COVID-19: >190,000 Cases, EU Imposes Entry Ban, Italy infecti...

Source: People's Daily, CGTN, Xinhua, China Daily, Global Times, CBS, iFeng, Baidu, Global  News Agencies, Majdi


Italy's coronavirus death toll surges past 2,500, 

Italy reported 345 new coronavirus deaths in the country over the last 24 hours taking its total death toll to 2,503 - an increase of 16 percent. Italy now has one-third of world's coronavirus deaths. 

The total number of cases in Italy rose to 31,506 from a previous 27,980, up 12.6 percent - the slowest rate of increase since the contagion came to light on February 21. Italy is the European country hardest hit by coronavirus.

BREAKING: EU Imposes Entry Ban for 30 days:

The European Union will impose an entry ban on travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days to battle the spread of the coronavirus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Member states "agreed to impose an entry ban" into the bloc, with only nationals of EFTA countries and Britain exempt from the restriction, said Merkel, adding that the bloc was taking "coordinated action to bring back stranded travellers".

A Rush of News

US coronavirus death toll surpasses 100, with case in every state.

Four NBA players from Brooklyn Nets test positive for coronavirus. 

EURO 2020 football tournament postponed for a year amid coronavirus outbreak. 

The United Nations said Tuesday it would suspend resettlement travel for refugees over fears they could become stranded as countries drastically reduce entries over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposed economic relief could put $1 trillion into U.S. economy: treasury secretary. 

The French Open tennis tournament has been postponed by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Qatar closes all shops except for grocery stores and pharmacies.

The International Olympic Committee does not plan any "drastic" decisions about the Tokyo 2020 Games, saying it remains fully committed to the event being staged in four months' time despite the global spread of the coronavirus.

Vietnam will introduce mandatory quarantine for all visitors from the US, Europe and ASEAN countries, the government said.

Sri Lanka banned all incoming flights for two weeks, a government spokesperson said.

Pakistan's cricket board postponed the semi-finals and final of the Pakistan Super League T20 cricket tournament, scheduled to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, to an unspecified date.

Spain becomes the third country outside China to record over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

Kozo Tashima, head of Japan Football Association and deputy head of Japan's Olympic committee, tested positive for COVID-19 infection: reports. 

Spanish football club ValenciaF said around 35% of its players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from Italy following a UEFA Champions League match against Atlanta BC in Milan. 

Countries Confirming First Case

Gambia reported its first case of coronavirus, a 20-year-old woman who had recently returned from the United Kingdom.

Malaysia reported its first death from coronavirus: a 60-year-old pastor.

UK Confirmed Cases Rise 26% to 1,950 in 24 hours

British cases of coronavirus rose 26 percent to 1,950 from 1,543 the day before, the health ministry said.

Britain reported its first confirmed coronavirus case on January 31. There have so far been 56 reported deaths.

"As of 9am on 17 March 2020, 50,442 people have been tested in the UK, of which 48,492 were confirmed negative and 1,950 were confirmed as positive," the government said.

Shanghai extends quarantine to UK, seven other European countries

Shanghai makes it compulsory for people with travel history to 16 countries, such asSouth Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, Spain, US, UK, Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria in the last 14 days to be quarantined for 14 days. 

Shanghai will adjust the list of key countries and regions in a timely and dynamic manner according to the trend of the global epidemic.

All of France is Now Under a Nationwide Lockdown

French Gendarmes patrol to enforce lockdown measures amid a coronavirus outbreak near a supermarket in Mortagne-du-Nord, as a lockdown imposed to slow the rate of the disease takes effect across France, March 17, 2020. PASCAL ROSSIGNOL/REUTERS

France went under national lockdown Tuesday as the country scrambles to halt the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The government has issued forms that anyone who wants to venture outside must carry with them. It details the only valid reasons to leave your home: to go to work if there is no way to work from home; to buy essentials like food; for medical appointments; emergency family needs; or for brief, solitary exercise.

Anyone in the nation of roughly 67 million people caught flouting the restrictions could be fined up to 135 euros ($150).

O-type Blood Relatively Lower Infection Risk

According to Global Times report: People of O-type blood have a relatively lower risk to be infected with COVID-19, while those of A-type blood have a higher risk: researches by Chinese institutes and hospitals. 

Studies find that children at all ages appeared susceptible to COVID-19, and there was no significant gender difference: pediatrics experts in Shanghai

Hubei To Quarantine All Overseas Arrivals

Central China's Hubei asked all the arrivals from oversea to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine in designated places including confirmed and suspected patients, close contacts and people without symptoms: local authority

China Helping Other Countries

China's COSCO Shipping donated 450,000 Yuan ($64,400) worth of epidemic prevention materials to Italy, including 50,000 masks and 200 protective suits.

Jack Ma says he will donate 100,000 masks, 1,000 protective suits, 1,000 face shields and 20,000 test kits to each of the 54 countries in Africa, and will provide online training materials for the clinical treatment of COVID-19. 

Serbia: The COVID-19 nucleic acid testing kits donated by China arrived in Belgrade with the coordination and cooperation of the Chinese embassy in Serbia and the Serbian government.

Italy: China dispatched a second group of medical experts to Italy to help fight against the COVID-19 on Tuesday. The medical group, with 12 experts from Zhejiang Province, is carrying 30 respirators, 200,000 masks and nine tons of supplies to assist Italian local authorities in the treatment and prevention of the disease.

China Vaccine Clinical Trials To Start Soon

The development of an mRNA-based vaccine to treat the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is progressing steadily with preliminary trials on primates and clinical trials expected to start in mid-April, Shanghai Science and Technology Commission told a press conference on Monday.

At present, this mRNA vaccine has been used in preliminary trials on primates to gauge safety and effectiveness. The vaccine was co-developed by Shanghai-based Stemirna Therapeutics, an RNA technology-based drug development company, and Shanghai East Hospital. 

The mRNA vaccine is a promising alternative to conventional vaccine approaches, according to Li Hangwen, president of Stemirna Therapeutics in Shanghai during a previous interview with   

Meanwhile, another candidate vaccine VLP vaccine, which has virus-like particles, has produced specific antibodies in mice. This VLP vaccine is now being further studied at the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, the first international institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  

Australian Researchers Say Immune Response to Coronavirus Mapped

Researchers at Australia's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity said they had taken an important step in understanding the virus by mapping the immune responses from one of country's first coronavirus patients.

By examining the blood results from an unidentified woman in her 40s, they discovered that people's immune systems respond to coronavirus in the same way it typically fights the flu.

As researchers monitored the Australian patient's immune response, they were able to accurately predict when she would recover. 

Researchers did not name the patient, but said she was an Australian citizen who was evacuated out of Wuhan. 

Volkswagen Group to suspend production

Volkswagen, the world's largest carmaker, said it is preparing to close its factories in Europe to curb the spread of the coronavirus and warned that 2020 will be a difficult year.

The German carmaker, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands,

"Given the present significant deterioration in the sales situation and the heightened uncertainty regarding parts supplies to our plants, production is to be suspended in the near future at factories operated by Group brands," Chief Executive Herbert Diess said.

Production will be halted at VWs Spanish plants, in Setubal in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia and at the Lamborghini and Ducati plants in Italy before the end of this week, Diess said.

Most of its other German and European factories will prepare to suspend production, probably for two to three weeks, while Audi said separately it would halt output at its plants in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Mexico.

Volkswagens vast factory in Puebla, Mexico, and plants in Brazil and the United States were not affected but that would depend on how the coronavirus spreads, VW said.

Volkswagen has 124 production sites worldwide of which 72 are in Europe, with 28 in Germany alone.

Thousands Flock to Florida Beaches, Ignoring Coronavirus Concerns

Thousands of people in Florida are seemingly ignoring social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak. Despite warnings from public health experts, photos and videos show beaches across the state packed with spring breakers.  

Two Employees at WHO Headquarters Infected

Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

"We have two staff members who have confirmed symptoms of COVID-19, and both have returned home and are quarantined. Everyone in the office had a test. We are awaiting further information, spokesman said.

WHO requires that all but those who must be present telecommute, adding that reports of the outbreak have begun to hold only online press conferences.

In Switzerland, a total of 2,200 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and 14 deaths have been recorded so far.

China Advises Suspension of Overseas Travel as Pandemic Spreads

The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism advised Chinese citizens on Tuesday to suspend any travel to countries currently on high alert as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads.

The countries include Italy, Spain, France, Germany, the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Iran and South Korea.

April 6 Beijing Schools To Open, a Rumor

News in WeChat groups and other online platforms declaring April 6 for universities and April 20 for schools as the opening date for Beijing schools and universities, are incorrect,  Beijing Municipal Education Commission. Currently the situation in Beijing doesn't support opening the schools. 


As of Beijing Time March 18 09:30.