This is our weekly log of Coronavirus headlines. We cover the significant Coronavirus headlines in the news.
We started this log in January when we thought that there was something different about Coronavirus and that at some point we would want to look back and trace the story of the pandemic through the newspaper headlines of the day. We were unfortunately right in our assumption but never thought it would get as bad as this.
We encourage others to improve on what we are attempting, and start to record the impact of the virus on them, their families and their communities.
This will be updated throughout the week, with the latest day’s news at the top of the list.
March 15 – March 21 2020
21/03/2020 – As of 09:00 GMT the global Coronavirus death toll stands at 11,402 deaths out of 275,452 confirmed cases. Check here for the latest figures.
21/03/2020 – The UK government begs people not to panic buy and leave food on the shelves for the medical staff at least.
21/03/2020 – New York is preparing to ration its ventilators for sick coronavirus patients as a major disaster was declared in the city as it struggles to cope with the deadly outbreak.
21/03/2020 – As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the US, a dangerous blood shortage threatens to create another public health crisis, with one medical director warning: “This could kill our patients.”
Coronavirus control methods mandate social distancing that has ranged from banning in-person seating in restaurants to closing schools to issuing shelter-in-place orders. Many places where blood donation might take place such as campuses and libraries, are closed down..
20/03/2020 – As of 10:00 GMT the global Coronavirus death toll stands at 10,031 deaths out of 244,602 confirmed cases. Check here for the latest figures.
20/03/2020 – it is 21:45 GMT in the UK and we are wrapping up for the night. The UK government has put in place massive financial support to keep people in their jobs. We just hope that there are jobs for them to come back to at some point.
20/03/2020 – UK government announces lockdown. Pubs, cafes, gyms, sports facilities, restaurants are to close tonight (20/03/2020). This closure is indefinite.
20/03/2020 – Current Coronavirus growth rates for UK, US, Spain, Iran & Italy modelled against that of Mainland China. Showing the flattening out of the growth curve. Full article here.
20/03/2020 – The UK government makes public the scientific evidence that it is using to drive its Coronavirus pandemic strategy.
20/03/2020 – The UK government needs to introduce food rationing urgently to prevent key workers and disadvantaged families going hungry, leading food experts have said in a letter to the prime minister today.
They warn that food banks and food share schemes that give food to those on low incomes are reporting serious shortages, while key workers who can only shop at the end of their shifts are finding shelves empty and nothing to eat.
20/03/2020 – The UK government has banned the parallel export of 80 crucial medicines – including adrenaline, insulin, paracetamol and morphine – to protect supplies during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The government describes parallel exporting as “when companies buy medicines meant for UK patients and sell on for a higher price in another country, potentially causing or aggravating supply problems”.
20/03/2020 – Dr Anthony Fauci said Americans should prepare for having to stay home for several weeks in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
20/03/2020 – The Chinese doctor who was reprimanded for “spreading rumours” after he sought to warn colleagues about the emergence of Covid-19 has been officially exonerated by an investigation into his death.
Li had posted to a group chat with other medics about some patients showing signs of a new Sars-like illness in early December, well before Chinese authorities admitted to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.
Police detained Li a few days later for “spreading false rumours” and forced him to sign a police document admitting that he had “seriously disrupted social order” and breached the law.
A week later the 34-year-old doctor developed a fever and later published his account online. After being diagnosed with Covid-19 at the end of January, he died in early February of the virus.
20/03/2020 – US president Donald Trump is once again coming under harsh criticism for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio telling MSNBC this morning that the federal government has been “absent” as the city grapples with thousands of cases.
20/03/2020 – California announces a state-wide stay at home order for its 40 million people.
20/03/2020 – Native American health leaders are urging the US government to distribute urgently needed equipment and funding to help contain the spread of coronavirus among tribal members, amid mounting concerns that the pandemic could overwhelm chronically underresourced tribal health services.
20/03/2020 – Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the US Senate intelligence committee, is facing calls for his resignation after ProPublica reported he sold up to $1.7 million in stocks last month while receiving briefings on coronavirus.
In the weeks since, the market has suffered severe losses that have impacted many Americans’ retirement savings.
20/03/2020 – China again reports no new domestic Coronavirus cases.
20/03/2020 – Spain becomes the fourth country to register more than 1,000 deaths, following China, Italy and Iran.
20/03/2020 – Retired medics In the UK are being asked to return to work.
20/03/2020 – Qatar’s largest labour camp for migrant workers has become a virtual prison and is in total lockdown after hundreds of construction workers became infected with Covid-19.
Police are guarding the perimeter of a huge zone within the “Industrial Area”, leaving thousands of workers trapped in squalid, over-crowded camps, where the virus can spread rapidly. No one can enter or leave, say workers who live in the area, many of whom had been working on Fifa World Cup 2022 infrastructure projects.
20/03/2020 – The world’s most vulnerable people could be last in line for support to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, experts have warned.
Countries already dealing with humanitarian and refugee crises face a struggle to find the resources to deal with the pandemic by the time it reaches them, specialists said in a webinar hosted by the New Humanitarian news agency on Thursday.
20/03/2020 – Rail services in the UK are to be stripped back to the bare minimum, focused on supporting key workers needs to get to work. There has been a 70% drop in passengers on the UKs rail network over the past week.
Reducing the passenger services offered will also free up rail capacity for goods transfer by rail.
20/03/2020 – Today is the last day in school for most UK pupils. When they next open, no-one knows. All exams have been cancelled as well. Schools will only stay open to accommodate key workers children whilst their parents are at work.
19/03/2020 – As of 10:00 GMT the global Coronavirus death toll stands at 8,939 deaths out of 219,058 confirmed cases.
19/03/2020 – The Italian death toll from Coronavirus stands today at 3,405. This is greater than that suffered by China.
19/03/2020 – The Church of England (UK) is limiting weddings to a maximum of five guests to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
19/03/2020 – Major UK hotel chains are in discussions with the government about turning their properties into temporary hospitals to provide the NHS with emergency bed space or staff accommodation as the coronavirus spreads.
Best Western Great Britain, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Travelodge and Whitbread’s Premier Inn chain are among the operators talking through the logistics of closing their hotels to the public so that rooms can be given to vulnerable groups at enhanced risk of contracting the virus in the coming months.
Best Western’s first hotel to be turned into a hospital support site is expected to open in south London next week, with every bedroom used to house lower-risk patients and NHS staff.
19/03/2020 – US jails are to let out inmates as cases of coronavirus infections are being reported in prisons.
New York City is releasing “vulnerable” prisoners, the mayor said on Wednesday, days after Los Angeles and Cleveland freed hundreds of inmates.
Prison reform advocates say those in jail are at higher risk of catching and passing on Covid-19.
19/03/2020 – The NHS has announced that a further 29 people who tested positive for coronavirus in England have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 128. It says the patients were aged between 47 and 96 years old and had underlying health conditions.
19/03/2020 – UK The Bank of England has cut interest rates to 0.1%, in a second emergency cut prompted by the coronavirus outbreak.
19/03/2020 – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered his nation of 1.3 billion people to observe a curfew on Sunday from 07:00 to 21:00 as a test of its ability to face the coronavirus crisis.
19/03/2020 – Police, public health and immigration officers in the UK will be able to detain people suspected of having coronavirus under new emergency powers rolled out by the government.
The new guidance would allow the officials to return people to where they have been asked to stay during the virus outbreak, believed to be in a bid to curb people leaving hospital early. They will also have the power to take people to screening and testing facilities.
19/03/2020 – Spain’s health ministry said the death toll from coronavirus soared by 169 to 767 fatalities in the last day.
Among the latest victims was a 52-year-old nurse from the Basque country. “Today the coronavirus dealt a blow to the soul of the Basque health system,” the regional government said in a statement announcing the death. “We were not prepared for this blow.”
The country is battling an epidemic that is spreading at a rate faster than almost anywhere else in the world, with health authorities reporting 17,147 confirmed cases on Thursday.
19/03/2020 – Russia announces its first death from Coronavirus.
19/03/2020 – Garment workers and machinists in South East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh) are being played off as orders from western retailers dry up along with textiles from China.
19/03/2020 – South Africa reports that the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 150 with zero deaths so far.
19/03/2020 – China reports NO new domestic Coronavirus cases for the first time, but is concerned about the rising number of cases identified in people returning to the country.
19/03/2020 – Australia and New Zealand are to close their borders.
19/03/2020 – The European Central Bank (ECB) raises a €820bn emergency fund.
19/03/2020 – Official media in Iran are urging Iranians to cancel travel plans for new year – or Nowruz – festivities, which begin tomorrow.
Iran yesterday recorded in total 17,361 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with an official death toll of 1,135.
18/03/2020 – As of 08:00 GMT the global Coronavirus death toll stands at 7,954 deaths out of 198,178 confirmed cases.
18/03/2020 – All UK schools will close immediately to staff and most pupils from Friday afternoon until further notice. Wales was first to announce the measure, followed closely by Scotland and Northern Ireland, before the Prime Minister confirmed the move would be nationwide. Johnson said nurseries and private schools would also be asked to close, and exams would not take place in May and June.
18/03/2020 – The UK biotech firm Synairgen is to trial its experimental lung drug in Covid-19 patients, joining the global race to find a treatment for coronavirus.
The company received the green light from UK regulators to conduct a trial of its lead drug SNG001 at NHS trusts across the country.
The inhaled drug has been in development as a treatment for chronic-obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a severe lung disease, but this has been paused to conduct testing on 100 patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The medicine is designed to boost the patient’s immune system to help them fight off the virus. It contains interferon beta, a naturally occurring protein, which orchestrates the body’s antiviral responses.
18/03/2020 – The federal government is sending the USNS Comfort “hospital ship” to New York, as the state continues to grapple with the coronavirus crisis.
Andrew Cuomo announced that the ship, which has a total patient capacity of 1,000, had been dispatched to New York City’s harbor.
Cuomo also said he was issuing a “mandatory statewide requirement”, that no business “can have more than 50% of their workforce report for work outside of the home”.
The order exempts essential services including food delivery, food stores and healthcare.
18/03/2020 – Pro-Kremlin media have been spreading disinformation about coronavirus with the aim of “aggravating” the public health crisis in the west, the European Union’s diplomatic service has concluded in a leaked report.
An EU monitoring team collected 80 examples of disinformation from Russian sources in nearly two months up to 16 March. Coronavirus was claimed to be a biological weapon deployed by China, the US or the UK. Other conspiracy theories contended the outbreak was caused by migrants or was a pure hoax.
18/03/2020 – The number of people dying from coronavirus in Italy has risen by 475 in one day to nearly 3,000 – the biggest increase since the outbreak.
There are a total of 35,713 confirmed cases in the country, with more than 4,000 having successfully recovered.
18/03/2020 – A “collective failure” to appreciate the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic and enact swift measures to protect the public will lead to unnecessary deaths, according to a leading doctor who says the UK ignored clear warning signs from China.
Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of the UK medical journal, Lancet, rounded on politicians and their expert advisers for failing to act when Chinese researchers first warned about a devastating new virus that was killing people in Hubei eight weeks ago.
18/03/2020 – The coronavirus death toll in the UK has reached 104 after NHS England said a further 32 people had died in England after testing positive.
18/03/2020 – In Lombardy (Italy) 319 people coronavirus patients have died in a single day, two sources with access to the data have told Reuters.
18/03/2020 – Identified New York (US) Coronavirus infections are up by 695 in one day alone. Officials caution though that testing has increased, so positive results will also increase. 23 percent.of those infected have been hospitalised.
18/03/2020 – The UK is privately pressing the US to ease sanctions on Iran to help it fight the growing coronavirus outbreak.
Official figures published by the Iranian health ministry on Wednesday said 1,135 have so far died in Iran and 17,361 have been infected. A total of 147 were recorded as dying in the past 24 hours, a new daily record.
The Iranian embassy in London appealed for sanctions to be lifted and warned the country’s hospitals were badly overstretched.
A World Health Organization official said he believed the Iranian health ministry figures underestimated the true numbers by a fifth – which would mean more than 5,600 people have died.
Researchers at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran have created a computer simulation predicting as as many as 3.5 million deaths if Iran cannot get a grip on the crisis by the end of May.
18/03/2020 – Number of UK cases rises by 676 in 24 hours to 2,626.
18/03/2020 – All hotels in Spain closed down. tourists told to go home.
18/03/2020 – US and Canada agree to close their shared border to help stem the spread of Coronavirus.
18/03/2020 – The World Health Organization’s Middle East director has appealed to countries there to share more information.
Dr Ahmed al-Mandhari said the agency’s teams had observed “uneven approaches across the region” and that much more should be done.
In addition. the WHO is warning SE Asian countries that they have to do a lot more to combat the pandemic.
18/03/2020 – The US death toll passed 100 as coronavirus reached every state. California governor Gavin Newsom warned that most schools in the state will likely remain closed for the rest of the school year (August) because of coronavirus.
18/03/2020 – UK. This summer’s 50th anniversary Glastonbury concert has been cancelled due to Coronavirus.
18/03/2020 – Global. Biohackers team up online to help develop coronavirus solutions. Spurred by the insecurity, students, scientists, developers and health professionals have taken to online biology forums in recent weeks to help investigate potential vaccines and innovative methods of testing.
18/03/2020 – Some good news. Medical authorities in China have said a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appeared to be effective in coronavirus patients, Japanese media said on Wednesday.
Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients.
“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.
Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said.
In addition, X-rays confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients who were treated with favipiravir, compared to 62% or those without the drug.
17/03/2020 – As of 09:30 GMT the global Coronavirus death toll stands at 7,155 deaths out of 182,424 confirmed cases.
17/03/2020 – The porous Myanmar-China border stretches more than 1,400 miles but coronavirus cases have only been reported on one side.
In China, more than 80,800 people have been infected, but according to Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, the country has not yet seen a single confirmed case. Really?
17/03/2020 – South Carolina US, Governor Henry McMaster announced executive orders to close all bars and restaurants’ dine-in services, push state tax filing deadlines to June, ban gatherings of 50 or more in public/gov’t-owned facilities and mobilize the National Guard to help hospitals.
The governor also requested that insurance companies pay for office visits, tests and procedures for coronavirus patients, that grocery stores limit customer purchases of certain essentials, and have special hours for senior citizens, among other suggestions.
17/03/2020 – French authorities today reported a further 27 deaths, bringing the total to 175 of whom, 7% are people aged under-65.
The country now has a total of 7,730 cases – an increase of 17% in past 24 hours – with 699 people in intensive care.
17/03/2020 – The British government has published its Coronavirus Bill. Among others, measures include allowing retired NHS staff back into work without affecting their pensions, allowing doctors to discharge patients with minimal paperwork.
Changes to councils’ duties under the Care Act allow them to prioritise people with the greatest care needs and make the best use people working in social care.
The bill formalises many of the proposals described in the prime minister and chancellor’s press conference.
A government spokesperson said that other measures in the legislation include:
- Allowing police and immigration officers to support and enforce public health measures, including powers to detain people and put them in appropriate isolation facilities
- Making arrangements for statutory sick pay for those self-isolating without symptoms from day one
- Allowing small businesses to reclaim statutory sick pay payments from the government
- Allowing more phone or video hearings for court cases to stop the spread of the virus in courts
- Enabling Border Force to temporarily suspend operations at airports or other transport hubs if there are insufficient resources to maintain border security
17/03/2020 – the Church of England (UK) suspends all services over coronavirus (excluding weddings and funerals). The methodists follow suit, with mosques advised to stop congregational activity
17/03/2020 – The White House is pushing for an $850bn US stimulus, according to reports from Washington today. Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin has suggested it could include ‘sending checks to Americans immediately”, to help those losing their jobs.
Mnuchin also announced tax deferrals worth $1m to individuals, or $10m to companies.
The plan lifted shares on Wall Street, where the Dow briefly fell below 20,000 points for the first time sine early 2017.
The US Federal Reserve launched a new programme to help American firms borrow in the money markets.
17/03/2020 – Sir Patrick Vallance UK says that vaccines “are the answer to this” and that progress has been remarkable, but adds it’s unlikely one would be ready for mass use within a year.
17/03/2020 – UK Chancellor announces a first stage package of business support of £330bn. This is on top of the announcements in the UK budget the week before and equates to 15% of the current UK GDP.
17/03/2020 – UK Prime Minister says we only have a few weeks to build thousands of ventilators.
Asked about the government’s plea to businesses to start building ventilators, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says all businesses want “an end to suffering”.
“That is why they are working incredibly hard in the next few weeks – and we really only have a few weeks – to build literally thousands of ventilators,” he says.
17/03/2020 – In Italy the number of deaths has passed 2,150 and Spain has reported another 182 deaths, bringing the total there to nearly 500
17/03/2020 – Chinese students at UK universities are “fleeing back to China” amid concerns about the British government’s handling of the spread of the virus and an increase in racist attacks triggered by so-called maskaphobia.
17/03/2020 – 14 more coronavirus deaths in England, taking UK total to 67, says NHS England
17/03/2020 – Sir Patrick Vallance – the UK government’s scientific adviser – said it would be a “good outcome” if 20,000 or fewer people died of the virus in the UK
17/03/2020 – Greece’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 387 from 352 with the death toll increasing to 5, health officials confirmed.
17/03/2020 – UK NHS to postpone all non-urgent elective operations from 15th April at the latest, for a period of at least three months.
17/03/2020 – Australian The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Australians to return home as soon as possible by commercial means because overseas travel is becoming “more complex and difficult” as countries impose travel restrictions and close their borders.
The new travel advice, issued on Tuesday night, triggered speculation that the Morrison government could be about to impose a lockdown in Australia. But officials told Guardian Australia that was not in contemplation.
17/03/2020 – Japan‘s Olympic minister says the country is still planning for a “complete” hosting of the Tokyo Olympics that will be held on time, with spectators in attendance.
On Saturday Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Olympics would still go ahead despite coronavirus.
The IOC is meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Olympics and in particular qualifying events that have been hit.
17/03/2020 – Euro 2020 has been postponed to 2021 as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the Norwegian Football Association has announced.
The tournament was due to have been held this year from 12 June to 12 July across 12 countries, including England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Norwegian FA tweeted: “Uefa has decided that the Euros should be postponed until 2021. It will be played from 11 June to 11 July next year.”
17/03/2020 – Pregnant women in the UK are being urged to stay away from others due to the coronavirus, according to new advice.
They are being advised to minimise social contact for up to 12 weeks from this weekend.
The UK government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, said limited evidence suggested there were currently no known coronavirus-related complications in pregnancy.
But he added the UK was still “very early in what we know about this”.
17/03/2020 – Iran has temporarily freed a total of 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, a spokesman for its judiciary said on Tuesday, adding that the prisons were responding to the threat of a coronavirus epidemic in jails.
“Some 50% of those released are security-related prisoners. Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak,” the spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said.
Iran refers to political prisoners as security prisoners, and has been under intense pressure to speed up its prisoner release programme as the coronavirus outbreak spreads through its jails.
17/03/2020 – The UK fashion chain Laura Ashley, has finally thrown in the towel due to Coronavirus and called in the administrators.
17/03/2020 – Under the new French decree to stay at home, coming into effect shortly at 12:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Tuesday, citizens will need to justify their movements.
A form has been created which they should carry when out and about, and on which the reasons for travel can be ticked. They are:
- Commuting to work where working at home is not possible
- Trips to authorised shops for necessities
- Travel for health reasons
- Travel for urgent family reasons, to help the vulnerable or for childcare
- Brief trips close to home for exercise on an individual basis and/or to exercise pets
Reasons can also be set out on plain paper, but it will be regarded as a sworn statement.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the fine for transgressors would soon be set at €135 ($150; £123).
Le Monde reports that some 100,000 civil servants and soldiers will be deployed nationwide to carry out checks.
17/03/2020 – The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) closed indefinitely on Tuesday while currency and bond trading were suspended, the first market shutdowns worldwide in response to the coronavirus. The PSE said the closure until further notice was “to ensure the safety of employees and traders,” amid a broader national lockdown.
17/03/2020 – Some Iranians have tried to force their way into the Shrine of Fatima in Qom after it was temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
17/03/2020 – Hundreds of prisoners escaped from prisons in São Paulo state in the south-east of Brazil on Monday, one day before their day-release privileges were due to be suspended over the coronavirus outbreak.
17/03/2020 – Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, has just announced that today the government is going to start an operation to bring back thousands of German citizens home, who have been stranded abroad due to the coronavirus.
17/03/2020 – The health damage inflicted on people by long-standing air pollution in cities is likely to increase the death rate from coronavirus infections, experts have said.
Ironically though, a preliminary calculation by a US expert suggests that tens of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution may have been avoided by the cleaner air in China, far higher than the 3,208 coronavirus deaths.
17/03/2020 – Israel’s government has approved emergency measures to track people suspected or confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus by monitoring their mobile phones
16/03/2020 – Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has sent the first shipment of surgical masks and coronavirus test kits to the US.
The Chinese billionaire tweeted two pictures of the pallets of goods being loaded on to a plane in Shanghai.
Earlier this month he said he would give 500,000 testing kits and one million masks to America.
Mr Ma is also sending consignments of medical supplies to Europe as he called for international cooperation efforts to combat the pandemic.
16/03/2020 – US President Donald Trump has said the nationwide coronavirus emergency could last until the end of the summer or even longer.
He said Americans over the next 15 days should not gather in groups of more than 10 and avoid bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms and crowds.
At the White House, Mr Trump said the country is facing “an invisible enemy” that is “so contagious”.
The US has so far had more than 4,200 cases of the virus and 74 deaths.
16/03/2020 – Sales of guns and ammunition are soaring across the US as fears of possible social unrest amid the coronavirus crisis are prompting some Americans to turn to firearms as a form of self-protection.
16/03/2020 – Total number of UK deaths from coronavirus rises to 55. A further 19 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of deaths in England to 53, NHS England said. There has also been one death in Wales and one in Scotland bringing the total number of deaths in the UK to 55.
16/03/2020 – UK concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on pregnant women and considers them a high risk group. This is because the government wants to minimise risk and does not know much at this stage about the impact of coronavirus on pregnant women.
(Previously the government has played down the prospect of pregnant women facing increased risk.)
16/03/2020 – UK government Coronavirus guidance as of 17:00:
- Anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days
- People should start working from home where they possibly can
- Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
- Only use the NHS when we really need to
- From tomorrow government will no longer be “supporting” mass gatherings using emergency workers
16/03/2020 – WHO Coronavirus testing guidance at odds with UK government strategy. The World Health Organization earlier issued a strong warning that countries are not testing enough cases of coronavirus.
The group’s director said that every single suspected case should be tested. Unlike the UK where the policy is to primarily test patients for Coronavirus if they require hospitalisation or are in care homes and residential facilities experiencing outbreaks.
16/03/2020 – The first human trial of a vaccine to protect against pandemic coronavirus is starting in the US later on Monday, according to reports.
A group of 45 healthy volunteers will have the jab, at the Kaiser Permanente research facility, in Seattle.
The vaccine cannot cause Covid-19 but contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease.
Experts say it will still take many months to know if this vaccine, or others also in research, will work.
16/03/2020 – China said on Monday it had logged six new imported cases of coronavirus.
Of the new cases, four were from Spain and two were from the UK, according to state media.
China’s foreign ministry has warned imported cases are now the main risk. Earlier, just four new “local” cases were reported, all in Wuhan.
16/03/2020 – In the US, New York City and Los Angeles shut down bars, restaurants and other public places.
16/03/2020 – New York City closes largest US public schools system until 20th April at least, in an attempt to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
16/03/2020 – The UK’s Foreign Office is holding “high level discussions” to get more than 650 Britons home from a Covid-19-stricken cruise ship, PA reports.
The Braemar cruise ship took on more medical staff and stocked up on supplies on Sunday night after anchoring in the Bahamas.
The vessel, containing 667 Britons, was forced to isolate 20 guests and 20 crew who showed flu-like symptoms.
16/03/2020 – A US sailor aboard a warship ship tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time, the US Navy said on Sunday, as it disclosed the case of a sailor assigned to an amphibious assault ship.
16/03/2020 – Argentina went into a full official lockdown Sunday evening, closing all land borders.
The US embassy and the British Foreign Office are advising their non-resident citizens to leave Argentina quickly while flights are still open.
16/03/2020 – South Africa has declared a national disaster and introduced a series of drastic measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
16/03/2020 – Wales has reported another 30 cases of Covid-19 ,taking its total to 124.
16/03/2020 – In the UK fears of the pandemic prompting a global recession have driven the FTSE 100 in the UK down 7.2% to 4976 points. That’s its lowest since late 2011, compared with 7404 points just over three weeks ago.
16/03/2020 – Emmanuel Macron, the French president, is to address an anxious France tonight about his government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. It comes as the country was gripped by rumours of an impending announcement of martial law.
16/03/2020 – The Spanish government has requisitioned its private healthcare sector and given any company that has supplies of protective gear 48 hours to report to health authorities, or face fines.
16/03/2020 – An estimated 140,000 people have been laid off in Ireland since emergency measures to combat coronavirus were introduced four days ago, according to national broadcaster RTE.
16/03/2020 – A major push to provide provide food supplies and mental health support to older Irish residents – Britain’s oldest ethnic group and the most likely to already feel isolated even before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – is being launched in London.
The switching of existing services at the London Irish Centre to door to door deliveries coincided with the news that a food bank used by vulnerable people in the same part of the city is closing to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection
16/03/2020 – There have been a total of 1,543 positive tests for coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Monday, up from 1,372 at the same time on Sunday, the Department of Health said.
16/03/2020 – The UK armed forces are preparing to send thousands of military medics to assist in NHS hospitals in the coming weeks as part of Operation Broadshare – the Ministry of Defence’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Planners believe the most efficient way to assist the stretched health service is to embed medical personnel within existing hospitals rather than build field facilities, which it is feared could drain resources away from the NHS.
Operation Broadshare is likely to become the most complex military event in Great Britain since the second world war.
15/03/2020 – To start the week, the global Coronavirus tally stands today as 156,400 people infected and 5,833 lives lost. This compares to 08/03/2020 when the count stood at 107,000 people infected and 3,650 lives lost.
15/03/2020 – The UK in a 180 degree policy about turn is about to announce that all over 70s must self isolate for up to four months to protect themselves from Coronavirus.
15/03/2020 – in the US, new screening requirements for Americans returning from Europe lead to long queues at airports.
15/03/2020 – The Vatican has announced that its traditional Easter week celebrations will be held this year without worshippers.
15/03/2020 – The US President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus, the White House physician has said.
Mr Trump underwent a test days after hosting a meeting at his Florida resort with a Brazilian delegation, some of whom have tested positive.
15/03/2020 – In the US, American Airlines, the second biggest in the world, said on Saturday that it would start implementing a phased suspension of nearly all long-haul international flights from Monday.
15/03/2020 – Austria bans gatherings of more than five people, and orders schools and most shops to shut.
15/03/2020 – As the coronavirus spreads across the US, tens of millions of Americans may not seek medical help either because they are uninsured or undocumented. That puts everyone in society at greater risk.
15/03/2020 – UK government is to ask car manufacturers, weapon makers and army suppliers to change their production lines to make ventilators for use in hospitals treating coronavirus.
15/03/2020 – UK NHS is to stop non-urgent surgery and implement a huge training programme to retrain medics from other specialisms to treat those who become seriously ill with Coronavirus
15/03/2020 – UK government is to buy up thousands of private hospital beds to boost NHS capacity should it be needed. Also examining the possibility that empty hotels may be requisitioned as hospitals, same as in the second world war.
15/03/2020 – The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has reached 1,140, while 37,746 people have been tested. 21 people have died.
15/03/2020 – Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus has reached 724, with 113 new deaths in the past 24 hours, an official confirmed, adding that some 13,938 people have been infected across the country.
15/03/2020 – Ministers are planning to give police in the UK the power to arrest people with coronavirus who are not self-isolating, the health secretary has confirmed.
15/03/2020 – The Trump administration needs to “get its shit together” in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, the governor of Illinois said on Saturday, as travellers returning to the US at Chicago’s O’Hare international airport waited more than four hours for required medical screenings.
15/03/2020 – The Trump administration has offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive access to a Covid-19 vaccine, German media have reported.
The German government is trying to fight off what it sees as an aggressive takeover bid by the US, the broadsheet Die Welt reports, citing German government circles.
The US president had offered the Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac “large sums of money” to gain exclusive access to their work, wrote Die Welt.
15/03/2020 – Urgent efforts to repatriate 30,000 British tourists from ski resorts in France are under way amid warnings of “widespread failures” in the travel sector in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
French mountain resorts closed at midnight on Saturday, hours after tens of thousands of skiers had landed for their annual holiday in the snow.
15/03/2020 – The number of deaths in Spain from the coronavirus have more than doubled in a day, to 288, with the number of infections near 8,000.
Across the country there are 7,753 confirmed cases, making Spain the second hardest-hit country in Europe after Italy.
15/03/2020 – UK not ruling out closure of bars, restaurants and non-essential shops while other countries introduce new measures.
15/03/2020 – The number of UK deaths has risen to 35, after Public Health England confirmed that 14 more patients who tested positive for the coronavirus had died.
15/03/2020 – US should be doing more and copy Europes lockdowns says Dr Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told NBC: “I would prefer [that] as much as we possibly could … I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticised for overreacting”.
15/03/2020 – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that national borders will be closed to travellers from any country with reported coronavirus cases.
Only Kenyan citizens and foreigners with valid residence permits are exempt, so long as they agree to be quarantined.
Mr Kenyatta said the directive will take effect within 48 hours, and will remain in place for 30 days. If needed, it can be extended by the Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee.
As of today, Kenya has three reported cases of Coronavirus.
15/03/2020 – The total number of confirmed cases in Italy has risen to 24,747 from 21,157 on Saturday, as the death toll has increased 25% in one day to 1,809 from 1,441.
15/03/2020 – Spanish Police in Madrid have reportedly resorted to using drones to ensure people have cleared the streets and are self-isolating indoors. Police have also been clearing the streets of tourists who are ignoring the rules.
15/03/2020 – UK medical schools have been urged to fast-track qualifications for final-year medical students, waiving requirements for clinical exams and using alternative assessments to enable them to be quickly registered as doctors in order to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Medical schools and departments at universities across Britain are facing the prospect of releasing their staff and students to help the NHS cope with the developing crisis.
The leadership of the Medical Schools Council (MSC) has advised the UK’s 42 medical schools that they should prioritise qualifying final-year students even if they have missed clinical exams, so they can be provisionally registered by the General Medical Council (GMC) to begin working as doctors as soon as possible.
15/03/2020 – The coronavirus epidemic in the UK will last until next spring and could lead to 7.9m people being hospitalised, a secret Public Health England briefing for senior NHS officials reveals. (Source: Guardian UK)
15/03/2020 – Australian Associated Press is reporting that Woolworths, one of Australia’s two big supermarket chains, will open its doors only to the elderly and disabled for an hour on Tuesday morning.
Most of its supermarkets across the nation will open to the vulnerable only from 7am to 8am, beginning on Tuesday.
Panic buying in recent weeks sparked by the spread of Covid-19 in Australia has seen supermarkets stripped of toilet paper, pasta and tinned and other dried goods.