Coronavirus fears led to a historic drop in U.S. stocks, shut borders and disrupted daily life around the world, as governments took increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the global outbreak.
* There have now been more cases and more deaths outside mainland China than inside, with 180,000 cases worldwide and over 7,000 deaths.
* A tally of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has multiplied in recent weeks, now surpassing 4,300, and at least 80 people in the United States have died of the respiratory virus.
* The White House, under pressure to escalate national action to combat the coronavirus, urged Americans on Wednesday to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and called for closing bars, restaurants and other venues in states where local virus transmission exists.
* President Donald Trump’s administration and leading Republicans urged the Senate on Monday to swiftly back a House-passed coronavirus aid plan and seriously consider massive new economic stimulus legislation that was still under development.
* Ohio will postpone its presidential nominating election planned for Tuesday, despite a judge’s refusal to endorse a postponement.
* Canada closed its borders to all foreign nationals except U.S. citizens and permanent residents on Monday.
* Countries around Latin America tightened restrictions on Monday to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, with Peru putting military personnel on the streets, Costa Rica and Colombia closing their borders and other countries ordering curfews.
* Venezuela will implement a nationwide quarantine after detecting 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, President Nicolas Maduro said, adding that the total number of cases in the South American country had risen to 33.
* Mexico’s health ministry said on Monday that confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the country have risen to 82 from 53 a day earlier.
* Brazil approved steps aimed at maintaining the flow of credit in the economy and expanding banks’ lending capacity.
* Peru’s government deployed masked military personnel to block major roads in Lima. EUROPE
* In Italy, there were 368 new deaths from the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday, easily the biggest daily toll recorded in any country, including China. However, the virus may be slowing in Italy’s worst hit region, Lombardy.
* Italy on Monday adopted an emergency decree worth 25 billion euros ($28 billion) to support an already weak economy battered by the worst outbreak of coronavirus in Europe.
* French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ordered stringent restrictions on people’s movement to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and said the army would be drafted in to help move the sick to hospitals. In France the virus has killed 148 people and infected more than 6,600.
* Stock market regulators in the two European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, Italy and Spain, on Monday imposed bans on short-selling.
* Spain said a state of emergency will have to be extended beyond an initial 15-day period, and that it was considering closing borders.
* China has sent a flight to Milan, Italy to pick up citizens and overseas students, state-run CCTV reported on Monday.
* 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.
* Ireland expects the number of cases to increase to around 15,000 by the end of the month from 169, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday.
* Germany is ready to take on new debt if necessary to cushion the impact of the coronavirus on Europe’s largest economy, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.
* Sweden launched on Monday a crisis package worth more than $30.94 billion.
* Finland’s government will pass emergency legislation on Tuesday to close all schools and universities from Wednesday.
* Ukraine’s capital Kiev announced the closure of bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping malls from March 17. ASIA
* Mainland China had 21 new confirmed cases on Monday, up from 16 a day earlier. Of the new cases, 20 involved infected travellers arriving in China from abroad.
* Mongolia has reported three new coronavirus cases among citizens repatriated by specially chartered planes from South Korea and Germany.
* Hong Kong will quarantine for 14 days all people entering the city starting midnight on Thursday to prevent an “explosion” of coronavirus cases around the world.
* South Korea reported 84 new coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, marking a third day in a row that the county has reported fewer than 100 new infections.
* South Korea said it plans to tighten border checks for all arrivals from overseas to prevent new virus cases coming into the country.
* Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the total to 177.
* Cambodia reported 12 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, doubling its tally to 24.
* Australia is considering tougher restrictions on public gatherings as the Sydney Opera House closed its doors, national airline Qantas slashed its international flight capacity and courts suspended hearings.
* Compared to other countries, Australia has so far experienced relatively low exposure to the coronavirus, with around 400 cases and five deaths.
* Thailand plans to close down schools, bars, movie theatres, cockfighting arenas as well as postpone next month’s Thai New Year holiday.
* The Philippines’ President said the country’s main island of Luzon would be under home quarantine until April 12.
* Australia is considering a second round of economic stimulus as Canberra accelerated efforts to contain the spread of the virus that has killed five people in the country.
* New Zealand’s central bank slashed interest rates to a record low as it prepared for a “significant” hit to the economy.
* Armenia declared a state of emergency from March 16 until April 16.
* Georgia on Monday banned all foreigners from entering the country.
* The World Health Organization will start testing for coronavirus in rebel-held northwest Syria later this week.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Bahrain reported the Arab Gulf’s first death from the coronavirus on Monday and Saudi Arabia urged its citizens to stay at home. Dozens of Bahrain’s reported 227 cases were among citizens evacuated from Iran last week.
* Qatar, where most of the population is made up of expatriates, reported 38 new cases including three Qataris who had been in Europe. This took Qatar’s tally to 439 and the total number of infections in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to 1,042.
* Egypt reported on Monday two more deaths because of coronavirus, bringing the total of coronavirus related deaths in the country to four.
* The United States is unlikely to ease sanctions on Iran despite an appeal from China that it do so because of the coronavirus pandemic.
* Tunisia will suspend international flights and close its land border, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said.
* Beirut’s usually congested streets were largely free of cars and pedestrians stayed away from its seafront as government measures to curb the spread of coronavirus took effect with varying degrees of success.
* 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.
* Some $2.69 trillion in market value was wiped from the S&P 500 on Monday as it suffered its third-largest daily percentage decline on record. Over the past 18 days, the benchmark index has lost $8.28 trillion.
* 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.
* As Boeing and other U.S. aviation companies angle for billions in assistance, airlines and airport operators globally are suspending dividends, selling airplanes and flying cargo on passenger jets amid plunging demand caused by the pandemic.
* Australia’s central bank reiterated it stood ready to ease policy further in the face of the ‘unprecedented’ spread of the coronavirus, adding to speculation of aggressive stimulus this week to counter the widening economic fallout of the pandemic.
* Malaysia has postponed a three-day meeting of finance and central bank officials from APEC countries that was scheduled to start on Tuesday because of the coronavirus outbreak.
* The spreading coronavirus is threatening project schedules in the booming U.S. solar industry following a year in which the sector topped natural gas as the nation’s top new power source, according to a report published on Tuesday.
* The Philippine Stock Exchange closed indefinitely on Tuesday while currency and bond trading were suspended, the first market shutdowns worldwide in response to the cvirus.
* Carmakers including Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot and Volkswagen cut production at European plants on Monday as they grappled with the coronavirus crisis and diving demand. EVENTS
* Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday that Group of Seven leaders had agreed to support a “complete” Olympics, but dodged questions about whether any of the leaders had brought up the possibility of postponement.
* 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.
* UEFA will announce on Tuesday that it will postpone its Euro 2020 Championships in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
* 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.
* The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in North American horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be postponed to September from May due to the coronavirus.