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Coronavirus: latest global developments


Published : March 17, 2020 - 09:16

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(Reuters-Yonhap) (Reuters-Yonhap)

PARIS (AFP) -- Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Border closures, checks

French President Emmanuel Macron says the 27-nation European Union is to close all its external borders for 30 days.

Germany implements controls at its land borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Spain announces it is closing its land borders.

Chile closes all its land, maritime and air frontiers.

Egypt will close its airports from Thursday to March 31.

Greece announces a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals on Greek soil.

French, Germans 'stay home'

Macron orders French people to stay home from midday Tuesday except for essential travel for at least the next 15 days and says violators will be "punished".

Saying "we are at war", he postpones the second round of French municipal elections set for March 22.

Germany also urges citizens to stay at home and cancel holidays.

The UK urges an end to "non-essential contact" and travel.

Global toll tops 7,000

Since the virus first emerged in late December, more than 175,530 cases have been recorded in 145 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally compiled at 1700 GMT on Monday based on official sources. The death toll stood at 7,007.

The worst affected countries in terms of fatalities are mainland China, with 3,213 deaths, Italy with 2,158 deaths, 853 in Iran, 309 in Spain and France with 127 deaths.

WHO: Test all suspects

The World Health Organization calls for countries to test every suspected case of COVID-19.

"You cannot fight a fire blindfolded," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, pointing to a rapid escalation of cases of COVID-19 over the past week.

First vaccine tested

The first human trial to evaluate a candidate vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 has begun in Seattle.

"The open-label trial will enrol 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately six weeks," the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) says.

State of emergency

Switzerland imposes emergency measures to April 19, banning all gatherings, tightening borders and deploying the military.

Armenia declares a state of emergency until April 14.

Skies empty

Britain grounds most of its air fleet.

German airline Lufthansa says it will slash up to 90 percent of its long-haul capacity.

Austrian company Austrian Airlines is to suspend from Thursday all its regular flights.

Trump sees end

US President Donald Trump says the virus pandemic could end in the US in July or August 'if we do a really good job'.

Holy places, monuments closed

Iran closes four key Shiite pilgrimage sites.

Turkey suspends until further notice collective prayer in its mosques.

India closes all its museums and monuments to the public, including the Taj Mahal. (AFP)

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