Greece announced announced on Thursday that all hotels which operate on a 12-month basis will be forced to shut down until April 30. It has additionally banned gatherings of more than ten people as authorities try to contain coronavirus spread.
The number of global novel coronavirus cases on Thursday morning has surpassed 218,800, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and other sources.
The number of deaths worldwide stands at 8,810 at present, according to the university’s tally.
Technology giants Microsoft and Bing have created an interactive map, on which you can select areas and see active, recovered and fatal cases of coronavirus infections. You can also see results by country as well as useful information on the disease. View it here.
March 19 Updates
22:08: Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu urged the citizens of the country to stay at home.
21:25: France confirms 108 new deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic.
20:20: Mount Athos, Greece’s monastic state will not be receiving any visitors or pilgrims until March 30. Full Story.
19:50: The Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a series of new financial measures to assist employees and businesses.
Live | Πήραμε νωρίς δραστικά μέτρα, αλλά δεν ξέρουμε ακόμα πόσο αποτελεσματικά θα είναι. Οι επόμενες εβδομάδες είναι καθοριστικές. Είναι στο χέρι μας να αποδειχθούν σκληρές, αλλά όχι εφιαλτικές. Σας ζητώ να μη γκρεμίσουμε όσα χτίσαμε το τελευταίο διάστημα. https://t.co/6UZ2Vsrvav
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 19, 2020
19:25: Italy’s death toll rises to 3,405. 427 more individuals died in the last 24 hours.
18:45: The Queen of England issued a statement urging everyone to play their part in this global health crisis. Elizabeth II told the public from Windsor that ”we all have a vitally important part to play.”
A message from Her Majesty The Queen:"As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and…
18:05: Greece records 46 new cases, bringing the total number now to 464. 78 individuals are hospitalized, 16 of whom are in serious condition.
15:17: The Ministry of Health of Greece will be offering free coffee or juice every day to all those who work for the country’s National Health System and the National Center of Immediate Assistance (EKAB).
Το Υπουργείο Υγείας μαζί με τα καταστήματα «Everest» προσφέρουν δωρεάν καφέ ή χυμό, καθ’όλη τη διάρκεια της ημέρας, για όσους εργάζονται στα δημόσια νοσοκομεία και στο ΕΚΑΒ.
— ΥΠΟΥΡΓΕΙΟ ΥΓΕΙΑΣ (@YpYgGR) March 19, 2020
17:15: Number of deaths in the UK rises to 128.
16:50: President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou spoke on the telephone on Thursday with Italian President Sergio Mattarella to express her own and the Greek people’s solidarity with the Italian people.
16:30: An additional relief measure in Greece for those out of work due to the pandemic, is that they will be excused from paying their mortgages for three months.
16:15: Greece’s Ministry of Tourism announced that all hotels — with very few exceptions — will have to close until April 30. The measure will come into force on March 23. Full story here.
15:33: The Italian Embassy to Greece sent a message of support to the Greek government for its nationwide efforts against the spread of the coronavirus via its official Twitter account. Full story here.
Sosteniamo pienamente il Governo greco e tutte le forze politiche, economiche e sociali del Paese e ogni cittadino greco per lo sforzo ammirevole, a livello nazionale, nella battaglia che affrontiamo, uniti, contro un nemico comune, invisibile ma non imbattibile. Forza Grecia! 🇬🇷 pic.twitter.com/22y7Wc7DyM
— Italy in Greece (@ItalyinGreece) March 18, 2020
15:30: The Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) announced on Thursday that it is suspending after-midnight services on the Athens metro and Athens tram while reducing the frequency of public transport services of all types during the day.
14:00: Spain’s Health Ministry has reported 209 new deaths, bringing the total to 767, and a jump in infections by one quarter – from 13,716 to 17,147. The country has the fourth highest death toll in the world after China, Italy and Iran.
13:55: Iran, which has the third-largest national outbreak of coronavirus, has just announced another big jump in cases. Authorities say they have detected 1,046 new cases in just the past day, bringing the total to 18,407. It registered 149 deaths in the past 24 hours, out of a total 1,284.
13:50: Some very useful advice from the BBC’s medical correspondent:
13:15: Northern Ireland has recorded the first death of a patient who tested positive for Covid-19, the Department of Health has announced. This takes the UK coronavirus death toll up to 105.
12:50: The official Olympic flame handover for the 2020 Tokyo Games was held at empty Panathenian Stadium. Full story here.
12:30: The EU’s Brexit chief Michel Barnier tests positive for the coronavirus.
I would like to inform you that I have tested positive for #COVID19. I am doing well and in good spirits. I am following all the necessary instructions, as is my team.
For all those affected already, and for all those currently in isolation, we will get through this together.
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) March 19, 2020
12:27: The number of arrests for violating the measures announced by the Greek government against the spread of coronavirus rose to 174 on Thursday. According to police, the arrests concerned the illegal operation of hairdressing salons, cafeterias, restaurants and tavernas, grill houses, flower shops, sports facilities, shops and other outlets to which current restrictions apply.
11:50: The first baby born of a woman who tested positive to the novel coronavirus was born in a hospital in Athens on Wednesday, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported Thursday. An initial test on the infant has shown that it is not infected. Full story here.
11:45: Greek health authorities announced on Thursday that a 70-year-old male had succumbed to the coronavirus infection in the northern town of Kastoria. This is the sixth victim of the pandemic in Greece. Full story
11:20: The European Central Bank said it would spend 750 billion euros ($818 billion) buying government debt and private securities to fight the coronavirus crash. Full story here.
11:10: Mexico has confirmed its first coronavirus-related death, the country’s health ministry announced in a tweet. The patient, who also had diabetes, began showing symptoms of the coronavirus on March 9, according to the ministry.
11:00: Cool Arnold Schwarzenegger calls on people to stay at home while smoking his cigar in his pool:
Stay. At. Home. That means you, too, spring breakers. pic.twitter.com/jUOgjLaOGN
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 18, 2020
10:50: Russia registers first coronavirus death, health authorities reported on Thursday. The victim was a 79-year-old woman who was hospitalized in Moscow on March 13.
10:30: A photograph which has gone viral in Greece shows a stack of toilet paper rolls “decorating” a balcony somewhere in Athens. The proprietor, obviously fearful of a coronavirus lockdown, had apparently bought the entire stock of toilet paper from the local supermarket and used the balcony to store it. Related: Why Are People Panic Buying Toilet Paper? A Greek Scientist Has the Answer
10:00: Jeremy Rossman, a Senior Lecturer in Virology at the University of Kent in the UK explains why there so few coronavirus cases in Russia and Africa. Full story here.
09:40: Restrictions to prevent the spread of the new virus have kept millions at home, including teenage Greek graffiti artist S.F. who added some artwork to the Athens building he lives in.
09:10: According to data released by Greek authorities on Thursday, around 40,000 jobs were lost between March 1 and March 18 in the country, mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
08:50: A shocking picture was published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica which shows a convoy of military vehicles apparently transporting bodies of coronavirus victims in the city of Bergamo sent to be cremated outside the region.
According to the WHO there are almost 3,000 deaths now in Italy from the virus. Full story
08:40: In the UK, dozens of London Underground stations are to be closed indefinitely amid a toughening of measures to try to slow the spread of coronavirus. London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted a few minutes ago:
NEW: @TfL have announced a reduced service to enable key workers to make essential journeys.
➡️ Up to 40 stations now closed
➡️ Waterloo and City line and the Night Tube suspended from tomorrow
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 19, 2020
08:30: The use of public transportation in Athens has dropped by 50 percent, Minister of Transport & Infrastructure Kostas Karamanlis told his EU counterparts in a teleconference on measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday.
08:20: China, for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak started, has reported no new domestic transmissions of Covid-19, a major milestone in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
08:15: Italy, the country with the worst outbreak outside China announced its biggest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases Wednesday, increasing by 4,207 in 24 hours. The total number of cases now stands at 35,713 and 2,978 deaths, according to the WHO.
08:00: Australia and New Zealand will no longer allow entry to foreigners. Full story