Covid-19 Coronavirus

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Coronavirus: A timeline of how the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is evolving

RedHill’s opaganib authorised for compassionate use in Italy

Gastrointestinal disease-focused US-Israeli biopharma company RedHill has received authorisation from the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases and Central Italian Ethics Committee for an expanded access programme for opaganib in Covid-19.

This programme will provide immediate compassionate use of RedHill’s investigational drug for Covid-19 patients suffering with acute respiratory symptoms.

Opaganib is a novel, first-in-class sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor, which has shown to have anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activities. Pre-clinical studies have shown it could reduce lung inflammatory disorders, such as pneumonia – one of the main symptoms of Covid-19 – as well as mitigate pulmonary fibrotic damage.

Other pre-clinical research has identified SK2 as having a role in the replication-transcription complex of positive-strand single-stranded RNA viruses, which are similar to coronaviruses.

This decision by the Italian authorities follows a similar move by the Israeli Ministry of Health; the first patient in Israel was dosed with opaganib today.

RedHill medical director Mark L. Levitt said: “The approved opaganib expanded access program allows physicians in the three major hospitals in Italy to treat patients at high risk of developing pneumonia and those with pneumonia, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, secondary to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

“RedHill is working diligently to evaluate the potential of opaganib as a treatment for Covid-19 to help patients worldwide in urgent need of a treatment option.”

2:31 pm

UK MHRA probes fake Covid-19 medical products

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the UK has launched an investigation into 14 cases of fake or unlicensed online medical products claimed to treat or prevent Covid-19.

These products comprise self-testing kits, ‘miracle cures’, ‘antiviral misting sprays’ and unlicensed drugs, noted the UK government.

So far, the MHRA disabled nine domain names and social media accounts trading these type of Covid-19 products.

MHRA enforcement official Lynda Scammell said: “Don’t be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat Covid-19.

“There is no medicine licensed specifically to treat or prevent Covid-19, therefore any claiming to do so are not authorised and have not undergone regulatory approvals required for sale on the UK market.

“We cannot guarantee the safety or quality of the product and this poses a risk to your health.”

2:30 pm

GSK and Vir collaborate on Covid-19 drug and vaccine R&D

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and infectious disease specialists Vir Biotechnology have signed an agreement to collaborate on researching and developing drugs and vaccines against coronaviruses, including Covid-19.

Initially, due to urgency in resolving the Covid-19 pandemic, GSK and Vir will focus on accelerating VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, two antibody candidates already identified using Vir’s proprietary monoclonal antibody platform. These two candidates have demonstrated high affinity to Covid-19’s spike protein and are highly potent at neutralising the virus in live virus cellular assays.

However, GSK and Vir also plan to leverage the latter’s antbody technology and CRISPR screening approaches to also identify new anti-viral antibodies and cellular targets.

Further to this, the two companies will combine their vaccine expertise to develop preventative solutions to the ongoing pandemic.

As per the terms of the agreement, GSK has made a $250m equity agreement in return for use of Vir’s antibody technology platform.

GSK president of R&D and chief scientific officer Dr. Hal Barron said: “Vir’s unique antibody platform has precedented success in identifying and developing antibodies as treatments for multiple pathogens, and it is highly complementary with our R&D approach to focus on the science of immunology.

Vir Biotechnology CEO George Scangos added: “It is becoming increasingly clear that multiple therapeutic approaches, used in combination or in sequence, will be necessary to stop this coronavirus pandemic.”

1:16 pm

Coronavirus search trends revealed by Redscan

In some parts of the world, internet usage is up by 50% as many people work remotely and use the internet to keep in contact with others or pass the time indoors during lockdown.

In light of this increase in online activity, cybersecurity company Redscan has analysed the most-searched for security and technology terms, based on Google Trends global search history data.

According to the data, searches for “business continuity plan” spiked between 8 March and 21 March.

Redscan also revealed that searches for coronavirus related scams were more frequent in the UK than those linked to Apple and Amazon.

Searches for “remote working”, “collaboration tools” and “remote access” also reached record highs in March.

Read more here

11:58 am

Coronavirus company news summary

6 April 2020 

Researchers from the Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) at Monash University,  Australia, have found that an anti-parasitic drug called Ivermectin could kill the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, within 48 hours in a laboratory setting. Additional tests and clinical trials in humans are required to validate the drug’s safety and effectiveness as a potential Covid-19 treatment. Read the full story here.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to offer its pandemic adjuvant system to Xiamen Innovax Biotech for preclinical assessment of a recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate against Covid-19. This vaccine candidate, known as Covid-19 XWG-03, is being developed by Innovax in alliance with Xiamen University. Read the full story here

The UK Government has announced that a large-scale randomised clinical trial of potential Covid-19 treatment led by the University of Oxford is being conducted at more than 130 hospitals across the country; this makes this the world’s largest Covid-19 trial. The trial will assess HIV drugs lopinavir/ritonavir, dexamethasone steroid and anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine in more than 1,000 Covid-19 patients. Read the full story here.

UK-based Izana Bioscience has launched a two-centre compassionate use study of rheumatoid arthritis drug namilumab in patients with rapidly worsening Covid-19 in Bergamo and Milan, Italy. The study will collect data from hospitalised patients and aims to provide treatment before admission to intensive care or need for ventilation. Read the full story here

11:50 am

Clinova studies rehydration product’s ability to speed up recovery from Covid-19

UK-based consumer health company Clinova initiates a UK study into the effectiveness of its oral rehydration solution (ORS) in Covid-19 patients suffering with acute viral upper respiratory infection symptoms. These symptoms include coughing, fevers, and nasal congestion.

ORS is an over-the-counter drug composed of a combination of glucose and salt,  dissolved in water to rehydrate patients.

Clinova co-founder and research and development director Arsalan Karim said: “While this product cannot cure Covid-19 symptoms, we hope it will be shown to significantly decrease the significant amount of discomfort suffered by patients.

“While prevention of the virus through steps such as social distancing, handwashing, and continued worldwide research into a vaccine, it must not be forgotten that there is much to be done to reduce discomfort in sufferers.

“Hydration is one of the most important aspects of human health, especially when the body is faced with challenges such as extreme heat or illness. Good hydration goes a long way in supporting the body’s natural ability to defend and repair, which is going to be incredibly important for anyone suffering with Covid-19 symptoms.”

9:28 am

New case rates slow as US takes over as disease epicentre

Global cases of Covid-19 passed 1.25 million over the weekend – with America now seeing nearly twice as many daily deaths as any other country.

Both global case rates and death from the disease increased more slowly than last week, although that could partially reflect lower-than-average registrations which have been seen at weekends.

America recorded 1,218 new deaths on Sunday and will record its 10,000th death some time today.

9:08 am

Government and policy update from the New Statesman

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening with persistent symptoms of Covid-19. He was diagnosed on 27 March, and is one of several high-profile members of the UK government to fall ill. Downing Street has described the admission as a “precautionary step”.

Keir Starmer, who succeeded Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party this weekend, pledged to ask “difficult questions” of the Conservatives amid the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the UK had been too slow in its testing process and that safety equipment for workers was lacking. Starmer has made Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds the new shadow chancellor, and Nick Thomas-Symonds, MP for Torfaen, the shadow home secretary.

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, has resigned following the publication of photographs that showed her visiting her second home, 44 miles from her home in Edinburgh, in contravention of lockdown rules.

United States: At a press conference, Donald Trump once more advocated the use of the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. Trump said that his administration has ordered 29 million doses to be distributed across the country.

France: The rate of deaths from Covid-19 has slowed. The health ministry reported yesterday that 357 people had died in hospitals due to Covid-19, compared with 441 in the previous 24 hours.

Bangladesh: The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has announced a £6.5bn stimulus package for a range of businesses.

Singapore: 20,000 migrant workers have been ordered to remain quarantined for 14 days. Around a quarter of Singapore’s population is comprised of foreign workers, most of whom work in construction.

Libya: The former prime minister Mahmoud Jebril, one of the leaders of the interim government that ousted Muammar Gaddafi during the 2011 civil war, has died from Covid-19.

Read more on the New Statesman:

Tony Blair on why the UK needs mass testing

Lawrence Freedman on how the WHO’s inertia contributed to the coronavirus crisis

Leo McKinstry on why the pandemic could hand power to Labour

4:50 pm

Global number of coronavirus cases exceeds one million

The number of recorded coronavirus cases in the world has now exceeded one million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

So far, approximately 53,000 people have died from Covid-19 and over 210,000 have recovered from the virus. Europe accounts for half the number of cases.

According to the New York Times, roughly half the world’s population, or four billion people, is now under lockdown.

1:27 pm

Covid-19 vaccine candidate yields promising data in mice

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the US have reported encouraging results from initial tests of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, PittCoVacc, delivered using a fingertip-sized patch in mice.

In the animals, the candidate was able to generate antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at levels that might be enough to neutralise the virus, noted the researchers.

The findings have been detailed in eBioMedicine published by The Lancet journal.

Read the full article here

12:41 pm

Government and Policy Updates from the New Statesman

In the UK

The government will write off £13.4bn of historic debt owed by hospital trusts to the NHS, Matt Hancock announced in a press conference last night. The health secretary, in his first public appearance since self-isolating with symptoms of Covid-19, also pledged £300m of government money to be made available for community pharmacies.The NHS has confirmed new temporary Nightingale hospitals in Bristol and Harrogate, which will add 1,500 beds. A 4,000-bed facility in London’s ExCel centre is due to open later today.

Hancock also outlined new measures which he claimed will deliver 100,000 tests a day in England before the end of April. These would include antigen tests that show whether people are currently infected, and antibody tests – which have not been clinically proven – to see if people have had Covid-19 and recovered.

While public confidence in the government is high, the government’s strategy is unpopular with some Conservative MPs, and testing in particular may become a key issue.

Meanwhile, almost a million people have successfully claimed Universal Credit in the last two weeks – and the total number of applicants is likely to be much higher.

Around the world

United States: More than 6.65 million people in the US filed for unemployment benefits in the past week. Around 3.3 million people had filed for unemployment the previous week. The US remains

Germany: Despite evidence that widespread testing is behind the country’s low death rate, Germany has been told by its public health advisory body, the Robert Koch Institute, that its efforts must improve further. Germany’s 500,000 tests a week should increase that to more than a million, or 200,000 tests a day, the institute said.

 A national day of mourning will take place tomorrow for the “martyrs” who died in the fight against coronavirus. The country will observe three minutes of silence at 10am on 4th April while air raid sirens and horns of cars, trains, and ships, “wail in grief”, the state news agency, Xinhua has reported.

Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is under pressure to declare a state of emergency after the country reported 235 new cases of coronavirus, bringing its total to 3,329. The capital, Tokyo, saw its largest single-day rise so far of 97 cases yesterday.

New Zealand: The minister of health, David Clark, has apologised after ignoring his government’s advice to exercise locally. Clark drove 2.3km from his home to go mountain biking yesterday. A member of the public recognised Clark’s van, which is decorated with a large picture of the minister’s face..

Read more on the New Statesman:

Lawrence Freedman uncovers the real reason the government pursued “herd immunity”

Sarah Manavis looks at how the crisis has plunged the sharing economy into doubt

Michael Barrett explains how Covis-19 tests work

12:11 pm

Coronavirus company news summary

3 April 2020

Novartis, in alliance with Incyte, has announced plans to assess Jakavi (ruxolitinib) in a Phase III clinical trial to treat cytokine storm in patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia. The planned trial will compare a combination of Jakavi and standard-of-care (SoC) therapy against SoC alone. Read the full story here.

Amgen has partnered with Adaptive Biotechnologies to discover and develop fully human neutralising antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus that could prevent or treat Covid-19. The alliance will combine Adaptive’s immune medicine platform with Amgen’s immunology and antibody development expertise. Read the full story here.

Vaccine development companies FluGen and Bharat Biotech have partnered with the University of Wisconsin–Madison to develop and evaluate a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, called CoroFlu. The vaccine is expected to complete laboratory testing in the next three to six months, and enter human clinical trials in the second half of 2020.

Vir Biotechnology and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals have expanded their multi-target infectious diseases alliance to include up to three targets for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. These targets include ACE2 and TMPRSS2, which are thought to be crucial for viral entry. The companies aim to develop and commercialise RNAi therapeutics for the new viral infection.

Apeiron Biologics has secured approvals from regulatory agencies in Austria, Germany and Denmark to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of its biologic candidate APN01 for the treatment of Covid-19. The randomised, double-blind Phase II trial will enroll up to 200 patients at ten sites across these three countries. Read the full story here.

10:42 am

No, 5G does not cause coronavirus: 3 reasons why this theory is wrong and dangerous

It may sound bizarre, but this rumour has been circling for some time, and has been gaining considerable ground as the coronavirus outbreak spreads around the world.

The rumour suggests that the installation of 5G equipment causes health issues that are being attributed to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Not only does 5G not cause the coronavirus, but encouraging theories that it does or might will result in more people dying.

Here’s some reasons why this theory is completely and utterly without merit.

Read more here

7:59 am

Global confirmed Covid-19 cases exceed one million

Covid-19 cases have crossed one million globally, with the pandemic being responsible for more than 52,000 deaths so far.

The first 100,000 global Covid-19 cases were recorded in approximately 110 days, based on a report from South China Morning Post that the first Covid-19 case in China could be traced back to November 2019. A million was reached after the cases doubled over the past week.

Currently, the US is the worst-hit country with the highest number of cases at 245,200, according to data from John Hopkins University.

Read the full article here

5:34 pm

Cybercriminals are using bots to feed coronavirus fears

The ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in malicious bot activity online, according to research by cybersecurity software company Radware.

Bad bot traffic grew by 26% in February, with 58.1% of these bots able mimic human behaviour.

27.7% of traffic on media sites was from bad bots, as malicious actors look to scrape genuine content and republish it on their own sites that can then be used to dupe users into clicking on malicious links or falling for scams.

Read more here


2:30 pm

Gilead initiates two studies of remdesivir in UK

Gilead Sciences has launched two Phase III clinical trials of its investigational antiviral drug remdesivir in the UK to treat Covid-19 patients.

The two studies will be conducted at 15 sites in the country, primarily in England and Scotland.

One of the trials will involve patients with moderate symptoms and the other will enrol patients in a serious condition.

Read the full article here

1:52 pm

EMA advises malaria drugs use for trials only; FDA records shortage

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has urged that two malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, being tested as potential Covid-19 treatment, must only be used for clinical trials or national emergency use programmes.

Separately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that these drugs are in shortage due to increased demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the full article here

11:24 am

ImmunityBio and Microsoft create 3D model to support Covid-19 research

Immunotherapy company ImmunityBio has partnered with Microsoft to leverage the latter’s Azure platform to create a 3D model of Covid-19’s spike protein.

The novel coronavirus’ spike protein allows the virus to dock and bind to the ACE2 surface protein of human epithelial cells in the respiratory tract, thereby infecting these cells so they reproduce thousands of copies of the virus.

Having a clear understanding of this high-profile target will support and accelerate the development of antibody therapies and vaccines against Covid-19.

Microsoft AI and research corporate vice-president Peter Lee added: “Microsoft is committed to bring our technology and expertise to bear in solving the complex computing problem of modelling this protein.

“With ImmunityBio we are working to speed the effort to find a treatment for this deadly virus that has affected every part of the globe.”

11:17 am

Gates Foundation’s Covid-19 accelerator makes first investments

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard’s Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which was launched in mid-March with $125m, has made its first investments into three institutions to support immunotherapy research.

The institutions in question are the University of Washington, University of Oxford, and La Jolla Institute for Immunology, and they have received a total combined funding of $20m.

The University of Washington and University of Oxford are both working on trials of anti-malarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients, which will be supported by this new funding. Whereas La Jolla will use its $1.73 investment to establish a consortium to share candidate antibodies with researchers across the world.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman explained: “These grants to leading institutions in their fields will advance our understanding of how existing drugs and antibodies can contribute to addressing the pandemic we’re facing around the world.

“These initial investments through the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will bring rigour to the study of these potential solutions. The way forward will be informed by sound science and shared data.”

10:34 am

Australia’s CSIRO starts first stage of vaccine testing

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia has begun the first stage of testing of two potential Covid-19 vaccines.

Estimated for completion in three months, the testing is taking place at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong.

Read the full article here

10:18 am

Israeli scientists progress to animal testing of Covid-19 vaccine prototype

The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has made ‘significant’ progress in creating a Covid-19 vaccine prototype and preparations are underway for animal testing, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Citing undisclosed sources, Reuters reported that trials are already taking place using rodents as test subjects.

IIBR, a secretive defence biological research institute, was instructed by Netanyahu in February to focus on medical solutions for the pandemic.

Read the full article here

5:38 pm

Could the coronavirus pandemic see drone deliveries take off?

It is now estimated that around 20% of the world’s population is in isolation, with 29 countries imposing a total or partial lockdown, as of March 26.

With many now only permitted to shop for food or medical supplies, and all non-essential retailers in locations such as the UK instructed to close until further notice, many are turning to e-commerce to buy goods.

As a result, there has been a renewed interest in the use of drone deliveries during and beyond the coronavirus crisis.

Drone deliveries have been promised for some time, but could the Covid-19 pandemic finally make them a reality?

Read more here

5:34 pm

UK records largest daily increase in Covid-19 deaths

The number of coronavirus deaths in the UK rose by 563 between 5pm on Monday and 5pm on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 2,352. This is the highest increase in the number of coronavirus-related deaths in a 24-hour period the country has experienced.

As of 9am this morning, 4,324 people tested positive since the previous day.

According to the Department of Health, there have now been 29,474 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK out of the 152,979 people that have been tested.



4:50 pm

Covid-19 daily death totals: “are we flattening the curve”?

While every nation is giving regular updates on deaths linked to the virus, it can be difficult to interpret this data. Daily death totals are volatile and can fluctuate rapidly from day to day; countries can change the time they report, or their methodology, leading to sudden and abrupt change.

In these charts we smooth out the data by using a rolling three-day average of deaths. Each day is plotted against the average number of new deaths reported over the previous three days. The percentage increases (or decreases) are plotted separately. The chart covers the countries where the highest number of deaths overall, excluding China – where daily confirm deaths have slowed to a trickle – and Iran, where the data may not be reliable. The charts start at the point each country passed 50 Covid-19 deaths in total.

2:48 pm

Exscientia forms UK-US partnership to screen possible Covid-19 drugs

AI drug discovery company Exscientia has expanded its ongoing anti-viral drugs partnership with the UK’s national synchrotron facility Diamond Light Source and University of Oxford across the Atlantic Ocean to include California-based Scripps Research’s Calibr and focus on Covid-19 research.

The US-UK partners will leverage Calibr’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded collection of 15,000 clinically-ready molecules. After being shipped from California to Oxford, the collection will be rapidly screened for the targets using Exscientia’s advanced biosensor platforms.

The theory is Exscientia and its partners will be able to rapidly identify drugs that could be repurposed against Covid-19, as well as progress novel compounds into new, viable drugs, thereby shortening the drug discovery process and speeding up the route to clinical trials.

Exscientia’s head of quantitative pharmacology Dr Martin Redhead said: “Given the ever-expanding scale and rapid speed at which Covid-19 is spreading, the initial priority is to search for any existing drug that can be repurposed to protect the human population.

“Then as we move forward we can design superior molecules with our AI-Design systems to work even more effectively against the virus.

“The Scripps Research collection allows us to explore both of these important objectives.”

Read the full story here.

12:03 pm

British American Tobacco joins the effort to develop a Covid-19 vaccine

British American Tobacco (BAT)’s US biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP) is leveraging its fast-growing tobacco plant technology in an effort to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. KBP was involved in the development of ZMapp against Ebola in the mid-2010s.

KBP is hopeful it could produce between one and three million Covid-19 vaccines weekly by June if it receives sufficient government support and can form partnerships with other researchers.

The global conglomerate believes that the tobacco plant could be a faster and safer vaccine development platform. This is because tobacco plants cannot host pathogens causing human disease, elements of the vaccine accumulate quicker in the tobacco plant than other methods and the formulation remains stable at room temperature; conventional vaccines require refigeration.

BAT’s vaccine candidate is currently being tested in pre-clinical studies. It based upon a cloning of a portion of Covid-19’s genetic sequence, which led to the identification of a potential antigen. This antigen was inserted into tobacco plants for reproduction, the plants were  harvested, and the antigen purified for use in pre-clinical testing.

BAT director of scientific research Dr David O’Reilly said: “We are engaged with the US Food and Drug Administration and are seeking guidance on next steps. We have also engaged with the UK’s Department for Health and Social Care, and BARDA in the US, to offer our support and access to our research with the aim of trying to expedite the development of a vaccine for Covid-19.

“Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a significant break-through with our tobacco plant technology platform.

“We are committed to contributing to the global effort to halt the spread of Covid-19 using this technology.”

11:07 am

Fujifilm commences Phase III trial of influenza drug Avigan for Covid-19

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical has started a Phase III clinical trial of its antiviral influenza drug Avigan (favipiravir) for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Japan.

Avigan specifically blocks RNA polymerase associated with influenza viral replication.

The mechanism is expected to have an antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Read the full article here

10:21 am

FDA launches new programme to speed-up Covid-19 therapies

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new programme aimed at accelerating the development of potential treatments for Covid-19 infection.

Under the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP), FDA is working to quickly bring therapies to patients.

Furthermore, the agency is supporting research to validate the safety and effectiveness of these Covid-19 treatments.

Read the full article here

6:06 pm

South Africa begins mass coronavirus screening

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday that the country will embark on a mass COVID-19 screening programme.

He announced that 10,000 workers would be visiting citizens’ homes in order to carry out screenings for coronavirus symptoms. Those who are found to have symptoms will be instructed to quarantine.

As of March 30, South Africa has 1,326 cases, with 3 deaths and 31 recoveries. The country is currently under a 21-day lockdown.

5:54 pm

80% of scams, hacks and cyberattacks now coronavirus themed

According to cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, 80% of scams, hacks and cyberattacks are now coronavirus-themed.

Since the security firm began monitoring for coronavirus scams on 29 January, it has observed over 500,000 messages, 300,000 malicious URLs and 200,000 malicious attachments with coronavirus themes.

And as the virus has spread, the volume of coronavirus scams has exploded.

Read more here

2:09 pm

GigaGen works on recombinant polyclonal antibody against Covid-19

GigaGen is working on a recombinant polyclonal antibody, recombinant anti-coronavirus 19 hyperimmune gammaglobulin (rCIG), as a Covid-19 treatment.

The therapy reproduces whole antibody repertoires of recovered patients, including antibodies that block further replication of the novel coronavirus.

GigaGen will formulate the antibody for intravenous administration to deliver passive immunity.

Read the full article here

10:46 am

US HHS expedites development and manufacture of vaccines

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is accelerating the development and manufacture of vaccines against the Covid-19 coronavirus infection.

HHS collaborated with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) unit Janssen Research & Development (R&D) and biotechnology company Moderna to advance vaccine candidates.

Read the full article here

10:07 am

US urges India to lift export ban on pharmaceutical ingredients

Officials of the US have asked India to lift the ban imposed on export of pharmaceutical ingredients amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes due to the rise in demand in the US, now the most-affected country with nearly 164,500 confirmed cases and 3,100 deaths to date.

Currently, the US now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country, surpassing China and Italy.

Read the full story here

10:02 am

Why wasn’t the UK ready for Covid-19?

In the UK, a lethal pandemic was considered by the government a “level 5” threat – the most serious security risk. The only other level 5 threat has been large-scale biological or nuclear attack.

The coronavirus closely resembles the threat anticipated in government planning documents, and yet the government appears to have been unprepared. The UK lacks ventilators, personal protective equipment and testing kits, while emergency procedures for manufacturers and hospitals are being improvised on the fly.

In the New Statesman, Harry Lambert suggests that Britain may in fact have been prepared, just for the wrong outcome.

Read the full article.

3:18 pm

J&J partners with BARDA to commit $1bn to Covid-19 vaccine development

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has expanded its partnership with the US Department for Health and Human Service (HSS)’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to commit more than $1bn to co-fund research and development (R&D), as well as clinical testing, of Covid-19 vaccines.

This builds upon an existing partnership between J&J and BARDA to develop anti-viral drugs against the novel coronavirus. This part of the partnership will also receive additional funding; the precise amount was not disclosed.

J&J chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said: “The world is facing an urgent public health crisis and we are committed to doing our part to make a COVID-19 vaccine available and affordable globally as quickly as possible.

“As the world’s largest healthcare company, we feel a deep responsibility to improve the health of people around the world every day.”

Read the full story here.

2:48 pm

Altimmune and UAB to develop intranasal vaccine

Biopharmaceutical firm Altimmune has partnered with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for intranasal administration.

AdCOVID, the vaccine candidate, will be a single-dose formulation. Altimmune has already created the candidate and is working towards immunogenicity studies.

The company is also preparing to produce Phase I clinical trial material.

Read the full article here

2:09 pm

ERT’s platforms allows continuation of clinical trials despite global lockdowns

To build on its existing remote clinical trial participant data collection products, ERT has launched a cardiac safety platform that allows electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate the safety of new drugs remotely from a patient’s home.

This prevents the disruption of ongoing trials during the Covid-19 pandemic when many countries in the world have implemented lockdowns of its citizens.

ERT chief medical officer and vice-president of Cardiology Robert Kleiman said: “With ERT’s At-home ECG solution, clinical researchers can continue assessing the cardiovascular risk of new medical treatments, even while patients are adhering to local and nationally mandated quarantines.”

This remote approach will also support vaccine and drug development against the novel coronavirus. ERT cardiac safety executive vice-president Ellen Street commented: “With so many new compounds being developed and fast-tracked through FDA for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for researchers to have access to the tools that meet their development timelines while keeping patient safety at the forefront.

“We’re pleased to apply our expertise, proven infrastructure, and flexibility to help researchers meet their development objectives; especially now during the uncertain times the industry is facing.”

1:07 pm

Researcher in India designs potential vaccine candidates

A researcher at University of Hyderabad (UoH) in India has designed potential Covid-19 vaccine candidates referred to as T-cell epitopes.

The vaccine candidates are small coronaviral peptides, molecules used by cells to induce an immune response against the virus.

Computational tools cut the vaccine discovery process from years to days.

Read the full article here

12:31 pm

University of Oxford starts enrolment for Covid-19 vaccine trial

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK have commenced enrolment of healthy volunteers for a clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

The vaccine is based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It is currently in production at the university’s Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and is expected to be ready in the coming weeks.

The trial is designed to enrol up to 510 participants aged 18 to 55 and is being conducted by the university’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group.

Read the full article here

11:11 am

Sanofi begins Kevzara’s trial for Covid-19 outside US

Sanofi has started a Phase II/III clinical trial of rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara (sarilumab) to treat patients hospitalised with severe Covid-19 infection outside of the US.

The first participant in the study, which is being conducted in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada and Russia, has already been treated.

Sanofi’s partner, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is responsible for performing the study’s counterpart in the US, which commenced earlier this month.

Read the full article here

10:36 am

Five ways the world will be changed by coronavirus

Coronavirus is probably the largest crisis of our generation. In the short term, quarantine protocols and fear of contagion has led to food shortages and panic buying, as well as the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The decisions made by politicians now may shape the rest of the 21st century in terms of culture, economics and policy.

From remote working and unemployment, to sustainability and mass surveillance, here are five ways the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the world.

Read more here

12:14 pm

FDA authorises anti-malarials for emergency use against Covid-19

Over the weekend, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate drugs, which have been donated by Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), to be made available to those hospitalised with Covid-19. Versions of these drugs have previously been approved by the FDA against malaria.

The Department of Health and Human (HHS) announced simultaneously that Sandoz had donated 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, while Bayer donated one million doses of chloroquine phosphate.

In its letter of authorisation, the FDA stated this decision is because the Secretary of the Department of HHS Alex Azar “declared that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of drugs and biologics during the Covid-19 outbreak” and that this EUA was to “facilitate the availability of chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate during the COVID-19 pandemic to treat patients for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.”

This EUA is not the same as an FDA approval however. The regulator emphasised in its letter that it “encourages the conduct and participation in randomized controlled clinical trials that may produce evidence concerning the effectiveness of these products in treating Covid-19.”

Other countries have recommended these two products for hospitalised Covid-19 patients based on in-vitro and anecdotal clinical data.

2:24 pm

Dynavax teams up with CEPI for Covid-19 vaccine

Dynavax Technologies has partnered with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to create a vaccine against Covid-19 infection.

The company will provide access to its toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist adjuvant, CpG 101, to enable the development of vaccines.

Read the full article here

2:11 pm

US overtakes China with largest number of coronavirus cases

The US now has more confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) than any other country with 85,996 cases, surpassing China and Italy.

The latest figures, collated by Johns Hopkins University, show that China currently has 81,897 cases, while Italy has 80,589 cases.

At a White House press briefing on 26 March, US President Donald Trump described the surge of confirmed cases in the US as “a tribute to the amount of testing we’re doing”.

Read the full story.

2:01 pm

US researchers repurpose blood clots drug for Covid-19

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Colorado at Denver in the US are working on repurposing an existing blood clots drug to help patients at risk of respiratory failure.

The drug is a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) used to help heart attack and stroke patients. Three hospitals in Massachusetts and Colorado intend to test the drug in severely ill Covid-19 patients.

Read the full article here

1:59 pm

VERO Biotech’s Genosyl secures FDA emergency use access

Biotechnology firm VERO Biotech has received expanded access emergency use from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Genosyl DS to treat cardiopulmonary symptoms caused by Covid-19.

Previously, the FDA approved Genosyl, inhaled nitric oxide (iNO), for treating persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

Genosyl DS is an iNO delivery system expected to aid during the short supply of hospital beds and ventilators.

11:35 am

Australian researchers to trial BCG vaccine

Researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia are set to conduct a randomised, multi-centre clinical trial to test the use of tuberculosis vaccine BCG against Covid-19.

The BRACE trial is intended for healthcare workers. It is based on previous study findings that BCG decreases the level of virus in patients infected by viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2.

Read the full article here

11:34 am

UK pledges £210m to CEPI for Covid-19 vaccine development

Non-profit the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has received £210m from the UK Government to support efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. This builds upon the £50m previously provided by the UK to CEPI.

The UK’s £210m contribution marks the largest contribution by any country to CEPI’s call for £2bn of Covid-19 funding.

The non-profit’s CEO Richard Hatchett said: “CEPI is extremely grateful for this substantial contribution from the UK Government.

“This decisive action and financial support from the UK Government comes at a pivotal moment for a world that is in crisis.

“The UK has a long history of global health leadership and, today, the UK is once again stepping up as a global leader in its support CEPI and our crucial work to accelerate the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “While our brilliant doctors and nurses fight coronavirus at home, this record British funding will help to find a vaccine for the entire world.”

Read the full story here.

10:21 am

Sanofi and Translate Bio to develop mRNA vaccine

Sanofi vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur has partnered with Translate Bio for the development of a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine against Covid-19.

Translate Bio has already started the production of several mRNA constructs. The company will leverage its mRNA platform for the discovery, design and manufacture of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates.

Sanofi will contribute via its vaccine expertise and external research networks support. The aim is to progress vaccine candidates for further development.

Read the full article here

10:20 am

Novartis partners with life sciences companies to fight Covid-19

Novartis has partnered with a consortium of life sciences companies to rapidly develop, produce and deliver vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for Covid-19 coronavirus infection.

The partners will combine their assets, resources and expertise, working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to accelerate the fight against the pandemic.

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan serves as a co-chair of a consortium of life science companies with headquarters in three continents.

Read the full article here

10:12 am

Mylan and Pfizer delay Upjohn merger amid coronavirus pandemic

Mylan’s merger with Pfizer’s off-patent branded drugs unit Upjohn is now expected to close in the second half of this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result of restrictions on large gatherings in the Netherlands, Mylan’s extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to approve certain matters for the transaction has been postponed from 27 April to 30 June.

There were no other amendments to previously announced terms or plans related to the merger.

Read the full article here

2:57 pm

US Covid-19 confirmed cases trending three times higher than previously estimated

Epidemiologists from GlobalData conducted a three-scenario forecast model of Covid-19 transmission in the US, with a moderate estimate projecting more than 228,500 cases by 31 March. However, developments in the last week have shown the actual increase in confirmed cases was higher than the moderate estimate.

After adjusting the model to take into account the higher daily increase rate of cases, there could be 733,000 confirmed cases by 31 March, almost three times as high as previously estimated

Read more here.

2:25 pm

Covid-19 vaccine unlikely to be available within 12–18 months

The 12–18-month timeline often touted for Covid-19 vaccine availability is unrealistic, experts say, due to the inherent hurdles in developing DNA / RNA vaccines. They pointed to the many unknowns with this new SARS-CoV-2 virus and estimate a 18–24 month timeframe as more realistic.

Read more here.

2:12 pm

Sorrento Therapeutics to develop cellular vaccine for Covid-19

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Sorrento Therapeutics has started a programme to develop a decoy cellular vaccine, STI-6991, against Covid-19 coronavirus infection.

The company is in discussions with the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on IND-enabling studies, chemistry, manufacturing and controls, clinical protocol and end-points required to potentially gain accelerated approval.

After the FDA provides guidance, the company intends to file an application seeking approval for human clinical trials.

STI-6991 is an I-Cell cellular vaccine that comprises replication-deficient human erythroleukemia K562 cells, which express membrane-bound S1 protein of the SARS-CoV-2.

The vaccine is expected to induce T and B-cell immunities against the novel coronavirus.

Sorrento Therapeutics intends to achieve this immune response by using a replicating cell line (human erythroleukemia, K562) to integrate SARS-CoV-2’s S1 domain onto the cellular membrane and present the viral antigen on a decoy cell surface.

Currently, the company is testing I-Cells’ ability to elicit T and B-cell immunities in an animal model.

Furthermore, the company has already started process development, validation and scaled up manufacturing testing in its cell therapy facilities in San Diego, US to support registrational trials and commercialisation.

Human trials should begin in the middle of this year.

Sorrento Therapeutics chairman and CEO Dr Henry Ji said: “We have developed a novel approach to vaccination that we believe can be a breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19. We believe using a human cell as a training agent is unique and likely to be effective for vaccination.

“By utilising an existing cell line that has previously been used to make cancer vaccines, we know we have a product candidate with a promising safety profile.”

The company formed alliances with SmartPharm Therapeutics and Mabpharm to fight Covid-19.

As part of a research and development (R&D) collaboration with SmartPharm, the company will work on a gene-encoded antibody vaccine for the new viral disease.

Monoclonal antibodies discovered or created by Sorrento will be encoded into a gene for delivery using SmartPharm’s non-viral nanoparticle platform.

The exclusive licence agreement with China-based with Mabpharm will see clinical development and commercialisation of the ACE-MAB fusion protein, STI-4920 / CMAB020, for Covid-19 treatment.

Sorrento will be responsible for development and commercialisation in North America and Europe, while Mabpharm will have rights in the remaining global markets.

1:25 pm

Xencor, Vir Biotechnology sign licensing deal for Covid-19

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Biopharmaceutical firm Xencor has entered into a technology licence agreement with Vir Biotechnology providing the latter with non-exclusive access to Xtend Fc technology.

Xencor’s Xtend technology will be used to extend the half-life of antibodies developed by Vir for the potential treatment of Covid-19 infection.

As part of agreement, Vir will exclusively carry out and fund the research, development, regulatory and commercial activities.

Financial details of the deal are yet to be divulged by either company.

Xencor president and CEO Bassil Dahiyat said: “The Covid-19 crisis requires urgent and coordinated action by the biotechnology industry to develop new drugs and vaccines. Xtend Fc technology has demonstrated, in multiple antibodies and through numerous human clinical trials, the ability to extend antibody drug half-life and reduce dosing frequency in patients, an important feature in anti-viral therapy for pandemic use.

“We are committed to broadly using Xtend technology, and our other XmAb tools, to rapidly develop potential treatments for Covid-19. Vir’s antibody candidates, supported by their deep infectious disease expertise, are a promising approach for treating coronavirus infections.”

Separately, Vir Biotechnology announced the identification of several human monoclonal antibody (mAb) candidates against the novel coronavirus.

Vir Biotechnology CEO George Scangos said: “At Vir, we are fortunate that our existing antibody platform gave us a running start against Covid-19, and we have the internal and partnered capabilities to work on multiple approaches.”

The company has already partnered with WuXi Biologics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Biogen to develop Covid-19 treatments.

Clinical trials of Vir’s antibody transferred at-risk to WuXi Biologics are expected to start in three to five months. The antibody is designed to target an epitope on SARS-CoV-2.

12:59 pm

Mylan and Gilead waive exclusivity for potential Covid-19 therapies

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Mylan has waived its exclusive rights to generic Kaletra (lopinavir / ritonavir) in the US to aid wider access in case the medication would be effective Covid-19 therapies.

The waiver will enable other generics to be eligible for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for treating patients in the country, to expand availability when additional clinical trials or other evaluations demonstrate that the product could be an effective Covid-19 treatment.

Last week, Mylan announced the restart of manufacture of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets at its facility in the US to cater to demand that could result if the product is proven effective in treating Covid-19.

The company currently holds approval for hydroxychloroquine sulfate to treat malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, now being evaluated to treat the novel coronavirus infection.

Covid-19 therapies: Gilead rescinds remdesivir’s orphan drug designation

Gilead Sciences has requested the FDA to rescind the orphan drug designation awarded for the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir in Covid-19 indication.

The company is also waiving all benefits associated with the designation.

In a statement, Gilead said: “Gilead is confident that it can maintain an expedited timeline in seeking regulatory review of remdesivir, without the orphan drug designation.

“Recent engagement with regulatory agencies has demonstrated that submissions and review relating to remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 are being expedited.”

Remdesivir is among the existing drugs being broadly studied as potential Covid-19 treatments worldwide.

Meanwhile, Gilead temporarily halted emergency access to remdesivir due to rising demand.

10:26 am

Castor launches Covid-19 research platform to support vaccine development

Healthtech company Castor has launched a global monitoring and research platform focused on the ongoing Covid-19, which will support quicker initiation of clinical trials for vaccines and drugs against this novel coronavirus. Researchers and companies using this platform will have access to e-consent forms and a symptom tracker mobile app, which are integrated into Castor’s electronic data capture system.

Castor CEO Derk Arts said: “High-quality data and real-time access are critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are proud to support the global research effort by launching a mobile-enabled solution that allows decentralized patient participation and remote monitoring of study participants.

“This will help reduce hospital crowding, protect staff, and prioritize patients that need to be hospitalized.”

Novartis data operations global head of strategy and innovation and Castor advisory board member Craig Serra continued:“With increased disruption to clinical trials, it is essential for medical research to adopt methods for remote engagement and monitoring, outside of a clinical setting.”

This builds upon its commitment in mid-February to provide all Covid-19 researchers free access to its existing research data platform. To date, 50 Covid-19 trials are underway using Castor’s platform.

1:22 pm

Moderna’s vaccine may be available for emergency use by autumn

One of the biotechs funded by the Norwegian Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to create a Covid-19 vaccine, Moderna has announced its hope that vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, could be available for emergency use by autumn this year.

This announcement was made in a US securities and exchange commission (SEC) filing published on Moderna’s website. It stated that the company’s CEO Stèphane Bancel had informed Goldman Sachs representatives that although the timeline for a commercially available vaccine was still 12 to 18 months, “it is possible that under emergency use, a vaccine could be available to some people, possibly including healthcare professionals, in the fall of 2020.”

It seems the chances of this happening depends on the efficacy and safety results of Moderna’s about-to-be initiated Phase I trial for mRNA-1273. The company is being supported in this trial by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

1:42 pm

Hoth Therapeutics forms JV to develop Covid-19 vaccine

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Hoth Therapeutics has collaborated with Voltron Therapeutics to establish a joint venture (JV), HaloVax, for preclinical studies of vaccine candidates against Covid-19.

Vaccine candidates come from VaxCelerate self-assembling vaccine (SAV) platform, exclusively licensed by Voltron from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)’s Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC).

Hoth Therapeutics and Voltron will work together to explore and develop SAV technology to fight the novel coronavirus infection.

VaxCelerate platform enables rapid development and pre-clinical testing of a new vaccine against specific pathogen targets.

According to Hoth Therapeutics, the platform showed proof-of-concept in Lassa Fever.

The JV entity HaloVax will leverage the same SAV technology to create a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

VaxCelerate’s fixed immune adjuvant and variable immune targeting should provide benefits over other compounds in combination therapy.

Hoth Therapeutics added that the vaccine will act on DNA and internal / external mutated proteins to offer more targets for the immune system.

Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center translational medicine chief Dr Michael Callahan said: “We believe this SAV technology developed at the VIC, which has proof of concept data in infectious diseases and oncology in four animal models, has the potential to assist in the rapid development and testing of products to prevent, intercept or treat Covid-19.

“The customisable cellular immunity generated by the SAV may safely and effectively protect patients worldwide.”

As part of the deal, Hoth Therapeutics will be eligible for single-digit sales royalties on any products resulting from the alliance and will hold an option to acquire up to a 30% stake in HaloVax.

1:23 pm

Covid-19: CEL-SCI to develop therapy; Soligenix works on vaccine

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CEL-SCI partnered with the University of Georgia’s Center for Vaccines and Immunology to develop immunotherapy against Covid-19 infection using its LEAPS peptide approach.

The company began efforts to develop an immunotherapy for the potential treatment of Covid-19 earlier this month.

The partners will conduct pre-clinical studies based on findings from prior testing of LEAPS immunotherapy with the National Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) against H1N1 respiratory virus.

Based on the previous studies, the immunotherapy should reduce or prevent the progression of the novel coronavirus infection, while also expected to block tissue damage from lung inflammation.

The immunotherapy will work by inducing the correct immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 and does not generate unwanted inflammatory responses that cause lung damage, said the company.

CEL-SCI CEO Geert Kersten said: “We are eager to commence these studies, which if successful, may lead to clinical trials in humans to address the immediate and critical need to treat COVID-19 in the most vulnerable patients.”

Soligenix’s Covid-19 vaccine

Soligenix has collaborated with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) to study Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

The company will assess the use of its heat-stable technology platform against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Soligenix is currently using the platform to develop vaccines for other viruses such as Ebola.

In addition to a viral surface glycoprotein, the vaccine platform comprises an adjuvant to boost immunity and a formulation for thermostabilisation.

Soligenix president and CEO Christopher Schaber said: “We believe that creating a vaccine with enhanced stability at elevated temperatures that can obviate the costs and logistical burdens associated with cold chain storage and distribution, has the potential to provide a distinct advantage over other vaccines currently in development and simplifies worldwide distribution.”

12:22 pm

Genentech secures FDA approval to trial Actemra for Covid-19

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Roche unit Genentech has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to conduct a Phase III clinical trial of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab) for the treatment of adults with severe Covid-19 pneumonia.

To be performed in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the trial will assess a combination of intravenous Actemra and standard of care in hospitalised patients.

Genentech also agreed to supply 10,000 vials of the drug to the US Strategic National Stockpile for potential future use at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s direction.

The company noted that supply of the drug for approved indications in the US is not expected to be affected. It is also collaborating with distributors to manage product supply to cater to patient requirements.

Genentech CEO Alexander Hardy said: “We thank the FDA for rapidly expediting the approval of this clinical trial to evaluate Actemra in critically ill patients suffering from pneumonia following the coronavirus infection and we’re moving forward to enrol as quickly as possible.

“Conducting this clinical trial in partnership with BARDA and providing Actemra to support the national stockpile, through the efforts of Secretary Azar and HHS, are important examples of how the US Government, the biotechnology industry, and healthcare communities are working together in response to this public health crisis.”

Multiple independent studies are currently being conducted worldwide to assess Actemra in patients with Covid-19 pneumonia.

Roche announced plans to conduct the Phase III trial in the US earlier this month.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled COVACTA study is designed to compare the safety and efficacy of Actemra plus standard of care to placebo plus standard of care.

Patients will be followed for 60 days following randomisation. Interim analysis will be performed to analyse early data of efficacy.

9:41 am

UK Government announces closure of non-essential businesses

Last night, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced more stringent, semi-lockdown measures for the UK to encourage social distancing.

These included only allowing people out of their homes to shop for basic necessities, exercise once a day, any medical appointments and to go to work if absolutely necessary.

To the end of discouraging people from leaving their houses for any other reasons, the UK Government closed all non-essential shops, including clothing and electronics retail stores, hair and beauty salons, and markets, except those selling food.

The police and other relevant authorities will be given powers to enforce these social distancing rules, including issuing out fines.

9:09 am

UQ receives more funding for Covid-19 vaccine

The regional government of Queensland and the federal Australian Government have pledged a total of $13m to University of Queensland (UQ) to support the development of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

UQ’s Covid-19 vaccine was one of the first three candidates to receive funding from the Norwegian non-profit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in January. This partnership was extended to include California-based Dynavax Technologies in March.

CEPI injected up to $10.6m into UQ’s molecular clamp technology, which is patented by university-linked UniQuest.

The university hopes this new injection of funds will help cut the timeline for an effective vaccine against the Covid-19 pandemic from 18 months to one year. The researchers hope to initiate clinical trials by July.

The university’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences senior research fellow Dr Keith Chappell added: “The containment procedures being put in place within Australia and internationally will slow the spread of the virus and we want to use that time as effectively as possible.

“Accelerating our work to find a safe and effective vaccine brings us a step closer to translating a fundamental research discovery through to the full scale manufacture for the global populace.”

10:19 pm

Global GDP may drop by 1% in 2020, says Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs expects global real gross domestic product to contract by about 1 per cent in 2020, a sharper economic decline than in the year following the 2008 global financial crisis.

“The coronacrisis or more precisely, the response to that crisis — represents a physical (as opposed to financial) constraint on economic activity that is unprecedented in postwar history,” the investment bank said in a note to its clients published late on Sunday according to India Today.

10:08 pm

UBS Securities cuts India’s FY21 real GDP growth forecast to 4%

Financial Express has reported on a UBS Securities research note that expects India to clock a 4.8% growth in FY20. “For the full year, we now expect India’s real GDP growth to slow further to 4% year-on-year in FY21 (previously 5.1%).”

“The challenge for India vs its peers is starker if infections spread rapidly considering the higher density of population per capita and weaker health infrastructure,” UBS’ economist Tanvee Gupta Jain said.

11:48 am

UK government invest £20m to map mutation of Covid-19

The UK Government has created the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium to map the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country using whole genome sequencing.

Comprised of experts from the National Health Service, public health bodies, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and academic institutions, the consortium will use its £20m of government funding to analyse the genetic code of Covid-19 from samples taken from confirmed UK cases.

By understanding the whole virus genome of Covid-19 in various different people, public health bodies can assess how the virus is changing and spread, as well as whether different strains of the virus are emerging.

The UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “Genomic sequencing will help us understand Covid-19 and its spread. It can also help guide treatments in the future and see the impact of interventions.

“The UK is one of the world’s leading destinations for genomics research and development, and I am confident that our best minds, working as part of this consortium, will make vital breakthroughs to help us tackle this disease.”

Wellcome director Sir Jeremy Farrar added: “Rapid genome sequencing of Covid-19 will give us unparalleled insights into the spread, distribution and scale of the epidemic in the UK.

“The power of 21st century science to combat this pandemic is something that those going before us could not have dreamt of, and it is incumbent on us to do everything we can to first understand, and then limit, the impact of Covid-19.”

7:36 pm

OECD expects economic fallout to be felt ‘for a long time to come’

Speaking to CNBC, the OECD’s secretary general, Angel Gurria, stated: “What you have is an economic effect now that, very clearly, is going to be prolonged beyond the period of the pandemic.”

“We’ll hopefully get rid of the pandemic in the next two or three months and then the question is how many unemployed (will there be), how many small and medium-sized enterprises will be in a very, very severe situation if not disappeared by that time.”

“Life, and economic activity, is not going to be normalized any time soon,” he said. “We’re going to have the impact of this crisis for a long time to come.”

5:54 pm

UK closes pubs, cafes and bars, and announces other measures for businesses

– In his daily briefing, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that cafes, pubs, and bars to close, as well as theatres and leisure centres, are to close to protect public health.

– The government are deferring taxes to the end of the financial year, as well as waiving VAT for businesses. It will also provide a job retention scheme to pay 80% of wages for those who cannot work due to the pandemic.

3:39 pm

Big pharma promises affordable, global access to Covid-19 therapies

Industry organisation IFPMA organised a briefing on 19 March with high-level executives from five global pharma giants: Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Roche, Sanofi and Takeda.

In the meeting, IFPMA president and Eli Lilly CEO and chairman David Ricks stated how committed the pharma industry is to “play our part” and put the full force of its expertise behind resolving the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adding, “I have never seen the kind of collaboration across industry partners, biotech, academia that I am seeing now.

“We are sending a clear signal of how seriously industry is taking the pandemic and the need to act as one team.”

A good example of collaboration in the ongoing pandemic is CEPI. This organisation is also known for its commitment to quitable, affordable access to any drugs or vaccines created against the virus, as explained by Takeda global vaccines business unit president Rajeev Venkayya. Guaranteeing access for everyone who needs anti-viral drugs or vaccines against Covid-19 is something that the pharma industry representatives committed themselves to in the IFPMA briefing.

Read the full article here.

3:24 pm

CEPI finds eighth Covid-19 partner in Institut Pasteur

The Norwegian Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has made a $4.9m investment in a Covid-19 vaccine consortium led by the Paris-based Institut Pasteur.

This is the eighth Covid-19 vaccine candidate in CEPI’s pipeline, as well as bringing the non-profit’s investment in tackling the ongoing global viral outbreak to $29.2m.

The consortium also includes Austrian biotech Themis and the University of Pittsburgh.

Its candidate uses the measles vaccine virus as a vector, which allows the vaccine to deliver antigens directly into the parts of the immune system capable of memory response.

This approach was successfully used by Themis and the Institut Pasteur to develop against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus. They have also been collaborating with CEPI on develop vaccine candidates against Chikungunya, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and Lassa fever.

CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett said: “I’m pleased that CEPI has been able to help establish and fund this consortium of leading vaccine developers, through our recent call for proposals, to harness this measles vector platform to develop a vaccine against Covid-19.

“It is clear that an effective vaccine against Covid-19 is crucial if we are to beat this virus. By investing in a range of partners and vaccine technologies, we are giving ourselves the best chance of developing a vaccine that can stop Covid-19 in its tracks.

Institut Pasteur president Stewart Cole added: “After our isolation of the coronavirus strains detected in France, the proprietary measles vector technology was chosen to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 [also known as Covid-19] leveraging our extensive experience with human measles vector technology and an MV-SARS-CoV-1 [also known as SARS] candidate.”

Themis CEO Erich Tauber continued: “Our versatile, plug-and-play manufacturing technology affords us the advantage of accelerating the discovery and development of a vaccine candidate against the highly infectious and potentially pandemic coronavirus.

“We have demonstrated an excellent immunogenicity, safety and manufacturability profile of the technology in late stage clinical development already and are confident to apply this experience to our Covid-19 vaccine development.”

University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research director Paul Duprex concluded: “It is our mandated role to respond rapidly to global outbreaks such as Covid-19; to develop animal models of disease; to use these to test the efficacy of candidate vaccines such as recombinant measles viruses expressing a range of SARS-CoV-2 [also known as Covid-19] genes.

“All of our efforts will be directed to address this rapidly changing public health emergency. We are delighted to be part of this multinational, world-class consortium.”

4:22 pm

Telemedicine growing as US faces Covid-19 emergency

Telemedicine, the use of virtual appointments by phone or video calls, has been touted as a critical strategy during the Covid-19 emergency to limit the risk of person-to-person transmission of the virus as social distancing becomes the norm.

Prior to the Covid-19 health emergency, telehealth had never reached its full potential in the US. This was due to a number of barriers preventing its widespread uptake. These included lack of reimbursement by Medicaid and restrictions affecting access for rural populations by Medicare.

GlobalData believes that the recent changes to regulations will rapidly expand access to these services and drive the use of telehealth, as more US cities and states begin to lock down to mitigate the spread and impact of the virus

Telemedicine services have the potential to maintain the safety of patients and healthcare professionals by preventing emergency rooms from getting overcrowded, limiting exposure of healthcare professionals to infected people, and reducing the use of medical supplies, such as masks and gloves.

The service will also reduce barriers to screening and provide quality, efficient care to those at home. This will prevent people at low risk from Covid-19 from inundating healthcare settings, allowing them to focus resources on high-risk patients and the critically ill.

Demand for telemedicine expected to grow

It is expected that demand for these services will increase dramatically in the US over the next few months, with shares of one telehealth provider, Teladoc Health Inc., increasing almost 50% since the start of 2020.

Hospitals and health systems are already encouraging people with suspected COVID-19 symptoms to use telehealth services to limit the flow of people to already crowded emergency rooms and doctor surgeries.

Many health systems have existing telehealth services that allow doctors to see patients at home. NYU Langone Health, the Cleveland Clinic, Spectrum Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Mount Sinai, and are encouraging people with symptoms to use these.

For example, the Cleveland Clinic is using its existing Express Care Online service, while NYU Langone Health in New York has its Virtual Urgent Care service. The UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco launched a COVID-19 hotline in early February, which now directs callers to a video call with a healthcare professional.

Regulation changes have been made

Since early March, regulations in the US governing the use of telemedicine have changed regularly. This will expand access to services during the Covid-19 emergency, particularly for Medicare beneficiaries who are deemed at high risk for the virus.

On the 6 March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act which will allow healthcare professionals to bill Medicare fee-for-service for care delivered by telehealth during the Covid-19 emergency.

In particular, the bill gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to waive originating site requirements and expand telehealth services in any identified emergency area during emergency periods. This will allow beneficiaries to access telehealth services from their home, regardless of whether they are in a rural community or not.

On 10 March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced guidance outlining additional flexibilities. Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have to remove certain barriers to receiving care, including waiving cost-sharing for Covid-19 treatments and services delivered via telehealth and expanding access to certain telehealth services.

On 13 March, the federal government waived rules that restrict the provision of telehealth services across state lines. In certain states, including California and New York, officials have announced that payers must offer telehealth services as part of their emergency plans.

Plans to protect the most vulnerable

A number of players have already announced plans to protect their most vulnerable customers during the emergency. For example, Cigna will waive out-of-pocket costs until the end of May for Covid-19 testing-related visits with in-network providers, including those made via telehealth.

Likewise, Humana is waiving telemedicine costs for all urgent care needs until early June for its Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and commercial employer-sponsored plans. It has also trained certain employees of its customer support line to answer coronavirus questions and concerns. Aetna is also waiving copays for all telehealth calls for 90 days until early June.


4:05 pm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for citizen curfew to fight coronavirus

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to opt for a self-imposed citizen curfew on 22 March (Sunday) from 7am to 9pm, in a preparatory move to fight the pandemic coronavirus Covid-19 in the country.

In his address to the nation, the prime minister urged people not to step out of their houses during the curfew, stating: “The citizen curfew will go towards proving our self-restraint and help us in future situations.”

The government has decided to set up a task force under Finance Minister to ensure all measures are undertaken to cut down economic difficulties by making timely interventions to cater to all economic sections of the society.

The world is witnessing a severe crisis, something that was not seen during the two World Wars, and although most crises are currently restricted to a few countries or regions, this crisis impacts all, the prime minister added.

The last few days has seen the citizens of this country behaving as if nothing has happened and all is fine. However, such an impression is not appropriate, and every citizen has to stay alert and be healthy.

The Government of India is keeping a close eye on this situation and the track record of the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister also urged citizens to follow social distancing as an effective way of containing the spread of the virus. Given that there is no cure or vaccine yet, social distancing is currently the best practice.

Senior citizens have been urged to stay away from gatherings and public places as they are vulnerable to coronavirus.

The prime minister also appealed to citizens to try avoid visiting hospitals for routine check-ups and rather call on their doctors over the phone for a consultation so that the healthcare system is not overloaded.

He also told citizens not to panic and begin hoarding groceries as the supply of all these items will not be disrupted.

The prime minister added: “This crisis is so big and global that all Indians need to combat the situation with resolve. Saving ourselves from COVID-19 needs to be the primary priority in our lives. The human race and Indians need to win this fight.”


3:27 pm

Cardiology research and market perseveres through Covid-19 pandemic

On 9 March, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) cancelled its 2020 Scientific Session and moved the event to a three-day virtual experience. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there are ongoing efforts to minimise the outbreak’s impact on advancements in cardiology research and the management of cardiovascular diseases in order to aid front-line physicians continuing to treat these patients.

Elective and non-emergent surgical procedures have been recommended to be minimised, postponed, or cancelled. However, select cardiovascular surgical procedures remain essential, such as urgent percutaneous coronary intervention and heart valve procedures. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, GlobalData estimated that these markets would grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 5% over the next ten years. While many markets across the medtech industry will experience an impact to growth due to the pandemic, GlobalData expects that the cardiology market as a whole may experience less of an impact compared to others. Continuing care for patients with cardiovascular diseases remains critical, especially due to their increased risk to Covid-19 and the urgent nature of their treatments.

The ACC’s 2020 Scientific Session will provide the latest knowledge in treatments and results from major clinical trials in all areas of cardiology, including heart failure, acute and stable ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, and arrhythmias. The continuation of this exchange of knowledge continues to support front-line physicians providing cardiovascular care, as well as the growth of the cardiology market as a whole.

3:25 pm

Stanford’s StartX joins Covid-19 response with task force

Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

Stanford University non-profit start-up StartX has launched StartX Med Covid-19 task force to mobilise 70 experts in the university’s community to collaborate on and fast track preventive, diagnostic and treatment solutions against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The task force will also reach out to government and regulatory agencies, as well as healthcare providers, to find out how they can contribute to protecting public health needs in this emergency situation.

StartX CEO Joseph Huang said: “As the number of positive cases continue to soar in the outbreak of Covid-19, there is an imminent need for reducing barriers companies are experiencing with therapeutic medical breakthroughs needing to be deployed.

“We’ve always said that our community of industry leaders can achieve more as a group than as individuals and this is a prime example of how quickly StartX companies and the Stanford entrepreneurship ecosystem can mobilize and come together in times of crisis.”

The core of the prevention work stream is developing new anti-viral drugs against Covid-19 and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) linked with it. Gen1E, for example, is focusing on treating ARDS, while Globavir BioSciences’ GBV006 undermines viral assembly in cells.

The tech-focused start-ups will look at leveraging their platforms against this novel coronavirus outbreak. For example, Bioz will provide free access to its artificial intelligence-powered search engine. KangarooHealth allows patients to remotely monitor their symptoms, supporting successful quarantine management, and Augmedix facilitate digital doctors’ appointments to mitigate the burden on healthcare providers.

StartX’s Stanford community includes over 1,500 individuals, and connected companies have raised a total of $8bn in funding to date. It runs similarly to an accelerator or incubator, by supporting entrepreneurs with education and access to investor, but, it does not hold an equity stake in its companies.

StartX Med is the medical wing of the start-up and its scientists are focusing on clinical research; the 135 companies in the programme are currently achieving around six US Food and Drug Administration approvals annually.

2:33 pm

IMV to progress clinical development of Covid-19 vaccine

Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

Follow the latest updates of the outbreak on our timeline.

IMV has initiated plans to progress the clinical development of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, to determine the clinical safety and immunogenicity.

Based on the company’s DPX delivery technology, the vaccine candidate DPX-COVID-19 comprises peptides that target epitopes from the novel coronavirus strain.

The peptide-based approach, along with the DPX platform, speeds up the development and production of a vaccine.

IMV plans to advance its vaccine candidate into Phase I clinical trial.

IMV CEO Frederic Ors said: “Across our many clinical studies, we have observed DPX technology to elicit a robust immune response with a sustained effect, including in sensitive populations.

“We believe this technology offers a meaningful solution as a potential vaccine, especially in older adults and those with pre-existing conditions who are most at risk to this virus and generally more difficult to vaccinate effectively.”

The company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate is being designed based on third-party immunological SARS-CoV studies and SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data.



21 Mar:

First death in Singapore, Israel

– Singapore’s health ministry confirmed the first two deaths in a 75 year-old female national and a 64 year-old man from Indonesia. The country has at least 385 confirmed cases.

– Israel’s first death from the coronavirus is an 88-year-old man with other illnesses. The country reported 705 cases so far.

Papua New Guinea confirms first case

– Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 case.

– The patient is a 45-year-old mine worker who arrived from Spain via Singapore.

– The country banned all international flights for one week starting on 22 March.

US vice president’s staff member tests positive

– The White House reported that a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff tested positive.

– Pence’s spokeswoman said that the staff member did not have ‘close contact’ to the vice president or President Donald Trump.

– According to the CDC, the US has 15,268 cases and 201 deaths.

New Zealand introduces new alert system

– New Zeland Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern placed the country at two on a four-level COVID-19 alert system.

– People have been asked to avoid non-essential travel within the country and those aged above 70 have been advised to stay at home.

– The nation confirmed 13 new cases to total 52. The health ministry said that community transmission could not be ruled out among the new cases.

South Korea records 147 new cases

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 147 new cases, which take the total to 8,799.

Eighth Diamond Princess death

– Japan’s health ministry reported that a Canadian national who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship died of COVID-19.

– This marks the eighth coronavirus death among the cruise passengers.

New deaths, cases in Turkey

– The number of cases in Turkey increased to 670 from 359 a day earlier. Also, the total fatalities in the nation reached nine.

China’s Wuhan reports no new cases

– China’s Wuhan city and its Hubei province registered no new cases for the third day in a row as of 20 March. However, the province saw seven deaths, of which six are in Wuhan.

– The mainland China reported 41 new cases, all of which were imported.

– China has a total of 81,008 cases and 3,255 deaths. A total of 71,740 patients had been declared cured and released from hospital.

Death toll tops 11,300

– The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus exceeded 11,300 globally while the total infections increased to more than 275,400, as of end of 20 March.

– Meanwhile, the number of worldwide recoveries exceeded 88,200.

20 Mar:

UK closes pubs, cafes and bars, and announces other measures

– In his daily briefing, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that cafes, pubs, and bars to close, as well as shops, theatres and leisure centres, are to close to protect public health.

– The government are deferring taxes to the end of the financial year, as well as waiving VAT for some businesses. It will also provide a job retention scheme to pay 80% of wages for those who cannot work due to the pandemic.

Syria bans visitors

– Syria banned entry of visitors from multiple countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The government said that the cases in the nation remain zero.

Cases in Mexico cross 200

– Mexico’s health ministry reported that the total number of cases in the country increased from 164 to 203.

UK reports 33 new deaths; total 177

– The death toll in the UK increased by 33 to 177.  The number of confirmed cases in the country reached 3,983.

Germany cases jump to 13,957

– Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported that the number of cases surged by 2,958 to 13,957.

– The number of deaths increased by 11 to 31.

Spain’s deaths cross 1,000

– The death toll in Spain increased to 1,002 from 767, said the country’s health emergencies chief Fernando Simon .

– The number of cases jumped to 19,980 from 17,147 on Thursday.

Cape Verde, Madagascar confirm first case 

– Cape Verde reported its first coronavirus case in a 62-year-old British national who arrived on 09 March.

– Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina confirmed the country’s first three cases.

Cases in Ireland reach 557

– The total number of cases in Ireland increased to 557 from 366 the previous day.

– According to the health department, this is the highest daily jump so far.

Qatar confirms eight new cases; total 460

– Qatar has confirmed eight new cases, taking the overall tally to 460.

– The health ministry approved home quarantine as a second option for families arriving from overseas, after passing mandatory medical examination.

New deaths and cases in Iran

– Iran reported 149 new deaths, taking the total to 1,433 amid, while the  confirmed cases neared 20,000.

Cases rise in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines

– The number of cases in Taiwan increased to 135, including two deaths.

– Indonesia cases jumped to 369, with 32 fatalities.

– Hong Kong’s cases surged to 256, while the Philippines recorded 230 cases and 18 deaths.

South Africa cases reach 202

– South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that the number of cases in the country increased to 202.

130 new cases in Malaysia

– Malaysia registered 130 new cases, bringing the total to 1,030.

– Of the new cases, 48 are traced to a religious gathering of around 16,000 participants near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

– More than 670 cases in Southeast Asia have been linked to this gathering in Malaysia.

Singapore sees 40 new cases

– With 40 new confirmed cases, the tally in Singapore increased to 385. Majority of the new cases are said to be imported from the UK.

Belgium cases top 2,000

– The number of cases in exceed 2,000 to total to 2,257, while the number of deaths surged to a total of 37.

Fifth death, new cases in India

– India reported its fifth death while the total confirmed cases increased to 224, including one case from Punjab.

South Korea reports 87 new cases

– South Korea confirmed 87 new cases and three additional deaths, bringing its totals to 8,652 cases and 94 deaths.

No new cases in Wuhan for second day

– China’s epicentre, Wuhan city in Hubei province, recorded no new cases of infection for two consecutive days as of 19 March.

Death toll crosses 10,000 worldwide

– The COVID-19 death toll has crossed 10,000 across the world, as of the end of 19 March.

– The total number of infected people has increased to 244,000 while the recoveries stand at 86,000.

Italy’s death toll crosses China’s

– The death toll in Italy stands at 3,405, surpassing the number of deaths in China which stands at 3,252.

– The total confirmed cases in Italy stands at 41,035, more than half of that in China which stands at 81,193.

19 Mar:

Deaths in France reach 372

– French health reported an increase in death toll by 108 to total 372, representing a surge of around 40%.

– The number of cases jumped to 10,995, a 20% rise in 24 hours.

Israel orders stay at home

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tightened a nation-wide stay-at home policy to control coronavirus spread.

– The country confirmed 573 cases to date.

Croatia registers first death

– Croatia reported its first death in a 70-year-old man. The country confirmed 102 cases to date.

Chad reports first case

– Chad government reported its first case in a Moroccan national who arrived from Cameroon.

Iran reports 1,284 deaths

– Iran reported that COVID-19 is claiming one life every ten minutes in the country, raising its toll to 1,284, said health ministry in a tweet.

– The number of infections in the nation increased to 18,407.

Brazil death toll reaches six

– Brazil reported deaths of two elderly patients in Rio de Janeiro, increasing the toll in the country to six. The country registered nearly 430 cases.

Cambodia confirms 47 cases

– Cambodia reported ten new cases, taking its total to 47. The country will ban entry for all international travellers from midnight on Monday.

Greece has 464 cases

– Greece confirmed 464 cases and recorded six deaths, according to a health ministry official.

Mexico reports first death

– Mexico reported its first death as a 41-year-old citizen who was suffering from diabetes. The number of cases in the country jumped by 27% in the last 24 hours to 118 from 93.

US CDC confirms nearly 10,500 cases

– US CDC reported 3,404 new cases to total 10,491 infections. The country reported its biggest daily jump in death toll from around 55 to 150.

– California governor ordered its 40 million residents to stay at home starting tonight.

Bank of England cuts interest rates to 0.1%

– In a second emergency cut since the outbreak began, the Bank of England has reduced interest rates to 0.1% in an attempt to limit the economic impact of the virus.

Spain records 200 new deaths

– With 209 additional deaths, Spain’s death toll increased to 767.

– A surge of approximately 25% increased the total cases in the country to 17,147.

First death in Russia

– Russia’s first casualty was a a 79-year-old woman in Moscow with underlying health issues.

– The country has reported 199 cases so far.

Fourth death, new cases in India

– India has confirmed its fourth Covid-19 death, while the number of infections increased to 184.

– The country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for  citizen curfew on 22 March.

Thailand reports 60 new cases

– Thailand confirmed 60 new cases in the biggest daily jump, taking its total to 272. The country registered one death to date.

Malaysia reports 110 new cases

– Malaysia reported 110 new cases to total 900. Majority of the new cases were linked to a religious gathering by 16,000 people at a mosque.

UK’s MHRA commits to prioritise and support Covid-19 clinical trial applications

– The UK’s healthcare regulator The Medicines and Healthcare products (MHRA) has declared it will prioritise assessments of Covid-19 clinical trials, as well as providing rapid advice to manufacturers and other regulators.

– This builds upon the MHRA’s response to previous outbreaks, such as Ebola.

Mauritius registers first three cases

– Mauritius reported its first three cases, including two who worked on cruise ships and one who returned from the UK.

South Korea has 152 new cases

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 152 new cases, taking the total to 8,565.

– South Korea had confirmed fewer than 100 new cases for four consecutive days until Wednesday.

World Bank increases response package to $14bn

– The World Bank has increased its support package for businesses and economies to $14bn.

Wuhan and Hubei report no new cases

– China’s epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, and its Hubei province have reported no new cases for the first time.

Death toll rises to 8,800

– The death toll due to COVID-19 coronavirus has increased to 8,809 as of the end of 18 March.

– The total confirmed cases has passed 218,000 worldwide while recoveries stand at 84,000.  

UK deaths rise to 103

– The death toll in the UK increased from 71 to 103, including a total of more than 2,640 cases.

California governor says 60,000 homeless could contract COVID-19

– California, US governor said that according to models more than 60,000 homeless people in the state could contract the novel coronavirus over the next eight weeks.

– The US has more than 9,400 cases and 150 deaths so far.

18 Mar:

Portugal declares emergency

– Portugal declared 15-day state of emergency to combat coronavirus. The number of cases in the country neared 650.

Italy reports 475 more deaths

– The death toll in Italy increased by 475 to 2,978, a surge of 19%.

– The total number of cases jumped by 31,506 to to 35,713, up 13.35%, said the Civil Protection Agency.

Swiss cases cross 3,000

– The number of cases in Switzerland has jumped to 3,028, including 21 deaths.

France reports 89 new deaths; total 264

– France confirmed 89 new deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 264. The number of cases in the nation reached 9,134.

Cases in Singapore reach 313

– Singapore’s health ministry reported 47 new infections to total 313.

– Starting Friday, the country will impose self-quarantine measures for 14 days on everyone entering, as well as citizens and residents.

Second death in Turkey

– Turkey confirmed its second death in a 61-year-old male. The first fatality occurred on Tuesday.

– With 93 new cases, the nation’s total increased to 191.

Cases in Spain reach 13,716

– Spain health emergency center head Fernando Simon said that the country’s total cases surged to 13,716, including 558 deaths.

Iran’s death toll rises to 1,135

– With 147 new fatalities, Iran’s death toll jumped to 1,135.

– The total infections in the nation had reached 17,361, with 1,192 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Austria announces 38bn aid package

– Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced up to 38bn aid to secure jobs and ensure coronavirus affected companies remain liquid.

– The country is also offering 9bn in guarantees and warranties, 15bn in emergency aid and 10bn in tax deferrals.

Study says initial infections on Diamond Princess came from food worker

– In a study published by the CDC, it was found that the initial cases of the COVID-19 on the cruise ship came from food workers.

– It stated that of the 20 confirmed cases of crew members, 15 were from food service members.


– Malta will stop all incoming passenger flights from Saturday to prevent spread. The country has 38 cases, of which 32 contracted the infection abroad.

– Malaysia closed its borders with Singapore, starting 14-day partial lockdown as the number of infections in the country reached 673.

Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti, Zambia register first cases

– Kyrgyzstan recorded its first cases in three citizens who returned from Saudi Arabia.

– Djibouti confirmed its first case as a Spanish national who was part of a 32-member Spanish special forces unit that came to the country on 14 March.

– Zambia’s health ministry confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases today.

Moldova confirms first death

– Moldova confirmed its first death today, while the cases in the country increased to 30.

– The nation declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia report new cases

– The Philippines’ health ministry reported 15 additional cases to total 202.

– Indonesia recorded 55 new cases, taking the total to 227, including 19 deaths and 11 recoveries.

– With 117 new cases, Malaysia registered 17% rise in infections to total 790.

South Korea reports 93 new cases

The  Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 93 new cases to total 8,413. This is the fourth consecutive report of fewer than 100 new cases.

Cases in India reach 149

– The number of cases in India reached 149, including one new case each in Pondicherry and Pune, Maharashtra.

First death, new cases in Pakistan

– With new cases reported on Monday and Tuesday, the number of cases in Pakistan reached 236.

– The country also confirmed the first death of a suspected coronavirus patient in Lahore, Punjab. The patient is reported to have recently arrived from Iran.

– Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan cannot currently afford the economic cost of closing down its cities.

WHO calls for ‘aggressive’ action in Southeast Asia

– The WHO has asked Southeast Asian countries to implement ‘aggressive’ action to control the spread of the virus.

WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said: “More clusters of virus transmission are being confirmed. While this is an indication of an alert and effective surveillance, it also puts the spotlight on the need for more aggressive and whole of society efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

New Zealand reports new imported cases

New Zealand has confirmed eight new cases, all in people who had recent international trips, said the health ministry.

– The total number of cases in the country reached 20.

Death toll increases to 7,900

– The death toll due to COVID-19 has increased to 7,900 as of the end of 17 March.

– The total cases cross 198,000 while the recoveries stand at 81,000.

17 Mar:

Australia declares human biosecurity emergency

– Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared a human biosecurity emergency, which enables closure of cities or regions, curfews and quarantine.

– Currently, the country’s travel advice is ‘Level 4: Do not travel’ to any country worldwide.

– The government also banned non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

Italy registers 345 more deaths; total 2,503

– Italy’s death toll surged by 345 to 2,503, a jum of 16%, said the Civil Protection Agency.

– The total cases in the country increased by around 12% from 27,980 to 31,506.

Gambia, Barbados, Montenegro and Montserrat report first case

– Gambia confirmed its first case as a 20-year-old woman who had recently visited the UK.

– Barbados registered its first two cases in a 48-year-old visitor from the US and a 39-year-old female national who returned from the US.

– Montenegro reported its first cases in two females who returned from the US and Spain, said Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.

– Montserrat recorded its first case among the three samples sent abroad for testing, said health ministry.

– Brazil confirms first death

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reported the nation’s first death, while Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency.

– The number of cases in the country stand at 321.


– Finland interior minister Maria Ohisalo said that the country will begin to heavily restrict traffic over its borders from Thursday. The country has 319 cases to date.

– Bosnia declared a nationwide state of emergency as the number of cases in the country grew to 26.

– Vietnam will impose mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from the US, Europe and ASEAN regions. The country, which confirmed 61 cases, will also suspend the issuance of new visas.

– Canada’s Ontario banned gatherings of more than 50 people, closed bars and restaurants to control coronavirus spread. The number of infections in Canada reached 407, including four deaths.

– Sri Lanka, which reported 28 cases, banned all incoming flights for two weeks.

– Planemaker Airbus will suspend production in France and Spain for the next four days.

– Hong Kong will quarantine all people entering the city for 14 days from midnight on Thursday.

– Swiss federal health agency’s head of infectious diseases Daniel Koch said that hospitals in the country could collapse if the novel coronavirus continues rapid spread.

– China’s Shanghai has extended quarentine to visitors from the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria. The city already imposed same measures for passengers from France, Spain, Germany, the US, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

– Carmaker Volkswagen is preparing to suspend production to contain coronavirus spread.


UK sees 26% surge in infections

– The number of coronavirus infections in the UK increased by 26% to 1,950 from 1,543 the previous day. The death toll in the nation stands at 56.

Greece cases rise to 387

– Greece’s COVID-19 cases jumped to 387, while the death toll increased to five.

EU to close external borders

– European Union agreed to close Europe’s borders for 30 days. The regions will, however, build fast-track lanes to keep goods moving.

– According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European countries would decide whether to close their borders to third countries.

Two WHO staff test positive

– Two WHO staff members have tested positive, announced an official from the agency. These are the first cases reported at the agency.

Cases in Spain top 10,000; announces 200bn package

– Spain’s COVID-19 cases exceeded 10,000 to total 11,178, including 491 deaths.

– The country announced a 200bn package to aid companies, as well as protect workers and other vulnerable groups affected by the outbreak

Iran’s death toll climbs to 988; temporarily releases prisoners

– Iran’s health official confirmed 135 new deaths, bringing the total death toll to 988. The nation reported 16,169 infections so far

– The country has temporarily released approximately 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, said a judiciary spokesman.

Malaysia confirms first deaths

– Malaysia confirmed its first death in a 60-year-old pastor. The Sarawak state had said that 193 close contacts of the deceased have been traced and are under home quarantine.

– The second casualty in the nation was a 34-year-old man who attended a mass religious gathering in February in Kuala Lumpur. The country has at least 550 cases.

New cases in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia

– Philippines’ health ministry reported 45 new cases, taking the total to 187.

– Philippine Airlines suspended all domestic flights due to quarantine imposed across the Luzon island.

– Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases, which increase its total to 177, including one death.

– Indonesia reported 38 new cases in the last two days, rising the total to 172, with five casualties.

First Covid-19 vaccine trial begins in US

– The first US clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is Moderna’s mRNA-1273, has started.

Cambodia cases double; total 24

– The number of cases in Cambodia doubled from 12 to 24. Of the new cases, 11 had visited Malaysia for a religious event at a mosque.

Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary tests positive

– Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo tested positive. The official was part of a delegation that recently visited Florida, US.

– The nation’s cases stand at 234.

South Korea reports 84 new cases

– South Korea has confirmed 84 new cases, marking the third day with less than 100 new infections.

– The total infections in the nation increased to 8,320, including 81 deaths and 1,401 recoveries.

India reports third death

– India reported third death, while the total cases has touched 132.

Pakistan cases rise to 189

– With new cases in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, the number of cases in Pakistan increased to 189.

Ireland estimates cases to rise to 15,000 by March-end

– Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the number of cases in the country may rise to approximately 15,000 by the end of March from current 223.

– The country advised against all non-essential overseas travel.

– All schools, universities, bars and childcare facilities have been closed until 29 March and mass gatherings have been limited.

Spain deploys troops to help in lockdown

– Spain has been under partial lockdown since 14 March. Citizens were allowed to leave home only for work, buy food, visit a pharmacy or hospital.

– More than 1,000 troops were deployed in 14 cities across Spain to help in the lockdown.

– The country reported nearly 9,900 cases and 340 deaths so far.

US boosts measures to combat coronavirus

– The White House urged citizens to avoid gatherings of more than ten people.

– The government also called for closure of bars, gyms, restaurants and other venues in states with local transmission of coronavirus.

– To date, the nation has at least 4,660 confirmed cases and 85 deaths.

WHO calls for increased testing

– The World Health Organization asked all countries to boost testing programmes in an effort to slow the pandemic.

Death toll crosses 7,100

– The death toll due to COVID-19 has increased to more than 7,100 globally in 155 countries.

– The total number of cases has surpassed 182,000 while recoveries stand at 79,000.  

16 Mar:

First death in Portugal, Dominican Republic

– Portugal reported the first COVID-19 death in the country in an 80-year-old man with pre-existing health conditions. The country is mulling over declaring a state of emergency.

– The Dominican Republic’s first casualty is a 47-year-old woman who returned from Spain.

UK cases and deaths rise

– UK’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased to 1,543, while deaths rose to 53.

France confirms 21 new deaths; total 148

– France’s Public Health Authority confirmed 21 new deaths to total 148, indicating a 16% jump.

– The number of cases had risen by more than 20% to 6,633.

Poland’s environment minister tests positive

– Poland’s environment minister Michal Wos tested positive for coronavirus. The country confirmed 156 cases and three deaths to date.

Cases in Austria rise to 1,018

– The total number of cases in Austria have increased to 1,018.

– The government will provide €2bn of loan plus €4bn aid fund to support the economy.

Braemar cruise ship to dock in Cuba

– A Bristish cruise ship, Braemar, with five positive coronavirus cases is setting sail to Cuba after being turned away from several Caribbean ports over coronavirus fears, announced owner Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

UK actor Idris Elba tests positive

– UK actor and musician Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus.


– Finland would close all its schools and universities from Wednesday as the number of cases in the nation rise to 272.

– The Switzerland government declared a state of emergency until 19 April. It banned all public and private events, and deployed 8,000 military members for aid.

– Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation declared a state of disaster as the cases in the country increased to 24. Banja Luka town along with some other towns closed bars, restaurants and shops, except food stores, for one week.

– Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei said that the country will close its borders for the next two weeks to prevent spread of virus.

– Turkey ordered temporary closure of cafes, sports and entertainment venues, as well as suspension of mass prayers in mosques. The coronavirus cases in the country reached 47.

– Russia banned entry to foreign nationals from 18 March to 1 May. It closed state schools and limited public gatherings in Moscow as COVID-19 cases reached 93.

– Venezuela has decided to impose a nationwide quarantine after 16 new cases were confirmed today. The total cases in the country reached 33.

– Egypt will suspend all flights from its airports, from Thursday until 31 March to control coronavirus spread. The nation has 166 cases and four deaths.

– Canada imposed tougher screening measures for visitors as the number of cases in the country increase to approximately 320.

– Morocco will close all mosques, eateries, cinemas, theatres, sports, public clubs and entertainment  centres to prevent spread. Markets, shops with essential goods and restaurants with delivery service are given exemption.

– Chile President Sebastian Pinera said that the country will close its borders to foreigners from Wednesday. The nation confirmed 155 cases to date.

– Greece ordered 14-day quarantine for people from abroad. The government will also close shops from Wednesday, except supermarkets, pharmacy stores and food delivery services.

– The Philippines ordered home quarantine and suspension of work and transport across Luzon as the country’s cases reach 140.

– Armenia declared state of emergency for one month from March 16 until April 16. The country confirmed 30 cases and has closed all educational institutions.

– Ghana announced closure of all schools and universities, as well as suspended public events to control the spread of coronavirus.

– Germany government advised against all non-essential international trips. The number of cases in the country increased to 6,012, including 13 deaths.

– Hungary announced plans to close borders to international passengers, suspend cultural and sports events and establishments. The government advised people aged over 70 to stay at home.

– Georgia would deny entry to all foreigners over coronavirus concerns. The country has 33 cases.

– Auto company Fiat Chrysler announced suspension of production at majority of its European plants until 27 March.

– South Africa plans to revoke around 10,000 visas issued to people from China and Iran. Also, visas will be needed for other ‘high-risk countries’ that had been visa-free, including Italy.

– Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, along with Lviv and Odessa cities, will close bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping malls from 17 March.

– A Northern Irish mother whose daughter has underlying health conditions and is at greater risk will launch a legal challenge against UK’s decision to keep schools open, her lawyers said.

Cases in Netherlands jump to 1,413

– The number of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have jumped by 278 to 1,413, reported the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM).

– The death toll in the country stands at 24.

Spain’s cases grow to 8,744

– Spain’s health officials reported that the number of coronavirus cases in the country grew to 8,744, including 297 deaths.

– The regional leader of Spain’s Catalonia, Quim Torra, tested positive and is under self-isolation. Catalan government deputy head Pere Aragones also tested positive earlier.

Iran reports 129 new deaths

– With 129 new deaths, the death toll in Iran reached 853, while the number of infections increased to 14,991.

Liberia, Tanzania, Somalia, Benin confirm first case

– Liberia reported its first coronavirus case, without providing further details.

– Tanzania health ministry also confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection.

– Somalia health ministry announced its first Covid-19 case.

– Benin reported its first case in a national who returned from Belgium on 11 March.

Singapore cases rise to 243

– Singapore confirmed 17 additional cases to total 243. Of the new cases, 11 are said to be imported.

Malaysia reports 125 new to total 553

– Malaysia confirmed 125 new cases to total 553. Majority of the new infections have been traced to a religious gathering attended by nearly 16,000 people.

Bahrain confirms first death

– In a tweet, Bahrain health ministry confirmed its first death in a 65-year-old national with underlying health conditions. The country recorded at least 210 cases.

Pakistan cases rise to 122

– Pakistan reported a surge in cases to total 122, including 76 infections among people released from 14-day quarantine at Taftan.

Thailand records 33 new cases; total 147

– Thailand confirmed 33 new cases to total 147, marking the largest daily increase in infections.

Sweden announces $30bn crisis package

– The Swedish government announced an approximately SEK300bn ($30.9bn) crisis package to support the economy during the outbreak.

– The package includes various measures, including the central government assuming the cost of sick leave from companies in April and May.

– The country has 1,032 cases, including three deaths, to date.

Taiwan announces eight new cases; total 67

– The number of cases in Taiwan surged to 67, including eight new infections.

– The nation imposed a 14-day quarantine for all people from Europe’s Schengen border-free travel zone, the UK and Ireland.

– Taiwan also advised against non-essential travel to 13 European countries, 15 Middle Eastern countries, five countries in Africa and nine in Central Asia.

South Korea expands screening to all arrivals from Europe

– South Korea expanded screening measures to arrivals from all European countries. Initially, the screening was applicable for only six European countries.

– The KCDC confirmed 74 new cases today, taking the total to 8,236.

Turkey reports 12 new coronavirus cases

– Turkey confirmed 12 new cases to total 18.

– Of the new patients, two were linked to the nation’s first case, seven arrived from Europe, and three travelled to the US.

– The government closed schools and universities, and suspended flights to multiple countries to control the spread.

New Zealand bars gatherings

– New Zealand has banned gatherings of 500 people or more. The number of cases in the country reached eight.

Cases in India increase to 114

– The total number of confirmed cases in India has reached 114, with one fresh case each reported in Maharashtra and Karnataka and two cases in Kerala.

US death toll stands at 69

– The death toll in the US has increased to 69 while the total number of cases stands at 3,774.

Japan traces 15 clusters; total at 1,528

– Japan’s health ministry announced the identification of 15 clusters, with the largest being in the Osaka region.

– The total infections in the country stand at  1,528, including 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 evacuees from China. Around 30 people died due to COVID-19.

Cases in Rwanda rise to five; Cambodia at 12

– The number of cases in Rwanda grew to five from one, reported the health ministry late on 15 March. The country reported its first case on 14 March.

– Cambodia’s total infections increased to 12, with four new cases including  a four-month-old French boy and two people arriving from Malaysia.

China boosts quarantine for international arrivals

– China tightened quarantine measures for international arrivals in capital Beijing as the number of imported cases in the country reach 123.

Death toll increases to more than 6,500

– The Covid-19 death toll has crossed 6,500, as of the end of 15 March.

– The total number of confirmed cases has increased to more than 169,000 while recoveries stand at around 77,000.  

15 Mar: 

– Ukraine’s railways company Ukrzaliznytsia will bar all international passenger trains from 17 March. The country already suspended international flights and banned entry to foreign nationals until 3 April.

– Kenya would deny entry to all except citizens and residents as the number of cases rose to three. The country will also close primary and secondary schools from Monday, while boarding schools and universities will shut by the end of the week.

– Serbia’s president declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The country, which has at least 45 cases, deployed soldiers to guard hospitals and closed several public spaces.

– Argentina ordered ban on entry for 30 days to non-residents who visited a highly affected country in the last 14 days. The country has 45 cases.

– From 17 March, Estonia will deny entry to foreign travellers. Estonians, people living in the country and foreigners with family members living in the country will be able to enter. The nation registered 115 cases so far.

– Morocco suspended all international flights to and from its airports. The nation reported 28 cases, including one death and one recovery.

UK to isolate elderly people

– The UK government plans to isolate people aged above 70 and those at higher risk for four months to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

– In addition, complete families will be asked to self-isolate even if one person falls sick.

– The total number of cases in the UK neared 1,400, while the death toll stands at 35.

– The government asked manufacturers to boost production of ventilators and private hospitals to prepare more beds as coronavirus spreads.

Qatar coronavirus cases rise to 401

– Qatar reported 64 new cases to total 401. Nearly 7,950 people have been tested to date.

– The government will ban entry to non-nations for two weeks as of Wednesday. It will also suspend entry to passenger flights.

– All health clubs such as spas and restaurants in hotels, said Qatar National Tourism Council.

Equatorial Guinea confirms first case

Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first case as a 42-year-old woman who arrived in the capital Malabo from Spain on 13 March.

Spain reports 2,000 new cases

– Spain confirmed nearly 2,000 new cases to total to 7,753 and more than 100 deaths to total 288.

Deaths in Iran rise to 724

– With 113 new deaths in the last 24 hours, Iran’s death toll increased to 724, said a health ministry official. The total number of infections in the country reached 13,938.

The Netherlands, Greece report new cases and deaths

– The Netherlands has confirmed eight new deaths, taking the death toll to 20 in the country. The total number of cases has increased to 1,135.

– Greece confirmed one more death, taking the total to four. The number of infections grew by 103 to total 331.

Italy reports 368 new deaths

– Italy has reported 368 new deaths in the country, bringing the death toll to 1,809. The total cases in the country stand at 24,747.

France reports 29 deaths

– The death toll in France has increased to 127, with 36 additional deaths reported. This marks the biggest jump in cases so far.

– The confirmed cases in the country stand at 5,423.

Malaysia confirms 190 new cases; total 428

– With 190 new cases reported today, Malaysia’s total increased to 428. Majority of the infections are linked to a mosque gathering.

Cases in Vietnam reach 57; Philippines has 140

– Vietnam reported four new cases today, which increase its total to 57. The country ordered mandatory quarantine and testing of passengers from or through China, South Korea, the UK and Schengen countries.

– The Philippines confirmed four additional deaths to total 12 and 29 new cases to total 140.

Slovenia, Hungary report first death

– Slovenia health ministry confirmed first death in an elderly man with a chronic disease. The number of cases in the country stand at 219.

– Hungary’s first death is a 75-year-old national hospitalised with severe pneumonia. The country has 32 cases.

First case in Delhi, India recovers

– The first case confirmed in Delhi, a 45-year-old man, has fully recovered from Covid-19 coronavirus. India currently has 102 confirmed cases and two deaths.

US President tests negative, travel ban extended to the UK

– US President Donald Trump has tested negative for Covid-19.

– The US has extended the travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland.

– The US has confirmed more than 2,900 cases with 57 deaths so far.

NHS and private hospitals to partner to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

– The NHS has announced its plans to partner with the private hospitals to deal with the pandemic as the public hospitals in the countries are reportedly not equipped to handle the large influx of coronavirus patients.

– The UK has 1,143 confirmed cases with 21 deaths so far.

Wife of Spanish PM tests positive

– Begoña Gómez, the wife of the Spanish Prime Minister has tested positive for Covid-19. She, along with the PM, are reported to be doing well.

Philippines closes Manila for domestic travellers

– Philippines has closed its capital, Manila with the help of the police, for all domestic travellers. The city of around 12 million residents is reported to be closed for around a month.

Australia imposes self-quarantine for people arriving from abroad

– PM Scott Morrison has announced that any arriving passenger from abroad to Australia will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

– Cruise ships will also not be allowed to dock in the country for one month. People have also been advised to implement ‘social distancing’.

Mexico reports 41 cases, boosts measures

– Mexican health ministry reported increase of cases to 41 on Saturday.

– The government warned that the outbreak could last all year and bolstered measures to control the outbreak, including ban on large gatherings and extension of school holidays.

Death toll rises to more than 5,800

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to more than 5,800 worldwide with around 156,000 confirmed cases and almost 74,000 recoveries, as of 14 March.

14 Mar:

– Egypt to close schools and universities for two weeks from Sunday, as the number of cases reach 110 with two deaths.

– Kuwait will close all shopping malls, excluding those related to food supplies. The country also called for closure of children’s entertainment centres and salons.

– Bolivia will ban the entry of visitors from China, South Korea, Italy and Spain. The country reported ten cases so far.

– Sudan ordered the closure of schools and universities for 30 days from Saturday. The coutry also banned public gatherings and social events.

– Denmark has reported its first death due to COVID-19 and has closed its borders for foreign travellers for one month.

– Cambodia would deny entry to visitors from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US for 30 days from 17 March. The nation’s confirmed seven cases.

– Colombia ordered closure of the border with Venezuela to contain spread of the coronavirus. As of Friday, the country reported nine cases.

– New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday to self-isolate for 14 days. All cruise ships will also be denied entry until 30 June.

– Rwanda, Seychelles, Congo Republic and Central African Republic report first cases.

Thailand reports seven new cases; total 82

– Thailand confirmed seven new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 82.

Uzbekistan confirms first case

– Uzbekistan health ministry confirmed first case in a national who returned from France.

– The country will close schools, colleges and universities for three weeks from Monday, and cancelled all public events.

– In addition, flights have been suspended to some cities in Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East until the end of April.

Sixth death in Philippines

– The Philippines confirmed its sixth fatality in a 54-year-old resident of Metro Manila. The country reported at least 64 cases.

Japan cases rise to 1,423

– NHK reported a total of 1,423 infections early today, including 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 evacuees from China.

– The country saw 28 deaths, including seven from the cruise ship,

107 new cases in South Korea; total 8,086

– For the second consecutive day, South Korea reported more recoveries than new infections.

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 107 new cases, rising the total to 8,086. Meanwhile, 204 people have recovered and discharged from hospitals.

Australia bans public events

– Prime Minister Scott Morrison suspended all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, including sporting and cultural events.

– The government also advised people against overseas trips.

– A total of 197 cases and three deaths have been reported.

US declares national emergency

– US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus spread, enabling $50bn in federal aid.

– The country now has over 1,700 confirmed cases and 40 deaths.

Europe now epicentre of outbreak, says WHO

– WHO called Europe the pandemic’s current epicenter, with the continent now reporting more cases and deaths compared to the remaining global regions, except China.

Death toll nears 5,500

– Deaths due to COVID-19 have neared 5,500, as of 13 March. The total infections increased to 145,300 worldwide, with more than 71,600 recoveries.

13 Mar:

– Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared disaster over coronavirus. The country, which reported eight cases, is also seeking 100 Cuban nurses to help.

– Chilean President Sebastian Pinera ordered a ban on public events of more than 500 people from Monday. The country registered 43 cases so far.

– Spain declared a state of emergency today over the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first of three state of emergency stages.

– From Monday, Singapore will ban entry to people who had been to Italy, France, Spain and Germany in the past 14 days.

– Romanian interim prime minister Ludovic Orban will be under self-quarantine after coming into contact with one of his party’s senators who  later tested positive.

– Moldova would suspend all flights to European regions from Sunday. The country has six cases to date.

– France will close all nurseries, schools and universities from Monday to fight the spread of the virus, said President Emmanuel Macron. The country also banned public gatherings of more than 100 people.

– Boeing official said that more than 50% of flights have been cancelled in Asia Pacific over coronavirus fears.

– Czech Republic announced that the country would deny entry to foreigners and banned its nationals from travelling abroad as of Monday.

– Bulgaria foreign ministry banned all travel to Iran, and asked people to avoid non-urgent travel to 11 countries. The country already suspended visits to China and advised against travel to Italy.

– North Macedonia suspended public gatherings and would ban entry to foreign nationals arriving from ‘high-risk countries’. A total of nine cases have been reported in the country.

– Iraq banned entry to visitors from Germany and Qatar, expanding its list to 13 countries.

– Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton tested positive.

First cases in Guinea, Sudan, Mauritania

– Guinea’s first case is an employee of the European Union delegation.

– Sudan confirmed its first case in a man who died on Thursday and had arrived from the UAE earlier this month. The country suspended flights to eight countries.

– Mauritania’s health ministry also reported the first coronavirus case.

Italy death toll rises to 1,266

– The  number of deaths in Italy increased by 25% in the last 24 hours to total 1,266. Also, the number of infections surged by nearly 17% to 17,660.

Guatemala, Kosovo, Uruguay, Venezuela confirm first cases

– Guatemala confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection. The nation banned arrivals from some heavily affected countries, including the US and Canada.

– Kosovo’s first cases are a 20-year-old Italian woman and a 77-year-old Kosovar man.

– Uruguay confirmed its first four cases in people who arrived from Milan, Italy.

– Venezuela reported its first two cases and declared a state of alarm as the country is said to be unprepared to fight the pandemic.

Germany cases cross 3,000

– The number of cases in Germany grew by 671 to 3,062, including five deaths.

Second death in India

– India reported its second death in a 68-year-old woman with other health conditions in New Delhi.

– The nation confirmed 82 cases so far.

New cases in Mexico, Panama, Egypt, Saudi Arabia

– Cases in Mexico grew to 26 from 15 the previous day.

– Panama’s confirmed cases increased to 36, including three foreign nationals.

– With 13 new cases, the total cases in Egypt reached 93.

– Saudi Arabia confirmed 24 new cases to total 86.

Canada boosts measures

– Canada boosted measures to fight the outbreak, including emergency measures such as half-point interest rate cut.

– Ottawa asked citizens to avoid non-essential foreign travel.

– The total cases in the country neared 200, including one death.

Iran to empty city streets; cases reach 11,364

– IRNA reported that Iran’s security forces will empty city streets in the next 24 hours to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

– The country registered 11,364 cases and 514 deaths so far.

Infections in Netherlands rise to 804

– The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands increased from 614 a day earlier to 802 today.

– The number of deaths in the county doubled to ten.

Indonesia cases double to 69

– Indonesia confirmed 35 new coronavirus cases, which rise its total to 69. Three of the latest cases had died, said Reuters.

27 cases in Belarus

– Belarus registered six new cases on Friday, increasing the total to 27.

17 new cases in Saudi Arabia; total 62

– Saudi Arabia confirmed 17 new cases, including 11 Egyptians, reported state news agency (SPA). The total cases reached 62.

Thailand issues new coronavirus warning

– Thailand issued a new coronavirus warning to party-going people following a cluster of 13 cases traced to a group of friends who shared cigarettes and drinks.

– The number of cases in the country stand at 75.

Kenya, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia confirm first cases

– Kenya health minister reported the country’s first case in a person who arrived from the US via London.

– Kazakhstan healthcare minister Yelzhan Birtanov confirmed the first cases as nationals who returned separately from Germany on 9 March and 12 March. The ministry will quarantine people on the 9 March flight, while people on the 12 March flight are already under quarantine.

– Ethiopia’s first case is a Japanese national, reported the country’s public health institute.

Google employee in India tests positive

– Google has announced that an employee at its office in Bangalore, Karnataka, India tested positive.

– India reported nearly 80 COVID-19 cases so far, including the Google employee.

South Korea reports more recoveries for first time

– South Korea reported 110 new cases today, representing a decrease from 114 confirmed a day earlier. This takes the total to 7,979.

– 177 patients were released from hospitals today, marking the first time the country had more recoveries than infections since its outbreak.

Ghana, Gabon confirm first cases

– Ghana’s health ministry confirmed its first two cases in people who had recently visited Norway and Turkey.

– Gabon’s first case is a 27-year-old-man who had returned from France on 08 March.

Indonesia to ban face mask exports

– Indonesia is set to temporarily ban face masks export to ensure domestic supply amid the outbreak.

US implements more measures to contain spread

– US states are implementing more measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. Some states, such as Seattle and Ohio, have even closed schools.

– Hospitals across the country are setting up tents to cater to the increasing inflow of patients. In Hawaii, urgent care clinics are offering drive-through testing.

– The number of cases in the country increased to more than 1,300, with 39 deaths.

Death toll reaches 4,700

– Deaths from Covid-19 have crossed 4,700 globally, with a total of more than 128,330 infections and 68,300 recoveries, as of the end of 12 March.

12 Mar:

– US’ Council on Foreign Relations cancelled a conference called ‘Doing Business Under Coronavirus’ in New York amid coronavirus outbreak.

– Bulgaria intends to declare emergency, said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The country’s cases increased from seven on Wednesday to 23, with first death reported on Wednesday.

– Chinese medical adviser Zhong Nanshan says coronavirus outbreak could be over by June if countries take firm measures.

– Tecnologico de Monterrey university in Mexico would suspend all academic events and classes from 17 March to control spread.

– Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on TV that all schools will be closed from Monday to contain the outbreak.

– Belgium’s government also ordered closure of schools, cafes, restaurants and some shops from Friday midnight until 03 April.

– Costa Rica ordered suspension of all university classes and certain schools over coronavirus fears.

– Qatar government also announced a set of regulatory measures to prevent the spread, including closure of theatres, play areas and gyms.

– Turkey’s schools will be closed for one week and universities for three weeks from March 16, while all sports events will take place without spectators until the end of April.

Trinidad & Tobago confirms first case

– Trinidad & Tobago confirmed its first case as a 52-year-old male who arrived from Switzer­land on Mon­day.

Italy deaths cross 1,000

– Deaths from coronavirus in Italy have increased 23% to 1,016. The total number of cases rose 21.7% from 12,462 to 15,113.

– A total of 1,258 patients in the country had fully recovered.

Canadian Prime Minister’s wife tests positive

– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife tested positive for coronavirus after returning from London.

– Trudeau has no symptoms but will be in isolation for two weeks as a precaution. The number of cases in Canada reached 142, including one death.

UK cases at 590; peak 10 to 14 weeks away

– The cases in the UK grew 29% to 590 in the last 24 hours, with a total of ten deaths.

– The government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said that coronavirus peak in the country may be 10 to 14 weeks away.

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia tested

– King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and the entire cabinet were tested after the  equalities minister Irene Montero tested positive.

– Only one cabinet minister – Carolina Darias – tested positive so far.

– A total of 3,146 cases have been reported in Spain, including 86 deaths.

First death in India

– India reported its first death in a 76-year-old man from Karnataka. Authorities ordered schools, theatres and cinemas closed in New Delhi, as total cases reached 79.

Azerbaijan confirms first death; Hong Kong sees fourth casualty

– Azerbaijan confirmed its first death in a woman who was quarantined after returning from Iran. The number of cases in the country stand at 15.

– Hong Kong reported its fourth death in a 80-year old man, reported Reuters. The country’s has nearly 130 cases.

Cases in Ireland increase to 70

– Ireland Department of Health reported that the number of cases in the country increased to 70 from 43 a day earlier.

Egypt reports 13 new cases; total 80

– Egypt confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases, which rise the total to 80. The new cases also included one death.

Germany cases increase to 2,369

– Robert Koch Institute said that the number of cases in Germany increased to 2,369 from 1,567 the previous day.

– The country saw five deaths so far.

Morocco suspends travel to Spain and Algeria

– Morocco suspended all flights and passenger ships to and from Spain, reported Morocco’s state news agency.

– Algerian presidency statement said that all flights between Algeria and Morocco have been suspended.

Infections in Netherlands jump to 614

– The number of new cases in the Netherlands grew 22% to 614 on Thursday, according to health officials.

– The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) noted that 273 of the infections are in the southern province of Noord-Brabant.

Deaths in Spain rise to 84 ; Iran’s reach 429

– The number of coronavirus deaths in Spain increased to 84 from 47 on Wednesday. A total of 2,968 cases have been reported so far.

– The Covid-19 death toll in Iran reached 429. Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur reported a total of 10,075 infections.

– Iran asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $5bn emergency funding to control the coronavirus outbreak.

Armenia to replace used banknotes

– The Armenian central bank announced plans to replace used banknotes in an effort to control the coronavirus spread.

– The bank asked people to prefer online payments instead cash.

Thailand reports 11 new cases; nine in Malaysia

– Thailand health officials confirmed 11 new cases, taking the total to 70.

– Malaysia reported nine new cases today to total 158.

First local transmission in South Africa

– South Africa’s first case of local transmission is a 32-year-old man who came into contact with a Chinese businessman, said health ministry.

– The number of confirmed cases in the country reached 17.

Spanish minister tests positive

– Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero tested positive for the new coronavirus, while the Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias was quarantined.

– The country’s prime minister will hold further meetings via video conference.

Singapore to close mosques

– Singapore will close all mosques for a minimum of five days for deep cleaning. The closures would take effect on Friday, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.

– The country reported a total of 178 cases.

First death in Austria, Poland, Algeria, Norway

– Austria reported its first Covid-19 fatality as a 69-year-old man in Vienna. The country has 302 cases to date.

– Poland’s first coronavirus death occurred in Poznan, reported broadcaster TVN24. The country confirmed 47 cases to date.

– First death from Covid-19 in Algeria has occurred today. The number of cases in the country stand at 24.

– Norway reported its first death in an elderly patient. The total number of infections in the country passed 620. Restaurants, cafés, bars, schools, day care centres and companies have been closed to control the spread.

114 new cases in South Korea

– South Korea confirmed 114 new cases, which take the total to 7,869, including 66 deaths.

– Health authorities are working to trace and control multiple new clusters, including in capital Seoul.

Cases in India reach 73

– The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the total number of cases in India reached 73.

– Of the total patients, 17 are foreign nationals.

New cases in Saudi Arabia; suspends travel

– The number of cases in Saudi Arabia increased to 45, with 24 new infections reported early today, said the state news agency.

– Of the 24 new cases, two people returned from Iraq, one had contact with infected person from Iran, and 21 had contact with an Egyptian visitor who previously tested positive.

– The country suspended travel and flights to several countries, including the European Union, India and the Philippines.

Guyana, French Polynesia, St Vincent confirm first case

– Guyana reported its first Covid-19 case in a 52-year-old woman who died after returning from the US last week. The patient had underlying illnesses and tested positive for coronavirus after death.

– French Polynesia’s first case is politician Maina Sage who returned from Paris on 7 March.

– St Vin­cent and the Grenadines confirmed its first case in a fe­male who had trav­elled to the UK.

Sweden, Greece announce first death

– Sweden reported its first death in an elderly patient with an underlying sickness. The government banned public gatherings of more than 500 people.

– Greece’s first fatality is said to be a 67-year-old man who had recently returned from Israel and Egypt.

Actor Tom Hanks and wife test positive

– Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive in Australia.

– In a tweet, the actor said that he is working on a film in Australia and was tested along with his wife after experiencing slight fevers.

Asian Development Bank, Philippine Senate closed

– The Philippines Senate and the Manila headquarters of the Asian Development Bank have been closed after visitors to both buildings tested positive.

Death toll increases to 4,600

– Deaths from Covid-19 have reached to more than 4,600, including 3,169 in mainland China, as of the end of 11 March.

Global infections have increased to nearly 126,140, with a total of approximately 68,200 recoveries.

11 Mar:

WHO declares the outbreak to be a pandemic

– In response to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak, the WHO has declared the situation to be a pandemic. WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement: “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a #coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.”

Ireland confirms first death

– Ireland health ministry reported the country’s first coronavirus death. The number of cases in the country reached 43.

Cuba, Ivory Coast report first cases

– Cuba confirmed its first three cases in tourists who tested positive today.  The government asked citizens to make their own masks, in addition to its textile industry, amid declining supplies globally.

– Ivory Coast reported its first case in a 45-year-old national who recently travelled to Italy.

US restricts travel from Europe

– The US has restricted travel from Europe for 30 days in an effort to control the rapid spread of coronavirus.

– President Donald Trump said that the restriction, which will come into effect on midnight Friday, does not apply to Britain.

– The country has 1,322 confirmed cases and 38 deaths so far.

Qatar reports 238 new cases

– Qatar confirmed 238 new cases among people under quarantine in one residential compound. This increase the total cases to 262.

– These new patients reside in the same compound as three people who were diagnosed on Sunday.

New cases in Spain, Egypt and Costa Rica

– The number of cases in Spain increased to 2,277, including 55 deaths. In capital Madrid, the number of cases had risen to 1,024 from 782 on Tuesday, reported health authorities. State-run museums in Madrid will be closed to contain the spread.

– Egypt reported seven new cases taking the total to 67.

– The total cases in Costa Rica increased to 22 from previously confirmed 13.

Italy tightens lockdown

– Italy has tightened its nationwide lockdown to include shutting of bars, hairdressers and restaurants.

– The number of cases on the country have raised to 12,462 and death toll  increased to 827.

UK cases rise to 456

– With 74 new cases, the total number of infections in the UK reached 456, including six deaths.

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency committee on 12 March. The meeting is to discuss moving to the ‘delay phase’ from ‘contain’.

Honduras reports first case

– Honduras confirms first two cases of Covid-19, two women with travel history to Spain and Switzerland.

New cases reported in Maldives, Pakistan, Denmark and Philippines

– Total cases in Maldives has increased to eight, including two newly reported cases.

– One more case has been detected in Gilgit Baltistan, taking Pakistan’s total to 20.

– Denmark has reported 78 additional cases, bringing the country’s total to 340.

– Philippines has confirmed 16 new cases of Covid-19 in the country. The total confirmed cases in the country stand at 49.

Cases rise in Malaysia, South Africa and Israel

– Malaysia has reported additional 20 cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 149.

– South Africa’s Minister of Health has announced six new cases, bringing the total to 13.

– Health Ministry of Israel has announced eight additional coronavirus cases. The country’s total stands at 76.

Bahrain records 77 new cases

– Bahrain registered 77 new cases among evacuees from Iran, taking the total to 189.

First death reported in Indonesia and Belgium

– Indonesia’s Health Ministry has announced the death of a 53-year-old foriegn woman due to Covid-19. She is reported to have been in serious condition when she was admitted.

– Belga news agency stated that the Belgium’s health ministry reported the first death in the country. The patient is reported to be 90-years-old.

Vietnam cases jump to 35 

– The country reported nearly 20 new cases to total 35. 13 of the new patients were on a Vietnam Airlines flight from London to Hanoi on 2 March.

Australia cases rise to 122; announces $1.6bn health package

– The number of cases in Australia has increased to 122, including three new cases of women who visited Europe.

– The country announced a A$2.4bn ($1.56bn) health package to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Cases in India reach 62

– With new cases reported in the late night of 10 March from Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, the total in India increased to 62.

– Of the 18 new cases reported on 10 March, eight are from Kerala, five from Maharashtra, four in Karnataka and one in Jammu & Kashmir.

– The country cancelled visas granted to Germany, France and Spain nationals on and before Thursday. Indian citizens have been asked to avoid travelling to these countries.

UK Health Minister tests positive;  sixth death reported

– UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for Covid-19 and is currently undergoing self isolation at home.

– The country has also reported its sixth death – a man in his 80s with other health issues. The total confirmed cases in the UK stand at 373.

KCDC reports 242 new cases

– The KCDC has stated that 242 additional cases were detected in the country, taking the count to 7,755.

– The total number of deaths has also increased to 60, with six new deaths reported today morning.

361 Taiwan evacuees return from Wuhan

– Two flights with a total of 361 Taiwanese have returned from Wuhan.

– One plane flew citizens back to the island in early February and disputes delayed the others.

Death toll rises to more than 4,200

– The Covid-19 death toll has risen to more than 4,200, with around 3,100 cases in Mainland China, as of the end of 11 March.

– The total confirmed cases has increased to more than 119,000 in 114 countries while recoveries has increased to around 65,000.   

10 Mar:

Bolivia, Turkey, Jamaica report first cases

– Bolivia Health Minister Anibal Cruz confirmed the country’s first two Covid-19 cases.

Turkey reported its first case as a male citizen who returned from Europe.

– Jamaica’s first case is a female with a travel history to the UK.

Death toll in Italy increases by 36%

– The death toll in Italy has increased to 631, a jump in 168 cases which marks a 36% increase, according to Civil Protection Agency.

– The total number of confirmed cases increased from 9,172 to 10,149.

Democratic Republic of Congo confirms first case

– Democratic Republic of Congo reported its first positive case of coronavirus in a person who returned from France.

Panama confirms first death

– Panama reported the first Covid-19 death and confirmed seven new cases, only a day after the country reported its first case.

Couple on Grand Princess sues cruise line

– A couple from Florida, US quarantined on the Grand Princess filed a lawsuit against the company Princess Cruises.

– The lawsuit stated ‘lackadaisical approach to the safety of the plaintiffs, its passengers and crew about the Grand Princess, plaintiffs are at actual risk of immediate physical injury’.

Spain ramps up measures to prevent spread

– Spain has closed schools in some parts of the country and stopped all flights arriving from Italy to ‘avoid Italian scenario’.

– The total cases in Spain stand at 1,695 with 35 deaths so far.

Spanish lawmaker tests positive

– A Spanish lawmaker from the Vox political party has tested positive for Covid-19. Along with 51 of his other party lawmakers, he will work from home.

Japan declares $4bn package for Covid-19

– Japan has annoucned a $4bn package to support small and mid-sized firms affected by Covid-19. This is the second set of relief measures announced by the government.

– The country reported 59 new cases on 10 March, taking the total to 1,278 cases, including 696 from Diamond Princess and 14 evacuees from China.

– This increase on 10 March is said to be the biggest single-day rise since the start of the outbreak.

India evacuates citizens from Iran

– A transport aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force has evacuated 58 Indian citizens from Iran.

UAE reports 15 additional cases

– The UAE has announced 15 additional cases in the country, taking the total to 74. The total recoveries stand at 12.

Italian couple in India given anti-HIV drugs for treatment

– An Italian couple that tested positive for Covid-19 in India has been given a combination of two drugs that are generally used to control HIV. This marks the first instance of using anti-HIV drugs against Covid-19 in India.

Philippines reports increase in cases

– The Department of Health in the country has announced 11 additional cases, bringing the total in Philippines to 35.

President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan

– Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Wuhan for the first time, to meet health professionals who helped in treating the coronavirus.

– Hubei Province has planned to adopt a health code to permit people to return to work.

Cases rise in India

– The total cases in India has increased to more than 50, with new cases reported in Kerala and Karnataka.

– Kerala reported six new cases, taking the state wide cases to 15. Kerala Chief Minister has announced a total shutdown of the state.

– Karnakata has reprorted three more cases in the state. Karnataka now has four cases.

Death toll increases to 4,000

– The death toll increases to more than 4,000, with around 3,100 cases in Mainland China, as of end of 10 March.

– The total confirmed cases has increased to more than 113,000 around the world while recoveries has increased to around 59,000.

9 Mar: 

First death reported in Canada

– British Columbia in Canada has reported its first death, a man in his 80s who is reported to have other health issues.

– Five more cases were also reported in British Columbia, taking the province’s cases to 32. Total cases in Canada stand at 77.


Italian PM imposes country wide lockdown

– In a press conference, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the travel restrictions applicable to the north of Italy would extend to the entire country.


New cases reported in Cyprus, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Mongolia and Panama

– Cyprus has announced the first two cases in the country, a man with travel history to northern Italy and one to the UK.

– A man tested positive for coronavirus in Brunei, the first case in the country. The man returned from Malaysia on 3 March.

– Burkina Faso reported its first two cases of Covid-19, according to local media. The infected are a couple with a travel history to France.

– Mongolia has announced its first coronavirus case, a French national who arrived from Moscow. The country has barred travel from and to the cities for six days.

– A woman who arrived in Panama from Spain has tested positive for Covid-19, the first case in the country.


Italy Covid-19 death toll and cases rise

– Italian authorities announced that cases in Italy have increased to 9,172 with 463 deaths in the country. Recoveries have increased to 724.


US death toll increases to 26

– The total number of deaths in the US has increased to 26 with new deaths reported. The confirmed cases stand at more than 700.


Six die in Italy prison riot

– Six inmates had been killed in a prison riot in Italy, while guards were taken hostage at another jail, indicating the rising unrest in the country’s prisons over coronavirus.


Iran death toll jumps to 237; releases prisoners

– Coronavirus has claimed 237 lives and infected total 7,161 people in Iran, with 595 new infections and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours.

– The country has temporarily released nearly 70,000 prisoners due to the outbreak, said judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi.


Indonesia confirms 13 new cases to total 19

– Indonesia confirmed 13 new cases – 11 nationals and two foreigners, which the country’s total to 19.


UAE cases stand at 59

– With 14 new cases, the UAE confirmed a total of 59 cases, according to state news agency WAM.


Vietnam to temporarily suspend visa-free travel to eight European countries

– Vietnam announced plans to temporarily suspend visa-free travel for citizens from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

– The move comes after 11 of the country’s 14 new cases had a travel history to Europe. A total of 30 cases have been confirmed in the nation.


Costa Rica cases reach nine

– The total number of Covid-19 cases in Costa Rica increased to nine.


Canada to repatriate citizens onboard Grand Princess 

– Canada has arranged a flight to repatriate its citizens onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship.

– The passengers will be taken from San Francisco to the Canadian forces Base Trenton in Ontario and put under quarantine.


Qatar imposes travel ban on 14 countries

– Qatar has temporarily suspended entry of travellers from 14 countries, after the number of cases in the nation increased to 15.

– The ban applies to India, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

– The country previously suspended flights to and from Italy.

– Today, the country also announced plans to suspend schools and universities from 10 March.


Philippines declares health emergency

– The Philippines declared a health emergency over fears of community transmission.

– A total of ten cases have been confirmed in the country, including one death.


Cases in India rise to 43

– With new cases reported in Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the number of cases in the country increased to 43.


Albania confirms first cases

– Albania confirmed its first Covid-19 cases in a father and son who had recently travelled to Italy.


South Korea reports 69 new cases

– South Korea reported 69 new cases to total 7,382 on Monday. The death toll in the country is 51.

– The rate of rise in new infections is said to have dropped to its lowest in ten days on Sunday.


Death toll jumps to 3,800

– The death toll due to Covid-19 rises to 3,800 including around 3,100 in Mainland China, as of end of 8 March.

– The total number of cases in the world has increased to more than 110,000 in 108 countries around the world. The recoveries currently stand at 61,000.  


Wuhan closes 11 makeshift hospitals

– Wuhan has closed 11 of 14 makeshift hospitals as the number of new infections decline, reported state broadcaster CCTV.


UK reports 273 cases and three deaths

– The UK Department of Health and Social Care reported 64 new cases, which represent a 30% rise to total 273.

– Also, the country saw its third Covid-19-related death in a 60-year-old man who had ‘underlying health conditions’.


First death in Egypt

– Egypt Health Ministry confirmed the first fatality in the country as a 60-year-old German tourist who died on Sunday.

– The nation’s total number of cases stands at 55.


Saudi Arabia imposes lockdown, restricts travel

– Saudi Arabia, which confirmed a total of 15 cases, imposed a temporary lockdown on its Qatif province, where most of its cases were reported.

– The country also suspended schools and universities, and suspended travel with nine countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.


8 Mar:

Costa Fortuna ship heads to Singapore

– Cruise ship Costa Fortuna is said to be heading to Singapore after it was denied entry at ports in Malaysia and Thailand over coronavirus fears.

US cases near 550; Grand Princess quarantine

– The number of cases in the US have neared 550, including 22 deaths.

– According to health officials, Grand Princess cruise will be allowed to dock at a terminal near Oakland, where passengers will disembark. The passengers will be sent for quarantine elsewhere in California.

– US Army restricted travel to and from Italy and South Korea.

New deaths in Netherlands, Switzerland

– Health officials reported two additional deaths in the Netherlands, bringing the total fatalities to three. The total number of cases in the country  increased to 265.

– A patient at Liestal in Switzerland had died, taking the total to two. The number of cases stand at 281.

Bulgaria, Moldova report first cases

– Bulgaria confirmed its first four cases – two men from Pleven and two women from Gabrovo tested positive.

– Moldovan health ministry reported the nation’s first case in a 48-year-old woman who returned from Italy.

Ten die in China quarantine hotel collapse

– A total of ten people have died and 23 remain trapped at the hotel collapse site in the Chinese city of Quanzhou.

South Korea cases rise to 7,134

– KCDC has reported 367 new cases, taking the total to 7,134. It also reported six new deaths taking the death toll to 50 in the country.

Deaths in Italy rise to 366

– The total number of deaths in Italy have increased to 366 while the total cases in the country stand at 7,375.

Bangladesh reports first case

– India’s neighbouring country Bangladesh has reported its first coronavirus cases on Sunday.

– Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research Meerjady Sabrina Flora confirmed three new cases of coronavirus infection in the country, of which two are men and one is woman.

– Two of the three affected people had travel history from Italy and the third person is related to one of them.

Iran marks highest single-day toll with 49 new cases

Iran reported its highest single-day toll on Sunday with 49 new coronavirus deaths, taking the death toll to 194.

Cases in India rise to 39

– Five additional people in Kerala, India have tested positive, increasing the total to 39. All the five cases are from Pathnamthitta district.

– Three of the new patients had returned from Italy on 29 February, while two others are their relatives.

First death in Argentina

– Argentina reported its first death of a Covid-19 patient, marking the first fatality in Latin America.

21 new cases in Greece; total 66

– Greece registered 21 new coronavirus cases in one day, bringing its total to 66.

– Majority of these cases were part of a travelling group that had gone on a pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt

Third death in Australia

– Australia health authorities confirmed the third death in the country as a man in his 80s at a hospital in Sydney.

– The total number of cases in the nation reached 74.

Four people die in China hotel collapse

– Four people have died in the hotel collapse in the Chinese city of Quanzhou, reported local media.

– In addition, four have severe injuries and one is in critical condition.

Death toll nears 3,600

– Deaths from Covid-19 have neared 3,600, including 3,097 in mainland China, as of the end of 07 March.

– The number of global infections has increased to more than 106,150, with nearly 59,930 recoveries.

– On March 7, mainland China saw 44 new cases and 27 deaths.

Italy to lockdown northern parts

– Italy will put a virtual lockdown on its northern regions, including the capital Milan, Lombardy and 11 provinces in four other regions.

– The lockdown applies to nearly 16 million people. It involves shutting down of all museums, gyms, cultural centres, ski resorts and swimming pools in the target regions.

– The number of cases and deaths on the country stand at 5,883 and 233, respectively.

Bahrain calls for self-quarantine

– In a tweet, Bahrain asked people who traveled to Lebanon, Egypt, Italy or South Korea to self-quarantine for two weeks.

7 Mar:

Iran death toll jumps to 145

– Iran confirmed 21 additional deaths, bringing the total to 145. A health ministry official noted that the number of infections had risen to 5,823.

Cases in UK jump to 206

– With additional cases reported, the total in the UK reached 209. So far, two people have died in the country.

Germany cases reach 684

– The number of coronavirus cases in Germany stand at 684. This represents about ten times increase compared to previous week, when total 66 cases were reported on 29 February.

Quarantine hotel in China collapses

– Nearly 70 people were said to be trapped in the collapsed hotel used for quarantine of coronavirus patients in the city of Quanzhou.

– 42 individuals had been retrieved from the site of the collapse, while around 38 people remain trapped.

US deaths reach 19

– Two additional patients in Washington state have died, taking the total to 19.

– The number of cases in New York increased by 13 to 89. The state declared emergency.

Maldives, Paraguay, Malta report first cases

– The Maldives has confirmed its first two cases, who are believed to have been infected after coming in contact with an Italian tourist. The tourist had tested positive after returning to Italy.

– Two island resorts in the Maldives have been locked down to prevent coronavirus spread.

– Paraguay confirmed its first case in a tweet, which did not disclose any further details.

– Malta’s first case is a 12-year-old Italian girl who returned from Trentino via Rome.

India reports three new cases; total jumps to 34

– India reported three new covid-19 cases on Saturday (two from Ladakh and one from Tamil Nadu), taking the total confirmed cases in the country to 34.

– Ladakh cases had travel history from Iran, while Tamil Nadu patient had travel history from Oman.

– Union Health Ministry special secretary for health Sanjeeva Kumar said that all the three patients are in stable condition and are undergoing treatment in isolation.

Kuwait suspends flights; Saudi limits land crossings

– Kuwait civil aviation directorate said in a tweet that the country suspended  flights to and from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Bangladesh, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka for seven days.

– Saudi Arabia limited land crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain to commercial trucks in an effort to contain the virus. Flights from the three countries are temporarily limited to three airports.

South Korea cases reach 6,767

– South Korea reported 174 new cases, taking the national total to 6,767. The number of deaths stand at 44.

Doctor in Australia tests positive

– Australian health authorities closed a clinic after a doctor who recently returned from the US tested positive.

– Health officials are contacting approximately 70 patients of the doctor and will also contact passengers who were on his flight.

– The total number of cases in Australia has neared 70.

Death toll crosses 3,450

– Deaths from Covid-19 have crossed 3,450, including 3,070 in mainland China, as of the end of 06 March.

– The number of global infections has increased to more than 101,731, with nearly 57,390 recoveries.

UK confirms second death

– England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed the second death in the country at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

6 Mar:

– Vietnam reported its 17th case, which is said to be the first in three weeks.

– The UAE identified 15 new cases to total 45, said the health ministry.

– Iraq recorded eight new cases, which take the total to 46, and total three deaths. The country added France and Spain to its entry ban list.

– With two new cases, Indonesia’s total increased to four.

Colombia, Costa Rice, Peru, Togo report first case

– Colombia reported its first case in a 19-year-old female who had visited Italy.

– The first case in Costa Rica is a 49-year-old woman from the US.

– Peru President Martin Vizcarra confirmed the country’s first case in a 25-year-old man who had travelled to Europe.

– Togo’s first case is a 42-year-old woman with a recent travel history to France.

US cases surge to 329

– The US recorded a sharp rise of nearly 100 cases in 24 hours to total 329. Coronavirus-related deaths in the country stand at 17.

Italy deaths jump to 197

– Italy recorded an increase in the number of deaths to 197. The total cases in the country reached 4,636.

21 people on Grand Princess ship test positive

– 21 people aboard Grand Princess ship, which was denied entry at San Francisco Bay, have tested positive.

– Out of 46 people, 19 crew members and two passengers were found to have contracted the virus.

– The ship will be taken to a non-commercial port and all passengers will be tested.

– Cases in Belgium more than doubled to 109, said health ministry. Majority of the new patients had travelled to Italy.

– Romania confirmed its seventh case in a 16-year old girl in Timisoara.

– Estonia reported eight new cases to total ten. The country’s Health Board examined samples of 183 passengers on a flight from Bergamo, Italy to Riga and ten tested positive.

– Iran health ministry confirmed 1,234 new cases and 17 deaths from a day earlier to total 4,747 infections and 124 casualties.

– Egypt reported 12 new cases on a Nile cruise ship. The country previously confirmed three cases.

– Malaysia health ministry reported 28 new cases today, taking the total to 83.

Netherlands registers first death

– The Netherlands registered its first coronavirus fatality in a 86-year-old man at the Ikazia Hospital in Rotterdam.

– The source of infection of the man is said to be unclear.

First case in Slovakia 

– Slovakia reported the first case in a 52-year-old man. The patient did not travel abroad but his son, who had no symptoms, visited Venice, Italy.

Vatican, Cameroon, Serbia confirm first cases

-Vatican City has confirmed its first Covid-19 case, said spokesman Matteo Bruni. Outpatient services in Vatican clinics had been suspended for sanitisation, while emergency services will continue.

– Cameroon has reported the country’s first case as a 58-year-old French national who arrived in February.

– Meanwhile, Serbia registered its first positive coronavirus case in a 43-year-old man who traveled to Budapest, Hungary.

Germany reports 134 new cases; total 534

– Robert Koch Institute in Germany reported 134 new cases, which take the total to 534.

Cases in India reach 31

– Confirmed cases in India increased to 31, with a Delhi man who recently travelled to Thailand and Malaysia, testing positive.

Bhutan confirms first case

Bhutan, which shares border with India, confirmed its first case in a visiting American. The country has admitted eight Indian tourists with symptoms in a local hospital.

Hungary cases rise to three; Philippines has five

– Hungary confirmed a total of three cases. The latest is a Hungarian man who had returned from Milan, Italy. The first two cases were Iranian students.

– With two new cases, the number of cases in the Philippines increased to five.

Ireland reports seven new cases to total 13

– Seven new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Ireland, a surge from six the previous day. The total number of cases in the country stands at 13.

– Four of the new cases are males who returned from Italy, two are women who are believed to have had close contact with an infected person and one man is said to be a case of community transmission.

Infected man attended rock concert in NZ

– A man in New Zealand confirmed to have Covid-19 was revealed today to have attended the Tool concert at Spark Arena in Auckland on 28 February.

– According to health ministry, the man was in the general admission standing area in the front left-hand quadrant. The ministry is asking people who were in the same area to be aware of symptoms.

– The man has been isolated at home since 04 March.

First school closed in Australia after student tests positive

– Australia closed its first school – Epping Boys High School –  in Sydney after a 16-year-old student tested positive.

– The pupil is believed to be a case of local transmission.

– The total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 60, including deaths of two elderly people.

Cases in South Korea reach 6,593

– The number of Covid-19 infections in South Korea have reached 6,593. The country reported 43 deaths so far.

Death toll rises to 3,380

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to around 3,383 worldwide, with more than 98,380 infection cases and 55,420 recoveries, as of the end of 05 March.

– China reported 143 new cases and 30 deaths to total 80,552 infections and 3,042 fatalities.

UK, Switzerland report first death

– England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed the nation’s first coronavirus-related death in an elderly man with underlying health conditions.

– The total number of cases in the UK reached 116.

– Switzerland reported its first death in a 74-year-old woman from Vaud.

Bosnia confirms first cases

– Bosnia has confirmed its first two cases in a man who returned from Italy and his child.

Dominican Republic reports second case

– Dominican Republic reported its second case as a 70-year-old Canadian tourist who arrived on 25 February.

Province in China reports 11 new cases from Iran

– The Gansu province in China reported 11 new coronavirus cases in people who arrived on commercial flights from Iran, said state media.

– 311 passengers from Iran have been quarantined at the provincial capital of Lanzhou, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

Two-week quarantine for South Korea visitors in Japan

– Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe imposed a two-week quarantine for people coming from South Korea and banned visitors from highly affected areas.

– South Korea protested Japan’s decision, calling it unreasonable and excessive. Seoul’s foreign ministry plans to meet the Japanese ambassador to discuss the concerns.

5 Mar: 

– Luxembourg health ministry confirmed the second Covid-19 case.

– With three new cases, the total number of infection in Ecuador increased to 13.

– Eight additional positive cases in Iceland bring the country’s total to 34.

– Czech Republic health ministry confirmed 12 cases so far.

– Saudi Arabia reported three new cases to total five.

– Singapore minister Lawrence Wong said that the outbreak is “starting to look like a global pandemic”.

Spain records third death

– Spain recorded its third death in a 99-year old woman who lived at a nursing home in Madrid.

– At least nine other people at the nursing home have tested positive, according to Madrid’s health authority. Other residents will also be tested.

Japan says Diamond Princess cases 696

– The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan has corrected the number of Diamond Princess cases to total 696 , saying that some people were counted twice.

Estonia confirms third case; Pakistan six

– Estonia health authorities reported the country’s thrid Covid-19 case in person who was on the same flight from Italy as the second case.

– Pakistan has confirmed a total of six cases so far.

New cases in Austria, Switzerland , Norway and Netherlands

– With additional infections confirmed, the number of cases in Austria has reached 42.

– Switzerland also reported new confirmed coronavirus cases to total 119, while infections in Norway increased to 91.

– The number of cases in the Netherland grew to 82, with 44 new cases reported on 05 March.

Palestine confirms seven cases

– Palestine confirmed seven coronavirus cases in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency.

– The government imposed a two-week ban on visitors to cities and sites, including Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

Cases in Slovenia rise to six

– A total of six cases have been confirmed in Slovenia. The first case in the country was reported on 04 March.

Death toll in Italy surges to 148

– Italy confirmed 41 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the total to 148. The number of infections in the country increased to 3,858.

Brazil cases increase to eight

– A total of eight cases have been reported in Brazil, including the first cases of local transmission from a Sao Paulo man.

Legislator in France hospitalised

– One of France’s National Assembly member has been hospitalised after being infected with coronavirus, reported Reuters.

– France had confirmed 423 Covid-19 cases, with a total of seven deaths, as of late 05 March.

Cases and deaths rise in US; Congress allots $8.3bn

– The number of cases in the US increased to total 233, including 12 deaths.

– The Congress passed an $8.3bn emergency spending bill to fight the outbreak, which has now spread to at least 14 states. President Trump is yet to sign the bill.

Poland, Gibraltar, Hungary report first cases

– Poland announces its first case of coronavirus. Almost 70 people were tested for the Covid-19.

– Gibraltar confirms its first case of coronavirus.

– Hungary confirmed its first two cases, both Iranian students.

– Three new deaths have been reported in South Korea, bringing the country’s death toll to 35. The number of infections also increased to 5,766.

– Iraq reports third death, of a 65-year-old individual living in Baghdad.

– Spain reports third death, of a 99-year-old woman.

– Leading scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London told BBC Programme Today that the world tried hard to halt the virus but has failed and over 80 nations have confirmed cases.

– An expert with China’s top panel said that Wuhan is likely to see new infections drop to zero by the end of March.

– China gives approval to use Roche’s anti-inflammation drug Acetemra to fight against Covid-19.

Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess is being held off the California coast due to fears that passengers and crew members developed coronavirus (Covid-19).

– India reports new case, taking its confirmed cases to 30.

– India to set up a lab in Tehran, the capital of Iran, for mandatory testing of passengers before board a plane to the country.

-The pet dog of a coronavirus-infected patient in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, making it a possible case of human-to-animal transmission.

– Tunisia, which confirmed its first case of Covid-19 on 2 March, has announced plans to suspend passenger ferry services to northern Italy.

-Portugal reports its sixth case, and the first of a woman. The patient was in Italy and is now hospitalised in Lisbon.

– Senegal confirms third and fourth case.

-Saudi Arabia confirms its second case. The patients has come from Iran through Bahrain. Saudi reported its first case on 2 March.

-Three more people test positive in Czech Republic, taking its total to eight.

-Iceland confirms ten more cases, taking its total to 26.

-Ecuador reports ten cases until 4 March, while Republic of San Marino reports 15 cases.

– Republic of Ireland reports four more cases, taking its total to six.

– Indian student in Dubai tests positive.

– Romania reports sixth confirmed case.

-Algeria reports nine new cases taking its total to 17.

– Greece’s total cases touch nine, while in Croatia, tenth case has been confirmed.

– Switzerland, which is one of the ten countries mostly affected by coronavirus Covid-19, has more than 100 positive cases.

-Bahrain confirms three new cases, while Lebanon confirms two new cases.

-16 new cases reported in Stockholm takes Sweden’s total to 57.

– Thailand reports four new cases, taking its total to 47, while Malaysia’s figures touch 55.

– France now reports 285 confirmed cases.

– Coronavirus could cost airline industry $113bn in lost revenue, says airline industry body IATA.

– Belgium reaches 50 confirmed cases, with the addition of 27 new cases.

Death toll increases to more than 3,200

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to more than 3,200, as of the end of 4 March.

– The confirmed cases has increased to 95,000 with 80,000 cases in Mainland China, while the number of recoveries stands at more than 53,000.

4 Mar:

South Korea reports additional cases and deaths

– KCDC has announced additional 516 cases, taking the total to 5,328. The death toll in the country has also inceased to 32, with four new deaths reported.

Death toll in Iran increases to 92

– The Health Ministry of Iran has confirmed additional new deaths, which takes the total deaths to 92. The confirmed cases in the country stands at 2,922.

Abu Dhabi stops International Patient Care

– Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) has announced that it has suspended the international patient care services temporarily due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

– Under IPC, UAE citizens are sent abroad for treatment if the necessary procedures are not available in the Emirates.

Additional cases confirmed in Malaysia, UK, Germany

– Malaysia has confirmed additional 14 cases, taking the total to 50. The recovered cases stand at 22.

– Cases in UK have increased to 85, with 34 new cases reported. Of the 34, 29 patients have a history of travelling abroad while it is not known where the other three got infected.

– Cases in Germany have also increased to 240, announced Robert Koch Institute.

India confirms new Covid-19 cases; total 28

– India has confirmed additional Covid-19 cases in two other states, taking to total to 28 in the country.

– Of the new cases, 16 are Italian nationals while one is Indian driver who tested positive in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

– Another six cases were confirmed in Agra, family members of the man who tested positive in Delhi.

– Previously, three cases were confirmed in Kerala, one in Hyderabad, one in Delhi. The patients from Kerala have recovered.

Death toll increases to 3,198; confirmed cases more than 93,000

– The Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 3,198 as of end of 3 March.

– The number of confirmed cases have crossed 93,000 while recoveries stand at more than 50,000.  

3 Mar:

Portugal, Canada and Qatar report rise in cases

– Two more people have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total to four.

– Canada has confirmed three more cases in British Columbia, bringing the country’s total tally to 33.

– Qatar has announced that the total cases has increased to eight, including the one new case confirmed.

Spain confirms first death

– Spain has announced the first death in the country, a man who died on 13 February.

– In a press conference, regional health chief Ana Barcelo stated that the post-mortem tests showed that coronavirus was the cause of death.

Iran temporarily releases 54,000 prisoners

– Iran has temporarily released over 54,000 prisoners from its crowded jails to stop the spread of coronavirus.

– However, prisoners who have been sentenced for more than five years have not been released.

UAE reports six new cases

– The UAE has reported six new Covid-19 cases, two Italians, two Russians, one Colombian and one German. The total cases in the country stand at 27.

– The confirmed cases are a part of the cancelled UAE cycling tour, from which two other cases were confirmed.

US deaths increase to nine

– The death toll in the US has increased to nine, with additional deaths reported in the state of Washington.

– All the deaths so far have been reported from Washington; eight from King County and one in Snohomish County. The total cases in Washington stand at 27.

– Total cases in the US stand at 124.

Death toll in Italy rises to 79

– Death toll in Italy has increased to 79 from 52 reported yesterday.

– The total confirmed cases have also risen to 2,263 while 160 people are said to have recovered.

Germany reports increase in cases

– Germany has announced that the total cases in the country has increased to 196. North Rhine-Westphalia is the most affected with 103 cases.

– There are death cases in Germany so far.

WHO states Covid-19 mortality rate increased to 3.4%

– WHO has stated that the mortality rate of Covid-19 coronavirus stands at 3.4% globally, which is higher than the previous estimate of 2%.

– WHO director general stated that Covid-19 ‘spreads less efficiently than flu’ and is a results in a severe illness compared to flu. There are no vaccines or therapeutics for it and it is possible to contain it.

Malaysia reports seven new cases

– Malaysia has reported seven new cases in the country, taking the total to 36. All patients are reported to be stable.

First case reported in Ukraine, Argentina and Chile

– Ukraine has reported its first case, a man who arrived from Italy via Romania. The patient is said to be stable while his wife is under self-isolation.

– Argentina has announced that the country’s citizen who arrived from Italy on 1 March tested positive for Covid-19, the first case in the country.

– Chile has confirmed its first case in a 33-year-old Chilean who arrived from Singapore on 25 February.

Additional cases reported in Czech Republic

– Czech Republic has reported two additional cases of the coronavirus. Two women who had contact with the previous cases tested positive.

Cases rise in Germany

– Germany has reported that the total number of cases in the country has increased to 188.

Iran reports 11 more deaths

– Iran has announced 11 more deaths, taking the country’s death toll to 77. The total number of cases stand at 2,336.

South Korea reports 600 new cases, six deaths

– KCDC has reported an additional 600 cases in the country, taking the total to 4,812. It also reported six new deaths. The death toll in South Korea stands at 28.

Death toll increases to 3,100; China cases decrease

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to approximately 3,100, as of the end of 2 March. The deaths in Mainland China stand at 2,943.

– The total number of cases has crossed 90,000, with around 80,000 of the cases in Mainland China.

– As per the NHC report on 3 March, 125 people tested positive while 31 people died, all in the Hubei Province. Additionally, 2,742 people recovered and were discharged.

Senegal reports first case

– Senegal has reported its first infection on Monday in a French man who arrived from France on 26 February.

2 Mar:

– UAE has evacuated its citizens from Iran, where 66 people have died due to coronavirus. The citizens are under quarantine and their health is being monitored.

France reports two new deaths; total four

– Two more patients had died in northern France, bringing the country’s death toll to four, said Le Parisien newspaper citing the mayor of Compiegne.

Cases in UK reach 40

– The total number of coronavirus cases in the UK increased to 40, including a pupil of Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Torbay, Devon.

– On 3 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch the government’s action plan to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Tunisia, Morocco confirms first case

– Tunisia confirmed its first case in a national who returned from Italy.

– In Morocco, the first Covid-19 patient is a Moroccan citizen who returned from Italy.

Qatar cases increase to seven

– Qatar’s health ministry reported four new coronavirus cases to total seven.

– Of the new patients, two are Qatari nationals and two are ‘domestic workers’ of undisclosed nationality who accompanied them to Iran.

US death toll rises to six

– The state of Washington in the US has reported four more death cases, taking the total to six in the country.

– The total cases in the country stand at 91, of which 45 are repatriated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three from Wuhan.

Oman bans vistiors

– Oman banned visitors from countries where coronavirus has spread, the country’s foreign ministry tweeted, without specifying countries.

– The move is said to be a precautionary measure, which is applicable on all ports, including land, sea and air.

Pakistan reports additional case

– Pakistan has reported another case of Covid-19, taking the total to five. The patient is reported to have a previous travel history to Iran.

Iran death toll rises to 66; Iranian Expediency Council member dies

– Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi told state television that the country has reported 523 additional cases and 12 deaths, bringing the total to 1,501 cases with 66 deaths.

– Among the deceased is an Expediency Council member Mohammad Mirmohammadi.  Many other senior officials have also tested positive for coronavirus.

Italy cases and deaths rise

– As per 2 March reports, Italy’s Health Ministry has stated that 52 people have died, a sharp increase compared to yesterday’s 34.

– The number of cases has also increased from 1,577 to 1,835. Lombardy in the northern region continues to be the most affected region with 1,254 cases.

Cruise ship faces protests in Reunion Island

– The Sun Princess cruise ship, owned by Princess Cruises, faced violent protests when it docked at Reunion Island over Covid-19 fears.

First cases confirmed in Saudi Arabia and Jordan

– Saudi Arabia confirmed that a Saudi citizen returning from Iran via Bahrain tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first case in the country.

– Jordan has confirmed its first case, a citizen who arrived from Italy 16 days ago. The patient has been quarantined for two weeks and is reported to be recovering.

Wuhan closes one Covid-19 hospital

– Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, has shut down the one of the 16 hospitals that were built to treat people affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

– State broadcaster CCTV stated that the hospital closed its doors after discharging the final patents who recovered.

– China saw a decline in the daily reported cases in Hubei Province and Wuhan in the past few days while China is monitoring people who may return from other countries where the outbreak has spread.

Evacuees test negative in India

– The Indian Ministry of Health has stated that the evacuees from China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested negative in the first round of testing in the isolation camps at Chhawla and Manesar

– An Italian man is reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state of Rajasthan in India. The samples are sent for confirmation to National Institute of Virology in Pune.

WHO staff tests positive

– In a media briefing, WHO director-general stated that a staff member of the WHO has tested positive for Covid-19 and is said to have ‘mild disease’.

Japan reports 15 new cases

– Kyodo newswire has stated that Japan has confirmed atleast 15 new cases of coronavirus on 2 March.

Iceland reports first three cases

– Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management announced the country’s first three cases, late on Sunday. All three confirmed cases had a previous travel history to Italy.

Cases in Germany rise to 150

– Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control in Germany has stated that the confirmed cases in the country has increased to 150 from yesterday’s 129.

EU raises risk level to high

– The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has risen the coronavirus risk level in the European Union from moderate to high, said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference.

– Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides noted that 2,100 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 18 of the 27 EU states, and 38 EU citizens had died from the infection.

Cases and deaths rise in Iran

– In an announcement on state TV, Iran’s deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said that coronavirus caused 1,501 infections and 66 deaths so far.

Andorra, Portugal report first cases

– European country Andorra has reported its first case of Covid-19 – a 20 year-old man who recently visited Milan, Italy.

– Portugal also recorded its first two cases – one is said to be a man who recently visited Italy and another one in a man who returned from Spain.

Kuwait confirms ten additional cases

– A health ministry official announced ten new cases, which take the total to 56.

Australia confirms two cases of community transmission

– Australia has reported two cases of community transmission in a 41-year-old woman whose brother returned from Iran and a 31-year-old doctor.

– The total cases in Australia currently stand at 33.

India confirms two new cases

India has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus infection, taking its total to five.

– One of the new cases, which was identified in capital New Delhi, has a travel history to Italy.

– The second case identified in Telangana state recently travelled to Dubai.

Indonesia reports first cases

– Two Indonesian nationals have tested positive for Covid-19, the first cases in the country.

South Korea reports 476 additional cases

– KCDC has announced 476 new confirmed cases, taking the total to 4,212 with 22 deaths, including four announced today.

Cases in Israel rise to ten

– Israeli health ministry confirmed additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the country to ten.

More cases reported in Algeria and Egypt

– Algeria has reported two more confirmed cases, which takes the country’s count to three.

– In a Facebook post, Egypt’s health ministry has announced the second confirmed cases of coronavirus. It was also reported that the first confirmed case has recovered from the virus.

Deaths cross 3,000 globally, confirmed cases cross 89,000

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has crossed 3,000, as of the end of 1 March. The number of deaths in Mainland China stands at 2,912.

– The total confirmed cases worldwide has increased to more than 89,000 while recoveries cross 45,000.

– Mainland China reported 42 deaths and 204 new cases, as per daily breifing reports by NHC on 2 March.

1 Mar:

France records total 130 cases

– French health officials said that the total cases in the country now reached 130, of which nine are in serious condition.

Cases in Norway reach 19; Finland cases at six

– With new cases reported, Norway’s total of positive Covid-19 cases reached 19, including five hospital workers.

– Finland confirmed four new cases, which bring the nation’s total to six.

Ecuador cases increase to six

– The total number of cases in Ecuador surged to six, with five new cases reported a day after the country reported its first case.

– All the five new patients are said to have had direct contact with the first case.

Bahrain says total cases grew to 47

– Bahrain health ministry confirmed six new coronavirus cases to total 47. The new patients are five Bahraini nationals and one Saudi citizen who arrived on indirect flights from Iran.

Mexico reports more cases; total five

– Mexican authorities reported additional positive cases of coronavirus, taking the total to five. All the five patients had a history of travelling to Italy.

Iran death toll rises by 11

– The death toll in Iran has increased to 54 with 11 new deaths reported. The total number of cases has also increased to 978.

Scotland records first case

– A man with previous travel history to Italy has tested positive in Scotland. This is the region’s first confirmed case of Covid-19.

– England has also reported 12 new confimed cases. The total cases in the UK stand at 36.

Qatar reports two additional cases

– Qatar Ministry of Public Health has reported two additional cases of Covid-19, taking the nation’s total to three.

– The confirmed cases are two citizens who were repatriated from Iran, and are under quarantine.

– Qatar imposed a temporary ban on entry of travellers coming from Egypt through intermediate points.


– In light of increasing cases of Covid-19, France has closed its Louvre Museum in Paris and South Korea has closed some churches.

Additional cases reported in Lebanon, Kuwait, Greece, Brazil and Pakistan

– Lebanon has confirmed additional cases of Covid-19, taking the total cases to ten.

– Kuwait announced one more case of coronavirus, bringing the total to 46.

– With three new cases, Greece has confirmed total seven cases. Two of the confirmed cases are related to the existing cases in the country while the other visited Italy in recent times.

– Brazil has confirmed the country’s second case of coronavirus – a patient who travelled to northern Italy.

– Pakistan has reported two more coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total to four.

Dominican Republic, Armenia, Czech Republic and Ireland record first cases

– The Dominican Republic health officials have announced that a man who arrived from Italy has tested positive for the coronavirus.

– An Armenian national returning from Iran has tested positive, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in a Facebook post.

– Czech Republic has confirmed its first three cases of the coronavirus – all three with travel history to northern Italy.

– Ireland has recorded its first Covid-19 case – a man who with a travel history to northern Italy.

Singapore records four additional cases

– Minstry of Health in Singapore has announced four additional cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 106. Additionally, the recoveries stand at 74, including the two recently discharged cases.

South Korea reports additional cases, one death

– The total cases in South Korea has increased by 210, taking the total to 3,736. The number of deaths in the country has also increased to 18, including one newly reported deaths, as per KCDC 1 March evening reports.

Italy cases and deaths continue to rise

– Italy’s Ministry of Health has announced that the total cases in the country has increased to 1,577.

– The deaths in the country has increased to 34 from the previous 29. Additionally, 83 people have recovered.

The US reports second death

– The US has reported a second death in King County, Washington. The deceased is a man in his 70s who is reported to have underlying health issues.

Death toll nears 3,000 worldwide, recoveries cross 42,000

– The number of deaths due to Covid-19 is more than 2,970, as of end of 29 February.

– The total number of cases increased to more than 86,500, with more 79,824 cases confirmed in Mainland China. The recoveries have also increased to more than 42,000 globally.

– Mainland China reported 573 new cases and 35 more deaths.

Iran reports nine new deaths

– Iran has reported nine new deaths and 205 confirmed cases, taking the death toll to 43 and confirmed cases to 593.

– One of the nine new fatalities is the death of the country’s member of parliament infected with coronavirus.

South Korea reports 376 cases

– KCDC reports additional 376 cases, taking the total to 3,526 while the death toll stands at 17.

Australia and Thailand report first deaths

– A 78-year-old repatriated man from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died in Australia, the country’s first death case. The total cases in the country stand at 27, including two new confirmed cases.

– Thailand also reported its first death, reported the Ministry of Public health. The deceased was a 35-year-old man who also suffered from dengue fever before testing positive for coronavirus. The total cases in Thailand stand at 42.

29 Feb: 

The US reports first death

– The US reported its first death; the deceased was in his 50s and was from Seattle, Washington. He was reported to have underlying health conditions.

– The US has also increased its travel restrictions South Korea, Iran and Italy due to the increasing number of cases in the countries.

New cases reported in Ecuador and Luxembourg

– Ecuador’s health minister stated that the country has recorded its first case of coronavirus.

– A man who arrived from Italy to Luxembourg has tested positive for Covid-19.

Total cases cross 1,000 in Italy

– Italy’s Civil Protection head Angelo Borrelli confirmed that the total confirmed cases increased to 1,128 with 29 deaths so far.

Qatar reports new case

– Qatar has confirmed its first case of Covid-19, a Qatari national who arrived from Iran recently. The patient is said to be stable.

First cases reported in Monaco, Mexico and Azerbaijan

– A man from Monaco has reported the first case of Covid-19. The man is admitted in a hospital in France.

– Mexico reported its first two cases in the country, one who tested positive and another who is awaiting test results. The second case is considered as confirmed.

– Azerbaijan has reported its first case of Covid-19. The patient was from Russia who arrived from Iran.

Romania, Denmark, Norway and Georgia report new cases

– Romania has reported two additional cases, bringing the total to three.

– Denmark confirmed its second coronavirus case, a man who returned from northern Italy.

– Three others have tested positive in Norway, taking the country’s total cases to four.

– Georgia has also recorded its second case of the virus. The woman a 31-years-old and travelled to Italy.

Singapore confirms four cases of coronavirus

– Singapore has reported four additional cases, taking the total to 102. Singapore’s Ministry of Health has added that it also discharged three cases.

– The total recovered cases in the country stands at 72.

South Korea reports additional cases; one death

– KCDC has announced 219 additional cases and one new death. The country’s death toll stands at 17 while the total cases are 3,150.


– Total cases in Iraq have increased to eight while cases in Lebanon stand at four.

– A man who arrived in Israel from Italy has tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to seven in the country.

– Finland has reported that the country’s total now stands at three confirmed cases.

– Bahrain confirmed two cases of coronavirus, of which one is from Saudi Arabia. The total in Bahrain stands at 38.

Death toll increases to more than 2,900

– The death toll due to has increased to more than 2,900, as of the end of 28 February.

– The number of confirmed cases around the world have increased to more than 85,000, while recoveries stand at 39,000.

South Korea reports additional cases; three deaths

– South Korea reported another 594 cases, increasing the total cases to 2,931. Death toll reached 16, as per KCDC 29 February morning reports.

Singapore reports two additional cases

The total number of cases in Singapore has increased to 98, including the two new cases reported today.

28 Feb:

– WHO has raised global coronavirus outbreak risk to ‘Very High’

Iran death toll reaches 34

– The Covid-19 death toll in Iran has increased to 34, a Health Ministry spokeswoman said. The total number of cases also inreased to 388.

US reports two cases of community spread

– The states of Oregon and California reported additional cases of community spread, which brings the total cases to 62.

France, Italy confirm additional cases

– France has confirmed additional 19 cases, taking the total to 57 cases, with two deaths so far.

– The total number of cases in Italy have increased to 888. The country also reported four new deaths, increasing the country’s death toll to 21.

Diamond Princess update: sixth death reported

– Another passenger, a man from the UK, who was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died. This is sixth Diamond Princess death.

UK reports one additional case

– England has announced an additional case. The total cases in the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, stand at 20.

South Korea reports 315 additional cases

– KCDC has announced 2,337 cases in the country, including 315 newly reported cases. The country’s death toll stands at 13.

Greece reports additional case

– Greece has reported an additional case of Covid-19, bringing the total to four. The patient is a 36-year-old Greek woman who arrived from northern Italy.

Cases in Croatia rise to five

– Two additional people in Croatia tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total to five. The newly infected were in close contact with the initial cases, noted the country’s health minister.

Kuwait confirms two new cases; total 45

– Kuwait has recorded two new cases in people who previously came into contact with Iran citizens. The total number of infections in the country now stands at 45.

The Netherlands reports second case

– The country has reported the second case in its capital Amsterdam. This patient is said to have no link to the first case.

UK cases rise to 19

– Wales has confirmed its first case in a patient who arrived from Northern Italy and England has reported two more, taking UK’s total to 19.

Dog tests positive for coronavirus in HK

– A Pomeranian has tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong. The dog is said to have contracted the virus from its infected owner.

– The dog did not exhibit any symptoms and tested ‘weak positive’. It is currently under quarantine for 14 days.

Fifth Diamond Princess passenger dies

– Another passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died due to coronavirus.

– The patient was a Japanese woman in her 70s who tested positive on 6 February and confirmed to have pneumonia on 12 February.

Japan reports fifth death

– Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced the fifth death in the country due to coronavirus. The patient was a Japanese man in his 70s who was hospitalised on 6 February due to fever.

Malaysia reports two new cases; total 25

– The country confirmed two additional cases to total 25. Malaysia government imposed temporary restrictions on visitors from Korea.

Thailand reports one additional case

– Thailand health offical has stated that the country has reported its 41st coronvirus case. The patient had arrived from South Korea and was daignosed on 24 February.

UAE reports six additional cases

– The total cases in UAE have increased to 19, with six newly reported cases. Of the six cases, four are from Iran, one from Bahrain and one from China.

– The Iranians are said to have entered the country before UAE banned flights to and from Iran.

Western Australia registers second case

– A woman from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, who was evacuated last week has tested positive for Covid-19. This is the second case in WA and 24th in Australia.

Lithuania and Belarus report first case

– A woman returing from Verona in Italy has tested positive for coronavirus in Lithuania. This is the country’s first positive case.

– Belarus has also registered its first case of Covid-19.

NZ confirms first case; temporarily bans Iran travel

– New Zealand has announced the first case of Covid-19 in a person who arrived from Iran via Bali. NZ’s Ministry of Health has asked people on the same flight, to contact health authorities.

– NZ has restricted travel to Iran in light of increasing cases and deaths in the Middle Eastern country.

Nigeria reports first case

– An Italian man who arrived in Lagos, Nigeria this week, has tested positive for Covid-19, marking its first case in the country and Sub-Saharan region.

South Korea confirms 256 additional cases

– KCDC has reported 256 additional cases, taking the total to 2,022. The number of deaths in the country stand at 13, with no additional deaths, as of 28 February morning reports.

Death toll increases to more than 2,850 globally

– The Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 2,850, as of the end of 27 February.

– The total number of infections has risen to around 83,300, with around 78,000 infections in Mainland China. Recoveries worldwide has crossed 36,000.  

27 Feb:

Japan reports fourth death

– Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced the fourth death in the country due to Covid-19. The patient was a Japanese man in his 80s who tested positive on 22 February.

– The ministry added that the cause of death is under confirmation.

UN to provide sanction exceptions to N Korea

– UN panel monitoring the sanctions in North Korea has permitted WHO to supply medical equipment into North Korea to aid in its efforts to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19.

Swiss cases rise to nine

– Reuters has reported that the number of cases in Switerland has increased to nine, including the latest case in a woman who travelled from Milan.

– The woman works in a daycare facility and following her positive test result, the childern have been put into a 14-day quarantine.

Oman reports sixth case

– Oman has reported its sixth case in a person who returned from Iran.

Cases rise in Spain, Greece, Sweden and France

– Spain has reported a increase in cases, taking the total to 15 in the country.

– Greece has announced two more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to three. Both the patients have history of travelling to northern Italy. The country has cancelled public events to stop the spread of virus.

– Sweden has announced five new Covid-19 cases with which the total now stands at seven.

– French Health Minister has stated that there are 38 confirmed cases in the country, with 20 new confirmed cases.

Northern Ireland reports first case

– Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency has confirmed that a woman has tested presumptive positive for Covid-19. This is the first case in the region. The total cases in the UK currently stand at 16.

Lebanon reports third case

– News agency NNA reported that a man returning from Iran has tested positive. Lebanon has so far reported three coronavirus cases.

Iran VP tests positive for Covid-19

– Iran’s VP for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Netherlands and San Marino report first cases

– The Netherlands has reported its first case. The patient had a history of travel to Italy’s Lombary region.

– San Marino in Europe has also recorded its first case of the coronavirus. Health authorities have started to search people who were in contact with the patient and are monitoring the general practitioner.

Cases and deaths in Italy rise

– Italy’s Health Ministry has reported additional new cases in the country, bringing the total to 655. The death toll in the country has also increased to 17 while the total recoveries stand at 45.

South Korea reports new cases and death

– South Korea has reported 171 new cases, which rise the total to 1,766. With one new fatality, Covid-19 deaths in the country reach 13.

Malaysia reports one new case; total 23

– Malaysia reported its 23rd case in a national who recently travelled to Japan.

Kuwait confirms 43 cases

– In a press conference, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health stated that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has risen to 43.

Iran reports four new deaths, 106 new cases

– Iran has announced that four additional people have died, which brings the country’s death toll to 26. The number of infected people increased to 245.

Switzerland announces three new cases

– Swiss health authorities have announced three new cases of coronavirus, taking the country’s total to four.

Australia says pandemic inevitable

– At a press conference, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that ‘the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus.’

– In an effort to be prepared for the prediction, the country implented its Emergency Response Plan/coronavirus pandemic preparedness plan.

– Australia also extended China travel ban to 7 March.

UK reports two new cases; total 15

– The UK government confirmed two new cases in England, taking the nation’s total to 15.

– England chief medical officer Chris Whitty said that the new patients contracted the virus in Italy and Tenerife, Spain.

Iran death toll rises to 22

– Iran has confirmed four more deaths, bringing the total to 22. The country confirmed 141 cases so far.

South Korea reports additional death

– KCDC has reported an additional death, bringing the total to 13, with 1,595 confirmed cases.

Iraq confirms sixth case

– Iraq confirmed its sixth case, which marks the first one in its capital, Baghdad. The new patient is a male who returned from Iran.

– Iraq suspended public gatherings and banned travel to and from a total of nine countries, including Kuwait and Bahrain.

Estonia, Denmark report first cases

– Estonia’s first case has been confirmed in a man with a recent travel history to Iran, according to Russian news agencies TASS and Interfax.

– Health authority in Denmark has confirmed the country’s first positive case, who is said to be a man returned from a holiday in northern Italy. The patient is under isolation in his home.

Chinese city to offer $1,400 to people who self-report

– Qianjiang in Hubei Province has announced 10,000 yuan ($1,425.96) reward for people with Covid-19 symptoms who report themselves to the authorities. The reward will be provided to confirmed cases.

Japanese woman tests positive for second time

– A Japanese woman from Osaka has tested positive for the coronavirus for the second time.

– She first tested positive in late January and recovered on 1 February.

Saudi Arabia suspends Mecca pilgrimage

– The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned all religious visits to Mecca and Medina, the Islamic holy sites, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus from other infected Arab countries.

US confirms first case of unknown source

– The US has confirmed one new case suspected to be a result of ‘community spread’, when the source of infection is not known.

– This brings the total in the country to 60 cases, including 42 repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three Wuhan evacuees.

India evacuates citizens on Diamond Princess and Wuhan

– India has evacuated 119 Indian citizens along with two Sri Lankans, one Nepalese, one South African, and one Peruvian from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

– The Indian Air Force relief aircraft has repartiated 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals from Wuhan. The aircraft left for China with 15t of medical supplies to Wuhan after which it evacuated the 112 passengers.

South Korea reports new cases

-South Korea has reported 334 new cases and no new deaths. The total cases now stand at 1,595 and 12 deaths so far.

Finland and Lebanon report second cases

– Finland has confirmed a second coronavirus case in Finland – a female national who had recently visited Milan, Italy.

– Lebanon’s health ministry also reported the country’s second case in a person who returned from a trip to Iran.

Death toll touches 2,800

– The death toll due to coronavirus has increased to 2,800 with around 2,640 deaths in Hubei Province in China as of the end of 26 February.

– The confirmed cases around the world are more than 82,000 while recoveries also increased to 32,000.  

26 Feb: 

Croatia confirms third case

– Croatia confirmed its third case – a man who had been working in Italy – in Rijeka city.  The first two cases were earlier reported in the country’s capital, Zagreb.

Romania reports first case

– Romania confirmed its first Covid-19 case in a man who was in contact with an Italian diagnosed with the virus. The Italian, who visited Romania between 18 and 22 February, was diagnosed after returning to Italy.

US-South Korea postpone military training

Republic of Korea (ROK)-US Alliance has postponed combined command post training after the ROK government declared the highest alert level on Covid-19.

Diamond Princess cases rise to 705

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has announced that the total cases associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship has increased to 705. Authorities tested 4,061 people.

Italy reports new cases

– Italy has reported that the total number of cases has risen to 400 in the country. It has not reported any new deaths which currently stand at 12.

First cases in Pakistan, Norway, Georgia and North Macedonia 

– Pakistan has reported its first two cases. The infected had a history of travelling to Iran. The patients are reported to be stable.

– Norway recorded its first case of Covid-19 in a person who returned from China. Local media stated that the patient is stable and shows no symptoms.

– A Georgian national tested positive, the first in the country. The man came from Azerbaijan and was travelling from Iran. The man’s travel companions tested negative for the virus, but are under quarantine.

– North Macedonia also reported its first case. The woman travelled to the country from Italy.

Italy reports one new death; 52 new cases

– Italy’s Ministry of Health has reported 374  infections in the country of which 12 people have died. One person has recovered.

Japan reports one new death

– With one new death in Japan, the nation’s death toll rised to six, including four fatalities from the Diamond Princess ship.

– The latest casualty, which occurred in Tokyo, is said to be a male in his 80s.

Greece confirms first case

– Greece has reported its first case in a 38-year-old national who visited northern Italy, according to health ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras.

Iran death toll reaches 19; Kuwait reports six new cases

– With three new reported deaths, Iran’s death toll climbs up to 19 with 139 confirmed cases.

– Kuwait confirms six additonal positive cases, bringing the total to 18 cases.

France reports second death

– French health authorities have reported second death. The fatality, a 60-year-old French man in Paris, is one of the new cases reported in the country. The total infections in France stands at 18.


– UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority told Reuters that it is well-prepared to tackle the ‘worst case scenario’ of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bahrain confirms nine cases

– Bahrain has confirmed nine new cases to the previous 17, taking the total to 26. The country has started screening passengers arriving from affected countries. People who have visited Iran in February have been asked to get tested.


– KCDC reported an additional 115 cases and one death, taking the total to 1,261 confirmed cases and 12 deaths.

– A second evacuation flight sent by Malaysia repatriated 66 citizens from Wuhan. The plane landed today at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

– Thailand confirmed three new cases, taking total infections to 40. Health ministry said that two of the new cases had returned from holidays in Japan and came into contact with the third.

– Kuwait reported new coronavirus infections, which increase the total in the country to 12.

– US Forces Korea stated that a US service member stationed in South Korea tested positive.

Death toll passes 2,750; recoveries rise

– The number of deaths due to coronavirus has increased to more than 2,750 as of the end of 25 February.

– The number of infected cases has risen to around 81,000 while the recovered cases exceeded 30,000.

South Korea reports new cases

– KCDC has reported an additional 169 new cases, taking the total to 1,146. With new deaths reported, the total number of deaths in the country stands at 11.    

25 Feb: 

Algeria reports first case; second African country with confirmed cases

– Algeria reported its first positive case – an Italian adult who arrived in the African country on 17 February. This represents the second case in Africa.


– Jamaica and the Cayman Islands denied entry to Meraviglia cruise ship as it carried a sick crew member who travelled to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases.

– Switzerland confirmed its first Covid-19 case in canton of Ticino. Swiss health ministry noted the man was in Italy approximately ten days ago when he attended an event near Milan.

– Italy has reported 322 confirmed cases and 11 deaths with one recovery, as of the end of 25 February.

– Brazil reports its first case of the coronavirus.

– El Salvador bans visitors from Italy and South Korea. Salvadoran citizens arriving from these countries will face 30-day quarantine.

Iran Deputy Health Minister tests positive; one more death reported

– Iranian Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has tested positive for the coronavirus, confirmed health ministry spokesman.

– The country has reported 95 confirmed cases of the virus with 16 deaths so far. The Health Ministry has asked citizens to stay at home.


– Austria has announced its first two cases of the Covid-19 in Tyrol province that shares a border with Italy.

– Croatia has reported its first case of the coronavirus in the country. The patient is a young person and has mild symptoms who was in Milan from 19 to 21 February.

– Bahrain’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of eight cases, including six new cases – two Bahraini and four Saudi citizens who arrived from Iran via Dubai.

– With three new confirmations, Kuwait’s total Covid-19 cases increased to eight. KUNA  news agency noted that all the three new cases had returned from Iran.

– Iran has reported three additional deaths due to Covid-19, taking the death toll to 15 with 61 confirmed cases.

– Iraq has announced four new positive cases in Kirkuk province, bringing the total to five. The cases were identified in a Iraqi family who travelled to Iran.

– South Italy has recorded its first positive case of the coronavirus. The woman, who was on a holiday in Sicily, was sent to the hospital and her husband and friends were put under a 15-day quarantine.

– With 84 new cases in South Korea, the country’s total surged to 977. Two additional deaths are also confirmed, rising the total to ten.

– Thailand health officials confirmed two new coronavirus Covid-19 cases, which rise the total to 37. Both of the new cases are said to be Thai citizens.

Diamond Princess update: Japan reports fourth death; Philippines and India to send flights

– NHK reported that another passenger from the Diamond Princess has died, taking the total deaths from the ship to four. The deceased was around 80 years old and from Japan.

– Japan asked schools to temporarily close, even if there are no confirmed cases in the school.

– The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs has sent two flights to repatriate approximately 400 citizens who were on the Diamond Princess cruise.

– India has also started arrangements for a charter flight to evacuate around 120 citizens on the ship.

Death toll nears 2,700; recoveries exceed 27,000

– The number of deaths due to Covid-19 has neared 2,700, as of the end of 24 February.

– The number of positive cases has exceeded 80,000 worldwide and the number of recoveries stands at more than 27,000.

South Korea reports 60 new cases and one new death

– South Korea has reported 60 additional cases, the smallest increase in its confirmed cases so far. There are now 893 positive cases in South Korea.

– The KCDC also announced one more death in the country, taking the total to eight.

24 Feb: 

– Spain confirms third case in an Italian male who was on a holiday in Tenerife.

– Italy reported seven deaths in total with 229 total confirmed cases in the country, as of the end of 24 February.

– Oman’s Ministry of Health confirmed first coronavirus cases in two women who returned from Iran.

– Kuwait and Bahrain report additional cases, increasing the total to five and two, respectively. The new patients in Kuwait are said to have arrived from Mashhad, Iran.

US CDC confirms 53 cases of coronavirus

– The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that there are 53 cases of the Covid-19 in the country, as of 24 February.

– Of the 53 cases, 14 are in the country, including two new cases in California. The remaining 39 are citizens repatriated from Diamond Princess cruise ship.

– Iraq confirmed its first coronavirus Covid-19 case in Najaf city.

– Italy reported two more deaths, rising the total to five. The government has put nearly 50,000 people in 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto under quarantine.

– Afghanistan confirmed its first case of Covid-19 coronavirus.

– South Korea reported 70 new additional cases to total 833.


Iran official states 50 deaths in the country; govt denies claims

– ILNA news agency has quoted a Qom official Ahmad Amiriabadi Farahani as saying that the death toll in the country stood at 50 on 13 February.

– However, the officials have stated on 24 February that death toll has increased 12, including four additional deaths reported today.

– Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has rejected the claims of cover-up. He stated that it was ‘not the time for political confrontations’.

– Farahani denied to retract his statement.


Kuwait, Bahrain confirm first cases 

– The Ministry of Health in Bahrain has reported the first coronavirus case – a citizen who returned from Iran.

– Three cases have been confirmed in Kuwait, reported local news agency KUNA, which said that the individuals just returned from Iran.


Diamond Princess update: one more death reported

– Another Japanese passenger, a man in his 80s has died from the Covid-19 coronavirus. The total cases on Diamond Princess is 691 with three deaths.


Iran’s neighbours close borders

– Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions on Iran, which was the first to report deaths in the Middle East region.

– Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia also closed their borders with Iran.


Death toll exceeds 2,600; South Korea reports 161 new cases

Death toll due to Covid-19 coronavirus increased to more than 2,600, as of the end of 23 February.

– The number of confirmed cases rises to more than 79,000, with the cases in Mainland China crossing 77,000.

– South Korea has announced 161 new positive cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 763, with seven deaths in the country. The government raised infectious disease alert to the highest.


Italy reports third death and new cases

– Italy has now become the most affected country in Europe with more than 150 Covid-19 cases. The country also reported third death from the new virus.

– Coronavirus ‘hotspot’ towns have been sealed to control the spread. The country also halted public gatherings, including suspension of the Venice carnival.


Israel confirms second case

– An Israeli who returned from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has tested positive, said Sheba Medical Center. This increases the country’s total to two.

23 Feb:

UK reports four new cases; total 13

– The UK


Iran reports two more deaths

– Two additional deaths have occurred in Iran, taking the total to eight, according to the country’s health minister. The total number of cases in the nation reached 43.


South Korea reports fifth death, new cases

– The KCDC in South Korea has reported one additional death, taking the total to five. Also, with 46 new cases, the total number of infections reach 602.


Singapore reports new cases

– Singapore authorities have confirmed a total of 89 cases to date. The country’s health ministry also reported a total of 51 recoveries.


Four more Indian passengers on Diamond Princess test positive

– Four additional Indian passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine in Japan have tested positive. This rises the number of Indian cases on the ship to 12.


Cases and deaths rise in South Korea

– The total number of cases in South Korea have increased to 556. Majority of the new cases are linked to the Shincheonji church or Cheongdo Daenam hospital cluster.

– The country also reported two new deaths, which increase the total to four.


Italy records cases surge

The number of infections in Italy have surged to 79, representing nearly four times growth from the last count of 20.


Death toll rises to 2,458; Iran reports sixth death

– Death toll has increased to 2,458, including 2,443 deaths in China, as of the end of 22 February. The total number of cases climbed to more than 78,600.

– One new death has occurred in Iran on 22 February, taking the total to six, reported the country’s media. 

22 Feb:

– The US, UAE, Israel and Lebanon have reported additional cases.


Death toll rises to 2,360; Iran reports two deaths

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has reached 2,360, including two more deaths confirmed in Iran as of the end of 21 February. The total number of deaths in Iran is now four.

– The total number of confirmed cases around the world increased to 77,659 with 76,288 cases in Mainland China. The number of recoveries also increases to more than 20,000.


Italy reports one death

– Italy announced one death in the country in Padova in the Veneto region. The deceased was a 78-year-old man.

– The country has also reported 16 additional cases, bringing the total to 20.

21 Feb:

Italy confirms one new case

– Italy has confirmed one new case of Covid-19, bringing the total to four cases in the country. Previously, two Chinese nationals and one Italian were tested positive.

– The positive case was confirmed in a 38-year-old man in the Lombardy region, who is now admitted in a hospital in Codogno.


Cases in South Korea rise to 204

– The total confirmed cases in South Korea have surged to 204, most of which were found in the Daegu city.

– Officials have banned downtown rallies and closed a park, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.


Diamond Princess update

– The flight carrying around 200 Canadian citizens has taken off from Tokyo airport. After landing in Ontario, Canada, the passengers will undergo additional 14 days of quarantine.

– Flight to evacuate Britons from the cruise ship will take off on 21 February, one day after the previously announced date.


China reports more than 200 cases in prisons

– China has reported more than 200 positive cases in two prisons outside of Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.


Young doctor in Wuhan dies

– Covid-19 has claimed the life of a 29-year-old doctor who worked at First People’s Hospital in Wuhan.

– Named Peng Yinhua, the doctor, who delayed his wedding to continue working, was admitted to hospital on 25 January and succumbed to the coronavirus disease on 20 January.


US reports one new case; total 16

– A new case has been reported in Humboldt County, California, increasing the number of cases in the country to 16.


Cases in South Korea rise to 156

– With 52 new infections reported in South Korea, the country’s total surged to 156 cases. Of the new cases, 39 were traced to the Shincheonji church cluster.

– Government has strengthened measures to control the spread, and declared Daegu and Cheongdo cities as ‘special care zones’.


Death toll reaches 2,247

– The deaths due to Covid-19 have reached 2,247, with majority of the deaths in Mainland China, as of the end of 20 February.

– The total number of confirmed cases increased to more than 76,000, with more than 75,400 in mainland China. The number of recoveries stands at around 18,200. 


Two Australian evacuees from Diamond Princess test positive

– Two Diamond Princess passengers tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Australia after around 170 Australians were evacuated from the ship on 20 February. The total number of cases on the ship reached 634.


Ukraine protesters attack China evacuee buses

– Protesters in a Ukrainian town have attacked buses carrying evacuees from China. The evacuees were being transported to a hospital in Novi Sanzhary.

– All evacuees tested negative during official screening. The protest comes after a fake email, which was claimed to be from the Ministry of Health, said some evacuees had contracted the virus.

– Ukraine’s security service (SSU) said that the false email is being investigated. According to media reports, nine police and one civilian were hospitalised, while more than ten protesters were detained.

20 Feb:

Iran reports three new cases

– As of the end of 20 February, Iran has confirmed three new Covid-19 cases a day after the death of two elderly citizens in the country.


India plans to limit drug exports

– India plans to restrict export of antibiotics and vitamins as supply from China is disrupted due to coronavirus Covid-19.


One death reported in South Korea

– The KCDC reported the death of a coronavirus patient linked to the Cheongdon Daenam hospital cluster.

– The agency also confirmed 22 new cases since the last count, taking the total to 104. Out of 21 new cases, five were related to Shincheonji Church of Jesus cluster, 13 with Cheongdo Daenam hospital and one with Saeronan oriental hospital.


South Korea confirms 31 new cases to total 82

– The KCDC in South Korea has confirmed 31 new cases taking the total to 82. Of the new cases, 23 have been traced to the 31st case who attended Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu.


Diamond Princess updates

– Two Japanese passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from the novel coronavirus. Both the patients were in their 80s with underlying health conditions, reported local media. This increases Covid-19 deaths to 2,128.

– Approximately 180 Australians repatriated from the cruise have landed in Darwin and will be subjected to a second 14-day quarantine period.


Death toll reaches 2,126; Iran reports two deaths

– Covid-19 deaths have reached 2,126, including two deaths in Iran, as of the end of 19 February. The deceased in Iran were two elderly citizens in Qom city, said Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to the country’s health minister.

– The total number of cases rose to more than 75,700, including 74,576 in mainland China. The number of recoveries also increased to approximately 16,300.

19 Feb:

Diamond Princess cases increase to 621

– The Japanese ministry announced that the number of cases on Diamond Princess has increased to 621 of the 3,011 people tested. This represents an increase of 79 cases from the last count.


Hong Kong reports second death

– Hong Kong reported its second Covid-19 death – a 70-year-old man, who had underlying illnesses and was receiving treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital.


Passengers on Diamond Princess disembark

– Passengers who have tested negative started disembarking from the cruise ship after a 14-day quarantine period.


South Korea reports 19 new cases to total 51

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported 19 new cases, which increase the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 51.

– Epidemiological investigation revealed that 11 of the new cases are contacts of the 31st case.


Death toll passes 2,000; New recoveries exceed new infections

– Deaths from the new coronavirus have increased to more than 2,000, including 2,004 in mainland China, as of the end of 18 February.

– For the first time, the number of newly recovered patients exceeded that of new confirmed cases in China. In mainland China, 1,749 new cases were confirmed on 18 February, while 1,824 patients newly recovered.

– The total number of infections climbed to more than 75,000.

18 Feb:

Singapore, Hong Kong report new cases

– Singapore health ministry confirmed four new Covid-19 cases, which rise the total to 81. The ministry also reported a total of 29 recoveries to date.

– The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong reported two new cases to total 62.


Diamond Princess cases reach 542; Taiwan plans repatriation

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed that the number of cases on Diamond Princess has reached 542 of the 2,404 people tested.

– Taiwan announced plans to fly back its nationals who are onboard the cruise. Of more than 20 Taiwanese on the vessel, four have tested positive.


South Korea confirms 31st case

–  The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported the country’s 31st case –  a 61-year-old South Korean woman currently in isolation.


UK and South Korea plan Diamond Princess evacuations

– South Korea is set to send an aircraft to Japan to bring back five passengers onboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. The aircraft will take off today at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Seoul.

– The UK government is also planning to send a flight to Japan to evacuate its citizens from the ship.


Deaths increase to 1,873; infections rate drops

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,873, with 98 new deaths in China, as of the end of 17 February. The total number of infection cases has exceeded 73,000, including 72,436 cases in mainland China.

– Chinese authorities have reported that new coronavirus confirmed cases outside the Hubei province recorded a drop for 14 consecutive days since 3 February.

17 Feb:

Update: More than 200 Australian evacuees return home

– More than 200 Australian evacuees from Wuhan return home after 14 days of quarantine on Christmas Island. None of the evacuees tested positive during the quarantine period.


Singapore confirms two new cases to total 77

– Singapore ministry of health confirmed two new cases – a one year-old male evacuee from Wuhan and a 35 year-old male with no recent travel history to China. These new cases take the country’s total Covid-19 cases to 77.


Diamond Princess – cases rise to 454; 14 new US passengers test positive; Australia plans repatriation

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced that the number of cases on the cruise ship has further risen to 454 of the 1,723 people tested.

– The US Departments of State and Health and Human Services announced that after citizens disembarked the ship, 14 passengers, who underwent tests two to three days earlier, had tested positive. These patients were asymptomatic and have been isolated in a special containment area on the evacuation aircraft.

– Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the country will repatriate more than 200 Australians and New Zealanders onboard the cruise ship.  An aircraft will be sent to Japan on 19 February.


Thailand reports 35th case

– Thailand has reported a new Covid-19 case, which increases the nation’s total to 35. The new patient is a 60-year-old Chinese woman whose family members were diagnosed earlier.


New cases on Diamond Princess

– The total number of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has increased to 355, including three Israelis and two new Indian nationals taking the country’s total onboard to five.

– Israel is considering sending a flight to fly back the remaining Israelis, who have not tested positive, from Japan.

– The Philippines authorities have confirmed 16 new cases onboard the ship, taking the total number of infected Filipinos on the cruise to 27.


Death toll reaches 1,775; Taiwan reports first death

– The coronavirus Covid-19 death toll has reached 1,775 with 105 new deaths in China and one in Taiwan, as of the end of 16 February.

– In Taiwan, a 61-year-old man with a history of diabetes and hepatitis B had died after contracting Covid-19, marking the first novel coronavirus-related death in the country.

– The total number of infection cases has increased to more than 71,000, including 70,548 in mainland China.

16 Feb: 

Update: UAE reports ninth case; Germany releases 100 from quarantine

– The Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE reported the ninth novel coronavirus case in the country. The new patient is a 37-year old Chinese who was diagnosed during a routine check-up.

– At a military base near Frankfurt airport, 100 German evacuees from Wuhan, China were released from their two-week quarantine after none of them tested positive.


South Korea confirms 29th Covid-19 case

– The South Korean government reported a new coronavirus Covid-19 case  on Sunday, which marks the country’s 29th case.

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that the new patient, aged 82-years, contracted virus with no history of overseas travel or contact with any confirmed patients.


Covid-19 deaths climb to 1,669 

– The coronavirus Covid-19 deaths have claimed further to 1,669 with 142 new deaths in China and one in France as of the end of 15 February. The total number of deaths in mainland China reached 1,665.

– The total number of positive cases surged to 69,186 with 68,500 cases in Mainland China.

– The severe cases are said to be 11,273, while total recoveries stand at 9,600.

15 Feb: 

France reports first covid-19 death; Malaysia, Thailand report new cases

– France reported its first covid-19 death today, which also marks the first death outside Asia.

– French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn confirmed the death of an 80-year old Chinese tourist, who travelled to France from the Hubei province on January 16.

– Malaysia has reported two new coronavirus covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total infected cases in the country to 21, while Thailand has reported a new case taking the country’s total to 34.


US to airlift Americans on board Diamond Princess; India making efforts

– US is planing to airlift its nationals from the quarantined Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess.

– US embassy in Japan has informed all the American passengers and crew on board about this decision in an email.

– Diamond Princess has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections outside China so far.

– Indian Embassy in Japan also said on Saturday that it is making efforts to evacuate all the Indians on board the cruise ship.


Death toll touches 1,526; Egypt reports first case

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,526, with 143 new deaths reported, as of the end of 13 February.

– The number of new cases increased to more than more than 67,000 of which 66,492 infections are reported in Mainland China. 

– Egypt has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 and has stated that the affected is a ‘foreigner’ who was asymptomatic.

14 Feb:

Facebook, IBM cancel conference plans over coronavirus fears

– Facebook announced the cancellation of its Global Marketing Summit scheduled to take place from 9 March to 15 March in San Francisco, US.

– IBM pulled out of the annual RSA cybersecurity conference, which is set start on 24 February in San Francisco.


Passengers on Westerdam cruise ship disembark

– Westerdam cruise ship, which docked in Cambodia after being turned away by five countries over the fear of the coronavirus, has received permission to disembark its guests after 20 samples taken onboard tested negative.


Death toll rises to 1,383

Deaths from the new coronavirus Covid-19 increased to 1,383, including the latest one in Japan. The total number of deaths in mainland China is 1,380. The total number of infections reached 64,429, including 63,911 in China, Hong Kong and Macau

13 Feb:

Japan reports first Covid-19 death

– Japan health minister Katsunobu Kato confirmed the first Covid-19 death in the country – a woman in her 80s whose infection was reported to have been confirmed after death.

– The total number of cases in Japan reached 248, including 218 from the quarantined cruise ship and 30 in the country.


New cases in US, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong

– The US CDC announced 15th case in the country – a recent evacuee quarantined at JBSA-Lackland in Texas.

– Malaysia health director-general has confirmed the nation’s 19th case, a 39-year-old woman who returned from Wuhan, China. The woman is reported to be related to 14th and 16th Covid-19 cases confirmed in the country.

– The number of cases in Vietnam has increased to 16, after a 50-year old man tested positive in Son Loi town. Local authorities have put Son Loi, which recorded a total of eight cases, on lockdown for 20 days.

– Hong Kong authorities have reported a new case, which takes the total to 51.


Deaths increase to 1,369; Hubei sees infections surge

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,369, indicating 254 new deaths, as of the end of 12 February.

– The number of new cases saw a surge of about 15,200, from approximately 45,100 to more than 60,300. This jump is due to 14,840 new cases confirmed in Hubei Province alone.

– Japanese health minister confirmed 44 new cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, increasing the total to 219, including a quarantine officer.

12 Feb:

Mobile World Congress cancelled

– The largest global mobile event, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled over coronavirus fears.

– The decision is said to be based on ‘the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances’.

– This comes after various exhibitors, including Facebook, Amazon, Sony, Nokia and LG said that they would be pulling out of the event.


UK reports ninth case; US confirms second case among evacuees

– England chief medical officer has comfirmed that the number of coronavirus cases in the country had increased to nine.

– The US CDC confirmed a second case among evacuees quarantined in California, rising the total cases in the country to 14.


DBS evacuates 300 after one is infected

– Singapore’s DBS bank has evacuated 300 employees after one employee was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus. With three new cases reported, the total cases in Singapore touched 50, one of the highest outside China.


Japan cruise cases increase to 174

– The total confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan, have surged to 174, in addition to the positive case of a quarantine officer.


Death toll reaches 1,115; recoveries rise

Deaths from the new coronavirus have reached 1,115, while the total number of cases exceeded 45,100, including 44,653 reported in mainland China by authorities as of the end of 11 February.

– According to NHC official Mi Feng, the proportion of recovered patients in China increased to 8.2% as of 10 February, from 1.3% on 27 January.

11 Feb:

WHO gives name to new coronavirus disease

– The WHO has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus as ‘Covid-19’.

– Ukraine is screening five of its citizens for the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Zoriana Skaletska said at a press briefing on 11 February.

– According to Skaletska, three of the five suspected patients returned from China while the remaining two were in contact with them.

– Germany confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in Bavaria, raising the total cases in the country to 16.

– The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong has reported seven new coronavirus infection cases, taking the toal to 49.

– After two cases were confirmed in the same building, Hong Kong government evacuated all of its more than 100 residents to control the spread of the infection. The confirmed cases were residing on different floors of the building.

– Vietnam’s health ministry confirmed a new case, who is a three-month-old baby thought to be infected by her grandparent. The total number of cases in the country stand at 15.

– With 108 new deaths in China, the total toll has reached 1,018. NHC report shows 42,638 confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland China, as of the end of 10 February, which takes the number of global cases to around 43,000.

10 Feb:

UAE, US report new cases; Infections on cruise nearly double

– Eighth case has been confirmed in the UAE, an Indian national who had contact with a recently diagnosed person.

– The US CDC reported a new case in California, who was one of the evacuees from Wuhan. This rises the total cases in the country to 13.

– The number of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise quarantined in Japan have nearly doubled, with 135 total cases on board. As of 9 February, 70 cases were confirmed on the Diamond Princess.


UK declares imminent threat as four more cases confirmed

– The UK government has declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘serious and imminent threat to public health’.

– Four new cases have been diagnosed in the UK, doubling the total confirmed cases to eight.

– WHO has noted that cases of the new coronavirus among people who have not travelled to China could be the ‘tip of the iceberg’. The agency has sent members of its international expert mission team to help China deal with the outbreak.


Death toll surges to 910; Malaysia confirms sixth citizen case

Death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic has surged to 910, as of the end of 09 February, including 97 new deaths from the day before.

– The total number of cases stands at ‭40,547 globally, of which 40,171 are in mainland China. NHC report shows a total of 3,281 recoveries in the region.

– Malaysia health director confirmed the sixth citizen case of coronavirus infection, a 31-year-old man who worked in Macau, China and returned to Malaysia on  1 February. This takes the total coronavirus cases in the country to 18.

09 Feb:

UK reports fourth coronavirus case

– UK has reported its fourth coronavirus case on Sunday.

– England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty said in a statement that the new patient is a known contact of one of UK’s existing cases and has reportedly contracted virus in France.

– The patient has now been moved to NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital, and being treated using robust infection control measures to contain further spread of the virus.


Death toll passes 800 in China; Overtakes SARS

– The number of coronavirus deaths reached 813 globally as of the end of 8 February, overtaking the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2002-2003 that claimed 774 lives.

– Of the total fatalities, 811 were reported in mainland China and one each in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

– New cases have now touched 37,549 worldwide, of which 37,198 represent mainland China.

– China’s National Health Commission reported 2,656 new confirmed cases, 3,916 new suspected cases, 87 serious cases, and 89 deaths on Saturday alone.

– NHC also reported 600 new recovered cases on Saturday, taking the overall cured cases in mainland China to 2,649 as of Saturday.

08 Feb:

France reports five new cases; UAE confirms two

– France and UAE have confirmed two new cases today, taking their respective totals to 11 and seven.

– France health minister said Saturday that five British nationals in the country have been tested positive for coronavirus. The new cases, including a child, were staying in the same ski chalet and reportedly contracted virus after coming into contact with a Brit, who recently travelled to Singapore.

– The United Arab Emirates too reported two new cases on Saturday. The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention added that the two patients, a Chinese and a Filipino national, are under observation.

– China has opened a second prefabricated hospital  with 1,600 beds in Wuhan to treat patients infected with coronavirus.


US and Japanese citizens die in Wuhan

– US embassy has confirmed that an American citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died in Wuhan on 06 February. This is the first known death of a US national due to the new coronavirus.

– A 60-year-old Japanese man with suspected coronavirus infection also died in Wuhan today.


Death toll passes 700; Hong Kong enforces quarantine

– Coronavirus deaths have gone past 700 as of the end of 07 February, with China reporting 86 new deaths. Death toll now stands at 724, while a total of 34,881 cases have been confirmed. Of the 34,546 cases in mainland China, 6,101 are serious.

– Hong Kong began imposing a two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China. Visitors must quarantine themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres, while returning nationals must stay inside their homes. 

07 Feb:

Death toll hits 638; Chinese whistleblower doctor dies

Death toll from the new coronavirus stands at 638, as of the end of 06 February. A total of ‭31,428‬ infection cases have been confirmed, including 31,161 in mainland China.

– The Chinese doctor who had reportedly tried to issue an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak has died after contracting the virus while working at a hospital in Wuhan.

– Japan reported 41 new cases of coronavirus infection on a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama harbour. This raises the total positive cases on the ship to 61.

– The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in Taiwan has confirmed three new imported cornavirus cases, taking the nation’s total to 16.

06 Feb:

Third case confirmed in the UK; India evacuees test negative

– England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Witty has confirmed a third case of coronavirus in the UK.

– As of the end of 05 February, the coronavirus has led to 565 deaths, including 73 new deaths compared to 4 February in mainland China. The total number of confirmed cases is 28,275. Of the 28,049 confirmed cases in China, 3,859 are reported to be severe cases. So far, 1,153 patients have recovered in mainland China.

– Indian authorities confirmed that all 645 of the country’s evacuees from Wuhan tested negative for the coronavirus.

– Japanese health officials said ten more passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

– Two new cases on Vietnam increase its total to 12, while the number of cases in Singapore reached 30.

05 Feb:

Death toll reaches 492; Japan confirms ten cases on cruise

– With 65 new deaths in China, the toll has reached 492, while the number of infected cases has surged to nearly 24,527, as of the end of 04 February, said Chinese authorities. Of the 24,324 confirmed cases in mainland China, 3,219 cases are in serious condition.

– After screening passengers on a cruise ship, named Diamond Princess, the Japanese authorities confirmed ten positive cases. These patients include three Japanese, two Australians, three from Hong Kong, one from the US and a Filipino crewmember.

– Health authorities confirmed that two Malaysian evacuees, a 45-year-old man and his nine-year-old son, from Wuhan have tested positive for the new coronavirus. This increases the number of cases in the country to 12 – nine Chinese nationals and three Malaysians.

– US confirmed a new case in Wisconsin, an adult who travelled to Beijing, China. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 12.

04 Feb:

Malaysia reports first citizen infected; Belgium confirms first case

– A 41-year-old man, who travelled to Singapore for a conference, has become the first Malaysian to be infected by coronavirus. The Malaysian is one of the two new cases confirmed while the other being a Chinese national aged 61. This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to ten, including nine Chinese nationals.

– Belgium has confirmed its first coronavirus case after one of the nine individuals repatriated from Wuhan tested positive for the virus.

– Deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus have surged to 427, as of the end of 03 February. The number of confirmed cases reached 20,623, while 646 infected patients have recovered.

– Hong Kong has reported its first death case, marking the second one outside mainland China, following the Philippines. A 39-year-old man who travelled from Wuhan died on Tuesday in Hong Kong.

– Medical staff strike in Hong Kong continues, while the city closed more cross-boundary control points to China and left two only points open.

03 Feb:

Australia brings back 243 citizens; Hong Kong medical staff on strike

– A Qantas aircraft carrying 243 Australian citizens and permanent residents, including 89 individuals aged under 16, from Wuhan has landed at RAAF base Learmonth in Western Australia.

– Hundreds of hopsital workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike, demanding the closure of the city’s border with China to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading.

– The 1000-bed Huoshenshan hospital built within ten days for coronavirus patients in Wuhan is now ready.

– Novel coronavirus has claimed 362 lives so far, including one in the Philippines, as of the end of 02 February. A total of 17,386 cases have been recorded globally. Of the 17,238 cases reported in China, 2,296 are severe.

– India reported a new coronavirus case on Monday, taking the total confirmed cases in the country to three – all from the southern state of Kerala.

– US confirmed two new cases late on 2 February, rising the nation’s total to 11.

02 Feb:

Death toll soars to 305; First coronavirus patient outside China dies in Philippines

– Coronavirus deaths have gone past 300 as of the end of 01 February, with China reporting 304 deaths and the Philippines confirming its first death of a 44-year old  Chinese man from Wuhan city.

– The Philippines case also marked the first death outside China, since it first broke out in Wuhan city on 31 December 2019.

– Coronavirus infected cases have soared on Saturday with over 3,000 new cases, taking the total to an alarming 14,413, according to Chinese health authorities.

– Suspected cases are nearing 20,000 mark, standing at 19,544 as of 01 February.

– Chinese government called for culling of chickens in Shaoyang city following an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in Hunan province.

01 Feb:

Death toll hits 259; Coronavirus reaches Russia, Spain, Sweden

– With 46 new deaths in China, the toll has reached 259, while the number of infected cases has touched 11,374 across a total of 26 countries.

– Spreading its roots further, coronavirus reached three more countries as of 01 February. Russia reported two first cases while Spain and Sweden reported one each.

– US denies entry to foreign nationals who have visited China in the last two weeks.

– No deaths are reported outside mainland China.

– Australia on Saturday announced that it would bar entry to non-citizens coming from China.

– In a sigh of relief, Chinese health authorities announced on 01 February that 243 coronavirus had been discharged from hospitals after recovery by the end of Friday. 

31 Jan:

Death toll hits 213; WHO declares global emergency; UK confirms first cases

– Death toll from the virus has touched 213 and the number of infected cases increased to 9,776, as of the end of Thursday.

– First coronavirus suspect in New Zealand announced.

– NHS England chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the UK.

– Thailand reported its first case of domestic transmission, while China sent flights to bring back Wuhan citizens from Thailand and Malaysia.

– Mongolia and Singapore closed their borders to China to contain the virus.

– WHO emergency committee has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.

30 Jan:

Russia closes 2,700 mile border; US reports first domestic case

– Russia has reported first suspected case, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed an order to immediately close 2,700 mile border with China.

– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has confirmed its first case of person-to-person transmission.

– The number of deaths from the virus have reached 170 as of late 29 January, with a total of 7,783 people infected, of which 7,678 are in mainland China.

– India and the Philippines have confirmed their first cases, while Italy confirmed two cases.

– The number of affected countries so far is 23, including China.

– A plane has taken off from Portugal to evacuate people from various European countries from Wuhan. The UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab confirmed UK citizens will be evacuated tomorrow morning – Spanish nationals will also be simultaneously repatriated as part of a joint operation between the two countries. 

29 Jan:

Death toll touches 132; UAE and Germany confirm four cases

– As of the end of Tuesday, China has confirmed 132 deaths and a total of 5,974 infected cases, including 1,459 new cases. At least 86 cases are reported in other countries.

– Finland has confirmed its first case.

– Four members of the same Chinese family in the UAE have been infected with coronavirus, while Germany confirms three more cases taking its total to four.

– US evacuates nationals from Wuhan, India to send plane tonight to airlift 250 citizens from Wuhan.

– Australia has confirmed a second case in Victoria and a first in Queensland bringing the confirmed Australian cases to seven.

– New Zealand will join Australia to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan in China.

Australian researchers have become the first to recreate new coronavirus outside of China.

– UK plans to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan. British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China. 

28 Jan:

Japan, Taiwan and Germany report first domestic transmission

– Japan, Taiwan and Germany confirm their first cases of domestic transmission of coronavirus.

– Japan sends a chartered flight to Wuhan to evacuate its citizens.

– Germany and Cambodia have reported their first cases late Monday, marking a further spread of the deadly virus to newer regions.

–  China has issued the latest coronavirus update, confirming 107 deaths so far, followed by 4,515 confirmed and 6,973 suspected cases.

– In an attempt to limit the spread of virus, Hong Kong plans to limit the transport with mainland China from 30 January.

– Chinese researchers are exploring the use of natural products and their traditional medicines to combat coronavirus.

– China has suspended trading on its two major stock exchanges, Shanghai and Shenzhen, until next Monday to prevent panic selling as coronavirus fears grow. 

– Air Canada and Finnair have cancelled some flights to China.

– White House may suspend flights to China.

– Sri Lanka suspends visa on arrival for Chinese nationals.


27 Jan:

Sri Lanka reports first coronavirus case; More countries look to evacuate nationals

– Sri Lanka has reported its first coronavirus case of a 40-year old woman tourist from Hubei province in China, a senior Sri Lankan health official confirmed on Monday.

– Spain and Portugal are the two new countries after the US and France that are looking to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan city.

– US, Taiwan and Singapore have announced their respective fifth cases of the deadly coronavirus, while South Korea reported its fourth.

– Malaysia has imposed a temporary ban on Chinese visitors from the city of Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province.

– The death toll has increased to 81 and the confirmed cases in China to 2,744, with about half of them from Hubei province.

26 Jan:

US, France to evacuate nationals from Wuhan; WHO changes risk to ‘high; Mexico confirms first case

– The US government has announced a special flight between Wuhan and San Francisco to evacuate all American citizens from the stricken city on 28 Jan.

– The US has also confirmed its third case in Orange county, California, while Shanghai reported its first death of an 88-year old man from the deadly virus.

– Mexico reports its first confirmed case, while Ivory Coast is dealing with a suspected case of coronavirus.

– France is preparing to evacuate hundreds of its citizens from Wuhan by air, as the country already reported three confirmed coronavirus cases.

– Hong Kong and Taiwan have tightened restrictions against visitors from Hubei province.

– The World Health Organization revised its previous report on China virus saying that the global risk from the virus is “high” and not “moderate”.

– China’s National Health Commission said on Sunday morning that the country has reported 15 more fatalities on 25-Jan, taking the toll to 56 and reported cases to 1975 thereby raising alarm across the globe.

25 Jan:

Hong Kong announces health emergency; Canada, Nepal report first cases

-Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has declared a health emergency in the city over coronavirus and announced the extension of school break until 17 Feb. Hong Kong cancelled all official visits to China, as the city reported five confirmed cases as of Saturday.

– Canada has reported its first “presumptive” coronavirus case of a 50-year old man who returned from Wuhan, China on 22 Jan, while a Nepali student returned from China tested positive for the new coronavirus.

– Death toll rose to 41 while confirmed cases touched 1320 globally, according to WHO. Of these, 1297 cases were reported in Greater China and 23 were reported outside China.

-China  bans wild animal trade until the coronavirus outbreak eases.

-Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) increased the preventive measures at the railway stations and train compartments.

-Airports Council International (ACI) World issued guidelines ‘Advisory Bulletin: Transmission of Communicable Diseases’ for airports to adopt necessary measures against the virus.

-Cruise operators including Royal Caribbean and MSC, have suspended cruises to China. 

24 Jan:

China implements further travel restrictions; Starts building temporary hospital

-China has imposed travel restrictions on some more cities such as Chibi, Zhijiang, Huangshi, Xiantao, Enshi, Qianjiang and Xianning, according to the People’s Daily newspaper.

-Chinese authorities have initiated construction on a new temporary 1000-bed hospital in Wuhan’s Caidian district with a plan to complete it in a record time of just six days. With high level of safety and protection in place, the new hospital will treat patients of the deadly virus in isolation.

-Toll has increased to 830 confirmed cases in China with 95 patients remaining in critical condition. 

Restaurant chains Starbucks and McDonald’s have announced shut down their stores in China’s Hubei province.

Airports in Malaysia, Canada, Thailand and Uganda implemented different measures to screen passengers who may be infected

Thailand has suspended flights from Chiang Mai Airport to Wuhan until 4 February.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority has started temperature screening at all checkpoints on 24 January.

23 Jan:

China implements travel bans; Singapore confirms first case

China has suspended travel to and from Wuhan city.  Hours later, authorities have put two more cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, under a travel ban.

-Doctors used a robot to treat the first US coronavirus patient.

-WHO met again and postponed decision on international health emergency declaration of the deadly virus.

Several US companies have announced plans to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus.

-Beijing cancelled Chinese New Year celebrations. 

22 Jan:

WHO hold on declaring international health emergency

-The virus has infected over 500 people and led to the deaths of 17 people.

-Airports across the world step up screening of passengers coming from Wuhan.

-WHO officials met in Geneva to discuss the need for declaring coronavirus as an international health emergency and decided to wait further.

-Central China’s Henan Province imposed a ban on sale of live poultry to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. The virus was first identified at Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, the capital of neighbouring Hubei province. 

21 Jan:

US confirms first coronavirus case

US has confirmed its first coronavirus case. The victim, said to be in his 30s, has been admitted at a hospital in Washington upon his return from China.

-China has increased the number of coronavirus infected people to 300 people.

-The virus reached Australia, which announced its coronavirus case. The victim, living in Brisbane, was tested positive with coronavirus after returning from Wuhan city.

-Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US have already started working towards a vaccine against the new, deadly coronavirus. 

20 Jan:

First case detected in South Korea

-Airports in several countries across the world have begun screening of patients showing symptoms of coronavirus.

-China has announced the third death from the deadly virus and over 100 new cases, raising concerns ahead of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year holiday, which begins on 25 January.

-A total of more than 200 cases have been reported in various cities of China.

-A Chinese person who arrived by plane from Wuhan to South Korea was detected with the virus.

-Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that the virus has to be contained.

-Chinese health experts have confirmed that human-to-human transmission is affirmative.

-One British tourist in Thailand is feared to be infected with coronavirus. 

17 Jan:

China reports second coronavirus death

-China has reported the second fatality, with the virus claiming the life of a 69-year-old man in Wuhan.

-US has initiated screening of passengers arriving from Wuhan at San Francisco, JFK and Los Angeles airports. 

15 Jan:

First confirmed coronavirus case in Japan

Japan has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus in a person who stayed in Wuhan.

13 Jan:

First confirmed coronavirus case in Thailand

Coronavirus has spread beyond China, with Thailand reporting the first case of a Chinese woman, returning from a visit to Wuhan, and diagnosed with flu-like symptoms. 

11 Jan:

First coronavirus death reported

A 61-year-old man, who was admitted to hospital on December 27 with suspected fever, dies from the virus in Wuhan. China revises the number of people infected with the virus down to 41. 

9 Jan:

Coronavirus genome sequence released 

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 2019-nCoV is the agent and made the genome sequence available to the world. The new virus is associated to the SARS-CoV group. 

8 Jan:

First suspected coronavirus cases in Thailand

Four suspected flu-like cases have been detected at Chiang Mai International Airport. 

7 Jan:

Virus identified as coronavirus 2019n-CoV

Chinese authorities have identified the virus, called Coronavirus, which is a family of viruses including the common cold, SARS and MERS. Temporarily, this new virus is named as 2019-nCoV. 

6 Jan:

SARS, MERS and bird flu ruled out

Initial investigations into the outbreak ruled out bird flu, seasonal flu, SARS and MERS. The Chinese authorities have reported that the number of suspected cases touched nearly 60 with seven being in critical condition. Human-to-human transmission has not been confirmed yet by the health officials. 

5 Jan:

WHO advises against travel restrictions

WHO has issued a statement that advised against applying any restrictions of travel or trade with China based on the information available. 

3 Jan:

Passengers screened at Wuhan Airport

Passengers arriving from Wuhan airport to Changi airport were put through temperature screening following the flu-like outbreak. 

1 Jan:

Wuhan market identified as outbreak hub

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a seafood market in Wuhan as the suspected hub of the outbreak and the market remained closed since then. 

31 Dec:

First cases detected

China has alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) of several flu-like cases in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province with 11 million population. Patients have been quarantined and health authorities commenced work on tracing the source of the flu. 


This story is developing. Please check in for updates.


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