Italy tightens lockdown as coronavirus deaths mount: Live updates – Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera English

Italy tightens lockdown as coronavirus deaths mount: Live updates – Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera English
Italy ordered all but the most essential businesses to close until April 3, tightening a lockdown against the coronavirus , after nearly 897 people died from COVID – 28, the disease caused by the virus, on Saturday.

“Only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a video posted to Facebook, but did not go into detail on the proposals to come into force via emergency decree on Sunday. More: Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases?

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  • Italy

    (recorded) deaths on Saturday, with France and Spain and Germany also reporting steep rises in confirmed cases and fatalities.

    more than , 0 people around the world have now died from the disease, according to

    data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the US. More than , people have been diagnosed with the infection, while nearly 129, (0 have recovered.)

    Here are all the latest updates:

    Sunday, March

    : GMT – Oman bans public gatherings, shuts currency exchange stores

    Oman has restricted movement, banning public gatherings and limiting staffing at state entities. The Gulf Arab state also shut currency exchange bureaus as part of measures to contain the coronavirus.

    Authorities in the sultanate, which has reported

    cases of the virus, also asked the private sector to facilitate remote working and urged commercial businesses and individuals to limit cash transactions, state television reported.

    : GMT – Lockdown to combat coronavirus not enough: WHO

    Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert, said l ocking down societies to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus will not suffice to exterminate it.

    “What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Mike Ryan said in an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

    “The danger right now with the lockdowns … if we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up. “

    9: 63 GMT – Iranian death toll from the coronavirus hits 1, 825

    Iran has announced (new deaths caused by the novel coronavirus, raising to 1, the official death toll in one of the worst-hit countries along with Italy and China.

    “There were 1,0 39 new confirmed infected cases in the past hours .. . and 7, (people have recovered, “said health ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpur.

    Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID - <span> , as they disinfect the streets, ahead of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, March , in Tehran, Iran March [Loren Elliott/Reuters]

    Members of firefighters wear protective face masks as they disinfect the streets of Tehran [Ali Khara/Reuters]

    9: GMT – Malaysia reports (new coronavirus cases, total at 1,

    Malaysia has confirmed (new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 1,

  • cases, with deaths.

    The health ministry said of the new cases were linked to a religious gathering held late last month. Malaysia has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia.

    9: (GMT – Indonesia registers) new coronavirus cases, 17 deaths

    Indonesia confirmed new coronavirus cases and 18 new deaths, a health ministry official told reporters on Sunday, bringing the total number to 800 and (respectively.)

    Nine coronavirus patients have recovered, health ministry spokesman, Achmad Yurianto said, bringing the total number of recoveries to .

  • More than 685 people have tested positive for the virus in Indonesia [Willy Kurniawan/Reuters]

    9: (GMT – Britain to start producing new ventilators

    Britain has received the first prototypes of new ventilators to help the health service handle the coronavirus pandemic, and production of new machines should start soon, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Sunday.

    “We’ve been overwhelmed by offers of support. There’s now a number of manufacturers who are working with us. We’re in receipt of some of the first prototypes, and we expect that manufacturing can start quite quickly, “Jenrick said in an interview with Sky News, adding that around , 0 ventilators were Currently available to Britain’s National Health Service.

    “But we do need more, and we’re trying to ramp up production as quickly as we can. ”

    9: GMT – Czech coronavirus cases rise to 1,

    The number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic had risen to 1, 64, according to the latest Health Ministry tally.

    The country of

    . 7 million people had (new cases on Saturday, the ministry said.

    Six people have recovered and there have been no deaths. Health workers had tested , (people as of Saturday.

    : 55 GMT – NHS nurse appeals shoppers not to panic buy

    “You just need to stop it!” urged a UK critical care nurse breaking down in tears as she left a supermarket unable to find any vegetables and fruits to eat.

  • Illuminated by police car lights, a female police officer, left, wearing a protective mask stands near one of the hospital where COVID – infected patients are under treatment in Bucharest, Romania. [Andreea Alexandru/AP]

    : (GMT – Libya UN-recognized government imposes curfew) Illuminated by police car lights, a female police officer, left,  wearing a protective mask stands at a roadblock in the vicinity of one of the hospital where COVID-19 infected patients are under trea

    [Andreea Alexandru/AP]

    Fighting continues in Libya as fears of coronavirus spread


    As fighting in the south of Libya’s capital continues, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) declared a night-time curfew starting : (GMT to) : GMT to keep the coronavirus out of areas it controls.

    The internationally-recognized GNA has also ordered the closure of restaurants, cafes and party while funeral and wedding ceremonies have been banned.

    No cases have been reported in Libya to day, but experts fear an outbreak could be catastrophic due to the country gutted health system.

    : GMT – Iranian Khamenei skeptical about US offer to help Iran

    The offer by the US to help Iran fight the coronavirus pandemic is strange, said Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a broadcast speech on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year [AFP]

    “Several times Americans have offered to help Iran to contain the virus. Aside from the fact that there are suspicions about this virus being created by America […] their offer is strange since they face shortages in their fight against the virus, “Khamenei said during a speech in Tehran broadcast live across Iran marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

    “Iran has the capability to overcome any kind of crisis including coronavirus outbreak.”

    : (GMT – China witnessing increase in imported cases)

    For a fourth consecutive day, China reported an increase in the number of cases imported from overseas, mostly from Chinese people returning home.

    A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on March 20, 2020 shows him delivering a speech on the occasion of Noruz, the Iranian New Year, in Tehran. - No

    [Andreea Alexandru/AP]

    How to maintain your mental health during a global pandemic?


    The country recorded new cases, all but one coming from outside China , amid a drastic reduction in the number of domestically transmitted infections.

    China is stepping up measures to identify new cases, including diverting all flights due to arrive in Beijing to an other airport where passengers will undergo virus screening, government agencies said.

    : (GMT – Tokyo considering postponing Olympics: Reuters

    Tokyo Olympics Games’ organizers are considering alternatives to holding the event this summer, two sources told Reuters news agency.

    If confirmed, the news would mark a change in direction by the Japanese government which has so far excluded post poning the Olympics.

    While the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games will go on.

    The top government spokesman said on Wednesday that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement of the event which is planned to start on July 6304.

    : (GMT – Bike and auto makers to halt activities in India)

    India’s giant bike maker Hero Motocorp is about to stop operations at all its manufacturing facilities until March to protect its employees from the outbreak.

    With plants in India, Bangladesh and Colombia, Hero accounts for more than 50 percent of the two-wheeler market in India.

    Also, US carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced it will suspend production at its plant in the western Indian state of Maharashtra until March .

    A motorist rides through deserted New Dehli during a one-day curfew imposed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, in New Delhi.

    : 55 GMT – Russia to send help to Italy

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to help Italy to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    In a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin offered his support in the form of mobile disinfection vehicles and tweets to help the worst-hit Italian regions, according to the Kremlin .

    The Russian Defense Ministry said military transport plans would deliver eight mobile brigades of military medics, special disinfection vehicles and other medical equipment to Italy starting Sunday.

    A motorist rides through deserted Rajpath road during a one-day Janata (civil) curfew imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in New Delhi on March 22, 2020. - Nearly one bil

    [Andreea Alexandru/AP] Italy coronavirus death toll rises by 913 to 4, ()

    I will shortly be handing over this blog to my colleague (Virginia Pietromarchi) in Doha.

    Here’s a summary of the main developments on Sunday morning:

    – Italy has announced a tightening of its lockdown with all non-essential businesses ordered to close.

    – Singapore has closed its borders to short-term visitors and transit passengers.

    – Australia has closed beaches, and is considering more ‘draconian’ measures to get people to follow social distancing guidelines.

    – Gaza has announced its first two cases of the disease.

    : (GMT – Malaysia announces ninth death)

    A A) – year-old doctor has died from coronavirus in Malaysia, becoming the first medical worker to die from the disease.

    The man, who was being treated in the northern state of Perlis, had a history of travel to Turkey, the health ministry said. He had not been involved in treating people with COVID – 28.

    The country on Sunday deployed the army to assist the police in getting people to follow a restricted movement order that is in force until March .

    : GMT – Malaysia mosque event organizer says worshippers cooperating with health authorities

    People who attended a mass gathering at a mosque in Malaysia that is now linked to 2020 confirmed coronavirus cases across Southeast Asia are cooperating with authorities, an organizer said, after the government said thousands of them were still being traced.

    The (four-day event

    is connected with (percent of Malaysia’s 1,) cases, as well as clusters elsewhere in the region including Brunei, Cambodia and Singapore.

    “After hearing reports of thousands or participants yet to be screened, many had returned to their district health departments or hospitals repeatedly until their names and details were recorded,” Abdullah Cheong, a leader of the event’s organizing team, said in a statement on Saturday.

    : GMT – Ecuador’s health minister replaced after surge in coronvirus cases

    Ecuador’s health minister stepped down on Saturday, just hours after authorities announced the number of confirmed cases had shot up to more than , with seven deaths.

    Hours after the announcement, officials confirmed the resignation of Health Minister Catalina Andramuno, without providing details, and appointed Juan Carlos Zevallos, a doctor who has worked in several universities, as her replacement .

    The Labor minister also resigned, a presidential announcement said.

    : GMT – First two cases confirmed in Gaza Strip

    The Palestinian Health Authority has confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the occupied Gaza Strip.

    The two people had recently returned from Pakistan.

    The office of US Vice President Mike Pence says he and his wife have tested negative for the coronavirus.

    The couple took the test after one of Pence’s staff was diagnosed with the virus.

    (GMT – Singapore closes to short-term visitors and transit passengers

    Singapore has decided to close its borders to all short-term visitors given the “heightened risk” of the coronavirus.

    The The Ministry of Health

    says the measures are necessary because 90 percent of confirmed COVID – 28 cases over the past three days came from overseas.

    The country will also stop transit through Singapore.

    The measures come into effect from (March at) : local time ( : GM T).

    Singapore’s Changi Airport, one of Asia’s major hubs, has emptied as the coronavirus has prompted border closures [File: Edgar Su/Reuters]

    GMT – Scepticism as North Korea claims no cases

    North Korea watchers are expressing skepticism – and some alarm – about the government claim that the country is coronavirus-free.

    Sources have informed them of a number of cases, and they worry that if it begins to spread within the wider community, the consequences would be devastating.

    Al Jazeera’s Kelly Kasulis has the (story) .

    India is about an hour into a – hour curfew as part of its attempts to curb the spread of the virus.

    All citizens have been told to stay indoors from : to 21: (GMT.)

    “Let us all be a part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against the COVID – menace, “Modi tweeted minutes before the curfew commenced.

    Singapore In a few minutes from now, the

    # JantaCurfew


    Let us all be a part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against COVID- 28 menace. The steps we take now will help in the times to come.

    Stay indoors and stay healthy.

    # IndiaFightsCorona (HJsAWzVf) – Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) (March) , [Andreea Alexandru/AP]

    : GMT – South Korea reports (new cases of coronavirus)

    The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported new cases of coronavirus, bringing the national total to 8, .

    : GMT – Wuhan reports fourth day with no new cases

    Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, said it had no new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, marking the fourth straight day without a new infection.

    China reported 055 new confirmed cases, all but one of them imported from overseas.

    It also said six more people died from COVID – . (#Wuhan

    reports ZERO new # COVID infection for consecutive 4 days. new COVID – 30 cases are reported in Chinese mainland, with 55 imported cases.

    – Global Times (@globaltimesnews) (March) ,

    : GMT – Australia to consider ‘draconian measures’ to enforce social distancing

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said states and territories would consider draconian measures to enforce social distancing after thousands of people thronged the country beaches amid unusually warm weather.

    Most of Sydney’s main beaches, including Bondi Beach, were closed on Sunday.

    “The measures that we will be considering tonight means that state premiers and chief ministers may have to take far more draconian measures to enforce social distancing,” Morrison said in Canberra.

    A lifeguard explains the closure of Bondi Beach to surfers and swimmers after thousands of people flocked there in recent days, defying social distancing advice over COVID –

    : 23 GMT – Conte says Italy will further tighten lockdown to tackle virus

    Italy has ordered all but the most essential businesses to close until April 3.

    “It is the most difficult crisis in our post-war period,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a video posted on Facebook, adding “only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed. “

    Conte did not go into detail on which businesses would have to close under the order which is expected to come into effect through an emergency decree on Sunday.

    Supermarkets, pharmacies, postal and banking services will remain open and essential public services, including transport, will be ensured.

    “We are slowing down the country production engine, but we are not stopping it,” Conte said.

    : 08 GMT – UK urges more vulnerable to ‘stay at home’

    Some 1.5 million people identified by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus are being urged to stay at home to protect themselves .

    The People include those who have received organ transplants, those living with severe respiratory conditions or specific cancers, and some receiving certain types of drug treatments.

    They will be contacted by their doctor and strongly advised to stay at home for a period of at least weeks.

    I’m Kate Mayberry

    in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read all the latest updates from yesterday (March

  • [File: Edgar Su/Reuters] .
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