Worldwide Headlines March 23, 2020
Brazil’s Sao Paulo braces for two-week coronavirus shutdown
(Reuters) Brazil’s largest state Sao Paulo will essentially shut down for two weeks to help fight the coronavirus, its governor said on Saturday, as President Jair Bolsonaro again claimed that “hysteria” over the outbreak could cause more harm than the virus itself. All but non-essential businesses and services, including bars and restaurants, will remain closed across the country’s most populous state, which includes its financial hub, for the duration.
Pope calls for world prayer to stop coronavirus, will deliver special blessing
(Reuters) Pope Francis said on Sunday he will this week deliver an extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing–normally given only at Christmas and Easter–and called for worldwide prayer to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
Cuban doctors head to Italy battle coronavirus
(Reuters) Communist-run Cuba said it dispatched a brigade of doctors and nurses to Italy for the first time this weekend to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy.Belgium’s lockdown to last at least eight more weeks: health minister
(Reuters) The lockdown of Belgium due to the coronavirus epidemic will continue for at least the next eight weeks, health minister Maggie De Block told the De Zondag paper on Sunday.
Spain extends lockdown, Britain asks vulnerable to self-quarantine
(Washington Post) Spain will extend its nationwide lockdown for 15 days, while the British government will tell 1.5 million people with serious health problems to self-quarantine for the next 12 weeks.
Singapore to ban on all short-term visitors in new virus measures
(Reuters) Singapore will not allow any short-term visitors to transit or enter the city-state in its latest measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus and to conserve healthcare resources for its citizens.
Jordan Goes on Virus Lockdown
(AP) Air raid sirens echoed across Jordan’s capital Saturday to mark the start of a three-day curfew, the latest mass lockdown in the Middle East aimed at containing the coronavirus. In one of the strictest measures yet, Jordan has ordered all shops to close and all people to stay off the streets until at least Tuesday, when it plans to announce specific times for shopping. Several countries in the Middle East have closed schools, universities and nonessential businesses. Many are threatening fines or jail time to those caught violating the decrees.
Africa Lockdowns Begin as Coronavirus Cases Above 1,000
(AP) Lockdowns have begun in Africa as coronavirus cases rise above 1,000, while Nigeria on Saturday announced it is closing airports to all incoming international flights for one month in the continent’s most populous country. Rwanda said all unnecessary movements outside the home are banned for two weeks as of midnight except for essential services such as health care and shopping. The East African nation, which has 17 cases, told all public and private employees to work from home. Tunisia earlier imposed a lockdown as well. Uganda, Eritrea and Angola announced their first cases, meaning 42 of Africa’s 54 countries are now affected. Ethiopia said all arriving passengers will face mandatory quarantine as of Monday. Republic of Congo and Ghana are closing their borders.
Trump says he’s activated National Guard in New York, California and Washington state
(NBC) President Donald Trump announced Sunday that he would activate the federal National Guard to assist Washington, California and New York, three of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. The three states have either been approved or will soon be approved for major disaster declarations to allow the federal government to provide supplies more seamlessly, he said. Trump said large quantities of masks, respirators, gowns, face shields and other items are due to arrive in the three states within days. He added that he has ordered the government to set up large federal medical stations in each of the states.
Leaders, politicians and the coronavirus
(Washington Post) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the third member of Congress and the first senator to confirm infection. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been placed under quarantine after a doctor who administered a vaccine to her on Friday tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Ohio and Louisiana issue stay-at-home orders
(Washington Post) Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday became the latest state leaders to announce statewide stay-at-home orders, which take effect Monday night. Ohio’s order lasts until April 6, while Louisiana’s extends until April 12.