, including school closures and a ban on smoking shisha in cafes, state media reported.
Damascus ordered the closure of all public and private schools, universities and technical institutes until April 2, SANA reported.
The government also cut civil servant staffing by 60 percent, slashed working hours and suspended the use of fingerprint scanners for public employees for a month, SANA said.
18:23 GMT – Denmark to close borders to foreigners
Denmark will close its borders as of noon on Saturday for non-citizens in a move to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Danish prime minister said. 
“All tourists, all travel, all vacations, and all foreigners who cannot prove a creditable purpose of entering Denmark, will be denied entrance at the Danish border,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
The closure would not apply to the transport of goods, including foods, medicine and industry supplies.
18:10 GMT – India reports second death from coronavirus
India reported its second death from coronavirus, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. 
The patient was a 68-year-old woman with diabetes and hypertension and died in the country’s capital, New Delhi.
India, which has a population of 1.3 billion, has so far reported 82 confirmed cases of the virus. 
18:00 GMT – Trump preparing to invoke emergency powers 
US President Donald Trump is preparing to invoke emergency powers as the country struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, according to two people familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It was still unclear on Friday, however, precisely what mechanism Trump would use to free up additional federal resources for testing and treatment as well as help those struggling with the economic effects.

I will be having a news conference today at 3:00 P.M., The White House. Topic: CoronaVirus!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020

17:21 GMT – Saudi Arabia suspends counting 2020 census 
Saudi Arabia is suspending the counting phase of the 2020 general census until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak, the General Authority of Statistics said in a statement.
The decision came as a precautionary measure over fears of coronavirus spread, the statement added.
Saudi Arabia on Friday reported 24 new cases of coronavirus, including 14 Egyptians, bringing the total in the kingdom to 86, state news agency SPA said, citing the health ministry.

No Paris mayoral election delay despite coronavirus outbreak

17:10 GMT – London and Boston Marathons postponed 
The London Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on April 26 has been postponed until October 4. 
The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 4, has been pushed back by five months and is now expected to take place on September 14.

— Virgin Money London Marathon (@LondonMarathon) March 13, 2020

Find out which other sports events have been cancelled or suspended due to the coronavirus. 
17:08 GMT – Italy hits one-day record with 250 new deaths
Italy has recorded its highest one-day death toll yet from cases of the new coronavirus, according to official data.
There were 250 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,266, with 17,660 infections overall, a rise of 2,547 since Thursday evening.
16:15 GMT – Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests negative for coronavirus
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he had tested negative for the new coronavirus, after a scare over a trip on which at least one infected member of his staff rubbed shoulders with US President Donald Trump.
“The Armed Forces Hospital and (diagnostic laboratory) Sabin have returned a negative test result for COVID-19 for the President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro,” said a post on the far-right leader’s Facebook page.
16:07 GMT – WHO chief: Europe now epicentre of virus pandemic
The head of the World Health Organization said Europe, not China, is now the epicenter of the world’s coronavirus pandemic.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva that “more cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic.”

Media briefing on #COVID19 with @DrTedros. #coronavirus https://t.co/7c1xCs0SJs
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 13, 2020

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He noted that “5,000 people have lost their lives, a tragic milestone.”
He said Europe now has “more reported virus cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.”
15:28 GMT –  Louvre museum in Paris closed
The Louvre museum in the French capital, Paris, said it was closing “until further notice” because of the coronavirus.
The closure of the museum, which had 9.6 million visitors last year, would come into effect from 17:00 GMT on Friday.
This came after the French government banned all gatherings of over 100 people to limit the spread of the virus.

The Louvre Museum in Paris and the Versailles Palace both said that they are closing “until further notice” amid the French government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic [File: Thibault Camus/AFP]

15:25 GMT – Venezuela confirms first 2 cases
Two people in Venezuela have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first cases in the South American country to be confirmed.
“Early today, two cases were certified,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in a televised statement. “One 41-year-old citizen was traveling in the United States. The other was traveling in Spain.”
Classes at public and private schools will be suspended starting on Monday, she added. 
15:15 GMT – #ToiletPaperApocalypse: What explains coronavirus panic buying
Dubbed #ToiletPaperPanic and #ToiletPaperApocalypse online, there is no shortage of videos capturing the mass hysteria that has swept up globally as shelves are cleared.
Canned goods, water bottles and pasta shelves have similarly been emptied out.
So, why are we seeing panic buying across the globe? Read more here. 
15:05 GMT – Spain to declare state of emergency over virus 
Spain will be in a state of emergency for the next 15 days to better combat the coronavirus, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, after infections soared over 4,200 with 120 dead.
“There will be a cabinet meeting tomorrow to declare a state of alert across the country for a period of 15 days,” Sanchez said.
“Unfortunately we cannot rule out that over the next week we could reach more than 10,000 infections,” he said.
The state of emergency will give the government power to take wide-ranging measures including temporarily occupying factories or any other premises except private homes.
15:03 GMT – Canadian Parliament shuts until April 20 
Canada’s Parliament has agreed to shut down for more than a month while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau governed remotely from his home, in self-imposed quarantine after his wife tested positive for the new coronavirus
Canada’s House of Commons voted to shut down for at least five weeks to help ensure lawmakers do not contribute to the spread of the virus.

Australian health officials predict mass spread of coronavirus

14:25 GMT – Pakistan shuts all educational institutions
Pakistan has announced a countrywide shutdown of all educational institutions over fears of coronavirus spread, according to the education minister. 
The announcement came after a meeting of the national security council attended by civilian and military leadership.

In a meeting of the National Security Committee presided over PM Imran Khan, it has been decided to close all educational institutions in the country till April 5. This includes all schools and universities, public and private, vocational institutions and madaris.
— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) March 13, 2020

“It has been decided to close all educational institutions in the country till April 5. This includes all schools and universities, public and private, vocational institutions and madaris,” Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood tweeted.
13:46 GMT – Greece shuts all museums and ruins over coronavirus
Greece will close all its museums and archaelogical sites, including the entire Acropolis that looms over Athens, until the end of the month due to the impact of the coronavirus, its culture ministry said. 
Greece, with 117 confirmed cases and one fatality by late Thursday, has also cancelled public gatherings and shut down schools, theatres, cinemas and gyms.
Separately, the Hellenic Olympic Committee on Friday decided to suspend the remainder of the Olympic Torch relay through the country to avoid attracting crowds because of the coronavirus. 

A full moon rises above Greek Parthenon Temple, covered by scaffolding, at the Acropolis archaeological site in Athens [File: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP]

13:23 GMT – Guinea reports first case
An employee of the European Union delegation in Guinea has tested positive for coronavirus, a delegation spokesman said on Friday, in Guinea’s first confirmed case of the virus.
The patient had self-isolated after she felt ill upon returning to Guinea from Europe, spokesman Alimou Sow told Reuters. Guinea’s government has not yet commented on the matter. 
13:21 GMT – Sudan reports first coronavirus case
Sudan has reported its first confirmed coronavirus case, a man who died on Thursday and had visited the United Arab Emirates in the first week of March.
The man, in his 50s, died in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the health ministry said in a statement.
Sudan on Thursday stopped visa issuance and flight services to eight countries including Italy and neighbouring Egypt over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. Bus trips to Egypt have also been suspended.
13:20 GMT – Spain’s coronavirus tally jumps to 4,209 cases, 120 dead
The Spanish health ministry said the number of coronavirus cases in the country jumped to 4,209 from Thursday’s figure of 3,004, as the disease spread mostly in Madrid, the Basque Country and La Rioja regions.
The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in the country has increased to 120 from 84 the previous day.
Health authorities in the Madrid region said the number of cases rose to 2,078 on Friday.
13:13 GMT – Dutch coronavirus infections jump to 804, deaths double
The number of deaths in people with the coronavirus in the Netherlands has doubled to 10, Dutch health authorities said. 
The number of infections rose to 802 from 614 a day earlier, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said in a statement.
13:12 GMT – Prince Charles cancels trip to Bosnia, Cyprus, Jordan 
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have cancelled their tour of Bosnia, Cyprus and Jordan after being advised to do so by the British government, a spokesman for the royal couple said on Friday.
Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir had been due to visit from next Wednesday but his office said the tour had been called off “owing to the unfolding situation with the coronavirus pandemic”.

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Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, in the background, leave after attending the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London [Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP]

12:41 GMT – F1: Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix postponed
The Formula One races in Bahrain and Vietnam have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Bahrain GP was scheduled to be held next week — at an empty track — and the inaugural Vietnamese GP was set to be held in Hanoi on April 5.
The first four races of the Formula One season have all been called off. The season-opening Australian GP and the China GP were previously postponed.

The Bahrain GP was scheduled to be held next week [File: Hassan Ammar/AP]

No new dates have been set for the races but governing body FIA says it expects to begin the F1 season in May when it reaches Europe with the Dutch GP.
12:38 GMT – Iran security forces to empty city streets 
Iran’s security forces will empty the streets of its cities in the next 24 hours in a drive to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, state news agency IRNA reported on Friday.
Iran is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic outside China, with a death toll of 514, and a total of 11,364 diagnosed infections.

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