Coronavirus Update: World Leaders Pledge Trillions, More Borders Close, Number of Cases Now Over 200,000

By Anna Breuer on 18 March 2020
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One of New York’s newest subway stations.

IN BRIEF

Good Tuesday morning.  President Trump wants the U.S. government to send Americans individual checks to stimulate the economy, Canada and the United States are closing their borders by mutual consent, and the novel coronavirus has infected over 200,000 people in at least 144 countries, areas, and territories. Nations across the globe are vowing to direct hundreds of billions of dollars, euros, and pounds to blunt the fallout and help businesses and individuals. Meanwhile, Italy reported at least 2,503 virus-related deaths as of 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday, according to the country’s health ministry.

TODAY’S FACTS AND FIGURES

The number of coronavirus cases across the globe is now 206,845, of which 82,889 people have recovered.  The death toll now stands at 8,272.

China, which is where the outbreak began, reported only 13 new cases and 11 deaths.  Out of a total of 80.894 cases, only 8,043 are active. Meanwhile, Italy reported 3,526 new cases and 345 deaths, bringing the totals there to 31,506 and 2,503 respectively.

The number of known Covid-19 cases in the United States is now at 7,301, up by 890 as testing in the country expanded.

CORONAVIRUS NEWS

03-18 Virgin Australia will ground its entire international fleet.

03-18 The Federal Aviation Administration announced the temporary closure of the sole air traffic control tower at Chicago Midway International Airport after three technicians there tested positive for the coronavirus, an agency spokesman said. Nearly all flights from that airport were cancelled

03-17 CEOs from nine major hotel chains met with President Trump to discuss the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the hotel industry and possible economic recovery solutions.

03-17 The governor of Puerto Rico asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to shut down international and domestic flights to and from the island.

03-17 In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected Mayor Bill de Blasio’s suggestion that a citywide “shelter in place” quarantine be implemented in the next two days to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

03-17 Karl von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, is the first member of a royal family to test positive for the novel coronavirus. “It’s annoying, but I’m fine, the archduke said speaking to oe24, a 24-hour news channel run by the newspaper Österreich. “It’s not the black plague,” he added. Karl is the head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and the grandson of the last Austrian emperor, Karl I.

03-17 UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, announced that European Championship will be postponed from this June until 2021 as a result of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The 24-team tournament was slated to take place in 12 cities across Europe, from Budapest to Dublin to London to Munich.

03-17 Uber and Lyft both suspended shared rides such as Uber’s Uber Pool service in order to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

03-17 Cinemas in the States are going dark.  The two largest movie theater chains in the country, AMC and Regal, which operate a combined 1,100 theaters, said they would suspend operations effective Tuesday. Meanwhile, Hollywood studios are starting to make their films available on-demand to help stem the economic fallout of the need for social distancing.

03-17 New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, gave the green light for bars and restaurants to sell their products for consumption outside the premises. The news came after restaurants and bars were forced to close in order to help stave off the spread of the coronavirus.

03-17 The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is the largest public transit authority in the United States and which operates trains, buses, and commuter railroads in the New York metropolitan area, said that subway ridership had plunged 60% and bus ridership 49% on March 16 compared with the same day last year. The Metro-North Railroad, which serves commuters north of the city, reported a 90% drop, and the Long Island Rail Road saw a 67% decline.

03-17 Bloomingdale’s joined the growing list of major department stores that closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.  The others include Macy’s and Nordstrom, while many other store chains are reducing hours including Target, Aldi, and Lidl.  Meanwhile, Stop & Shop will open all of its stores at 6 a.m. local time for 90 minutes to serve customers who are age 60 or older.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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