Home Health News WHO declares coronavirus a global pandemic: Live updates – Al Jazeera English

WHO declares coronavirus a global pandemic: Live updates – Al Jazeera English

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak, which has spread to at least 114 countries around the world, a pandemic.

“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday. “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” 


President Donald Trump announced new measures to address the United States growing outbreak, including a Europe travel ban that will take effect from midnight on Friday.

Italy has further tightened the quarantine it imposed across the country earlier this week – with all but essential services and shops to close for two weeks – after leaders from the European Union promised to do “whatever it takes” to tackle the coronavirus, which first emerged in China at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, the virus continued to spread in the United States and appeared in new countries including Bolivia, Honduras and Turkey, while Indonesia, Bulgaria and Sweden recorded their first deaths.

More than 66,000 people have recovered from the illness around the world, according to John Hopkins University, which is tracking the virus.

Here are the latest updates:

Thursday, March 12

01:55 GMT – Asian Development Bank, Philippine Senate closed over coronavirus

The Philippines Senate has been sealed off and the Manila headquarters of the Asian Development Bank  closed after visitors to both buildings were confirmed to have the coronavirus.

The parliament building is being disinfected and President Rodrigo Duterte will be tested for the virus as a precaution, his office said.

ADB staff have been told to work from home, while the building is deep-cleaned and disinfected. 

“The safety of staff, visitors to the Bank, and their families is of utmost importance to us. We are providing support to staff who interacted with the visitor,” ADB Vice President for Administration and Corporate Management Deborah Stokes said in a statement posted on the ADB’s website.

01:40 GMT – Guyana, French Polynesia record coronavirus cases

Guyana, and French Polynesia have announced their first cases of coronavirus.

The person with the virus in Guyana was diagnosed after a trip to the US last week, while the case in French Polynesia involves Maina Sage, one of the islands’ representatives in the National Assembly. She returned from Paris at the weekend.

01:25 GMT – Actor Tom Hanks says he has been diagnosed with coronavirus

The Hollywood actor Tom Hanks says he and his wife have been diagnosed with the coronavirus after feeling a bit tired and having a slight fever while visiting Australia.

“To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus,” he wrote in a statement posted on social media.

01:20 GMT – South Korea reports 114 new cases

South Korea has given the first of its two daily updates of the coronavirus. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there were 114 new cases, as well as six more deaths.

With the new cases, South Korea has 7,869 people with the virus, and a total death toll of 66.

01:15 GMT – China announces 15 new cases of coronavirus, 11 deaths

China, the country where it all began, has given its daily update on the situation there.

The National Health Commission says it had 15 new cases – the lowest since the outbreak began at the end of December – and 11 deaths.

The hardest-hit province of Hubei and its capital Wuhan continue to account for the bulk of the country’s 80,793 cases and 3,169 deaths.

01:10 GMT – US to suspend all travel with Europe, except for UK

US President Donald Trump is speaking on the coronavirus from the White House. 

He’s suspending all travel between the United States and Europe, with the exclusion of the United Kingdom, from midnight on Friday.

The ban will remain in force for a month.

00:15 GMT – Australia announces $11.4bn stimulus plan

Australia announced a 17.6 billion Australian dollars ($11.41bn) economic stimulus plan on Thursday that includes wage subsidies and cash payments for small businesses to counter the effect of the coronavirus.

“Both this financial year and in the next two financial years, the gross impact of that stimulus is A$22.9 billion ($14.82 billion). That’s 1.2 percent of GDP (gross domestic product),” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

You can read all the updates from yesterday (March 11) here.

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