The whole of Italy – a country of some 60 million people – has been placed under quarantine, as the government there steps up efforts to tackle a coronavirus outbreak that has affected more than 9,000 people and left 463 dead.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late on Monday that he was extending restrictions on travel from the north throughout the country.
Only those who can prove a real need – whether for work, health or other limited reasons – will be allowed to travel outside the areas where they live.
“There won’t be just a red zone,” Conte told reporters referring to the restrictions already in place in northern Italy.
“There will be Italy” as a protected area, he said
Conte’s announcement came as Italy announced 97 more deaths from the virus and the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the threat of a global coronavirus pandemic was “very real”.
More than 3,800 people have died worldwide from coronavirus and some 110,000 cases confirmed, according to the WHO.
I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur. Here are the latest updates:
Tuesday, March 10
01:25 GMT – South Korea reports 35 new cases of coronavirus
South Korea has just released the first of its two daily updates.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the country had 35 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing total infections to 7,513.
01:15 GMT – Mongolia confirms first coronavirus case, in French national
Mongolia said on Tuesday that a French national working in the country had been confirmed to have the coronavirus, marking the country’s first case.
The National Emergency Commission said in a statement the individual travelled to Mongolia from France via Moscow. It has identified 42 people the patient met and a further 142 individuals who had close contact with the person.
01:05 GMT – 31 people in Seattle care home confirmed with virus
A spokesman for the Seattle-area nursing home that is the site of the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the US said on Monday that 31 residents who are still living in the home have tested positive for the virus.
Authorities have said 19 coronavirus deaths have been linked to the Life Care Center of Kirkland, including three that were announced on Monday.
Life Care Center spokesman Tim Killian says the home is still awaiting the outcome of 20 other tests. Killian said residents who have tested positive will be treated at the Life Care Center, and those who test negative will be moved to a different part of the building.
00:55 GMT – Morocco suspends all Italy travel
Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani said early on Tuesday that his country is suspending all travel to and from Italy amid fears about the coronavirus.
“Due to coronavirus spread in Italy, government of Morocco decided to suspend all travel to and from Italy until further notice,” the prime minister wrote on his Twitter account.
Au vu de la propagation du Coronavirus en Italie, le gouvernement du Royaume du Maroc a décidé de suspendre jusqu’à nouvel ordre tous les vols en provenance et à destination du territoire italien (communiqué)#coronavirus #COVID2019 pic.twitter.com/RU9NgVLtwg
— Agence MAP (@MAP_Information) March 10, 2020
00:50 GMT – Albania closes schools, stops Italy flights and ferries
Albania has closed schools for a two weeks and suspended flight and ferries to Italy until April 3 after reporting its first cases of the coronavirus on Monday.
More than 400,000 Albanians live in Italy.
00:20 GMT – China cases continue to slow
Mainland China reported 19 new cases of coronavirus infections on Monday, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, down from 40 cases the day before.
That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,754.
The death toll from the outbreak in China reached 3,136 as of the end of Monday, up by 17 from the previous day.
The central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 17 new deaths, all of which were in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
00:15 GMT – Qantas grounds planes, CEO gives up pay
Australian airline Qantas has grounded eight of its 10 A380 planes and is rerouting flights as it grapples with a sharp drop in demand.
Qantas and its budget airline unit Jetstar will cut international routes by 25 percent for the next six months with the biggest reductions in Asia and the US.
“In the past fortnight we’ve seen a sharp drop in bookings on our international network as the global coronavirus spread continues,” CEO Alan Joyce said.
“We expect lower demand to continue for the next several months, so rather than taking a piecemeal approach we’re cutting capacity out to mid-September.”
Joyce – Australia’s highest-paid CEO who received 24m Australian dollars ($15m) in the 2018 financial year – will take no salary for the rest of the financial year.
Other Qantas executives will take a 30-percent pay cut, and there will be no bonuses for management.
Staff are being encouraged to take annual and unpaid leave.
00:00 GMT – First passengers leave cruise ship in California, after coronavirus reported
The first passengers are being taken ashore from the Grand Princess, a cruise ship that has confirmed 21 coronavirus cases, .in the California port of Oakland.
US Vice President Mike Pence said those with the virus were “being dealt with in proper isolation”.
The Grand Princess has more than 3,500 passengers and crew.
Emergency workers in gowns, gloves, respirators and face shields took those requiring immediate treatment to waiting ambulances.
California health, local and state officials are working around the clock with @CDCgov to ensure the health of passengers & crew aboard the Grand Princess and the protection of public health in Oakland and surrounding communities. We won’t rest until their wellbeing is assured. pic.twitter.com/eatybBtQ9g
— Ann O’Leary (@Ann_OLeary) March 9, 2020
“We hope before the end of today to begin to disembark California residents,” Pence said. More than 900 passengers from the state are on the ship.
California’s governor Gavin Newsom said people will leave the ship in small groups.
“Anyone who is symptomatic … will be fitted with a surgical mask and disembarked via a separate gangway” to avoid disease spread, a statement from Newsom’s office said.
Click here to read all the updates from yesterday (March 9).