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Exclusives - 23 March, 2020

Latest on the spread of coronavirus across the world

More countries imposed lockdown measures as coronavirus cases across the globe ballooned, led by a sharp rise in infections. The virus has infected more than 187 countries so far... #Latesoncoronavirus

Samuel Mathai

More countries imposed lockdown measures as coronavirus cases across the globe ballooned, led by a sharp rise in infections. The virus has infected more than 187 countries so far.

As parts of India go under complete lockdown, 80 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus from Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar have taken the tally of the country to 433 on Monday afternoon. The death toll of the country also rose to 8 on Monday. The country has suspended all passenger trains and inter-state bus services till March 31.

Italy banned travel within the country. Nearly one in three Americans were ordered to stay home. New Zealand will move to its highest alert level imposing self-isolation. More than 337,500 people have been infected across the world and over 14,600 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

- Italy banned travel within the country on Sunday, as its death toll climbed to 5,476.

- Britain’s health minister said stricter restrictions on movements would be brought in if people did not observe advice to avoid social interaction, warning that such measures would also have to stay in place longer.

- The number of cases in Germany has risen to 22,672 with 86 deaths, a public health agency tally showed on Monday.

- Spain sought on Sunday to extend the state of emergency until April 11 as its death toll jumped to over 1,700.

- Greece announced a lockdown on Sunday, restricting movement from Monday morning with only a few exceptions.

- Montenegro reported its first death on Monday and Poland said it cannot rule out further restrictions on citizens.

- Nearly one in three Americans was under orders on Sunday to stay home as the states of Ohio, Louisiana and Delaware, and the city of Philadelphia imposed broad restrictions.  President Donald Trump said the US would make a decision on next steps at the end of the 15-day plan issued on March 16.

- The Canadian death toll jumped by more than 50% on Sunday, and officials threatened to punish people refusing to take precautions.

- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro denied the country’s healthcare system will collapse next month, contradicting his own health minister as the country’s death toll jumped 39% and confirmed cases topped 1,500.

- Panama reported a 28% jump in new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 313.

- Australia shut down pubs, clubs, gyms and houses of worship on Monday as its cases topped 1,600 and authorities denied entry to a cruise ship carrying hundreds on board complaining of respiratory illnesses.

- New Zealand said on Monday it would move to its highest alert level imposing self-isolation, with non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut over the next 48 hours.

- Mainland China on Monday reported a drop in its daily tally of new cases, reversing four straight days of increases, as Beijing ramped up measures to contain the number of imported infections.

- South Korea on Monday reported its lowest number of new cases since February 29, with the extended downward trend boosting hopes that the outbreak may be abating.

- Hong Kong said on Monday it was stopping all tourist arrivals and transit passengers at its airport and was considering suspending the sale of alcohol in some venues.

- Indonesia’s capital Jakarta shut cinemas and other public entertainment on Monday at the start of a two-week emergency period.

- Malaysia said on Monday it may consider extending movement restrictions by up to two weeks.

- Uzbekistan will lock down its capital Tashkent from March 24.

- Iran’s President said on Monday the US should lift sanctions if it wants to help the country, which has had around 1,800 deaths and over 23,000 cases, adding that Iran had no intention of accepting Washington’s offer of humanitarian assistance.

- Saudi Arabia imposed a nationwide curfew starting on Monday after reporting a jump of almost a quarter in cases, while the United Arab Emirates suspended all passenger and transit flights to and from the country.

- Syria on Sunday confirmed its first case after weeks of rejecting opposition allegations that the disease had already reached the country.

- Iraq’s government on Sunday extended a curfew on travel in and out of Baghdad until March 28.

- Financial markets across the world took another hammering on Monday as a rising tide of national lockdowns threatened to overwhelm policymakers’ frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession.

- The US Senate’s drive to pass a $1 trillion-plus response bill remained stymied late on Sunday, as Democrats held out for more money to help state and local governments and hospitals, while Republicans urged quick action to give financial markets a sign of encouragement.

- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge of “huge” stimulus will involve spending of at least $137 billion, sources say.

- Widening curbs on travel led airlines to ramp up flight cancellations on Monday.

- Several automakers said they would halt production in India, following last week’s closures in Europe, the United States, Canada and Mexico.

- Japan plans to tell the International Olympic Committee that it is ready to accept a delay to the Tokyo Olympics, Kyodo news agency reported on Monday.

- Pope Francis’s trip to Malta, scheduled to take place on May 31, has been postponed indefinitely.

- Multiple sports events have been cancelled or postponed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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