Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

China death toll pass 3,000

The death toll in mainland China has passed 3,000, with a further 31 deaths on Wednesday taking the total toll to 3,012. Confirmed cases there rose by 139 to reach 80,409.

California emergency

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, has declared a state of emergency after the announcement of the first virus-related death there. The state now has 53 confirmed cases. The victim, a 71-year-old man, travelled on the Grand Princess cruise ship last month, and the vessel is now being held off the coast of San Francisco while tests are conducted. Twenty one people on board have reported flu-like symptoms.

Italy shuts down

Italy has closed all schools and universities until 15 March and ordered that all major sporting events, including Serie A football, would be played behind closed doors. The virus has killed 107 people there, and spread to all but one of Italy’s 20 regions

Japan stands firm on Olympics

Japan’s Olympics minister, Seiko Hashimoto, has said cancelling or delaying the Games in July “would be unacceptable for the athletes”. The country has 1,036 cases and 12 people have died, it’s health ministry has said.

Australia paints bleak picture

Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, has said the government is “looking at scenarios from the most benign through to some millions of people being infected over a period of several weeks”. The country upgraded its advice to discourage travel to South Korea and brought in enhanced screening for those arriving from Italy. The health minister for New South Wales has said containment of the virus is now “unlikely”.

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German minister calls it a pandemic

Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, has said the outbreak has become a pandemic, something the World Health Organization has so far stopped short of declaring. “What’s clear is that we have not yet reached the peak of the outbreak,” Spahn told German politicians.

UK cases jump

The UK has seen the biggest daily increase to date, with cases jumping by more than 60% to 87 cases. Health officials faced a backlash over a decision not to release information about where new cases are until a weekly roundup announced each Friday.

Pharmaceuticals hit

India is restricting the export of several drugs, including paracetamol and antibiotics, leading to fears of a global shortage of essential medicines. India is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of drugs, with the US and Europe heavily reliant on the supply.

IMF changes outlook

The IMF has torn up its growth forecasts and is to offer $50bn (£39bn) in emergency funding for countries hit by the outbreak. The fund’s managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said an expected increase in global growth in 2020 would now be more than wiped out by the epidemic which has reached 70 of the IMF’s 189 member countries.

Bond film among events to be shunted

Concerts, conferences and sporting events are being cancelled in countries around the world. MGM Universal has also announced the postponement of the release of the new James Bond film, No Time to Die.



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