Coronavirus live updates: Italy under lockdown as WHO says threat of pandemic ‘very real’ – USA DAILY NEWS

Coronavirus live updates: Italy under lockdown as WHO says threat of pandemic ‘very real’

Passengers start disembarking from Grand Princess cruise ship

Passengers have started disembarking from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland, California. There are 21 cases of coronavirus confirmed among the passengers.

Canadian passengers are disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland in California on March 9, 2020.

Canadian passengers are disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland in California on March 9, 2020. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Officials have said the unloading will take up to three days. US passengers will be flown or bused from the port chosen for its proximity to an airport and a military base to bases in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and a 14-day quarantine. The ship is carrying people from 54 countries, and foreigners will be taken home.

About 1,100 crew members, 19 of whom have tested positive for coronavirus, will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, which will dock elsewhere, California Governor Gavin Newsom said.

The Grand Princess had been held off the coast since Wednesday because of evidence that it was the breeding ground for infections tied to a previous voyage.

The California governor and Oakland mayor sought to reassure people that none of the cruise ship passengers would be exposed to the public before completing the quarantine. Officials were trying to decide where the ship and its crew would go next.

Another Princess ship, the Diamond Princess, was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan, last month because of the virus. Ultimately, about 700 of the 3,700 people aboard became infected in what experts pronounced a public health failure, with the vessel essentially becoming a floating germ factory.

Flowers left next to the sign that marks the entrance to the parking lot of the Life Care Center in Kirkland.

Flowers left next to the sign that marks the entrance to the parking lot of the Life Care Center in Kirkland. Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP

In the US, the death toll in Washington State has climbed to 22. The three new deaths were all among former residents of the Life Care Center Kirkland nursing home.

Panama has reported its first case of coronavirus, according to its health ministry.

Updated

South Korea reported 35 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total infections to 7,513, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The data came a day after South Korea showed the rate of increase in new infections fell to its lowest level in 11 days.

Australia’s Socceroos’ bid to reach the World Cup has been put on hold after Fifa and the AFC agreed to postpone Asian qualifying matches in March and June due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Socceroos were scheduled to play Kuwait (home) and Nepal (away) this month, as well as Taiwan (home) and Jordan (home) in June.

The Socceroos were scheduled to play Kuwait (home) and Nepal (away) this month, as well as Taiwan (home) and Jordan (home) in June. Photograph: Getty Images

China’s matches against Maldives at home and Guam away have already been moved to Thailand and were set to be played in an empty stadium, but more than two dozen other matches were scheduled around the continent on two match days: March 26 and 31.

A further 32 games were scheduled to be played during the second international break on two match days on 4 and 9 June.

Death toll passes 4,000

There have now been more than 4,000 deaths caused by the new coronavirus, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. The latest toll is 4,012 after China announced 17 more deaths from the virus on Monday.

Updated

Latest China figures: No new locally transmitted cases outside Hubei

Mainland China reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases outside of Hubei province, where the outbreak began, for the third straight day, while major Chinese cities remained on alert for imported infections.

Medical workers pose for photos after a Fangcang makeshift hospital was officially closed at Wuhan International Convention & Exhibition Center on March 9, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China.

Medical workers pose for photos after a Fangcang makeshift hospital was officially closed at Wuhan International Convention & Exhibition Center on March 9, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Photograph: China News Service/China News Service via Getty Images

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

Of the new cases, 17 were in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei which is under lockdown, while one was in Beijing and one other in Guangdong due to people arriving from abroad, according to the health authority.

The one case in Beijing on Monday was due to a traveller from Britain, and that in Guangdong was an imported case from Spain. As of Monday, there have been 69 imported cases.

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

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

Hubei reported 17 new deaths, all of which were in Wuhan.

In Wuhan, 12 of the 14 temporary hospitals dedicated to treating coronavirus patients have closed, with the remaining two due to shut on Tuesday.

Tom McCarthy

Here’s the wrap on US news today:

Warning that the number of coronavirus cases in the United States was expected to grow, the Trump administration on Monday said that testing for the virus would ramp up quickly in the coming weeks while declining to estimate how many Americans had already been tested for the virus.

The evening news conference at the White House came as the stock market plunged and an increasing number of Americans wondered how the official count of virus cases in the country, still in the mid-three-figures, could remain so low despite the aggressive spread of coronavirus elsewhere.

Donald J. Trump
(@realDonaldTrump)

Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!

March 9, 2020

Donald J. Trump
(@realDonaldTrump)

So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!

March 9, 2020

“There will be more cases,” the vice-president, Mike Pence, said. “But we simply ask today for the American people to engage in the common sense practices.”

Donald Trump appeared briefly at the start of the news conference to announce that the administration was considering a relief package for American workers harmed by the outbreak. Trump did not repeat claims he has made on Twitter that political opponents were exaggerating the health risks posed by the virus to antagonize him.

“This blindsided the world, and I think we’ve handled it very, very well, they’ve done a great job,” Trump said of the virus.

Over 500 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in 35 states and the District of Columbia, not counting cases stemming from repatriation or contained on a cruise ship that docked in California, Trump administration officials said. But the number of actual cases could be much higher, owing to a lag in testing in the US.

In the US, Reuters reports that at least 31 patients at the Seattle suburbs nursing home at the centre of the US outbreak have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokesman for the home. We’ll have more on this soon.

Updated

Ben Butler

A man stands in front of digital market boards at the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney, Australia.

A man stands in front of digital market boards at the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Joel Carrett/EPA

Staying with market news for the moment:

Australia’s stockmarket is extremely volatile today, with the benchmark ASX200 index opening sharply down before soaring back up to where it started the day following Monday’s savage sell-off.

The index is bouncing around in a band between about 1% above yesterday’s closing price and about 1% below it.

The whiplashing share prices have driven the market’s measure of volatility, the A-VIX, up more than 5% this morning.

All this turbulence means we will be waiting until later in the day to get a full sense of what’s happening in the market.

Asian markets have reacted positively to Donald Trump’s announcement

The US president on Monday proposed measures including working with hourly wage earners to ensure they can take time off and creating loans for small businesses so they can weather the coronavirus outbreak.

Markets rallied in Asia on the back of the announcement and S&P 500 futures are also up, signalling that the US markets will open up on Tuesday.

But it’s very volatile and it’s not certain that the rally will hold.

The Nikkei is down 2.75% in Tokyo.

Trinh Nguyen
(@Trinhnomics)

Nikkei falls today again after an already bad day on JPY strength and all sorts of problems – supply & demand, cyclical & structural, etc etc.

Has erased Abenomic gains & kind of a combo of U-shaped & L-shaped or M-shaped in the making 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/VvsaZVruSb

March 10, 2020

Updated

Australian business confidence and conditions fall

Ben Butler

In Australia, according to new survey data from National Australia Bank, Australian business conditions index fell two points to zero in February, following a decline in profitability and trading conditions while confidence slumped three points, well into negative territory at -4.

About half of firms in the survey have reported no impact from the coronavirus so far, which NAB said was “surprisingly small” and expected to get worse.

Most significantly, companies reported that their order books have shrunk.

“Both conditions and confidence fell in the month, but not by as much as we had feared,” NAB chief economist Alan Oster said.

“That said, both continue to track below average and with forward orders weakening its likely we could see further deterioration”.

Things are unlikely to get better in the short term, he said.

“With conditions and confidence continuing to track below average, there are risks around future capex and employment growth,” he said.

“While employment remains a relative bright spot in the survey, at around average, capex has softened alongside the deterioration in conditions since early 2018 and is now below its long run average.”

Meanwhile, the Australian market continues to bounce around after receiving a boost from US president Donald Trump’s announcement of an economic stimulus package.

At about 11.37am the benchmark ASX200 index was down about 0.9%.

Markets rally after Donald Trump announces ‘major’ economic measures

US President Donald Trump speaks in the briefing room of the White House, Monday, March, 9, 2020.

US President Donald Trump speaks in the briefing room of the White House, Monday, March, 9, 2020. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

The US President said his administration is proposing measures including working with hourly wage earners to ensure they can take time off and creating loans for small businesses so they can weather the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is something we were thrown into and we have been handling it”, Trump said.

Markets rallied in response:

IGSquawk
(@IGSquawk)

Markets rallying after Trump promised the announcement of stimulus measures tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/1dqxMafr4B

March 9, 2020

In the US, passengers are expected to start disembarking the Grand Princess cruise ship, which has 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus, mostly among crew members, on board.

The cruise ship was forced to idle for days off the coast of California because of the cluster cases. It arrived in port on Monday as state and US officials prepared to transfer its thousands of passengers to military bases for quarantine or return them to their home countries.

People walk toward a bus below the Grand Princess, a cruise ship carrying multiple people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

People walk toward a bus below the Grand Princess, a cruise ship carrying multiple people who have tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/AP

When the ship pulled into the Port of Oakland near San Francisco with more than 3,500 people aboard, passengers lining the balconies waved and some left the cabins where they had been in isolation to go onto deck as the ship entered the port near San Francisco, AP reports.

Workers wearing gloves and yellow protective gear have placed a large tent by a platform where passengers will disembark. At least 20 buses and five ambulances are parked nearby, and officials have said those needing acute medical care for any reason will get off first.

We’ll have more updates shortly.

On the lockdown in Italy, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced hope that drastic measures taken there could help rein in the virus, and would give less-affected countries more time to prepare for a wider spread.

But he acknowledged that “the disease has not run its course”.

“Right now I think we are still very much in the beginning or middle… of this fight,” he said, warning against complacency towards the virus.

As for the word pandemic, “I am not worried about the word, I am more worried about what the world’s reaction to the word will be,” Tedros told reporters.

He also slammed those who might suggest simply letting the virus run its course, pointing out that for the elderly and weak especially “it is very fatal.”

“If anything is going to hurt the world it is a moral decay, and not taking the deaths of the elderly or senior citizens” seriously, he said.

“Pandemic doesn’t mean that we say it is fine to live with it… we can contain it,” he said.

“No white flag. We don’t give up.”

“Pandemic” is not an official WHO term, and it does not trigger any specific actions. WHO has already put out its highest level of alert – saying the world is at “high risk”

WHO says threat of pandemic ‘very real’

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), informs the media about the last updates regarding on the novel coronavirus.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), informs the media about the last updates regarding on the novel coronavirus. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

The World Health Organization warned Monday “the threat of a pandemic has become very real,” but stressed the virus could still be controlled. The WHO defines a pandemic as a situation in which “the whole world’s population would likely be exposed to this infection and potentially a proportion of them fall sick,” Michael Ryan, who heads the WHO’s emergencies programme, has said.

Infections worldwide have passed 110,000.

But he stressed, “even if we call it a pandemic, still we can contain it and control it.

“It would be the first pandemic in history that can be controlled,” he said. “We are not at the mercy of the virus.”

He pointed out that the situation varied widely in the 100-odd countries that have so far registered cases, with 93% of all cases being located in just four countries.

“Whether it is pandemic or not, the rule of the game is the same: never give up,” he said.

He said 79 countries had registered fewer than 100 cases, and more than half of those had seen fewer than 10 infections.

At the same time, in China, where more than 80,000 cases have been recorded since the outbreak began there in December, the country appears to be “bringing the epidemic under control,” Tedros said.

“More than 70% have recovered and have been discharged,” he pointed out.

Since the novel coronavirus first emerged, 113,582 cases have been recorded across 100 countries, killing 3,996 people, according to Johns Hopkins.

Summary

Hello, and welcome to our new coronavirus blog.

Markets have reacted positively to an announcement by US president Donald Trump of ‘major’ new economic measures in response to the crisis. The whole of Italy is in lockdown. In California, passengers are today expected to begin disembarking the Grand Princess cruise ship. Stay with us for the latest.

Here is a summary of the latest recent developments.

  • The US and UK stock markets have both suffered their worst daily slump since the 2008 financial crisis. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average has plunged by more than 2,000 points, closing down 7.8% tonight.
  • More than 60 million were placed in lockdown conditions in Italy as the measures imposed on the northern “red zone” were extended to the whole country. The steps announced by the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte included the suspension of all public gatherings and strict travel restrictions.
  • Australia’s Qantas airline has reduced its international flying capacity by a quarter, grounding eight Airbus A380s, and leaving just two of the largest planes in its fleet flying.
  • Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is due to reveal part of his government’s plan to protect the economy from a recession caused by the coronavirus.
  • Egypt has placed a nationwide suspension on “any large gatherings of citizens, or those that involve the movement of citizens between governorates,” its prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has announced.

  • Boris Johnson has urged people to not panic buy, to “behave responsibly” and think of others.
  • More than 60 million were placed in lockdown conditions in Italy as the measures imposed on the northern “red zone” were extended to the whole country. The steps announced by the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte included the suspension of all public gatherings and strict travel restrictions.
  • Anyone arriving in the UK from Italy should self-isolate for two weeks, UK officials warned. Within a fortnight the UK government will advise anyone with a fever or a mild respiratory tract infection to self-isolate for seven days.
  • Egypt announced similar measures aimed at countering the virus’s spread. Authorities had already cancelled all upcoming cultural events.

Updated