Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus | Live Updates: More countries shut their borders to slow the spread of coronavirus as death toll climbs

Siobhán O'Grady

Here are some significant developments:
  • The virus continued to spread globally, with Italy announcing a record number of deaths on Wednesday and Spain reporting a similarly alarming death-toll spike on Thursday. But new numbers out of China may offer a glimmer of hope: The country reported no new locally transmitted cases the previous day for the first time since the outbreak began late last year.
  • The European Union’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, 69, said Thursday that he has tested positive for the virus. On Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) both announced positive tests; they are the first confirmed cases in Congress.
  • As confirmed cases topped 200,000, Australia and New Zealand closed their borders to everyone except citizens and residents. United Arab Emirates went further, stopping expatriate residents from returning to the country.
  • The European Central Bank announced an $820 billion emergency bond-buying program as President Trump and congressional leaders planned a $1 trillion stimulus package, including special assistance for small businesses and airlines. Trump also signed into a law a bill to ensure paid leave benefits for many Americans.

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