A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak
Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:
Trump labels Covid-19 the China Virus
The US president has escalated the war of words with Beijing by describing the outbreak as the China virus, something the WHO has advised against. Chinese state media called Trumps comments an attempt to pass the buck.
New Zealand announces huge economic package
New Zealand has only 11 cases of Covid-19 but announced one of the worlds biggest per-capita finance packages. It includes covering wages for people who are required to self-isolate but cannot work from home, or those caring for relatives who are sick with the virus, even if they are not sick or do not test positive for Covid-19. The NZ$12.1bn stimulus is 4% of GDP, dwarfing what other countries have pledged.
Californians told to shelter in place
San Francisco and five other counties in California issued a shelter-in-place order in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. From Tuesday night until 7 April, 6.7 million residents in San Francisco and five other Bay Area counties Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Marin and Contra Costa must stay home unless absolutely necessary. Elsewhere in the US, Ohios Democratic primary was postponed after the medical director intervened on health grounds.
France tightens lockdown and orders 100,000 officers to police it
President Emmanuel Macron has told French citizens to severely restrict movements for the next 15 days at least and limit social contacts as much as possible. Anyone outside will have to provide proof of their reasons for travelling and 100,000 law enforcement officers would be enforcing the quarantine measures.
EU to close all external borders
The European Union will close all external borders for 30 days from Tuesday to curb the coronavirus outbreak, though citizens of EU countries would be allowed to return.
Philippines suspends stock market indefinitely
The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) closed indefinitely on Tuesday while currency and bond trading were suspended, the first market shutdowns worldwide in response to the coronavirus. The PSE said the closure until further notice was to ensure the safety of employees and traders, amid a broader national lockdown. Elsewhere Koreas Kospi fell nearly 2.5%, Japans Nikkei was up less than 1% and Australias ASX bounced back from a horror day on Monday, to finish 5.83% higher.
Hong Kong requires all foreign travellers to go into two-week isolation
Hong Kongs chief executive Carrie Lam announced the new quarantine measures because in the previous two weeks, the territory had recorded 57 new infections, 50 of them imported. The new restrictions would not apply to arrivals from mainland China, Macau or Taiwan.
Brazil prisoners escape
Hundreds of prisoners escaped from prisons in So Paulo state in the south-east of Brazil on Monday, one day before their day-release privileges were due to be suspended over the coronavirus outbreak. The So Paulo state prison authority said it could not say how many inmates had escaped, but local media estimated the number at around 1,000.
Amazon to hire 100,000 staff
The online shopping giant Amazon said it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to deal with a surge in online orders, as many consumers have turned to the web to meet their needs during the coronavirus outbreak.
Taj Mahal closes
India closed the Taj Mahal, its top tourist site, and the financial hub of Mumbai ordered offices providing non-essential services to function at 50% staffing levels as efforts to control the spread of coronavirus in South Asia ramped up.
Thailand and Cambodia report new cases
Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the total to 177, with 70-80% of them in Bangkok, according to the health ministry. Cambodia reported 12 new cases, bringing the total to 24.