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Panic As WHO Declares Coronavirus A Global Pandemic

By Elite Reporter

Intense panic has gripped people in several people all over the globe after the World Health Organization declared the worldwide outbreak of the new coronavirus a pandemic, with more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths.

“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

Leaders from the European Union are promising to do “whatever it takes” to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which first emerged in China at the end of last year.

The virus continued to spread in the United States and appeared in new countries including Bolivia, Honduras and Turkey, while Indonesia, Bulgaria and Sweden recorded their first deaths.

More than 66,000 people have recovered from the illness around the world, according to John Hopkins University but many others get infected every day.

Arsenal and Manchester City Match Suspended Over Virus

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s planned match between Arsenal and Manchester City became 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.

‘Chaos’ As US Universities Send Students Home Over Coronavirus

Harvard University students were given just five days to pack up, leave the Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus and not come back until the end of the semester, in a move that drew outrage from students who say they have been left scrambling between making travel arrangements, school work and classes. The announcement came as universities and colleges across the United States began cancelling in-person teaching and moving to teach online amid growing fears about the spread of the new coronavirus.

Italy PM Conte Toughens Coronavirus Lockdown With New Measures

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte added new restrictions on Wednesday to the lockdown imposed to fight the coronavirus after figures showed Italy posting the highest daily increase in deaths of any country since the outbreak began. In a televised address to the nation, Conte said all shops would be closed except supermarkets, food stores and pharmacies, and companies must close all their departments that are not essential to production.

Services such as hairdressers and beauty parlours will also be closed, along with all bars and restaurants. Company canteens can remain open if they are able to guarantee they can keep a distance of at least one metre between customers. “We will only be able to see the effects of this great effort in a couple of weeks,” he said, referring to the daily bulletins announcing the number of new cases and deaths.

Panama Orders Temporary Closure Of All Schools

Panama’s government has ordered the temporary closure of all schools, public and private, due to coronavirus concerns, the health minister said.

Iran’s Vice President  Eshaq Jahangiri Stricken By Coronavirus

Iran’s senior vice president and two other cabinet members have the new coronavirus, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. The news report comes amid days of speculation about the health of Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who has not been seen in images of recent top-level meetings. Fars said other sick officials are Ali Asghar Mounesan, minister of cultural heritage, handicrafts and tourism, and Reza Rahmani, minister of industry, mines and business.

Guatemala To Ban Entry Of European Citizens

Guatemalan Health Minister Hugo Monroy said that the country will ban the entry of European citizens in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Central American country, which has yet to confirm any cases of the virus, will block the entry of Europeans starting on Thursday, Monroy told a news conference.

Italy’s Death Toll Jumps To 827

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has jumped in the last 24 hours by 196 to 827, the largest rise since the contagion came to light in the country on February 21. The total number of cases in Italy rose to 12,462 from a previous 10,149, according to the Civil Protection Agency. However, the agency said some 600 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday but only reported on Wednesday.

Russia Suspends Flights To Italy, Germany, France And Spain

Russia has decided to suspend most flights to and from Italy, Germany, France and Spain over the coronavirus outbreak, starting from Friday. Russia will stop issuing tourist visas to Italian citizens to prevent a spread of the virus, the country’s coronavirus crisis centre said in a statement. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia rose to 28 from 20 and all the people tested positive in the past day had previously travelled to Italy, according to the statement.

India Suspends All Tourist Visas

India will suspend all tourist visas to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country, the government said in a statement. “All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN-international organisations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020,” it said in the statement. The order will come into effect from 12:00 GMT on March 13.

First Death In Sweden From Coronavirus

Sweden reported its first death from the new coronavirus with an elderly patient dying in intensive care at a hospital in the Stockholm region. Sweden has around 460 confirmed cases of the virus, the first of which was identified at the end of January. “The patient has had COVID-19 as well as an underlying sickness,” the regional health authority said in a statement.

FIFA Congress Postponed Due To Coronavirus

FIFA has decided to reschedule its annual Congress from June to September due to the coronavirus outbreak, football’s world governing body said. The 70th FIFA Congress will now be held on September 18 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it said in a statement.

Morocco Confirms 5th Coronavirus Case

Two more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Morocco, raising the total number of confirmed cases to five, the country’s health ministry announced. The new cases come a day after the North African country reported its first fatality. The victim was an 89-year-old woman “who was suffering from chronic diseases of the respiratory system and heart”, according to the ministry.

South Africa Confirms Six New Cases

South Africa confirmed six new cases of coronavirus, increasing the total toll to 13, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

The new cases are a 33-year-old woman who had been in Italy; a 34-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman who had been in Germany; a 57-year-old man who had been in Austria and Italy; a 40-year-old man who had been in Portugal; and a 36-year-old man who visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. “Some of these patients are already in the hospital, while some, specifically those who are asymptomatic, are in self-quarantine,” the institute said in a statement.

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 Chinese capital from Italy and the US. All the deaths were in Hubei.

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