Trump declares national emergency over virus scare
US President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency as the World Health Organization named Europe the new epicenter of the coronavirus Friday, with countries sealing borders, shutting schools and canceling events in a frenzied attempt to slow the ballooning pandemic.
Toll rises to five in Latin America with Argentina and Ecuador reporting deaths
Argentina announced its second coronavirus-related death on Friday as Ecuador reported its first, taking the total death toll in Latin America to five as the virus shows signs of spreading rapidly.
Venezuela, Uruguay, Guatemala and Suriname reported their first cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
US passes bill to provide bill to provide free testing for coronavirus
The Democratic-controlled House, with President Donald Trump's support, early Saturday passed a bill to provide free testing for the coronavirus, as well as paid sick and family leave, strengthened unemployment insurance and increased food aid to ease the hardship on families.
The legislation will be taken up by the Senate next week. It would require paid leave for workers who contract the virus or who care for those who do and additional food aid for the poor and senior citizens.
New Zealand to isolate incoming passengers
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced what she says will be some of the toughest border restrictions in the world in an attempt to keep out the new coronavirus.
From Monday, all incoming passengers, including New Zealand citizens, will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days. The only countries exempt from the restrictions are a handful of Pacific islands that haven’t yet had any cases of COVID-19
China reports 11 new imported cases of virus
China reported 11 new infections of the coronavirus on Saturday, and for the first time since the start of the epidemic the majority of them were imported cases from overseas.
The National Health Commission said there were four more people infected in Hubei's capital Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December.
The daily tally is the lowest for Wuhan since China started reporting figures in January.
Saudi set to suspend international flights
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it would suspend international flights for two weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
"The Kingdom's government decided to suspend international flights for two weeks (Starting from Sunday March 15th) as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of #CoronaVirus," the foreign ministry tweeted.
Venezuela reports first case of coronavirus
Venezuela confirmed its first two cases of the coronavirus Friday, deepening anxiety in a crisis-stricken nation where many hospitals lack basics such as water and soap and struggle to treat even basic ailments.
The announcement prompted President Iván Duque of neighboring Colombia to order his nation’s border with Venezuela closed as a coronavirus containment measure.
Russia to close land borders
Russia will close its land borders with Poland and Norway to foreigners in a bid to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, the country's prime minister said on Saturday.
Death toll rises in Iran
Iran reports 97 new deaths, taking the death toll to 611...