EU promises whatever it takes to curb coronavirus: Live updates

Ghughuti Bulletin

Leaders from the European Union are promising to do “whatever it takes” to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, as Italy reported its biggest single-day death toll since the disease was first detected there last month.

The 27 leaders of the EU met in a video conference after facing criticism they had been too slow to deal with the outbreak, which first emerged in China at the end of last year.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure that the European economy weathers this storm,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference after the summit.


Italy, which on Tuesday extended its quarantine measures across the country, reported 168 more deaths on Tuesday. More than 10,000 people in the country have now been affected by the virus.

In other developments:

China’s President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan on Tuesday, his first trip to the city where the coronavirus emerged since the outbreak first began. The city and the surrounding province of Hubei remain sealed off, but the number of daily infections has slowed significantly. Some local residents were unimpressed at Xi’s appearance dismissing the visit as a ‘political show‘.

Soldiers have been sent to New Rochelle, a town north of New York, where the governor has set up a containment zone. The United States now has nearly 1,000 cases with 29 deaths.

In the UK, junior health minister Nadine Dorries has been confirmed to have the virus, having met hundreds of people in parliament and attended a reception with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Globally, more than 4,000 people have died from the coronavirus and in excess of 113,000 cases have been confirmed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). About 64,000 people have recovered from the illness around the world. 

I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, March 11

03:30 GMT – Washington state to ban crowds of 250 or more – Associated Press

Associated Press is reporting that Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, plans to ban gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the Seattle area.

Inslee is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday morning.

03:05 GMT – Chinese city reverses relaxation policy, to continue transport ban

Qianjiang in China’s Hubei province said on Wednesday it will continue with strict transportation bans, revoking a policy of relaxation announced the previous day.

The city said in an announcement on WeChat that it would “continue to implement strict traffic and personnel control … to win the epidemic.”

Qianjiang had said on Tuesday that all traffic checkpoints would be removed, public transportation would operate again and firms would be able to resume work in the near future, according to a report on an official website.

02:05 GMT – Arsenal and Manchester City match called off over virus

Wednesday’s planned match between Arsenal and Manchester City has become the first in the Premier League to be called off because of the coronavirus.

The League said the decision was made as a “precautionary measure” after Evangelos Marinakis, the owner of Greek side Olympiakos, tested positive for the virus.

Olympiakos played Arsenal 13 days ago and Marinakis met several members of the Arsenal squad and staff. The players are now in self-isolation.

02:00 GMT – South Korea reports 242 new cases

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its latest update, reporting 242 new coronavirus cases.

The total number of cases in the country now stands at 7,755.

01:55 GMT – Panama records first coronavirus death in Central America

Panama’s health minister on Tuesday confirmed eight cases of the coronavirus in the country, including one death, the first virus-linked fatality in Central America.

“Of the eight patients we are reporting, one person is in intensive care, another unfortunately died,” Minister Rosario Turner said during a press conference in Panama City.

Panama coronavirus

Panama’s Health Minister Rosario Turner reports the country’s first death from the coronavirus at a media conference in Panama City [Erick Marciscano/Reuters]

The government said it would ban all mass gatherings including sporting events and concerts. State and private schools in affected areas will also be closed until April 7. 

01:50 GMT – Australia unveils $1.6b health package to tackle virus

Australia has unveiled a 2.4 billion Australian dollars ($1.56 billion) health package on Wednesday that proposes setting up fever clinics and offering cost-free facilities for people with mild symptoms to consult doctors over video calls.

“This package is about preventing and treating coronavirus in the coming weeks,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

01:35 GMT – China cases rise as coronavirus comes in from overseas

Latest figures from China showed a slight increase in daily cases, as people were found to have the virus after returning from overseas.

The National Health Commission on Wednesday morning reported 24 new cases, compared with 19 the day before. There were 22 more deaths.

Ten of the new cases were imported and six were in Beijing in people who had travelled to the Chiense capital from Italy and the US.

All the deaths were in Hubei.

00:10 GMT – Bolivia reports first two cases of coronavirus

Bolivia’s Health Minister Anibal Cruz has announced the South American country’s first two cases of coronavirus.

00:05 GMT – Coachella music festival postponed until October over coronavirus

California’s Coachella music festival – one of the world’s biggest – has been postponed until October because of concerns over the coronavirus, organiser Goldenvoice said on Tuesday.

The festival usually brings half a million people to an open-air site east of Los Angeles was due to take place in April with a lineup including Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott.

Coronavirus coachella

The US music festival Coachella attracts huge crowds. This year’s event has now been postponed until October as a result of the coronavirus [Etienne Laurent/EPA]

At the direction of local authorities, “we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella,” Goldenvoice said in a statement.

“While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously,” it said.

00:00 GMT – Japan reports biggest single-day rise in cases: NHK

Japan confirmed 59 new cases of coronavirus infection on Tuesday, the biggest one-day rise since the start of the outbreak, public broadcaster NHK reported.

NHK says the total number of cases has risen to 1,278, including 696 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 returnees on charter flights from China.

One new infection was reported early on Wednesday, in the western prefecture of Hyogo.

There have been 19 deaths from the virus, including seven from the cruise ship.

23:30 GMT – UK junior health minister diagnosed with coronavirus

Nadine Dorries, a junior health minister in the UK government, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and is in isolation.

The 62-year-old is now recovering but says she is worried for the health of her 84-year-old mother.

Dorries met hundreds of people in parliament over the past week and attended a reception with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Click here to read all the latest updates from yesterday (March 10).

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