What you need to know about coronavirus right now

March 9, 2020 - 11:41 AM
The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 29, 2020. (Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via Reuters)

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus:

The spread

There are now more than 107,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,600 deaths across the world, according to a Reuters tally of government announcements.

Italy ordered a virtual lockdown across a swathe of its wealthy north on Sunday, including the financial capital Milan, in a drastic attempt to try to contain the outbreak there.

The death toll in Italy has risen by 133 to 366, the Civil Protection Agency said on Sunday, by far the largest daily rise since the contagion came to light last month.

Britain recorded its largest daily rise in cases. Germany’s health minister called on organizers of large public events to cancel them and urged members of the public to stay at home as cases there topped 900.

Iran, one of the other worst hit countries outside China, said 194 people had died from coronavirus and 6,566 were now infected.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Daegu, the city hardest hit by South Korea’s outbreak expressed cautious hope on Sunday that the numbers of new cases may be dropping, after the rate of increase slowed to its lowest in 10 days.

Argentina recorded Latin America’s first death from the coronavirus. Bangladesh, Maldives, Bulgaria and Moldova reported their first cases.

Another sign of economic damage

The economic bad news continues: a trade report showed China’s exports contracted sharply in the first two months of the year, and imports slowed, as the health crisis caused massive disruptions to business operations, global supply chains and economic activity.

Keep calm and work from home

The European Central Bank has told most of its over 3500 staff to work from home on Monday to test how it could cope with a shutdown – one of a slew of institutions and companies urging staff to avoid the office and curb travel plans.

Cruise control

U.S. passengers on the cruise ship Grand Princess, which had been barred from docking in California because of suspected cases of the coronavirus on board, will be sent for testing to at least four quarantine centers, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Sunday.

Sports without fans

The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix will go ahead on March 22 but without fans cheering on the drivers, in a first for the sport. The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai scheduled for April 19 has already been postponed.

Britain has called a meeting with its sports authorities and broadcasters on Monday to discuss how other events could be staged without fans present if the outbreak escalates.

What about walking the dog?

Moscow’s healthcare department said it was OK for residents in self-isolation to walk their dog, but only while wearing a face mask and at time when there are the fewest people in the streets. The advice was handed out after authorities threatened prison terms of up to five years for people failing to self-isolate for two weeks after visiting countries hit hard by the outbreak.