COVID-19: Vaccine Human Test Begins, France Lockdown, Italy...

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


Italy Virus Deaths Surpass 2,000

Italy has reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since last month to 2,158, the most after China. 

The number of official COVID-19 fatalities has more than doubled since Thursday, when Italy's toll topped 1,000 for the first time. Italy now has 27,980 infections, compared to 15,113 four days ago.

China Tightens Regulation on Health Checks for Foreign Arrivals

China has decided to tighten regulations on health checks for foreign arrivals, according to a join statement issued by five national departments demanding strengthened efforts on entry inspection and quarantine.

The newly released measure was issued by five departments: China's Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice as well as the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

It says people uncooperative with customs during entry, including hiding or forging information about their health statement, and rejecting related quarantine measures, might be convicted or punished for impeding frontier health and quarantine.

The measure was introduced after over 120 cases of coronavirus were diagnosed among foreign arrivals to China in at least eight provinces.

Several imported patients have already been investigated after they or their relatives misreported health conditions and travel history

GOOD NEWS: First Human Trial for Vaccine, Begins

A researcher working with Doctor Paul McKay (unseen), who is working on an vaccine for the 2019-nCoV strain of the novel coronavirus, uses a pipette controller to express coronavirus onto surface protein to apply cell cultures, in a research lab at Imperial College School of Medicine (ICSM) in London on February 10, 2020. Tolga Akmen | AFP | Getty Images

The first human trial testing a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 began Monday, U.S. health officials confirmed.

The National Institutes of Health, an agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services, has been fast-tracking work with biotech company Moderna to develop a vaccine using the current strain of the new coronavirus. The trial is taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. The early-stage, or phase 1, trial will test the vaccine on 45 males and non-pregnant females between the ages of 18 and 55, according to trial details on NIHs website.

France to Go On Lockdown

French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered all citizens to stay home for at least 15 days, beginning at noon Tuesday. Only essential trips to buy food, medical supplies or to go to work if people cannot work from home will be allowed.


Macron again called on companies to do everything possible to have employees work from home. He also promised state help for workers temporarily unemployed and for businesses forced to close.


Interior minister Christophe Castaner later announced 100,000 police would be mobilized to enforce the regulations. He added that fines of up to 135 euros ($150) would be handed out to anyone flouting the restrictions.


Macron also announced that France will close its borders to non-EU citizens for 30 days.

A Rush of News

Serbia postpones general elections. 

Ireland expects its number of coronavirus cases to increase to around 15,000 by the end of the month from 169 currently, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said. 

MLB opening day postponed indefinitely. 

Poland's Environment Minister Michal Wos has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet.

Russia will ban the entry of foreign nationals and stateless people from March 18 to May 1.  The ban will not apply to diplomatic representatives, airplane crew members and some other categories of people, government said.

British actor and musician Idris Elba said he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Canada has closed its borders to all foreign nationals, except US citizens, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged people to stay at home

Turkey will impose flight bans to six more countries: The United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.

The European, American and final world qualifying boxing tournaments for the Tokyo Olympic Games have been suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee said.

Iraq has suspended flights at its domestic airports from March 17 to March 24. 

UK Prime Minister tells Britons to stop non-essential contact. 

Guatemala to close borders for two weeks

The Swiss government has declared a state of emergency lasting until April 19. 

PortugalSpain suspend passenger air, rail traffic. 

Sudan's ruling sovereign council closed all airports, ports and land crossings and declared a public health emergency. Only humanitarian, commercial and technical support shipments would be excluded from the restrictions,

Finland to close schools and universities. 

Turkey to temporarily close gyms, cafes, cinemas. 

Germany to shutter most shops, bars, churches. 

US Supreme Court to postpone oral arguments. 

Malaysia announces two-week lockdowntravel in and out of the country will also be banned. Only essential services including supermarkets, banks, gas stations and pharmacies will be allowed to stay open.

Algeria suspends travel to Europe. 

Germany's Bundesliga and second division football has been suspended at least until April 2 due to the coronavirus. 

Moscow has banned all outdoor events and limited indoor public events to no more than 50 people until April 10. 

Morocco will close all mosques, eateries, cinemas, theatres, sports, public clubs, baths, and other entertainment venues starting from Monday.

The regional leader of Spain's Catalonia, Quim Torra, said that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Chile to close borders to foreign travellers. 

Egypt will halt all air traffic from its airports starting on Thursday until March 31. 

Greece imposes 14-day quarantine on new arrivals, shuts shops. 

Armenia declares state of emergency for one month. 

Hungary will close its borders for international passengers, close cultural and sports events and establishments and limit the opening hours of restaurants, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Parliament.

South Africa will revoke nearly 10,000 visas issued this year to people from China and Iran, and visas will now be required for other high-risk countries that had been visa-free, including Italy and the United States.

Liberia reports first coronavirus case. 

More than half a billion children and youth are unable to go to school because of the coronavirus, the UN education agency said. 

US Federal Reserve cuts rates almost to zero. 

Las Vegas casinos shut down. 

UFC will postpone its next three events. 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have left the hospital after coronavirus diagnosis, and are now self-quarantined at their residence in Australia as they continue to recover from novel coronavirus. 

"Game of Thrones" actor Kristofer Hivju, best known for his role as Tormund Giantsbane, says he's tested positive for coronavirus. 

Boeing asks employees to work from home, but says it will still build planes. 

Countries Confirming First Case

The Dominican Republic has registered its first death from coronavirus, a 47-year-old woman who recently returned from Spain. 

Somalia confirms first coronavirus case. 

Tanzania confirms first case of coronavirus. 

Bahrain reported its first coronavirus death, the deceased was a 65-year-old Bahraini citizen who had underlying health conditions.

Bahamas reports first coronavirus case. The 61-year-old female patient does not have relevant travel history, said the ministry. The patient is receiving care in a designated isolation area of a local hospital.

India closes Taj Mahal to visitors 

India will close the iconic Taj Mahal to visitors from Tuesday as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism ministry said. 

"All ticketed monuments and all other museums have been directed to be closed until March 31," Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tweeted. 

Most schools and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, have already been closed across India, which has reported 114 positive cases and two deaths from the virus. 

EU Chief Proposes Ban on Entry

The European Union's top official proposed a 30-day ban on anyone entering the bloc unless their travel is essential, while insisting on the need to keep the internal borders between the 27 member states open as much as possible.

Speaking after an extraordinary video-conference meeting of the leaders of the G-7 countries, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said travel restrictions should be in place for an initial period that can be prolonged if necessary. 

Concealing Information Sentence to 15-month  

In the first such case, a Shanghai court on Monday imposed a 15-month sentence, with an 18-month suspension on a person for concealing his ailment, contact, and travel history in Wuhan amid COVID-19 outbreak, leading 55 people into quarantine.

U.S. Stocks: Dow's Worst Day in 3 Decades 

Stocks fell sharply Monday with the Dow suffering its worst day since the Black Monday market crash in 1987 and its third-worst day ever even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,997.10 points lower, or 12.9%, at 20,188.52. The 30-stock Dow was briefly down more than 3,000 points in the final minutes of trading. The S&P 500 dropped 12% to 2,386.13 hitting its lowest level since December 2018 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 12.3% lower at 6,904.59 in its worst day ever.

China Donates 2,000 Fast Test Kits to Philippines

China donated 2,000 fast test kits for COVID-19 to the Philippines on Monday to help the country curb the fast rise in infected cases, the Chinese Embassy to the Philippines said.

The embassy said in a statement that the high-tech fast test kits, developed by China BGI Group, have a capability to issue results in three hours.

125 Chinese Citizens Evacuated from Italy

125 Chinese nationals  taking a charter flight from Milan arrived at Wenzhou Airport. Local epidemic prevention and control personnel  carried out health quarantine on all passengers and taken them for medical quarantine. 

Trump Urges No Gatherings of More than 10 people

US President Donald Trump issued new guidelines to help fight the coronavirus, including a recommendation that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, and going to bars, restaurants and food courts.

COVID-19: Detailed Global Map (in English) is Online

To stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 cases worldwide; we recommend this New webpage. 

Why it's different? 

The new UI provides zoon in/out for maps; you can get tap on every country map to see the number of cases. 

Separate maps for major countries like: Italy, Iran, Spain, South Korea, France, Germany,  USA and Japan. The cases in each country are detailed by province/state. 



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