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Coronavirus latest: Trump suspends travel from Europe’s Schengen countries

SOURCE DW news

US President Donald Trump has introduced a travel ban from European countries amid concern over the spread of coronavirus. Follow DW for the latest coronavirus updates.

  • US President Donald Trump has announced a 30-day travel ban on most foreign nationals who have traveled to Schengen Area countries in the last 14 days.
  • The World Health Organization has declared a pandemic saying it is “deeply concerned by the alarming levels of the spread and severity of the outbreak.” 
  • In Europe, there are more than 22,000 COVID-19 cases and 930 people have died from the virus so far.
  • Italy has ordered all establishments shut except for pharmacies and food stores.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that two-thirds of Germany may get coronavirus.

Read moreWhat you need to know about the coronavirus

Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

03:26 Thailand’s Health Ministry has reported 11 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 70.

03:23 US Democrats unveiled legislation to give aid to people affected by the outbreak. House Democratic leaders intend to hold a debate and vote on the measure as early as Thursday. It includes additional funding for food and nutrition programs, expanded unemployment insurance and paid sick days for workers, according to the bill’s text.

03:21 New York City has canceled its St. Patrick’s Day parade. It would have been the 259th annual parade, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

03:09 The US State Department has advised US citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to coronavirus.

03:05 South Korea reported 114 new cases of coronavirus and six more deaths, resuming a relative decline in new cases after a spike the day before. The new cases bring the country’s total to 7,869, with 66 deaths, the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

An official wearing a mask and a traditional guard uniform stands at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea (Imago Images/AFLO/Lee Jae-Won)

An official wearing a mask and a traditional guard uniform stands at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea

02:59 South America’s soccer body CONMEBOL is asking FIFA to suspend the beginning of World Cup qualifiers scheduled for the end of March, due to coronavirus fears. The letter said the outbreak could affect South American national teams that have members in Europe for they could be put in quarantine, which would stop them from playing.

02:37 China’s aviation regulator said that the number of flights in the country rose to 40% of levels seen before coronavirus-related curbs were implemented.

02:33 US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement that he plans to issue a notice in the next 48 hours that would require US passengers who have been in Schengen Area countries to travel through selected airports with enhanced screening.

Travel restrictions announced on Wednesday by Trump ban most foreign nationals who have traveled to the areas over the past 14 days from entering the US, the DHS said. The restrictions, meant to combat the spread of coronavirus, do not apply to legal permanent residents of the US, nor does it generally apply to immediate family members of American citizens, according to the statement. 

Wolf also tweeted the elements of the initiative. 

02:23 The organizer of the Bucharest Pride celebration in Romania said that the event would be delayed by at least three months due to coronavirus. The event typically attracts about 10,000 people, and was postponed from May 23 until August or September.

People march at the Bucharest Pride Parade in June of 2018 (DW/Cristian Ștefănescu)

People march at the Bucharest Pride Parade in June of 2018

02:14 Guyana confirmed its first case in a Guyanese woman who died after returning to the South American country last week from the United States. The 52-year-old woman sought medical care after arriving in Guyana on March 5 and died Wednesday morning, a statement issued by President David Granger said. 

Earlier tests diagnosed her with uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, but more tests on Wednesday afternoon after she died confirmed she had coronavirus

02:05 Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency in the US capital as the number of identified cases reached 10. “We’re not in a vacuum. Our country is experiencing this and our world is experiencing this,” he told a news conference. 

01:59 The classification of coronavirus as a pandemic will have an impact on discussions about the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, but for now cancelation is unthinkable, Kyodo News quoted Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike as saying on Thursday. 

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that there is no change in planning for the 2020 Olympics, set to start in July, and there is also no need to declare a state of emergency in Japan due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A woman wearing a mask walks near the Olympics' mark in Odaiba, Tokyo (picture alliance/AP Images)

A woman wearing a mask walks near the Olympics’ mark in Odaiba, Tokyo

01:39 The NBA announced it will suspend the season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Govert tested positive for coronavirus. The move came shortly after the majority of the league’s owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

01:20 Tom Hanks has announced that he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have both tested positive for coronavirus in Australia. He said that he and Wilson, who are both 63, were tested in Australia, where he is working on a film, after they felt tired and achy with slight fevers.

“To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus and were found to be positive,” Hanks said in a tweet.

01:15 US President Donald Trump has suspended all travel from EU countries except the United Kingdom for 30 days. He said the restrictions were “strong but necessary.”

“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” he said. The new rules will be effective from midnight on Friday. He also urged Congress to pass tax relief measures. “I am calling on Congress to provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief. Hopefully, they will consider this very strongly,” he said.

00:53 Cuba has confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus, according to its state broadcaster. The patients are Italians who had traveled to the country on Monday.

00:40 Mainland China declared 11 new coronavirus deaths and 15 new cases on March 11, down from 22 deaths and 24 new cases on March 10. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 80,793.

00:24 Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned its citizens and residents from traveling to European Union states, according Saudi state television. 

00:09 US President Donald Trump is considering implementing travel restrictions and a mandatory quarantine for travelers returning from European countries. He is set to address the nation about potential restrictions on television at 21:00 EST (1:00 UTC).

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted, “We must beat it as quickly and safely as possible.”

23:52 Australia announced an A$17.6 billion ($11.4 billion) (€10.11 billion) spending plan to curb the economic impact of coronavirus, and avert the country’s first recession in 29 years. The spending plan is equivalent to about 1.2% of the country’s GDP.

23:44 El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has imposed a 21-day nationwide quarantine, meaning that no foreigner will be able to enter the country unless they are a resident or a diplomat. The country currently has no confirmed cases.

Members of El Salvador's Health Ministry spray sanitizer at the San Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador city (AFP/Salvadorean Presidency)

Members of El Salvador’s Health Ministry spray sanitizer at the San Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador city23:20 “Bottom line, it’s going to get worse,” said Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The statement comes as Trump is scheduled to address the nation from the White House on the government’s response to the outbreak. 

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