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Xi Visits Wuhan, Italy Under Coronavirus Quarantine: Live Updates

Accepted submission by upstart at 2020-03-10 10:54:13

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Xi visits Wuhan, Italy under coronavirus quarantine: Live updates []:

Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, the first time he has done so since the epidemic began and a sign that Beijing believes its efforts to control the virus are working.

His arrival in the city comes after its spread in mainland China has sharply slowed in the past week and as attention has turned to preventing imported infections from overseas hot spots such as Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Meanwhile the whole of Italy - a country of some 60 million people - has been placed under quarantine [], as the government steps up efforts to tackle a coronavirus outbreak [] that has affected more than 9,000 people and left 463 dead in the country.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late on Monday that he was extending restrictions [] on travel, that had been in place in the north, throughout the country.


Conte's announcement came as Italy announced 97 more deaths from the virus and the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the threat of a global coronavirus pandemic was "very real".

Globally, more than 3,800 people have died from the coronavirus and over 110,000 cases have been confirmed.

This is Mersiha Gadzo [] in Doha taking over from Kate Mayberry [] in Kuala Lumpur. Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, March 10 10:20 GMT - Denmark cancels flights from severely affected countries

According to the Danish prime minister, all flights to Denmark from areas severely hit by the coronavirus including Italy will cease on Tuesday.

10:15 GMT - Death toll in France jumps to 30

The death toll in France from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 30 from 25 a day earlier, the French public health authority said.

10:06 GMT - British Airways cancels all Italian flights on Tuesday

British Airways cancelled all fights to and from Italy after the country was put on lockdown until next month to tackle coronavirus, it said.

"In light of the Italian government's announcement and the UK government's official travel advice, we have contacted all customers who are due to travel today [March 10]," the airline, owned by IAG, said.

10:03 GMT - Kazakhstan imposes travel restrictions

Kazakhstan barred entry to travellers from Italy and is adding France, Germany and Spain to the list from March 12, chief sanitary doctor Zhandarbek Bekshin said.

The central Asian country neighbouring China so far hasn't reported any cases of coronavirus.

10:00 GMT - Serbia imposes travel restrictions

Serbia closed its borders for foreigners arriving from countries most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The temporary ban applies to people arriving from "Italy, certain provinces in China, South Korea, Iran and Switzerland," the government said in a statement.

So far four people in Serbia including a Chinese national have tested positive for coronavirus.

09:56 GMT - Lebanon records first death

A 56-year-old Lebanese man has died from the coronavirus, marking the country's first recorded death from an epidemic that has so far infected 41 people in the country.

The man had been receiving treatment in a state-run Beirut hospital, a health ministry source told AFP, adding that the patient had recently returned from Egypt, where the virus has also spread.

09:18 GMT - Japan unveils $4bn package

Japan unveiled a second package of measures worth about $4bn in spending to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, focusing on providing support to small and mid-sized firms, amid mounting concerns about the fragile economy.

The package of 430.8 billion yen ($4.1bn) in spending, reflects the pressure policymakers are under to bolster fragile growth and stem the risk of corporate bankruptcies, as event cancellations and weakened tourism threaten to hit the economy hard.

To help fund the package, the government will tap the rest of this fiscal year's budget reserve of about 270 billion yen, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

09:15 GMT - Wizz Air suspends all flights to Italy, Israel

Wizz Air has suspended all flights to Italy and Israel after the two countries announced moves to try to contain coronavirus, the low-cost carrier said.

Flights to and from Italian airports will be cancelled from March 10 until April 3 and flights serving Israel's Tel Aviv and Eilat will be suspended from March 12 until March 23, the company said.

09:09 GMT - Polish president calls off big election rallies

Polish President Andrzej Duda said he will not organise large campaign meetings ahead of elections in May in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"I have made the decision that I will not organise large meetings in connection with my presidential campaign, because these are meetings that hundreds of people come to," state news agency PAP quoted Duda as saying.

"It seems to me that the risk that this may lead to the spread of coronavirus is too great."

09:00 GMT - Beijing to extend winter heating season

Beijing will extend its winter heating season by a week until March 22 as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic, an official from the municipal government said.

The extension of the period when centralised systems provide heat to homes will help people keep warm as they stay indoors, and limit the number of people catching colds and going to hospital where they risk infection, the official said.

08:58 GMT - Czech Republic closing schools, banning events

The Czech Republic will suspend schools other than universities from Wednesday, and ban events hosting more than 100 people, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said.

The country has so far reported 40 cases of coronavirus.

08:25 GMT - Number of cases in Philippines rises to 35

The Philippines' department of health has confirmed 11 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of people affected to 35.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the Philippines under a state of public health emergency, and suspended all school classes in the capital until Saturday.

Other restrictions in social activities were put in place, including the suspension of visits at the national prison and live audiences in television shows.

08:17 GMT - Payments on mortgages to be suspended across Italy

Payments on mortgages will be suspended across Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak, Italy's deputy economy minister said.

"Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households," Laura Castelli said in an interview with Radio Anch'io.

Italy's banking lobby ABI said on Monday lenders representing 90 percent of total banking assets would offer debt moratoriums to small firms and households grappling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

08:05 GMT - Italy lockdown: what are the restrictions?

Italy is the first European country to put more than 60 million people on lockdown to stem the spread [] of coronavirus.

All sporting events, schools and universities have been cancelled. Places of public gathering such as cinemas, theatres and nightclubs remain closed.

Religious ceremonies including funerals and weddings will also be postponed.

Read more here [] about all the restrictions in place.

"Behind me are the funeral announcements."

Italian journalist, Francesca Borri, reports from the epicentre of the #coronavirus [] crisis in Lombardy, Italy.

Follow latest updates: [] []

— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) March 10, 2020 []

06:57 GMT - Palestinian territories confirm new cases, toll at 26

Palestinian authorities confirmed a new coronavirus case in the occupied West Bank.

"The Health Ministry has reported a new coronavirus case in Bethlehem, which increased the number of people infected with coronavirus to 26, government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said in a statement.

Last week, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced a state of emergency [] in Bethlehem and Jericho over suspected coronavirus cases.

06:57 GMT - German tourist diagnosed with coronavirus in northern Cyprus

A German woman on holiday in northern Cyprus has been diagnosed with coronavirus, Anadolu news agency reported.

The Greek Cypriot government in the island's south also confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus on Monday.

05:25 GMT - Hubei introduces 'health code' system to get people back to work

Authorities in China's Hubei said on Tuesday they will implement a "health code" mobile-phone-based monitoring system to start allowing people to travel within the province, as it tries to get life back to normal.

The statement, published on the government's website, said the move was aimed at promoting the resumption of work and production.

China's President Xi Jinping arrived in the provincial capital, Wuhan, on Tuesday for his first visit and is meeting medical workers and others involved in the fight against the virus.

Photos: President Xi visits patients, medics at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan (Photos: People's Daily) [] []

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 10, 2020 []

04:30 GMT - Singapore to stop free treatment for foreign visitors with COVID-19

Foreign visitors will have to pay if they are treated for COVID-19 at Singapore's public hospitals to "prioritise" resources given an expected rise in cases, the Ministry of Health said []in its daily update on the coronavirus situation in the country.

The decision came into effect on March 7.

Testing of foreign visitors - people on short-term visit passes - will still be free, while residents and those on long-term passes will continue to receive free testing and treatment at government facilities, it said.

04:00 GMT -  Gates, other charities pledge $125m towards COVID-19 treatments

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard pledged $125m to support the development of treatments for the coronavirus.

The effort, known as the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, will focus on identifying, assessing and developing new and re-purposed drugs that can be used to treat patients.

It will also focus on ensuring the drugs are affordable and available to less privileged populations.

03:40 GMT - Incoming Trump chief of staff in self-quarantine

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has put himself in quarantine because he might have come into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus, his spokesman said Monday.

Meadows is not exhibiting symptoms, and a precautionary test came back negative, the spokesman said on Twitter.

"Mark Meadows was advised this weekend that now 12 days prior at CPAC, he may have come into contact with the COVID-19 positive test individual," the tweet said, referring to a conservative conference that took place late last month.

"He'll be self-quarantined till the 14 day period passes Wednesday."

Trump appointed Meadows [] to the post of chief of staff on Friday.

03:20 GMT - China's Xi Jinping on first visit to Wuhan: State media

China's Global Times is reporting that President Xi Jinping has arrived in Wuhan on his first visit to the city where the coronavirus originated at the end of last year.

We will bring you more details as we get them.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at Wuhan for COVID-19 epidemic control work []

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 10, 2020 []

03:05 GMT - Death toll in China hotel/quarantine facility collapse jumps to 20

The death toll from the collapse of a hotel used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in eastern China has risen to 20, the Ministry of Emergency Management said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Ten people are still feared trapped in the rubble.

The building in the coastal city of Quanzhou was being used to house people who had recently been in regions hit by COVID-19, according to the local newspaper Quanzhou Evening News.

It collapsed on Saturday evening.

02:55 GMT - Japan to announce second package of virus measures

Japan's government is due to unveil a second package of measures to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Finance Minister Taro Aso says the measures will focus on financial support for small businesses but are also expected to include subsidies to parents who must take leave because of closed schools, and to beef up medical facilities.

02:20 GMT - Mongolia seals off cities after coronavirus found

Mongolia has barred anyone from entering or leaving its cities for six days after reporting its first case of coronavirus.

"The capital Ulaanbaatar and all province centres are quarantined until March 16 to curb the outbreak," Deputy Prime Minister Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan told a press conference.

02:05 GMT - Trump not tested for coronavirus - White House

US President Donald Trump has not been tested for the coronavirus even though at least two lawmakers with whom he has recently come into contact are in self-isolation after attending a conference where a delegate was confirmed with the virus.

"The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him," White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

02:00 GMT - Panama confirms first coronavirus case

A 40-year-old women in Panama has tested positive for coronavirus, the country's health minister said on Monday, the country's first case.

The unnamed woman had travelled from Spain and sought hospital care for fever and a cough when she arrived in Panama, Health Minister Rosario Turner told reporters.

The woman, whose nationality was not disclosed, has since been sent home in stable condition, the minister added.

01:25 GMT - South Korea reports 131 new cases of coronavirus

South Korea has just released the first of its two daily updates.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the country had 131 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing total infections to 7,513.

"(The number) is continuing this steady downward trend that we've seen now for a few days," Al Jazeera's Rob McBride said from Seoul. "You have to remember this is based on literally thousands of tests that are being done, actively searching out new cases among high-risk groups."

01:15 GMT - Mongolia confirms first coronavirus case in French national

Mongolia said on Tuesday that a French national working in the country had been confirmed to have the coronavirus, marking the country's first case.

The National Emergency Commission said in a statement the individual travelled to Mongolia from France via Moscow. It has identified 42 people the patient met and a further 142 individuals who had close contact with the person.

01:05 GMT - 31 people in Seattle care home confirmed with virus

A spokesman for the Seattle-area nursing home - the site of the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the US - said on Monday that 31 residents still living in the home have tested positive for the virus.

Authorities have said 19 coronavirus deaths have been linked to the Life Care Center of Kirkland, including three that were announced on Monday.

Life Care Center spokesman Tim Killian says the home is still awaiting the outcome of 20 other tests. Killian said residents who have tested positive will be treated at the centre, and those who test negative will be moved to a different part of the building.

00:55 GMT - Morocco suspends all Italy travel

Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine el-Othmani said early on Tuesday that his country is suspending all travel to and from Italy amid fears about the coronavirus.

"Due to coronavirus spread in Italy, government of Morocco decided to suspend all travel to and from Italy until further notice," the prime minister wrote on his Twitter account.

#MapActu []

Au vu de la propagation du Coronavirus en Italie, le gouvernement du Royaume du Maroc a décidé de suspendre jusqu'à nouvel ordre tous les vols en provenance et à destination du territoire italien (communiqué)#coronavirus []#COVID2019 [] []

— Agence MAP (@MAP_Information) March 10, 2020 []

00:50 GMT - Albania closes schools, stops Italy flights and ferries

Albania has closed schools for two weeks and suspended flight and ferries to Italy until April 3 after reporting its first cases of the coronavirus on Monday.

More than 400,000 Albanians live in Italy.

00:20 GMT - China cases continue to slow

Mainland China reported 19 new cases of coronavirus infections on Monday, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, down from 40 cases the day before.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,754.

The death toll from the outbreak in China reached 3,136 as of the end of Monday, up by 17 from the previous day.

The central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 17 new deaths, all of which were in the provincial capital of Wuhan.

00:15 GMT - Qantas grounds planes, CEO gives up pay

Australian airline Qantas has grounded eight of its 10 A380 planes and is rerouting flights as it grapples with a sharp drop in demand.

Qantas and its budget airline Jetstar will cut international routes by 25 percent for the next six months with the biggest reductions in Asia and the US.

"In the past fortnight, we've seen a sharp drop in bookings on our international network as the global coronavirus spread continues," CEO Alan Joyce said.

"We expect lower demand to continue for the next several months, so rather than taking a piecemeal approach, we're cutting capacity out to mid-September."

Joyce is Australia's highest-paid CEO, receiving 24m Australian dollars ($15m) in pay for the 2018 financial year. He will not receive a salary for the rest of the financial year, which ends on June 30 in Australia.

Other Qantas executives will take a 30-percent pay cut, and there will be no bonuses for management.

Staff are being encouraged to take annual and unpaid leave.

00:00 GMT - First passengers leave Grand Princess cruise ship in California

The first passengers are being taken ashore from the Grand Princess, a cruise ship that confirmed 21 coronavirus cases, in the California port of Oakland.

US Vice President Mike Pence said those with the virus were "being dealt with in proper isolation".

The Grand Princess has more than 3,500 passengers and crew on board.

Emergency workers in gowns, gloves, respirators and face shields took those requiring immediate treatment to waiting ambulances.

California health, local and state officials are working around the clock with @CDCgov [] to ensure the health of passengers & crew aboard the Grand Princess and the protection of public health in Oakland and surrounding communities. We won't rest until their wellbeing is assured. []

— Ann O'Leary (@Ann_OLeary) March 9, 2020 []

California Governor Gavin Newsom said people will leave the ship in small groups. More than 900 passengers from the state are on the ship.

"Anyone ... symptomatic ... will be fitted with a surgical mask and disembarked via a separate gangway" to avoid disease spread, a statement from Newsom's office said.

Click here to read [] all the updates from yesterday (March 9).

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